Year 4 – 2012

I said that ‘2012 will need to see significant advances’ towards a more balanced  portfolio of climate change and biodiversity supported projects; I always knew that adding the latter would be more challenging. So I’m pleased that in March I concluded discussions with:

– the Environmental Investigation Agency to provide £10,000 per annum for three years (2012-14) to support their larger campaigns aimed at Tackling China’s illicit timber trade, and Combatting its illegal wildflife trade  These links are to EAI general activity on these topics, not China specific. But here’s one to their new briefing Blood Ivory: Exposing the myth of a regulated market calling for ‘legal ivory auctions to be stopped and China stripped of its Approved Buyer status if the rising tide of elephant poaching is to be curbed’ March 2012  The 2010 Chatham House report establishes China’s dominant global position as a market for and processor of illegal timber (see table 5,12); EIA’s in-country presence in E Asia and ability to focus on the EU and US regulatory frameworks means that they are strongly positioned to push for essential curbs on these deeply destructive trades.

Communist economies and societies are just as environmentally destructive as capitalist ones (or more so?) and China’s ‘right to develop’ cannot be at the expense of global biodiversity or – because of its unique and powerfully adverse combination of very high economic growth rates, very large population, and very poor energy/carbon intensity of production (5th bottom of this list) – a rapidly diminishing global carbon budget.

the Rainforest Foundation to target my Foundation’s existing support at their pioneering work in the Congo basin to map community rights in forest areas and thus  empower them to resist dubiously obtained logging concessions. The morning of our discussion DfID (the Department for International Development) had just agreed a major grant to the Rainforest Foundation for the same project, so the ARF ‘minnow’  is swimming alongside a mighty whale, giving confidence that we’re all heading in the right direction. ARF will also support a publication this year about REDD, thus linking together its two climate change and biodiversity priorities.

So after some 3 years’s activity – and setting these two biodiversity projects alongside support for the Friends of the Earth international climate work – the Foundation has now achieved the balanced portfolio envisaged at the start; also global in reach and coverage (so both the Congo and Indonesian rainforests). Support via Network for Social Change of the NEF ‘Great Transition‘ programme has added the essential economics third pillar.

In February the Network for Social Change agreed support of £15,000 to Friends of the Earth for its campaign to Build mass public support for a ‘Big Switch’ to green energy.  As project sponsor the Foundation contributed £2,000.

Page last updated March 2012