REDD signals!

Aditya Acharya and Mahesh Poudel

Published in The Kathmandu Post. This link –

Mar 27, 2018
It was discovered that deforestation and forest land degradation contribute to 17 percent of the worldwide carbon emissions which is a major factor of the current global warming phenomenon. So, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation was seen as one of the major issues to address this phenomenon. Conceived initially as RED (reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries), the current state of REDD+ was formalized during the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bali, Indonesia in 2007. The concept is to allow the developed countries (Annex 1 countries of the UNFCCC) to offset their emissions by providing financial incentives for the projects in developing countries (non-Annex 1 countries of the UNFCCC) that reduce emissions by preventing deforestation and degradation.

The formal term now is REDD+ which is an extension of REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest land degradation); an addition of three other components, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in the later. REDD is the mechanism to curb emissions and UN-REDD is the program of the United Nations (UN) that assists the participating countries for the REDD readiness. And the UN_REDD program has 64 partner countries; 28 in Africa, 19 in Asia Pacific and 17 in Latin America and the Carribean.

Corruption in the partners

The Transparency International (TI) last month (February) published the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Report for 2017 which shows the perceived level of public sector corruptions in 180 countries around the world. Of the 64 partner countries of the UN REDD program, 57 (89%) of them have the CPI score of less than 50 out of 100, zero score being the most corrupt and 100 the cleanest. Fifty five out of those 64 (86%) have the CPI score of less than the global average score of 43.07. Only 5 (7.8%) of them have the CPI score of more than 43.07 and 4 of them are not scored. Bhutan and Chile are the least corrupt countries among those 64 countries with an equal score of 67 and Costa Rica is the second one with a score of 59. Can we really be optimistic about the success of the mechanism that works among the most corrupt countries of the world? Is carbon finance fair and effective? The TI writes – “Sadly, many of the world’s most densely forested countries have a poor track record for corruption. In the current global economy, trees are worth a lot more cut down than they are in the ground, and politicians have been known to accept bribes – sometimes huge – to grant companies access to forest zones that should be protected.


There are seven safeguards which were adopted at COP 16 in 2010 in Cancun, Mexico (hence called Cancun safeguards) keeping in mind the potential risks that might arise during the REDD implementation, which also includes ‘Transparent and effective national forest governance structures, taking into account national legislation and sovereignty’. Just to remind, these countries are corrupt not because they don’t have good laws and policies but because the corrupt bureaucracy, the politicians as well as people there easily outsmart them. If the safeguards would really work, those countries should never be so corrupt. Yes, if the countries fail to meet the safeguards, they will not be paid. That is fine. But what about the billions of dollars already invested in REDD readiness then? Will that all be ‘water poured in the sand’?

There are so many complex, technical aspects included that even a well-educated person cannot completely understand. And the indigenous people of those countries, where the literacy percentage is also very low, are expected to fully trust the corrupt bureaucracy in their countries to deliver them the benefits of keeping the forests safe!

What should be done?

It is not that no works should be done in those countries fearing corruption but alternative ways of reducing the emissions should be sought. One confusing thing is – how the REDD benefits the environment when the developed countries can emit the same amount of GHGs as sequestered by the developing countries under REDD mechanism, just by paying them money!? This is not to mean that the developing countries should be allowed to deforest or degrade the forest land but that the developed countries should not be allowed to emit as much carbon as they want just by paying money. Is it the money or the reduction in GHG emissions that actually matters for developing countries? Why can’t the developing countries pressurize the developed ones to reduce as much carbon emissions as they sequester rather than asking for the payments? That way, the changing climate will have double benefits.

Either money that is going to the developing countries should be invested in the developed countries itself reducing emissions to an amount that developing ones are likely to sequester or corruption in the developing countries should be highly reduced. Otherwise, there are no green signals for REDD.

 The Kathmandu Post - REDD Signals

Epaper link –


Yksi päivä Utransaaressa

Video: Cycling towards Utransaari (The Utra Island)

Video: By the river Pielisjoki, we sat and drank !

Video: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  the waves  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photographer always has to take selfie


म जस्तो गरिबसँग आफूलाई बिकाउन खोज्छन्
सेकेन्डह्याण्ड सम्बन्ध गाँसेर जबरजस्ती टिकाउन खोज्छन्
खै, मैले चाहिँ ‘आत्मसम्मान’ के हो सिकाएर पठाइदिएँ
के थाहा को सिक्न भनेर आउँछन्, को सिकाउन खोज्छन् !!

That 15-year-old drunk girl!

“How old are you?” the first question that little girl asked me was my age, as soon as I stopped my bicycle. I was going home from campus.

I got confused.


“How old are you?” she repeated her question.

“Why?” I repeated my question.

“Do you speak Finnish?”

Oh, she did not understand how I pronounced the word ‘why’. “No, I do not. But why do you want to know my age?”

There were two girls. The other one, who was a bit taller, did not speak anything. The smaller one was asking my age. There was some tear rolling down one of her cheeks.

“But how old are you?”

“Seems like you are drunk, right? 🙂 I am 26. But why do you want to know?”

“Where are you from?” I later realized she was trying to please me first. 🙂

“I am from Nepal.”

“Nepal” she repeated. “Do you want to drink?” Not exactly the same question, but she asked something like that, that if I’d like to drink something.

“No, I do not drink alcohol,” I said.

“Could you please buy some for us. Because we want to drink.”

What! I never drink alcohol myself. Will I buy alcohol for others?

“But you already seem drunk,” I smiled.

“We want some more. Please…!” she was almost pleading. “We will give you the money and you buy for us, okay. Please.”

Oh, I get it. They will bear the cost themselves. I just need to buy it from the store and give it to them.

Yes, I got the point. I knew why she asked my age first.

“How old are you?” I asked.


“So YOU cannot buy it right?”

“Yes, please buy it okay. I will give you the money”

“See you are already drunk. You should not drink more.”

She was not interested to listen to any advice, it was obvious. She was not extremely drunk but was at a level enough to stop a stranger and ask for help to buy them some alcohol.

“Please…,” she was still trying to stop me when I pedalled my bicycle ahead, saying “No, sorry.”

—- —- —- —-

See, how smart she was. First, she asked my age to make sure if I was at least 18. Then she asked if I would like to drink, probably thinking I would buy some for them too if I wanted to. At last, she told that she would bear the cost herself.

She was so beautiful, talking fluently and so friendly that I would have probably made her my beloved sister if she was sober and was asking for some other help. But she was an underage little girl, asking to help her buy alcohol!!

It was only after an hour or so a question came to my mind – “Can underage still get drunk even if they cannot buy alcohol here?” Because I do not drink alcohol, I did not take note of alcohol laws here (Finland). I googled and understood that they can drink but only under their parent’s supervision. But the amount they can drink, the level they can get drunk were not clearly mentioned.

Should I have informed the police? I do not know. Probably I should have done. But it is already late now. I do not know where they have gone by now.

Dear moon

Melted by your flair, your magnanimity

It’s stupid to compare, your magnanimity

to those – why’d I urge them to stay – who was going anyway

Had I known earlier, your magnanimity !

English is not my native language. I am just creating some four-line poems which resemble something called /muktak/ in Nepali. I do not know the rules of syllables or anything yet. 🙂

Despite all the pleading, the sun went down anyway. So I am talking to the moon now. 🙂

“बाल्टिक सागर”

बेवारिसे तिम्रा तालहरुसँग बहकिएँ
किनाराका मौन सवालहरुसँग बहकिएँ
अल्ली पर पुगे’छि पो असली रुप देखायौ त
झन्डै तिम्रा छालहरुसँग बहकिएँ !!