posted by Ginger .
Hi. I am reading up on the Kyoto Protocol for a project and I am a little confused on the meaning of this paragraph. If someone could help explain it to me, that would be great!:
Dispossession and prostitution loom for Costa Rica's rural women and children as rainforests are converted into oxygen credits under the Kyoto Protocol. In Costa Rica, local communities, especially those living in the tropical rainforests, depend for survival on the bounty provided by the forests and women's non-wage labour. With the Kyoto Protocol, neoliberals have redefined forests as 'oxygen generators', a concept that indebted countries have embraced. This world view destroys sustainable ways of living and creates destitution and real misery because it is used to justify the expulsion of local communities from the bounty of their forests, thereby undermining their basic support systems. The global environmental crisis has highlighted the fact that forest vegetation stores carbon that, if released, would contribute to trapping heat in the atmosphere, driving up temperatures and speeding up climate change. Selling oxygen from the rainforest has become part of the 'sustainable development' agenda in the Kyoto Protocol.
Rather give you a line by line paraphrasing of the paragraph, I will give you my views and an overall summary of what it says.
I am not sure I agree with what the paragraph is saying. It makes an extreme claim that women are being driven from their rain forest habitat and into prostitution by their government's embracing of the Kyoto protocol. The poor countries' governments supposedly force them from their habitat and "sustainable forest lifestyle" in order to receive "oxygen credits" from richer countries that are bigger producers of greenhouse gases. The governments supposedly get the payments or credits for leaving the rain forests intact.
The paragraph does not provide examples and does not make a strong case that "sustainable ways of living" are incompatible with leaving the rain forests alone. What the Kyoto protocol tries to prevent is the massive destruction of rain forests for food or biofuel products.
Why do these countries, such as Cuba, want oxygen credits? Does it make them more wealthy?