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REDD in the news: 2-8 August 2010

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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.

 
Development of a Voluntary REDD+ Database

FAO, no date | As part of the Interim REDD+ Partnership (www.oslocfc2010.no) a Voluntary REDD+ Database is to be developed. The issue to be solved is to manage and deliver reliable information on REDD+ financing , actions and results, as stated by the Interim REDD+ Partnership on 27 May 2010. This is to be achieved through designing and maintaining a Voluntary REDD+ Database by the UN-REDD Programme Team (UN-REDD Team, www.un-redd.org) and the Facility Management team of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF-FMT, www.forestcarbonpartnership.org). This page provides information on the ongoing work to develop the database.

Workshop on forest governance, decentralisation and REDD+ in Latin America and the Caribbean

CIFOR | A country-led initiative in support of the UN Forum on Forests by the Governments of Mexico and Switzerland. 31 August – 3 September 2010, Oaxaca, Mexico. Purpose and expected results: Several factors underscore the relevance of discussions on the relationships among sustainable forest management (SFM), forest governance, REDD+ and livelihoods. Forests in Latin America are home to millions of people who depend directly on forest resources for their livelihoods. Current deforestation rates and their external drivers deprive these people of essential resources. At the same time, poverty drives deforestation and forest degradation in many places: Poor communities change the way they use land to improve their lives. Forest policies and instruments can affect how REDD+ projects and their outcomes provide incentives for preservation of forests while reducing poverty.

Ready for REDD: Taking Stock of Experience, Opportunities and Challenges in Nepal

Forestry Nepal, no date | REDD offers the promise of not only mitigating climate change, but also of reducing the incidence of poverty, bolstering local livelihoods, and supporting other co-benefits like biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services. However, there are also many challenges to its effective implementation in Nepal… By reviewing current experience, capacities, opportunities and challenges in the context of Nepal, this book aims to inform policy makers, practitioners, civil society representatives, and the general public about the potential and prerequisites for implementing REDD in a socially equitable, economically viable and ecologically beneficial manner… Acharya, K.P., Dangi, R.B., Tripathi, D.M., Bushley, B.R., Bhandary, R.R. and Bhattarai, B. (eds.). 2009. Ready for REDD? Taking Stock of Experience, Opportunities and Challenges in Nepal. Nepal Foresters’ Association: Kathmandu, Nepal. [The book can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/aBsB8O]

Public Comments – Cap-and-Trade Workshops

Air Resources Board, August 2010 | July 30, 2010 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Sector-Based Crediting and Subnational Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) as part of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program – Submit Comments – View Comments.

2 August 2010

RI-Norway partnership: REDD at a crossroads

By Yansen, Jakarta Post, 2 August 2010 | The main focus of the debate is the application of a two-year suspension on natural forest and peat land conversions. Even though forest companies also voice their concerns on the plan, the main opposition comes from oil palm plantation operators. This sector is believed to suffer most from the scheme (see Editorial The Jakarta Post, July 5). As Alan Oxley (the Post, July 12) argued, palm oil industries play an important role in poverty reduction. On the other hand, many are doubtful on the real intentions behind the REDD scheme. Developed countries are still perceived for not having a genuine interest on forest conservation in developing countries. They are more interested in finding ways to escape from suffering their high carbon economy for the sake of the climate change issue. Even some people label initiatives such as REDD as a green colonialism.

REDD Alert: Lessons from Peru’s Camisea Pipeline Project

By Janet Ranganathan, Huffington Post, 2 August 2010 | Peru’s experiences from the Camisea project could prove instructive for REDD as the international community ramps up efforts to provide a financial compensation mechanism for developing country actions to reduce emissions from forest loss. Although funding for REDD will likely take different forms, a frontrunner option is to link it to carbon markets in developed countries. Companies would then meet their emission reduction commitments by channeling funding to REDD projects in forest-rich countries. Like Camisea, and extractive projects more broadly, carbon markets would generate funding for poor, but natural- resource- rich, nations, at a scale rarely seen before. There is a risk, though. If REDD does not work as intended, its failure could not only undermine climate reduction goals in developed countries but also inflict a new kind of resource curse on developing nations.

RI seeks bilateral deals for climate programs

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 2 August 2010 | Indonesia will focus on bilateral deals to limit carbon emissions in negotiations that start Monday in Bonn, Germany, in advance of the UN climate conference in November, an official said on Sunday. Indonesian chief negotiator Rachmat Witoelar said that talks on legally binding treaties conducted in the last two prepatory rounds had been sluggish. “There has been progress, but it is still slow. We cannot expect rich nations to agree to binding treaties,” Rachmat told The Jakarta Post. He said that rich nations remained reluctant to put emission reductions on the table. Rachmat will lead the Indonesian team as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special envoy on climate change affairs. Indonesia will be represented by 26 negotiators at the Bonn meeting, which will be held Aug. 2-6.

Funding, infighting and forests – the Brazilian view on climate change

By Damian Carrington, Guardian, 2 August 2010 | The Cancún meeting in November also hopes to make progress on combatting deforestation. That’s a topic very close to the heart of Brazil, home of the Amazon rainforest, where the destruction has been falling recently. But Serra said he didn’t expect Brazil to benefit as much as others from the funds aimed at making trees worth more alive than dead – a scheme known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (Redd). “If you are talking about money, of course it will help us [reduce deforestation]. But personally, I think whatever money comes from the Redd scheme, grants, public funds, markets, it will mostly go to poorer countries with tropical forests like Congo. I am talking realistically. And even if no money comes from Redd, President Lula said in Copenhagen that we would do it ourselves anyway.”

REDD: Stepping Aside Permanence and Impermanence

By Dr Promode Kant, Institute of Green Economy, 2 August 2010 | From its very beginning in 2005 when the REDD, or RED as it was then, first made its way in international climate negotiations it has been considered, at best, an impermanent, and by implication, an imperfect route to mitigation of climate change… A notable recent writing has challenged this assumption. In a brief letter published in Science (Vol 327, Feb 2010) Margaret Skutsch and Ben De Jong have argued that REDD will reduce the rate of emission of CO2 from forests in a way exactly similar to the rate at which the emissions from the use of fossil fuels are reduced in CDM energy saving projects because reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, like fossil fuel reductions, would be calculated on the basis of lowered emissions compared to business as usual, not on the basis of stock remaining.

California Sees REDD in AB32 Future

By Molly Peters-Stanley, Forest Carbon Portal, 2 August 2010 | With the fall of the US federal climate bill, eyes are shifting west to California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) as it nears the November release of its cap-and-trade regulations under AB32… Also offering an exciting development was Leslie Durschinger from Terra Global Capital, who hinted to attendees that Terra’s mosaic REDD methodology submitted to the VCS has completed its first validation – we’ll be hearing more about that news item in the coming week. The methodology applies to mosaic-type deforestation – the patchwork quilt kind – where a multiplicity of deforestation drivers converges. Considering that Terra’s methodology is based in part on CDM methodologies for afforestation/reforestation (A/R), it’s no wonder Durschinger had a lot to say about the potential for including reforestation under ARB’s REDD definition.

3 August 2010

More foreign money pours in for forests

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 3 August 2010 | The United Nations has vowed to give US$5.6 million to Indonesia, the world’s third-largest forest nation, to ensure the protection of some of its forests, an official says. The United Nations collaborative program on Reducing Emissions on Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD) vowed to develop REDD pilot project in Central Sulawesi forests this year. “We are still assessing whether to allocate forests that used to be used for timber for this pilot project,” Hadi Daryanto, director general of forest production at the Forestry Ministry told The Jakarta Post on Monday. The project would be implemented this year to help Indonesia develop a mechanism to calculate emission levels in the province. Hadi said that the fund for the REDD project in Central Sulawesi would come from Norway but that it was separate to the $1 billion pledged by that country to Indonesia in Oslo in May.

Untangling the web of REDD governance

By Fitrian Ardiansyah, Jakarta Post, 3 August 2010 | Following the signing of an agreement between Norway and Indonesia implementing the UN’s reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus (REDD+) program, the Indonesian government is seriously considering an idea to establish a REDD council. This council is expected to report directly to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to coordinate REDD+ implementation efforts in the country. In addition, the council would regulate REDD+ projects and decide which projects would be endorsed prior to registration at the United Nations (UN). The government thinks that unapproved REDD projects would be prevented by the creation of this council. Unsurprisingly, the idea to establish a REDD council has sparked different responses. Some have supported it and others have responded skeptically.

Untangling the web of REDD governance

By Fitrian Ardiansyah, Jakarta Post, 3 August 2010 | Following the signing of an agreement between Norway and Indonesia implementing the UN’s reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus (REDD+) program, the Indonesian government is seriously considering an idea to establish a REDD council. This council is expected to report directly to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to coordinate REDD+ implementation efforts in the country. In addition, the council would regulate REDD+ projects and decide which projects would be endorsed prior to registration at the United Nations (UN). The government thinks that unapproved REDD projects would be prevented by the creation of this council. Unsurprisingly, the idea to establish a REDD council has sparked different responses. Some have supported it and others have responded skeptically.

REDD+ Partnership, Off on the Wrong Foot

CAN International, 3 August 2010 | The REDD+ negotiations in both the Partnership and the UNFCCC are stuck, each waiting for the other to act first. The UNFCCC side has stalled with no expectation they will resume before Cancún, even as key brackets loom in the text. Instead, the secretive Partnership is trying to move forward with incomplete guidance from the COP. ECO calls for an end to this stalemate that allows Parties to ignore difficult decisions, and asks for a resumption of the UNFCCC REDD+ negotiations as soon as practically possible, given the overlap of the LULUCF negotiations. Without final guidance from the UNFCCC there will be no assurance of social safeguards and environmental integrity in the Partnership. Finally, to ensure that fast-start funding for REDD+ is spent transparently and effectively, the Partners need to develop a work plan based on the provisions in the Partnership Agreement, paying special attention to ensuring implementation of the safeguards.

REDD and REDD+: better forestry for a better climate

Clear Sky Climate Solutions, 3 August 2010 | ClearSky Climate Solutions is excited to be working on some innovative projects that avoid, or reverse, deforestation from the impending threat of deforestation… That is what the climate change question is really about……can we agree to make it relatively comfortable for the future generations of humans that will inhabit this little rock – 3rd from the sun? The changes are evident before our eyes already. What will we do about it? And how wonderful that there are options to address so many needs simultaneously, with REDD and REDD+ in our toolkits.

Does the Opportunity Cost Approach Indicate the Real Cost of REDD+?

ASB News and Events, 3 August 2010 | The focus of this new paper from the Rights and Resources Initiative is that in most tropical developing countries, there are many contextual issues that influence the adequacy of using REDD+ opportunity costs as a proxy for the full cost of implementing successful REDD+. Resolving these issues can be expensive and time consuming. [R-M: The report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/dridZA]

The REDD Opportunities Scoping Exercise

ASB News and Events, 3 August 2010 | The REDD+ Opportunities Scoping Exercise (ROSE) is a tool for classifying and prioritizing potential REDD+ sub-national activities and for assessing critical constraints to project development, especially those associated with the legal, political, and institutional framework for carbon finance. The ROSE tool was developed and refined during 2009 in the course of conducting case studies in Tanzania, Uganda, and Ghana. The tool has two main stages: a 2-3 day key informant or expert workshop, and an analysis of policy, legal and institutional constraints by a small in-country team following the workshop. In the first stage, workshop participants work through a set of steps aimed at identifying high potential REDD ‘project types’ and the main legal, political, and institutional ‘gaps’ constraining development of the identified project types. [R-M: The report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/9RO1Be]

Expert Workshop on Monitoring Governance Safeguards in REDD+: Report and Background Papers

ASB News and Events, 3 August 2010 | On 24-25 May 2010, a workshop, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and the UN-REDD Programme, was convened at Chatham House, London, to discuss the scope, needs and priorities for monitoring and assessing governance for REDD+. The workshop brought together 40 experts from government, international donor agencies, academia and non-governmental organisations from around the world… The workshop concluded that REDD+ governance monitoring should draw from existing initiatives, best practice, knowledge and case studies; take into account particular national circumstances and fragile governance situations; and build on existing institutions and monitoring systems where possible. It was considered that monitoring governance parameters would require an initial, one-off, assessment effort, as well as continued monitoring, and that monitoring requirements will change as progress is made through the REDD+ phases.

Ad Hoc Working Group on Further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP)

By David Millar, qewnet.ning.com, 3 August 2010 | Ad Hoc Working Group on Further commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) official submissions by governments and NGOs about REDD and LULUCF. Those by CAN and CJN raise key questions. CAN’s is a science-based proposal for better carbon accounting, in powerpoint format, easy to follow. CJN warns of loopholes in the definition of “forest” and the need to ensure that emissions are really reduced, not merely offering fake offsets to polluters. [R-M: The UNFCCC website on LULUCF is here: http://bit.ly/9n0otG]

4 August 2010

Ghana to get $75m support in fight against climate change

By Edmund Smith-Asante, Ghana Business News, 4 August 2010 | Ghana’s forests, and the communities that live close to them, may be about to get a lucky break as the world scrambles to find reliable methods to fight the growing threat of climate change, says a new report by The Forests Dialogue (TFD) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). According to a press release announcing this, despite the fact that Ghana is on course to receive up to US$ 75 million from international donors to lay the ground work for new, forest friendly strategies designed to slow global warming, some long standing challenges in the forest sector need to be addressed urgently to avoid this exciting possibility becoming another missed opportunity. The new report which was made public on July 30, 2010, is titled “REDD Readiness Requires Radical Reform”. [R-M: The report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/9CfbVf]

Environment secretary calls for more R&D projects in ASEAN forestry

By M. Sucgang, Philippine Information Agency, 4 August 2010 | Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said that scientific endeavors, coupled by the region’s collective entrepreneurial skills, should be top priority in improving Southeast Asia’s forestry-based industry under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as its forestry experts work harder to gain steady expansion into the world’s wood market… Climate Change adaptation and mitigation strategies were discussed as well, as social forestry contributions to food security and biodiversity. This included the ASEAN countries’ readiness to adopt REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and to link communities in Southeast Asia to voluntary carbon markets.

Shift2Neutral to Certify Carbon Credits for Sarawak Malaysia under REDD+ Program

AZO cleantech, 4 August 2010 | Shift2Neutral signed an agreement to certify carbon credits under the avoided deforestation program known as REDD+ with a group of nine tribal leaders living in Sarawak Malaysia The agreement with Indigenous Customary Land Owners of Sarawak Malaysia will see Shift2Neutral work directly with the tribal leaders to ensure the protection of their native flora and fauna. Shift2Neutral executives made the following statement “Shift2Neutral believes that linking people’s economic self-interest and the health of ecosystems is one way to generate interest in the conservation challenges facing our world today. Business pioneers new ideas, forging new partnerships and implementing new solutions… Shift2Neutral firmly believes this can be achieved with benefits to the local stakeholders. We must recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and the local communities involved.”

Engaging the Private Sector in the Potential Generation of REDD+ Carbon Credits : An Analysis of Issues

Climate Focus, 4 August 2010 | Climate Focus led a team of experts to analyze opportunities for involving the private sector in the generation of REDD+ credits for the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The objective of the study is to analyze the role the private sector could play in investing in activities that could generate carbon market credits from REDD+ and the implications this has for designing such market mechanisms. The research focuses on ways in which the private sector could be incentivized to invest in REDD+ activities when the crediting baseline is set at a national level. [R-M: The report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/bK3BVg]

Getting Papua Province REDDy

By Jan Willem den Besten (IUCN), Reuters AlertNet, 4 August 2010 | The island of New Guinea, which is shared by Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian province of Papua, supports the world’s third-largest continuous tropical rainforest after the Amazon and the Congo Basin. The forests of Papua Province however are under serious threat and are increasingly becoming a main frontier for Indonesia’s agricultural expansion… The province of Papua for its part has proposed a low-carbon development strategy and has since 2008 been active in the promotion of international coordination on REDD-plus together with governors from Brazil, Aceh Province and the US… IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is working with the Indonesian NGO Samdhana Institute and Papuan partners to support Papua Province in preparing for the implementation of REDD-plus with a pro-poor focus.

Bali Declaration hopes to save Indonesia’s biodiversity from deforestation

ATBC, press release, 4 August 2010 | Indonesia has some of the richest biological diversity of any nation on Earth; however, it is threatened with losing it to forest destruction. In reaction, more than 900 scientists from around the world, including those from the Smithsonian Institution, recently came together as members of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation to release “The Bali Declaration,” which calls for urgent efforts to slow rampant deforestation in Indonesia.

5 August 2010

Indonesia ‘Woefully Inadequate’ on Illegal Loggers: Deforestation Probe

Jakarta Globe, 5 August 2010 | Indonesia is allowing powerful businessmen to get rich from smuggling rare timber to China despite its pledges to crack down on illegal logging and preserve its forests, environmentalists said on Thursday. An undercover investigation by the independent Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and local group Telapak found rampant smuggling of merbau, a valuable hardwood found mainly in Papua. The probe tracked the illicit trade in merbau from the forests where it was being logged to the ships where it was being illegally exported, mainly to China, with the help of corrupt officials. Complaints to authorities about the two alleged kingpins in the trade had achieved nothing, the groups said in a report. A press release by EIA and Telpak identified the businessmen as Ricky Gunawan and Hengky Gosal.

Indonesian Palm Oil Must Surge ‘Rapidly’ to Moderate Demand

Jakarta Globe, 5 August 2010 | Palm oil must jump by as much as 24 percent to cool export demand as output declines in Malaysia, the second-biggest grower, and weather damages canola crops in Europe and Canada, according to Godrej International. “The market needs to move ahead rapidly so that there is time for rationing to set in,” Dorab Mistry, a director at Godrej, said in an e-mail from London. “At 2,600 ringgit [$824], you can’t match demand with supply. And on top of that, the supply is shrinking.”

Smart to Expand Palm Oil Plantations

Jakarta Globe, 5 August 2010 | Palm oil giant Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, accused by green groups of clearing valuable forest, aims to expand its plantations by 50,000 hectares a year, the company’s president director said on Thursday. Smart last month rejected fresh claims by Greenpeace that the firm was clearing peatland and high conservation value forests that shelter endangered species and trap vast amounts of greenhouse gases. Smart runs the Indonesia palm oil operations of its Singapore-listed parent company, Golden Agri-Resources. GAR is controlled by the Widjaja family, whose business empire Sinar Mas has interests in pulp and paper, finance and property. The bitter dispute between the palm oil industry and environmentalists has broader implications for Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer.

More than 60,000 km of forests have no boundaries

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 5 August 2010 | Over 60,000 kilometers of the country’s forests’ borders have not been legally defined, leaving them vulnerable to illegal encroachment and tenure conflicts between the government and local communities. As of July, the Forestry Ministry has just completed drawing up 219,606 kilometers of borders for 282,873 square kilometers of forests. Over the next four years, the ministry plans to define another 25,000 kilometers of forest boundaries. “We admit it is an ambitious target to map 25,000 kilometers in just four years as we have never achieved such a figure,” Ali Arsyad, secretary of the director general of planning at the Forestry Ministry, said. The team tasked to determine forest boundaries was headed by the regent or mayor in each area. Regional elections and budget constraints were among the obstacles the government faces, Ali said.

New Life for REDD in California Compliance Market

By Lee Barken, Ecosystem Marketplace, 5 August 2010 | On July 30, the ARB [Air Resources Board] held a public workshop to discuss the role of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in a California cap and trade system and offered glimpses of a new pathway to monetize forestry credits. With REDD, the carbon sequestration benefits of the trees are monetized and carbon credits are generated through avoided deforestation. In other words, it attempts to make the tree more valuable standing up than cut down. According to Barbara Bamberger, an air pollution specialist from the Office of Climate Change at ARB, “In California, we are focusing on REDD most likely to be the first sector-based offset crediting program out of the gate.” According to Kate Horner, Trade and Forest Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth, carbon offsetting is a Band-Aid solution that fails to address the primary disease.

Ghana to benefit from Global Warming strategies

GhanaWeb, 5 August 2010 | Communities in and around forest Zones in Ghana may witness progress as the world scrambles to adopt reliable methods to fight the growing threat of climate change. The country is on the verge of receiving up to 75 million dollars from international donors to lay the ground work for new forest friendly strategies designed to slow global warming. Invariably, some long standing challenges in the forest sector needed to be addressed urgently to avoid this exciting possibility becoming another missed opportunity. This is contained in a statement released by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), authored in Accra by The Forests Dialogue (TFD) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

REDD+: options for involving private sector

DFID, 5 August 2010 | Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is a major agenda item within international climate change negotiations. It is also significant in many domestic discussions on climate change and mitigation. A substantial part of the discussion has been around how to finance REDD+. To add to the discussion, DFID commissioned a report, carried out by Climate Focus, Winrock International and Ecofys, looking at the different options for involving the private sector in REDD+, focusing specifically on scenarios where investments in REDD+ could generate carbon credits for sale in international carbon markets. [R-M: the report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/913yYK]

The Interim REDD+ Partnership: Light at the end of the Screw Ups?

David Ritter, Global Policy Journal, 5 August 2010 | As the Interim REDD+ Partnership process reconvenes in Bonn this week in conjunction with the latest UN Climate Change Conference (you can watch the proceedings here), information continues to emerge about the extent to which the last meeting held in Brasilia a few weeks ago was a debacle which has left the partners flustered and divided… Ironically, the fact that the exclusion of civil society was merely one aspect of a bigger screw up rather than any deliberate conspiracy should be the source of a certain amount of renewed hope. Nevertheless among civil society, suspicions remain high. It does not help that in addition to the sting of the most recent snubbing is plenty of scar tissue in relation to both climate change and deforestation.

Moratorium may hurt new projects: Mining group

By Alfian, Jakarta Post, 5 August 2010 | The government’s proposed two-year moratorium on issuing new concessions to convert forests and peatlands to other uses may hinder new mining projects, a business association says. “The development of new mining projects might be delayed due to the moratorium. Mining projects such as BHP’s project in Maruwai could be affected,” Supriatna Suhala, executive director of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (ICMA), told reporters Wednesday. BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, and local partner PT Adaro Energy are developing the Maruwai coal project in East and Central Kalimantan and waiting for forest land-use permits from the government. BHP said their concession held 774 million tons of undeveloped metallurgical and thermal coal.

6 August 2010

Critics see REDD over PNG carbon schemes

By Ilya Gridneff, AAP, 6 August 2010 | Two carbon trade projects proposed for Papua New Guinea have been hammered by critics who list a litany of inconsistencies, dubious science, legal issues and concerns landowners will be ripped off. PNG’s pilot Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD) schemes, which are part of the United Nation’s framework for tackling climate change, are in the Kamula Doso forest, Western Province and April Salumei, East Sepik Province. But documents obtained by AAP show the PNG government does not support the REDD projects and there is a scathing reaction to the Project Development Documents (PDD) that were submitted in July for verification and approval from the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) regulator.

Global tropical forests threatened by 2100

Science Daily, 6 August 2010 | By 2100 only 18% to 45% of the plants and animals making up ecosystems in global, humid tropical forests may remain as we know them today, according to a new study led by Greg Asner at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology. The research combined new deforestation and selective logging data with climate-change projections. It is the first study to consider these combined effects for all humid tropical forest ecosystems and can help conservationists pinpoint where their efforts will be most effective. The study is published in the August 5, 2010, issue of Conservation Letters. “This is the first global compilation of projected ecosystem impacts for humid tropical forests affected by these combined forces,” remarked Asner.

Australia firm signs forest CO2 deal with Malaysia tribes

By David Fogarty, Reuters, 6 August 2010 | An Australian carbon services company has signed a deal with nine Malaysian tribal leaders to certify carbon offsets from a project aimed at preserving more than 100,000 hectares of tropical forest. The deal allows the tribes in Sarawak state on the island of Borneo to earn a share of the proceeds from the sale of carbon offsets to help them manage and protect the forest over a period of 20 years, payments potentially worth millions of dollars… The firm, Shift2Neutral, said it will work with the tribes and a local NGO to help manage the forest, survey the area and access the carbon stored in the trees and soil. The project would be certified under an enhanced form of REDD that also aims to reward any enhancement to a forest’s carbon stock.

Native People Demand Autonomy Over Territory

By Julio Godoy, IPS, 6 August 2010 | In the view of governments, international bodies and some sectors of civil society participating in negotiations towards new global rules on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the REDD programme is the last chance to save tropical rainforests. But to the representatives of indigenous peoples who live in the forests in question, REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) is just one of many superfluous mechanisms devised by governments and their allies to undermine native groups’ legitimate ownership of their territories and natural resources… “We don’t know what REDD is,” said Mina Setra, head of Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago, at the meetings that ended Friday. “But we do know how to manage our territories. For millennia indigenous peoples have drawn on their traditional knowledge to strengthen their resilience and demonstrate their capacity to cope with climate change.”

SN coverage of Guyana-Norway forest partnership did not fully reflect written responses to reporter’s questions

By Hans Brattskar, Letter to the Editor Stabroek News, 6 August 2010 | Your coverage of my comments on the Guyanese-Norwegian climate and forest partnership did not, unfortunately, fully reflect my written responses to your journalists’ questions (‘Independent REDD+ review to be done in next few months…’ Sunday Stabroek, August 01). First, my response was explicit that the first Norwegian contribution into the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund will be made as soon as that fund is operational, ie, very soon. Your newspaper’s claim that significant delays in that payment could be derived from my written response to your questions, is incorrect. We highly value our climate and forest partnership with the Government of Guyana. We will stand by our commitments.

Governments must ramp up climate change talks ahead of Cancun meet – WWF

WWF, 6 August 2010 | WWF says governments who participated in the third Bonn climate change talks this week now must ramp up their negotiations, or they will waste a crucial opportunity to move forward in Cancun later this year. “Governments can and must make progress on areas such as adaptation, finance and ending deforestation at COP 16 in Cancun,” said Gordon Shepherd, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative. “But they will have to increase their efforts now and start seeking areas of convergence in a much more serious way.” Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) is an example where agreements already achieved in Copenhagen have been opened up again on such basic issues as the definition of what it covers. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) inter-sessional in Tianjin, China later this year is the last opportunity [before COP 16].

8 August 2010

The world’s first really green oil deal

By Esmé McAvoy, Independent, 8 August 2010 | While the world’s industrialised countries are building complex carbon markets to enable them to carry on polluting, Ecuador has come up with a much simpler idea for mitigating climate change: leave the oil underground. It is promising to lock up as much as a fifth of its oil reserves indefinitely, providing rich nations pay out at least half the market value of the oil – some $3.6bn – as compensation. The trail-blazing proposal was first floated in 2007, but it took a step towards reality last week when the UN Development Programme signed an agreement with the Ecuadorean government to be the independent administrator for the project’s trust fund. The accord makes Ecuador the only country in the world offering to leave lucrative oil reserves untapped in an attempt to slow climate change.

REDD and decentralized forest management

By Emil Morhardt, Claremont Climate Report, 8 August 2010 | At the climate change conference in Copenhagen, A mechanism for Reducing Climate Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) was adopted to provide incentives for developing countries to reduce forestry related carbon emissions. Some researchers have expressed concerns about the implications of decentralized forest management for the implementation of REDD within participating countries (Irawan and Tacconi, 2009). On the one hand, decentralization helps meet local needs and encourages increased participation. However, a decentralized implementation model is difficult to monitor and there is a greater risk of leakage. In a top-down model of REDD implementation, the central government has the ability set reference levels and monitor emissions more easily. However, in such a case, local needs are more likely to be ignored and there may be decreased local participation.
 

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