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Western ‘deforestation aid’ is immoral

World Growth

November 27, 2012

Press release: Western ‘deforestation aid’ is immoral, threatens developing economies

Doha — Pro-development NGO World Growth has released a briefing -- Immoral Aid: The effect of REDD+ on developing country economies – at the UN climate conference in Qatar. It warns the donor-driven “REDD+” program to reduce emissions from deforestation advances Western interests to the detriment of developing countries. A review of the program by the World Bank also shows REDD+ is grossly inefficient, costing US$22 million to disburse just USD$4.9 million in grants.

The briefing explains that the original REDD+ program was conceived with noble intentions, but now has almost no chance of achieving its goals. World Growth Chairman Ambassador Alan Oxley said REDD+ programs oblige developing countries to replace productive industries with short-term foreign aid that aims to develop untested replacement industries.

“What started with high ideals has descended into Green conditionality, resurrecting the old, paternalist way of conceiving international aid and development: rich countries make available massive sums of money and then dictate to developing countries exactly how the economy should be run,” Ambassador Oxley said.

“As recently as 2005 the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness acknowledged that attaching conditions to aid simply did not work.”

“The Declaration recognized that effective aid relies on developing-country ownership of strategies and projects, and on alignment with local economic priorities – this is best development practice and this is where the UN should be.

“REDD+ donors appear to have forgotten the Paris Declaration. Here they are dictating economic restructuring of developing country economies to achieve reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases. To make matters worse, analysis of these economic programs shows they are a pipe dream; calculations of potential costs and benefits are based on data that is now known to be grossly overstated.”

“Some leading donors have also made clear their ambition to generate carbon credits in poor countries so they can buy them to help meet their national commitments to reduce emissions without curbing their own emission generating industries.

“This is simply immoral. Climate change stakeholders need to urgently review the REDD+ system and refocus on how to respect and constructively work with developing economies to foster sustainable management of their forests.”

“Furthermore, new analysis shows emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation have been found to be overstated by as much as 100 per cent. The fact donors and the World Bank have persisted with these programs simply deepens the immorality of their approach.” said Ambassador Oxley.

To read the report click here.

About World Growth

World Growth is an international non-governmental organization established to expand the research, information, advocacy, and other resources to improve the economic conditions and living standards in developing and transitional countries. At World Growth, we embrace the age of globalization and the power of free trade to eradicate poverty and create jobs and opportunities. World Growth supports the production of palm oil and the use of forestry as a means to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. World Growth believes a robust cultivation of palm oil and forestry provides an effective means of environmental stewardship that can serve as the catalyst for increasing social and economic development. For more information on World Growth, visit


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