onsdag 17. juni 2009

Session 4: Lovold on The new willingness to pay

The new willingness to pay: Climate change as a catalyst for implementing a truly sustainable development model in forest-rich developing countries.

Lars Løvold, Director, Rainforest Foundation Norway

Lars started his presentation by saying that lessons from the past point to unsustainability and that most countries that follow traditional development paths, end up losing most of their native forests. In other words, "normal" development, undermines the life support systems of the Earth-undermines ecosystem services.

He then asked the question, how much must we pay to change this logic, to keep the trees standing? And challenged the dominant answer so far that has been to pay for lost income, or, paying for the lost oportunity to make money.

Lars listed several problematic issues with the opportunity cost approach including who to pay? Should one only pay those with the capacity to deforest. This rewards the villains but not the guardians and creates a perverse incentive, you must destroy in order to be paid not to destroy.

Lars proposed an alternative system, what he termed a new, Green development approach. A system that maintains life support systems-climate, biodiversity, and provides social and economic benefits and opportunities to those who maintain the system. In this system, the standing forest becomes the source for social development (health, education), income at all levels, as opposed to the current paradigm where the plundered forest equals money.

A vital element of the new model includes entrusting the forest to the people who are attached to the forest-recognizing forest peoples' rights.

Lars concluded by saying that for the new system to work, you need the participation of all stakeolders in the planning and implementation of national REDD plans, legal reform and law enforcement, and the abolishment of the right to destroy without paying.

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