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REDD in the news: 20-26 June 2011

REDD in the news: 20-26 June 2011

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.

UN-REDD Newsletter 19

UN-REDD, June 2011 | This week, Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation will host the first-ever “Oslo REDD Exchange”. This workshop will bring together REDD+ practitioners and technical experts, the scientific community, Indigenous Peoples, forest communities, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and international organizations from around the world that are directly involved in “making REDD+ work”. It will focus on safeguards and REDD+, with a particular emphasis on the exchange of experiences from the field.

20 June 2011

Climate talks see UN process in trouble

carbonpositive.net, 20 June 2011 | UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, wound up on Friday with hopes for a new global climate change agreement flagging. Despite fleeting optimism following last December’s annual UN climate summit in Cancun, the 190-nation UN climate change convention (UNFCCC) appears a long way from any new comprehensive treaty binding all the world’s big emitters to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, while extension of the existing Kyoto Protocol binding industrialised nations to a second commitment period of emission targets beyond 2012 is in grave doubt… The main hopes for this year’s annual climate talks in Durban now lie in progress … on specific programmes of action. These include a new clean technology transfer mechanism to go above and beyond Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism, the global REDD+ avoided deforestation scheme and a finance mechanism to deliver $100 billion a year in climate change aid to the developing world by 2020.

Defending Mother Earth: Bolivia’s ‘Bill of Rights for Mother Nature’

By Gabrielle Banks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 June 2011 | Dr. Seuss fans will recall the stocky, moustached Lorax who burst from a felled tree stump and declared to an entrepreneurial logger, “I speak for the trees.” The Lorax later spoke for the fish, fowl and other creatures, as toxic industrial muck muddied the waters and poisoned the air. Grown-ups know that no one can actually, officially and authoritatively speak for Mother Nature. Yet Bolivia is taking a novel approach to natural stewardship by giving Mother Nature a voice and turning the American model on its head with a Bill of Rights for Mother Nature. “All Americans want what’s right for the environment, their families and their communities,” said Matt Pitzarella, spokesman for the natural gas exploration and production company Range Resources… “But I think most working people would agree this [Bolivian policy] is a little out there.”

Integrating agriculture and forestry in the landscape is key to REDD

By E. Kahurani, environmentalresearchweb.org, 20 June 2011 | Evidence from benchmark sites across the tropics is proving that an integrated, multifunctional approach that allows for land-use sharing in agriculture, forests and other functions can achieve good results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and raising food production levels. It provides more realistic solutions than the popular view on sparing land for forests through agricultural intensification. Agricultural intensification, also known as the Borlaug hypothesis, means increasing yields per unit area of land regardless of the emissions caused, expecting that higher yields at constant demand will spare forest land for conservation.

Mere afforestation is not the answer to stop global warming: Study

DailyIndia.com, 20 June 2011 | The United Nations (UN) is failing to accurately measure the global climate benefits of preserving forests, with reports suggesting that it has failed to take into account the fact that forests also alter temperature in other ways. The UN had set up the REDD programme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in 2008 with an intention at provide shelter to many species, and tore carbon dioxide that would otherwise warm the planet. But what it failed to assess is that forests also alter temperature in other ways, as those close to the poles are dark, and therefore absorb more sunlight than croplands would, the New Scientist reports. However, in the tropics, more water evaporates from forests than from unforested land, so they cool their surroundings.

[Indonesia] Presidential order vs. forest conversion moratorium

By Teguh Surya, Jakarta Post, 20 June 2011 | In a period of five months, the Forestry Ministry issued a number of preparatory permits so that when the Inpres was signed the relevant companies could enjoy liberties to continue deforestation. What happened in Central Kalimantan as a pilot province for REDD proves this. The Forestry Ministry issued the following preparatory permits for mining, oil palm estates and other forestry companies: 1) Letters of approval for the use of forest zones from the Director General of Forest Planning to eight companies from June-December 2010 covering 107,083 hectares and one company in March 2011 covering 4,336 ha. 2) Letters of principle approval for loaned use of forest zones from the Forestry Ministry to three companies from June-December 2010 covering 2,204 ha and six companies from January-April 2011 covering 4,559 ha. 3) Decrees on loaned use of forest zones from the Forestry Ministry to two companies from June-October 2010 covering 2,011 ha.

Indonesia’s Forest Moratorium—Analyzing the numbers

By Deborah Lawrence, CIFOR Forests Blog, 20 June 2011 | The Indonesian president’s office has stated that the moratorium on new forest concessions, announced last month, will protect 64 million hectares of forest across the country. What is included in those 64 million hectares? Is this level of protection feasible under the terms of the moratorium? The following analysis takes a look at the numbers. It is based on published data and reports [2] in the absence of official geospatial data. To achieve protection of 64 M ha of peat and primary forests under the moratorium requires some demanding assumptions, each of which is addressed below.

Malaysia palm oil firm denies breaching Indonesia’s forest ban

By Niluksi Koswanage, Reuters, 20 June 2011 | Malaysian palm oil firm Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) denied on Monday it had breached Indonesia’s two-year forest clearing ban on the first day it was signed to law, calling the allegation by an environmental group “preposterous”. But Malaysia’s third-largest listed planter said it stopped an “over eager” contractor from making an unauthorised clearing of a small logged over area that is a small part of one of its concessions in Borneo island.

2011 Cif Partnership Forum – African Countries Are Ready for Cif Investments (AfDB)

allafrica.com, 20 June 2011 | African delegations from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tunisia will attend the CIF (Climate Investment Funds) Partnership Forum on 24-25 June in Cape Town, South Africa to share experiences with fellow CIF pilot countries from around the world. Burkina Faso, the DRC, Morocco, Mozambique, and Zambia will also be there for the learning and to present their CIF investment plans and projects for approval at closed CIF committee meetings coupled with the forum. Kenya and Mali will also present their investment plans for initial feedback… he Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will also present its USD 60 million FIP investment plan for approval. DRC was selected as a FIP pilot country due to its advanced stage in the ‘preparation for REDD+’ process, demonstrated by its being the first country in the Congo Basin with an approved Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP).

Guyana-Norway partnership, GRIF, works in progress

Guyana Chronicle, 20 June 2011 | The Norwegian Government has penned a response to the eight points of contention documented by a body of civil society personalities on March 24, 2011, as to the state of affairs of the Guyana REDD Investment Fund, saying that the partnership is very much a work in progress, one that will improve over time. With respect to the complaint over the delays in the preparation of projects, the letter said that getting the modalities of the GRIF sufficiently established and getting the projects approved by the GRIF Steering Committee has taken longer than expected. “This is a reflection of getting a new system to work, including with respect to the application of fiduciary, environmental and social safeguards,” the letter said.

21 June 2011

Norway, Germany give $90 mln to slow deforestation

AlertNet, 21 June 2011 | Norway and Germany announced aid of more than $90 million on Tuesday for World Bank programmes to help slow tropical deforestation that is blamed for stoking climate change. Norway, the top donor to protecting tropical forests that absorb heat-trapping carbon dioxide as they grow, said it would give $50 million to a World Bank Carbon Fund as part of a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Germany said it would add 30 million euros ($43 million) to past donations. The cash raises the total in the Carbon Fund to almost $200 million, with other cash from countries including Britain, Australia and the United States. Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim said the $50 million would add to Norway’s bilateral programmes including $1 billion each for Brazil and Indonesia. “We need to start rewarding the best performers,” Solheim said of the cash.

REDD in South East Asia: a Political Economy Perspective

Focus on the Global South, 21 June 2011 | This is a report of the workshop that was organised to widen the discussion on the concepts and critiques of the REDD programme (Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) to coincide with meetings of the UNFCCC in Bangkok from 3-8 April 2011. Around 55 participants gathered together from Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, India, Nepal, and Japan. This included around 30 from local or regional NGOs, around 10 participants from indigenous peoples groups, and around 10 from peoples’ networks in Thailand. Many of the participants were new to the subject of REDD although their governments have already have submitted plans for REDD funding, have been rearranging their forest management priorities to respond to REDD. The organisers were Thai Climate Justice, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA), and Focus on the Global South.

Indonesia’s moratorium undermines community forestry in favor of industrial interests

By Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com, 21 June 2011 | Indonesia’s moratorium on new concessions in primary forest areas and peatlands “completely ignores” the existence of community forestry management licenses, jeopardizing efforts to improve the sustainability of Indonesia’s forest sector and ensure benefits from forest use reach local people, say environmental groups. According to Greenomics-Indonesia, a Jakarta-based NGO, community and village forestry licenses are not among the many exemptions spelled under the presidential instruction that defines the moratorium. The instruction, issued last month, grants exemptions for industrial developers and allows business-as-usual in secondary forest areas by the pulp and paper, mining and palm oil industries.

Indonesia mining rules threaten forest protection efforts – experts

By Veby Mega Indah, AlertNet, 21 June 2011 | On the eve of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s approval of a landmark, two-year moratorium on forest and peatland clearing under a $1 billion climate deal with Norway last month, the Indonesian leader issued another ruling that sparked criticism he cares more about protecting industry than saving what is left of Indonesia’s forests. The decision – to allow underground mining in protected forest areas – seemed to contradict the order he signed the very next day in support of a $1 billion anti-logging project with Norway, under a U.N.-backed program called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)… “Both of these regulations allow business as usual practices,” complained Avi Mahaningtvas, who heads the economic and environmental section of a non-profit group called the Partnership for Governance Reform and who acts as civil society representative on climate issues and REDD in Indonesia.

[Indonesia] Global Biofuel Controversies Felt on the Ground in Danau Sentarum

By Angela Dewan, CIFOR Forests Blog, 21 June 2011 | Developed countries’ biofuel mandates aimed at mitigating climate change have added pressure on Indonesia’s forests and communities that depend on them. A study by CIFOR’s Elizabeth Linda Yuliani published in the Borneo Research Bulletin shows that many communities in and around the Danau Sentarum National Park on Borneo island are worse off when forests are logged to cultivate oil palm, a crop that is touted for lifting Indonesians out of poverty. When global demand for palm oil soars, Indonesia, as the world’s biggest producer of the crop, is the first to feel the effects, both economically and environmentally. While the food market represents the biggest demand for palm oil, biofuel mandates implemented to reduce global carbon emissions are increasingly driving deforestation in Indonesia. Fluctuations in the price of competing biofuel and fossil fuel, the price of crude oil price and climate variations also push demand.

Indonesia to investigate palm oil company that allegedly breached moratorium

mongabay.com, 21 June 2011 | Indonesia’s REDD+ Task Force will investigate charges that PT Menteng Jaya Sawit Perdana (PT Menteng), a palm oil company owned by Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK), has cleared peat forest in breach of the country’s newly-signed moratorium on the granting of new forestry licenses on peatlands and in primary forest areas. The allegation was levied by the Environmental Investigative Agency, an international NGO, and Telapak, an Indonesian group, after an on-the-ground undercover investigation. EIA and Telapak found that PT Menteng had cleared peat forest near Sampit in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province without securing proper licenses. PT Menteng had only a Location Permit, not the Plantation Business Permit required under Indonesian plantation law or a permit from the Ministry of Forestry releasing the 7,400-ha (18,300-acre) concession.

For richer or for poorer: “Hidden” environmental income critical for rural poverty alleviation

By James Maiden, CIFOR Forests Blog, 21 June 2011 | Over a quarter of the income of the rural poor depends on forests and other natural environments, contributing as much to rural livelihoods as crop cultivation, according to preliminary results of a new global study that was presented in London last week. The preliminary findings from the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN) survey may lead to an overhaul in the way existing tools and practices measure poverty and income, strengthening the case for more informed policy decisions related to previously ‘hidden’ environmental incomes.

[Rwanda] Environmentalists to Be Trained in Forest Monitoring

By Charles Kwizera, allafrica.com, 21 June 2011 | Rwandan forest monitoring specialists are set to undergo training in modern techniques to help them implement and improve national forest monitoring programs. The training will among other things,, equip the trainees with necessary skills to conduct field surveys, lead field campaigns and come up with estimates of biomass tapped by trees. The estimates are necessary for carbon emissions trading, according to officials. Emissions’ trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. Tropical countries with big forest cover are usually paid by polluters, mostly industrialised countries. The training will be conducted by the Woods Hole Research Centre (WHRC), a private, not-for profit environmental research institution.

Japan solicits ‘REDD+’ projects under bilateral scheme

Point Carbon, 21 June 2011 | Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) said on Monday that it has begun to solicit avoided deforestation, as well as other projects aimed at reducing non-energy related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, under a bilateral offset mechanism. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Norway commits USD 50 million to forest carbon fund

Ministry of the Environment, Norway, press release, 21 June 2011 | Today, Norwegian Minister of the Environment and Development Cooperation, Mr. Erik Solheim and the World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Mr. Andrew Steer signed an agreement worth USD 50 million with the newly launched Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). – With this contribution, we want to demonstrate that the persistent efforts by forest countries to reduce their emissions from deforestation will pay off. We need to start rewarding the best performers. That will lead the way for other countries, Mr. Solheim said. The agreement was signed in conjunction with the meeting of the governing board of the FCPF taking place in Oslo this week.

Trees for crops ‘will not halt warming’

Sydney Morning Herald, 21 June 2011 | Schemes to convert croplands, or marginal lands, to forests will make almost no inroads on global warming this century, a new scientific study says. Afforestation is being encouraged under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol on the theory forests are ”sinks” that soak up carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis. But environmental researchers said even massive conversion of land to forestry would have only a slender benefit to the greenhouse gas problem. This is partly because forests take decades to mature, but another reason is that forests, even as they absorb greenhouse gas, are darker than croplands and thus absorb more solar heat. Vivek Arora, of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and Alvaro Montenegro, of St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, modelled five scenarios in which afforestation was conducted over 50 years to 2060.

Guyana, Norway forest pact moving into ‘unknown territory’

Stabroek News, 21 June 2011 | Director of Norway’s Inter-national Climate and Forest Initiative, Ambassador Hans Brattskar said the forest partnership with Guyana will improve over time and is moving into “unknown territory.” His remarks were contained in a response to several members of civil society as well as two parliamentarians, who had written to Norway’s Minister of the Environment, Erik Solheim in March outlining several concerns and saying that the government here has “substantially failed” to implement the agreement… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Guyana] Logs in shipment where cocaine found were in-transit in Jamaica – Singh

Stabroek News, 21 June 2011 | The logs in a container where 122 kgs of cocaine were found last March in Jamaica were in-transit, Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) head James Singh has said. In a letter in the June 13 edition of Stabroek News, forestry expert, Janette Bulkan had said that the Forest Products Development and Marketing Council trade data for March 2011 compiled by the GFC showed that no logs were exported to Jamaica for the period… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Guyana] FAO steps up for Small Loggers Association

Kaieteur News, 21 June 2011 | Ten forested communities, among them Muritaro, Aranaputa, and Bethany, yesterday signed the support US$50,000 agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Guyana Forestry Commission and the Forestry Training Centre Incorporated under the National Forest Programme Facility. The three-year project, “Capacity Building of Small Loggers’ Associations” is not only geared at forest resources but provide training for villagers to generate income in alternative ventures such as craft and poultry. According to Lystra Fletcher-Paul, Representative of FAO, this support agreement is part of FAO’s ongoing support to government to build capacity within the forestry sector in pursuit of sustainable forest management. The objective of the agreement is to enhance the capacity of Small Loggers’ Associations in Guyana to meaningfully participate in national forest dialogue.

[Guyana] Community loggers to access training under FAO US$50,000 grant

Stabroek News, 21 June 2011 | Ten community logging associations will this year benefit from training under an initial US$50,000 grant from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The grant is part of the FAO’s ongoing support to the Government of Guyana to build capacity within the forestry sector in pursuit of sustainable forest management, Dr Lystra Fletcher-Paul, FAO’s representative… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Guyana] Barama’s plywood production is at a lower level than in 2006

By Janette Bulkan, letter to the editor, Stabroek News, 21 June 2011 | The junior Minister for Forestry has expressed his pleasure at the re-start of plywood production by the Barama Company Ltd (two articles published in Guyana Chronicle on Sunday, June 19). This re-start is at a production level of 1600 m3/month, rising to 2400 m3/month, which are 18 and 27 per cent of the installed production capacity of 9000 m3/month (108,000 m3/year). In December 2006, the same Minister was expressing concern that Barama was not fulfilling its (vaguely expressed) investment promises, against which it was receiving tax concessions under its secret foreign direct investment arrangement with the Cabinet. However, in 2006, Barama’s recorded production was 34494 m3, 32 per cent of its capacity. So why is Minister Robert Persaud now expressing satisfaction at a lower level, and without a timeline for reaching even the 27 per cent level?

[Guyana] IDB proposed support to Amaila Falls hydropower project pegged at US$200M

Stabroek News, 21 June 2011 | Guyana appears closer to securing key financial support for the construction of the Amaila Hydropower plant from the Inter-America Development Bank (IDB), which has proposed support of up to US$200 million. The agreement, according to the bank’s website, is currently at the “preparation” stage. “It is expected that the IDB will provide a political risk guarantee (PRG) to the Sponsor and/or Sr loan to the Project Company (“A-Loan”), the project abstract, dated June 7, 2011 said… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Guyana] Amerindian land demarcation awaits Norway funds

Kaieteur News, 21 June 2011 | With US$70 million still sitting in a World Bank account, Norwegian money under the forest saving deal with Guyana has not yet reached the local treasury, and this could well have a bearing on Amerindian land demarcation.Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, confirmed last week that the Norway funds which are intended to be used to speed up land demarcation have not yet been received. She is counting on G$600 million [USD 3 million] to get the job done for this year. With the expectations for the funds, the Ministry has set out its programme for this year. This includes demarcating another eight titled Amerindian communities, titling another 13 communities, and reviewing applications for extensions.

22 June 2011

Laos announces crackdown on illegal logging, timber smuggling

mongabay.com, 22 June 2011 | Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong ordered authorities to crack down on illegal logging and timber trafficking in the midst of accelerating forest loss, reports the Vientiane Times. Under Thongsing’s directive, police and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will set up inspection teams on roads that run to China and Vietnam, the destination of most smuggled timber from Laos. “If officials find smuggled timber they have the right to seize it and charge those involved in accordance with the Forestry Law,” Thongsing stated in the order, which was released this week, according to the Vientiane Times.

African forests store 25% of tropical forest carbon

mongabay.com, 22 June 2011 | Forests in sub-Saharan Africa account for roughly a quarter of total tropical forest carbon, according to a comprehensive assessment of the world’s carbon stocks published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study, based on remote sensing data and field surveys of 75 calibration plots, came up with estimates of forest cover and carbon storage based on varying definitions of what constitutes forest. Using the broadest definition of 10 percent tree cover, forests cover 775 million hectares, or 36 percent, of sub-Saharan Africa. Using a 30 percent tree cover cutoff, sub-Saharan Africa’s forest extent amounts to 447 million hectares, or 21 percent.

Philippines ahead of the game in social forestry

By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests Blog, 22 June 2011 | Ensuring community participation in the sustainable management of forests is one of the main challenges in REDD+ implementation, but the Philippines is leading the South East Asian pack with community rights already being legally incorporated into the REDD+ process, according to Yurdi Yasmi, Manager at the Centre for People and Forests (RECOFTC). “Some [countries] are more advanced in community management, such as the Philippines where the role of communities has been [legally] recognised. Approximately 8 percent of forest land is managed by communities and indigenous people in this region but not many of these rights have been formally recognised,” he said in his address at the ASEAN Conference for Social Forestry today in Brunei.

Indonesian forest people condemn climate scheme

Times Of India, 22 June 2011 | Indigenous alliance secretary general Abdon Nababan said the rights of traditional landowners had been ignored, and forest-dependent communities faced being driven off their lands or denied their customary livelihoods. “REDD could be the cause of cultural genocide as most indigenous people live in primary forests and peatland areas” which fall under a forestry moratorium announced by the Indonesian government last month… “Its implementation will surely drive them away, though they have lived there for hundreds or thousands of years,” he added. Several studies have found that indigenous peoples are good forest managers but Nababan said schemes like REDD — part of UN talks for post-2012 climate action — handed control to corporations and environmental groups. “There is no other choice but to appoint indigenous people as the REDD projects’ main actors. They have traditional knowledge in managing and safeguarding our forests over centuries,” he said.

Indonesian forest people condemn climate scheme

The Economic Times, 22 June 2011 | Indigenous peoples of Indonesian Borneo on Wednesday demanded a halt to internationally backed forest conservation schemes, saying they are trampling their rights and robbing their lands… Indigenous alliance secretary general Abdon Nababan said the rights of traditional landowners had been ignored, and forest-dependent communities faced being driven off their lands or denied their customary livelihoods. “REDD could be the cause of cultural genocide as most indigenous people live in primary forests and peatland areas” which fall under a forestry moratorium announced by the Indonesian government last month, he told AFP. “Its implementation will surely drive them away, though they have lived there for hundreds or thousands of years,” he added… “There is no other choice but to appoint indigenous people as the REDD projects’ main actors. They have traditional knowledge in managing and safeguarding our forests over centuries,” he said.

[Indonesia] President Jagdeo and German President focus on global efforts to combat climate change

ncnguyana.com, 22 June 2011 | Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo spent today in a series of meetings with German leaders and senior officials. Discussions centered on the need for sustained political action on climate change, and in particular on Guyana and Germany’s upcoming joint chairing of the Interim REDD+ Partnership from July 1, 2011. The group consists of most of the world’s forest countries and key developed countries. President Jagdeo met with His Excellency, President Christian Wulff at Bellevue, the German President’s official residence.

23 June 2011

A new row about the IPCC: A climate of conflict

The Economist, 23 June 2011 | Panels of experts assessing scientific investigations tend to be messy affairs, particularly when their customers are governments. People with expertise in one field, such as renewable energy, may have a bias towards it. Summaries of their work are the result of political negotiations. And findings are further boiled down in an attempt to win media coverage. Much of this can be seen in a new “special report” on renewable energy by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was released last week.

New Grant to Ready Indonesia for REDD+

World Bank Office Jakarta press release, 23 June 2011 | Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry has received a $3.6 million grant from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a multi-donor facility managed by the World Bank. The grant is contributing to Indonesia’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020, while maintaining economic growth. “The aim of this collaboration with the World Bank and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is to contribute to developing Indonesia’s capacity for devising the National REDD+ Strategy,” said Mr. Tachrir Fathoni, Head of the Forestry Ministry’s Research and Development unit.

[Indonesia] WB gives $3.6m for REDD+

Jakarta Post, 23 June 2011 | The government says its accepted US$3.6 million in grants for its REDD+ programs from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said after the launch of the facility on Thursday that Indonesia would use the money to meet a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020. Zulkifli said the funds would be disbursed over three years starting this month.

[Indonesia] Oslo backs Jakarta’s forest plan, despite hurdles

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, 23 June 2011 | Norway backed Indonesia’s drive to slow deforestation on Thursday under a $1 billion deal with Oslo even though Jakarta said it faced a “maze” of reforms and lacks maps to pin down exact conservation areas. “Any nation can do more. But they (Indonesia) are doing a lot,” Environment Minister Erik Solheim told Reuters during a conference in Oslo on ways to protect carbon-rich rainforests… Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, the head of the Indonesian task force on protecting forests, said the moratorium was the strictest possible, after taking account of rival interests such as from palm oil producers, loggers or miners. “While the challenges tower ahead of us, I ask you…to bear with me as we travel through the maze to create long-lasting reform to reduce emissions,” he said in a speech… “Now we will have one map. Before we had 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 maps. Now we are going to put it on the website so it is accessible to everybody,” he told Reuters.

[Philippines] Cracking Code REDD: Filipino civil societies demystifying sustainable forestry

By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests Blog, 23 June 2011 | The Filipino organisation CoDe-REDD has been working with forest dwelling communities over the past few years to unravel some of the misconceptions surrounding REDD+ policies and project implementation. CoDe-REDD is pushing for the recognition of community rights in the Philippines REDD strategy, a step in the right direction to make the REDD+ process more effective, efficient and equitable for local communities. Christine Guerrero, Executive Director of Non Timber Forest Products-Exchange programme in South East Asia and representative for CoDe-REDD talks to CIFOR about some of the challenges of engaging communities in the REDD+ process.

Polluters winners from carbon scheme

By Gerard Wynn and Nina Chestney, Reuters, 23 June 2011 | A European plan to raise funds for clean energy has backfired spectacularly, helping trigger a rout on its carbon trading scheme, and so cutting available green funds and benefiting polluting coal plants. Additional causes for the latest sell-off included eurozone woes over Greece, and an EU efficiency directive announced this week which could send carbon emissions lower. The EU’s emissions trading scheme has endured a slew of damaging scandals from its launch in 2005, including VAT fraud, the re-sale of used credits, phishing scams and cyber-theft. Most importantly, the scheme which is supposed to cap the carbon emissions of about 11,000 factories and power plants has seen a permanent surplus of permits called EU allowances (EUAs) since its launch in 2005.

Guyana, Germany gear up to Co-Chair Interim REDD+ Partnership

Stabroek News, 23 June 2011 | President Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday in a series of meetings in Germany with that country’s leaders focused on the need for sustained political action on climate change, and in particular on Guyana’s and Germany’s upcoming joint chairing of the Interim REDD+ Partnership from July 1, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said in a press release. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

24 June 2011

REDD+ and Tenure: A Review of the Latest Developments in Research, Implementation and Debate

capacity4dev, 24 June 2011 | Unclear and/or insecure forest tenure has been identified by many as an indirect driver of deforestation and forest degradation. Consequently, reforming tenure is considered an important measure in order to control deforestation. Clarifying tenure is also seen as a way of promoting equitable REDD+ implementation. By clarifying tenure it will be harder for governments or powerful external actors to reap the benefits of REDD. Clear and secure tenure can also protect poor forest dwellers and local communities from exclusion or even eviction from forest lands and provide them with greater leverage in national REDD+ processes.

Scientific Certification Systems Launches Indonesian Subsidiary to Serve Growing Timber Market

Scientific Certification Systems press release, 24 June 2011 | Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has announced the establishment of a new subsidiary to be headquartered in Jakarta in response to growing demand for certification and verification services from the Indonesian forest products industry. The subsidiary, PT Scientific Certification Systems Indonesia (PT-SCS) now offers Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Certification and Forest Management Certification in Indonesia. Indonesian timber exports grew from $7.3 billion in 2005 to $9.7 billion in 2010, according to the European Union Delegation to Indonesia… Other services offered by SCS in Indonesia will include forest carbon offset verification. SCS verified Indonesia’s first Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) project to the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) in 2011.

[Indonesia] WB donates $3.6m to reduce carbon

Jakarta Post, 24 June 2011 | Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry has received a US$3.6 million grant from the World Bank to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020 while maintaining economic growth, according to the World Bank. The funds have been granted through the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to Indonesia’s Forestry Ministry to analyze causes of deforestation, consult and reach out to stakeholders and build the capacity of institutions and stakeholders involved in implementing the reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) protocols. “Indonesia is among the first of the forested, tropical countries to receive support from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, showing that it is committed to meeting its target of reducing greenhouse gases – especially from deforestation and forest degradation,” Stefan Koeberle, the World Bank director for Indonesia, said in a press statement released on Thursday.

[Indonesia] NGOs demand transparency from Forestry Ministry on REDD+

Jakarta Post, 24 June 2011 | A group of NGO has demanded more clarity from the Forestry Ministry on its REDD+ programs after it accepted US$3.6 million in grants from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Since the launching of the Ministry’s REDD+ program, several organizations including Solidaritas Perempuan, CAPPA, YPD and the Ulu Foundation had requested transparency clarity because the government had not shared documents, briefings or provided opportunities for discussion at the launch, Puspa Dewy of Women’s Solidarity women and natural resource conflict division said on Thursday. “There were only small group of NGOs at the meeting and it only ran for two hours. We are afraid that the funds will be wasted if not monitored properly,” she said. Puspa added that there were still many questions about the implementation of the REDD+ program in Indonesia.

[Indonesia] Alleged moratorium breach becomes test for RSPO

mongabay.com, 24 June 2011 | An alleged breach of Indonesia’s new moratorium on primary forest and peatlands conversion may prove a test for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an eco-certification initiative. A report published last week alleges that PT Menteng Jaya Sawit Perdana (PT Menteng), an Indonesian subsidiary of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bernard (KLK), cleared peat forest near Sampit in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province without securing proper licenses. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Telapak, which conducted the investigation, PT Menteng had only a Location Permit, not the Plantation Business Permit required under Indonesian plantation law or a permit from the Ministry of Forestry releasing the 7,400-ha (18,300-acre) concession.

REDD funds flow to Indonesia

carbonpositive.net, 24 June 2011 | Norway’s $1 billion aid pledge to Indonesia in return for forest protection appears intact despite substantial weakening in the original proposal for a moratorium on all deforestation across the tropical island chain. Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced a $3.6 million payment to Indonesia to help build capacity to halt deforestation under REDD, the international Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation mechanism currently under development. Last month, Indonesia announced a qualified moratorium on forest clearing after a year of thorny negotiation with industry, landowner and environmental stakeholders since Norway made the billion-dollar offer in 2010. The final arrangement came five months past the initially proposed January 1 start date and saw existing concessions for forest clearing remain valid.

[Kenya] Ministry Funds Millions in Bid to Expand Forest Cover

By Peter Mutai, Xinhua, 24 June 2011 | In an effort to help the country improve its dwindling tree cover, the Kenyan government has entered in yet another revolutionary that is aimed at speeding up planting and protection of trees to their maturity. Coming barely two years after developing a policy that requires all farmers to plant trees on 10 per cent of their agricultural land, the Wildlife and Forestry Ministry has again entered into an agreement with the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO), an umbrella grouping of women grouping in the country… Through this intervention, Kenya seem to be following directives by the United Nations that requires that local communities be given a greater role in the management of forests to ensure the best chance for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (REDD) schemes to work.

[India] Sonia Gandhi stands up for endangered Andaman tribe

Survival International, 24 June 2011 | Sonia Gandhi, President of India’s ruling Congress party, has strongly backed the right of the isolated Jarawa tribe not to be forced into the ‘mainstream’. Mrs Gandhi, named by Forbes magazine last year as the 9th most powerful person on the planet, was speaking at a meeting of India’s National Advisory Council (NAC), which advises the government on social issues. Mrs Gandhi, who chairs the council, is said to have been following the Jarawa’s plight for many years. The Jarawa live on India’s Andaman Islands, in the Indian Ocean.

25 June 2011

[Indonesia] Indigenous groups call for halt to REDD pilot project

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 25 June 2011 | Indigenous communities in Central Kalimantan are calling on the government to stop a pilot project to alleviate the destruction of forests amid fears that it would prompt conflicts between local communities. People living in and around forested areas in the province said they were not adequately informed about the plan and thus confused about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation or REDD Plus. The Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) said some local communities living near forests learned that the REDD Plus pilot project in the area would possibly conflict with their ability to access customary forests. Another group welcomed the project, hoping it would bring in money. AMAN secretary-general Abdon Nababan told The Jakarta Post that in order to respond to the differing opinions on REDD Plus, various indigenous groups from 11 regen-cies in Central Kalimantan held a meeting.

[Guyana] First GRIF project moves closer to reality

Stabroek News, 25 June 2011 | The Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) Steering Committee last Wednesday approved the project concept note (PCN) for the institutional strengthening of the agencies involved in the implementation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). The PCN was approved electronically after the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was asked at the last Steering Committee meeting on May 12 to make revisions and include additional details. The Committee also approved US$305,168 in administrative fees for project proposal preparation for the IDB. It is expected that the Trustee for the GRIF, the World Bank, will now release this sum to the IDB so that work will start on the preparation of the full project proposal. The Institutional Strengthening PCN is the first to be submitted to the GRIF Committee.

26 June 2011

[Sri Lanka] Touchwood – Growing The Future Together

By Hemanthi Ranasinghe, Asian Tribune, 26 June 2011 | Now a new expanded concept REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Conservation and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks, and Sustainable Management of Forest) is under negotiation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).The UN-REDD Programme assists developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies, and builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Programme currently has 29 partner countries spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. REDD+ is seen as one of the most cost-effective ways of stabilizing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avoid a temperature rise of two degrees Celsius.

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