Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has recently emerged as an unprecedented opportunity for turning the lemon of forest loss into the lemonade of carbon payments. The theory is beautiful—reward countries and communities that succeed in reducing the rate of deforestation and associated carbon emissions—and has captivated the imagination of the international climate community. However, the practice is a different story. Now, we have a wonderful movie that documents what it takes to get a REDD deal going and what it means in human and environmental terms. The film, "The Burning Season", follows a young carbon entrepreneur around the world in his quest to obtain carbon financing for a spectacular forest in Indonesia's Aceh province. The stories of the country's dwindling orangutan population and that of a poor farmer involved in cutting the forest are nicely woven into the mix. To view the PBS version of the film, visit: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/burning-season/introduction/1627/
The project itself was developed through the World Bank's Aceh Forest and Environment Project. We are seeking feedback on the experience and what it portends for the development of the REDD market.