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REDD in the news: 22-28 March 2010

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REDD in the news: 22-28 March 2010

A round up of the last seven days’ news on REDD, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). For those who can’t wait until Monday for their REDD news, REDD-Monitor’s news page is updated daily: REDD in the news.

Climate research in Vietnam receives a boost

World Agroforestry Centre, March 2010 | “What we need from the World Agroforestry Centre is the scientific basis. Our people need the scientists to work beside them.” Mrs Pham Minh Thoa, newly appointed Director General of Vietnam’s Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation, made this statement during a visit to the Centre on Friday 19 March 2010 with colleague Dr Pham Manh Cuong, National REDD Team Leader, UN-REDD Vietnam Programme. Their visit came just one day after representatives from the Government of Norway had visited the Centre to discuss Norwegian support for the Centre’s research into reducing emissions from all land uses. This work will be carried out by the Centre and the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership in three countries: Vietnam, Cameroon and Peru.

22 March 2010

Indonesia Walks a ‘Tricky’ Path Toward Growth and Sustainability

By Jessica Leber, NYTimes.com, 22 March 2010 | “We are trying to implement REDD, but at the same time, we need to accelerate our development,” said Wandojo Siswanto, Indonesia’s lead climate negotiator on forest issues, during a visit to Washington this month… Siswanto pointed to an early pilot project on the Berau district, an area the size of Belize in Borneo’s East Kalimantan province, as one of several efforts to move from piecemeal conservation projects to grand, large-scale plans. Eventually, the goal is create a rigorous national program that could meet international REDD standards… It is working out the details in places like Berau. “There is still great opportunity here, but there’s also significant threat on the horizon,” said Sarene Marshall, deputy climate change director of the Nature Conservancy, which is actively helping run the project.

The challenges of managing high expectations for REDD-plus

By Jan Willem den Besten (IUCN), Alertnet, 22 March 2010 | Civil society, government organizations and local communities in many tropical rainforest nations have started REDD-plus preparation planning with a lot enthusiasm, eager to take part in this proposed global mechanism for the reduction of forest-related CO2 emissions. REDD-plus would be a financial incentive for reducing deforestation and forest degradation with the aim of cutting carbon emissions from those sources. Under it, governments hope to receive payments for their efforts; the ‘plus’ indicates the inclusion of sustainable management, conservation and restoration of forests in the effort. There is however a danger that early enthusiasm for REDD-plus could be quelled by unrealistic promises and false expectations – so much so that the effort could become a victim of its own promises.

UN-REDD policy board visit to Kikuyu Escarpment Forests

Kenya Forests Blog, 22 March 2010 | Later on the group travelled to Naivasha, where they were given an update on the Mau Forest Ecosystem and the efforts that were being undertaken to reclaim and rehabilitate this important water tower. Mr. Anthony Maina, a member of the Interim Coordinating Secretariat (ICS) made a presentation on what the Secretariat was undertaking and he outlined the five phases of reclamation. Mr. Esau Omollo, the KFS Deputy Director Natural Forest Management also participated in this meeting and he informed the visitors of the KFS commitment to forest conservation.

Business should get credit for saving forests, coalition says

By Ben German, The Hill’s E2-Wire, 22 March 2010 | Power companies should get credit under a climate change bill for forest conservation, a coalition of groups said Monday. Companies also should get credit for supporting farming activites that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the groups said. “By providing an affordable means to address climate change, public and private incentives (such as offsets) for forests and farms can help Americans save money while leading the way to a low carbon economy.”

US$14.7 million approved for three countries at the UN-REDD Programme’s 4th Policy Board Meeting in Nairobi

UN-REDD, 22 March 2010 | During its fourth meeting in Nairobi, Kenya 18-19 March 2010, the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board approved US$14.7 million in funding for national UN-REDD programmes in Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, bringing the total amount of funding for UN-REDD national programmes to-date to US$48.3 million. The Policy Board approved US$4.7 million for Bolivia, US$5.5 million for DRC and US$4.5 million for Zambia.

23 March 2010

Suggestions about Amerindians not understanding LCDS ‘insulting’ – Sukhai

Stabroek News, 23 March 2010 | The minister stressed that English is the first language of this country’s indigenous communities, and suggestions about whether some Amerindians understood the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) presentations can be viewed as insulting. “…All Amerindians speak English, English is our first language and Amerindians are no different to any other Guyanese. I will not want to insult the Amerindians by saying they cannot understand the presentations done on the LCDS,” Sukhai charged yesterday in response to a question during a press briefing at her ministry.

Sukhai questions translating LCDS into Amerindian languages

Kaieteur News, 23 March 2010 | Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, yesterday said that Amerindians cannot read or write their own languages, and so questioned how effective it would be if the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) would be translated. Sukhai declared that all Amerindians speak English, and she said it would be insulting to suggest that they did not understand the LCDS consultations. However, she contradicted herself later, indicating that there were cases where some Amerindians could not understand the presentations in English and so interpreters were called in, some of them even being paid. Speaking at a press conference held at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Sukhai said that the frequently asked questions about the LCDS were translated into some Amerindian languages, but she questioned how effective that was since the Amerindians don’t read or write their language.

Indonesia Trust Fund to Tackle Rampant Deforestation

By Fidelis E Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 23 March 2010 | Indonesia is set to establish a new trust fund to reduce the rapid rate of deforestation in the country. The National Forest Trust Fund will collect money from donor countries, especially developed ones, to finance conservation projects and promote sustainable forest management… Hadi Daryanto, director general of forest production at the Ministry of Forestry, said on Tuesday that the details of the fund were still being worked out between the government and potential donors… adi said the government had already set up a trust fund in 2009 as a part of a debt-swap program with the US government under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act to save Sumatran forests… On Sept. 14, 2009, the Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund was launched to attract donor support for efforts to tackle climate change issues… Basah said the British government had committed 10 million pounds ($15 million) to the ICCTF.

A Pioneering Biologist Discusses The Keys to Forest Conservation

By Caroline Fraser, Yale Environment 360, interview with Daniel Janzen, 23 March 2010 | Ironically, this whole carbon fuss does bring a potential bright light. And that bright light is that if the world does get serious about what is packaged under the acronym of REDD [Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation] and puts in a big bucket of money that is used to lock down big chunks of forest in a permanent carbon storage state, that has the potential — and I have to underline the word “potential” — for truly saving big blocks of wild areas. And there are a lot of ifs between the big picture wish or international agreements and actual on-the-ground doing it. But if there were a bucket like that that was available so that people like me, who are seriously out there trying to lock down big chunks of forest, that could become a financial instrument for actually doing it. That could be a major tool.

The Environment and Politics Part V Post-COP 15 – The Way Forward

Action Against Climate Change, 23 March 2010 | Liberia has been singled out of West Africa as the only tropical rain forest nation at the conference. But interestingly, countries with dry forest like Ghana and Kenya are far ahead of Liberia with the REDD process. For instance, Ghana submitted her proposal in January 2010 and is to defend her proposal next month in Gabon. Liberia must wake up from her slumber that is keeping her backward. Our leaders that attend these meetings are not really disseminating information acquired at these meetings. In a discussion on the types of forest that qualify for REDD, Liberia and the Congo Basin countries were singled out but we, as a country, are lacking institutional policy and technology to be at par with other nations.

24 March 2010

Community networks key to forest reform

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 24 March 2010 | Communities linked to their own networks and organizations have the best chance of success in community forestry, a research finds. The three-year research project, conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), assessed 30 sites in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. “The research focused on communities that had fought for or been granted new statutory rights,” Anne Larson, senior associate at CIFOR said… For REDD schemes to be successful, clear ownership of forest resources and carbon pools needs to be established so that payments for carbon sequestration can be made. Without having secure rights and clear ownership over carbon pools, communities and indigenous groups may not be able to claim benefits from REDD schemes, and may even be dispossessed.

Woodland Dwellers Say State Can’t See Forest for the Trees

By Fidelis E Satriastanti and Dimas Siregar, Jakarta Globe, 24 March 2010 | Teguh Surya, head of advocacy at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said the government had failed to acknowledge the complicated issues surrounding land disagreements with indigenous peoples. “The idea of REDD is just irrelevant because the government did not include all stakeholders, such as indigenous people, when they drafted the regulations. They were not given any room to participate in this process,” he said. He said in preparing to participate in the REDD mechanism, the government should concentrate on human rights issues and protection for indigenous people. He said the scheme was being misused as a way to make money instead of reduce emissions.

Ag, Forestry Groups Urge Senators to Include REDD in Climate Bill

By Environmental Defense, 24 March 2010 | You can add two more important stakeholders — and unusual allies — to the growing list calling for the Senate to include strong Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) provisions in their bill: agriculture and forestry groups. In a letter this week to the drafters of current climate legislation for the Senate, 31 businesses, agriculture groups, and environmental organizations (including EDF) asked for the bill to include agriculture and forest provisions. REDD can help address the serious worldwide deforestation problem, the letter to Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, says.

Indonesia Merging Deforestation Rules to Spur Carbon Trading

By Fidelis E Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 24 March 2010 | Less than a year after finalizing them, the government is set to untangle regulations aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation in a bid to attract carbon-trading investment. Wandojo Siswanto, head of the climate-change working group at the Forestry Ministry, said the three regulations to be reviewed all cover the same ground, including demonstration activities, carbon-storage activities and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation procedures… “We want to keep the lead in the world and also at the negotiation table, and we have been trying to look at troubles for investment” resulting from the regulations, Wandojo said. “We want to make sure that this [new regulation] can be easily implemented,” he said. He added that the review was expected to be finalized before the Mexico climate summit in November. The World Bank says 20 trial schemes are in various stages of development in Indonesia.

Robin Tauck Joins Marriott’s Efforts to Protect Amazon Rainforest

TRIP press release, 24 March 2010 | Tauck Romano Innovative Philanthropy (TRIP) is joining Marriott International’s ongoing effort to leverage sustainable tourism, conservation and training in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest. TRIP has committed $50,000 to support education and a new Sustainable Agriculture Learning Center within the Juma Reserve in the Brazilian state of Amazonas… Travel industry veteran Robin Tauck (TRIP Foundation trustee and President R. Tauck & Partners) believes the Sustainable Agriculture Learning Center is a clear example of how new and innovative programs show promise and build sustainable, positive change. “I am personally proud to be an initial international travel partner joining Marriott and the state of Amazonas in supporting such innovative programs in Juma. The Amazon Rainforest is known as the lungs of the world, and we can all leverage Marriott’s leadership via our large, responsible and caring industry,” said Tauck.

Forests expert officially complains about ‘distorted’ Sunday Times article

By David Adam, Guardian, 24 March 2010 | A leading scientist has made an official complaint to the Press Complaints Commission over an “inaccurate, misleading and distorted” newspaper story about a supposed mistake made by the UN’s panel on global warming. Simon Lewis, an expert on tropical forests at the University of Leeds, says the story, published by the Sunday Times in January, is wrong and should be corrected.

25 March 2010

Tracing the Demise of Cap and Trade

By John M. Broder, 25 March 2010 | “Economywide cap and trade died of what amounts to natural causes in Washington,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, who has been promoting the idea for more than two decades. “The term itself became too polarizing and too paralyzing in the effort to win over conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans to try to do something about climate change and our oil dependency.”… C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel in the first Bush administration and a strong advocate of the acid rain cap-and-trade program, said that opponents were largely correct in labeling the Waxman-Markey plan a tax, because so many of the pollution allowances were given away to industry rather than allocated based on past emissions. “This is potentially a $3 trillion tax,” Mr. Gray said, “which is pretty steep in the best of times, and poison in the worst of times.”

Global Deforestation Slowing, but Much More Needs to Be Done

By Environmental Defense, 25 March 2010 | The latest global deforestation estimate from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicate that deforestation rates slowed from 2000 – 2010 relative to the 1990s… But the large-scale positive incentives to reward forest conservation and sustainable land uses are not yet in place. For this trend to last when commodity prices go up (as they inevitably will), we need a price signal from the carbon market to make living forests worth as much or more than dead ones: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).

Forest loss slows, as China plants and Brazil preserves

Resources for a sustainable future, 25 March 2010 | The world’s net rate of forest loss has slowed markedly in the last decade, with less logging in the Amazon and China planting trees on a grand scale.Yet forests continue to be lost at “an alarming rate” in some countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Its Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 finds the loss of tree cover is most acute in Africa and South America… UN agencies hope the net rate of loss will be slowed further in coming years if the climate change-related initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) comes to fruition.

World deforestation decreases, but remains alarming in many countries

FAO Media Centre, 25 March 2010 | World deforestation, mainly the conversion of tropical forests to agricultural land, has decreased over the past ten years but continues at an alarmingly high rate in many countries, FAO announced today. Globally, around 13 million hectares of forests were converted to other uses or lost through natural causes each year between 2000 and 2010 as compared to around 16 million hectares per year during the 1990s, according to key findings of FAO’s most comprehensive forest review to date The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. The study covers 233 countries and areas. Brazil and Indonesia, which had the highest loss of forests in the 1990s, have significantly reduced their deforestation rates. In addition, ambitious tree planting programmes in countries such as China, India, the United States and Viet Nam – combined with natural expansion of forests in some regions – have added more than seven million hectares of new forests annually.

26 March 2010

UN REDD: More countries, more funding

carbonpositive.net, 26 March 2010 | A further $US15 million has been approved under the UN REDD programme for creating an avoided deforestation and forest carbon enhancement mechanism (now termed REDD+) across developing forest nations. A policy board meeting in Nairobi last week approved $4.7 million for Bolivia, $5.5 million for the Democratic Republic of Congo and $4.5 million for Zambia. The meeting also highlighted the need for greater harmonisation of the UN’s REDD initiative with other international schemes of the same aim; that is, mobilising capital in developed countries to pay developing world forest communities to protect and restore their forests so vital to the fight against climate change. There are now 22 recipient countries signed up to the UN REDD programme following the addition of Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Congo, Solomon Islands and Sudan as observer members this year. The scheme’s three donor countries are Norway, Denmark and Spain.

Deforestation worldwide slowing, says UN

RFI, 26 March 2010 | Worldwide deforestation slowed in the last decade “for the first time”, but an area the size of Costa Rica is still being destroyed each year, the United Nations has said. The global fight against climate change, the body warns in a report, depends to a large extent on countries’ willingness to preserve woodland and plant new trees. Some 13 million hectares of forest a year were converted to other uses or lost through natural causes between 2000 and 2010, a report issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has found. This means a fall from about 16 million hectares a year from the decade before.

European Commission: Climate Policy Post-Copenhagen

Tropical Forest Group, 26 March 2010| The European Commission released a report on how to move forward after Copenhagen. It is a fairly uninteresting report, with no major surprises. The things we found interesting are:… 3) Very little mention of REDD in the 12 page document, despite REDD+ having its own mechanism in the Accord as well as a meaningful SBSTA decision. [R-M: The report is available here: http://bit.ly/cpvgao]

UN-REDD Programme Board Holds Fourth Meeting

Climate-L.org, 26 March 2010 | The UN-REDD Programme Policy Board met for its fourth meeting from 18-19 March 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya, and approved US$14.7 million in funding for national UN-REDD programmes in Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. This decision brings the total amount of funding for UN-REDD national programmes to US$48.3 million… n her closing remarks, Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai welcomed the collaboration between the UN and the World Bank, and emphasized “the need to manage these [REDD+] resources with a responsible and transparent approach.”

Obama To Bring Climate Change Agenda To Indonesia

Antara News, 26 March 2010 | US President Barack Obama who has delayed until next June his planned visit to Indonesia will bring three agenda items on climate change, a WWF official said. “There are three agenda items, namely forest and peat land management, clean technology and climate change, and coral triangle,” WWF-Indonesia Program Director for climate and energy affairs, Fitrian Ardiansyah said here on Thursday. Fitrian said that for the forest and peat land management, the United States would see how far Indonesia could cut its gas emissions and the chance for cooperation. “There is a tropical forest conversion program where a fund would be made available for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme,” she said. If Indonesia is able to formulate it, there would be a clean technology such as renewable energy technology and energy conservation, she said.

27 March 2010

President set to commence work on high level UN climate change panel

Guyana Chronicle, 27 March 2010 | President Bharrat Jagdeo leaves Guyana tomorrow for a two-day meeting in London with his colleague members of the high-level panel organised by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban-ki-moon to advise on financing for countries in the fight against climate change. Speaking to the media at a press conference yesterday at the Office of the President, the Head of State said the panel will include the four appointed heads of Government (himself, the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Ethiopia and Norway) and a number of finance ministers and others from the ‘big’ countries.

Africa urged to offer incentives for renewable energy

By Emmanuel Onyango, Knowledge Matters, 27 March 2010 | African countries have been told to develop tangible incentives for the adoption of alternative livelihoods and energy sources to mitigate emissions from deforestation. The call was made on Thursday by participants from SADC member countries at the just-ended meeting themed: Reduce Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. They said successes achieved the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD) would also require large scale stakeholders engagement across all levels especially at the grassroots to ensure that communities receive tangible benefits from it. The participants also called for a well designed strategy and policy to achieve positive effects on the conservation of associated biological diversity and ecosystem services as well as livelihoods in forest dependent communities.

28 March 2010

Norway’s disingenuousness once more

By Dr Clive Thomas, Stabroek News, 28 March 2010 | Since, as we have noted before, the LCDS is based on a trajectory of REDD/REDD-plus in which it is morphed into a sustainable global carbon trading market (or a series of interlinked regional carbon trading markets), the question that immediately springs to mind is: how disingenuous can Norway be? Norway is aware that the LCDS explicitly projects the development of REDD and REDD-plus into an arrangement in which transitional funding is provided to poor rainforest countries precisely to further the development of global markets for trading forests-based offsets delivered by these countries. To claim that the Guyana initiative is divorced from Norway’s goal in developing forest-based offsets to greenhouse gas emissions for polluting firms (including Norwegian ones), individuals, and polluting governments with emissions reductions targets in both voluntary and compliance markets is misleading, deceptive and I would add, unworthy…

Indigenous People’s Rights always accorded top priority

Guyana Chronicle, 28 March 2010 | MINISTER of Amerindian Affairs, Ms Pauline Sukai says that contrary to opinion in some quarters, the rights of the Indigenous Peoples have always been accorded top priority by the present administration as evinced by its unwavering commitment to addressing various issues affecting the community. “Indigenous peoples rights continues to be a high priority in Guyana as reflected in the Government’s commitment to maintaining progress on issues such as land titling, stakeholder involvement and empowerment of Amerindians,” the minister said in a statement Friday.

Agatha: rope indigenous people into climate change decisions

The Hindu, 28 March 2010 | Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangma has called for timely interventions and properly implemented policies to protect the lifestyles of several hundred million indigenous people (Scheduled Tribes in India) in Asia-Pacific who are faced with the threat of climate change and extreme rural poverty. Indigenous people make up six per cent of all humanity on earth and yet, they stand perilously close to the twin threat, she said at an Asia-Pacific regional seminar in Manila on Thursday. The seminar on ‘Indigenous peoples, Climate Change and Rural Poverty: Promoting Innovative Approaches and Solutions’ was organised by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development.

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  1. Well..At least there’s more demand for indigenious people involvement, but gah.. Why can’t companies do this AND get credits which would help them move into sustainable energy?