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REDD in the news: 6-12 June 2016

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, visit REDD-Monitor’s “REDD in the news” page, or follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.


 
Training Manual on Developing Joint BioTrade and REDD+ Projects
UNCTAD, June 2016
Biodiversity is the source of many products and services utilized by society and its sustainable use is thus fundamental for long·term sustainable development. Natural resources are located mainly in rural areas, where over 70 per cent of the world’s poor live and directly depend on these resources to cover 90 per cent of their needs in terms of food, fuel, medicine, shelter and transportation.
The BioTrade Initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) seeks to generate additional economic opportunities and income through the sustainable commercialization of biodiversity-based products and services. BioTrade encompasses activities ranging from the production to the sale of products and services derived from native biodiversity. Its implementation is based on compliance with a set of environmental, economic and social sustainability criteria aimed at generating economic growth and sustainable livelihoods for rural populations while conserving biodiversity.

6 June 2016

Winners of Environmental Finance’s Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings see lower prices but remain bullish
Environmental Finance, 6 June 2016
Despite another year of low prices, optimism remains high in the voluntary carbon market, according to Environmental Finance’s annual survey.
The average price of credits traded in the voluntary market sunk again to about $3.30 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in 2015, according to a report from US not-for-profit Ecosystem Marketplace, marking their eighth consecutive year of decline.
However, sentiment remains positive – as large macroeconomic policy shifts push climate change into the mainstream.
“Growing political support for action on global warming, and increasing demands for disclosure of corporate action on climate change, bode well for the future of the voluntary carbon market, despite current low prices,” said Peter Cripps, editor of Environmental Finance.

Cutting Carbon And Costs
By Sheldon Zakreski (The Climate Trust), Ecosystem Marketplace, 6 June 2016
There has been a lot of focus lately on the growing number of jurisdictions that have put or are considering putting a price on carbon. The World Bank estimates that 40 countries and more than 20 cities, states, and provinces have a price on carbon. And, by the way, welcome to the club, Ontario.
But lost in the discussion is the range of costs from different measures that reduce a metric ton of carbon dioxide (mtCO2). I’m not talking about the overall impact on the economy. Instead, the question is what actions deliver the biggest bang for the buck? The implementation of a carbon price policy doesn’t necessarily guarantee the cheapest reductions will occur. Policies that tout emission reduction benefits, but don’t consider cost-effectiveness represent a missed opportunity. By not focusing on incentivizing the cheapest reductions to occur first, carbon policies run the risk of potentially exacerbating economic shocks associated with implementing a carbon price, and increasing resistance among companies and households that need to integrate carbon costs into their decision-making. Therefore, there is a lot of value in examining how a carbon price policy can incentivize the lowest cost reductions to happen first.

[Australia] Rising number of Qantas travellers paying premium for carbon offsets
By Jamie Freed, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 June 2016
Individual travellers and corporate customers of Qantas Airways are increasingly choosing to pay a premium for voluntary carbon offsets amid growing awareness of the global environmental impact of the aviation industry.
“I think [carbon emissions] is a big issue for the aviation industry, and if not the biggest, one of the biggest that we will be facing over the next decades,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said during a panel discussion at the International Air Transport Association annual meeting in Dublin on Friday.

[Cambodia] In Koh Kong, a Scandal Without a Name Wears Brutally On
By Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, Cambodia Daily, 6 June 2016
At the entrance of the Botum Sakor national park in Koh Kong province stands a sign that reads “These natural resources belong to the state and they are not for sale to private owners.” It was erected around 2006 by Koh Kong’s provincial hall and the Min­istry of Environment, the very same groups who, two years later, started selling close to half of that very same national park to the Chin­ese company Union Development Group, or UDG.

[Indonesia] Peat Agency Chief addresses concerns of CSOs
foresthints.news, 6 June 2016
In a wide-ranging interview with foresthints.news conducted in Jakarta on Thursday (Jun 2), the Chief of the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency, Nazir Foead, provided explicit details about the procedures and mechanisms to be followed in the peatland restoration process.
“We are now mapping all the maps, including where the peat domes will be situated, and then more detailed mapping to calculate and measure the depth of the peat will be performed. Based on this map, the peatlands, peat domes, depth and so on, we will assign zonation – where protection zones will be or where could be used for cultivation.”

Israel Checking French Tycoon’s Claim He Funded Netanyahu
Associated Press, 6 June 2016
Israeli authorities said Monday they are looking into a French tycoon’s claim he gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu more than $1 million for an election campaign, a possible violation of campaign finance laws.
The attorney general’s office said it is probing Arnaud Mimran’s testimony in France that he donated 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to one of Netanyahu’s election campaigns. If true, such a sum would violate Israel’s campaign finance laws.
Mimran is the key suspect in a carbon tax fraud case in France. He and others are accused of defrauding the state of 283 million euros in sales taxes.

Netanyahu acknowledges receiving $40,000 from Frenchman on trial for fraud
Jewish Journal, 6 June 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged in a statement from his office that he received $40,000 from a French businessman on trial for fraud.
Arnaud Mimran gave Netanyahu the money in 2001 when Netanyahu was a private citizen and traveling for public diplomacy, according to the statement.
Mimran last month told a Paris court, where he is standing trial for allegedly defrauding the European Union of about $315 million along with several partners, that he donated 1 million euro, slightly more than $1 million, for a Netanyahu election campaign. Netanyahu flatly denied the claim after it was made in court.

7 June 2016

Environmental crime is booming. Here’s how to tackle it
By Heather Smith, Grist, 7 June 2016
Environmental crime, according to a new report released by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL, is booming — and we’re not talking about neglecting to separate your glass and plastics. These offenses — which include things like cutting down trees, overfishing, dumping toxic waste, and killing endangered species and selling their body parts — are actually much grislier than they may sound. Think Scarface, but with pangolins.
INTERPOL estimates that the dollar value of the criminal trade in wildlife, illegally logged lumber, fake carbon credits, and a whole smorgasbord of illicit environmental behaviors is an unpleasant financial success story, with revenues growing at a rate of about 6 percent a year. That’s twice as fast as the global economy.

Celebrities join international call to boycott Botswana tourism
Survival International, 7 June 2016
A host of big names are supporting Survival International’s global campaign for the Bushmen in the 50th anniversary year of Botswana’s independence.
These include actors Dominic West, Gillian Anderson, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Okonedo and Mark Rylance, as well as musician and photographer Julian Lennon and illustrator Sir Quentin Blake.
They join Survival’s campaign to secure the right of the Bushmen to return to their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, established fifty-five years ago to protect the Bushmen’s rights and ancestral home.
In protest at the Botswana government’s ongoing mistreatment of the Kalahari Bushmen, Survival is urging the authorities to allow all Bushmen access to their land.

Indonesia still far from greenhouse gas reduction target
By Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 7 June 2016
Indonesia still has a long way to go to achieve its carbon emission reduction target as efforts to combat climate change are being hampered at the regional level, a World Resources Institute ( WRI ) Indonesia analysis shows.
In 2013, Indonesia had achieved just 2.25 percent of the total target of carbon emission reductions at the provincial level, which is set to be achieved by 2020, according to the WRI analysis on various government data.
“Seeing how Indonesia only has four years left, provinces have to push for better implementation [in the climate change mitigation program] to meet the target by 2020,” WRI Indonesia climate program coordinator Andhyta F. Utami said.

Indonesia’s forest fires threaten Sumatra’s few remaining Orang Rimba
By Angel L Martínez Cantera, The Guardian, 7 June 2016
“Our main goal is to preserve the forest according to the customary traditions of our people. If there’s no forest, there’s no Orang Rimba and the other way round,” says Bepak Pengusai, head of customs in a rombong, or group area, belonging to the Orang Rimba, an aboriginal people in Sumatra.
Indonesia’s devastating forest fires pose a serious threat to the Orang Rimba habitat. From July to late last year, the fires killed a dozen people and caused respiratory tract infections in half a million more.
Every year, landowners start fires to clear ground for farming, but last year a seasonal drought spread the blazes with catastrophic effect.
The emissions from the fires were so toxic they catapulted Indonesia to the top of the world rankings of air polluters. On the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, indigenous communities including the Orang Rimba were hard hit. The fires also threatened endangered species, such as the orangutan.

Malaysian palm oil giant IOI drops lawsuit against green group
By Karl Mathiesen, The Guardian, 7 June 2016
One of the world’s largest producers of palm oil has dropped a lawsuit against the sustainability body that revoked its accreditation.
IOI Group was suspended from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) scheme in April in the face of allegations it was not doing enough to prevent deforestation in Indonesia.
Major buyers, including Unilever, Mars, Kelloggs and Nestlé, immediately moved to drop IOI as a supplier. The company subsequently sued the RSPO last month, claiming it had been “unfairly affected” by the decision.

Norway brings forward carbon neutrality goal to 2030
By Nerijus Adomaitis, Reuters, 7 June 2016
Norway’s parliament has agreed on a goal to cut the country’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030, moving the target forward by 20 years, an official at the national assembly said on Tuesday.
To achieve this goal, oil and gas producing Norway will have to lower its carbon output or purchase carbon credits to offset its emissions.
In 2008, Norway set a similar target of reaching so-called carbon neutrality by 2030, but later pushed the goal back to 2050 when international negotiations failed to reach a global deal to fight climate change.

8 June 2016

Green bond market faces growing pains
By Gavin Jackson, The Financial Times, 8 June 2016
When it was published The Fable of the Bees caused a scandal. The poem, released in 1714 and subtitled Private Vices, Publick Benefits, argued that individual viciousness could work towards the general good; commerce and industry depend on avarice and pride, take them away and mass unemployment would result.
It is a similar reasoning that lies behind the nascent green bond market, which looks to harness companies’ self-interest as a way of persuading them to clean up their acts.

Changing Kenya’s Landscape for Wildlife and Jobseekers
By Amy Yee, New York Times, 8 June 2016
Twenty years ago, this wildlife corridor in southern Kenya was in jeopardy. A scarcity of jobs in this impoverished, arid landscape meant people were hunting wild giraffe and antelope for meat, and chopping down trees to make charcoal. With fewer trees, desertification loomed. Water was so precious that local cattle herders lit fires at water holes to keep giraffes and zebras from drinking.
The animals had less vegetation to eat and less forest cover. Cutting down trees combined with poaching decimated wildlife in this 500,000-acre swath of the Kasigau migration corridor, which bisects Tsavo, Kenya’s largest national park. Tsavo, roughly the size of Wales, is home to half the country’s estimated 25,000 elephants.

[Malaysia] Identifying Where REDD+ Financially Out-Competes Oil Palm in Floodplain Landscapes Using a Fine-Scale Approach
By Nicola K. Abram et al., PLOS One, 8 June 2016
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) aims to avoid forest conversion to alternative land-uses through financial incentives. Oil-palm has high opportunity costs, which according to current literature questions the financial competitiveness of REDD+ in tropical lowlands. To understand this more, we undertook regional fine-scale and coarse-scale analyses (through carbon mapping and economic modelling) to assess the financial viability of REDD+ in safeguarding unprotected forest (30,173 ha) in the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain in Malaysian Borneo. Results estimate 4.7 million metric tons of carbon (MgC) in unprotected forest, with 64% allocated for oil-palm cultivations. Through fine-scale mapping and carbon accounting, we demonstrated that REDD+ can outcompete oil-palm in regions with low suitability, with low carbon prices and low carbon stock. In areas with medium oil-palm suitability, REDD+ could outcompete oil palm in areas with: very high carbon and lower carbon price; medium carbon price and average carbon stock; or, low carbon stock and high carbon price. Areas with high oil palm suitability, REDD+ could only outcompete with higher carbon price and higher carbon stock.

Norway becomes first nation to ban deforestation: How will that work?
By Aidan Quigley, Christian Science Monitor, 8 June 2016
Norway has announced a complete ban on deforestation, making it the first country to commit to a zero deforestation policy.
Products that contribute to deforestation will not be used in the country, EcoWatch reports. The pledge comes two years after the country issued a joint declaration with Germany and Britain at the UN Climate Summit committing to “promote national commitments that encourage deforestation free supply chains, including through public procurement policies to sustainably source commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber.”

9 June 2016

REDD+: Not dead yet
By Aida Greenbury (APP), edie.net, 9 June 2016
The time has come to revisit ‘REDD+’ – the UN scheme that attempts to create financial value for the carbon locked in forests – to ensure that it is truly delivering on the momentum from Paris 2015.
This week, the sustainability caravan will descend on Oslo for the REDD+ Exchange meeting, hosted by the Norwegian and International Climate and Forest Initiative in an effort to renew the forests and climate change agenda in light of experience to date.
No government has punched more above its weight than the Norwegians in their attempts to tackle climate change, especially on deforestation issues. Whether in the Amazonian rainforest or the South Sumatran jungle you will never be far from a project with Norwegian involvement. I take my hat off to them.

Divide and conquer: Interview with Tom Goldtooth, part II
By Elizabeth Walsh, Intercontinental Cry, 9 June 2016
“Divide and conquer” is a tried and true strategy in the toolbox of colonization. In the early 1800s, President Andrew Jackson accorded individual land rights to Native Americans as a tactic to break up communal land holding and create discord by pitting individual indigenous land holders against non-land holders. The strategy has served British colonization (indeed, Noam Chomsky claims that 90% of forces that the British used to control India were Indians), union busting in the United States throughout the 19th century, and even now Donald Trump is making use of it to build up his social profile.
This same strategy has been used in tandem with the United Nations REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) Programme. It began in 2008 as “an effort to create financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.” The program website goes on to say that REDD alone cannot adequately combat climate change, and that it must coexist with significant emissions reductions. It has 64 partner countries in Africa, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The website claims that the program provides numerous social and economic benefits as well as environmental advantages. In addition to the United Nations, the World Bank is a big proponent.

Despite Low Prices, Users Of Voluntary Offsets See More Sophisticated Carbon-Neutral Strategies In 2016
By Kelli Barrett, Ecosystem Marketplace, 9 June 2016
William Theisen says his heart sank when he opened the latest edition of Ecosystem Marketplace’s annual survey of voluntary carbon markets, entitled Raising Ambition: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2016.
“The first thing we go to is the price,” he recalls, “And we were like, ‘Oh no, $3.30!’”
As Director of Business Development at carbon strategy consultancy EcoAct, low prices are bad for business, and the report identified a record low of $3.30 per metric ton of greenhouse-gas emissions reduced in 2015, albeit on a 10% increase in transaction volume as companies and governments around the world purchased 84.1 million offsets, each equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide kept out of the atmosphere.
Kelley Hamrick, a Senior Associate at Ecosystem Marketplace and the report’s lead author, pointed out that many of the offsets transacted last year had been generated in previous years. Speaking at Carbon Expo in Cologne, Germany, where the report was launched, Hamrick explained that 87% of the market’s total supply of carbon offsets were from pre-2015 with an average price of USD $2.70 per tonne. Pre-payments for offsets expected to be generated post-2015, however, were sold at an average price of USD $7.20.
She stressed, however, that prices varied widely due to a multitude of factors like location and project type. Put simply, “price is a very variable thing,” Hamrick said.

Indigenous Cultures Trade Insights Deep in the Brazilian Amazon
By Iza Hoyos and Anne Thiel, Forest Trends, 9 June 2016
On a recent April day, the dense rainforest landscape of Acre, Brazil teemed with the dizzying diversity of wildlife that usually inhabits it. One could hear birds chirping, frogs croaking, and monkeys howling. But in addition, on this morning the sounds of traditional melodious chanting echoed through this small corner of the Amazon, adding to the colorful symphony that fills the rainforest on any given day.
The reason for the occasion was that the Surui, the Yawanawa, and the Ashaninka, three indigenous people that call the Amazonian rainforest home, had come together in one place for a festival of cultural exchange, to inaugurate a traditional community center, or Shuhu, and to launch two new publications that had been produced with the support of Forest Trends’ Communities Initiative.

[Indonesia] NGO alleges abuses at Indofood plantations
By Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 9 June 2016
As consumers munch on one of PepsiCo or Indofood’s snack foods, workers in North Sumatra are allegedly suffering abuse as the companies strive to meet fantastically high palm oil production targets for their products, a report has revealed.
In September and October 2015, a team of researchers interviewed 41 Indofood workers, examined workers’ documents such as pay slips, letters and work agreements and observed workers at work, their living conditions and plantation amenities.
The investigation was conducted by the US-based Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in two plantations operated by Indofood under its subsidiary plantation company PT PP London Sumatra (Lonsum) in North Sumatra.

[Indonesia] A win-win solution for economy, environment
By Nassat D. Idris (USAID), The Jakarta Post, 9 June 2016
On International Forest Day 2016, President Joko “Jokowi’ Widodo announced an encouraging plan to issue a moratorium on new oil palm concessions.
The oil palm concession moratorium will underpin a two-year extension to an existing moratorium on primary forest clearing and peatland conversion.
The new moratorium is expected to halt the main driver of deforestation over the past two decades. While debates arose following the announcement, we are presented with an opportunity to improve forestry sector governance for sustainable development.

Iceland geothermal plant turns CO2 into stone
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 9 June 2016
Could this be the breakthrough carbon capture and storage has been waiting for?
A pilot project in Iceland has shown carbon dioxide can be pumped underground and turned to stone in a matter of months – far quicker than scientists expected.
Nearly all (95%) of the greenhouse gas injected into basalt rock solidified within two years, according to a study published in the journal Science on Thursday.

Palm oil giant’s impact in Indonesia worse than reported, says Greenpeace
By Hannah Gould, The Guardian, 9 June 2016
One of the world’s largest producers of palm oil has drained and planted on areas of peatland supposed to be protected by Indonesian law, claims a new report from Greenpeace, with levels of damage potentially worse than previously reported.
The NGO says satellite images of Ketapang, west Kalimantan show drainage canals covering an area of peatland that the Malaysia-based company IOI had marked for restoration in a sustainability commitment in 2014.
Draining peatland is the first step for developing a palm oil plantation, but dry land is at increased risk of catching fire. Greenpeace says satellite images suggest nearly a third of the Ketapang landscape – once home to endangered and vulnerable species including orangutans, proboscis monkeys and sun bears says the NGO – burned in 2015.

10 June 2016

Watch: Highlights video from the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum- The Investment Case
By Leona Liu, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 10 June 2016
The Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case in London on 6 June 2016 brought together more than 300 experts from the financial services industry with leaders from the corporate sector, government and academia to take investments into sustainable landscapes to the next level.
Attendees, including CIFOR Director General Peter Holmgren, World Bank Lead Environmental Economist Paola Agostini and Tropical Forest Alliance Director Marco Albani, spoke about the importance of connecting finance and sustainable landscapes at the Forum.

Why it’s wrong to label the Kyoto Protocol a disaster
By Michael Grubb, Climate Home, 10 June 2016
All 36 countries with emission caps under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change met their commitments, according to a study published on Friday.
The analysis – “Compliance of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in the first commitment period” by Igor Shishlov, Romain Morel and Valentin Bellassen – is published in the Climate Policy journal of the Taylor & Francis Group.
Indeed, final data for national greenhouse gas emissions and exchanges in carbon credits (which only became available at the end of 2015) shows the countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol collectively surpassed their commitment.
That would have been true even without a rapid emissions slump in Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern Bloc countries as they shifted to market economies, researchers found.

European Parliament carbon market report keeps emissions trading off target
Corporate Europe Observatory, 10 June 2016
A new report on carbon market reform has kicked off debate on the issue in the European Parliament. It promises new loopholes for the oil industry and other polluters.
The EU ETS should “adapt to the new targets” in the Paris Agreement, according to Ian Duncan MEP, the European Parliament environment committee rapporteur on emissions trading. But his draft report does nothing to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.” The ETS is supposed to cut 43 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors it covers by 2030, but it should aim to reduce double that amount if the EU is to take its fair share of even a 2°C climate goal. Instead of revising an inadequate target, and despite the Paris Agreement suggesting an initial evaluation in 2018, Duncan’s report postpones any discussion on raising climate ambition until after 2023.

EU CO2 market reform must work around existing cap: lawmaker
Platts, 10 June 2016
Reform of the EU Emissions Trading System is not likely to include a steeper annual decline in Europe’s CO2 cap and must focus on voluntary cancellation of surplus permits, the European Parliament’s lead lawmaker on the EU ETS, Ian Duncan, said Friday.
“The EU Emissions Trading System doesn’t work, at least not as it was intended to work,” Duncan said in a speech at a forum in Paris.
“A symptom of this is a carbon price of around Eur6.00 per ton; an irritant but not a serious driver of innovation or of change,” he said at the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition High Level Forum on a proposal for a carbon collar.

EU Carbon Permits Drop Amid Doubt Europe Will Adopt Price Floor
By Mathew Carr and Francois De Beaupuy, Bloomberg, 10 June 2016
European Union carbon allowances declined at the fastest pace since June 1 amid skepticism that the region will adopt a proposal by France to include a minimum price in almost-daily auctions of the contracts.
Benchmark allowances fell as much as 3.3 percent Friday as Segolene Royal, France’s energy and environment minister, at a conference in Paris urged EU members to consider adopting a floor in the market as “the price of carbon in Europe isn’t high enough to trigger investments needed to replace coal.” Permits have dropped 28 percent this year.

The Carbon Chronicle
Ecosystem Marketplace, 10 June 2016
Reactions to Ecosystem Marketplace’s Raising Ambition: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2016 have been filtering in over the last couple of weeks after our launch at Carbon Expo in Cologne, Germany.
“The first thing we go to is the price,” recalled William Theisen of carbon strategy consultancy Eco-Act, speaking on our launch panel. “And we’re like, ‘Oh no, it’s $3.30.’”
Still, the blow of the record-low average price was pillowed a bit by the fact that voluntary demand for offsets increased 10% in 2015, with 84.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) transacted. Plus, carbon strategy consulting companies such as Eco-Act and Natural Capital Partners (also represented at our launch) are beginning to see companies take a more holistic approach to offsetting. Some are aligning their purchases with the Sustainable Development Goals, others are setting “Science-Based Targets” in line with the 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise ceiling, and still others are experimenting with “insetting” by verifying emissions reductions within their supply chain.

[Australia] Carbon farming still a possibility at Henbury Station despite disastrous past, owners say
By Kerry Staight, ABC, 10 June 2016
The new owners of a vast cattle station in central Australia say carbon farming could return to the property, despite previous plans to create the world’s biggest carbon farm failing spectacularly.
Five years ago, Henbury Station in the Northern Territory was de-stocked as part of the controversial carbon farm plan, which was partly taxpayer-funded.
The project fell apart when the company at the helm, RM Williams Agricultural Holdings (RMWAH), collapsed.
Henbury has now been revived as a cattle enterprise, but the family in charge says it would also consider investing in the carbon marketplace in the future.
“We’d probably spend the next couple of years getting Henbury fully established before we got too far into that,” co-owner Neville Anderson said.

[Kenya] Saving forests and addressing climate change through REDD+
By Jackson Bambo, The Standard, 10 June 2016
At only 6.99 per cent of its territory, Kenya has a relatively low forest cover. Article 69 of Kenya’s Constitution establishes that, “the State shall work to achieve and maintain a tree cover of at least 10 percent of the land area of Kenya.” Kenya releases about 14 million tons of Carbon dioxide per year mainly from deforestation and forest degradation activities of about 50,000 hectares per year. Healthy forests absorb tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide, which we all need in order to survive. When trees fall, usually due to illegal logging or converting land for agricultural use, the forests become sources of harmful greenhouse gases instead of serving as important carbon “sinks.” But there’s hope in the form of an emerging international initiative aimed at keeping trees standing: REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation).

Indonesia’s East Kalimantan Province Commits to New Green Growth Pathway
By Justin Adams and Rizal Algamar, The Nature Conservancy, 10 June 2016
Earlier this month, more than 1,000 people gathered for World Environment Day in Samarinda, the capital of Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province. It was a moment — shared by millions of people all over the world in different ways — of reflection and action on the environment.
In the run-up to the event, there had been serious flooding in the city caused by poorly-planned mining activities, and algal blooms that had damaged fish stocks for forest-dwelling people. In the previous months, six young people had died due to irresponsible practices by the mining industry, and this was highlighted in government audits reported during the event.

[Indonesia] Firms responsible for peatland conservation
By Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 10 June 2016
Much of the burden for the restoration of damaged peatland areas, which often cause forest fires and haze, lies heavily on the private sector in control of concession areas as 531 companies operate in restoration areas.
A map by Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) reveals that 2.7 million hectares of peatland have to be restored over the next five years to prevent recurring land and forest fires.
Out of 2.7 million ha, 2.3 million, or 87 percent, are in concession areas.
“So the restoration work in these concession areas will be done by private companies. What we do is just supervise and facilitate,” BRG planning and cooperation deputy Budi S. Wardhana said.

Vulnerable and exploited: 7 things we learned about migrant labour in palm oil
By Hannah Gould, The Guardian, 10 June 2016
Palm oil makes its way from the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia (and increasingly Africa and Latin America) into 50% of what we buy, from toothpaste to margarine. Linked to deforestation, habitat loss, fires and the displacement of communities, the production of palm oil has raised major concerns to date.
The palm oil industry is also a huge user of migrant labour, which bring problems of exploitation and discrimination. Here’s what we learned in a recent expert live chat on palm oil and migration.

[Norway] Civil society helps preserve the world’s forests
NOPRAD, 10 June 2016
Norad releases a report of key results in the Norwegian Climate and Forest funding (NICFI) to civil society. The report sums up results achieved by civil society actors who received support through Norad in the period 2013-2015.
– Civil society actors have worked strategically to help ensure that efforts to reduce deforestation in tropical forests are sustainable and have the support of local populations , says Lomøy.

11 June 2016

2016 Global Landscapes Forum: Connecting funds to farms and forests (Part 1)
By Leona Liu, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 11 June 2016
Private sector investment in landscapes is no passing fad. It’s here to stay. That was the driving consensus among the 300+ participants of the Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case, which took place at the Royal Society of London on June 6.
“We’ve all noticed a very important paradigm shift in how the private sector has been contributing to concrete tangible solutions for climate change challenges all over the world,” said Forum attendee Ayman Cherkaoui, the UNFCCC COP 22 Advisor to the Environment Minister of Morocco.

[Indonesia] Rapid deforestation taking place in Jambi
By Jon Afrisal, The Jakarta Post, 11 June 2016
An area of forest the size of eight soccer fields is lost every hour in Jambi, Sumatra, leaving forests in the province in a critical condition, according to a conservation organization.
Today, there are only about 1 million hectares of forest left in Jambi, or one-fifth of the province’s total area of about 50,000 square kilometers.
“The size of forest loss in Jambi is quite big and the province is struggling to preserve its remaining forests,” Rudi Syaf, chairman of the Indonesian Conservation Community (KKI Warsi), said recently.
The conservation group said based on satellite imaging, Jambi had lost up to 189,125 hectares of forest due to deforestation from 2012 to 2016. A 2012 survey showed that total forested areas in Jambi constituted around 1.16 million hectares. However, in 2016, that figure has dropped to 970,434 hectares.

[Indonesia] Firms promote best practices on North Sumatra peatland
By Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, 11 June 2016
A number of oil palm plantation companies in North Sumatra claim that they implement sustainable agricultural practices in peatland areas. The claims have come about in response to public concerns over the destructive impacts of the industry’s excessive expansion over the past years.
Earlier this year, the government pledged to impose a moratorium on new oil palm plantation licenses on the back of weakening global demand for palm oil as well as massive deforestation fueled by the overexpansion of oil palm plantations in the world’s top palm oil producing country.
The anticipated moratorium will also pave the way for the government to restore up to 2 million hectares of damaged peatland as it plans to move the country away from a dependency on palm oil to other crops that are more suitable to the characteristics of peatland.

12 June 2016

 

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