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.
cc2010.mx, no date | REDD plus represents an important opportunity to combat climate change and protect forests due to the environmental and social benefits they provide. Schemes for the provisions of resources and positive incentives for the development of REDD plus activities in developing countries are promoted. Promotion of flexibility regarding the financial scheme or the source of positive incentives… Mexico supports a flexible approach to allow national, sub national and project scale implementation of REDD plus activities, under the logic of a national accountability system. According to international standards, particularly the UN DRIP, the REDD plus activities should recognize the rights of indigenous people and local communities that inhabit the forests, associated co-benefits such as conservation of the ecosystems and services they provide should also be recognized.
Conservation International, no date | Unless we take immediate action against climate change, people, ecosystems and all life on Earth face irreversible harm… CI’s climate work pursues two broad solutions: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation efforts aim to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Our mitigation activities include REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation “plus” conservation, the sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks), reforestation projects and other ecosystem-based field demonstrations that help to sequester or store carbon… Our Goals for COP16… A detailed REDD+ decision that, among other things: includes social and environmental safeguards and activities beyond deforestation and forest degradation; secures adequate and sustainable financing; and initiates a process to establish clear guidelines on reference levels and Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV).
By Estelle Fach and Anga Timilsina (eds), UNDP, 2010 | Finally, it must be recognised that the responsibility to mitigate corruption risks in adaptation and REDD+ does not lie solely with developing countries. Both developed and developing countries must take action to mitigate corruption risks in adaptation and REDD+ to maximise the effectiveness of such activities for developing countries.
RRI, November 2010 | As is often the case, the most important news and events that affect forests and forest peoples of the last few months came from outside the forest sector: the spike in wheat prices in July, driven in part by the historic forest fires in Russia, and the subsequent ban on wheat exports led to food riots in Mozambique demonstrated the clear, global and increasingly close links between climate change, forests, food and conflict. And the more recent predictions of major declines in US crop production drove a rapid increase in other cereal prices, with some analysts already predicting another food crisis like we had in 2008. This new boom in agricultural prices, combined with continued increases in prices of timber, pulp, minerals and other land-based commodities means even more pressure and speculative investments in forest lands in the coming months and years.
By Ibarra Gené, Enrique, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Nanyang Technological University(Singapore), 2010/11 | This paper discusses the policy and implementation context of the REDD demonstration activity in Ulu Masen in the province of Aceh, Indonesia. It is argued that the slow endorsement of the demonstration activity by the Indonesian government may be due to mistiming in relation to the regulations on REDD projects and to diverging interpretations of the law that grants special status to the province of Aceh on the management of forests. In spite of a number of measures designed to curb legal and illegal logging and improve local livelihoods, the project faces challenges such as effectively reducing the demand for timber for reconstruction purposes in Aceh. If the demand for timber continues unabated, it is likely that leakage (the possibility that the attempt to reduce emissions in Ulu Masen may lead to increased emissions elsewhere) will become a problem.
Monash University, no date | Indonesia is facing challenges in reducing poverty, sustainably developing its human and natural resources, and responding proactively to climate change. Indonesia’s status as a major emitter of greenhouse gases (mainly through deforestation) has prompted action to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Utilisation of Indonesia’s natural resources through forestry and mining is a key driver of its economy. However, many current activities are incompatible with or in conflict with the challenges above. Monash University and the Government of Indonesia seek to examine the spatial planning and governance arrangements leading to consistent policy responsive to sustainable resource and community development, poverty reduction, and climate change. Monash University has had a long history of constructive engagement with Indonesia. It has current projects (funded by AusAID) on natural resource management and climate change.
CIFOR infobrief, November 2010 | This infobrief provides an early snapshot of 17 REDD+ pilots under development in Indonesia in mid 2009. There is great variety in and experimentation by the proponents of REDD+ pilots. Three key dimensions useful for categorising early pilots are: 1) degree of spatial planning and heterogeneity of forest classification, 2) strategy for establishing long-term claims to carbon, and 3) predominant driver and agent of deforestation and degradation. The prevalence of the concession model in this sample of REDD+ pilots is explained by its alignment with existing tenure regimes and with the requirement to demonstrate secure, long-term carbon tenure in order to sell credits in voluntary carbon markets. REDD+ pilots following the concession model risk carrying forward biases and constraints of the existing concession system, including the focus on production forests and the tendency to exclude smallholders from management decisions.
Green Power Conferences | 27 January 2011, Johannesburg, South Africa. The Forestry & REDD Briefing Day is focused on the emerging opportunities for REDD and REDD+ in Africa’s agriculture and forestry sectors. It aims to give attendees an insight into how to overcome the obstacles currently blocking the development of projects and the issues deterring investors. The programme will outline the great potential for CDM afforestation and reforestation, REDD and REDD+ and how best to exploit this potential through increased project implementation.
ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins, no date | Once a global deal for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD-plus) is in place, national policy makers will need to be able to design policies and incentives to influence patterns of land use change on the ground. This will require a clear understanding of the drivers of land use change, carbon stocks and changes, policy options, and local stakeholder perspectives and preferences. The REDD-ALERT project aims to generate this data in four countries and work with national stakeholders to link this knowledge to practical action. REDD-ALERT brings ASB partners together with leading European research institutions to build this knowledge… Where – Indonesia: Jambi and Lampung (Sumatra) and East Kalimantan; Viet Nam: Bac Kan (North Vietnam) and Dac Lak and Dac Nong (Central highland); Peru: Ucayali, Peruvian Amazon; Cameroon: Nyong et So’o, Ocean, Mvila, and Valee du Ntem, southwestern Cameroon.
CIFOR, no date | In 2009, CIFOR started a multidonor funded Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS-REDD+) in 4 countries (Indonesia, Brazil, Bolivia and Cameroon). More countries phased in during 2010 (Tanzania, Vietnam and, Peru), and others will be included in 2011 (DR Congo and Nepal). This GCS-REDD+ is a 4-year global comparative research project on first-generation REDD+ demonstration and readiness activities in selected countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. The project consists of 4 components: national initiatives around policy processes and strategies, demonstration activities, monitoring and reference levels, and knowledge sharing. Overall goal of the project is to provide REDD+ policy makers and practitioner communities with the information, analysis and tools they need to ensure effective and cost-efficient reduction of carbon emissions with equitable impacts and co-benefits such as poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation – the ‘3E+’ criteria.
By Dr Promode Kant, Institute of Green Economy, no date | REDD has the potential for creating serious inter-community conflicts that could ignite explosive violence among tribes that have historically been antagonistic. Many tribal communities in heavily populated tropical countries have disputes with neighboring communities over control over forests that have remained largely un-demarcated. Fights over these ‘disputed’ lands have been contained because of low economic value of these forest lands. This is now set to change because the compensation under REDD Plus is expected to be large. Once intercommunity disputes among tribes begin it is very difficult to stop them.
CBD, November 2010 | The aim of this e-Newsletter is to inform CBD National Focal Points and CBD partners about biodiversity aspects in relation to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD-plus).
Coalition for Rainforest Nations, no date | CfRN’s objective is to build in-country capacity to prepare a national GHGs inventory for emissions and removals related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) in 30-40 developing countries. CfRN estimates that these countries should have the capacity to develop and report a national GHGs inventory by 2012. The Coalition will act with the Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute (vTI) with in-country technical support of GTZ. Collaborating partners will be the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, the UN-REDD Programme, the UNFCCC Secretariat, and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank. CfRN’s main roles will be the coordination of the collaborating partners and oversight of the in-country institutional capacity development.
By Thiago Chagas, Robert O’Sullivan, Carina Bracer, Charlotte Streck (Climate Focus), Forest Trends, November 2010 | Forest Trends engaged with Climate Focus to prepare an assessment of options for integrating subnational activities on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) into the design of the national REDD+ architecture in Ghana in a way that is consistent with the emerging international REDD+ policy. This assessment forms part of a broader effort led by Forest Trends and the Nature Conservation Research Centre to strengthen national and project-level capacity for REDD+ in Ghana.
By Xianli Zhu, Lea Ravnkilde Møller, Thanakvaro De Lopez, Mauricio Zaballa Romero, UNEP Risø Centre, 2010 | The critical role of REDD+ in contributing to the global objective of climate change mitigation is increasingly recognised. REDD+ offers significant potential for rapid and low-cost emission reductions, with the added co-benefits of biodiversity, water and soil conservation, as well as poverty reduction. To date, more than four billion dollars in additional funding have been pledged by developed countries to support REDD+ activities in developing countries, which have in turn announced ambitious targets for emission reductions in the forestry sector. The ongoing international negotiations have included options for establishment of both a market mechanism, and a fund mechanism, or a combination of both to channel funds into REDD+ activities.
15 November 2010
By Walberto Caballero, ABC Digital, 15 November 2010 | A little-known and little discussed in our country is the carbon market. Since 2004, Paraguay has a National Clean Development Mechanism (CDM-ON) in the Environment Secretariat (SEAM). For six years, only one project is running. For unknown reasons, the lack of momentum and official dissemination of the subject. Handling the issue of the carbon market is reduced to a handful of state officials who travel each year to the so-called World Conference on Climate Change, which will be held from 29 this month in Cancun, Mexico (COP-16) , but are not accountable to the population of what was discussed at these events.
By Keith Rozendal, mongabay.com, 15 November 2010 | New research within the native Wapishana and Makushi communities of Guyana suggests that indigenous cultural beliefs such as shamanism help preserve tropical forests and wildlife. The analysis, published in the September 2010 Journal of Latin American Geography, draws from a massive data set that tracks wildlife populations, hunting kill sites, and spiritually significant features of the landscape within a 48,000-square-kilometer area in southern Guyana. The authors recruited the hunters themselves to record much of the data. The data show that hunters avoid spiritual sites, potentially creating animal refuges. More than 99 percent of their kills occurred more than 500 meters away from spiritually significant sites.
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, 15 November 2010 | Bilateral agreements to develop clean technology and unlock private sector finance could help fill the gap in the absence of an international climate change pact, Britain’s climate and energy minister said on Monday. With just two weeks to go before United Nations climate talks start in Mexico, expectations for a new treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol have faded. Last week, the U.N.’s climate chief said governments had lowered their sights for the Nov.29-Dec.10 talks in Cancun, Mexico, after a summit in Copenhagen last year failed to secure a new pact. On Monday, the UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group (BLCG), made up of British and Indian firms valued at over 200 billion pounds ($322.2 billion), launched a report recommending ways the two countries can unlock green growth and deliver a low-carbon economy.
World Bank Institute, 15 November 2010 | It is about financial incentives and governance. Forests disappear and become degraded for a wide range of causes. At the heart of unplanned deforestation are two deep-rooted failures. One is the fact that other forms of land use are often more attractive in terms of financial return over the near or medium term (the market failure argument). The other failure is that enforcement of existing legislation or outdated legislation and regulations (creating perverse incentives) is not sufficient to stop deforestation and forest degradation (the governance failure argument). Conventional efforts to stem the tide of deforestation and forest degradation have often led to unsatisfactory results. These failures in markets and governance are accentuated, in many cases, by cultural preferences and heritage.
By Marie Calmel, Anne Martinet, Nicolas Grondard, Thomas Dufour, Maxence Rageade, and Anouk Ferté-Devin, ONF International, 15 November 2010 | The “REDD+ at project scale: Evaluation and Development Guide” aims at supporting project promoters in developing REDD+ projects, and investors or funding agencies in their assessments of these projects. It offers insights into existing tools and key questions. On the basis of initial feedbacks from existing REDD+ projects and other more long-standing projects for natural resources management, the guide also deals with crucial aspects particularly the definition of project activities, legal and organisational issues and economic and financial assessments.
carbonpositive.net, 15 November 2010 | Kenya has plans to create a carbon trading market to help drive clean tech and greenhouse-gas emissions reduction activity within the country and across Africa. It appears the government is looking to a carbon offsets trading platform to help kick-start foreign investment in renewable energy and forestry projects under the UN’s CDM and REDD+ mechanisms. Kenya’s largest forest and water catchments, the Mau and Aberdares, are being eyed for their potential to deliver billions of dollars in avoided deforestation credits for preserving and restoring these natural assets. The Mau forest has been reduced by 40 per cent in recent decades due to logging and land-clearing.
By Giles Parkinson, Business Spectator, 15 November 2010 | I’ve not been to Cancun – and somehow I missed the film of the same name – but those who have been there describe it as something like the Gold Coast during schoolies’ week, just not quite as classy. If that’s the case, then it’s probably the perfect venue for the 16th Conference of the Parties and for the UN climate change secretariat to kick the partying college students out for a fortnight and get to work on their six-packs. Because that, if they’re lucky, will be the extent of their achievements. The UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) has decided to manage expectations leading up to the conference by having none. Little, if any, progress will be made towards a legally binding treaty… Talks on how to save forests, under the so-called REDD scheme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) are also said to be progressing well.
CPA press release, 15 November 2010 | “No to market-based mechanisms!” This was the resounding position of delegates to the International Conference on Indigenous Peoples Rights, Alternatives and Solutions to the Climate Crisis as they criticized the proposed solutions of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). Market-based mechanisms would not benefit the indigenous peoples (IP), said Frances Quimpo of the Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC), adding that some of the mechanisms could even worsen the environmental degradation.
By Dotun Ibiwoye, Vanguard (Nigeria), 15 November 2010 | In reaction to the communities uncertainty, the Chairman of the State Forestry Commission, Odigha Odigha stressed that the UN-REDD programme does not threaten anyone’s land, and that enlightenment will clear doubts… Odigha said: “I also live in one of the communities in Cross River State and it can be seen by everyone that the UN-REDD programme is a transparent process. Nobody is taking anyone’s land. The inhabitants of the forest community would have been enlightened and have understood how to verify carbon. “Carbon verification is necessary because the forest is a great resource with great potential of economic inflow to the state. Everyone can take a look and see for themselves the amount of deforestation that have taken place in our forest in Cross Rivers State.” He added further: “With reference to the sudden panic of some people, there has been no change of tenure or taking over of any land.”
By Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 15 November 2010 | The European Union may allow use of emission credits from forest protection to help fill any gap from a ban of some industrial-gas credits, a banker at BNP Paribas SA said. The EU carbon market may have room in its third phase, which runs from 2013 to 2020, for credits under a program known as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD, should the bloc restrict industrial-gas credits and adopt a tighter emission-reduction target for 2020, said Christian Del Valle, director of environmental markets and forestry at the Paris-based bank. The region’s target is currently to cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels. “Policy makers might seek to offer another source of credits for cost control,” Del Valle said yesterday in an interview at the Climate Finance 2010 conference in London. “Some member states may be open to allowing REDD in certain circumstances.”
16 November 2010
By Abbie Thomas, ABC, 16 November 2010 | A new study has found that while some countries have expanded their forest cover in recent decades, it has been at the expense of poorer neighbouring countries. The research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the forest cover and trading patterns of 12 countries, including eight where forests had increased in the past several decades. The researchers from Belgium and the United States found that half of the gains made by creating new forests have been undermined by importing forest products from neighbouring countries that don’t protect their environment. In Vietnam, for example, stronger domestic conservation policies have encouraged farmers to regrow forests on the marginal areas of their land. But as a result, some of the timber products Vietnam once produced itself must now be imported from other countries
By David Fogarty, Reuters, 16 November 2010 | At UN climate talks in Copenhagen last year, the United States, Norway, Japan and other rich nations pledged $3.5 billion to fund steps between 2010 and 2012 to ramp up a UN-backed forest preservation scheme called REDD. Reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation are aimed at rewarding poorer nations that set aside, manage and restore forests and measure the carbon they lock away. A global trade in forest carbon offsets could potentially be worth $30 billion a year, the United Nations says, with a portion of the money flowing to local communities. But worries over managing the money, corruption, lack of resources and institutions in many poorer nations and absence of a global market are holding back investors. Public money from rich nations is bridging the gap, with more than $4 billion now pledged via an interim REDD partnership created in May this year to guide how the money is spent, build institutions and develop pilot projects.
EDF press release, 16 November 2010 | A plan released today to reduce deforestation in the Acre state in the Brazilian Amazon and in Chiapas, Mexico that would be credited in California’s carbon market is a historic achievement to reduce climate change, according to Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)… “This pact is a significant and concrete step to protect the climate by protecting the world’s forests,” said Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp. “It also is a precedent-setting initiative as countries gear up for international climate change negotiations in December.” … “This understanding demonstrates international climate leadership,” said EDF Tropical Forests Director Steve Schwartzman. “It clearly demonstrates that we can start to effectively combat climate change and stop deforestation in the absence of a national policy and an international agreement.”
By Fred Krupp (EDF), Huffington Post, 16 November 2010 | Every major reform in our nation’s history has suffered defeats on the path to victory. From free trade to civil rights, setbacks have been a part of progress. But ultimate victory comes to those who learn from their defeats and press forward with new determination and perseverance. The failure of the United States Senate to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation this year was a serious setback for America, and for the world. The continuing cascade of scientific evidence shows that we are dangerously changing our climate, and the urgent need to act remains. So what do we do?
Physorg.com, 16 November 2010 | While it is clear that massive destruction of tropical rainforests poses a serious threat to the incredibly rich biodiversity found on Earth, other hazards are not so explicit. An international group of prominent scientists argue in the November 17th issue of the journal Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that the most promising new strategy to protect our planet may not live up to its full potential. The group calls for global implementation of careful and sensible protective policies… “REDD should have multiple benefits. But, unfortunately, although the final rules might safeguard carbon stocks, they may fall short of their potential to protect biodiversity,” explains the author who organized the collaboration, Dr. Stuart L. Pimm from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.
By Caroline Lucas, The Guardian, 16 November 2010 | Our woodlands are much loved. They provide some of the biggest opportunities for outdoor recreation in the UK. Every year, millions of walkers, cyclists and horse-riders enjoy them. For many, they are unrivalled as an accessible way to get fresh air and enjoy nature, well-served with accessible trails and visitor centres. It’s not surprising that government plans to sell off these national treasures are generating widespread dismay and alarm.
Americas Society, 16 November 2010 | In the run-up to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 16 in Cancun, distinguished public- and private-sector experts discussed reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the broader development scope and its potential to contribute to low-carbon growth and greenhouse-gas-mitigation efforts. The event was jointly organized by Americas Society and Council of the Americas, Conservation International, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Bertelsmann Foundation.
Climate-L.org, 16 November 2010 | The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Climate Change Working Group, together with partners, have called for national and international policies that will spur private investment into low-carbon growth and protect the world economy from the worst impacts of climate change, in a statement issued in the lead-up to Cancun. According to UNEP, the 259 signatories represent the largest-ever group of investors to call for government action on climate change, or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis. Signatories include both global players like Allianz and HSBC as well as many smaller institutions from developed and developing countries. The group from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America, has collective assets under management totalling more than US$15 trillion, more than one-quarter of global market capitalisation.
By Marwaan Macan-Markar, IPS, 16 November 2010 | “There is serious corruption in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea,” said Manoj Nadkarni, head of the forest governance integrity programme in the Asia-Pacific region for Transparency International (TI), the Berlin-based global anti-corruption watchdog. “Indonesia ranks among the world’s worst five countries in Transparency’s Corruption Perception Index.” “Corruption threatens to undermine REDD,” he told IPS on the sidelines of the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference that ended over the weekend in Bangkok. “The problem is with illegal logging. Corruption in Indonesia’s forestry sector is the major driver of illegal logging.” Illegal logging worldwide “robs the public of around 10 billion U.S. dollars a year from state-owned forests,” Transparency International said in its ‘Analysing Corruption in the Forestry Sector’ report released at the just-ended conference.
Survival International, 16 November 2010 | Survival has sent a letter signed by more than fifty leading NGOs to oil companies Perenco, Repsol-YPF and ConocoPhillips to demand their immediate withdrawal from an area inhabited by uncontacted tribes in Peru. Amazon Watch and Save America’s Forests join a global array of NGOs that have pledged their support to stop the companies from working in oil blocks 39 and 67 in the northern Peruvian Amazon.
3BLmedia.com, 16 November 2010 | The world’s largest global investors have a powerful message for climate negotiators in Cancun and the new U.S. Congress: take action now in the fight against global warming or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis… Other areas where investors hope to see agreements or progress in Cancun: … A rapid timeframe for implementation of efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and REDD-plus); … Expanding and deepening the international carbon market, including greater clarity on the future interplay of the Carbon Development Mechanism (CDM), Joint Implementation (JI) and emerging crediting mechanisms such as Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and REDD-plus; … A clear mandate to adopt a legally binding agreement next year at COP 17 in South Africa.
By Jennifer Macey, ABC News, 16 November 2010 | Indigenous people in Kalimantan on the island of Borneo are worried about an Australian-backed project to protect local forests… Australia has committed $120 million towards two forest projects, but indigenous people in Kalimantan fear the project will deny them access to their traditional customs and livelihoods. Muliadi is a member of the Dayak tribe in central Kalimantan. For as long as he can remember his people have used the forests for their livelihood and traditions… During the late 1990s many of the peat swamps that Muliadi depends on were drained to make way for the mega-rice scheme under former president Suharto. Now the Australian Government is funding a project to protect and restore 100,000 hectares of the peat swamp forest… But Muliadi is worried once again that his community is not being consulted about the design or the potential impact of this project.
Ecosystem Marketplace, 16 November 2010 | Governors from the US state of California, the Brazilian state of Acre, and the Mexican state of Chiapas have taken concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) by creating a working group designed to help Acre and Chiapas generate REDD credits that can be recognized by California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) and sold as offsets to industrial emitters in California once the state’s mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions goes into effect at the end of next year… It’s part of a deal signed on Tuesday at the third annual Governors’ Global Climate Summit (GGCS 3) at the University of California, Davis, which ushered in a new acronym: the “R-20”, which is a global coalition of subnational governments as well as private-sector companies and nongovernment organizations (NGOs).
News10.net, 16 November 2010 | Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Governor Arnobio Marques de Almeida, Jr. from Brazil and Governor Juan Jose Sabines Guerrero from Mexico Tuesday. The memorandum’s intent was to combat climate change and protect tropical forests. The memorandum is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emission from deforestation and land degradation (known as REDD) through improved forest management practices. The Governor’s administration says under the Memorandum of Understanding, a REDD working group will develop recommendations with the ultimate goal of bringing sub-national REDD programs into California’s cap-and-trade program. This will allow California companies to use REDD credits to save forests in Brazil, Mexico and eventually other areas. The first meeting will convene in December 2010 with its first set of recommendations due in October 2011.
By Rhett A. Butler, wildmadagascar.org, 16 November 2010 | A biological survey in Northeastern Madagascar has turned up evidence of extensive logging in Masoala National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its biologically-rich rainforest. The findings suggest that harvesting of valuable hardwoods—including rosewood, ebony, and palissander—continues despite an official ban on the logging and export of timber. A team of scientists from the Missouri Botanical Garden found dozens of rosewood stumps, log depots, and logging camps during a general botanical inventory of a forest area between the Ankavia and Ratsianarana rivers in the eastern part of Masoala National Park. The researchers estimate 10,000 people are working in the park, felling trees and hunting wildlife, including endangered lemurs. The botanists found several traps for lemurs, which are increasingly sold in a commercial bushmeat market in local towns.
17 November 2010
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, 17 November 2010 | WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN CANCUN? Environment ministers will try to agree on some of the building blocks of a U.N. deal to combat global warming. But almost all have given up hopes of a new treaty any time soon. The ultimate aim of the talks is to find a successor to the existing Kyoto Protocol, which limits emissions of rich nations until 2012. WHAT’S THE BEST OUTCOME? Cancun will be successful if it agrees on measures to help poor nations adapt to the impact of climate change, a “Green Fund” to manage climate aid, a mechanism to share clean technologies and new ways to protect carbon-absorbing forests.
The Nature Conservancy, 17 November 2010 | Launched in 1999, the first project of carbon and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in Brazil (a partnership between the NGO The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Society of Wildlife Research and Environmental Education (SPVS ) and American Electric Power, Chevron and General Motors) generates significant results for biodiversity conservation and local communities in providing alternative income generation and environmental education in the region where the projects are developed. They include environmental education, ecotourism, cultivation of native bees, among others. In the event of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention (COP 16), beginning on Jan. 29 in Cancun, Mexico, the theme REDD could return to the surface and this is an example of a project that addresses all the issues involved these discussions.
By Gernot Wagner, EDF, 17 November 2010 | “Why are you so gung-ho about cap and trade? Don’t you realize it’s a corporate takeover of the atmosphere?” I’m paraphrasing here, but this was the gist of an audience question I got while moderating a panel on Getting Carbon Market Governance right from Day One at the International Anti-Corruption Conference on Friday. The rest of the discussion was a frank exchange of ideas on how to ensure a workable, transparent carbon market. More on that later. For now a quick response to this question because I think it gets to the heart of why we do what we do. Why are we so “gung-ho” about cap and trade? We ought to be polluting less because it’s the right thing to do, not because someone else limits pollution and hands out allowances to companies. Well, yes. If everyone woke up tomorrow and decided that global warming pollution was bad and that we ought to stop dumping billions of tons a year into the atmosphere, far be it for me to stop them.
AFP, 17 November 2010 | Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has defeated climate change legislation put forth by opposition parties calling for deep CO2 emissions cuts. The move came 13 days before the next UN climate change summit in Cancun. The motion called for a reduction of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels. It had no legal weight but would have pressured the government to explain its lesser emissions reduction target.
CDKN, 17 November 2010 | In this latest CDKN policy brief, Leo Peskett argues that reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) plays a vital part in global efforts to tackle climate change. This has generated interest among the international community and as a result, new policies have emerged in which significant international finance is being provided to developing countries in order to implement REDD+. This policy brief outlines how these processes work and looks at whether these financial flows offer new opportunities to support climate compatible development. The message is that there could be new opportunities, although these require considerable investment in institutions to manage forests and sufficient time. REDD+ could also introduce new risks, especially for forest dependent peoples, so any new policies need to be designed with this in mind to ensure that they are effective and equitable.
IUCN press release, 17 November 2010 | Two weeks ahead of the UN climate summit in Cancun, IUCN calls on policy-makers to restore confidence in the negotiation process, increase climate funding and ensure that natural solutions are part of a post-2012 regime. Adaptation, finance and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) are some of the key issues on the table of the 194-nation talks, starting at the end of November… Governments need to reach an agreement on REDD plus in order to keep forests standing and healthy. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time conserving forest natural resources on which millions of vulnerable people depend, is a win-win solution for people and nature,” says Carole Saint-Laurent, IUCN’s Senior Forest Policy Adviser .“It has been one of the most promising developments in the negotiations so far, and now it is time for a further push by governments to make REDD plus an integral part of the future climate deal.”
Tropical Forest Group, 17 November 2010 | TFG has produced a short 1-page briefing note on the key highlights contained in the recently proposed AB 32 rules. We will link to a pdf version shortly, but for now here is everything that fits on one page about the recently proposed regulations… In October 2010, the California Air Resource Board (ARB) released draft regulations to implement AB 32, California’s global warming law. ARB will vote on these regulations on December 16, 2010. The proposed regulations and accompanying staff report bolster prospects for up to 74 million tons (CO2 equivalent) in compliant demand for emission reductions from reducing deforestation in developing countries (REDD). The proposed regulations are the largest, most advanced global outlet for compliance REDD credits from nested projects or jurisdictional policies.
By Molly Bergen, Conservation International Blog, 17 November 2010 | In a recent op-ed in the Jakarta Post – co-authored by CI’s Dr. Celia Harvey, Dr. Jonah Busch and Muhammad Farid – the scientists examine the potential of REDD+ … to tackle both problems simultaneously. By providing monetary incentives for developing countries to halt or prevent the destruction of their forests, REDD+ can help communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve crucial species habitats while sustaining economic growth. The authors stress the importance of local participation in REDD+ implementation. “If local communities and stakeholders are well-informed and supportive of efforts to reduce deforestation and degradation and actively involved in decision-making and implementation of REDD+, it is more likely that forests will be conserved over the long term…”
sustainablebusiness.com, 17 November 2010 | The world’s largest global investors have a powerful message for U.N. climate negotiators in Cancun and all national governments: take action now in the fight against global warming or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis. The statement was signed by 259 investors from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia with collective assets totaling over $15 trillion–more than one-quarter of global capitalization. Signatories included many of the largest European pension funds and a dozen U.S. public pension funds and state treasurers. It is the largest-ever group of investors to call for government action on climate change.
GoforWood.info, 17 November 2010 | This guideline consists of a set of concepts, guidelines and procedures useful for integrating the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management certification into the organization of REDD+ projects.
By Liu Yi, China Today, 17 November 2010 | Technically, the World Bank does not have a seat at the Cancun Conference table with other negotiators. But Brandon and his colleagues will follow the process and outcomes very closely, especially discussions on projects they support. One brainchild is a carbon market proposal, which addresses scenarios for climate-related financing and carbon trading in a post-2012 world, when the current Kyoto Protocol expires. The other is the REDD-plus… Then there is always cold, hard cash. The REDD-plus mechanism is designed to allow developed countries – the U.S. or EU for example – to pay Indonesia not to chop its trees down, thus protecting forests that are the world’s ecological heritage, and may be its salvation. “There are a few countries that have a lot of forest, such as Brazil, Indonesia and Congo,” notes [Carter] Brandon [World Bank Beijing Office]. “If the mechanism is negotiated and approved in Cancun, it will be a very positive step.”
mongabay.com, 17 November 2010 | California and other states launched an international initiative that will work toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning toward a low carbon economy in the absence of a global climate deal. Meeting at the University of California, Davis, near Sacramento, leaders of states across several countries agreed to fast-track “the development of clean technologies, climate resilient projects and green investment.” The alliance pledged to influence national and international policies, but California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger notably expressed a need to move “full speed ahead without [an] international agreement.”
By Beatus Kagashe, The Citizen Reporter, 17 November 2010 | Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) implementing the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) pilot projects have asked the government to engage the villagers before allocating land to investors. They said this will help the villagers to have ownership over the carbon benefits derived from reduced deforestation on their land. Reading the recommendation of CSOs in Dar es salaam on Tuesday, the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group executive director Mr Charles Meshack said most of villagers were by-passed in allocation of land to investors. He said the national REDD strategy recognises that most unreserved forests in Mainland were on village land and that villages should have ownership over the carbon benefits from such land. “We recommend the national REDD strategy make it clear that unreserved forests are on village land,” said Mr Meshack.
By Marwaan Macan-Markar, Jakarta Globe, 17 November 2010 | All eyes are on Indonesia and its forest policy as climate-change negotiations continue in upcoming global talks in Mexico, against the prospect of billions of dollars flowing from the planet’s major polluters to the developing world to slow global warming… “This is why there is so much attention on Indonesia with the ongoing discussions regards REDD,” said Patrick Durst, FAO’s senior forestry officer for Asia and the Pacific. “REDD could potentially be a useful tool and incentive for countries to stop deforestation.” Even before the prospect of new revenue streams from REDD heading to Indonesia, Jakarta had been pursuing measures to curb logging in its forests. Already, its rate of forest loss has dropped from 1.7 percent in the 1990s to 0.7 percent over the last five years, Durst reveals. “Indonesia has taken a serious approach to rein in forest clearance,” he says.
Greenspirit Strategies press release, 17 November 2010 | Greenspirit Strategies, the global environmental and sustainability consulting organization led by the co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, released today its assessment of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) following an intensive two-week on-the-ground analysis of the company’s Indonesian operations. Greenspirit Strategies’ findings, according to Dr. Patrick Moore, were a surprisingly comprehensive and innovative approach to sustainable forest management that achieves a unique balance of social, environmental and economic priorities that address the true root issue of deforestation, poverty in the rainforest.
By David Turnbull (Climate Action Network), Grist, 17 November 2010 | While these building blocks may not be the final agreements we want, they could be quite substantial. For instance, we’re calling for the establishment of a global fund on climate change. This fund could serve as an incredibly important vehicle to channel money and resources to ensure the most vulnerable countries in the world can adapt to the terrible effects of climate change. Not a small achievement if we get it right. We’re also hoping for a number of technical agreements regarding reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). If we get these agreements, we’ll be well on our way toward cutting deforestation all over the world. Considering its effects on global warming, biodiversity, and so many other factors, agreement on appropriate REDD programs would be a huge achievement.
carbonpositive.net, 17 November 2010 | The choice between market mechanisms and public funding for financing the emerging global system to reduce deforestation and degradation (REDD) in developing countries is not a simple one, argues Dr Promode Kant of the Institute of Green Economy (IGREC), New Delhi, in a new paper. Both have their downsides, but the urgency of the task in halting the large contribution forest loss makes to climate change means pursuing final solutions to the question should not be the focus. He proposes a two-fold interim system embracing both concepts, public financing for less developed countries and market mechanisms for the emerging economies…
The Guardian, 17 November 2010 | The government today announced it would delay the implementation of a scheme to encourage businesses and organisations to save energy, after controversially changing the programme last month into what critics described as a “green stealth tax”. In last month’s comprehensive spending review the Treasury said it would be keeping revenues raised from the carbon reduction commitment (CRC) scheme, instead of recycling the money back to organisations taking part. Large public and private sector organisations which use more than a certain amount of energy each year, including hospitals and London Fire Brigade, had to register by 30 September for the scheme, which will force them to buy credits for their emissions.
18 November 2010
By Gerard Wynn, Reuters, 18 November 2010 | U.N. climate talks will struggle to agree new greenhouse gas targets next month unless they can solve a complex loophole where developed countries currently ignore emissions from logging plantation forests… U.N. executives want rich countries in Cancun to make present emissions pledges binding under a U.N. deal, now expected to be finalised in December 2011. One of the biggest hurdles to agreeing such targets is an accounting riddle over how to treat plantation forests: emissions from felling trees are simply ignored under the present Kyoto Protocol, whose first round ends in 2012. “It is a big issue particularly when it comes to determining your emissions reduction targets, and particularly for some countries which have a lot of forests,” said Artur Runge-Metzger, the European Union’s chief negotiator. “It was a kind of loophole and a weakness of the Kyoto architecture and there’s a need to address that.”
By Peter Henderson, Reuters, 18 November 2010 | R20 members signed a founding charter on Tuesday, although not all summit attendees joined the group, which was dominated by states, provinces and regions of North America, Europe, Mexico, Africa, and non-profit groups. By agreeing on standards in areas like advanced street lighting, they could create markets on their own terms, for example by requiring some element of local production, R20 adviser Terry Tamminen said. California also signed a memorandum of understanding to include credits for saving the tropical forests of Brazil’s Acre state and Mexico’s Chiapas state in its carbon trading market, due to open in 2012. If the agreement is translated into policy it would be the first carbon market move into rainforest “offsets,” credits for cutting carbon dioxide emissions, which are seen as important for climate change but very complex to manage.
Reuters, 18 November 2010 | President Barack Obama’s climate envoy said on Thursday world powers shouldn’t get bogged down on a deadline for greenhouse gas emission cuts at the upcoming global climate talks, but instead should take small steps that could lead to a broader agreement. “I don’t personally think so,” Todd Stern, the top U.S. climate negotiator, told reporters after a two-day meeting of the Major Economies Forum, when asked if there should be a deadline. “I think it should get done when it’s ripe.”
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, 18 November 2010 | The United Arab Emirates, Australia and the United States have the worst overall records for emitting greenhouse gases, according to an index published on Wednesday combining current and historic emissions. The top of the 183-nation ranking, compiled by British consultancy Maplecroft, was dominated by rich countries and OPEC members. It said it aimed to alert investors to countries vulnerable if U.N.-led climate talks ever agreed wider penalties on carbon.
By Gernot Wagner, EDF, 18 November 2010 | Why are we so “gung-ho” about cap and trade? The term might be banned from Washington and much of our vocabulary at the moment, but it’s still far from a trick question. Call them what you want, environmental markets are fundamentally the most scientifically sound, economically efficient, and often the only way forward. No wonder countries the world over are adopting or planning to adopt them. We are starting a new blog specifically focused on market forces and why re-guiding them is the only solution to many of our environmental problems. Individual volunteerism won’t do. Blocking market forces won’t do. Subscribing to the new blog won’t make the world a better place all by itself either, but it probably doesn’t hurt.
By Teguh Surya (Walhi), Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 2010 | The Australian government has established two pilot projects in Central Kalimantan and Sumatra to show that REDD carbon trading can work. The Kalimantan Forests and Climate Partnership was announced three years ago and is one of the most advanced REDD projects in Indonesia. But there are some worrying early signs about the local effects of the project. Pak Muliadi, who has joined me here in our speaking tour of Australia, represents local villagers from the indigenous Dayak Ngaju people who live within the Central Kalimantan project area. In consultations, the villagers have been promised money for participation but there has been no discussion about how their rights to use and access the land will be affected by the REDD project. Already the money has started flowing, but the introduction of a cash economy is impacting on their traditional culture.
The Prince’s Rainforests Project, 18 November 2010 | On November 18th 2009, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales convened a meeting of agribusinesses active in rainforest countries to discuss how a successful REDD+ strategy will need to find ways to incentivise the private sector to increase production in ways that do not cause further deforestation. There was general agreement that it would be possible to increase agricultural production, without further deforestation, by increasing yields, rehabilitating degraded land and reducing waste along the supply chain. In order to develop these ideas, eight regional meetings were held in Brazil, Ghana, Malaysia and Indonesia during 2010, bringing together representatives from the private sector, NGOs and governments.
By Leroy Robinson, Climate Action Programme, 18 November 2010 | The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) partnership between Norway and Indonesia has provided an example for others to follow at the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) summit in Cancún, Mexico, according to the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere. “When we come to Cancun, we will explain what we have done to preserve forests. And that will be the REDD+ stories of Indonesia, Norway and Brazil,” Stoere said to The Jakarta Post in an interview on 8 November. With the upcoming COP16 running from 29 November to 10 December, Stoere hoped REDD+ will form part of future climate change agreements. REDD+ has been labelled as an alternative to cutting carbon emissions and dealing with man-made climate change, by rewarding developing countries for preserving and restoring their forests.
V1 Magazine, 18 November 2010 | Clark Labs will be unveiling new tools for REDD+ at the Forest Day 4 event in Cancun that will enable users to measure carbon emissions with the BioCarbon Fund methodology and model the impacts of alternative economic policies with an interface to the OSIRIS modeling tool. These new features will be publicly available within the Land Change Modeler application in the IDRISI GIS and Image Processing software in 2011. The Land Change Modeler application currently includes functionality for REDD+, specifically mapping land cover, modeling deforestation and future land change scenarios, and analyzing the impacts of land change on habitat and biodiversity.
By Emilie Filou, Ecosystem Marketplace, 18 November 2010 | The six Congo Basin nations – the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea – have been bogged down by more questions than answers. How will they change the ways of their own farmers who for generations relied on slashing and burning forest cover to make way for farming? And how will they counteract a history of abandoning environmental deals when loggers and corporations come knocking with ready cash? The trouble, says Alain Karsenty, an economist at the Center for International Cooperation in Agronomic Research for Development, is that the region still perceives REDD as a quick money fix. “On the one hand, they negotiate with Chinese companies over logging concessions, and on the other they’re negotiating with REDD,” he says. “There is a real contradiction at play.”
By Aida Greenbury (APP), letter to the editor the Economist, 18 November 2010 | As one of Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper companies, APP can state that that is categorically not the case. We fully support the idea of a moratorium and have demonstrated our commitment to REDD. APP and Carbon Conservation, based in Singapore, recently announced a landmark REDD project: the Kampar Carbon Reserve in Riau province. More than 15,000 hectares of deep-peat carbon sink will now be preserved for at least the next 30 years. REDD-Plus credits will be used to inject millions of dollars into job creation and development in the indigenous communities surrounding the land. These community-development programmes will help reduce the pressure exerted on the forest by local people, while still allowing residents to improve their livelihoods and to prosper.
By Johann Earle, Guyana Chronicle, 18 November 2010 | There has been progress in the climate negotiations in the areas of REDD+, adaptation and agriculture and technology but less so in mitigation and finance in the run up to the Cancun Summit in less than two weeks. This is according to the Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), Mrs. Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe. She was speaking at the Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting in Mexico City from November 4 – 5, 2010. “In my view, the AWG-LCA has almost concluded its work on adaptation, REDD+, agriculture and technology, and could deliver concrete results on those areas without having to devote much time to them in Cancún,” she said.
By David Fogarty, Reuters, 18 November 2010 | A $1 billion dollar deal with Norway to save Indonesia’s forests and cut planet-warming carbon emissions will trigger a much-needed shake up of Indonesia’s notorious bureaucracy, a top official said on Thursday. It will also be a key test of how money flows to forest communities to ensure none is siphoned off by local government officials, said veteran technocrat Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, known as Indonesia’s “Mr Fix-it” for his ability to cut through red tape… “We have to simplify things, integrate things, and that’s a process we’ve been waiting for,” said Mangkusubroto, head of the president’s delivery unit and in charge of making the Norway deal a success… He also said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono would issue within weeks a decree spelling out how to enforce the moratorium.
Stabroek News, 18 November 2010 | Arau supports saving forests but villagers in the remote community want their land issues to be dealt with as they fear that with new rules their traditional activities would be severely restricted. There are many questions but answers are not forthcoming, Devroy Thomas, the Chief of the Region Seven community in the Pakaraimas Mountains said in an interview last week. “I was trying at the (National Toshaos) Conference but no time was given to me”, he said. Thomas said that while the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) is not discussed much in the community because of limited information, a decision on whether to ‘opt-in’ receives attention as residents fear that their traditional activities, such as the small-scale slashing and burning for farms, may be curtailed.
By Kerry Sheridan, AFP, 18 November 2010 | Hungry polar bears gathering along the tundra, twice as many record-breaking temperatures and stronger hurricanes are among the latest signs of climate change, scientists say. And we can expect more rain, more drought and fiercer storms in the future if the world continues on its fossil-fuel gobbling track, they told reporters on a conference call Wednesday to discuss the year in global warming. Michael Mann, a leading US scientist, said he just returned from a trip to Churchill, Manitoba, the Canadian shore town famous for its polar bears, where the sea ice they depend on for hunting seals has not yet formed because of warm temperatures. “When you go up there you see the bears all along the coast on the tundra awaiting the sea ice to form and it hasn’t formed yet,” Mann said.
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, 18 November 2010 | Poor nations accused donors on Thursday of failing to keep a promise of extra climate aid, which the U.N. says will be the “golden key” to successful global warming talks in Mexico this month. “The promises (of aid) are there, and they keep coming, but we don’t see anything on the ground,” said Bruno Sekoli of Lesotho, who will chair the group of least developed countries (LDCs) at the United Nations’ negotiations in Mexico from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.
Wordwatch Institute, 18 November 2010 | A new report from the Worldwatch Institute argues that assuring all women have access to contraception and taking steps to improve women’s lives should be among key strategies in the fight against global climate change.
19 November 2010
By Nita Irawati Murjani, CIFOR blog, 19 November 2010 | “Return on REDD and Environmental Services: Synergies Draft Regulation and learning in Indonesia,” organized by the Ministry of Forestry and ICRAF and the Committees on November 9, 2010 at the office of the Ministry of Forestry Manggala Wanabakti, Jakarta, tried to discuss the various opportunities for the implementation of the Environmental Fee ( IJL), or previously known as Payment for Environmental Services (PES), in Indonesia, viewed from the side of the policy or existing regulations, lessons-learned from projects that have taken place and an option to other forms of incentives can be given. [R-M: This is the google translate version - the original is in Indonesian.]
Tebtebba, 19 November 2010 | Half of the of the world’s estimated 360 million indigenous peoples are women. Some of these women are now participating the “Global Conference on Indigenous Women, Climate Change and REDD Plus,” being held in Metro Manila, Philippines from 18-19 November 2010. They are discussing the present global climate crisis and how indigenous women are disproportionately affected by this. They suffer from loss of their lands and livelihoods, food insecurity, loss of lives, increased health risks, loss of traditional knowledge and identity, increased productive and reproductive burdens, increased violence, conflict over resources, migration and displacement, and further marginalization. Unfortunately, discussions and agreements reached in the climate change negotiations hardly differentiate the adverse impacts and contributions of the most vulnerable sectors, such as indigenous peoples and women.
By Khouth Sophakchakrya, Phnom Penh Post, 19 November 2010 | Cambodian officials will demand that developed countries contribute 1.5 percent of their GDPs annually towards funding for climate change adaptation at a global summit in Mexico later this month. At a meeting yesterday, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Cancun, which kicks off November 29, Cambodian officials released a draft statement that noted the Kingdom’s vulnerability to global warming and called for an increased commitment from wealthy nations to address this problem. “Cambodia reiterates that the implementation of (National Adaptation Programmes of Action) remains a real challenge due to very slow processes that do not respond to the urgent and immediate nature of the NAPAs,” the draft statement reads.
By Jess Riseborough, Jakarta Globe, 19 November 2010 | Bringing Bumi to London will get the Indonesian miner the financing it needs to almost double output by 2013 and make it the world’s biggest exporter of power station coal, says Indra Bakrie, who is set to chair the company. “The reason to be in London is also that it’s going to be a lot easier for Bumi to start growing organically,” Indra, whose family will control 43 percent of the company, said in London on Thursday. “In 10 years from now, we should be able to be the biggest coal producer. We are not going to stay quiet and do everything only in Indonesia.”
CIFOR press release, 19 November 2010 | A new study finds a lack of transparency and corruption are reducing the impact of an initiative in Cameroon that channels a portion of national timber levies to rural forest communities. The study highlights the challenges of using a climate change pact to do something similar in forested regions around the world. In an article published in the peer-reviewed journal International Forestry Review, scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) examined how revenues from a tax paid by logging companies in Cameroon, known as an Area Fee (AF), are distributed to local councils to reduce rural poverty and stimulate local economic growth. Paolo Omar Cerutti, the study’s lead author, said the AF’s impact is diluted by a murky and unreliable system for distributing revenues to local communities and a failure to discourage embezzlement and mismanagement in areas that receive funds.
asahi.com, 19 November 2010 | Throughout the dense woodlands of central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, pillars of smoke can be seen rising… In recent years, representatives from international organizations and governments of close to 20 countries have visited Suwido Limin, a lecturer at the University of Palangka Raya in central Kalimantan, seeking advice on CO2 emission reductions. One notable visitor was billionaire investor George Soros… Encouraged by the government, Japanese trading houses and general contractors are getting into the forest conservation businesses. The Foreign Ministry has begun preparations to forge bilateral agreements with developing countries, including Indonesia, to secure credits. Trading house Kanematsu Corp. launched a survey on CO2 absorption capacity in Brazil’s Amazon district in fall 2009. The firm hopes to form a partnership with indigenous tribes living in the rain forests.
Survival International, 19 November 2010 | A Bushman from a settlement deep in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve has travelled to the Gambia to ask the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for help. Speaking at the African Commission’s international conference earlier this month, Smith Moeti described the Bushmen’s struggle to access water and escape persecution from the Botswana government. ‘The government refuses to provide us with food rations but will not issue us with hunting licences… If we want to eat meat we must hunt without a licence… When we are caught, we are often beaten up by the wildlife scouts’, Moeti told the Commission. He added, ‘We have been in the Central Kalahari for thousands of years. We do not use guns. As long as we have enough water and food we need very little from the government.’
Rainforest Portal, 19 November 2010 | Old natural forest ecosystems are key to sustaining climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, humanity and the Earth System – and their logging must be excluded from international forest carbon funding. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) – the international program to pay for protection of old rainforests as a climate change solution – has been corrupted to include first time industrial primary rainforest logging for “sustainable” timbers and agriculture plantations. Unless REDD drops the plus and focuses funding upon ending industrial primary forest destruction while addressing systematic corruption in tropical rainforest destruction, the REDD program is no longer worthy of support by ecological forest activists.
20 November 2010
By Michael Simire, Daily Independent, 20 November 2010 | Global warming, an offshoot of the climate change phenomenon, is being gradually transformed from a threat of environmental doom to a promise of financial boom, thanks to the emerging universal trade in carbon credit, which analysts say is now worth a staggering $170 billion. Observers are, however, worried that Nigeria is not doing enough towards positioning itself to adequately benefit from the largesse… National REDD+ Programme Coordinator, Salisu Dahiru, said: “The RPP shows the plan of action and how it will be implemented, cost and timelines as well as the role of agencies. It indicates the country’s readiness to participate in the REDD carbon market, which officially commences in 2013.” He adds that Nigeria will rake in “millions of dollars” from sold REDD credits when the market becomes fully operational. “In simple terms, it is payment for keeping your forest standing.”
EzineMark.com, 20 November 2010 | A new UN deal could see 2.5 billion set aside to help developing countries save their tropical rainforests. Talks last week in the Japanese city of Nagoya were aimed at setting new 2020 targets to fight plant and animal extinctions and provide more funding to preserve the worlds rainforests. Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate of 13 million hectares every year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The bulk of these losses are in tropical countries. Trees soak up large amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, and help curb the pace of climate change. They are also key water catchments, help clean the air and are home to countless species. “Our forests need immediate action,” said Brazil’s Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira.
21 November 2010
By Alok Jha, The Guardian, 21 November 2010 | Global emissions of carbon dioxide dropped by 1.3% in 2009 compared with the previous year, largely due to the effects of the economic crisis and an overall fall in GDP, according to an international team of scientists. The drop is smaller than the 2.8% fall predicted by many experts for 2009, however, because the reductions in carbon emissions per unit of GDP – a measure of efficiency called the carbon intensity – was smaller than expected in many emerging economies… Despite the 1.3% overall drop, the 2009 global fossil fuel emissions – 30.8bn tons of CO2 – were the second highest in human history, just below the all-time high of 2008.
Tropical Forest Group, 21 November 2010 | The State of Acre of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the State of Chiapas of the United Mexican States, and the State of California of the United States of America, hereinafter referred to as “the Parties”: ACKNOWLEDGING the friendship and excellent cooperation among the governments of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the United Mexican States, and the United States of America; …