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REDD in the news: 15-21 October 2012

REDD in the news: 15-21 October 2012

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 is updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

REDD+ Politics in the Media – A Case Study From Papua New Guinea

Andrea Babon, Daniel McIntyre, Ronald Sofe, Ecosystem Marketplace, October 2012 | The study found that the media often framed REDD+ in political and economic terms. The analysis reveals that national government actors were the dominant voices in the REDD+ debate in Papua New Guinea, although international and domestic environmental NGOs or NGO coalitions, as well as research institutes were also particularly prominent. What was missing, however, were the unadulterated voices and opinions of local people and communities who own the vast majority of Papua New Guinea’s forests. Their engagement and active participation in policy development and implementation will be vital for effective, efficient and equitable REDD+ outcomes.

15 October 2012

Land grabs in Ethiopia leave tribes hungry on World Food Day

Survival International, 15 October 2012 | Violent land grabs in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley are displacing tribes and preventing them from cultivating their land, leaving thousands of people hungry and ‘waiting to die’. As the world prepares to raise awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger on October 16 (World Food Day), Ethiopia continues to jeopardize the food security and livelihoods of 200,000 of its self-sufficient tribal people. Tribes such as the Suri, Mursi, Bodi and Kwegu are being violently evicted from their villages as Ethiopia’s government pursues its lucrative plantations project in the Valley. Depriving tribes of their most valuable agricultural and grazing land, security forces are being used brutally to clear the area to make way for vast cotton, palm oil and sugar cane fields. Cattle are being confiscated, food stores destroyed, and communities ordered to abandon their homes and move into designated resettlement areas.

Germany Beats Fast-Start Finance Commitment But Sees Need For More Scale

By Kelli Barrett, Ecosystem Marketplace, 15 October 2012 | Developed countries have been uneven at best in defining Fast-Start Finance (FSF) for REDD, but Germany has exceeded its commitments, according to a survey released Friday by Berlin-based nonprofit Climate Analytics. Globally, the report’s findings echo those of the REDD+ Tracking initiative, an ongoing effort being carried out by Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends, with funding from the Skoll Foundation and the German government. “There is a lack of internationally agreed on objectives, criteria, and definitions about what fast start finance and climate finance in general, is” says Marion Vieweg-Mersmann, a climate policy analyst at Climate Analytics and lead author of the recent report, German Fast Start: Lessons Learned for Long-Term Finance.”

[UK] Cameron must commit to low-carbon economy

By Nicholas Stern, Financial Times, 15 October 2012 | First, it must adopt regulatory and planning structures that encourage investment in new capacity both from established and new sources of electricity – recognising the differences between technologies as regards scale, risk and the stage of development of low-carbon sources… Suppliers are more likely to invest in low-carbon generation if they can rely on a strong and stable carbon price, underpinned by the floor mechanism, which the government last year said would take effect from April 2013. Such a price corrects a market failure.

[USA] State-level REDD+ offers huge climate benefits

By Steve Schwarzman, EDF, 15 October 2012 | A few weeks ago in Chiapas, Mexico, the 17 states and provinces from the U.S., Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria that make up the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) met to discuss ways to collaborate on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from cutting down and burning tropical forests. Several states are already reducing emissions, on a larger scale than is often recognized. With California poised to start the first state-wide mandatory emissions reductions program in North America next month, you’d think that environmentalists would welcome more states’ leadership. But instead, Greenpeace put out a document slamming the GCF for proposing state-level plans to reduce deforestation instead of waiting for national programs. Never mind that a number of the GCF states are larger and have more emissions than many countries. This sounds oddly reminiscent of oil company lobbyists’ arguments…

16 October 2012

UN emissions credits sink to record low as demand wilts

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 October 2012 | United Nations Certified Emission Reductions dropped to their lowest ever as German power for 2013 fell to a record amid Europe’s continued debt crisis. CERs for 2012 decreased 12 per cent to close at 1.46 euros ($1.82) a metric ton on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. European Union allowances for December declined 1.8 per cent to 7.69 euros, the lowest since Oct. 4. ICE handled 8.3 million tons of December CER trades as of 5:57 p.m., the most since Nov. 25 and the second highest ever. CERs from developing nations including China are falling as emitters buy cheaper Emission Reduction Units from eastern European nations including Ukraine and Russia, Konrad Hanschmidt, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in London, said today in an e-mailed research note.

The UN’s secret climate adaptation summit

By Ed King, Responding to Climate Change, 16 October 2012 | COP11 in Hyderabad is probably the biggest climate adaptation conference you have never heard of. Representatives from 192+ countries have travelled to India, drawing a crowd of 14,000 delegates to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) bi-annual summit. But aside from a solitary New York Times journalist who arrived on Monday, media coverage outside India is fairly low-key. This is a pity, as the subjects up for discussion are fascinating, and directly relevant to the climate debate. In the past week geo-engineering, biofuels, REDD+, coastal protection strategies and increased environmental finance commitments have all been on the agenda. For delegates here it is simple. The future of the oceans, forests and endangered species all depend on how high global temperatures will rise.

UN-REDD Policy Brief Explores Multiple Benefits from REDD+

Forest Carbon Portal, 16 October 2012 | The UN Collaborative Programme on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (UN-REDD) has released a policy brief on achieving benefits beyond carbon sequestration from investments in reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+). The brief, titled “REDD+ Beyond Carbon: Supporting Decisions on Safeguards and Multiple Benefits,” examines the current system of REDD+ safeguards, including the associated Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (SEPC), as well as the Benefits and Risks tool to assist in the development of national REDD+ strategies.

Forests or Agriculture: not necessarily an ‘all or nothing’ trade-off

By Jan Börner and Sven Wunder, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 October 2012 | Making informed decisions on how to reduce carbon emissions from forestry and agriculture requires some solid knowledge about potential tradeoffs between development and conservation objectives: what you manage to win through avoided deforestation or reduced cropping emissions has to be weighed against possible farm income losses when first-best farming strategies have to be sacrificed. Forest conservation climate mitigation strategies typically involve creating areas where trees are protected. Activities in these areas, such as crop expansion or logging, are restricted or prohibited, so trees are left standing.

Surrounded by agriculture, mines and villages: today’s forests are part of the ‘landscape mosaic’

By Melati Kaye, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 October 2012 | As forests worldwide become hemmed in by communities and development, management of these unique and disappearing ecosystems needs to be holistic, incorporating the needs of those who depend on them for food, energy and livelihoods, a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research says. While the concept of multiple-forest use in a landscape context has been mentioned in the goals of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for more than 15 years, it has yet to move beyond the rhetoric by being incorporated firmly into national and international legislation and promoted in practical terms. It’s time for that to change, said Manuel Guariguata at Tree Diversity Day held alongside the CBD’s 11th Conference of the Parties in Hyderabad, India last week.

Can adaptation be a hook for local engagement in REDD+?

By Will McFarland (ODI), REDD-Net, 16 October 2012 | As a primarily local issue, adaptation has more direct relevance to local people than the mitigation potential of REDD+, and in the absence of long term monetary benefits from REDD+, could emphasising the tangible contributions to local environmental conditions and wider governance reforms of REDD+ activities help win the hearts of local communities? Forest mitigation activities, such as REDD+, have the potential to contribute broadly to efforts in adaptation – that is not just to the ‘hard’ adaptation aspects but also softer elements of adaptation too. Hard aspects include the physical beneficial impacts of forests on environmental services such as watershed protection, reduced soil erosion, shelter from strong-winds and tidal waves in the case of mangroves.

[Cambodia] First Community-Based Mosaic REDD+ Project in Asia Awarded VCS and CCB Validation

Terra Global Capital press release, 16 October 2012 | The Oddar Meanchey REDD+ project in Cambodia has achieved successful dual validation under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard. This is the first community-based mosaic REDD+ project in Asia achieve VCS registration and CCB Gold validation, and will result in the generation of approximately 8.2 million tons of emission reductions over the project’s 30-year life. The project is being implemented by the Forestry Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Pact, Terra Global Capital, Children’s Development Association (CDA) and the communities of the Oddar Meanchey province, with funding support provided by the Clinton Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Terra Global and Pact, and pro-bono legal counsel provided by SNR Denton.

[Ecuador] Shaman and British wife embark on rainforest campaign against oil threat

By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 16 October 2012 | An Ecuadorean shaman and his British wife will embark this week on a house-to-house campaign in their Amazonian village to dissuade locals from granting exploration rights to an oil company in an area of pristine forest close to the Yasuni national park. Patricio Jipa and Mari Muench hope to thwart the advances of PetroAmazonas, which has promised villagers from the Kichwa indigenous group that they will get cash, new schools, a new eco-lodge, better healthcare and university education for their children if they accept plans for a seismic survey. Muench, a businesswoman from London, said they have until a village meeting on 27 October to win over a majority of the 422-member community on Sani Isla, which has land usage rights over an area of 70,000 hectares in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Scientists say a single hectare in this region contains a wider variety of life than all of North America.

[Ecuador] I must persuade my community to protect our Amazon home

By Patrico Jipa, The Guardian, 16 October 2012 | The oil company PetroAmazonas is promising my Amazonian Kichwa community a new school, college, eco-lodge, grant funding for their children to go to university, money for healthcare, dentistry, jobs and a cash lump sum, in return for being able develop their land. But with my wife and 14-month-old baby, I’ve embarked on the task of persuading the community otherwise – in order to preserve intact the 70,000 hectares of virgin rainforest here, its inhabitants, medicinal plants, flora and fauna. A vote by my people is imminent. We are going to go through the rainforest, house to house, to talk to the people to help them choose tourism and rainforest preservation over the offer from the oil firm.

[Peru] REDD+ Project Helps Insure Sustainable Development in Amazon

By Andrew Burger, globalwarmingisreal.com, 16 October 2012 | REDD to the rescue? Working together within the context of the UN’s as yet evolving REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Program in southeastern Peru, the groups have established the Madre de Dios Amazon REDD Project. The project area spans some 100,000 hectares (~247,000 acres) of Peruvian Amazon rainforest less than 30 kilometers (18.75 miles) from the Southern Transoceanic Highway in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots—the Ecological Corridor Vilacamba-Amboro. Aiming to prevent illegal logging, conserve biodiversity and ecosystems services, project partners are providing surveillance services and working with local communities on sustainable development projects to enhance living conditions and quality of life that don’t compromise the integrity of the rainforest ecosystem–services Peru’s government isn’t providing.

ClimateCare and the Woodland Trust partner to help UK businesses tackle climate change at home and abroad

ClimateCare Newsroom, 16 October 2012 | International climate and development experts, ClimateCare, and the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, have today announced a unique partnership that will help UK businesses create inspiring, integrated Corporate Social Responsibility programmes which include action on climate change at home and abroad. Established for over 14 years, ClimateCare runs some of the world’s largest and most innovative climate and development programmes, helping businesses reduce carbon emissions and deliver positive health, social, economic and environmental outcomes in developing countries. The partnership with the Woodland Trust brings a unique and engaging UK element to these programmes, enabling businesses to make verified emission reductions and deliver multiple co-benefits through creating new woodland in the UK.

17 October 2012

Biofuels: EU weakens proposals to reduce indirect climate impact

The Guardian, 17 October 2012 | The European commission has watered down proposals to reduce the indirect climate impact of biofuels, but is sticking to a strict new limit on the amount of food crops that can be used to make fuel, draft legislation showed. The late changes mean that fuel suppliers will not, as originally planned, be held accountable for the indirect emissions biofuels cause by displacing food production into new areas, resulting in forest clearance and peatland draining known as indirect land-use change, or ILUC. “The 5% limit is still in, but the ILUC factors are now purely for reporting purposes and not part of the sustainability accounting rules for biofuels,” one EU source involved in the discussions said.

What we can learn from Europe’s cap-and-trade system

By Brad Plumer, Washington Post, 17 October 2012 | We know, we know. No one in Washington wants to talk about climate change. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney mentioned the subject in the second presidential debate on Tuesday. And there’s a widespread belief that a cap-and-trade program to cut carbon emissions won’t resurface in Congress anytime soon. Still, that hasn’t stopped our friends on the other side of the Atlantic from tackling the issue. And there’s a new report (pdf) out today from the analysts at the Environmental Defense Fund, looking at the track record of Europe’s cap-and-trade system over the past seven years. Some of the lessons here are worth a closer look.

[USA] California Policy Makers Must Hear Variety Of Indigenous Voices

By Steve Schwarzman, Ecosystem Marketplace, 17 October 2012 | This week, some U.S. NGOs are bringing a group of indigenous people from South America to talk with California policy makers about their opposition to REDD+, the idea that countries, states and communities that reduce carbon emissions from tropical deforestation should be eligible for compensation through carbon markets and public funds. It’s good for policy makers to hear this perspective, but it’s critically important for these policy makers to hear the great diversity of indigenous voices on the REDD+ issue. Having worked with indigenous peoples and minorities in the Amazon for over 20 years, in particular on helping indigenous peoples win the struggle for their lands, I’m glad that EDF actively supports indigenous and minority participation in international policy processes, whether or not given organizations or individuals agree with us.

18 October 2012

What’s wrong with putting a price on nature?

By Richard Conniff, The Guardian, 18 October 2012 | Ecosystem services is not exactly a phrase to stir the human imagination. But over the past few years, it has managed to dazzle both diehard conservationists and bottom-line business types as the best answer to global environmental decline. For proponents, the logic is straightforward: Old-style protection of nature for its own sake has badly failed to stop the destruction of habitats and the dwindling of species. It has failed largely because philosophical and scientific arguments rarely trump profits and the promise of jobs. And conservationists can’t usually put enough money on the table to meet commercial interests on their own terms. Pointing out the marketplace value of ecosystem services was initially just a way to remind people what was being lost in the process — benefits like flood control, water filtration, carbon sequestration, and species habitat.

New office aims to expand CDM projects in Africa

By John Christianson, AlertNet, 18 October 2012 | A new Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) office has been established in Lomé, Togo, to promote environmentally clean development within the region, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)… Not all developing countries, however, have been able to benefit from this program. Irini Roumboglou, a UNFCCC spokeswoman, cites both an “institutional lack of understanding of how government could be involved” and a “lack of infrastructure” as obstacles to many developing countries putting forward CDM proposals. According to Roumboglou, only 2 percent of CDM projects have occurred in Africa, the site of the new office. China and India, on the other hand, comprise 51 percent and 19 percent of projects, respectively.

UNDP Unveils Ambitious Global Strategy to Protect Biodiversity

UNDP press release, 18 October 2012 | The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today unveiled a robust environmental strategy to address unprecedented levels of global biodiversity loss. The new strategy – entitled “The Future We Want: Biodiversity and Ecosystems – Driving Sustainable Development” – was adopted during the Eleventh Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India and calls for a significant scaling up of investments in 100 countries by 2020. As part of the plan, UNDP will work with national governments to protect biodiversity and manage ecosystems across 1.4 billion hectares of land and bodies of water, comparable to the area of Australia, India and Argentina combined.

Global forest expert panel presents key findings on link between biodiversity and carbon

By Melati Kaye, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 18 October 2012 | After a year’s worth of analysis, a global forest expert panel has come to seven key findings showing a strong link between biodiversity and carbon and a wide array of issues that need to be addressed in schemes to reduce emissions from deforestation. “Our intent with this project was to assess the scientific information published on the link between Biodiversity and Carbon in terms of REDD+ and offer guidance to policy makers designing REDD+ management programs and to the scientific community on knowledge gaps,” said Alexander Buck, the Executive Director of the International Union of Forest Research Organization, of which the presenting Global Forest Expert Panel (GFEP) is one component. Buck also compared the principles and procedures of GFEP with those of the expert International Panel on Climate Change, coining them the ‘IPCC of forests’.

Sharing the Benefits of REDD+: Lessons from the Field

By Erin Myers Madeira, Conservation Gateway (TNC), 18 October 2012 | In the near-term, most funding for REDD+ will come from the public sector and will focus on building readiness, piloting key policies and measures, and demonstrating how REDD+ will work on the ground. These upfront investments in REDD+ can deliver real, meaningful benefits, such as securing stakeholders’ access to resources and land, empowering communities to participate in land-use decisions, creating new “green” enterprises that are economically sustainable, and shifting towards low-carbon practices in existing industries. These benefits are real and measurable, and are independent from any performance-based payments from measuring emissions reductions that may come once a program is fully implemented. This report examines the full set of opportunities to generate benefits through all phases of developing, demonstrating and implementing a REDD+ program.

Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News

Ecosystem Marketplace, 18 October 2012 | Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace is pleased to announce that on November 1, 2012, we will launch the most recent edition of the annual State of the Forest Carbon Markets report. The report, which details our latest findings on the state of forest carbon projects’ structure, standards, and finance, will be freely available on both the Ecosystem Marketplace and Forest Carbon Portal websites on and after this date.

[Indonesia] Cartagena Dialogue unifies vision ahead of Doha COP 18

By Agnes Winarti, The Jakarta Post, 18 October 2012 | Indonesia’s former environment minister and chairman of the Climate Change National Council (DNPI) Rachmat Witoelar recalled that since the Bali Roadmap had been formulated by COP 13 in 2007, multilateral commitments by the developed countries had yet to be realized in concrete financial forms. The Bali Roadmap includes the adoption of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) to cope with climate change, the development and transfer of technologies, and the review of financial mechanisms. “Since the Bali Roadmap was formulated, in essence, it expects developed countries to financially assist developing countries in climate change mitigation, because the developed countries have largely contributed in the destruction of the climate. There have been bilateral agreements, but there have yet to be any multilateral agreements from those developed countries,” said Rachmat…

[Russia] Business Lobbying for Kyoto Emissions Role

By Roland Oliphant, The Moscow Times, 18 October 2012 | Representatives of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Economic Development Ministry and state-owned banks VTB and Sberbank have made a joint call for the government to rethink its refusal to sign the Kyoto 2 environmental treaty. At a meeting on the issue hosted by the Higher School of Economics last week, delegates from several financial institutions and business groups said they would pass along their recommendation that Russia join Kyoto 2 to presidential adviser and former Economic Development Minster Elvira Nabiullina this week. Russia joined Canada and Japan in refusing to take on further targets in the second implementation period of the Kyoto Protocol at the climate summit in Durban, South Africa, in December, complaining that a treaty that did not bind the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases was pointless. Both the United States and China have refused to take on obligations…

[USA] NGOs Square Off Over REDD in California

By Kelli Barrett and Selene Castillo, Ecosystem Marketplace, 18 October 2012 | In February of this year, exasperated indigenous leaders from 11 organizations in the Brazilian state of Acre sent an open letter to CIMI (Conselho Indigenista Missionário), a Catholic missionary organization that has won high marks over the years for its support of indigenous rights. The letter (see “Open Letter to CIMI”, right) thanked the organization for its past good works but then – in a stunning and public rebuke – accused the organization of playing loose with facts and even of adopting a paternalistic stance towards the very people it had done so much to help. “No one is forcing the indigenous organizations to do anything,” they wrote. “We will not be treated as Indian wards who need NGOs to defend their rights.”

19 October 2012

World ‘not on track’ for temperature target: UN

AFP, 19 October 2012 | Governments are “not on track” to achieve a target of keeping the average global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the UN climate chief said Thursday. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told a forum in Singapore that the world was moving in the right direction, but not fast enough. “Even if governments were to comply with all the mitigation pledges that are on the table, it will still only provide 60 percent of the effort that is necessary to keep global average temperature rise to under two degrees,” she said. “It is also well known that governments have agreed to review this target to 1.5 degrees should the science demand more drastic action. Frankly… we are not on track.”

‘CBD has lost its track’

By M. Suchitra, Down To Earth, 19 October 2012 | Why should we conceal the truth? When CBD was concluded for the first time in 1992, before the Earth Summit in Rio, it was considered as something very positive for developing countries. But somewhere along the line CBD has lost its track and now its approaches for implementation of its objectives favour market forces. Through the present mode of mainstreaming biodiversity, CBD gives leverage and power to the private sector and the market forces for utilising the natural resources only for their profits. Everything connected with nature is being commodified, putting at risk the livelihoods of indigenous and local people, and of the common goods.

REDD+ receives first report card

By Albert Norström, sdupdate.org, 19 October 2012 | A new global assessment shows that impacts of actions under Reduction of Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) on biodiversity and carbon vary across forest types and landscape conditions. Key findings of the preliminary assessment were released at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Hyderabad, India. The assessment has been prepared by the International Union of Forest Research Organisations’ Global Forest Experts Panel (GFEP) and, with input of more than 50 leading scientists from around the world, will constitute the first comprehensive analysis to date of the relationship between biodiversity, forest management and REDD+. One key finding presented was that REDD+ actions have variable impacts on carbon and biodiversity across different forest types and landscape conditions; and across space and time.

‘REDD+ actions can have varying impacts’

By T.V. Padma, SciDev.Net, 19 October 2012 | Impacts of actions under Reduction of Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) – a UN mechanism to stem deforestation and degradation – on biodiversity and carbon vary across forest types and landscape conditions, a new global assessment shows. Key findings of the preliminary assessment of links between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people, prepared by the International Union of Forest Research Organisations’ Global Forest Experts Panel (GFEP), were released this week (16 October) at the international biodiversity meeting in Hyderabad. The GFEP’s expert panel on biodiversity, forest management and REDD+, launched in December 2011, made the assessment from peer-reviewed research reports, said Alexander Buck, executive secretary, International Union of Forest Research Organisations.

Most controversial aspects of Brazil’s new Forest Code vetoed as legislation signed into law

mongabay.com, 19 October 2012 | Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed into law a revised version of the country’s Forest Code, vetoing some of the most controversial changes proposed by agricultural interests in Brazil’s Congress. The law, signed late Thursday after President Rousseff voted nine clauses Wednesday night, requires landowners to replant millions of hectares of illegally cleared land and retains earlier provisions for maintaining forest cover of 80 percent on private properties in the Amazon rainforest. However the revisions now allow landowners to count forests along rivers and hillsides as part of their “legal reserve”. Previously these zones — where forest preservation is mandatory — were additional to the 80 percent requirement. The new forest code also requires landowners to participate in a registry, whereby they declare their holdings — including the coordinates — to the government.

[Costa Rica] A first step toward carbon neutrality

By David Boddiger, The Tico Times, 19 October 2012 | It may have been a politically ambitious pronouncement when ex-President Oscar Arias declared in 2009 – his last year in office – that Costa Rica would become the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2021. Other countries also declared their intentions of becoming the first carbon-neutral nation, but have since scaled back those promises or rolled back their target dates. Since 2009, observers have noted that Costa Rica likely will join them, eventually pushing back its goal by five to 10 years. In June 2011, Arias admonished his successor, President Laura Chinchilla, and her administration for being soft on carbon neutrality (TT, July 8, 2011). Officials responded by saying the date of 2021 – the country’s 200th anniversary – wasn’t important, as long as Costa Rica committed to reaching its goal of zero net carbon emissions.

[Indonesia] REDD task force

By Sean White, letter to the editor, Jakarta Post, 19 October 2012 | The letter from the presidential REDD+ task force is most helpful, in as much as it lends considerable weight and credibility to the concerns I raised about the sums of money given by the Norwegian government disappearing “down a black hole”. For two years, they have been studying the issues and have nothing to show for it or for the millions of dollars spent. What have they saved in two years? There is no mention in their letter of any achievements. Two years of writing and by the time they finish writing their reports they will be out of date anyway. Useless. Just today, I was reading how the palm oil industry is about to double in size its hectares in East Kalimantan. I was there a week ago and saw for myself how the Kutai National Park had been badly encroached upon and in a way that is totally illegal.

[Philippines] Forests Protected

Manila Bulletin, 19 October 2012 | Top government forest officials from the Visayas and Mindanao regions laid down strategic plans on how to combat deforestation and forest degradation in a three-day live-in workshop-summit in Southern Mindanao frontier city that ended yesterday. These top 53 government forest officials made strategic plans on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation-Plus (REDD-Plus). Their plans, programs and objectives were prepared at the end of their workshop-summit in Davao City’s hotel and convention center. As part of the readiness phase of the Philippine National REDD Plus strategy, the workshop-summit participants placed the over –all strategies – on the science of Climate Change , role of forest in global warming and Climate Change mitigation.

[USA] Environmentalists worry California’s cap-and-trade plan will hurt national efforts

Living on Earth, 19 October 2012 | With the international Kyoto Climate Treaty stalled, Norway has done some REDD deals on its own in Brazil and Indonesia, and now California is getting ready to follow suit. Critics of these efforts include Greenpeace, who blasted sub-national REDD projects in a report called, “Outsourcing Hot Air.” Greenpeace says these REDD projects may do little to cut pollution. But starting in November, California will phase in its own cap-and-trade system. Roman Paul Czebiniak, a Greenpeace Senior Policy Advisor, says the problem with the California plan is one of scale. “We’re very much in favor of financing forest protection at many different levels,” he said. “Our issues is with the push for including sub-national forest offset projects into the carbon markets in a way that would allow industrial polluters to continue to emit.”

20 October 2012

21 October 2012

[India] Rio Tinto to invest $ 500mn in Bunder diamond mines’

The Times of India, 21 October 2012 | The mine has a capacity of about 27 million carat, seven times higher that the capacity of Panna diamond mine, said Kamal Kant, director commercial and external affairs, Rio Tinto. Kant was delivering the key-note address at the Enviro Conclave organized by climate change and environmental core competency cell at Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) here on Saturday… Director, wildlife conservation trust, Anish Andheria, stressed on the importance of shifting the villages from inside the core areas of tiger reserves and national parks to regain the status of the ‘Tiger State of India.’ “Forest is the mother of rivers and hence it should be protected to meet the future needs,” he said. Chief guest, former director general, Indian Council of Forest Research and Education, Dr Jagdish Kishwan spoke at length on scope of United Nation’s programme on reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD)…


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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