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REDD in the news: 25-31 October 2010

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A round up of the week’s news on REDD, 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.

Carbon Balance and Management

[R-M. various papers relating to forests and climate published in Carbon Balance and Management: “Assessing data availability for the development of REDD-plus national reference levels” (09-2010), “Greenhouse gas emission associated with sugar production in southern Brazil” (06-2010), “Regaining momentum for international climate policy beyond Copenhagen” (06-2010), “Reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD): a climate change mitigation strategy on a critical track” (11-2009), “On fair, effective and efficient REDD mechanism design” (11-2009)…]

REDD Glossary

Pact, October 2010 | This glossary is a comprehensive reference guide to encourage greater understanding of REDD terminology. The glossary contains terms related to verification, validation, carbon finance, voluntary market standards, and other REDD topics. A PDF version of the glossary is also available for download.

ITTO at CBD COP10

ITTO, October 2010 | Within the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010, ITTO has been particularly active in promoting the conservation and sustainable use of forest biodiversity in the tropics, in collaboration with member countries and partner institutions. ITTO is presenting much of this work in the following series of events during the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya,Japan from 18-29 October 2010.

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

jhfestival.org, October 2010 | Since 1991, JHWFF has produced a unique biennial industry conference that draws over 650 media professionals, writers, leading scientists and conservationists to Jackson Hole. They converge from around the world to hone skills, explore emerging technologies and market opportunities, network with professional associates and honor notable achievements within the industry. Internationally recognized as the premier event of its genre, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival is an unparalleled industry gathering. Its film competition—a nature film equivalent to the Oscars®—honors some 20 films selected from over 700 category entries. Save the date for the next Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival scheduled for October 3-7, 2011.

25 October 2010

Papua New Guinea not ready for funding for REDD

Greenpeace Australia Pacific, 25 October 2010 | At the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting being held in Japan, Greenpeace has released a new report revealing how the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is in no fit state to receive international funding for REDD – a proposed global solution to deforestation and climate change… Sam Moko, Greenpeace’s Forests Campaigner from PNG is in Nagoya, Japan to launch the report. This morning Sam also presented the Government of PNG with a ‘Golden Chainsaw’ award for demanding unconditional REDD money despite continuing to destroy rainforests. He said: “The Government of PNG is attempting to get its hands on billions of dollars of international REDD funding. But instead of protecting rainforests at home, they are corruptly approving widespread logging and denying the rights of indigenous people who own the land.”

Greenpeace hands PNG ‘Golden Chainsaw’

By Ilya Gridneff, AAP, 25 October 2010 | Greenpeace has presented the Papua New Guinea government with a “Golden Chainsaw” for being greedy rather than green when it comes to tackling climate change. Greenpeace gave the award to PNG representative Federica Bietta during climate change talks in Nagoya, Japan, on Monday. Greenpeace said it chose PNG for the dubious honour for its continued corruption in the forestry sector, stalling UN talks on reducing climate change, disregard for indigenous people’s rights and rampant deforestation. At the conference, Greenpeace released a 16-page report outlining its concerns that PNG is not ready for the complex UN plan known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which seeks to abate climate change through a series of donor funded schemes with forested nations such as PNG. Greenpeace has criticised PNG for being more interested in donor money than seriously tackling climate change.

Greenpeace critical of PNG graft, carbon cowboys

By Michael Perry, Reuters, 25 October 2010 | Rainforest-clad Papua New Guinea is not ready for international funding for U.N.-backed forest carbon credits to stem deforestation, said Greenpeace, citing corruption, “carbon cowboys” and lack of political leadership. A Greenpeace report into PNG’s attempts to promote a U.N.-supported scheme REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), found it was more interested in the funding than reducing carbon dioxide emissions… A government spokeswoman, in email comments, said the report took no account of the latest efforts to try to make REDD work. She said the country was building a consensus and bolstering institutions, “while still ensuring social and economic development benefits to our population”. The spokeswoman also said lack of funding precluded enforcement of a logging ban.

The truth about Papua New Guinea’s carbon trade scheme

malunnalu.blogspot.com, 25 October 2010 | The Prime Minister (PM) of Papua New Guinea (PNG) stated in The National (11th October 2010) that the REDD+ approach that is being championed by his government is being undermined by the trading of forest carbon through the voluntary carbon schemes (VCS) in PNG. He describes VCS as being risky and premature. But how much truth is in what the PM said is anybody’s guess.

REDD-plus partnership

FIELD, 25 October 2010 | FIELD has prepared a briefing note about the Interim REDD-plus Partnership, which was established in Oslo in May 2010. Download briefing note in English, Spanish or French.

Norway says more aid needed to save Indonesian forest

By Sunanda Creagh, Reuters, 25 October 2010 | Indonesia could match Brazil’s success in slowing deforestation but needs far more aid from rich nations such as the United States, Japan and the European Union, Norway’s environment minister said on Monday… “$1 billion is a huge amount of money but Indonesia needs quite substantially more to be able to conserve and sustainably manage its forests,” Solheim told Reuters in an interview in Jakarta, where he is meeting Indonesian officials. “The United States should come in, Japan, other European nations could come into this scheme to make it robust enough.” … “Brazil has reduced its deforestation rate by 80 percent from 2003 until 2010. That’s a fantastic result. I think the prospects for Indonesia are of the same magnitude,” he said… “Some who are arguing that it should not be market-based can sleep peacefully because we are very far from a market-based system. Every single cent will come from taxpayers.”

UN-REDD and Japan Support REDD+ in Asia-Pacific

Climate-L.org, 25 October 2010 | The Japan-UN Development Programme (UNDP) Partnership Fund approved a project titled “Promoting Regional REDD+ Approach and REDD+ Readiness in Under-Supported Regions of Asia/Pacific.” The project, which is being applied by the UN-REDD Programme’s Asia-Pacific team, aims to harmonize REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) readiness across the region through a regional platform for coordination and collaboration among development partners. It will also provide special assistance at the national level to under-supported countries (Mongolia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga) to reach REDD+ readiness. This project is the first Tier 2 project of UN-REDD, where activities are funded through sources other than the UN-REDD Multi-Donor Trust Fund. The project will last 17 months.

Managing Indonesia’s Forests

By Patrick Anderson, EngageMedia, 25 October 2010 | Seasoned campaigner Patrick Anderson talks to the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club Panel about the Indonesian forests, the peoples living in them, and challenges both the activists and the government are facing… Earlier this year, scientists from University of Michigan, Illinois, published a 15-year study conducted in 80 forests in 10 countries across the tropics, which explored whether local communities or governments are better managers of forests. The results were clear: where communities have control of their forest resources, unlike governments, they make long term planning decisions and let forests accumulate more biomass and more carbon. Community-controlled forests generate local livelihoods and the more wealth stays in the local economy.

Drought Has Amazon Tributary At Record Low Levels

AP, 25 October 2010 | A severe drought has dropped water levels on a major Amazon tributary to their lowest point since officials began keeping records more than a century ago, the government reported Monday, cutting off dozens of communities who depend on the river for work and transportation. Floating homes along the Rio Negro now rest on muddy flats, and locals have had to modify boats to run in shallower waters in a region without roads. Some riverbanks have caved in, although no injuries have been reported. Enormous fields of trash and other debris have been revealed by the disappearing waters. The drought is hurting fishing, cattle, agriculture and other businesses, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency in nearly 40 municipalities. Amazonas state officials said more than 60,000 families have been affected by the drought.

Brazil Plans a Price on Oil to Accelerate Climate Efforts

By Lisa Friedman, New York Times, 25 October 2010 | Brazil expects to see its lowest rates of illegal deforestation since 1988 by the end of this year. Minister of Environment Izabella Teixeira said the government will reduce the annual chopping and burning of the Amazon rainforest to between 4,000 and 5,000 square kilometers. The figures will be announced in the run-up to this year’s U.N. climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, this December… “COP 16? Forget it,” said Teixeira when told the interview topic. Then she recovered. Cancun, she said, is key to bringing leaders together. “It’s important that you have a pragmatic approach, and that you can show the global society that we are doing something. It’s important to show the world that we can establish a pragmatic basis for actions.”

Nagoya biodiversity summit is showing depressing parallels with Copenhagen failure

By Jonathan Watts, Guardian, 25 October 2010 | One week down, one left to go. With time running out for a global biodiversity deal, there ought to be frenetic movement, a spirit of compromise and a sense of urgency at the United Nations COP10 conference in Nagoya. But at this half-way stage, delegates appear more interested in protecting their national interests than reversing the precipitous decline of animal and plant life on Earth… The parallels with last year’s Copenhagen climate conference are depressingly evident. Then, as now, the talks made no progress by the halfway point. Then, as now, the developed and developing world were at loggerheads. Then, as now, hopes for a breakthrough were pinned on the imminent arrival of political leaders.

Amerindian communities to get US$8M of Norway $30M

Stabroek News, 25 October 2010 | Amerindian communities are to receive US$8M of the US$30M first tranche from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund set up with Norway, President Bharrat Jagdeo today announced. He made the revelation at the opening of the five-day National Toshaos Council Meeting at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal. Half of the money will be used to continue the Amerindian land demarcation exercise while the rest will be used to purchase solar panels for every Amerindian home and fund activities arising from the council meeting.

Some of Norway’s forest-payments to buy solar panels, demarcate Amerindian lands., Jagdeo tells World Bank not to dictate, slow-up process

Demerara Waves, 25 October 2010 | At least US$8 million that Norway would be paying Guyana to preserve its standing forest to help absorb greenhouse gases would be spent on land demarcation and providing clean-energy to Amerindian communities. Addressing participants at the opening of the conference of National Toshaos Council (NTC), a body established under the Amerindian Act, he said that out of the first tranche of US$30 million that Norway would be paying Guyana, US$4 million would be spent on fast-tracking land-demarcation. Noting that the demarcation of one community would cost GUY$40 million, the President said the demarcation of the less than 20 lands has been delayed because of a shortage of surveyors and insufficient cash… Labeling some non-governmental actors and members of the international community as “silly useless people,” who do not understand the way of life of Amerindians, the President said several of them create policies that stymie progress…

26 October 2010

Aichi-Nagoya Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+ Partnership Convenes

Climate-L.org, 26 October 2010 | The Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+ Partnership took place on 26 October 2010, on the margins of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) taking place in Nagoya, Japan. The Co-Chairs’ summary of the meeting highlights that Ministers reaffirmed the role of the REDD+ Partnership as an interim platform for scaling up of REDD+ … actions and finance. The summary notes the announcements of new pledges by Belgium and Italy to support REDD+ activities, as well as announcement of support for the operational costs of the REDD+ Partnership budget in 2010 and 2011. The Partners identified areas to concentrate efforts on, including: facilitating readiness activities, demonstration activities, result-based actions, and the scaling up of finance and actions; and promoting transparency.

Forestry takes centre-stage at U.N. talks on nature

By David Fogarty and Chisa Fujioka, Reuters, 26 October 2010 | Delegates at a global U.N. meeting to preserve natural resources were on Tuesday trying to agree on ways to deploy about $4 billion (2 billion pounds) in cash to help developing nations save tropical forests… “Our forests need immediate action,” said Brazil’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told the meeting… “We are at a very pivotal time. We are losing biodiversity on the planet at an alarming rate that cannot go on or our children and our grandchildren will be that much poorer,” Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice told Reuters in an interview… “We are really dealing with an issue of tremendous risk to humanity and security,” said Yolanda Kakabadse, president of WWF International.

Forestry gets spotlight at UN biodiversity talks

By Jennifer Abramsohn, Reuters, 26 October 2010 | Saving forests is topping the agenda of a UN summit on biodiversity in Japan. As the meeting enters its final days, there are growing fears that the talks could bog down amid acrimony between poor and rich countries. Delegates at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Nagoya, Japan, have put sustainable forestry management at the forefront of their negotiations, as these habitats are home to thousands of the world’s plant and animal species, and can also help slow global warming… On Tuesday, talks focused specifically on the UN-backed scheme called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation)… REDD has attracted funding pledges from some rich nations, but at this point it is mostly known for its troubled start. Participants have bickered over how to manage the cash, as well as procedural issues.

69 nations discuss forest conservation to curb climate change

Japan Today, 26 October 2010 | Ministers from dozens of countries began discussing on Tuesday efforts to create a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation to curb climate change. The meeting in Nagoya is aimed at building momentum for U.N. talks in Cancun, Mexico, from late November to negotiate a deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding emissions cut framework that expires in 2012. Delegates from most of the countries involved in the 69-nation efforts, including Japan, the United States, Brazil and Indonesia, are attending the one-day event, which is being held in the central Japan city on the sidelines of the ongoing U.N. biodiversity talks. The efforts, called REDD-plus partnership, ‘‘could become a watershed for humanity. For the first time, the world’s forests may have a fighting chance to survive,’’ said Samuel Tei Abal, Papua New Guinea’s foreign, trade and immigration minister, at the outset of the meeting.

Germany ups Redd+ contribution by €10m

Point Carbon, 26 October 2010 | Germany has pledged to raise its contribution to a fund aiming to save tropical forests. [R-M: subscription only]

Nepal participating in high-level Climate meet in Japan

nepalnews.com, 26 October 2010 | A high level delegate from Nepal led by Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation, Deepak Bohora, is participating in the Aichi Nagoya Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Partnership in Japan… On the occasion, Minister Bohora expressed concern by saying that the global progress towards averting climate catastrophe has become lighter. He also said that REDD+ is critically important to meet our climate objectives and cannot be delayed by lack of progress in other areas of climate change negotiations.

Statement – Minister Prentice highlights progress made to protect the World’s forests

Canada NewsWire, Press Release, 26 October 2010 | Canada’s Environment Minister, the Honourable Jim Prentice, today issued the following statement following his participation in the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Ministerial meeting in Nagoya, Japan: “I am pleased to report that excellent progress was made at this meeting to protect the world’s forests and I look forward to continuing these important discussions at COP16 in Cancun. Deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries represent up to 17% of global human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and incentives to reduce these emissions have the potential to have the largest and most immediate impact on global greenhouse gas emissions in the short term. Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management and this Government understands the important role that forests and forest management can play in addressing climate change.”

Intervention for REDD+-meeting for Belgium

By Joke Schauvliege, Flemish Minister of Environment, Nature and Culture, 26 October 2010 | Belgium attaches great importance to synergies between the three Rio Conventions. REDD+ has a great potential to do that. When protecting forests from deforestation and degradation, we can conserve biological diversity, protect other environmental services that forests provide and support development of the livelihoods of forest depending peoples… Up to now Belgium has been member of the partnership, but we did not present concrete commitments yet. I am pleased to announce that the federal government of Belgium, by his department of development cooperation, has decided to fund this year an extra 10 million euro through the Global Environmental Facility for the new programme on sustainable forest management and REDD+ activities, and this is on top of the new commitments following the last replenishment of the GEF.

Trading Houses Eye REDD Carbon Credit Projects

Nikkei, 26 October 2010 | Trading houses are preparing to launch projects to create carbon credits through reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), as the method enables low-cost creation of a large amount of credits. [R-M: subscription only]

Heart of Borneo report reveals new ways to pay for forest conservation and sustainable development

eco-business.com, 26 October 2010 | A new report released today by the three Bornean governments – Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia – is a leading example of how the economic value of forests is being recognized and secured through innovative finance. The report: Financing the Heart of Borneo – a partnership approach to economic sustainability, outlines three main sources of finance for conservation and sustainable development activities within the 22 million hectares of trans-boundary tropical rainforest on the island of Borneo – known as the Heart of Borneo (HoB). Two of these sources; in-country government based (such as royalties, incentives and tax breaks) and market based (such as payments for watershed services, REDD+ and bio-prospecting) are sustainable in the long term. The third source, the more conventional donor funding, is seen as an interim form of funding to help build the enabling conditions for the first two.

Jagdeo says ‘silly, useless’ World Bank officials stalling Norway funds

Kaieteur News, 26 October 2010 | The government yesterday said that it will use the first set of money from a US$250 million forest-saving deal with Norway to demarcate Amerindian lands and fit every Amerindian home with solar panels over the next two years, but accused “silly, useless” World Bank officials of stalling the release of the funds… President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said that the release of the first tranche of the funding – US$30 million – was being stymied by the World Bank. He said the first set of funds should have been deposited into a special World Bank fund since January, but the Fund was only set up earlier this month. “I hope that whilst you are here that you also send a clear signal to the international community who sometimes, because of distance, and sometimes because they have some real silly, useless people, don’t care,” Jagdeo told a meeting in Georgetown with the elected leaders of all of the country’s Amerindian villages.

Guyana: President emphasizes importance of financial accountability – at National Toshaos Conference

baiganchoka.com, 26 October 2010 | “We should be free as a country and as a people to use money that we earn from the sale of forest carbon like any other commodity for the benefit of our people.” This was the statement made by President Bharrat Jagdeo to the international community during his opening remarks today at the 4th National Toshao Council meeting at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Liliendaal… Referring to the recently established Guyana Redd Plus Investment Fund (GRIF) the mechanism set up to facilitate payments to Guyana from Norway for forest carbon services, President Jagdeo stated that it is the first time anywhere in the world that a developed country is paying for forest carbon through a mechanism that is akin to a market based mechanism.

US$8M for land titling, solar power in Amerindian communities – Jagdeo

Stabroek News, 26 October 2010 | The government’s US$8 million pledge to Amerindian communities, from the first tranche from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) set up with Norway, will be used to accelerate land demarcation and finance a solar power drive, President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday announced. He made the revelation at the opening of the five-day National Toshaos Council (NTC) Meeting at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal. Some US$4 million will be used to accelerate the Amerindian land demarcation exercise, while it is estimated that about US$1.5 million will be used to purchase solar panels for every Amerindian home. The rest is to be used to fund activities arising from the council meeting, Jagdeo said.

Draft legislation taking longer than expected – Dr Luncheon

Kaieteur News, 26 October 2010 | Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, says that the drafting of the Freedom of Information legislation along with the Broadcast Bill is taking longer than expected hence the several delays. Dr Luncheon was speaking at his most recent post Cabinet Press briefing where he pointed out that the constitutional responsibility for introducing legislation lies with the elected government. That statement was in light of questions as to whether the Alliance For Change’s Freedom of Information Bill will be used in any way. Dr Luncheon said that he did not see the government sharing the responsibility as it relates to the tabling of legislation.

Jagdeo outlines Amerindian development plans for GRIF money

By Johann Earle, Guyana Chronicle, 26 October 2010 | President Bharrat Jagdeo said that Government is changing the philosophy that people have of peoples of Amerindian descent, and efforts now go beyond just spending money to improve their lives, as discussions on further development commence at this year’s National Toshaos Council meeting. President Jagdeo made this comment at the opening of the meeting yesterday at the Guyana International Conference Centre. The meeting will last until Friday and is being held under the theme ‘Advancing Development in a Low Carbon Environment’. The meeting is facilitated by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and funded by the Government of Guyana.

LCDS needs a legal and regulatory framework

By Abiola Inniss, letter to the editor Stabroak News, 26 October 2010 | It should be immediately obvious that a national economic strategy which promotes the controlled and innovative use of forest and forest products with the goal of lessening environmental impact and developing a new brand of commerce would immediately fall into the inextricable embrace of global environmental law. There seems, however, to be little attention to this critical aspect of the legal regulation of the LCDS and there is yet significant ignorance about the value of this area of law to the Guyana situation.

Papua New Guinea criticised on forest funds call

By Frank McDonald, Irish Times, 26 October 2010 | Papua New Guinea (PNG) “is in no fit state” to receive international funds under a global deal to stop deforestation and mitigate climate change because of continued logging and corruption, according to a new report by Greenpeace Asia-Pacific… Tom Roche, founder of the Irish group Just Forests, said: “Right across this country of ours, construction companies and those they are building for are contributing to the destruction of Papua New Guinea’s rainforests by their incessant demand for Chinese plywood. Samples of Chinese plywood taken from building sites across Ireland by Just Forests were verified as containing wood from Papua New Guinea by Hamburg University,” he said. “This is the time when we should be supporting Irish panelboard manufacturers.” He welcomed new EU legislation on illegal logging, but said the law would not be enforced in Ireland until 2013.

UN not worried by corruption and illegal logging

PNGexposed Blog, 26 October 2010 | While Papua New Guinea “is in no fit state” to receive international funds to stop deforestation and mitigate climate change because of continued logging and corruption, the United Nations has no such concerns and is preparing to sign off on over $6 million in funding. The funding details are revealed in the UN-REDD PNG National Joint Initiative proposal (file size is 2.3mb). The proposal grandly claims the US$6.38 million will ensure that “by 2013, PNG has an operational Measurement, Reporting and Verification system that enables the country’s participation in international REDD-plus systems to protect its environmental resources and contribute to sustainable livelihood practices of rural communities”.

Prize Goes to Forests in Madagascar and Brazil

IUCN press release, 26 October 2010 | The 2010 IUCN-Reuters-COMplus Media Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting goes to Anjali Nayar and Juliane von Mittelstaedt for their articles on saving the forests in Madagascar and Brazil… Der globale Indianer, or Using the Internet to Save the Rainforest, by Juliane von Mittelstaedt for Germany’s Der Spiegel is a feature article about the Surui people of the Brazilian rainforest. If current trends continue, the land of the Surui, three times the size of New York city, might disappear in 100 years time. Combining technology with tradition, the Surui people are determined to save their forest, their culture and their tribe by entering the global emissions market. How to save a forest by Anjali Nayar for Nature Magazine looks at the impact of forest conservation and carbon trading projects on a rural area in Madagascar, where political unrest and extreme poverty have resulted in massive destruction of forests over the last 60 years.

The $1M bed: why Madagascar’s rainforests are being destroyed

By Rhett A. Butler, wildmadagascar.org, 26 October 2010 | Consumer demand for rosewood furniture and musical instruments is driving illegal logging in Madagascar’s national parks, endangering wildlife and undermining local community livelihoods, according to a new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency and Global Witness. The report, based on more than a year of investigations, shows that Madagascar’s valuable hardwoods – including ebony, pallisander, and rosewood – are being illegally harvested from rainforest parks and trafficked to Asia, Europe, and the United States. The vast majority of timber – 98 percent – however ends up in China, where it is converted into luxury furniture. “In China, Malagasy rosewood beds sell for a million dollars apiece, yet less than 0.1% of the profits remain with local people,” said Alexander von Bismarck of EIA, in a statement. “I don’t think the buyers of these beds would sleep well at night if they knew the full story behind their beds.”

EU plans to clamp down on carbon trading scam

By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 26 October 2010 | The European commission is planning to clamp down on a £1.6bn carbon trading scam. The use of carbon permits from industrial gas projects in China could be banned because of their “total lack of environmental integrity”, the climate change commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, has told the Guardian. Billions of euros’ worth of the controversial permits were used between 2008-09 in the European Union’s emission trading scheme (ETS), in which companies must exchange pollution permits for any emissions produced. The ETS allows some of those permits to be bought in from developing countries. The most popular of these so-called offsets come from projects that destroy the greenhouse gas HFC-23, a by-product of the manufacturing of the refrigerant gas HCFC-22.

EU Carbon Price Will Rebound As Economy Recovers, Delbeke Says

By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 26 October 2010 | The price of carbon-dioxide allowances in the European Union’s cap-and-trade program are likely to rebound as the region’s economy recovers, the director general for climate at the European Commission said. “The market price is hovering around 15 euros ($21), and that looks not too high compared with what we saw two years ago,” the commission’s Jos Delbeke told a seminar in Brussels today. “The low price comes from a recession. We may expect that one day – I hope sooner than later – the economy will recover and emissions are going to pick up again, and hence the price will go up again.” Carbon price would “jump” if the EU decides to deepen its emissions-reduction target to 30 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 from the current goal of 20 percent, Delbeke said. The 27- nation EU has postponed a debate on moving to a more ambitious target as member states await a detailed analysis on potential costs of such a decision.

27 October 2010

Massive corruption undermines forest protection plan

By John Vidal, Guardian, 27 October 2010 | Developing countries are hungry for new forestry funds; rich countries want a deal because it will allow them to carry on polluting as before; environment groups can see a way to broker conservation and protect the forests; politicians see influence. Win, win, win? Perhaps but you can see the legal problems a mile away. A minute Australian company working from what appears to be a shopping mall in an Australian suburb claims to have grabbed the carbon rights to the entire Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); a three-man Kenyan company reckons it can earn $10m a year from the rights to a stretch of Cameroonian forest; the family of Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has been accused of pressuring remote villagers to sign away their land, one of the lead negotiators for Indonesia’s climate delegation, and the architect of its Redd programme, has been named as a corruption suspect by the country’s anti-corruption agency. The list goes on.

UN-REDD’s October Newsletter is out!

UN-REDD, 27 October 2010 | This month’s edition reports on UNEP-WCMC’s carbon mapping initiative, and the UN-REDD Programme’s collaboration on remote sensing training with Brazil’s Space Agency INPE. We also hear from Paraguay on their National Programme progress, and get highlights on REDD+ at FAO’s Committee on Forestry (COFO) in Rome and the UN-REDD Programme’s recent FPIC workshop in Panama.

PNG rejects Greenpeace criticism of environmental record

Radio New Zealand International, 27 October 2010 | The Papua New Guinea government has gone on attack after the environment NGO, Greenpeace, criticised its environmental record. Greenpeace accused the PNG government of maintaining a corrupt forestry sector, stalling UN talks on reducing climate change, disregarding indigenous people’s rights and allowing rampant deforestation. But the office of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare says it is committed to widespread consultation on the issues and is well into this process. It says it’s trying to build the social consensus and institutions needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while still ensuring the country doesn’t suffer economically. Greenpeace had claimed PNG isn’t ready for the complex UN plan known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD.

Ministers support REDD+ plan to save forests

By Mikiko Miyakawa, Daily Yomiuri, 27 October 2010 | Ministers and representatives from 62 countries acknowledged Tuesday the crucial role to be played by a partnership on forest conservation and climate change, during a meeting on the sidelines of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) in Nagoya… “Participants agreed to scale up implementation of REDD+,” Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said at a press conference after the meeting. “We want the forward-looking agreement reached at this meeting to lead to success at COP16,” Maehara said, referring to the 16th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for December in Cancun, Mexico. REDD+ is expected to be discussed at the COP16 meeting.

REDD to protect green cover

Kathmandu Post, 27 October 2010 | The World Bank (WB) has pledged US$3.4 million assistance for limiting green house gas emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation. The WB and the government will sign an agreement on this regard in December. The aid will be mobilised for the implementation of Readiness Preparedness Proposal (RPP) on REDD as a part of the FCPF. Keshav Prasad Khanal, under-secretary at REDD-Forestry and Climate Change Cell under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MOFSC) said RPP implementation (2010-2014) will provide Nepal’s roadmap for developing and implementing REDD strategy. Besides the WB, the government and other donor agencies are funding the US $ 7.5 million worth RPP. The RPP includes a comprehensive consultation and participation plan to be implemented during the readiness phase between 2010 and 2013. The main components of plan include capacity building, awareness and consultation.

Defra commits £100 million international forestry funding up to 2015

Defra News, 27 October 2010 | The Government has today committed £100 million to international forestry projects… The money comes from the new international climate finance included in the Comprehensive Spending Review, which will include new money for the UK’s contribution to REDD+… Speaking at the Nagoya conference in Japan, where 193 countries are setting new targets to protect the natural environment, Mrs Spelman said: “Tackling deforestation is critical if we are to be successful in our goals to protect biodiversity, tackle climate change and reduce global poverty. Forests are home to over half of the world’s plants and animals, and support the livelihoods of over one billion people, while deforestation accounts for almost a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. With so much at stake, the UK Government believes it’s time to establish a substantial and longstanding financial commitment to REDD+ to protect the world’s forests and the plants and animals that live in them.”

Ministers advocate conservation of forests to curb climate change

Japan Times, 27 October 2010 | Ministers from dozens of countries reaffirmed their commitment Tuesday to a partnership to create a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation to curb climate change. The move came at their meeting in Nagoya aimed at building momentum for U.N. talks in Cancun, Mexico, from late November to negotiate a deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding emissions cut framework that expires in 2012. Delegates from most of the countries involved in the 69-nation effort, including Japan, the United States, Brazil and Indonesia, attended the one-day event, which is being held on the sidelines of the ongoing U.N. biodiversity talks. The efforts, called REDD-plus partnership, “could become a watershed for humanity. For the first time, the world’s forests may have a fighting chance to survive,” said Samuel Tei Abal, Papua New Guinea’s foreign, trade and immigration minister, at the outset of the meeting.

UN Biodiversity Summit Update: The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Down

By Frode Pleym, Greenpeace International, 27 October 2010 | Frode Pleym (right) is part of the Greenpeace delegation at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Nagoya, Japan. I will be the first one to admit that my home country Norway is not perfect… Norway is a small country and NGOs play a large role in Norwegian society. One example: Heidi came to Nagoya in the morning and the first thing she did – even before sitting down extensively with the Norwegian delegation – was to meet with Greenpeace. It is this kind of attitude that enables NGOs to play a vital role in contributing to change and in part explains why Norway – relatively speaking – has such strong environmental policies.

Kan offers $2 bil to help developing countries address biodiversity loss

Japan Today, 27 October 2010 | Ministers from around the world gathered Wednesday in Nagoya to discuss how to combat the loss of biodiversity, as negotiators have been unable to bridge differences, largely between developing and developed countries, on key issues. At the opening ceremony of the ministerial segment of the U.N. conference that began Oct. 18, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan offered $2 billion over three years starting this year to help developing countries address biodiversity loss. ‘‘Today, we are losing biodiversity of plants and animals in a manner unprecedented in both speed and scale,’’ Kan said, adding that the ‘‘very existence of human beings on Earth could be threatened’’ as a consequence…

REDD+: Belgium promises extra €10 million

By Jiska Verbouw, COP 10 Biodiversity, 27 October 2010 | A day before the official opening of the high-level segment, a first high-level meeting took place yesterday. Ministers and heads of delegations from 62 countries attended to the meeting to discuss the REDD+ Partnership… “REDD + is an important link between climate change and biodiversity,” says Christophe Van Orshoven, co-pilot to climate change. “It is therefore useful to discuss it here, especially in view of the climate talks in Cancun. We hope that this meeting will have a positive impact on the progress in the climate change negotiations.” During this high-level meeting, Minister Joke Schauvliege promised an additional €10 million on behalf of Belgium for the activities of REDD+. She stressed the importance of REDD+ in the combat against global deforestation, and its potential to bring more synergies between the three Rio Conventions.

COP10: Harrison Ford joins biodiversity discussion

Reuters, 27 October 2010 | Government ministers have gathered in Nagoya, Japan for the final stages of a global UN meeting to preserve natural resources, with film star Harrison Ford calling on the United States to join the negotiations… “I’ve come here to encourage the leadership of this convention, all of the 192 countries that are represented here, and my ambition is that they our ambition is that they take bold action, take big firm steps in the direction of preserving biodiversity,” Ford said… “We have to create a kind of undeniable groundswell of public opinion, a kind of movement level effect. Something like the civil rights movement or the women’s right movement to advocate for the kind of work that needs to be done to protect the environment,” Ford said… “The US is here as an observer. The US is here as a source of funding, but we’re not a voting delegate, and we need to take that responsibility, to have that opportunity and to show leadership,” Ford said.

Cargill Considers Joining Eco-Friendly Palm Oil Production Scheme

By Niluksi Koswanage and Fitri Wulandari, Jakarta Globe, 27 October 2010 | Agribusiness giant Cargill may become the first major palm oil buyer to invest in a carbon credit scheme that rewards nations like Indonesia for preserving forests, a key official said on Wednesday. The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) proposal would provide a stamp of approval for firms like Cargill to assure consumers that products made from palm oil follow eco-friendly guidelines, giving it cover from green campaigns that allege widespread habitat destruction. Participation by Cargill would breathe life into the scheme now mostly pushed by governments. “As for our direct involvement in the scheme, we’re in the early days,” said John Hartmann, chief operating officer of Cargill Tropical Oils. “We’re exploring this option but we need to see how the rules are written before we make any commitment.”

China Oil Company’s Carbon Play

By Shai Oster, China Real Time Report, 27 October 2010 | China’s biggest oil company is betting that carbon trading has a future. According to industry news service Point Carbon, PetroChina has hired Garth Edward, an ex-Citigroup trader, to head a new UK-based emissions trading desk… PetroChina has already shown a commitment to carbon trading. It was one of the first companies to invest in setting up one of the domestic carbon exchanges, even though there was no legislation (such as domestic carbon caps) to support markets. The exchange has had a few modest trades. There are signs that China is contemplating using carbon credits as a way to reach its goal of slowing the pace of carbon emissions. A promise to cut greenhouse gasses relative to economic output between 40% to 45% percent by 2020 from 2005 levels will likely be part of the country’s next five-year plan.

Executive Summary A safer bet for REDD+: Review of the evidence on the relationship between biodiversity and the resilience of forest carbon stocks

By Lera Miles, Emily Dunning, Nathalie Doswald and Matea Osti, UN-REDD programme, 27 October 2010 | Resilience of forest carbon stocks to climate change, in terms of resistance to and recovery from its direct and indirect impacts, is essential for the long-term viability of REDD+. There is strong evidence that the carbon stocks of intact forests are more resilient than those of degraded or fragmented forest, and hence that reducing degradation should be a key REDD+ activity. There is a small amount of evidence to suggest that whilst management decisions can increase planted forests’ resilience to change, naturally occurring forests may be more resilient. This evidence lends some additional support to the rationale for a safeguard on the conversion of natural forest, already justified in terms of emissions reduction. If a forest is natural and intact, is there additional benefit from higher levels of biodiversity?

Amerindians: Guyana surveyors ignoring borders

Associated Press, 27 October 2010 | Amerindian leaders in Guyana’s lush interior say government surveyors are ignoring their ancient boundaries while demarcating town borders in the rainforest. Amerindian spokeswoman Jean LaRose said Tuesday that surveyors are ignoring ancestral borders in the forested interior and “causing problems in villages as no one is listening or paying heed to our knowledge.” A government spokesman did not immediately respond to LaRose’s criticism. Guyana is verifying district lines and setting up solar panels in Amerindian towns with the help of a $30 million grant from Norway. The payment from the European nation is intended to help Guyana reduce poverty and protect its 15 million hectare (37 million acre) jungle.

Forests Not Solution to Offsetting Carbon Emissions, Study Finds

University of Guelph press release, 27 October 2010 | Don’t look to forests to soak up increasing amounts of global-warming gases being pumped into the atmosphere, says a new study by University of Guelph scientists. The study by Guelph geography professors Ze’ev Gedalof and Aaron Berg appeared recently in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles. The results will surprise people on both sides of the carbon-sequestration debate who have called for tree planting to help offset CO2 emissions, said Gedalof. “Trees will play a role in assimilating atmospheric CO2, but it’s much smaller than most people expect.” Referring to the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse-gas emissions, he said: “Canada has options under Kyoto to use forest regrowth to offset emissions. Our results suggest that looking to forests to grow more quickly and thereby offset emissions is not going to work.”

28 October 2010

Trees Not Countering CO2 Levels

University of New South Wales press release, 28 October 2010 | The capacity of trees to counter rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may not be as great as previously thought, according to a new study with significant implications for predicting future climate change. While trees initially seem to grow faster or larger as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels increase, the higher growth rates cannot be sustained because the availability of soil nutrients remains finite, suggests the study by US and Australian scientists published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, led by Richard Norby of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, included Ross McMurtrie of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Cloud over CO2 storage in trees

carbonpositive.net, 28 October 2010 | Two separate studies have thrown doubt over forests’ ability to help offset global warming. Because trees rely on carbon dioxide to grow, it has been predicted that as CO2 levels rise in a warming world, trees would thrive on the increase, grow faster, and thus help soak up excess atmospheric carbon. As a result of their findings, the authors of both studies have called into question the growth models for worldwide vegetation being used in official climate change forecasting for this century. The results of the studies may also have implications for some types of forest carbon projects such as reforestation and improved forest management, depending on the growth models they use. Ex ante, or upfront, crediting under some standards may see too many credits issued on forecast carbon sequestration with issuances having to be revised after later verification events during a project’s lifetime.

Where there’s smoke

The Economist, 28 October 2010 | That dispute is based on doubts about Indonesia that colour both regional anger over the haze and worries about whether REDD is feasible there. Cynics see the country as irredeemably corrupt. It will continue, they say, to light bonfires that shorten its neighbours’ lives, having its cake of REDD money, even as its chainsaws eat the rainforest. But there is a more optimistic interpretation: it is beginning to assume a role of regional leadership and enjoys its seat on the G20. It badly wants the respectability that comes with a reputation for environmental responsibility. Moreover, there are two reasons for taking the moratorium seriously. Indonesia’s palm-oil, pulp-and-paper and coal-mining industries are trying furiously to scupper it. And one theory as to why so many fires have been set this year is that those lighting them fear they may not be able to clear land as easily once the moratorium is in force.

Nigeria: Country to Become Full Member of REDD

By Tina A Hassan, Daily Trust, 28 October 2010 | United Nations (UN) committee on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) said Nigeria is now ripe to become a full-fledged member of the programme because it has made commendable progress to assume full membership. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Advisor West and Central Africa, Josep A. Gari, said Nigeria would assume the status of full membership from being observers in the programme. This according to him would enable the country to benefit from the REDD+ programme assistance to countries impacted by climate change. He said, “Nigeria has shown a high level of commitment and the REDD team has agreed to allow it become a full-fledged member, this would help in the programme advancement.”

PNG villagers outraged over land leases

AAP, 28 October 2010 | Papua New Guinea villagers are angry their government has allocated more than a million hectares of pristine forest for “special agricultural leases” – which they describe as a land grab for logging. At a landowner meeting in Kiunga, Western Province this week, hundreds of disgruntled villagers said their land had been given away without any informed consent or notification. Western Province now has half of PNG’s allocated 4.3 million hectares of “Special Purpose Agricultural and Business Leases”, after the government gazetted Tosigiba Timber group and North East Timber 1.25 million hectares on September 23 this year. Last year, the government allocated 853,420ha to companies in the Western Province for special leases in areas such as the contentious Kamula Doso forest that has a court order preventing any forestry activity.

The truth about Papua New Guinea’s carbon trade

PNGexposed Blog, 28 October 2010 | The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea stated in The National (11th October 2010) that the REDD+ approach that is being championed by his government is being undermined by the trading of forest carbon through the voluntary carbon schemes (VCS) in PNG. He describes VCS as being risky and premature. But how much truth is in what the PM said is anybody’s guess. The PM does not elaborate on the risks involved in the VCS, but the only cheap excuse given is that the VCS are thinly capitalised. The advantages of the VCS over a compliance forest carbon market are not discussed by the PM… [O]one wonders why the PM, PNG’s climate change ambassador and the acting director of Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD) are all hell-bent on a REDD+ carbon scheme under the compliance market.

Cyberattack knocks out tribal rights organization

Survival International, 28 October 2010 | Human rights organization Survival International has been targeted by a massive cyberattack, knocking its website offline. Survival believes the attack is likely to originate with the Botswana or Indonesian authorities, or their allies. The attack comes one week after Survival reported on a shocking video of Indonesian soldiers torturing Papuan tribal people, and four weeks after calling for tourists to boycott Botswana over the long-running persecution of the Kalahari Bushmen… The website of the following organizations have also come under attack: Friends of People Close To Nature, West Papua Media Alerts, West Papua Unite,
Asian Human Rights Commission, Free West Papua Campaign, West Papua Unite.

Co-chairs’ Summary: Aichi-Nagoya Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+ Partnership

REDD+ Partnership, CIFOR’s blog, 28 October 2010 | On October 26, 2010, the Aichi-Nagoya Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+ Partnership was held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan under the co-chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Seiji Maehara, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and H.E. Mr. Samuel T. Abal, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration of Independent State of Papua New Guinea. The meeting took place at the margin of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP10) and was attended by the Ministers and the heads of delegations from 62 countries participating in the REDD+ Partnership. Representatives from various international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil societies also attended the meeting.

“Painting Green” National Accounts

By Araceli Acosta, ABC, 28 October 2010 | To value biodiversity. This is the background of the Biodiversity Summit being held in Nagoya (Japan), since without knowing the value of many ecosystems it is impossible to engage all stakeholders (governments, companies …) in its protection. For some time, experts in the subject matter have hoped for a different approach in the accounting of the estimate of the wealth of nations. marking a turning point for the global environment. The World Bank has taken a step in that direction and launched at the summit of Nagoya an international alliance, which bears the name of “green accounting or natural wealth,” which will test this approach in some countries, starting with Colombia and India. [R-M: article available here in Spanish: http://bit.ly/cyW1yC]

Frank, open dialogue the hallmark of Toshaos meeting

By Johann Earle, Guyana Chronicle, 28 October 2010 | As the National Toshaos Council Meeting pressed on yesterday, President Bharrat Jagdeo and members of his Cabinet listened to the concerns of various Amerindian communities and made promises of allocations of either cash or equipment to further cement the partnership between Government and the country’s first peoples. And the President called on the Amerindian leaders to come out to the meeting today, when representatives of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank are expected to attend, so that they could let them know the realities of the people in the community… The President said that by the end of next year, all of the Amerindian villages will have solar panels for every household. He said that the process will involve sourcing the most appropriate panels for the situation on the ground.

Amerindian communities are largest private land owners-President Jagdeo

Guyana Chronicle, 28 October 2010 | While addressing the Toshaos at the National Toshaos conference on Monday, at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal, President Bharat Jagdeo pointed out that Amerindian communities are the largest private land owners, made possible as a result of the Administration working along with the communities to set out in the law a process that ensures that all land claims are dealt with by the law… However, there were challenges in securing funding to do the land demarcation. President Jagdeo stated that of the monies garnered from the Low Carbon Development Strategy payment from Norway, about $800M will be used to accelerate the demarcation process and aid completion of the exercise. President Jagdeo noted that “the problem is two-fold, we don’t have enough surveyors and it is very costly. It could cost us as much as $40M per single community.”

Extension, construction of hinterland schools addressed by NTC

Guyana Chronicle, 28 October 2010 | Providing improved social services with adequate infrastructure in hinterland communities is central to Government’s poverty reduction strategy. At Tuesday’s session of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Meeting, Amerindian leaders engaged Ministers of Government on avenues for advancing the delivery of education in hinterland communities.

Sukhai, toshaos skewer Guyana Times report on demarcation

Stabroek News, 28 October 2010 | Amerindian Affairs Minister Pauline Sukhai and a battery of Amerindian leaders have condemned a Guyana Times article in which other Amerindian representatives had voiced concerns about the land demarcation exercise… The article in yesterday’s edition headlined `Amerindians unhappy with demarcation exercise’ quoted several individuals including toshaos. Flanked by 11 toshaos, including NTC executives, Sukhai blasted the media house for “not knowing the facts.” She noted that the demarcation exercise is done in keeping with the Amerindian Act of which the indigenous people had significant input, including on the demarcation process itself. “These processes were developed by the leaders from the various communities across our hinterland so those areas within the Act which deals with land have found ownership among the Amerindian population, both community members and leaders,” she said.

Jagdeo offers relief to laid-off Barama workers

Stabroek News, 28 October 2010 | President Bharrat Jagdeo will be meeting on Monday with the employees who were recently retrenched by Barama Company Limited. Describing the situation as unfortunate, Jagdeo said that he will be meeting with the former workers to see what assistance he could offer. “I’m going to do something ,at least transitionally,” the President said last evening while delivering the feature address at the Guyana Labour Union’s (GLU)’s 6th Triennial Delegates Congress at the Princess Hotel. On October 15, 274 of the company’s employees employed at its Land of Canaan office were formally laid off with a promise of severance pay amid a stunning turn of events caused by damage to a vital water boiler on October 4. Many workers were left in a quandary about their futures.

29 October 2010

Indonesia Government Slows Logging Permits Before Ban

By Fidelis E. Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 29 October 2010 | Amid pressure from environmentalists to fast-track a planned moratorium on logging permits, a senior official says the government has not issued concessions for natural forests and peatlands since 2009… “The moratorium is nothing new because the forestry minister has clearly stated he has never issued new permits” to open natural forests and peatlands, Agus Purnomo, a presidential adviser for climate change, told the Jakarta Globe on Friday. “It also won’t require any new legal instrument, because if the minister wants to maintain the policy until the end of his term, there’s nothing wrong with that.” … “Lots of people want this policy, and the planned moratorium, to fall through, often by using legal arguments against the definition of natural forests,” he said. “Ideally, we need a set of regulations and laws to define [terms], but that would take 10 years,” he added.

Incentives to Save the Planet — Part 1

Tensie Whelan, Huffington Post, 29 October 2010 | For better or worse, environmentalists have the same task that economists do: in order to bring about sustainable behavior on the part of businesses, consumers, governments or anyone else, we need to get the economic incentives right… The Rainforest Alliance also helped launch the idea that forest conservation has an economic value that can provide sufficient incentive for concrete investment. Today, that principle is enshrined in the UN’s REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing Countries) program, which is one of the bright spots in the climate treaty process. It has the potential to conserve the world’s remaining forests and cut global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 17%, or the equivalent of the planet’s entire transport sector.

We must link the protection of the Forests and Biodiversity in one cause

Bleeding Edge Blog, 29 October 2010 | Nagoya Biodiversity Ministerial Sessions focused on a voluntary partnership covering nearly 70 nations to boost a United Nations backed scheme that seeks to reward developing countries that preserve and restore forests. Of course it ended up badly… Called REDD-plus, or reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation, the scheme has attracted funding pledges from rich nations because of its potential to fight climate change. It could also underpin a global market in carbon credits, in which poorer nations could earn large sums by saving their forests. And as expected the partnership has had a troubled start, with the expected unavailability of financial resources by the rich/bancrupt economies, their lack of candor in admitting this, the fertile imagination of the developing world countries about mountaisn of gold sitting waiting someplace, and even silly disputes over the management of the imaginary cash and lawyerly procedural issues.

Ecuadorian indigenous community takes forest conservation into own hands

By Chris Meyer, EDF, 29 October 2010 | The Shuar community is an indigenous group in the Ecuador Amazon Rainforest that is fiercely independent and has successfully kept mining and petroleum exploration off of its lands. In that sense, the Shuar people have always been conservationists, and they’re now looking into how reducing deforestation can help them continue to conserve their homeland… Two weeks ago, EDF, with Woods Hole Research Center and COICA, co-hosted a workshop to train the Shuar on measuring carbon in forests.

U.N. meeting to protect nature split on targets

By Chisa Fujioka and David Fogarty, Reuters, 29 October 2010 | Environment ministers from around the world tried to wrap up a U.N. meeting to preserve nature on Friday but remained split on targets to fight losses in animal and plant species that support livelihoods and economies… But envoys in Nagoya have been split on how ambitious they should be in the new conservation targets after they failed to meet a goal for a “significant reduction” in losses of biological diversity by 2010.

Video from the Aichi-Nagoya Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+Partnership

REDD+ Partnership, 29 October 2010 | Watch the joint press conference on the sidelines of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan. Press conference led by co-chairs of the Aichi-Nagoya Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+Partnership: Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara (Japan) and Foreign Minister Samuel Abal (Papua New Guinea).

The great forest sell-off

By Leo Hickman, The Guardian, 29 October 2010 | [A]ccording to reports over the weekend, half of the commission’s properties in England … could be put up for sale over the coming decade as part of the coalition government’s attempts to reduce the budget deficit… The environment secretary Caroline Spelman is expected to soon spell out plans to raise as much as £5bn from the sale. (Control of the commission’s assets in the other regions has been devolved.) If confirmed, it would amount to the largest change of land ownership since the second world war and could, some claim, see previously protected woodlands make way for golf courses, housing developments and a wave of new Center Parcs-style resorts… Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, described it as an “unforgivable act of environmental vandalism”.

UK government confirms forest sell-off plans

By John Vidal, The Guardian, 29 October 2010 | Plans to sell off as much as 150,000 hectares of forest and woodland in England in the biggest sale of public land for nearly 60 years were today confirmed by the government in a letter sent to all MPs. “[Our] intention is to fundamentally reform the public forestry estate, with diminishing public ownership and a greater role for private and civil society partners,” said a statement on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website… “Full measures will remain in place to preserve the public benefits of woods and forests under any new ownership arrangements. Tree felling is controlled through the licensing system managed by the Forestry Commission, public rights of way and access will be unaffected, statutory protection for wildlife will remain in force and there will be grant incentives for new planting that can be applied for.”

UN seals historic treaty to protect threatened ecosystems

AFP, 29 October 2010 | A historic global treaty to protect the world’s forests, coral reefs and other threatened ecosystems within 10 years was sealed at a UN summit on Saturday. Rich and poor nations agreed to take “effective and urgent” action to curb the destruction of nature in an effort to halt the loss of the world’s biodiversity on which human survival depends. Delegates from 193 countries committed to key goals such as curbing pollution, protecting forests and coral reefs, setting aside areas of land and water for conservation, and managing fisheries sustainably.

World Bank, IDB pledge to work quickly to fund Amerindian projects

By Johann Earle, Guyana Chronicle, 29 October 2010 | Representatives of the major international financial institutions here have pledged their readiness to work with the Government of Guyana and the indigenous peoples to implement projects that have been proposed for funding from the Norway funds, and it is hoped that disbursement of monies for individual projects can begin by first quarter of 2011. This came out of yesterday’s discussions at the National Toshaos Council (NTC) meeting ongoing at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal. The meeting wraps up today. Speaking at the event, Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Marco Nicola, said: “We have already stressed to the President and to the Government and I would like to reiterate to you our willingness and drive to support you and the Government in implementing this project.”

Amerindian communities fully support REDD+ – sign resolution

Guyana Chronicle, 29 October 2010 | The National Toshaos Council (NTC) yesterday fully endorsed the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) initiative, signing on to the document on day four of the National Toshaos Conference at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Liliendaal. President Bharrat Jagdeo was presented with a copy of the Resolution after the Amerindian leaders had signed on. The resolution affirms that the Amerindian communities are in full support of REDD+; that the NTC is the sole authority to represent Amerindian interests to the Government of Guyana; and the international community must consult it and the Government of Guyana on issues concerning Amerindian villages.

‘Climate Change should not only be a personal crusade but a national one’-President Jagdeo

Guyana Chronicle, 29 October 2010 | President Bharrat Jagdeo got recognition befitting the Champion of the Earth as the Guyana Labour Union’s (GLU) sixth triennial congress opened at the Princess Hotel, Providence, Wednesday evening, under the theme “Facing the challenges of climate change for workers’ progress.” Declaring the congress of the oldest trade union in Guyana open, the President congratulated its leader Carvil Duncan for his vision in the selection of such a theme, declaring that climate change should not only be a personal crusade but a national one. The President further noted that other unions should perhaps adopt this approach as the workers that some of them represent would be more directly affected by the effects of climate change.

SN reporter ordered out of toshaos meeting

Stabroek News, 29 October 2010 | Office of the President Press and Publicity Officer, Kwame McCoy yesterday ordered a Stabroek News reporter off the premises of the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC) where the National Toshaos Council Meeting is being held, saying it was a “private event.” The reporter had gone to the GICC to elicit comments on the issues facing the Amerindian leaders and their communities as part of this newspaper’s efforts to highlight the plight of the indigenous people whose problems often go unventilated in the media. However, the reporter was told by Mc Coy that the meeting was the “president’s event” and that he was free to invite whomever he wanted there. According to Mc Coy, the press would only be invited to press conferences at the five-day meeting which ends today. This was after the reporter observed a reporter and cameraman from the state-owned NCN on the premises interviewing participants.

Toshaos allowance upped

Stabroek News, 29 October 2010 | President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday approved an allowance of $50,000 for the Toshoas to cover additional expenses they might have incurred during their five-day stay in Georgetown to attend the National Tashaos Council (NTC) meeting. According to a release from GINA, this reflected an increase of $30,000 based on the $20,000 offered during the previous years. The increase was granted following representation by the Chairperson of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Yvonne Pearson.

30 October 2010

Former Indonesian REDD+ negotiator arrested on corruption charge

mongabay.com, 30 October 2010 | Wandojo Siswanto, one of the lead negotiators for Indonesia’s delegation at last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen and a key architect of its Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) program, has been arrested and charged with receiving bribes. Wandojo, who is being held in Jakarta, was questioned this week by investigators from Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). He is accused of receiving a bribe of about $10,000 from Anggoro Widjojo, a director of PT Masaro Radiokom, to win favorable treatment in the Ministry of Forestry’s budget for the telecommunications company. Wandojo has been named in at least two other corruption probes, including a 2008 case where he admitted to taking a Rp 50 million ($4,600) kickback from lawmaker Al-Amien Nasution. Under examination, Wandojo maintained his innocence, saying he was only taking orders from his superiors, namely the former Minister of Forestry, Malam Sambat Kaban…

Nagoya meeting ‘gives hope’ for better result in Cancun

By Adianto P. Suimamora, Jakarta Post, 30 October 2010 | Albeit slow progress is being made in formal forums, more than 40 ministers in a meeting in Japan have agreed to push for upcoming climate change talks in Mexico to produce a legal treaty on a forestry carbon scheme, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said upon arrival in Indonesia recently. He said the agreement was made at the Nagoya Ministerial Meeting on REDD+ partnership attended by ministers and senior officials from 64 countries. Zulkifli said Thursday that the atmosphere of informal talks on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) were conducive with ministers pledging to reach a new scheme in Cancun, Mexico. “We have grown more optimistic we can reach an agreement on REDD in Cancun [this year],” he told The Jakarta Post.

Tycoon likes forests so much she bought some

By Matthew Denholm, The Australian, 30 October 2010 | Jan Cameron, successful businesswoman and self-made multimillionaire, was, for once, out of her depth. The canny retailer had turned up late to an auction room in the Bay Views Hotel in the port town of Burnie, in Tasmania’s northwest, on June 24, unsure of exactly what she was doing. “I didn’t really have any sort of plan and I didn’t really know the finer points of auctions,” recalls the founder of the Kathmandu outdoor clothing and equipment empire. Worse still, she found herself bidding large sums for land and forests she’d never seen, against loggers who didn’t appreciate the competition. Cameron did not know then that these uncertain moments would lead to her spending almost $20 million in the largest land purchase for conservation in dollar terms in the nation’s history.

Forest rehabilitation a top priority – Musa

By Lawrence Shim, Borneo Post, 30 October 2010 | Forest rehabilitation is one of the main agendas for Sabah in efforts to ensure sustainability of forest resources and increase its capacity for carbon sequestration, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Musa Aman. e explained that as carbon emission is one the main causes of global climate change, planting more tress will help in absorbing this greenhouse gas… The Sabah Government, through the Forestry Department and WWF Malaysia will jointly organize an International Conference in Kota Kinabalu on Nov 8-9 on Forests and Climate Change-Decoding and Realising REDD-Plus In the Heart of Borneo (HoB) with the special focus on Sabah.

Guyana has scored poorly on corruption in reports from world institutions other than Transparency International

By Emile Mervin letter to the editor Stabroek News, 30 October 2010 | I refer to your news stories, ‘Slight improvement but Guyana still ranked among most corrupt,’ (October 26), and ‘Guyana still perceived among most corrupt in latest TI report,’ (October 27). Apparently, Guyana’s ranking on this year’s Transparency International list has seen a slight improvement (from a 2.6 out of 10 rating in 2009 to 2.7 this year), but what factors were responsible? Incidentally, of the four big countries in the Caribbean – Barbados ranks 17th, Trinidad ranks 73rd, Jamaica ranks 87th, and Guyana ranks 116th. Usually, the Guyana government responds to the report, but while I have not heard or read any such response, what is most important for Guyanese to note is how the rest of the world actually sees Guyana.

ILO Convention 169 sets minimum standards

By Norman Whittaker, Guyana Chronicle, 30 October 2010 | ILO Convention 169 sets minimum standards for Indigenous Peoples’ development: Our Legislation goes beyond that and grants more extensive Rights… Amerindian culture is recognised at the highest level in Guyana – in our Constitution.

NTC Chairperson flays SN article for speaking of ‘plight’ of Amerindians

Guyana Chronicle, 30 October 2010 | Chairperson of the National Toshaos Council (NTC), Yvonne Pearson, took issue with Stabroek News article of October 29 which suggested that the NTC meeting was being staged by the Government, that the Toshaos were being curtailed in speaking to the media, and that the Amerindian people have plights that needed to be highlighted. Pearson criticised the article while delivering her closing remarks at the end of the NTC meeting which had been ongoing at the Guyana International Conference Centre since Monday. The article was headlined ‘SN reporter ordered out of toshaos meeting’ and it appeared on page 14. “I want to tell you something…the media [are] the media. They’re hawks, they’re sharks…we have to be prepared to deal with them. We have to let the media say what we really want to say,” she said.

31 October 2010

On a new path

Guyana Chronicle, 31 October 2010 | There are many positives that came out of the fourth conference of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) at the International Convention Centre, Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara last week. Most Toshaos are returning to their communities this weekend with high expectations, mainly looking forward to the flow of funds that would help transform the economies of their villages. The communities had been asked to put up projects for funding through their Community Development Plans (CDPs) submitted to the Amerindian Affairs Ministry. These plans were discussed during the five-day conference and the disbursement of funds is expected to start during the first quarter of next year. The conference saw high levels of interaction between the government and the elected representatives and officials of the indigenous peoples, a continuation of a process of meaningful consultations between the administration of President Bharrat Jagdeo and the indigenous peoples.

Toshaos meet a groundbreaking achievement

By Johann Earle, Guyana Chronicle, 31 October 2010 | Groundbreaking too was the commitment given by the international financial institutions that they would not delay the transfer of funds from Washington. This assurance came from World Bank representative in Guyana, Giorgio Valentini, and IDB Representative, Marco Nicola. Valentini said Thursday during the NTC meet that the World Bank has gone past the stage of decision-making, and was ready to transfer the funds, while Nicola said the IDB was ready to work with the projects and had already initiated the machinery in Washington. The latter however noted that the IDB is a bureaucracy and that certain systems have to be adhered to. The money, in excess of US$30 million less US$700,000 from Guyana’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Kingdom of Norway, has been transferred into an account in Washington held by the World Bank. This was done around October 9.

Amerindian leaders and free speech

Stabroek News, 31 October 2010 | As we reported on Friday, on the previous day one of our reporters was ordered to leave the premises of the International Conference Centre where the National Toshaos Council Meeting was under way. We had first become aware of a problem last Tuesday, when another of our reporters was waiting in the lobby to talk to Toshaos after the meeting was over. She was told by Press and Publicity Officer Kwame McCoy from the Office of the President that the meeting was closed. On being informed that she was not seeking to go in but just to meet Toshaos afterwards, he indicated that she could not stay where she was either, and would have to wait outside the gate. He drew the analogy of barging into somebody’s house uninvited – hardly, one would have thought, the most appropriate parallel to draw in the circumstances.

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