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?


Changing Planet

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn