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Standing up for world forests at Rio

Brazillian Rainforest © WWF-Brazil / Adriano GambariniRainforest in Brazil © WWF-Brazil / Adriano Gambarini

Rio+20 summit side-events are where people show what they’ve done, present partnerships, say what they want to say – and build political capital.

At the Sabah-Acre side event yesterday two states, from Malaysia and Brazil respectively, gave their opinions. Both have committed to holding the line on where the forests should stand in the future. And both have signed a memorandum for south-south cooperation – to build this vision for a green economy.

Datuk Sam Mannan, director of Sabah’s forest department, also called for the UN to ‘sort out’ the system for REDD – so that the world is not ‘blackmailed’ into paying people to stop destroying forests, rather than rewarding those who are already managing their forests well.

Dr Viana, govenor of Acre, called for more private sector investment to support a forest-based green economy. Once state governments establish clear zones where the forest will be kept standing by law, companies have more security to offer green jobs.

Let’s hope more states follow suit, and follow the rule of law to keep forest areas productive – and stop all the hot air in international negotiations. Or maybe the negotiators will listen!

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