The Bosawás and Indio Maíz Biosphere Reserves in Nicaragua are the largest tropical forests in the Americas after the Amazon. The richly biodiverse protected areas are home to jaguars, tapirs, giant anteaters and spider monkeys.
The Nicaraguan government has been looking the other way while loggers, gold miners and ranchers invade those very forests. Their illegal settlements have been a major driver of deforestation on the Caribbean coast.
Now, the Nicaraguan government has applied for money from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to establish a REDD project in the supposedly protected areas.
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is a mechanism by which developed countries pay for forest conservation, a model that has been criticized for reducing forests to a commodity while failing to protect either the forests or their inhabitants. In the current scenario, the project threatens to fuel conflicts and trample the rights of the indigenous population.
The real causes of deforestation are not even mentioned in the REDD project application. The project could lead to the legalization of logging and mining settlements, setting the stage for further exploitation and conflicts with traditional communities.
The GCF will decide on the application between the 9th and 13th of November. Nicaraguan indigenous and environmental NGOs are calling on the GCF to reject the application.
Please support their demands: Say NO to REDD in Bosawás and Indio Maíz in Nicaragua!
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