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REDD in the news: 4-10 August 2014

Screenshot from 2014-08-11 23:01:12

REDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, organised by date with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on delicious.com are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

4 August 2014

Assessing REDD effectiveness outside forests: What role for monitoring systems?

By Guila Salvini, Forests Climate Change, 4 August 2014 | Brazil, it’s cattle ranching. In Indonesia it’s palm oil. In Mozambique it’s cross border trade. Diverse are the activities that largely drive deforestation and forest degradation in some of the world’s most forested countries. So too are the policy interventions that countries have started implementing in recent years to address these activities. Which interventions are countries proposing? How do they refer to the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, if at all? And how do we monitor that they are effective? We explored these questions in a study published recently in Environmental Research Letters. Efforts to combat deforestation and forest degradation have been largely driven by international pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of the more well-known internationally-led efforts has been the REDD+ scheme…

FSC voluntary forest certification in deep crisis

By Tatiana Khakimulina, Greenpeace International, 4 August 2014 | I have worked at Greenpeace Russia as a forest engineer for the past two years, focusing on monitoring logging activities by FSC certificate holders in the Boreal forest zone. I strongly believe that the FSC system is now in its deepest ever crisis, although I doubt whether the FSC fully realises this. My impression is based on one of the most reliable and independent sources of information – satellite imagery, which I have been using to examine forest management practices in Russia’s boreal forests – also know as the taiga – and to a lesser extent, also in Canada’s. Satellite imagery allows detection and evaluation of a wide range of forest and forest management characteristics.

Focus on resilience can risk turning into a power grab, researchers caution

By Thomas Hubert, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 4 August 2014 | As scientists and policymakers explore ways of making social and environmental systems more able to withstand shocks, there are growing concerns that existing inequality and power imbalances may be reinforced in the process, research presented at a recent conference suggests. “I’m afraid resilience becomes politically motivated into an instrument to make the powerful more powerful. It should be an instrument to do the opposite,” said Luca Alinovi, an economist with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at the Resilience 2014 conference in Montpellier, France. Resilience science studies how socio-ecosystems react to change and how much it takes to shift over a tipping point from one stable state to another.

Results-Based Finance: Breakthrough Or Backslide?

By Kelley Hamrick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 4 August 2014 | The United States, the United Kingdom and Norway made headlines in December when they put $280 million on the table to save endangered rainforests. The real news, however, wasn’t the dollar amount, but the distribution mechanism. Dubbed the “Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL)”, the mechanism funnels the $280 million into sustainable agriculture practices, but it ties the exact dollars to the tons of carbon dioxide stored in forests saved by the shift to sustainable agriculture. Technically, since the payments are denominated in tons of carbon dioxide emissions from reduced deforestation and forest degradation, they are REDD payment. But they aren’t offsets, which means donor countries can’t write the reductions off against their own greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, they’re an example of a new breed of “results-based finance” (RBF) that aims to tie development aid to measurable outcomes…

Deforestation, development may be driving Ebola outbreaks, experts say

By Peter Moskowitz, Al Jazeera, 4 August 2014 | As the deadliest-ever Ebola outbreak continues its spread in West Africa, evidence suggests that human impact on the environment may have played a role in the latest epidemic. Researchers say the logging, road construction and even global warming may have precipitated the crisis by bringing animals infected with the disease in closer contact with humans. “Expansion of human impact can really trigger outbreaks,” said Jonathan Epstein, a veterinary epidemiologist at EcoHealth Alliance. “Deforestation, building roads, expanding farms into areas that used to be dense forest — all those things increase the opportunity for wild animals to get into contact with livestock and humans.”

[Indonesia] With work still to be done, new govt should continue REDD+ plan

The Jakarta Post, 4 August 2014 | The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus (REDD+) Management Agency is urging the incoming government to remain committed to ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The Jakarta Post interviewed REDD+ Management Agency chairman Heru Prasetyo. Here is an excerpt. Question: How does the agency plan to reduce carbon emissions in Indonesia? Answer: At the 2009 G20 Summit, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced that Indonesia, working in its own interests, would be willing to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020. But then he promised a 41 percent reduction if the world cooperated. The following year, Norway said: “It matters for us” and promised US$1 billion. Then we developed the national REDD+ strategy. Many problems arose because the initiative was implemented without a plan.

[Indonesia] Tin mining, palm oil plantations wreaking havoc on small Indonesian island

By Ethan Harfenist, mongabay.com, 4 August 2014 | Belitung, a picturesque island off the east coast of Sumatra, has experienced an uptick in tourism recently due to its unspoiled white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But next to all of the beauty, an environmental tragedy is quietly unfolding: the island’s primary forests are being cut down at an alarming rate in favor of mining and palm oil plantations. “From our investigations over the past 10 years in the Bangka-Belitung province, around 60 percent of deforestation has been caused by two factors: tin mining and the expansion of palm plantations,” said Ratno “Uday” Budi, the executive director for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

[New Zealand] Iwi steamed up on carbon cost

Waatea News, 4 August 2014 | Iwi leaders have decided to step up the pressure over what they see as a betrayal by Prime Minister John Key over the emissions trading scheme. They have commissioned an independent analysis on the effect on the carbon market of allowing New Zealand energy generators and major users to buy cheap East European carbon credits to offset their emissions. Consultant Chris Karamea Insley says the study showed the collapse of the carbon price allowed energy and fuel companies to toke $1.2 billion in extra profit by buying credits for around $1 a tonne but charging customers as if they were paying about $17 a tonne. He says iwi had embraced the emissions trading system, and had accepted forests as part of their treaty settlements on the basis that the price of carbon units was likely to be $20 a tonne and above.

[New Zealand] NZ gifts Rio Tinto $6m free carbon credits bonus

Adelia Hallett, Carbon News, 4 August 2014 | The company that threatened to leave New Zealand if it introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme has had a $6 million windfall from taxpayers in the form of free carbon credits. Just-released figures show that the number of free NZUs allocated to New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd (part of Rio Tinto Alcan) jumped from 300,000 in 2012 to more than 1.5 million in 2013. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

The United States Should Help Create A Stronger Climate Deal In Paris

By Pete Ogden, Foreign Affairs, 4 August 2014 | On June 2, U.S. President Barack Obama proposed the country’s first-ever federal regulation on greenhouse gas pollution resulting from existing power plants. The rule, intended to cut carbon emissions from the power sector to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, is an indispensable piece of the administration’s climate policy, which it has painstakingly assembled since a comprehensive energy and climate bill collapsed in the Senate in mid-2010. Predictably, Obama’s proposal set off a firestorm of political hyperbole. The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, decried it as a “dagger in the heart of the middle class,” and John Boehner, speaker of the House, called it “a sucker punch for families everywhere.” In fact, there is much about the rule to celebrate, including the notion that for the first time it puts the United States on track to meet its international commitment, made in 2009 as part of the Copenhagen Accord…

Zimbabwe: No Joy for REDD Project

By Jeffrey Gogo, The Herald, 4 August 2014 | Zimbabwe does not operate any public REDD+ project. The country is only getting ready for that after joining the UN’s Programme late last year. However, its biggest private-funded scheme on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) is facing challenges – not the most comfortable prospect for a REDD+ start-up nation. The Carbon Green Africa (CGA) project running on 750,000 hectares of land across the rural councils of Mbire, Nyaminyami, Hurungwe and Karoi is struggling to secure markets for its 3 million carbon credits, its first issue from last September. “We are still sourcing long term buyers to secure income from credit sales,” Carbon Green Africa chief executive, Mr Charles Ndondo said by telephone on Thursday. “We remain hopeful some of the prospective buyers that we have been talking to will come through.”

5 August 2014

Increase in forest disturbances linked to climate change – study

By Jemma Collins, Blue and Green Tomorrow, 5 August 2014 | Forest disturbances, such as wildfires, strong winds and bark beetles, are becoming more damaging because of climate change. Researchers have found these disturbances have increased in Europe’s forests over the last 40 years and that rise is expected to continue. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found future climate change scenarios predict forests may continue to be damaged, leading to worries over timber supplies over the next 20 years. The authors highlight the need for a stronger focus on future forest policy and management. Researcher Rupert Seidl, of the University of Natural Resources and Applied life Sciences Vienna, said, “Disturbances like windthrow and forest fires are part of the natural dynamics of forest ecosystems, and are not, therefore, a catastrophe for the ecosystem as such.”

Indigenous Rights to Forests Catch More Carbon

By Brian Kahn, Scientific American, 5 August 2014 | One of the best current paths to reduce the globe’s carbon emissions goes through tropical forests. They serve as a sink to sequester human emissions, but deforestation risks sending those assets up in smoke. A recent report argues that to avoid that outcome, indigenous communities should be involved in forest management. Currently deforestation and land use change accounts for 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. That’s nearly equivalent to the emissions from the entire European Union. A new report from World Resources Institute (WRI) shows that rates of deforestation could be reduced even further and tropical forests’ capacity to sequester carbon could become even more pronounced with a seemingly simple fix: preserving rights of local and indigenous communities.

Ants: Our Saviors from Climate Change?

By Jenna Iacurci, Nature World News, 5 August 2014 | They may be small, but researchers say they are having a big impact. Ants may be able to save the world from climate change, according to a new provocative study published in the journal Geology. Though their life span is less than a year, in this short amount of time ants’ effect on soil reportedly cooled Earth’s climate as their numbers grew. “Ants are changing the environment,” lead author Ronald Dorn, a geologist at Arizona State University, told Live Science. Dorn and his team found that certain ant species “weather” minerals in order to secrete calcium carbonate – more commonly known as limestone. During the process of making limestone, these insects inadvertently trap and remove a tiny bit of carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere.

[Australia] Carbon pricing is still the best way to cut emissions, if we get it right

By Steve Thomas, The Conversation, 5 August 2014 | The Coalition government has recently axed Australia’s carbon “tax”, leaving us with no carbon price. Alternatives include the government’s “Direct Action” plan, or Clive Palmer’s proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS). Neither, as currently proposed, provides an effective price on carbon. Former Labor climate change minister Greg Combet recently said that the carbon price repeal was “no more than a setback” and that carbon prices are the “most economically efficient, environmentally effective and socially fair” way to reduce carbon emissions. Meanwhile, across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand has an ETS, although it is not working well. In fact, ahead of September’s general election, the New Zealand Green Party has announced that it wants to introduce a carbon tax to replace the ETS.

DNV GL Earns Top-Ranking in 2014 Voluntary Carbon Market Survey

DNV GL press release, 5 August 2014 | DNV GL is again ranked as the “best verification company” in the 2014 survey by Environmental Finance magazine, continuing its leadership position in the worldwide market for voluntary carbon offset projects and trading of carbon emissions credits. DNV GL also earned top honors in the 2013 survey. “We are delighted and grateful for this recognition,” says Dave Knight, Director of USA & Canada Sustainability Services part of DNV GL Business Assurance. “It is particularly pleasing that this is based on the views of over 700 respondents.”

Europe’s forests ‘particularly vulnerable’ to rapid climate change

By Alex Kirby, The Guardian, 5 August 2014 | Climate change is here, it’s happening now, and for the last few decades it has been demonstrably bad news for many of Europe’s forests. An international team of researchers say in a report from the European Forest Institute that climate change is altering the environment, and it is long-lived ecosystems like forests that are particularly vulnerable to the comparatively rapid changes occurring in the climate system. The report, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that damage from wind, bark beetles, and wildfires has increased significantly in Europe’s forests in recent years. Windthrow − the wind’s effect in damaging or uprooting trees − is an increasing problem.“Disturbances such as windthrow and forest fires are part of the natural dynamics of forest ecosystems, and are not a catastrophe for the ecosystem,”, says the study’s principal researcher, Rupert Seidl…

[New Zealand] Clock is ticking for cheap credits

By Brian Fallow, The New Zealand Herald, 5 August 2014 | Cheap imported carbon credits comprised 99.5 per cent of the units New Zealand emitters used to meet their obligations under the emissions trading scheme last year, Environmental Protection Agency figures released yesterday show. Just under 91 per cent of the units surrendered by emitters were emissions reduction units (ERUs) created under the Kyoto Protocol. They represent emission cuts in former Soviet bloc countries that their governments certify arise from projects and investments which would not have occurred had they not given rise to these tradeable credits. The European ETS strictly limits European emitters’ ability to use ERUs for compliance purposes but New Zealand does not, resulting in extremely low prices and the crowding out of NZ units (NZUs) from the domestic carbon market.

[Philippines] Forest fire still rages in Albay town

By Ma. April Mier, Inquirer News, 5 August 2014 | The municipality of Rapu-Rapu in Albay province has declared a state of calamity due to a forest fire that has raged for the fourth day Monday and affected more than 2,000 hectares of land. Vice Mayor Nora Oñate told the Inquirer on Monday morning that at least 2,000 families had to be evacuated. “The fire has been controlled in parts of Batan Island but still threatens a big part of Rapu-Rapu,”she said. The town known for rich mineral deposits, such as copper, gold, zinc and coal, is composed of the three islands of Rapu-Rapu, Batan and Guinanayan. It has 34 barangays. Oñate said that based on the local government’s initial assessment on Sunday, the fire had razed grasslands in the mainland villages of Poblacion; Morocborocan; Mananao, especially its subvillage of Acal; Guadalupe, and Buenavista. She said about 5,000 households live in these villages.

6 August 2014

Why A New Study Thinks Next Year’s Climate Talks Won’t Keep The World Under 2°C

By Jeff Spross, ThinkProgress, 6 August 2014 | The hopes that the world will do something meaningful to reduce its carbon emissions now hang on the next big round of international climate talks in Paris in 2015. And according to a new analysis from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it’s probably going to be a letdown. The Paris talks will be the twenty-first gathering of nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with the goal of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions enough to hold any rise in global temperatures under 2°C. At this point, very few public commitments have been made by any of the countries involved, so what deal could emerge in 2015 is anybody’s guess. Nonetheless, the MIT researchers wanted to take a stab at a prediction, and see how close it could get the world to the 2°C goal.

The Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News

Ecosystem Marketplace, 6 August 2014 | By teaming up with US-based carbon project developer Anthrotect, Guisao and his community-based organization COCOMASUR were able to create a REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests) project that would save the roughly 13,000 hectares of forests that would otherwise be lost to cattle ranching, agriculture and logging. The project verified its first emissions reductions under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in 2012, and last year it sold 70,000 offsets at $9 apiece on the voluntary carbon market. These financial returns flow much slower than logging revenues, but they may be enough to pay for forest patrollers’ salaries (that’s Guisao’s new gig) and, eventually, to improve the Tolo’s community health care services and send young people to university. “Our community will always continue trying to protect our forest with or without the project. But having the project gives us the resources to do that.”

Missed opportunities in joint funding for climate mitigation and adaptation, experts say

By Thomas Hubert, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 6 August 2014 | Projects to mitigate and adapt to climate change generally address two different things: cause and effect, respectively. Rarely, though, are mitigation and adaptation projects integrated into one, despite the widely acknowledged benefits of doing so. “On the ground, there is evidence that these two approaches can be combined. But at the international level, there is no fund explicitly supporting a combined approach,” said Giacomo Fedele, a research fellow at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), at the recent Resilience 2014 conference in Montpellier, France.

Strong economic case for coal divestment

By Al Gore and David Blood, Financial Times, 6 August 2014 | The call for investors to divest from coal assets, one of the most carbon-intensive energy sources, has been primarily based on the harmful social and environmental outcomes linked with carbon emissions. These would by themselves be sufficient to convince many investors to sell coal assets. However, it is also a smart investment decision for purely financial reasons. It is critical that investors understand the risks they are taking and ensure they are well compensated for them.

7 August 2014

Indigenous Peoples Rights and REDD+

By Frances Seymour, Center For Global Development, 7 August 2014 | August 9th is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, so it’s an appropriate moment to reflect on how the 2014 theme “Bridging the gap: Implementing the rights of indigenous peoples” relates to the forests and climate change agenda. Two months ago, CGD had the honor of hosting Mina Setra of AMAN, the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago, who spoke about REDD+ in Indonesia. During a panel discussion, and later in a CGD wonkcast, Mina eloquently described how REDD+ had boosted the struggle for indigenous rights in Indonesia. Several years ago, the national REDD+ Task Force (since elevated to the status of Agency) invited indigenous groups to submit maps of their territories to be included in official forest mapping efforts, she explained. The resulting maps transformed perceptions of indigenous peoples, she said: “They made us visible.”

A Surprising Indigenous View of REDD – Mina Setra and Frances Seymour

By Lawrence MacDonald, Center For Global Development, 7 August 2014 | Mina Setra, the deputy secretary general of the Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), recently visited CGD to speak at an event about Indonesia’s efforts to prepare to participate in REDD+, the UN program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation that would offer payments from rich countries to keep tropical forests standing. Afterwards I invited Mina and CGD senior fellow Frances Seymour, the former head of the Center for International Forestry Research to join me on the Wonkcast. Our controversial topic: the complex relationships linking Indonesia’s forests, its indigenous peoples, and REDD+. REDD+ aims to provide incentives for forest protection. That’s nothing new to Indonesia’s 70 million indigenous peoples, who, Mina tells me, “have been protecting the forests for decades” because “for us, for indigenous peoples, forests are everything.”

CO2 capture from air could ripen into a global warming solution, researcher predicts

By Niina Heikkinen, ClimateWire, 7 August 2014 | Technologies for capturing carbon dioxide directly from the ambient air will play a key role in reversing the buildup of greenhouse gases if the process can gain wider acceptance, according to a Columbia University scientist. “It’s not a question of if air capture technology will be adopted; it’s a question of when,” said Klaus Lackner, director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Efforts on to increase India’s forest cover: Govt

The Times of India, 7 August 2014 | forts are on to increase India’s forest cover to one-third of the land area, environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar informed Rajya Sabha on Thursday. “Green cover is increasing and government’s intention is to take it to 33 per cent (of the total land area),” he said during Question Hour. Stressing on the need for people’s participation in the afforestation drive, he said, “we are going to make it people’s movement” and awareness would be created using advertisements and social media. “To spread public awareness regarding conservation of forests and environment in the country, Information Education and Communication (IEC) activities through modes of mass communication — print media, radio and TV — are taken up in National Afforestation and Eco Development Board Scheme,” he said.

Singapore passes trans-boundary haze act

The Jakarta Post, 7 August 2014 | The Singaporean Parliament has passed the 2014 Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Act , which will enable regulators to sue individuals or companies in neighboring countries that cause severe air pollution in Singapore through slash-and-burn agricultural practices. The act was first proposed in 2013 after a huge rise in the number of forest fires on the neighboring Indonesian province of Riau spread smoke to Singapore, adding to the city-state’s pollution levels. Global Director of Forestry Programs at the World Resources Institute (WRI), Nigel Sizer, said the trans-boundary haze pollution law signaled a new method in doing business for companies and governments that wished to reduce forest and peatland fires. “Any companies that are caught illegally burning the forests will be dragged to a Singaporean court and their reputations will suffer along with it, as customers, banks and insurers will avoid doing business with these companies,” Sizer explained…

[USA] VW Launches Carbon Offset Program To Make Sure its Electric Cars Are Zero Emission

By Nikki Gordon, Transport Evolved, 7 August 2014 | [N]ot everyone who drives an electric car has access to 100 per cent renewable energy, meaning their cars are as green as the power mix provided to them by the local utility company. For U.S. owners of the soon-to-launch Volkswagen e-Golf however, that won’t be a problem thanks to a new carbon offsetting scheme announced this week… In the case of Volkswagen’s carbon offsetting for the e-Golf, the money paid by VW to offset the e-Golf’s carbon footprint is being used to help maintain the Big River and Salmon Creek Forests in Mendocino County, California. Some 16,000 acres in size, the forest is partly funded form the proceeds of carbon offset programs. Additional money from VW’s carbon offsetting is being sent to the McKinney Landfill in Texas, where methane gasses from landfill are being captured and stored for use as fuel instead of being released directly into the atmosphere.

8 August 2014

Deep emissions cuts needed by 2050 to limit global warming: UN draft

Canberra Times, 8 August 2014 | Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of 40 to 70 per cent by mid-century will be needed to avert the worst of global warming that is already harming all continents, a draft UN report showed. The 26-page draft, obtained by Reuters on Thursday, sums up three UN scientific reports published over the past year as a guide for almost 200 governments which are due to agree a deal to combat climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015. It says existing national pledges to restrict greenhouse gas emissions are insufficient to limit warming to 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial times, a UN ceiling set in 2010 to limit heatwaves, floods, storms and rising seas.

Cheap airfare swamps industry’s emissions cuts – study

Alex Kirby, The Daily Climate, 8 August 2014 | The aviation industry insists that it is making only a tiny contribution to global warming, with just 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions coming from its aircraft. The problem is the speed at which aviation itself is growing. One aircraft builder believes the number of planes in service in 2011 will have doubled by 2031. Whatever the industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, they will be outweighed by the growth in air traffic, even if the most contentious mitigation measures come into force, according to researchers in the UK.

Brazil, South Africa, India and China chalk out plan for climate negotiations

By Prakash Javadekar, Economic Times, 8 August 2014 | Meeting for the first time since the UN-sponsored climate change negotiations in Warsaw last November, ministers of the four BASIC countries—Brazil, South Arica, India and China-—sought to craft a common position for the next round of talks at Lima. At the first round of ministerial level meetings held here on Thursday evening, the quartet discussed the elements they would like included in the post-2020 climate agreement. Discussions on the new agreement, which will be finalised in Paris next year, are already underway. It is expected that the broad elements of a working draft will be agreed to at the year-end negotiations to be held in Lima, Peru under the aegis of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.

Specialty chemicals give tyre maker SRF a power spin

By Ramkrishna Kashelkar, India Times, 8 August 2014 | Refrigerant and tyre cord maker SRF has successfully shed its old mantle to emerge as a vibrant intermediate chemical maker with niche specialisation. With the company’s dependence on carbon credits ending, it has been able to achieve a better market valuation even with lesser profits. The company’s plans offer better clarity over its growth. Between FY06 and FY13, SRF replaced its refrigerant production with a more eco-friendly product, yielding carbon credits that boosted its annual earnings. Lack of clarity on this source of income, apart from the prolonged stagnation in its other key business of nylon tyre cord fabric (NTCF) kept the company’s market valuation depressed. However, this is changing for the better with the SRF investing in specialty chemical areas.

Kenya: Voi Reaps Big From Kenya’s First Major Carbon Project

By Peter Kahare, The Star, 8 August 2014 | For many years, residents of Kasigau location in Voi lived off felling trees, clearing bushes and burning charcoal in an open-canopy forest where they call home, but a carbon trading project is empowering thousands of residents here to embrace new sustainable sources of livelihoods. The smoky overhead that traditionally engulfed the forest has now paved way to a clear, fresh atmosphere as people adopt new sources of livelihoods. “A decade ago, this region was literally burning, there were no trees in my farm when I moved here, the area was so dry and hot, people were cutting down trees and burning bushes,” says Mercy Ngaruiya, a community leader in Kasigau. But she says that despite clearing the forest for charcoal, firewood and agriculture, poverty and unemployment levels at Kasigau remained high, sources of fresh water diminished, while education and health services were poor.

[USA] VCS Sees REDD In California Carbon

By Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace, 8 August 2014 | The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) aims to play a major role in California’s cap-and-trade program now that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has decided to allow the VCS to help administer parts of its compliance offset program. But the VCS has its sights set higher: aiming to help California welcome REDD+ (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) projects into the program… VCS officials have high hopes for the potential inclusion of international REDD offsets in the California program using the VCS jurisdictional and nested REDD+ (JNR) approach, which features the first framework for accounting and crediting REDD+ programs implemented at either the national or subnational (state) level. The framework also establishes a pathway for existing and new subnational jurisdictional activities and projects to be integrated or “nested” within broader jurisdictional REDD+ programs.

9 August 2014

10 August 2014

Forests for the future: Kenya’s carbon credit scheme

AFP, 10 August 2014 | When 61-year old Mercy Joshua was young, the vast forests of southeastern Kenya teemed with wildlife, but decades of unchecked deforestation by locals have devastated the land. She watched forests dwindle and rivers dry up across her homeland of Kasigau — a semi-arid savanna grassland dotted with shrubs, woodland and small rugged hills — as people cut down the trees to scratch a living by selling them for firewood. But now, after decades of degradation, a local project has found a way to preserve the forests and support the community by getting international companies to pay to plant trees. “We were losing everything, but thanks to the project we have learnt even how to live with the wild animals,” said Joshua, a mother of four. “These days, we don’t cut down trees… they are our friends,” she added.

[USA] Audubon forest in SC sells carbon credits

By Bruce Smith, Associated Press, 10 August 2014 | A black water swamp in South Carolina owned by the Audubon Society is helping companies in California meet their carbon emission goals to ease global warming. About 5,200 acres of the 17,000-acre Francis Beidler Forest, Audubon Center and Sanctuary near Harleyville have been registered with California’s cap and trade program as carbon offsets in a program that also brings dollars to preserve the South Carolina landscape. In cap and trade, the government issues permits allowing companies to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases but giving them flexibility how they comply. They can trade emissions permits with each other and, in California, can purchase credits to offset as much as 8 percent of their emissions.


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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