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REDD in the news: 26 July – 1 August 2010

REDD in the news: 26 July - 1 August 2010

A round up of the news on REDD from last week, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news page (REDD in the news) is updated regularly.

UN-REDD Newsletter 10 — FCPF Meeting in Guyana

UN-REDD, July 2010 | The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) sixth Participants Committee meeting, which took place in Georgetown, Guyana at the end of June, reviewed and assessed the Readiness Preparation Proposals (R-PPs) of Argentina, Costa Rica, Kenya, Nepal and the Republic of Congo, and allocated $17.2 million to assist them in executing the contents of their R-PPs and to prepare for REDD+.

UN-REDD Newsletter 10 — FIP Sub-Committee Meeting

UN-REDD, July 2010 | On June 24 in Washington DC, the governing body of the multilateral Forest Investment Program (FIP) gathered for its fourth meeting and made a series of decisions, advancing the FIP to its next critical stage of implementation. Most significantly, the FIP Sub-Committee approved Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mexico as the three newest FIP pilot countries, joining Burkina Faso, Ghana, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and Peru as the final set of eight FIP pilots. Joint programming missions for the pilots will start soon.

The International Journal of Conservation

Oryx Volume 44 Issues 03, July 2010 | The latest issue of Oryx includes a special section on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Click here to read these articles.

Tracking Transformative Forest Actions to Reduce Emissions: An Illegal Logging Case Study

World Resources Institute, July 2010 | This working paper explores the types of information and supporting data necessary to ensure that national strategies to reduce emissions are developed and implemented effectively. It does so by focusing on measures to address illegal logging, drawing on specific strategies and recommendations from Peru and Indonesia.

The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)

FIELD, July 2010 | Firstly this short briefing paper considers recent REDD-plus negotiations. It then highlights key issues coming up at the next UNFCCC negotiating sessions in August in Bonn, Germany, where the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) will be meeting.

2nd Announcement:The Ninth Meeting of the AFP and AFP Dialogue 2010

Asia Forest Partnership, July 2010 | The Ninth Meeting of the Asia Forest Partnership and AFP Dialogue 2010: Forest Governance Challenges Beyond Copenhagen, Bali, Indonesia, 4-6 August 2010… The Asia Forest Partnership (AFP) Dialogue 2010 “Forest Governance Challenges Beyond Copenhagen” will examine the links between REDD+ and governance. Governance is crucial to REDD+ to ensure long-term, real emissions reductions and equitable outcomes, while many hope that REDD+ will provide new opportunities to strengthen forest governance. The two-day event will provide an opportunity for the many stakeholders in tropical forests to share information, to establish partnerships and to propose recommendations to policymakers.

Pragmatic urgency – speeding up on REDD

The CarbonNeutral Company, no date | REDD was one of the few positive outcomes from Copenhagen in December. But despite the allocation of significant public funding, including more than 64million USD from the UN-REDD programme, it’s frustratingly slow… on a warm Wednesday night in Soho we gathered twelve executives to debate these issues. The discussion ranged from the general -“democracy is not serving climate change well”- to the specific – “these people are tired of charity and would much rather have a job.” Along the way we covered cowboys acquiring land rights in Papua New Guinea, turning REDD into an asset class, businesses needing to protect their supply chain and the appetite for risk versus return. The interests around the table were diverse – from large financial institutions to not for profit forestry specialists to businesses with significant carbon reduction commitments – so, unsurprisingly, the opinions also varied widely.

Conservation of Prey Long Forest Complex, Cambodia

Yeang Donal, July 2010 | REDD projects has the potential to generate substantial benefits in addition to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These include positive impacts on biodiversity and sustainable development, including poverty reduction and strengthening indigenous people’s rights. The proposed REDD project seeks to provide the financial means to manage and conserve the last intact vestige of lowland rainforest in Cambodia. In doing so, the project aims to produce a triple dividend – gains for the climate, for biodiversity and for sustainable development in Cambodia. [R-M: The report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/bhkva4]

South-South REDD: A Brazil-Mozambique Initiative

IIED, no date | A workable national strategy for REDD in Mozambique is now critical. Almost 70% of Mozambique (54.8 million hectares) is covered in forest and other woody vegetation types. Approximately 80% of the total population (20 million) of Mozambique live in rural areas where the incidence of poverty runs at 54%. Dependence on forest resources is high… In response, the government of Mozambique has signed a memorandum of understanding with Brazil to develop a project – South-South REDD: A Brazil-Mozambique Initiative for zero deforestation with pan-African relevance. Administered and supported by IIED, this project has in view the preparation of a national REDD strategy for Mozambique.

26 July 2010

Sarawak’s Chief Minister faces UK protesters over Penan

Survival International, 26 July 2010 | Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud faced protests by supporters of the Penan in the UK today, while British MPs have written to him expressing concern over the newly documented cases of sexual abuse of Penan women. Protestors from Survival and other organizations greeted the Chief Minister in Oxford this morning, where he had travelled with cabinet colleagues to give the keynote speech at the Inaugural Oxford Global Islamic Branding and Marketing Forum. The protestors held placards reading ‘Penan tribe say NO to logging’ and ‘Malaysia: Stop destroying the Penan tribe’. The protest forced the Chief Minister to enter the building through a side entrance.

Proposed law seen as new threat to Brazil’s Amazon

By Stuart Grudgings, Reuters, 26 July 2010 | A proposed overhaul of Brazilian forest policy being considered in Congress is raising concern that the world’s largest forest could be left more vulnerable than in decades to razing by farmers despite recent progress in protecting it. Destruction of the forest, which is a vital global climate regulator due to the vast amount of carbon it stores as well as a caldron of biodiversity, is driven mainly by farmers who clear Amazon land for crops and livestock. Supported by the powerful farming lobby, the proposed changes to Brazil’s 1965 Forest Code would take away important powers to set forest protection policy from the federal government and give them to states. Environmentalists say this would spark a race to laxer standards.

27 July 2010

Reportage: Locals claim they are uniformed about REDD

Jakarta Post, 27 July 2010 | Despite recent claims by the government of major victories in securing climate financing from several countries to stop deforestation, many relevant communities remain unaware of these potentially lucrative deals currently being negotiated. “The forest is part of our lives – it gives us our living. So, with or without money, we will protect our forest,” Sarwevin, former head of Jahanjang village of Katingan regency in Central Kalimantan, said. Asked if he had heard of the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) scheme currently being negotiated by the government, Sarwevin said “So far, nobody has informed us about it *REDD*.” “My understanding is that all money *from carbon credit schemes* will be used to finance Indonesia’s foreign debt.” … The secretary-general of AMAN, Abdon Nababan, said earlier that the alliance would reject REDD unless the government guaranteed their right to earn their living from local forests.

Nepal foresters ready to sell carbon stocks

By Smriti Mallapaty, SciDev.Net, 27 July 2010 | A pilot project underway in Nepal aims to strengthen the capacity of the government and community forest user groups (CFUGs) to measure and monitor carbon stored in the country’s forests. A project management unit (PMU), launched 16 July 2010, has initiated a payment distribution system to reward CFUGs that increase and maintain carbon storage levels. The four-year project, covering three watersheds, will be managed by PMU partners — the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bio-resources, Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation… “We plan to use our carbon profits to support women, indigenous people and other minorities,” said Bhimarjan Neupane, CFUG member and REDD coordinator for Chitwan district.

28 July 2010

Avatar’s Na’vi in London to stop Vedanta mine

Survival International, 28 July 2010 | Two Na’vi from James Cameron’s film Avatar today paid a visit to British mining company Vedanta Resources’ Annual General Meeting in Westminster, London. The Na’vi joined tribal rights organization Survival in a demonstration against Vedanta, over its controversial plan to mine the sacred mountain of India’s Dongria Kondh tribe… former Monty Python star Michael Palin sent a message of support: ‘I’ve been to the Nyamgiri Hills in Orissa and seen the forces of money and power that Vedanta Resources have arrayed against a people who have occupied their land for thousands of years, who husband the forest sustainably and make no great demands on the state or the government. The tribe I visited simply want to carry on living in the villages that they and their ancestors have always lived in.’

NOAA: Past Decade Warmest on Record According to Scientists in 48 Countries

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 28 July 2010 | The 2009 State of the Climate report released today draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.

Indonesian tropical rainforests and climate change

By Sukristijono Sukardjo, Jakarta Post, 28 July 2010 | Indonesian tropical forests (ITR), covering an area of about 119 million hectares, is an area that presents opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors of green planet. The ITR is extremely rich in flora with diversity and endemism value totaling 40. The rich species diversity includes 3,000 species of timber, and only 20 species is exploited commercially and by trade. The ITR are changing at an unprecedented rate and almost extinct in many locations due to illegal or over logging. Due to its bio-geographical, ecological and evolutionary factors, Indonesia with a large swathe of coastal areas and tropical rainforests is the international people’s hope. The world people placed their hope in the ITR, and the customary public perception is Indonesia should stay green in terms of REDD (Reduce Emission from Avoided Deforestation and Forest Degradation) for stabilizing climate changes and maintaining human welfare.

Pay the tropics to reverse deforestation

By William Laurance, Australian Geographic, 28 July 2010 | Among the many nasty things that humans are doing to the environment, few rank worse than destroying tropical forests. Rainforests sustain an astonishing diversity of species and keep our planet liveable by limiting soil erosion, reducing floods, maintaining natural water cycles, and stabilising the climate. Yet roughly 10 million hectares of tropical forest are destroyed every year – the equivalent of 50 football fields a minute… In recent years, many scientists have advocated carbon trading as a way to slow tropical deforestation. Known as ‘REDD’ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), the idea is simple in concept. Under international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, participating nations agree to reduce their carbon emissions below a certain level.

29 July 2010

Nomad tribe emerges from forest to prove its existence

Survival International, 29 July 2020 | Indians from the tiny Awá tribe will stage a three day protest in the Brazilian Amazon from August 1st to 3rd, to prove that they exist and to demand that their land be protected from invasion. The event, named ‘We Exist: Land and Life for the Awá Hunter-Gatherers’, has been organized by Brazilian indigenous rights organization, CIMI, the local Catholic church and several indigenous groups. Around 100 Awá Indians are expected to participate in the protest. For most, it will be the first time they have left their forest home… The Awá are one of only two nomadic hunter gatherers tribes remaining in Brazil. More than 60 Awá have no contact with outsiders and are in grave danger from illegal loggers. Although Awá lands have been legally recognized, the Indians are being targeted by loggers, who are bulldozing roads into the forests, and by settlers, who hunt the game the Awá rely on, exposing the Indians to disease and violence.

Greenpeace exposes Indonesian palm oil firm’s ‘broken’ rainforest pledge

Guardian, 29 July 2010 | Greenpeace said today it had fresh evidence that palm oil firms linked to Indonesian agribusiness giant Sinar Mas have bulldozed rainforest and destroyed endangered orang-utan habitats in Kalimantan. The charges were denied by palm oil firm PT SMART Tbk, part of Sinar Mas, which has already said it would stop clearing critical forests. The accusations, levelled by Greenpeace in a new report, are the latest chapter in a long and bitter dispute between the conservationists and a key player in one of Indonesia’s biggest industries, palm oil. The high-stakes battle has already led to top palm oil-buyers Unilever and Nestle dropping PT SMART as a supplier. Earlier this month, HSBC sold its shares in Sinar Mas.

U.N. ends Kyoto CO2 offset drought ahead of key meeting

Reuters, 29 July 2010 | The United Nations’ climate secretariat on Thursday issued 228,400 Kyoto Protocol carbon offsets to three Asian clean energy projects, ending a two-week issuance drought but failing to reassure concerned investors. Skip related content The offsets, called Certified Emissions Reductions, were given to two Chinese wind farms and an Indian biomass facility, and represented the largest daily issuance since June 16. Under Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism scheme, investors can fund cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in emerging economies, and in return receive CERs from the UN which can be used toward emissions targets or sold for profit. The drop in CER issuances is one item which is likely to be discussed at a meeting of the CDM’s executive board this week.

30 July 2010

Noble Savages Papua’s Forests

Papua Forest Eye, 30 July 2010 | The Noble Group is to savage 32,000 hectares of forests on the Mooi people’s land in Sorong, West Papua province, following its June 2010 purchase of 51% of shares in PT Henrison Inti Persada, an oil palm subsidiary of the notoriously criminal Kayu Lapis Indonesia Group (KLI). What made these Noble executives enter such an ignoble deal with such crooks? Its the cash money, of course. Richard Elman, Founder and Chief Executive Chairman of Noble Group (pictured) has said that his Mooi lands acquisition “complements the company’s global agricultural and energy business”… Even SBY’s commands to combat illegal logging, in lieu of his $ 1 billion REDD deal with Norway, seems to have missed this clear opportunity to stamp out forest crime.

Meru Betiri park prepares to host REDD pilot project

By Luthfiana Mahmudah, Jakarta Post, 30 July 2010 | The Meru Betiri National Park in Jember, East Java, has been chosen to host a pilot project for a tropical forest conservation plan as part of an initiative Reducing Emissions from Deforestation Degradation (REDD). The park’s administrative affairs division head, Mustada Imran Lubis, said that the plan is in the preparation stage. “We’re currently working to familiarize [the project among] the community, local administrations, academics and NGOs,” Mustada told The Jakarta Post. The preparations, he said, included reforesting and replanting 58,000 hectares of barren fields inside protected forest areas. “By the end of 2012, will hopefully be able to know how much carbon we can trade from the forest,” he said.

Clean electricity from invasive trees in Namibia?

By Servaas van den Bosch, AlertNet, 30 July 2010 | The area around Otjiwarongo in Namibia’s heartland is a green sea of short, shrubby trees as far as the eye can see. While beautiful to some, this bush is an invader species and seen by ranchers as a dreaded pest that pushes out nutritious grasses… But what if the bush could be fed into a power plant, clearing land for grazing and simultaneously supplying Namibia with clean, renewable electricity in a region that is starved of energy? “(Burning) wood to make electricity is one of the cheapest renewable energy options available,” said Robert Schultz, head of energy projects for the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), a think tank… Ministry of Environment officials have also pointed to the bush as a carbon sink that, if uncut, could potentially earn the country money under a future U.N. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) regime.

31 July 2010

Planned REDD council to ‘ease’ ministry’s job

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 31 July 2010 | Forestry Ministry Zulkifli Hasan said the plan to set up a special agency on REDD could take over part of his ministry’s authority on forests, but at the same time it would help the ministry focus on its main task of managing forest assets. Implementation of the reducing emissions on deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) mechanism is not the ministry’s main job, Zulkifli said. “We are happy if a special agency focused on REDD can help us focus on the already huge task of managing Indonesia’s dwindling forests,” Zulkifli told reporters on Thursday. The planned special agency will report directly to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to coordinate efforts pertaining to implementation of REDD.

1 August 2010

Guyana and the wider world: Climate aid: Global benefit or glorified scam

By Dr Clive Thomas, Stabroek News, 1 August 2010 | Although routinely portrayed as the ‘provision of climate aid to poor rainforest countries,’ all the agreements I have seen between rich countries and poor rainforest ones, including the Guyana-Norway Agreement, are in essence the export sale of global environmental services by the latter in exchange for climate payments from the former. Typical of exchanges between rich and poor countries, they contain elements that are intrinsic to the historical pattern of unequal exchanges between rich and poor nations. In this exchange, therefore, the trade in environmental services, for a number of reasons, engages the parties on an uneven playing field.

Independent REDD+ review to be done in next few months

Stabroek News, 1 August 2010 | The independent review of the REDD+ enabling activities required before any money is disbursed to this country under the Guyana-Norway forest protection agreement will be done within the next few months, Director of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative, Ambassador Hans Brattskar says. His statement signals that it could be some time yet before Guyana receives the money budgeted for this year from Norway for several priority Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) projects. The tender for the independent review is out… Meantime, government has identified six priority LCDS investments for 2010/11 … these include purchasing equity in the Amaila Falls Hydro-electricity project; accelerating the creation of new opportunities for Amerindians; furthering the work to enable access to high quality ICT infrastructure in all parts of Guyana; and supporting the creation of new low carbon opportunities for small and micro enterprise sectors and vulnerable groups.

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