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REDD in the news: 12-19 July 2009

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Guyana’s President Jagdeo meets UK officials as consultations are underway for Jagdeo’s Low Carbon Development Strategy. The Agriculture Minister assures the logging industry that the LCDS will not threaten their operations. Under the LCDS, road-building will not threaten forests.

Indonesia launches its revenue sharing rules for REDD. India wants its expanding area of industrial tree plantations to be recognised under REDD. Wildlife Works Carbon is establishing a REDD project in Kenya.

Three views on REDD, from: Pavan Sukhdev, a senior banker at Deutsche Bank; Mongabay’s Rhett Butler; and Andrei Marcu, ex-head of the International Emissions Trading Association.


12 July 2009
President meets British diplomats on LCDS
Starbroek News.
President Bharrat Jagdeo met John Rankin, Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, Fraser Wheeler, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Simon Bond, Deputy British High Commissioner to Guyana and Mark Montgomery of the Department for International Cooperation, Guyana/Caribbean.

After the meeting, Wheeler said that the British authorities have been working closely with government on the LCDS, funding some activities. “We’re very supportive of the whole strategy, very supportive of the concept of avoided deforestation and we want to work closely with the government on the run-up to Copenhagen so we can do a deal,” he said.


13 July 2009
Indonesia releases revenue sharing rules for REDD forest carbon projects
mongabay.com.
Indonesia’s rules on revenue sharing for REDD explained.

the revenue-sharing depends on the type of forest ownership or permit, ranging from 10 to 50 percent for the government, 20 to 70 percent for local communities, and 20 to 60 percent for developers. Projects in areas classified as “protected forest” would see 50 percent go to the government, 20 percent to local communities, and 30 percent to developers, while for projects in indigenous forest the breakdown would be 10% to the government, 70 percent to the community, and 20 percent to the developer.

Indonesia reveals REDD revenue shares
carbonpositive.net.
Indonesia has released rules on revenue sharing for carbon market payments for REDD.

Under the rules, up to 50 per cent of all carbon credit revenues envisaged would go to various levels of government and as little as 20 per cent given to forest communities.
[ . . . ]
Revenue going to local communities would be between 20 and 70 per cent of the overall profits, distributed via a trust fund. Project developers would receive 20 to 60 per cent. The type of forest being preserved is the main factor determining the revenue share ratio applies.

Going green with REDD
By Rupi Mangat, The East African.
Wildlife Works Carbon is establishing a REDD project at Rukinga Ranch in Taita district of the Coast Province, southeast Kenya.

Mike Korchinsky of Wildlife Works Carbon said he got interested when “A few months ago, a friend trading in carbon credits suggested l look into REDD because it is about protecting trees we already have.” It wasn’t an easy to implement because of the stringent standards set by the Voluntary Carbon Standards which allows for participation in the global carbon markets covering REDD.

The implementation programme is complex, expensive and time consuming.

It involved documenting Rukinga’s carbon value by counting all the trees in order to calculate the carbon emissions if the forest was not there.

Resolved: REDD all over
By Brienne Walsh, The Stimulist.
Article on G8’s failure to discuss REDD (which isn’t entirely true – REDD was mentioned in the G8 statement).

REDD programs have already been developed by the World Bank and the United Nations, which has launched tests in Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia, to name a few. The Norwegian government has committed $600 million a year to REDD activities. What remains to be seen is whether or not the initiative will be adopted by other nations, or left to flounder amongst other failed carbon reduction programs.
In the absence of more immediate solutions, that’s scary thought.


14 July 2009
LCDS designed to affect forestry operations positively
By Tajeram Mohabir, Guyana Chronicle.
Robert Persaud, Guyana’s Agriculture Minister spoke at a consultation on the Low Carbon Development Strategy organised by the Guyana Forestry Commission and the Forestry Products Association (PFA). (The meeting was also reported in the Stabroek News and the Kaieteur News.)

“The strategy is not about closing down concessions, the strategy is not about ending community forestry organisations and bodies; the strategy is not about slowing down the path or the efforts we are making in terms of value added and allowing the wood sector to grow.

“In fact, the strategy is about stimulating those activities, from a perspective that we want to maintain the highest level of sustainable activities, both from an environmental and economic standpoint,” he explained.
[ . . . ]
Persaud said the strategy is not about making life difficult for forestry operators, and noted many large players have been having difficulty in obtaining Forestry Stewardship Certification (FSC) because of their failure to meet certain standards.

But he expressed confidence that at the end of the consultation, and within the framework of the LCDS, it will be easier for many of these companies to pass the requirements for FSC.

Our Climate Crisis: Seeing REDD, Plundering Our Forests
By Duff Badgley, Greener Times.
An overview of what’s wrong with REDD: “When is ‘saving’ our global forests a hideous idea? When it’s REDD.”

We need genuine forest protection. We need radical reduction of GHGs. We need both. We cannot separate these two if we are to salvage a Livable Planet. But REDD does. And then REDD caves on real forest protection. REDD seeks to divide us. It will conquer us if we do not resist now.

Forests best chance for new climate pact-economist
By Nina Chestney and Michael Szabo, Reuters.
Based on an interview with Pavan Sukhdev, a senior banker at Deutsche Bank who is currently on secondment with UNEP.

Forest-rich governments should encourage developed nations to pledge some $20-30 billion per year to their REDD strategies, then create a fund to allocate the money to the best projects, Sukhdev said. “More money then will come from the private sector, but getting started is the problem,” he added.


15 July 2009
Big REDD
By Rhett Butler, Washington Monthly.
Upbeat overview of REDD by the editor of mongabay.com, part of a Special Report on deforestation and climate change in the Washington Monthly: “A Clear Cut Crisis“.

Even REDD’s strongest supporters admit that trying to fulfill all the hopes invested in the policy, while avoiding the possible pitfalls, is a risky proposition. But they support it just the same. “REDD is being asked to do a lot of things—improving governance, promoting sustainable development, and mitigating climate change—but the potential benefits are so great, it’s a chance worth taking,” explains Stephan Schwartzman of the Environmental Defense Fund. This is because REDD is the only existing mechanism that promises to make preserving living forests more lucrative than cutting them down—and only by accomplishing that feat can we hope to stem the tide of deforestation.

State of play
By Andrei Marcu, Carbon Finance.
“Andrei Marcu is senior advisor, climate & emissions trading Canada at Bennett Jones, a Canadian law firm. Between 1999 and 2008, he was the president of the International Emissions Trading Association and serves on the Board of IETA and as chair of the Climate Change Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He attended the Bonn meetings as a negotiator for Panama.”

REDD is popular with almost everyone, even if some asked that a definition be put in to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Will REDD be credited, funded by the private sector and with credits fungible with the rest of the global carbon market? The private sector is rushing into it, in anticipation of rapid adoption, while many negotiators see this, at least in the preparatory phase while the infrastructure is put in place, as essentially a government-to-government matter. As with carbon capture and storage (CCS), there is some fear of flooding the market with REDD credits, depressing prices and damaging the chances of other “worthy” technologies coming in. There seems to also be some competition between REDD and CCS, but hopefully logic will prevail and those favouring CCS and REDD will see that they have a common cause.


16 July 2009
Regions 7, 8 residents want more time to study low carbon
Stabroek News.
More reporting on the LCDS consultations in Guyana.

Mario Hestings a resident of Kamarang, Upper Mazaruni said residents need more time to study and examine the LCDS. Another resident, Norma Thomas, called for a clause to be included in the Strategy for the traditional lands of Amerindians to be respected. The minister reiterated that residents will not be pressured to support the LCDS but she also said that if a community chooses to support the initiative it must engage in discussions with the government to draft a development plan. Representative of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Vanda Radzik also gave assurances that consultations have just begun and “nothing is yet written in stone.”

Economic growth and environmental utilisation no longer incompatible says agriculture minister
By Tajeram Mohabir, Guyana Chronicle.
Article based on a seminar organised by the Guyana Forestry Commission, Conservation International – Guyana and Inter-American Development Bank, to discuss a Technical Cooperation Project titled: “Avoiding deforestation while promoting sustainable development–South America Regional Infrastructure Development Forests, and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD): Implications for Guyana.” Kaieteur News also reported on the seminar.

He explained, in doing so, it substantiates that sustainable development in Guyana, in this case the Linden to Lethem Road, can continue and be fostered along a low carbon development trajectory.

“We are further encouraged that this much-needed national development project – the Linden to Lethem Road – can be realised with low rates of deforestation and forest degradation, and through the implementation of an effective incentives mechanism,” Persaud stated.


19 July 2009
A review of the Low Carbon Development Strategy
By Christopher Ram, Stabroek News.
The Business Page is running a series of articles about the LCDS.

The proposed LCDS will be introduced in four phases beginning in 2009 and continuing indefinitely. The following are the four phases and the intended Payments to Guyana.
Phase 1 (2009) – No sum indicated but the document refers to interim payments to launch the LCDS and funding for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV).
Phase 2 (2010 – 2012) – US$60M to US$350M for capacity building, human capital development and the investment required to build a low carbon economy.
Phase 3 (2012 – 2020) – US$350M to US$580M annually for essentially the same purposes in Phase 2 and for payments to avoid deforestation and climate change adaptation.
Phase 4 (2020 and onwards) – Greater than US$580M providing incentives at or above the Economic Value to Guyana.

India cannot take legally binding GHG emission cuts: Ramesh
DNA India.
India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, says that India would not accept any “legally binding” GHG emission reductions but assured that its carbon footprint would never exceed that of developed nations.

Ramesh sought US support for India’s proposals to the UNFCCC and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD).

“The developed nations must acknowledge and reward countries who are in the business of actually expanding forest cover. On our part, we are embarking on a close to $3 billion programme to regenerate our natural forests that already cover some 165 million acres roughly the size of Texas,” he said.

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  1. Guyana’s so called consultations is one of the biggest shams going
    the govt only wants people who agree with their position then they are using the video in a massive propaganda campaign on govt owned radio, tv and newspapers
    anyone with opposing views are cut off and shouted down by the govt folks including the president
    just read this
    “Although President Jagdeo embarrassed me, and I felt very hurt, by stopping me from speaking, I was touched a second before that happened, when the entire mining audience loudly applauded what I had said, and unfortunately for me that applause helped to contribute to my having to be stopped from speaking, as I realized that the President did not want any serious mining negatives at that meeting, which could appear to reflect negatively on his LCDS programme, although what I said had absolutely nothing to do with the LCDS, a programme which I am backing 100 per cent.”
    http://www.stabroeknews.com/2009/letters/08/06/did-not-say-the-lcds-would-adversely-affect-small-and-medium-scale-mining/