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Cancun 101

Like other nations with tropical forests, Panama is preparing for the chance that the United Nations will include the program REDD (“Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”) in a UN-sanctioned carbon market.

Such a market would ultimately have to conform to any agreement approved at Cancún — a gathering of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Industrialized countries have invested heavily in the plan to harness REDD to the carbon market, citing practical and lucrative opportunities to save the planet. Meanwhile, however, they have balked at mandatory emissions cuts recommended by climate scientists — which run four to ten times higher than those mandated by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The countries have also objected to the insertion of measures that would help indigenous communities like Panama’s Kuna to control the fate of lands like their boniganas, or spirit sanctuaries.


Return to the story: Will a UN Climate-Change Solution Help Kuna Yala?