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REDD in the news: 3-9 June 2013

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A round up of the week’s news on REDD, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news page is updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

FAO-COMIFAC-CBFF: The monitoring system and MNV project launches REDD+ in Rwanda

Congo Basin Forest Partnership, June 2013 | It was in Kigali, Rwanda, that the sensitization and training trailer of the FAO project named “National Monitoring System and Measurement, Notification and Verification (MNV) following a regional Approach” made a stop for the holding of the first national workshop from 28 to 29 May 2013 in Rwanda. Co-organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and FAO, this workshop was primarily aimed at contributing to the ownership of the REDD+ process and of the national system of forest monitoring “SNSF”.This meeting mobilized about 25 participants from structures presented as stakeholders involved in the REDD+ implementation in Rwanda. They came from the administration, the private sector, tertiary education, the university, national and international CSOs and development agencies.

Conference on Forests, Climate Change and REDD +

foresteurope.org, June 2013 | Within the framework of the Spanish co-chairmanship of REDD + Partnership during the first half of 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment organized a Conference on Forests, Climate Change and REDD + that was attended by Eduardo Rojas, Director of Forestry FAO, Ministry authorities, including Mr. Jose Maria Solano; and officers of the Spanish Climate Change Office as well as representatives from the business sector, academia and civil society. Several topics were considered during the session, including the tools and needs of REDD + as a system proposed by the UNFCCC, the role of forests in global carbon balances in the context of REDD +, The case of REDD + as an example of payment for environmental services, the financial perspective of REDD+ and the funding mechanisms and future of REDD + in the framework of the EU, among others.

3 June 2013

Airline industry carbon proposal may help save U.N. deal

By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, 3 June 2013 | A proposal agreed to this week by major airlines could rescue U.N. efforts for a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation sector, but the industry still needs to lean on governments for the plan to move ahead, industry observers said. Following its annual meeting in South Africa on Monday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it will ask governments to create a system through which airlines would offset any increase in emissions after 2020 by buying carbon credits from projects that reduce emissions in other sectors. The proposal is meant to give governments that are parties to the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) a blueprint for a global agreement.

U.N. panel smoothes path for African CO2 reduction schemes

By Marton Kruppa, Reuters, 3 June 2013 | Developers of emission reduction projects in ten African nations face less red tape to earn carbon credits after a U.N. panel last week agreed rule changes it hopes will re-invigorate its ailing carbon market. The Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) on Friday agreed the first two areas for which developers could share greenhouse gas data, simplifying rules that previously forced them to estimate emission figures for every project. “This is an important event in the evolution of the CDM, vital in preparing the mechanism for increased use in the future,” said Board Chair Peer Stiansen said in a statement, referring to the so-called standardised baselines. Since 2005, the CDM has leveraged more than $200 billion in carbon finance for the developing world but has seen investment dry up due to collapsing carbon prices and complaints of cumbersome rules.

[Canada] Alberta’s trailblazing carbon market remains a work in progress

By Darcy Henton, Calgary Herald, 3 June 2013 | Daysland-area farmer Ken Eshpeter jumped at the chance to get involved in the province’s carbon market. When the 64-year-old Albertan saw he could claim $14,000 worth of emission-reduction credits as a result of his farming practices dating back to 2002, he signed a contract with a company in 2011 to pool the credits with other farmers – and sell them to a big industrial emitter of greenhouse gases. He is still waiting for the cash. "I didn’t read the fine print," Eshpeter lamented. "The fine print said I didn’t have to be paid for three years." Eshpeter said he hasn’t been able to reach the company to find out what is holding up the payment. The Alberta Farmer’s Advocate office has posted notices on Alberta Agriculture’s website warning farmers about the company.

Multinationals reaping big from abusive forestry practices in DRC

AFP, 3 June 2013 | Multinational companies are profiting hand over fist from abusive forestry practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where illegal logging, mislabelled timber and false permits are widespread, according to several non-governmental organisations. The forests of the Congo basin in central Africa cover about 100 million hectares (almost 250 million acres) and are regarded as the second-largest green lung on the planet after the Amazon rainforest, but in DR Congo trees are being cut down with little regard for the law. Local and international NGOs charge that Congolese authorities are working with logging companies. In spite of tighter regulations recently adopted in Europe on imports of timber from Africa, it is almost impossible to verify the legality of tropical wood from DR Congo, according to the British-based non-profit organisation Resource Extraction Monitoring.

World’s largest REDD+ project approved in Indonesia

BusinessGreen, 3 June 2013 | The world’s largest REDD+ project has finally been given the go-ahead by the Indonesian government after spending three years in limbo. The project at Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Borneo was approved by the Ministry of Forestry last week and is now set to reduce total emissions by 119 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over 30 years. The 64,000 hectare site will generate carbon credits from preserving the carbon-rich tropical peat swamp and forest in the face of development pressure from palm oil plantations. Under the REDD+ scheme the credits can be purchased by companies seeking to reduce their emissions through the voluntary carbon market.

Huge Indonesia forest project could unlock funding for REDD+

By John Parnell, RTCC Climate Change News, 3 June 2013 | The launch of the largest project in the world to preserve forest carbon under the UN REDD+ scheme could help attract funding for similar projects, according to a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) expert. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) projects fund the protection of forests by providing a financial incentive to keep them standing. The equivalent carbon offset credits are given in return. The offset credits are typically purchased by larges business and manufacturers. Tim Christophersen, senior programme officer, forests and climate change at UNEP told RTCC that the 64,000 hectare Rimba Raya project could help to build support for REDD+ and provide a template for future initiatives.

Indonesia on right path to saving forests: Greenpeace

Bangkok Post, 3 June 2013 | A copy billion deal to save Indonesia’s rainforests has slowed a "tidal wave" of logging destruction, Greenpeace’s global chief said Monday, but he warned much more needed to be done. While many environmentalists have sharply criticised Indonesian efforts to end rampant logging across some of the planet’s most vital forests, Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said there was reason to hope. "Firstly, we must acknowledge with shame and with sadness how much has been lost. How much biodiversity has been lost… it was like a non-stop tidal wave," Naidoo told AFP while on a short Southeast Asia tour. "(But) at least we can say we have turned the tide."

Making the Right Choice on Indonesia’s Forest Moratorium

By Andrew Steer and Dino Patti Djalal, WRI, 3 June 2013 | Ending months of uncertainty, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia made a courageous decision last week to extend the country’s forest moratorium. The new Presidential Instruction adds another two years of protection for over 43 million hectares of primary forests and peat land — an area the size of Japan. This was a bold decision by a leader known for his commitment to sustainability. Extending the moratorium is a victory for the Indonesian people, business, and the planet. The moratorium will directly benefit more than 80 million Indonesians who rely on forests for their livelihood. Many of these people are extremely poor and have struggled to gain recognition for their land rights. Extending the moratorium provides an opportunity to address these crucial issues.

4 June 2013

Market mechanisms at the heart of government climate actions

IETA and EDF press release, 4 June 2013 | Today, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and The World’s Carbon Markets: A case study guide to emissions trading, a collaborative series of case studies examining carbon market development around the globe… IETA CEO and President Dirk Forrister said, “This is an exciting time for climate action powered by markets. This landmark report showcases the wide range of countries taking serious decisions on climate change. Many have concluded that market mechanisms make the most sense in achieving emissions reductions while preserving economic growth.” “Emissions trading programs vary in their features, but they all share the key insight that well-designed markets can be a powerful tool in achieving environmental and economic progress,” EDF vice president for international climate Nathaniel Keohane said.

Puma’s forest efforts prove how REDD+ matters to business

By Martyn Bowen and Sissel Waage, GreenBiz.com, 4 June 2013 | What are corporate leaders to do once they realize that their environmental impacts are significant and undercutting the very structure and function of the green infrastructure upon which we all rely? Honestly, business leaders will need to roll up their sleeves and begin to think about aspirational goals and systemic innovation around products, services and business models. In the interim, while significant innovation is underway, it will be important to signal to investors and other stakeholders, “We’re working on it.” And that is where the (seemingly arcane) domain of forest carbon and REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) comes into the picture.

Monitoring Reporting and Verification System for REDD+ in Guyana

Esri Video, 4 June 2013 | Haimwant Persaud of the Guyana Forestry Commission discusses Guyana’s system for monitoring forest carbon emissions.

[Indonesia] Perseverance Pays Off For World’s Largest REDD Project

By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 4 June 2013 | Two years ago, Indonesia’s Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve was on the rocks after the country’s Ministry of Forestry turned more than half of its 80,000 hectares over to palm oil interests – an act that prevented it from becoming the first carbon project to generate credits under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) for saving endangered rainforest and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). By the end of last year, however, the project had been saved – reportedly after intervention by powerful forest friends like Singapore-based businessman Rusmin Widjaja, Central Kalimantan Governor A. Teras Narang, and Triwatty Marciano, whose husband, Marciano Norma, heads Indonesia’s State Intelligence Agency – and VCS signed off on its design.

[UK] Carbon Credit Scammers Closed For The Third Time

By Jim Atkins, iExpats, 4 June 2013 | Scammers cashing in on a carbon credit con have had their business closed down by The Insolvency Service. Carvier Limited was selling packages of carbon credits from Brazil to enable firms to off-set their carbon footprints. However, when investigators took a closer look at the firm’s overpriced offering, the firm didn’t co-operate and their paperwork was lacking. As a result, London-based Carvier Limited has been wound-up in the High Court. The firm also has links to two other firms which had been closed earlier because of their rip-off tactics –Foxstone Carr Limited and Tullett Brown Limited.

[UK] Barclays executive accused of lying in £140m case

By Alistair Osborne, Telegraph, 4 June 2013 | Harshika Patel, a managing director in Barclays commodities division, is a pivotal figure in a High Court case brought by one of the bank’s former clients, CF Partners. Trading house CF alleges that the bank went behind its back to make a rival and successful £100m bid for Tricorona, a Swedish carbon trader CF had itself been pursuing with potential finance from Barclays. CF alleges Barclays “misused” confidential information the trading house had provided “to their own unfair advantage”, while also breaching “obligations of confidence”. The bank denies the claims.

[USA] CleanPowerSF to rely on green credits, not actual renewable energy sources

By Chris Roberts, San Francisco Examiner, 4 June 2013 | In a bid to price its electricity rates to be competitive with PG&E, the new CleanPowerSF program will likely have to rely heavily on renewable energy credits — essentially carbon credits — instead of electricity received directly from renewable sources. Under a five-year, $19.5 million contract with Shell Energy North America that was approved by the Board of Supervisors last fall, about 100,000 San Francisco utility customers will be automatically enrolled in CleanPowerSF, tentatively scheduled to begin in March of 2014. Customers will be given the choice to buy California state-certified green renewable energy from the program, or opt out of the program and continue buying power from PG&E. Currently, CleanPowerSF energy customers can expect to pay about 11.90 cents per kilowatt hour, or about $6.51 more per month on average than if they stayed with PG&E, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

5 June 2013

Bonn delegates to tackle impasse over REDD+ climate change negotiations

By Fawziah Selamat, Reuters, 5 June 2013 | Negotiators attending a UN climate change conference this week are expected to propose setting up a REDD+ governing body, which could help provide a solution to how countries monitor, report and verify successful emissions reductions. It would also determine how financial support would be disbursed… Delegates at the meeting in Bonn, Germany, which will take place from June 3 to 14, will debate whether a REDD+ governing body tasked with organizing the flow of financial support and establishing the verification processes will help the emissions reduction scheme out of its current impasse. “We should have known by Doha (where the previous climate change summit was held), how emissions reductions should be reported and verified,” said Louis Verchot, Director at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Carbon pricing is catching on around the globe — just not in Washington, D.C.

By John Upton, Grist, 5 June 2013 | More than 40 national governments and 20 states or other “sub-national” governments are now charging polluters for emitting greenhouse gases, or plan to start in the coming years, according to a new report from the World Bank. The U.S., of course, is not one of the countries with a national cap-and-trade plan or carbon tax, but California and parts of New England are pushing ahead despite Congress’ refusal to act. All in all, about 7 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases are now priced — the equivalent of 3.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide out of the total 50 gigatons emitted annually worldwide. Not a lot. But, says the report, “If China, Brazil, Chile, and the other emerging economies eyeing these mechanisms are included, carbon pricing mechanisms could reach countries emitting 24 [gigatons of CO2 equivalent] per year, or almost half of the total global emissions.”

Up in smoke: Carbon credit trade past its sell-by date?

By Nitin Sethi, The Times of India, 5 June 2013 | Carbon prices in international markets are at their lowest in a decade. Projects, especially in India and China, two major suppliers of carbon credits, are writing off expected revenues. Carbon trade, touted as the emission trading scheme that’d cheaply reduce emissions bringing green technologies within the financial reach of poorer countries, is at a near-collapse. Worse, the logic of carbon-credit trading — that it’s a cheap way emission reduction — is under scrutiny. Many claim it has resulted in private players gaining funds, doing little. This was how the carbon credit plan was to work. Poor countries would run projects on cleaner technologies. The extra costs for cleaner technologies would be offset by ‘selling’ the ‘avoided’ future CO ² emissions. For each tonne of CO ² emission avoided, project developers would get a certificate they could sell to industries in developed countries. They’d buy the certificates to meet targets.

Low-Cost Carbon Credits Driving Europe to Import Coal, Wood and Biomass

Sustainable Plant, 5 June 2013 | The U.S. coal and logging industries are booming thanks to exports to Europe. Alternatives to these two fuels are much more expensive in Europe. At the same time, the carbon credit price has fallen to insignificance. The result is a great incentive for European power plants to burn solid fuels, according to McIlvaine’s “Fossil & Nuclear Power Generation: World Analysis & Forecast.” The impacts on industrial boilers, flue gas desulfurization (FGD), DeNOx, precipitator, and fabric filter markets are also being analyzed in McIlvaine reports. Some of the surprising developments in Europe: The number of new coal-fired power plants in planning or construction in Europe is rising. The electricity production of existing coal-fired power plants is up substantially. A large number of dedicated biomass power plants are underway. Major investments are being made to convert coal-fired power plants to burn combinations of biomass and coal. Coal imports are soaring.

[Australia] Carbon Planet Are Meeting New REDD+ and SES Standards

Profoco, 5 June 2013 | Profoco project partner Carbon Planet have announced news that all of their projects are undergoing development that will bring about complaince with rigorous new REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards. Profoco are committed to meeting the highest attainable standards of accountability, reporting and ethical practice throughout all of their operations. The introduction of the new standards will provide a further framework within which Profoco can clearly demonstrate the positive environmental effect of their projects in generating real and realisable Environmental Capital.

Trucks arrive to evict Botswana Bushmen despite government denials

Survival International, 5 June 2013 | Government trucks arrived last night to evict Bushmen from their ancestral land in southern Botswana, according to reports received by Survival International. The move to evict the Ranyane Bushmen comes despite an injunction issued by Botswana’s High Court last week preventing the forced removal of some of the Bushmen until the case returns to court on June 18, and despite promises from President Khama’s spokesman Jeff Ramsay last week that ‘The government has no plans to remove those who wish to stay at Ranyane’. The community has been threatened repeatedly with eviction by local authorities to make way for a ‘wildlife corridor’, a project which was pushed by American organization Conservation International for many years. The Bushmen were told they were blocking the free movement of animals, and if they refused to leave, government trucks would arrive to remove them and destroy their houses.

[Brazil] Legal uncertainty cuts progress against Amazon deforestation

By Paulo Prada and Caroline Stauffer, Reuters, 5 June 2013 | A year after adopting changes to its long-standing forestry policy, Brazil is struggling to implement the new rules, adding to uncertainty that appears to be fueling an increase in clearing of the Amazon rainforest. Regulators, landowners and farmers say they don’t know how long it will take to enact the new "forestry code," a dense law that, among other rules, governs the amount of woodland that must be preserved on farms and other productive property. On Wednesday, President Dilma Rousseff recognized the scale of the chore, especially a crucial first step to register Brazil’s more than 5 million farms and ranches, a process essential to demarcate existing cropland from protected terrain.

[Philippines] Environment projects to receive P720-M from Germany

ABS-CBN News, 5 June 2013 | Two environmental projects in the Philippines will receive a total of P720 million in grants from the German government. Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) Regional Director Philippines and the Pacific Robert Kressirer signed the agreements for the National REDD+ System Philippines and the Protected Area Management Enhancement in the Philippines (PAME) on Wednesday. “These projects support our commitments under various international environmental and multilateral agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Coral Triangle Initiative,” Paje said. The projects, which will be funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the GIZ, will be operational until 2017. The National REDD+ System Philippines seeks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from natural and human causes.

6 June 2013

EU Proposes Lowest Allowed Limit for Imported Carbon Credits

By Ewa Krukowska & Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, 6 June 2013 | The European Union’s regulatory arm proposed to set the quota for international carbon credits at the lowest level allowed by law after imports aggravated a record glut of permits in the EU emissions-trading system. Participants in the world’s biggest carbon market will be entitled between 2008 and 2020 to use United Nations’ credits totaling up to 11 percent of the EU permits granted to them for free in 2008-2012, according to a draft regulation published by the European Commission yesterday. They may also opt to choose as the limit the amount of imported credits allowed under national permit allocation plans for 2008-2012, if it is higher. The commission decided not to use an option provided for in the EU emissions law to allow additional imports of UN credits, according to the draft sent to member states for consideration.

Countries Forge Ahead on Mitigation in Agriculture Despite UNFCCC Delays

By Lini Wollenberg, Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 6 June 2013 | Although UNFCCC negotiations on agriculture are on hold, agricultural mitigation is already an objective for many developing countries. National governments are moving quickly to plan agricultural development that also leads to climate change adaptation and mitigation, which is crucial in a sector that is so vulnerable to climate impacts, but also responsible for 14 to 24% of global emissions. As a result, new policy mechanisms and tools are being put into use with some promising, recent developments. Agriculture already features prominently in many countries’ national mitigation plans. Since agriculture is one of the largest sources of emissions for many non-Annex I countries, mitigation can enable countries access international funds for agricultural development, as well as contribute to meeting national emissions targets.

[Australia] Caltex fires up to buy Indigenous carbon credits

By Matt Brann, ABC News, 6 June 2013 | An Indigenous fire abatement project in the Northern Territory has just sold over $517,000 worth of carbon credits to oil refiner Caltex Australia. Managed by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), the Fish River Station project, south of Darwin, generates its credits through an early-season burning methodology that reduces the frequency of late season wildfires. ILC operations manager Shaun Ansell says over the last two years the fire project has generated 25,884 credits, which have been sold to Caltex for more than $20 each. "We’re very happy with the price we’ve got and there is of course other benefits that come from this project," he says. "Everyone’s incredibly pleased and probably a little bit relieved that we’ve been able to pull this off.

In Sierra Leone, Steward City Forum Discusses Carbon Trade

Sierra Leone News, 6 June 2013 | The Sustainable and Thriving Environment for West Africa Regional Development (STEWARD) has on Wednesday 5th June 2013 held its second Capital Forum in which it was revealed that the adverse effects of climate change could be mitigated through the implementation of a system called the Payment Ecosystem Services. It was noted that this system is a sure way of enhancing forest conservation to reduce carbon emission. The Project Communications Manager, Cathleen Cybele, said the purpose of the Forum was to create a platform wherein stakeholders, including institutions and experts would share experiences in research work and forge cooperation on biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, water sanitation and hygiene.

Vietnam issues CO2 emission credits

VietNamNet, 6 June 2013 | The project monitoring report of Gold Standard organization showed that in the period from June 2010 to the end of 2012, the biogas program issued 510,952 emission credits, which meant that 510,952 tons of CO2 was reduced, thanks the project implementation in Vietnam. This is really an encouraging result for the 10-year implementation of the project. The national biogas project has been carried out in Vietnam by the Dutch organization SNV and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with the financial support from the Dutch government. It aims to provide the solutions allowing to convert the waste into the sustainable source of energy for the families in rural areas. It is estimated that 130,000 biogas works have been built so far, which has benefited 650,000 rural people who can get the clean and cheap energy in a sustainable way.

7 June 2013

High-level report proposes SDGs – how are forestry and landscapes linked?

By Peter Holmgren, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 7 June 2013 | On 30 May 2013, the report of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda was handed over to Ban Ki-Moon by the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The report is a direct follow-up of the Rio+20 meeting a year ago. It aims to define development priorities, objectives and targets and includes concrete proposals for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel of 27 people was co-chaired by the presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Long deliberations remain before we have a post-2015 development agenda that is agreed by the world’s countries; however, this report constitutes one of the most significant milestones in this process, well worth reading and analyzing. In part, the report builds on the process and progress monitoring of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Where’s the world going on carbon trading?

By Peter Castellas, Climate Spectator, 7 June 2013 | Over 2000 visitors from more than 100 countries attended the Carbon Expo in Barcelona last week. Carbon Market Institute CEO Peter Castellas reports on some of the key takeaways for Australia. 1. A new generation of carbon markets are progressing at pace. The transition toward a new generation of carbon markets includes a range of domestic or regional initiatives that will become the cornerstone of the global growth of the carbon market in the coming years. Over 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions have either implemented or are considering market mechanisms that place a price on carbon.

Global carbon trading system needs support warns UN chair

By Ed King, RTCC Climate Change News, 7 June 2013 | The world’s main system of carbon trading needs urgent support from governments if it is to continue functioning effectively and give developing countries access to green technologies. The UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has 6900 registered projects in 86 countries, and has issued 1.3 billion certified emission reductions (CERs) since its launch. One CER is the equivalent to a tonne of carbon dioxide. But falling demand for these credits and a lack of policy clarity from governments has left the CDM struggling, with prices dropping by 90%. CDM Executive Board chair Peer Stiansen told a meeting at the UN climate talks in Bonn he was happy with the integrity of the mechanism, but said the global economic outlook and struggling EU emissions trading system indicated there would be no quick fix.

Number of new CDM projects slumps to 7-yr low: UN agency

By Andrew Allan, Reuters, 7 June 2013 | The number of new projects seeking permission to produce U.N. carbon credits by cutting emissions in poorer nations hit a seven year low in May, according to data from a United Nations research agency, further evidence that carbon finance is drying up. Just six projects applied for United Nations validation under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in May, the lowest level since January 2006, when banks, energy companies and governments poured money into the market in the hope of getting carbon credits they could sell on for a profit. Since January, just 72 schemes have been registered, down 94 percent from more than 1,100 in the first five months of 2012, UNEP Risoe said. Analysts say investment has been hit by the introduction of EU curbs on European companies using credits from newly-registered projects to meet targets under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme as well as rock-bottom prices.

The latest strategy to fight global warming and the criminals taking advantage

By Zinta Zommers, The Dallas Morning News, 7 June 2013 | While REDD+ was conceived as a simple idea to keep trees standing, it is threatened by the world’s powerful addiction to illegal logging… It’s brutally hard to follow REDD+ money. There are at least 15 multilateral and bilateral funds that contribute to REDD+ projects, such as the Amazon Fund, the Congo Basin Fund and the Forest Carbon Partnership. Donor states often announce large transfers of money to these funds but then deliver much less, making it hard to know how much cash has actually gone missing once it hits the ground. REDD+ is anything but transparent… REDD+ is an innovative solution to one of the world’s most pressing problems. But success depends on solving age-old governance challenges — eliminating crime, clarifying land tenure, increasing transparency. It is unlikely that we will be able to address these issues in time to stop the rapid rise of CO2.

Tree rings link climate and carbon in Africa

By Kristi Foster, World Agroforestry Centre, 7 June 2013 | “Trees are history books,” says Aster Gebrekirstos, a scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). “Just ask a tree what conditions were like in the past and it can tell you about rainfall, temperature, river flow, the frequency of wildfires, and about how much and how fast it grew.” Using dendrochronology—the science of analyzing and dating tree growth rings—Gebrekirstos and colleagues at ICRAF and partner institutions are capitalizing on the knowledge stored in trees to both learn about the past and plan for the future. A brand-new laboratory facility at ICRAF’s Nairobi headquarters, set up by Aster Gebrekirstos under the auspices of the Climate Change research program and funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), will allow other ICRAF scientists and partners in Africa to apply dendrochronology to carry out exciting new research…

8 June 2013

AFP: Russian protests block UN climate talks

AFP, 8 June 2013 | Procedural protests by Russia held up part of the UN climate talks on Friday for the fifth successive day, according to frustrated delegates at the labyrinthine negotiations in Bonn. Russia has been blocking a key technical panel whose work feeds into the 12-day negotiation round. The Russians, supported by Belarus and Ukraine, are demanding a debate on how decisions are agreed at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 20-year forum for addressing global warming and its impacts. They say they sought to object to a deal at the UNFCCC’s last big meeting, held in Doha, Qatar, last December, that saw an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. But they complain they were ignored by the conference’s Qatari chairman, who gavelled the agreement through. "There’s a big fight about how rules are agreed," said a source with a European NGO. "They obviously feel very sore about what happened there, and they are making a big deal about it."

9 June 2013


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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