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REDD in the news: 31 October – 6 November 2011

REDD in the news: 31 October - 6 November 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.

New publication: Conservation International REDD pilot project: a different kind of Disney production

By Belmond Tchoumba, World Rainforest Movement, November 2011 | Hereby we announce a new publication, titled “Democratic Republic of Congo. Conservation International REDD pilot project: a different kind of Disney production” available both in English and French, produced by the World Rainforest Movement, together with Reseau CREF, a network of organizations working to support the rights of forest and forest-dependent communities in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The publication is a case study about a REDD+ pilot project promoted by Conservation International together with the Walt Disney Company in the East of DRC, province of North-Kivu.

Pursuing REDD+ as a viable development option: Lessons from Guyana’s experience

Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice, October 2011 | Pursuing REDD+ as a viable development option: Lessons from Guyana’s experience is a report published by MRFCJ which aims to enable South-South sharing of experiences on REDD+. The report outlines the lessons that can be learned from Guyana’s experience with REDD+ which should provide insights for other forest countries. It also provides an overview of the key steps taken by Guyana in its pursuit of a national-scale REDD+ initiative and its Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). REDD+ is an evolving international mechanism which seeks to create positive incentives for developing countries to protect their forests. Guyana, with the support of Norway, has put in place a national-scale REDD+ strategy. [R-M: Report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/sPApe3 (pdf file 4.3 MB)]

Protecting forests, fighting climate change: Moving from REDD+ policy to practice

CIFOR press release, no date | With new research showing that forests may absorb up to a third of all fossil fuel emissions, more than 1,000 leading experts, activists, government negotiators and global leaders will gather on the sidelines of the U.N. climate summit in Durban next month to discuss how forests and forest resources can be better harnessed to slow the pace of global warming and help communities adapt to the changing environment. Forest Day – which has become one of the leading annual global platforms on forests and climate change — will have a special focus this year on the role of African forests in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

REDD Integrity

Chr. Michelsen Institute, no date | Many salient questions remain to be explored in detail, however, including: 1. How could weak governance and corruption influence the success of REDD programmes? 2. How can REDD programmes have a positive impact on the integrity of existing forest governance? 3. How can those responsible for REDD programmes ensure that necessary good governance and anti-corruption reforms are successful? 4. How should those responsible for REDD programmes respond if anti-corruption measures are not successful?

International Workshop in Mexico explores the Role of Local Communities in REDD+ MRV

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, no date | On Sept 12-14, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank and the Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México organized a workshop in Mexico City to explore how community monitoring can link with and contribute to national systems of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) under national programs for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). Over 65 participants attended from 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America as well as from Europe, the US and Canada. Participants discussed methods through which communities can contribute to monitoring and for what particular tasks. The discussion at the three-day workshop was rich and far-reaching and a report from the meeting with the main conclusions and priority actions that need to be undertaken to promote community monitoring within national REDD+ programs is now available online.

31 October 2011

Durban: A summit of small steps?

By Richard Black, BBC News, 31 October 2011 | Redd – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – is, in principle, the easiest item on the UNFCCC’s menu, because just about everyone thinks a scheme to pay poor countries for protecting their forests is a good idea. Three years later, there has been some progress. As of six months ago, $5.5bn had been committed from developed nations. But that doesn’t mean it’s fully functioning. And although no-one doubts the good intentions of the UN hierarchy in bolting onto Redd other concepts such as preservation of rural livelihoods and biodiversity, it has now become a much more complex beast, operating half-in and half-out of the UN climate process. Some developing countries have taken a position that they will not fully commit to Redd unless it is part of a comprehensive climate deal – and that is as far away as ever.

Russia May Become Third-Biggest CO2 Offsets Supplier, CDC Says

By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 31 October 2011 | “This increase in ERU supply will likely put additional pressure on the price for Kyoto credits, as the largest carbon market, the EU Emissions Trading System, is already suffering from oversupply of allowances, while the post-2012 uncertainty regarding the international negotiations’ possible outcomes as well as the negative impacts of the Eurozone debt crisis are adding extra fuel to the fire,” CDC said on its website.

Escape routes: Fleeing Vesuvius – which way should we go?

Energy Bulletin, 31 October 2011 | Byrne has some specific suggestions about REDD, the international system for offsetting emissions by allowing countries which emit beyond their allowances to compensate for this by paying for other countries to emit less. This system has significant flaws, which Byrne describes in her article. She recommends that we “reject offsetting via REDD altogether or tighten the limits on how much can be done with a view to phasing it out completely by 2020. Funding for whole-country REDD schemes should come from the proceeds of auctioning EU emissions trading system permits (EUAs) after 2012 until a global system can be put in place.”

Ghana Builds REDD Regulatory Regime

By Anne Thiel and Slayde Hawkins, Ecosystem Marketplace, 31 October 2011 | Africa is home to one of the world’s largest forest basins and should, by all rights, be a hotbed of forest carbon activity, yet Ecosystem Marketplace’s 2011 State of the Forest Carbon Markets report documented only a sliver of last year’s record volume coming from Africa. Several countries are working to fix that, and of the most advanced is Ghana, which has been admitted to participate in the REDD+ Readiness Preparation processes of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and has several affiliations with other forest governance initiatives that give it a head start as far as forest governance and REDD are concerned. It also just wrapped up a three-year effort to document and map all of its biomass – an accomplishment that could support REDD readiness across the continent.

Indonesia’s forest moratorium: A stepping stone to better forest governance?

By Daniel Cooney, CIFOR Forests Blog, 31 October 2011 | A team of scientists linked to the Center for International Forestry Research has released an analysis of the Indonesian government’s two-year ban on new forestry concessions. The announcement in May of the moratorium was greeted with dismay by elements of the business community who expressed fears that a curtailment of economic growth would result from the moratorium’s limitations on forest-based development opportunities. Meanwhile, environmentalists were disappointed by the narrow scope of the moratorium and its many exclusions and exceptions.

Romanian forests ‘could be carbon source by 2050’

environmentalresearchweb.org, 31 October 2011 | “While forest-harvesting rates are lower than before the collapse of the Soviet Union, they are increasing quickly,” Boston University’s Pontus Olofsson told environmentalresearchweb. “We urge policy makers and land-use planners to fully account for the trade-offs and synergies between economic returns from forestry, provision of ecosystem services (e.g. food retention, soil stability) and biodiversity conservation.” The researchers are concerned that a further increase in logging could result in net emissions from terrestrial ecosystems during the coming decades. However, there is hope that forests will regrow on abandoned farmland. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, more than 2 million hectares of farmland were abandoned in Romania, as price liberalization, diminishing markets and declining rural populations made farming financially unviable.

Tanzania: Rufiji Delta Project Still On

By Finnigan Wa Simbeye, Tanzania Daily News, 31 October 2011 | Betsy Beymer-Farris and Thomas Bassett who are Assistant Professor at Department of Earth and Environmental Science at Furman University in South Carolina and Professor, Department of Geography at University of Illinois respectively, said in their recent report that stopping the Warufiji from cultivating in the delta in readiness for REDD+ as proposed by World Wildlife Fund for nature, is counterproductive. The report which is titled, ‘The REDD Menace: Resurgent protectionism in Tanzania’s mangrove forests,’ censures WWF researcher and authorities for trying to stop Warufiji from surviving by using resources in the delta despite their existence for centuries.

[Tanzania] UD didn’t pursue abuse of aid funds

newsinenglish.no, 31 October 2011 | Audits finally conducted of Norway’s foreign aid to Tanzania revealed irregularities and corruption, but critics claim Norwegian officials reacted much too mildly. The Foreign Ministry (Utenriksdepartementet, UD) appears to have been reluctant to take up difficult questions with Tanzanian authorities… Professional journal Development Today (DT) asked for copies of a contracted report that eventually provided the basis for the refunds paid by Tanzania. The foreign ministry refused and when DT complained, it only received copies where many sentences were blacked out. Norad finally did refer to anti-corruption efforts in Tanzania, which it has supported. Aftenposten reported that Norway has since followed up its MNRP aid with more aid to Tanzania, via the Norwegian forestry initiative REDD.

1 November 2011

Q+A-What issues are at stake in the EU-U.S. carbon spat?

By Barbara Lewis and Nina Chestney, Reuters, 1 November 2011 | Twenty-six nations, including the United States, are expected to lodge a formal protest on Wednesday against a European Union law to make all airlines travelling to and from Europe pay for their carbon emissions. The protest at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting in Montreal, Canada, is likely to escalate transatlantic tension, which has triggered an anti-EU bill in the U.S. Congress. It declared illegal the EU plan to make all flights buy carbon permits under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) from Jan. 1 to offset their emissions. The proposed U.S. legislation could mark the beginning of a trade war, analysts and lawyers said.

Why Rainforest Action Network Stands with the Occupy Movement

By Becky Tarbotton, Rainforest Action Network Blog, 1 November 2011 | We’ve been getting questions about why an environmental organization concerned with protecting forests, their inhabitants, and our climate would be supportive of a movement calling out the systems and institutions that maintain our country’s wealth and power inequality? Here’s why. Rainforest Action Network believes the social, economic, and environmental crises sweeping the planet are inter-related symptoms born of the same root causes. Put simply, unchecked corporate power is dangerous and destructive to both people and the planet. Mother Earth is as much a member of the 99% as any one of us.

Green Economy or Greenwash? That´s the choice at Rio Earth Summit 2012

By Daniel Mittler, Greenpeace International, 1 November 2011 | In March, I personally was present as the world community met in New York and governments outlined their first ideas for Rio 2012. Since then, a lot of regional meetings have been and are taking place to set out what governments will do on the “green economy” and on improving the “governance for sustainable development” – the two major themes of the “summit”. Colleagues from Chile, China and the Middle East, for example, have recently made your voice heard at meetings in Santiago, Cairo and Seoul. Sadly, these meetings have not given us hope, that governments are ready to jumpstart and speed up the solutions our planet so urgently needs.

[Indonesia] Palm oil company forcibly evicts indigenous community in Indonesian Borneo

mongabay.com, 1 November 2011 | A palm oil company has forcibly evicted an indigenous community from one of the last tracts of rainforest near Jempang in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo, reports Telapak, a group that advocates community forest management. The incident, which allegedly took place last week, pitted villagers of Muara Tae against plantation developer PT Munte Waniq Jaya Perkasa after the company acquired 638 hectares of disputed land. Munte Waniq Jaya Perkasa was backed by state security forces. Abdon Nababan, General Secretary of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Archipelago (AMAN), said the conflict arose from the government’s failure to recognize traditional ownership of the forest land, which has been used for generations by Dayak Benuaq people.

[Indonesia] Asia Pulp and Paper’s sinking reputation forces more companies to jump ship – including Hasbro

By Jamie Woolley, Greenpeace International, 1 November 2011 | There’s further bad news for Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) as yet more companies around the world ditch their contracts with the unscrupulous forest-trashing company. Hot on the heels of Mattel and Lego, today Hasbro announced a new paper-buying policy. Hasbro’s new policy says it will avoid controversial sources of paper fibre, and has explicitly requested that suppliers avoid dealing with APP. Hasbro has also committed to boost its use of FSC-certified and recycled paper in toy packaging.

2 November 2011

Durban – Conference Of The Polluters

By Alex Smith, Countercurrents.org, 2 November 2011 | [Patrick] Bond says there are really two streams of environmental thought and action regarding the ongoing United Nations climate talks, known as the “Conference of the Parties” (to the Kyoto Protocol). The first, like Climate Action Network, really hoped the industrial countries and the developing world could use climate financing and market mechanisms (like carbon trading) to work towards a lower emissions world. The second, now more widely known as the “Climate Justice Movement” – rejects actors like The World Bank, and capitalist intervention using tools like carbon trading. They also question the REDD agreement banking carbon credits in forests, especially tropical forests – because it takes rights away from the indigenous inhabitants.

Climate change already worsening weird, deadly, and expensive weather

By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 2 November 2011 | Unprecedented flooding in Thailand, torrential rains pummeling El Salvador, long-term and beyond-extreme drought in Texas, killer snowstorm in the eastern US—and that’s just the last month or so. Extreme weather worldwide appears to be both increasing in frequency and intensity, and a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) connects the dots between wilder weather patterns and global climate change. Leaked to the Associated Press and the AFP, the draft report warns that the world should expect more floods, heatwaves, and droughts to such as extent that some region may become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”

Carbon-trading markets losing global focus

By C.J. Punnathara, The Hindu, 2 November 2011 | As uncertainty looms over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, the delegates of the Carbon Forum Asia 2011 met at Singapore in an attempt to iron out differences and arrive at new solutions. The sombre note was provided by the World Bank assessment that global carbon markets have stalled after five years of consecutive growth. However, the global carbon-trading market had already touched $142 billion last year, a long way from the initial year of 2005.

Will California’s ETS spark an offset gold rush?

By Rory Carroll, Climate Spectator, 2 November 2011 | California will in 2013 likely launch an emissions trading scheme with a CO2 price far higher than the EU or NZ markets, a move that could trigger a gold rush for cheap offset projects. Under rules approved last week, companies covered by the state’s scheme will be able to use carbon credits from emission reduction projects, instead of state-issued permits to cover up to 8 percent of their emissions. Analysts say California’s aim of returning state-wide emissions to 1990 levels by the end of the decade could potentially create demand for about 221 million offsets over the next 8 years.

UNDP wants forex trading tax to help poor on climate change

AFP, 2 November 2011 | The UN development agency called Wednesday for a tax on foreign exchange trading deals, which are worth hundreds of billions of dollars per day, to help the world’s poor deal with the effects of climate change. “A currency transaction tax has been identified as the most viable of all the sources of innovative financing,” UNDP administrator Helen Clarke said as she presented the 21st Human Development Report in Copenhagen. “The infrastructure to support such a tax is already in place and a tiny levy will generate very substantial resources for development … just a tiny 0.005 percent levied … would yield some $40 billion annually,” she noted.

Laser-based forest mapping as accurate for carbon as on-the-ground plot sampling

mongabay.com, 2 November 2011 | Two new research papers show that an advanced laser-based system for forest monitoring is at least as accurate as traditional plot-based assessments when it comes to measuring carbon in tropical forests.

[Ghana] Mr. Thomas Otchere, Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of Forest

Ghana News Agency, 2 November 2011 | Mr. Thomas Otchere, Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) on Tuesday called for collaboration between stakeholders and the Division to arrest the depletion of forest reserves in the Region. He noted that illegal human activities in the forest areas were depriving the people of the needed economic resources and appealed to Assembly Members, traditional authorities, religious bodies and the people to put their heads together to fight the canker. Mr. Otchere was making a presentation at a meeting of the Regional Forestry Forum in Sunyani, attended by about 40 participants made up of members of the Regional Forum, Assembly Members and other opinion leaders.

Indian tribe secures unprecedented rights to tiger reserve

Survival International, 2 November 2011 | In a landmark victory, a tribe in India has for the first time had their right to use their ancestral land recognized – even though it is inside a tiger reserve. In 1974 members of the Soliga tribe were evicted from their homes in the Biligirirangan Hills, Karnataka state, by a local government intent on protecting the state’s wildlife. But now the Soliga’s right to collect, use and sell forest produce from within the Rangaswami Temple Sanctuary reserve has been formally confirmed. The unprecedented move follows more than 30 years of debate in Karnataka state over how to reconcile tribal peoples’ rights with conservation. It brings an end to fears of eviction and bans on their right to hunt and cultivate.

Dodgy logging: are Papua New Guinea’s forests going the way of Indonesia’s?

By Craig Thorburn, The Conversation, 2 November 2011 | “Don’t Californicate Oregon [or Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Montana etc]” was a popular slogan in the western United States during the 1960s and ‘70s. It was a repudiation of the mindless, haphazard development of land that had, by that time, already transformed southern California into “the world’s biggest strip mall”. A similar groundswell of sentiment now seems to be spreading across the jungles and villages of Papua New Guinea. The developmental demon in this case, however, is not California-style urban sprawl, but Indonesia-style forest exploitation.

Lessons on Forest Transition from Vietnam

By Elizabeth Kahurani, ASB, 2 November 2011 | ietnam is one of the countries that have experienced forest transition -a move from net forest deforestation to net reforestation and this has partly been as a result of strong government policies on reforestation and forest protection. During this year’s ASB Partnership annual governance meeting, participants had a chance to visit two sites in Lam Dong province where the government is piloting a policy on Payment for Forest Environmental Service (PFES) in a bid to enhance forest protection and governance… “The success of this programme is an example of what government commitment and support can do for ecosystem services. African countries in particular could learn a lot from this success story,” noted Peter Minang’, ASB Partnership Global Coordinator.

3 November 2011

Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases

By Seth Borenstein, AP, 3 November 2011 | The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming. The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. “The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing,” said John Reilly, co-director of MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Airline dispute exposes U.S., China climate inaction

By Gerard Wynn, Reuters, 3 November 2011 | A European Union plan to charge airlines for their carbon emissions has made unlikely allies of China and the United States in a trade dispute which underlines a failure in climate leadership by the world’s top two emitters. Their resistance could sap progress at a U.N. climate conference in Durban which starts later this month and may be a forerunner of similar disputes, for example over prospective EU environmental limits on fuels including Canadian crude from tar sands and Asian biofuels. The EU from January next year will require all flights into and out of Europe to account for every tonne of carbon emissions, including those outside European airspace, and buy permits where these exceed a certain quota.

New Study Finds CDM Coal Projects Undermine Climate Goals while Receiving Billions in Climate Finance

CDM-Watch Press Release, 3 November 2011 | A study by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) shows that efficient supercritical and ultra-supercritical coal technologies are not dependent on CDM financing but are being rapidly adopted due to price pressures and numerous Indian and Chinese government policies that mandate higher efficiency technologies. In other words, the study shows that CDM coal projects are not additional and therefore lead to artificial credits. “The study makes it plainly obvious that billions of Euros in climate finance for coal projects in India and China are a bad investment, both for a cash-strapped Europe and for the climate because they are business-as-usual” comments Anja Kollmuss from CDM Watch.

EU Might Halt Carbon Market to Sort Out Economic Crisis, Labre Says

By Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 3 November 2011 | There’s a risk the European Union might halt its carbon market, the world’s biggest, while it sorts out the bloc’s economic and political problems, said Marcelo Labre, a visiting fellow at London Business School who teaches energy, carbon finance and emissions trading. “The main issue is a possible runaway effect to other periphery countries that could lead to the breakup of the euro zone as we know it now, leading to the emissions-trading-system halt until EU governments manage to sort out their more urgent economic problems,” Labre said today by e-mail. “The probability of this event is no longer negligible.”

Creating markets to pay for public good offer promise, peril

Arizona State University press release, 3 November 2011 | Over the past 50 years, 60 percent of all ecosystem services have declined as a direct result of the conversion of land to the production of foods, fuels and fibers. “This should come as no surprise,” say seven of the world’s leading environmental scientists, who met to collectively to study the pitfalls of utilizing markets to induce people to take account of the environmental costs of their behavior and solutions. “We are getting what we pay for.” Their report, “Paying for Ecosystems Service: Promise and Peril,” was published in the Nov. 4 issue of the journal Science.

Children are forgotten entrepreneurs of the forest, says new CIFOR research

By May Thatcher, CIFOR Forests Blog, 3 November 2011 | Scientists in Burkina Faso have discovered that children in West Africa are boosting household incomes by selling non-timber forest products (NTFPs) independently of adults, providing an opportunity to involve children in defining the future use of forests. “This is a fresh dimension to the NTFP debate in West Africa … It could mean greater recognition of children’s involvement in household livelihoods, and forest use or management, and potentially different figures for household incomes, forest resource extraction, or for food security estimates,” said Michael Balinga, a researcher with the Center for International Forestry Research and one of the pioneers of the upcoming study.

Terra Global Secures Investment Capital for REDD and Land-Use Carbon Fund

Terra Global Investment Management, 3 November 2011 | Terra Global Investment Management secures approval for up to $40 million of financing for the world’s first globally diverse community-based REDD and land-use carbon fund. The Terra Bella Fund’s investment strategy is to provide project finance capital to community-based forest and land-use carbon projects in developing countries. This approval for financing is provided by OPIC, as an anchor investment to an expected final fund size of $100 million.

Latin America Forest News Updates — October 2011

By Gabriela Ramirez Galindo, CIFOR Forests Blog, 3 November 2011 | Every month we are reviewing the most relevant news articles on forests and climate change in Latin America and the Amazon region. Latin America news digests are compiled by Gabriela Ramirez Galindo, Regional Communications Officer for CIFOR’s Latin America office.

Brazil Faces $100 Billion Hit If Forest Bill Fails, Senator Says

By Fabiola Moura, Bloomberg, 3 November 2011 | Brazil would lose about $100 billion in agricultural output if the senate rejects legislation that forgives farmers for illegally clearing protected rainforest, said Senator Katia Abreu. Failure to approve the bill would force farmers to reforest about 70 million hectares (173 million acres) of land currently under coffee, oranges and other commodities, said Abreu, 49, who is president of the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock. “We would have a brutal reduction in the country’s food production,” she said in an interview at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York on Nov. 1. “The legal uncertainty we are living in is deeply worrying.”

Ghana assesses capacity reduce effects of climate change

ModernGhana.com, 3 November 2011 | A stakeholder workshop is ongoing in Kumasi to assess opportunities and challenges for the country to tap into the future of the REDD+ mechanism. Nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions are as a result of deforestation and forest degradation, through agricultural expansion, infrastructure development, destructive logging and fires. It is however estimated that 25% reduction in annual global deforestation rates could be achieved by 2015 if adequate financing is made available for results-based incentives and capacity building. The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests. Country Level Focal Project Person, Prof. Samuel K. Oppong, says climate change “brings in its wake a lot of difficulties… and therefore we as a nation should also have a means of preventing or reducing the effects of climate change”.

Not sustainable – Malaysia’s PEFC-endorsed timber just not good enough

By Nora van de Hoeven, Greenpeace International, 3 November 2011 | A major certification scheme claiming to help consumers purchase sustainable timber has been found wanting: Greenpeace along with several other organisations, has launched a report on how forest certification organisation PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), and both its endorsed certification schemes and labelled products, cannot be trusted to represent sustainable forest management. The independent Board of Appeal of the Dutch Environmental Foundation ruled on October 19th that the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), a PEFC-endorsed scheme, fails on key sustainability criteria. This latest ruling upholds the judgment made by the Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC): that the MTCS label does not protect forests or the rights of indigenous people who depend on them for their livelihood.

[UK] Standards set for forest management

Forestry Commission, 3 November 2011 | The Government set out its standard for sustainable forest management in a new publication today (Thursday 3 November 2011). The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) is the practice code for forest management, and details the conditions that must be met when felling trees, carrying out woodland operations and receiving grants. It has been developed by the Forestry Commission and the Northern Ireland Forest Service in consultation with a wide range of interests. It applies to all woodland, irrespective of who owns or manages it. The Standard ensures that international agreements and conventions on topics such as sustainable forest management, climate change, biodiversity and the protection of water resources are robustly applied here in the UK.

4 November 2011

The Climate Debate is Over. Let’s Tap Markets to Save the Trees, the Planet, and Ourselves

By Steve Zwick (Ecosystem Marketplace), Forbes, 4 November 2011 | The cause is clear, and the solution is obvious – but it’s that solution that has conservatives in a state of paralytic denial. To fix this problem, we must fundamentally change the way our economy prices goods and services so that the cost of environmental degradation is embedded in the cost of production. If we do that, everything else will follow. That’s the basic premise of carbon finance, and it’s a conservative idea – first proposed and then implemented by fiscal conservatives just a few short years before the whole movement went collectively insane… There are no quick fixes, but there are stop-gap measures that will buy us time until we can reduce industrial emissions. Chief among these is to stop paying poor people to destroy our rainforests and start paying them to maintain them.

Modalities for REDD+ Reference Levels: Technical and Procedural Issues

Meridian Institute, 4 November 2011 | The Modalities for REDD+ Reference Levels report identifies key terms, over arching principles and analyzes technical and procedural issues central to the development of REDD+ Reference and Reference Emissions Levels. This analysis is undertaken to inform the Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and other key stakeholders and government negotiators in the run up to COP-17.

DR Congo seeks to keep its green lung breathing

By Habibou Bangre, AFP, 4 November 2011 | Around Ibi Village, also in Kinshasa, is another preservation project. There it is planned to plant a forest of acacia trees, surrounded by manioc, to provide a 4,200-hectare forest for energy use, at the same time trapping in five years a million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund, along with French enterprise Orbeo, — a joint venture between chemical group Rhodia and Societe Generale bank — have each bought “500,000 tonnes” of carbon credits to resell to polluters to recompense their greenhouse gas emissions, the Ibi Village project head Delly Kayuka told AFP. However Kayuka voiced his disappointment at the asking price, at $4 dollars per tonne of CO2. According to the UNEP the Democratic Republic of Congo’s reserves of carbon dioxide, estimated at over 27 million tonnes, could generate up to $900 million per year up to 2030.

[Guyana] Barama lauds Gov’t for investment policies

Guyana Chronicle, 4 November 2011 | Barama Company Limited (BCL) yesterday lauded the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government for its foreign investment policies which it states are excellent, and are encouraging more companies to come on board while others are celebrating their achievements as a result of the vibrant and responsible economic management of the economy over the past many years. The plywood company, this week, observes 20 years of successful operations in Guyana and to mark the milestone, a celebration was held at its Buck Hall, Region 2 location and a veneer plant and craft centre were commissioned.

5 November 2011

[Guyana] No World Bank public awareness funds for Amerindians

Kaieteur News, 5 November 2011 | The World Bank has said that it is no longer providing the National Toshaos Council (NTC) with the funds to educate Amerindians about the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). This was confirmed yesterday by Yvonne Pearson, who heads the NTC. In mid-October 2009, the World Bank announced that it would provide US$200,000 seed grant to support efforts by Guyana to prepare a plan to benefit from international funding for saving the forest. The money was intended to be used to fund technical studies coordinated by the Guyana Forestry Commission and information efforts and community awareness activities coordinated by the National Toshaos Council. The announcement came after a due diligence mission here as part of the preparatory phase to support this country’s low carbon model to benefit from international funds under a United Nations mechanism called REDD.

6 November 2011

Oil Pipeline Protesters Surround the White House Today

By Jennifer Jacquet, Guilty Planet (Scientific American), 6 November 2011 | Some people, like Joe Romm, want more coverage on climate change. For me, climate change is one of those subjects that I actually try to ignore. I am often silently thankful that I do not have to stare at a headline about one of the most crushing subjects of our time in the morning. Reading about climate science or climate politics, such as the absurdity of wasting a perfectly good prison (which could be used for the many bankers who actually hurt millions of Americans but won’t spend a day in jail) on Tim DeChristopher, the 30 year old climate activist who made bids on federal oil and gas leases that he couldn’t pay, makes me question my country, my existence, and my biological desire to have children.

[Guyana] The LCDS and MOU Exposed

Stabroek News, 6 November 2011 | Several analysts have directly blamed the absence of a coherent economic strategy to guide Guyana’s development since the PPP/C administration came to power in 1992, for the volatile and inadequate economic growth which has prevailed since. The data for the period reveal that, between 1992 and 1999, annual average real GDP growth was approximately 5.6 per cent. And, between 2000 and 2010 the annual average real GDP growth was just under 2 per cent. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

“Turning bare land into a green nation”: How South Korea recovered its degraded forests

By Rachel Rivera, CIFOR Forests Blog, 6 November 2011 | A government-led reforestation program in South Korea has succeeded in producing a substantial increase in forest cover over the past 50 years, according to a new study released by the Center for International Forestry Research. The study, Forest Transition in South Korea: Reality, Path and Drivers, showed forested land area has almost doubled in size since the mid-1950s, with 60 percent of the country now covered in forests. The increase in forest cover was mainly accomplished through a government-led effort aimed at recovery of degraded forest.

[Zimbabwe] How sexy are forests?

By Wisdom Mdzungairi, NewsDay, 6 November 2011 | We must do better, and soon. The world needs to dramatically increase their level of ambition. Developed countries must take the lead in this effort, but all countries must do their part. [Environment and Natural Resources minister Francis] Nhema should use every ounce of his experience, skills and influence to advance action on climate change. He must help Africa defend the science that shows we are destabilising our climate and stretching planetary boundaries to a perilous degree. He should help us to identify the new alliances – among public officials, business, civil society and communities – that will make sustainability the rallying point for action in the 21st century for the country. Together, we can build a low-carbon, more sustainable economy – one that can protect the most vulnerable and result in a cleaner, safer and healthier world for all. But, how sexy are the forests to you so as to avoid deforestation?


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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