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REDD in the news: 25 November – 1 December 2013

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.

SNV REDD report: A country-led approach to REDD safeguards and multiple benefits

By D. Rey, S. Swan and A. Enright, SNV World, 2013 | This paper presents a state-of-the-art overview of the three broad and complementary strategies developing countries can adopt to achieve multiple benefits through design and implementation of their national REDD+ programmes: i) country safeguard systems; ii) mainstreaming multiple benefits into REDD+ national strategies and subnational plans; and iii) economic incentives for multiple benefits. The paper aims to demonstrate that implementing REDD+ can be a means for achieving multiple benefits and should be viewed as a means of realising key social and environmental sustainable development goals and not just a carbon emissions reduction strategy.

UNICEF launches new carbon offset project with M&S

The CarbonNeutral Company press release, November 2013 | Marks & Spencer (M&S) has become the first major company to sign up to UNICEF’s new carbon offset project. This initiative will improve the health and lives of vulnerable children while cutting carbon emissions that cause climate change… Jonathan Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future said: “M&S led the world in becoming the first major retailer to go carbon neutral and has now reinforced that leadership by supporting UNICEF’s new carbon offset project in Bangladesh. This ticks literally all the boxes in terms of improved health, local economic benefits and reduced emissions of CO2. I sincerely hope that others will follow swiftly in their path.”

25 November 2013

Warsaw Climate Talks Produce Progress On Finance, Loss and Damage, Forests

By Eric J. Lyman and Dean Scott, Bloomberg BNA, 25 November 2013 | One bright note from the talks was the progress made to advance the UN forest protection program known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), including new funding pledges unveiled in Warsaw. Deforestation, along with other land-use changes and agriculture, accounts for more than 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, the forest protection efforts could be funneled into the final global accord in 2015, providing credit for heavily forested developing nations for reducing emissions by curbing deforestation. But for now the Warsaw decisions on REDD offer incremental progress, setting rules for developing nations to measure, report and verify existing forest cover and measure progress.

Markets Have ‘Deep Roots’ in UN Climate Process, IETA Says

By Alessandro Vitelli & Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, 25 November 2013 | Market mechanisms such as the European Union’s emissions-trading system still have “deep roots” in the United Nations climate talks after negotiators failed to adopt major decisions this year, the head of a trading lobby said… “Markets are going to be a part of the future architecture,” IETA’s Forrister said in an interview in Warsaw on Nov. 22. “We have to fight to ensure they’re workable and that they’ve got good fundamentals.” … “Warsaw’s been a big disappointment just because I think there were some things within reach, close to getting good conclusions, but that seemed to get bogged down in procedure and petty disputes rather than big fundamentals,” IETA’s Forrister said.

Five reasons why the 2013 climate talks were a success

By Sophie Yeo, RTCC, 25 November 2013 | The completion of the UN’s forest program, REDD+, turned out to be one of the major success stories of this year’s batch of climate talks. The package of decisions agreed by governments on Friday is designed to halt deforestation, a significant contributor to global warming. The program will see rich countries channelling funds towards developing countries in exchange for the preservation of their rainforests, which could otherwise be logged. Like most UN decisions, it has been a long time in coming, with nations first discussing the idea back in 2005. Its finalisation this year is a significant step towards global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

[Botswana] Exposed: fracking licenses granted in Bushmen’s reserve

Survival International, 25 November 2013 | Large parts of Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) – home to Africa’s last hunting Bushmen – have been opened up to international companies for the controversial practice of ‘fracking’, according to an investigation for the documentary film ‘The High Cost of Cheap Gas’ and British newspaper The Guardian. A leaked map shows that exploration concessions have been granted for half of the CKGR – a reserve larger than Switzerland – raising fears of land grabbing, a drop in water levels and irreparable damage to a fragile ecosystem essential for the survival of the Bushmen and the reserve’s wildlife.

China to launch two new carbon trading exchanges

By David Stanway, Reuters, 25 November 2013 | China will launch two new pilot carbon trading schemes this week in Beijing and Shanghai as it strives to cut soaring rates of greenhouse gas, reduce choking smog and determine the best system for a nationwide roll-out. China, the world’s biggest source of climate-changing carbon emissions, is under domestic pressure from its population to counter air pollution and has pledged to cut the 2005 rate of CO2 emissions per unit of GDP growth by 40-45 percent by 2020. As U.N.-led climate talks stumbled in Warsaw last week, the country’s chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua was keen to push the country’s CO2 cutting credentials, challenging developed nations to match the efforts being made by China to tackle global warming. The new platforms, which will force industrial firms to buy credits to cover any CO2 they emit above allocated quotas, also underscore Beijing’s commitment to “market mechanisms” to slow emissions growth…

United States is back as facilitator in Congo Basin Forest Partnership

By Denis Sonwa, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 25 November 2013 | Although President Barack Obama did not make a stop in the heart of the continent in a recent trip to Africa, the U.S. administration is taking a new responsibility in this region. The United States is assuming, for the second time, leadership in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) at the moment where reducing deforestation in the Congo Basin is one of the objectives of Obama’s Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI). The Congo Basin is also at the center of U.S. interest for development and conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. The following text presents: (i) the previous role of the United States in the creation of CBFP ten years ago, (ii) the current challenges in the region and (iii) the way the United States will strategize its responses through the CBFP during the next two years.

[Indonesia] NGO questions mapping of oil palm plantations in RI

The Jakarta Post, 25 November 2013 | Greenomics Indonesia’s spatial verification results on the “Global Forest Cover Change 2000-2012” map, which was published by the University of Maryland in the US in mid-November, show that oil palm plantations have been mapped out as forest cover gains. “The mapping needs to be questioned further on whether oil palm plantations have been scientifically categorized as forest cover, or world class researchers have made a mistake in interpreting satellite image data,” Greenomics Indonesia director Elfian Effendi said in an official release, on Monday. He gave oil palm plantations belonging to Sinarmas Group in Papua as an example. “The Global Forest Cover Change map has mapped out oil palm plantations owned by Sinarmas Group in Papua as forest cover gains,” said Elfian.

Norway launches programme to buy 30 mln carbon credits

By Ben Garside, Reuters, 25 November 2013 | Developers of emission reduction projects must submit by Jan. 8 proposals to sell U.N.-backed carbon credits to the Norwegian government, the state-owned NEFCO fund said on Monday, launching a process to purchase 30 million of the units. Norway said in October it planned to buy the credits from the Clean Development Mechanism to help meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emission target and support projects at risk from collapse… “Many projects are struggling to continue their operations with no or very low revenues from carbon sales. We hope that as many vulnerable projects as possible will be able to submit their proposals,” said Ash Sharma of NEFCO, which is overseeing the process, in a statement.

26 November 2013

Unpacking Warsaw, Part One: The Streamlined Institutional Framework

By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 26 November 2013 | The “Rulebook” is actually a collection of separate decisions that together provide clear guidance on how countries can harvest available scientific data to create reliable snapshots of their forests over time and to use these snapshots to create deforestation reference levels that will be recognized by the UNFCCC. The decisions govern, among other things, modalities for monitoring national forests, addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, and measuring, reporting and verifying activities designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s still, however, not clear what sort of payoffs that data will yield long-term, and for that there’s the work program for developing results-based finance in support of REDD and a new set of arrangements between the COP and the Green Climate Fund. The decisions also includes a mechanism for helping developing countries deal with loss and damage from climate change.

Future of public climate finance: What should happen to the Climate Investment Funds?

Bretton Woods Project, 26 November 2013 | In the GCF’s absence, one of the main mechanisms to distribute public climate finance continues to be the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), which has deposits of $6 billion. This is for investment plans in 48 developing countries, including up to 100 projects with a focus on clean technology, resilience to climate change, reducing deforestation, and renewable energy. Housed at the World Bank, the CIFs transfer public climate finance from 14 developed countries through multilateral development banks, such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The longer the GCF is not operational, the more consolidated the CIFs become. After several years of developing investment plans, projects are now entering their implementation phase and, as the recent Bretton Woods Project’s Climate Investment Funds Monitor shows, there are moves to potentially expand the number of CIF countries.

Controversial palm oil project approved in Cameroon rainforest

mongabay.com, 26 November 2013 | A controversial palm oil project set in the West African rainforest in Cameroon has won a three-year provisional lease to convert 20,000 hectares of land for plantations. The project, which is run by U.S.-based Herakles Farms, has been heavily opposed by environmental groups who say it will destroy blocks of wildlife-rich forest. Under the provisional lease granted by the Cameroonian government, Herakles will be allowed to develop less than a third of the 73,000 ha it originally hoped to turn into oil palm plantations. The project had been halted by Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife last May due to environmental concerns. Greenpeace, which together with the the Oakland Institute has led a campaign against the project, criticized the decision.

Shanghai Begins Trading Carbon Credits Tuesday, Beijing Thursday

By Paul Ebeling, HeffX, 26 November 2013 | The carbon trading platform will be launched in the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange in Hongkou District Tuesday, and will be followed by the inauguration of a similar carbon credits platform in Beijing Thursday. About 200 companies, including steel mill Baosteel and hotel operator Jin Jiang, will participate in Shanghai’s carbon credits trading initially. The 2 cities were among the 7 provinces and municipalities chosen by China’s top economic planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), in late Y 2011 to trial carbon markets. was the 1st Chinese city to start carbon credits trading when its online platform began in June.

[Malaysia] Forest people ‘disillusioned’ in battle to protect land

By Jake Lucas, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 26 November 2013 | For 15 years, the indigenous people of the Long Teran Kanan community, in north Malaysian Borneo, battled with Malaysian business conglomerate IOI-Pelita over land the group had long occupied and cultivated. The palm oil company had been granted the use of the land by the government, and sought to prove the community did not own it – which would mean the company owned the community nothing, apart from the already-paid compensation for one season’s crops. But the Kayan and Kenyah people who make up the Long Teran Kanan community wanted to show the land, which they used for small-scale farming of cash crops along the Tinjar River, had traditionally been theirs. After a protracted 12-year battle, the court finally issued its first decision in 2010, and much to the community’s amazement, it was in their favor. They had rights to the land, and the oil palm company was trespassing on it, the court said.

[Tanzania] For REDD Proponents, No Regrets Despite Policy, Finance Challenges

By Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace, 26 November 2013 | Charles Meschak, Executive Director, Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, says the local communities he works with have done their part to conserve and restore the biodiversity of the country’s forests. Now, he says, it’s time for policymakers to follow suit. “Communities have demonstrated their ability and willingness to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” he said at a COP19 side event sponsored by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “It is now time for the international community to demonstrate their willingness to pay for REDD by paying communities who reduce emissions at a price that fairly reflects the opportunity costs and the transaction costs of not converting forests to other land uses.”

27 November 2013

The Warsaw Walkout

By Nnimmo Bassey, The Nigerian Telegraph, 27 November 2013 | Over 800 citizens of the world, representing social movements, trade unions and non-governmental organisations staged a historic walk out of the 19th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 19) last Thursday at Warsaw, Poland. The walkout underpinned the fact that the rich, polluting nations of the world were playing games with the talks while the planet warmed, burns and gets pounded by extreme weather events such as the horrid typhoon and cyclones that hit the Philippines and Somalia recently. Those who walked out of the COP included Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace International, the Philippines Movement on Climate Change, WWF, Oxfam International, the International Trade Union Confederation, Actionaid, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, LDC Watch, 350.org and the Bolivian Platform on Climate Change.

COP19: Final Reflections

WWF, 27 November 2013 | After the WWF team together with other leading NGOs walked out from COP19 on November 21 and after leaving Warsaw, we have now had some time to reflect upon and analyze the outcomes for REDD+. We were happy to see that the spirit of compromise prevailed as COP19 negotiators came together last week to finalize key elements of an international mechanism to reduce emissions from tropical deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) – the second largest source of emissions that cause climate change. The finalized REDD+ package includes decisions on the methodological issues needed to complete the design elements of REDD+, results-based finance for REDD+ and guidance on institutional arrangements for the coordination of support.

REDD highlights tenure problems, but does not solve them

By Thomas Hubert, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 27 November 2013 | Preparations for a proposed international scheme to pay local users to cut greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation are directing more attention to forest tenure problems — but they do not solve them, researchers have found… “REDD+ may lead to improvements in some project areas, but it has not brought fundamental change, and at this point it appears unlikely to do so,” said Anne Larson, a principal scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Larson led the publication of “Land tenure and REDD+: The good, the bad and the ugly,” a recent paper based on a study of 22 REDD+ pilot projects in 71 villages spread over six countries: Brazil, Peru, Cameroon, Tanzania, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Putting a price on nature would be disastrous

By Nick Dearden, The Guardian, 27 November 2013 | As UN climate negotiations rumbled on in Warsaw, big business came together with conservation groups in Edinburgh last week at the inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital to put a price on nature. The idea goes back to the Rio+20 conference in 2012, when a group of investors drafted the natural capital declaration. It argues that if we price everything nature gives us (wildlife, plants, forests, waterways, pollination, you name it), companies would think twice before destroying them. Like advocates of the market for more than 200 years, the drafter of the declaration cannot abide the idea of “the commons” – commonly held resources whose reproduction and use is not subject to the laws of finance. The English enclosures, starting around the 15th century, and the Scottish clearances, from the 18th century, turned most common land in our country into private property, generating the profits that fed the Industrial Revolution.

Enhanced Satellite Imaging Techniques Seek to Improve Forests Monitoring

By James A. Foley, Nature World News, 27 November 2013 | Finnish technology group VTT reports it has a new satellite-based imaging system that will help more accurately assess tropical forest cover and assist with deforestation verification efforts in tropical forest regions. The firm’s imaging method maps tropical forest cover by using satellite images with a resolution of 10 to 30 meters. The accuracy of the images is then checked against a statistical sample from satellite images of a resolution of 1 meter. By periodically sampling the data at a super-high resolution, the researchers contend it will ensure the greater satellite mapping method does not over – or underestimate the total forested area. VTT is teamed up with the ReCover project for sustainable forest management, which is tied to the United Nations REDD Program aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

Carbon credit market gets a boost

By Sarah Rundell, top1000funds.com, 27 November 2013 | Norway and Britain have both announced plans to buy carbon credits, giving the United Nation’s struggling Clean Development Mechanism a boost. Sovereign institutions have thrown a lifeline to the United Nation’s struggling Clean Development Mechanism, CDM, set up under the Kyoto Protocol which awards tradable carbon credits to projects like wind farms or solar power that reduce emissions. Norway’s Ministry of Finance has just invited submissions under its plans to purchase carbon credits from struggling green energy projects threatened by low prices for the offset they generate. In another development Britain says it plans to buy £50 million worth of carbon credits. Norway plans to purchase UN Certified Emission Reductions, CERs, up until 2020 spanning the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Top human rights watchdog investigates Ethiopia and Botswana

Survival International, 27 November 2013 | The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the region’s top human rights body, has called for the forced relocation of thousands of tribal people in Ethiopia to be halted, and has raised concerns over the denial of rights of Botswana’s Bushmen. The Commission urged Ethiopia to stop the forced resettlement of the Lower Omo Valley tribes to make way for vast plantations, while it investigates allegations of human rights violations. Ethiopia’s policy of ‘villagization’ is enforced by the military, and numerous reports of killings, beating, rapes, and imprisonment of local tribal people have surfaced – which both Ethiopia’s largest single donors, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and USAID, are aware of.

Mexico launches first carbon exchange to cut CO2 emissions

By David Alire Garcia, Reuters, 27 November 2013 | Mexico’s stock exchange launched its first platform to trade carbon credits on Tuesday, a voluntary initiative that allows polluters to offset their emissions with tradeable certificates. The new platform, called MEXICO2, provides an electronic forum for certificates conferring the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide, thereby attaching a cost to pollution. MEXICO2 also seeks to have investors fund environmental projects aimed at curbing greenhouse gases. “Increasingly, investors are asking that companies do their part to reduce their carbon emissions,” Luis Tellez, chief executive of Mexico’s stock exchange, said at the launch.

28 November 2013

Indonesia forests still dwindle

Associated Press, 28 November 2013 | At home and abroad, Indonesia is highlighting its progress in curbing the environmental destruction that has depleted forests and made the Southeast Asian nation a leading source of greenhouse gases. But environmentalists are unconvinced. They say pulp and palm oil plantations are still expanding at an alarming rate in Sumatran forests, despite efforts by the government and industry. That expansion has contributed to climate change and threatens endangered tigers and orangutans. More than 80 percent of Indonesia’s emissions are due to clearing of what is the world’s third-largest area of rainforest, after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. About half of Indonesia’s rainforest has already been destroyed.

[Indonesia] Deforestation is never temporary

By Erik Meijaard letter to the editor The Jakarta Post, 28 November 2013 | In an article published in The Jakarta Post on Nov. 16, the Forestry Ministry secretary-general Hadi Daryanto explained that people should not worry too much about deforestation in Indonesia, because it really was not as bad as portrayed in the media. He commented on a recent study in the journal Science that showed Indonesia still had the world’s fastest rate of deforestation. What scientists have failed to understand, according to Hadi, is that much of this deforestation was only temporary. “Temporary deforestation” surely deserves a prize for the euphemism of the year. It seems that what Hadi was referring to was the process of developing forestry plantations, or Hutan Tanaman Industri (HTI). He was quoted as saying that “temporary deforestation is, for example, logging activities within HTI, which will be restored after the timber harvesting period concludes”.

Indonesia’s REDD Challenges

By Alex Hamer, The Jakarta Globe, 28 November 2013 | “One of the points to come out of Warsaw is saying that the coordinating agency for REDD+ will be the global implementing agency. That means the REDD+ agency we are creating here is the [global] agency for REDD+, which is excellent,” Heru [Prasetyo, deputy at the Presidential Work Unit for Development Monitoring and Control (UKP4)]said. Another product of the Warsaw talks was to change the funding model of REDD+. Currently, it is solely results-based. As the Indonesian program shows, funding can be scarce when results are hard to measure. The proposal is to balance the funding between startup costs and rewards for success. Ambassador Traavik said the funding model was right for the project – it encouraged action and kept motivation for success high. Lead author on the HRW report Emily Harwell made clear the results-based funding was not always successful. “When funding slows to a trickle, the results are not going to come,” she said.

29 November 2013

OPINION: COP19 delivers Warsaw Framework for REDD Action

By Kinga Lodge, Climate & Development Knowledge Network, 29 November 2013 | One of the most significant outcomes of the 19th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—which concluded last week in Warsaw—was a package for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in tropical forest countries. Six years of intense and often polarised negotiations, following the Bali Action Plan of 2007, have culminated in agreement on an international REDD+ architecture; it will enable tropical forest countries to receive payments for both ‘readiness’ and results on REDD+… “For tropical forests to survive, the leaders of developing countries must have confidence that the necessary finance will be effectively, efficiently and fairly mobilized to overcome existing drivers of deforestation. The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ offers our best chance ever!” Federica Bietta, CfRN.

Scientists urge tact in crafting forest governance systems

By Thomas Hubert, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 29 November 2013 | Forest governance often means addressing the inconsistencies of land, tree and resource management, a process that can be complicated by interactions among governments, the private sector and civil society, according to scientists. “Standards can be one approach to improve governance, but in many cases, they remain international voluntary standards without compliance requirements — we know from experience that they’re often circumvented,” said Andrew Wardell, research director of the forests and governance portfolio with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

U.N. carbon offset market seen ‘in a coma’ for years after Warsaw

By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, 29 November 2013 | The U.N.’s carbon offset market is likely to remain “in a coma” for years, project developers said, after countries failed to agree on measures to encourage demand at last week’s climate talks in Warsaw. Investment under the U.N.’s $315 billion Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has ground to a halt as the value of the credits they generate has plunged 95 percent in five years to around 0.30 euros, crushing profits that investors count on to set up carbon-cutting schemes in the developing world. “As a tradable commodity, it’s in a coma and will be unless and until a 2015 agreement wakes it up,” said Jorund Buen, co-founder and partner at consultancy and project developer Differ. CDM credits can be used by companies and governments to help meet emission targets, but prices have crashed as industrialized nations delay setting new emission reduction pledges, while registered projects pump out more offsets at minimal additional cost.

Beijing Starts China’s Third Carbon Exchange With First Trades

Bloomberg, 29 November 2013 | Beijing opened the third of seven carbon exchanges planned in China, with first trades in the capital fetching higher prices than debuts in Shenzhen and Shanghai. Five trades covering a total of 40,800 metric tons carbon emission quotas were completed at prices ranging from 50 yuan ($8.21) to 51.25 yuan a ton on the first day at the Beijing Environment Exchange, it said today in a statement. Beijing has agreed to study the possibility of “inter-regional emissions trading” with the city of Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and Shandong, the exchange statement said. Beijing’s opening prices compared with 28 yuan a ton in Shenzhen and 25 yuan to 27 yuan in Shanghai, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said yesterday in a note.

[Guyana] Jagdeo renews call for global action on climate change at UN meeting

Stabroek News, 29 November 2013 | Former President Bharrat Jagdeo recently joined world leaders in appealing for urgent global action on climate change and announced a new partnership with Colombia and three European governments “to provide performance-based payments across Colombia’s Amazon region.” Jagdeo met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders at a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting held last week in Warsaw, Poland following a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka last week. The former president met with the Secretary-General to “specifically focus on the needs of the smallest and most vulnerable states, including those in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS),” a press release said. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[India] Kerala Prisons ‘Arrest’ Carbon; Eye UN Credit

By Arun M. Kozhikode, The New Indian Express, 29 November 2013 | Prisons in the State which adopted a ‘go-green’ mantra, are likely to win carbon credits under United Nations’ (UN) Clean Development Mechanism, which incentivise agencies that cut down on greenhouse emissions. By switching over completely to solar energy and introducing organic farming, planting trees and treating sewage, the Prison Department has saved 960 tonnes of carbon dioxide this year and will be entitled for `7 lakh, officials said. The project assumes significance as the state is eyeing top slots in the gross income from jails and per capita earnings of jail inmates in the national level. Jail DGP Alexander Jacob told ‘Express’ that the Union Ministry of External Affairs will send the records regarding to this to UN officials soon.

[Nepal] Money grows on trees

By Rajesh Sigdel, Ekantipur, 29 November 2013 | The CDM has established a network to provide allowances to each country to make it easier for any company wanting to reduce their carbon footprint. In Nepal, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) provides the necessary no-obligation letter but overhead expenses while applying for funding are too high, discouraging many private organisations. However, organisations like Ace Development Bank and Wind Power Nepal have started buying carbon credits from Nepal’s numerous community forests, which is a commendable practice that will help promote the carbon market. The third world is rich in forest resources and can benefit financially from carbon trade. However, as experts have pointed out, the real solution to climate change is not carbon trade but the reduction of consumption and a switch to clean energy.

30 November 2013

UN Nails Forest Risks, Strategy In Warsaw With REDD

By Sandy Dechert, PlanetSave, 30 November 2013 | While the UNFCCC meeting in Warsaw yielded little in the way of fossil fuel tweaking to address climate change, it did result in a final approach to substantial direct emissions of greenhouse gases. In fact, probably the greatest success of COP19 was to address and produce guidelines and funding mechanisms for reducing nearly 15% of world GHGs, the amount produced by forest degradation and deforestation. “The [REDD+] program will see rich countries channelling funds towards developing countries in exchange for the preservation of their rainforests, which could otherwise be logged,” says Sophie Yeo of Responding to Climate Change.

[Guyana] Isseneru petitions OAS commission to protect land rights

By Gaulbert Sutherland, Stabroek News, 30 November 2013 | The Amerindian community of Isseneru has petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) asking for the application of measures to uphold its rights over both titled and traditionally-owned lands, in light of ongoing concerns about mining claims and what it calls the failure of the authorities to protect its rights. “We decided to send this petition to the Commission after we had exhausted all domestic remedies and after we had found that the State had failed to offer us protection in relation to our basic human rights,” said Dwight Larson, the secretary for the Region Seven village council, at a press conference on Thursday. “Even before we took this petition to the Inter-American Commission, we had sought government intervention and we had made public the problems we had been encountering. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

1 December 2013

REDD : The Good Apple in the COP-19 Barrel

By Sarah Marlay, F&ES Blog, 1 December 2013 | From the first day I arrived in Warsaw for the UNFCCC’s 19th Conference of the Parties, there was an atmosphere of cautious excitement surrounding the negotiations on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). A week of negotiating had already taken place, resulting in consensus on two contentious technical issues, one of which had led to the breakdown of the REDD+ negotiations at last year’s COP. Agreement on these issues was an enormous accomplishment and, if adopted, would mean that the five major technical elements of the REDD+ framework would be complete. Enthusiasm was reined in, however, by the understanding that these technical elements would be held hostage for a decision on long-term REDD+ finance. It was an all-or-nothing deal: either the package of both technical and finance decisions would be adopted, or there would be no progress on REDD+.


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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