南京夜网

We flex our lobbying muscle in fight for forests

I AWOKE this morning believing that this would be an important day in Copenhagen for the intact natural forests of the world.After three frantic days of intense closed-door discussions, a new draft text is to be produced for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.The shape of a final agreement on the future of the lungs of the Earth – the great forests of Brazil, the Congo, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – will emerge more clearly.I’ve been working intensively on forest issues in a new climate agreement with the Wilderness Society for a year. We bring our knowledge, campaigning skills and lobbying muscle to bear on the fate of carbon-rich natural ecosystems in both developed and developing countries.Deforestation is responsible for 20 per cent of global greenhouse-gas emissions and without tackling this, we have no chance of holding temperature rise below 2 degrees and avoiding dangerous climate change.Arriving in the chill morning at the conference centre, the numbers have swollen. People from all corners of the Earth converge in their fabulous array of traditional dress, spill through the concourse and chatter intently in myriad languages.First I chair the daily meeting of the Ecosystems Climate Alliance, which work on forests, peatlands and wetlands, indigenous rights and forest governance. We share information, devise strategies, allocate responsibilities for the day.We’ll need to react fast to the new text, analysing, writing it up and using all methods to communicate rapidly our views to the negotiators and to the world. US President Barack Obama has made a speech using the words ”protect forests” and ”avoid deforestation” while supporting Brazil and Norway’s fund idea. It is encouraging.I’m asked to help formulate and quickly email some text into the closed meeting to resolve an impasse on wording to block funding conversion of native forests to plantations.As I am finishing this job, a US colleague asks for help. Would I compose some talking points for a media conference? I outline that there are sticking points on assigning percentage figures to the goals, and on protecting indigenous rights and intact forests.Then it transpires that a second stream of the forest negotiations has hit turbulence. The agenda is now in disarray. In the media conference, the PNG negotiator is on the platform, receiving phone calls regarding the impasse.When the blockage is overcome, it is apparent that meetings will go well into the night. It will be morning before the text is seen so we might as well have dinner and sleep.Mid-meal, the message comes. We have a leaked copy of new text now under debate in the no-access night session. I’ll be working late after all, to get the jump with an analysis and a message about what it means for the world’s forests before breakfast tomorrow.Peg Putt, the former leader of the Tasmanian Greens, is representing the Wilderness Society in Copenhagen.
Nanjing Night Net