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{Empty title} | The Nation

The arguments about using a national vs. subnation approach to REDD omits a very important issue--the fact that most tropical forests are located in countries where national governments are plagued by corruption. Global Witness has written reports on this issue of corruption in countries with tropical forests. As the author acknowledges, a national approach would mean that money flows through national governments. If these governments are terribly corrupt, the money will probably end up in Swiss bank accounts! It would be far better for the money to go to forest communities and indigenous people or those people who actually care for the forest. Subnational projects could provide an opportunity for money to reach these people rather than line the pockets of corrupt officials. The article's failure to address issues related to corruption, the need for reform in land tenure laws and a number other important issues is a gaping hole in his reasoning. I was at Copenhagen, and numerous environmental organizations were addressing these issues in a serious manner.

I think that the article raises some important and serious issues, but the author's credibility is undermined by his apparent superficial understanding of the complicated issues.