Forests are like a playground for corruption – worth a lot of money but so vast and sprawling they are hard to police. The global appetite for products like wood, beef, soy, palm oil and paper is proving a far greater force than the efforts towards conservation, and is driving a thriving black market in many forest-rich countries. Companies collude with politicians to exploit protected zones, local officials doctor forest maps to cover up wrongdoing, illegal loggers bribe wardens to turn a blind eye, and developers throw forest communities off their land.
Our new poster campaign is aimed at raising awareness among forest populations about corruption risks in REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) – a relatively new scheme that aims to combat climate change, essentially by paying forest-dense countries not to cut down trees.
REDD+ money could be a blessing for people living on REDD+ project land. Put to its proper use it should support local infrastructure and services like roads, schools and hospitals. Given the forestry sector’s track record for corruption, however, it is our concern that these funds might end up in the wrong hands.
The slideshow above shows what can happen when REDD+ projects are corruption-free. Funds from the programme can deliver tangible benefits to communities that preserve the forests around them.
The slideshow below shows three scenarios where corruption prevents REDD+ projects from helping the intended beneficiaries. Instead, corrupt intermediaries make off with the REDD+ funds, leaving the communities cheated out of promised benefits.
Our Climate Finance Integrity Programme is researching potential risks in three major REDD+ recipient countries – Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam – and promoting ideas to close the gaps.
Whether meeting with government officials or visiting forest communities, by drawing attention to these risks we want to help ensure that REDD+ works – for people and for the planet.
The cartoons seen above are available in a range of formats and can be used to raise awareness about the REDD+ risks and benefits. You can also read a blog post about their origins.
- Download our poster
- More downloads coming soon!
Transparency International Indonesia also produced an animated short highlighting corruption concerns in the forestry sector. Watch it below.
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