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REDD in the news: 11-17 June 2018

REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.

11 June 2018

How FIFA Uses the World Cup as a Platform for Corporate Greenwash
By Chloe Farand, DesmogUK, 11 June 2018
FIFA has been accused of double standards after it joined a UN Climate Change initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during this year’s football World Cup while continuing to receive lucrative sponsorship deals from big polluters.
Football’s global governing body is the first international sports organisation to have signed up to the UN Climate Change’s (UNFCCC’s) Climate Neutral Now scheme and pledged to measure, reduce and offset ticket-holders’ emissions travelling to the event in Russia.

Debunked: The G20 Clean Gas Myth
By Matt Maiorana, Oil Change International, 11 June 2018
This report focuses on fossil gas development in the G20 and debunking the myth of fossil gas as a clean transition fuel.

Here’s Why Bitcoin Plunged Below $7,000 This Weekend
By Matthew Frankel, The Motley Fool, 11 June 2018
Bitcoin plunged sharply on Sunday afternoon, and it currently sits at about $6,750 — close to the 2018 low it touched in April. And it’s not just bitcoin that got hammered: Most other cryptocurrencies are in the red, and many are faring even worse. The reason? Another cryptocurrency exchange revealed it had been hacked, which appears to be giving investors second thoughts about the asset class.

Reviving Supersonic Jets Will Damage the Climate
By Carl Pope, New York Times, 11 June 2018
Traveling by plane is one of the worst things you can do for the environment. On average, one nonstop round-trip flight from the United States to Europe releases about one metric ton of carbon dioxide per person, or about what a resident of Honduras emits in a year.
Unfortunately, several American start-ups are proposing to make the problem even worse by reviving the bad old idea that the world’s jet-setters need to break the sound barrier to get where they’re going.

The Climate Change Solution Under Our Noses
By Manuel Pulgar Vidal, WWF, 11 June 2018
Our planet’s outermost surface is so important, it bears its name: earth. It’s the foundation of forests, grasslands and other natural habitats and the medium that gives us food, medicine, clothes, fuel, and livelihoods. Unfortunately, our use and misuse of land accounts for a significant proportion of our total annual greenhouse gas emissions, yet it accounts for a paltry amount of climate funding. We cannot prevent the worst effects of climate change without improving the ways we use land.

Congolese Democracy Activist’s Death Mourned
By Ida Sawyer, Human Rights Watch, 11 June 2018
On Sunday, the Democratic Republic of Congo lost Luc Nkulula, a democracy activist and a leader in the nonviolent opposition to President Joseph Kabila’s rule. Luc, one of the bravest people I’ve ever met, died on June 9 in a fire at his home in the eastern city of Goma.
Luc, 33, was a pillar of the youth movement Struggle for Change (LUCHA) since its start in 2012. He dedicated his life to teaching Congolese about their rights and how to use peaceful protest, leading campaigns to demand access to water in Goma and protest insecurity and massacres in eastern Congo. In recent years he called for Kabila to step down in accordance with the constitution and allow for credible, transparent elections.

Germany pours cold water on EU’s clean energy ambitions
By By Frédéric Simon, EURACTIV.com, 11 June 2018
Voters across Europe have lost faith in politics partly because of “unachievable targets” on renewable energy, said German Energy Minister Peter Altmaier, who rejected calls from a group of other EU countries to boost the share of renewables to 33-35% of the bloc’s energy mix by 2030.
Altmaier made the comments during an on-the-record exchange between the 28 EU energy ministers, who are gathered in Luxembourg today (11 June) for a meeting of the Energy Council.

India eyes coal reserves in Indonesian Papua
By Febriana Firdaus, Mongabay, 11 June 2018
As it seeks to diversify its sources of fuel, India is looking to get in on the ground floor of coal mining in previously unexploited deposits in Indonesian Papua.
In exchange for technical support and financing for geological surveys, officials say India is pushing for special privileges, including no-bid contracts on any resulting concessions — a prospect that could run afoul of Indonesia’s anti-corruption laws.

[Indonesia] FILM: Meet the priest investigating the corporate take-over of indigenous peoples’ forests
Gecko Project, 11 June 2018
In the village of Tewah, in the heart of Indonesian Borneo, stands a wooden church named Immanuel. When the church was founded by German missionaries more than a century ago, Tewah would have been a very different place, surrounded by impenetrable rainforest, and accessible only via the Kahayan, a giant river flowing down from the mountains in the centre of the island. Today, Tewah is connected to surrounding villages by deeply rutted roads that cut through increasingly fragmented forests. Its narrow streets are dotted with shops that buy and sell gold, dredged up from the riverbeds by young indigenous men.

[Kenya] Allow us back to Embobut, we guard forest – Sengwer
By Stephen Rutto, The Star, 11 June 2018
The indigenous Sengwer community wants to be allowed back into Embobut forest to continue conserving the 21,000-hectare forest.
Members of the community were evicted in January 2014, after squatters invaded the Elgeyo Marakwet forest.

Chris Packham warns of ‘ecological apocalypse’ in Britain
By Patrick Barkham, The Guardian, 11 June 2018
He’s currently enjoying a great bounty of nature, from tree-climbing slugs to blackbird-gobbling little owls on this year’s Springwatch, but Chris Packham warns that we are presiding over “an ecological apocalypse” and Britain is increasingly “a green and unpleasant land”.

12 June 2018

Universal basic income and rewilding can meet Anthropocene demands
By Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin, The Guardian, 12 June 2018
Enough concrete has been produced to cover the entire surface of the Earth in a layer two millimetres thick. Enough plastic has been manufactured to clingfilm it as well. We produce 4.8bn tonnes of our top five crops, plus 4.8 billion head of livestock, annually. There are 1.2bn motor vehicles, 2bn personal computers, and more mobile phones than the 7.5 billion people on Earth.

The Poseidon Foundation Announces Fundraising Timetable Ahead of Platform Launch
Poseidon press release, 12 June 2018
The Poseidon Foundation (“Poseidon”) is pleased to announce the timetable for its year-long public fundraising phase which encompasses three token sales ahead of the platform’s official launch in August 2019. The first token sale will launch on 16th June 2018 and will last six weeks ending 29th July 2018. The second token sale will be launched on 3rd November 2018 lasting four weeks and the third token sale will launch on 4th May 2019 for two weeks.

Aveda enterprise in Amazon offers Yanawana people diverse benefits, chief says
By Augusta Dwyer, CIFOR Landscape News, 12 June 2018
Tashka Yanawana, chief of the Yanawana people in western Brazil, is as at home in a conference auditorium and on social media as he is in his village in the Amazon rainforest. For that, he largely credits his father, Raimundo. “He had that vision,” he said. “It is because of my father that I am able to live in two worlds, to navigate in two worlds, without losing myself in either.”

Cameroon’s anglophone war, part 1: A rifle as the only way out
By Emmanuel Freudenthal, IRIN, 12 June 2018
Before the army destroyed his village and killed his three brothers, Abang was a farmer and an electrician. Today, he’s one of hundreds of anglophone men fighting with hunting rifles and magical amulets against the US- and French-trained Cameroonian army in an attempt to win independence for a new country they call Ambazonia.
Cameroon’s anglophone minority has been requesting greater autonomy since former territories held by the British and French were federated into one central African nation in 1961. These demands have become steadily more vocal since the 1980s.

Ethiopia: Nation’s Effort Towards Greenery Program
By Yohanes Jemaneh, The Ethiopian Herald, 12 June 2018
The fact that biology tells us is life is the result of mutual existence. Nothing is capable to stand alone. Even human being that has the ultimate power to control the nature cannot live without the existence of plants and animals for life is the result of interdependence. Cognizant of this, Ethiopia has been implementing various greenery programs that would encourage local and global effort towards conserving environment.

13 June 2018

Reimagining REDD+: 10 years on, making success a reality
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Landscape News, 13 June 2018
It is almost a decade since the birth of REDD+, the U.N.-backed program to incentivize forest restoration and conservation in developing countries, as part of a worldwide effort to reduce emissions and increase carbon stocks. The program, also tailored to contribute to national sustainable development, has been heralded as a powerful part of the solution to both poverty and climate change.
But at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)-sponsored session at the Global Landscapes Forum Investment Case Symposium in Washington entitled “REDD+ money for Green Results: What REDD+ Needs to Succeed,” the debate ran fast and hot.

Future finance: Blend, bond and blockchain
By Gabrielle Lipton, CIFOR Forests News, 13 June 2018
On a map of global landscapes, the most expansive ecosystem won’t appear: finance. It’s the underlying rooted network channeling funds to the right places at the right times, or the superimposed atmosphere raining down fertilization where needed. However you view it, it’s a constitutional source of life for its biological brethren, and enormously so.

The Cement Sector: Seven Reasons Why it Needs to Change
Chatham House, 13 June 2018
Cement, the most widely used construction material in the world, is a major source of CO2 emissions.
As a key input into concrete, every year over four billion tonnes of cement is produced, contributing to around eight per cent of global CO2 emissions. With global cement production projected to increase to over five billion tonnes by 2050, cement is expected to play a key role in the expansion of the built environment particularly in developing countries. This potential increase comes at a point when, according to a number of scenarios, cement sector emissions need to fall — fast.

Liberal philanthropy is dooming the planet to climate disaster, documents reveal
By Nafeez Ahmed, Insurge Intelligence, 13 June 2018
One of the world’s biggest philanthropic initiatives to address climate change is set-up to fail catastrophically, according to a strategy document setting out the initiative’s five-year plan.
The strategy document, published by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in January, represents the third renewal of the Climate Works initiative originally founded in 2008. The initiative was executed through the Climate Works Foundation in coordination with other big philanthropic foundations, the Packard and McKnight Foundations.

Climate positive, carbon neutral, carbon negative: What do they mean?
By Eillie Anzilotti, Fast Company, 13 June 2018
In the same week that the state of Hawaii announced it intends to be carbon neutral by 2045, the Swedish restaurant chain Max Burger introduced what it claims to be the first-ever “climate-positive” burger–which just as accurately, could be described as “carbon negative.” You would be forgiven, here, for feeling slightly confused with the current carbon linguistic climate.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 3 Essentials for Making Community Forestry Work
By Lauren Williams, Theodore Trefon, and Theo Way, World Resources Institue, 13 June 2018
A bumpy landing on a once-paved airstrip welcomed us to Beni in the volatile province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As we drove down a surprisingly well-paved, tree-lined road, we came face to face with something the region is better known for than forests and farmers: heavily-armored U.N. vehicles offered a harsh reminder of the DRC’s decades-long, low-intensity conflict between militias, rebels and the Congolese army.

Papua New Guinea promotes social and environmental benefits from REDD+
By Xavier De Lamo, UN-REDD Programme, 13 June 2018
Papua New Guinea hosts one of the largest areas of intact tropical forest in the world. The country’s wide rainfall and altitudinal gradients have led to widespread and diverse forests, growing under all conditions from the lowlands to heights of well over 3000 metres. As a result, the country’s forests are globally renowned for their high levels of biodiversity, including many species that occur nowhere else.

Zambian gov’t says World Bank-supported forest project to help in poverty reduction
Xinhua, 13 June 2018
The Zambian government said on Wednesday that a World Bank supported project aimed at improving management of forests will go a long way in reducing high poverty levels in rural areas where it was being implemented.
Minister of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme said the implementation of the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project will contribute to reduction of high poverty levels in the eastern part of the country through sustainable utilization and management of natural resources.

14 June 2018

A global perspective on forests: CIFOR DG Robert Nasi chats with SAN
CIFOR Landscape News, 14 June 2018
Robert Nasi, director general of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), discusses the status of forests, agriculture and global commitments on landscape restoration in an audio interview with Andre de Freitas of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). Nasi addresses the value of taking a landscape approach to address concerns about forests and local livelihoods. Additionally, he shares views on what forests might look like 50 years from now.

The diversity of biodiversity: Connecting shrews, ants and slime molds with carbon storage
By Joshua Parfitt, Mongabay, 14 June 2018
Tropical forests are key defenders in the fight against climate change. They lock down around 25 percent of the world’s carbon in their canopies, trunks and soils, a function so crucial that they play a prominent role in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Research also shows that high-carbon forests can anchor richer ecosystems. This is a win-win situation for climate mitigation and wildlife conservation.

[Indonesia] Asia’s environmental ‘Eden’ in crisis
By Bill Laurance, ALERT, 14 June 2018
Bulldozers running amok in Eden?
That, essentially, is one of the key conclusions of a new landmark study of the Leuser Ecosystem in northern Sumatra, Indonesia — the last place on Earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos still survive together.
The research, from an international team that includes several prominent ALERT scientists, raises just about every red flag imaginable.

Going closer, probing deeper: My transformative journey to a remote community in Lao PDR
By Alexandra Soezer, UNDP, 14 June 2018
How much difference would a renewable energy supply make to rural communities without access to energy and markets? Understanding the implications of such transformational development, as well as assessing the possibilities for rural electrification, were the objectives of my recent mission to Khammouane province in Lao PDR.

[UK] Unauthorised collective investment schemes and misleading statements | High Court gives warning to operators and participants of schemes
By Daniel Faundez and Rachel Couter, Lexology, 14 June 2018
A recent case provides a stark warning of the risks to operators and participants of schemes if those schemes are later found to be collective investment schemes. Along with providing clarity on what will constitute a CIS, the decision establishes that the court will take a broad interpretation of who should be considered to be ‘knowingly involved’ in the CIS. The case also confirms that, while taking professional advice may be a prudent step, it will not provide a defence against the strict application of the law and its consequences.

[USA] This “carbon removal marketplace” will make buying offsets easier
By Adele Peters, Fast Company, 14 June 2018
On his small family farm in Petaluma, California, Don Gilardi hopes to begin spreading compost over his pastures next year as a way to fight climate change. The technique helps plants pull more carbon from the air and store it in the soil. The farm will also use other “carbon farming” methods, like planting trees on pastures and managed grazing. In doing so, it could sequester an average of 295 metric tons of CO2 a year, more than the emissions of driving a Toyota Camry a million miles. In 20 years, the farm could sequester 32 times as much carbon.

15 June 2018

Leaked UN draft report warns of urgent need to cut global warming
By Lisa Cox, The Guardian, 15 June 2018
The world is on track to exceed 1.5C of warming unless countries rapidly implement “far-reaching” actions to reduce carbon emissions, according to a draft UN report leaked to Reuters.
The final draft report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) was due for publication in October. It is the guiding scientific document for what countries must do to combat climate change.

UN aviation agency may include fossil fuels in emissions deal – sources
Reuters, 15 June 2018
The U.N. aviation agency is expected to include fossil fuels in a landmark global agreement to limit aircraft emissions, a move that could encourage airlines to purchase crude over more costly biojet fuels, sources familiar with the matter said.
Countries at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are seeking to agree on rules that will govern how the overall deal, brokered by the ICAO in 2016, will be implemented.

What if Canada had spent $200bn on wind energy instead of oil?
By Stephen Leahy, The Guardian, 15 June 2018
In explaining Canada’s decision to nationalise the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5bn, Bill Morneau went hard on the economic argument. “Make no mistake,” the finance minister said. “This is an investment in Canada’s future.”

Ontario’s Abandoning Western Climate Initiative Would be Significant Step Backward for the Province
By Nathaniel Keohane, EDF, 15 June 2018
Ontario’s Premier-designate Doug Ford today announced the province would end its cap-and-trade program and withdraw from the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). By adopting cap and trade, the province chose a proven, cost-effective approach to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, and the revenue it generates is reinvested into the province. Ontario linked its market with Quebec’s and California’s when it joined the WCI last year, and both of the auctions of greenhouse gas allowances held since then sold out, demonstrating market stability and driving significant revenue to Ontario.

16 June 2018

[UK] Your letter helps thwart fraudsters
By Tony Hetherington, This is Money, 16 June 2018
D.M. writes: I wonder if you could offer some advice. I have been approached by Portland Investment Group of Sheffield, saying it can sell my carbon credits for £9.50 each, giving a return of £13,347. It looks attractive, but it wants me to pay £2,100 to ‘reformat’ the credits, though it says this fee is refundable. Have you come across this company and do you think I would lose the £2,100 if I go ahead?
Yes, I have come across these crooks and yes, you would lose your money. I warned last month that the real Portland company in Sheffield runs a recruitment business.

17 June 2018

[Indonesia] Minister reviews forest fires during Eid holidays
By Sri Muryono, Antara News, 17 June 2018
The Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar took to the field to monitor the handling of forest and land fires in the country during Eid Fitr or Lebaran holidays.
“In addition to monitoring the reports of forest and land fires (karhutla) every day, I monitored the handling of karhutla yesterday on plane to some areas,” said Siti Nurbaya in a written statement received in Jakarta on Sunday.

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  1. Ref 16 June Carbon Credits. I have been rung by a company in the USA , today saying they are trying to consolidate Carbon Credits of customers who appear on the Carbon Credit Share Certificate Database. They are acting on behalf of a client who is trying to gain 75% of all shares so they can take over the Company in question and return to me a cost of $3.60 per share. They say i have 30K shares it total . Not sure thatbi ever got scammed for that amount of shares but originally about £22k worth of shares . All i have to do is sigh the agreement to transfer my shares to this Customer. SCAM OR WHAT?
    They seem very sinceer but………..
    USA contact is Everett (as in Kenny?) Capital Partners, tel 00161726754484, Boston, 45 School Road, MA 02108.
    Tony Hetherington Should I go along with this USA company ? Payment will be made by cheque within 3 weeks after I sign the release papers! Wow it seem too good to be true!
    Any one else contacted by these people! Please reply soonest as i am about to decide what i will spend my soon to receive windfall. !!!!!!;!

  2. @David Hotson – Thanks for this comment. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is a scam. I’m guessing you already realise this and the last part of your comment is meant to be ironic. Anyway, here are some of the red flags:

    1. Everett Capital Partners rang you out of the blue. They only know that you bought carbon credits as an investment because your name is on a “sucker list”. You can read more about sucker lists and recovery rooms (like Capital Partners) here:

    Sucker lists, recovery room scams, and why victims of scams become more trusting, not less

    2. There’s no such thing as the “Carbon Credit Share Certificate Database”. Try googling it (with the quotation marks).

    3. A search on OpenCorporates for “Everett Capital Partners” reveals one company registered in Ohio – not Boston.

    4. Everett Capital Partners’ website (everettcp.com) was registered (anonymously, of course) on 14 May 2018. The website gives the address 45 School Street, Boston. (I looked on Google maps – as far as I can see there is no School Road in Boston. There is a School Street and number 45 is the Old City Hall.)

    5. The story Everett Capital Partners told you doesn’t really make sense. What’s the name of the client that Everett Capital Partners is supposed to be acting on behalf of? What’s the name of the company that their client trying to take over? You didn’t buy shares – you bought carbon credits. Everett Capital Partners seems to be suggesting that its client wants to take over a company by buying up carbon credits. That makes no sense.