The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has abandoned any pretence of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

On 1 February 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s forests were dealt a double blow. First, DRC’s Minister of Environment, Amy Ambatobe, reinstated three illegal logging concessions covering an area of 6,500 square kilometres. Second, DRC’s president, Joseph Kabila, signed off on three oil exploration concessions covering a huge area of Mai Ndombe province, including part of the Salonga National Park.

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The Kariba REDD project in Zimbabwe: From carbon credits to EARTH tokens

The Kariba REDD+ Project covers an area of 784,987 hectares in four districts of northwestern Zimbabwe. The project started in July 2011, and aims to generate almost 52 million carbon credits from reduced deforestation over its 30-year project life. The project is certified under the VCS and Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard systems.

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Responses from Terra Global Capital, VCS, and Wildlife Works to Fern’s report, “Unearned credit: Why aviation industry forest offsets are doomed to fail”

In November 2017, Fern published a report titled, “Unearned credit: Why aviation industry forest offsets are doomed to fail”. The report takes aim at the aviation industry’s planned carbon trading mechanism, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation.

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Virgin Atlantic has stopped buying carbon credits from the Oddar Meanchey REDD project

On 9 January 2018, Virgin Atlantic told the Phnom Penh Post that it had stopped buying carbon credits from the Oddar Meanchey REDD project in Cambodia. Virgin Atlantic’s decision followed the publication of a report by Fern that highlights the problems of offsetting emissions from the aviation sector. One of the case studies in the report was Oddar Meanchey.

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A new project aimed at stopping forest fires in Aceh province, Indonesia involves blockchain, a smart contract, a decentralised platform for Ethereum, and Dorjee Sun. What could possibly go wrong?

Dorjee Sun is the CEO of Carbon Conservation, a company set up 10 years ago to run REDD projects. The company’s first REDD project was the Ulu Masen REDD project, in Aceh province on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Sun partnered with Aceh’s “green governor”, Yusuf Irwandi, and Flora and Fauna International, to run the carbon trading project.

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Prince Charles’ offshore investment in Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd: A cautionary tale featuring conflicts of interest, a web of offshore companies, carbon credits, transfer pricing, and tax avoidance galore

Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd was the name of a company incorporated in the Bahamas in October 1999. The company set up forestry projects and traded carbon credits. Its directors included Eric Bettelheim (Executive Chairman and General Counsel), Alan Bernstein (Chief Executive Officer), and Hugh van Cutsem (Director).

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Indigenous peoples in Acre, Brazil announce their support for CIMI’s work in support of indigenous peoples

REDD is at the centre of a tense discussion in Brazil’s indigenous community. Some indigenous people support REDD, others oppose it. Ecosystem Marketplace has jumped into fray, accusing the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in the state of Acre of “intentionally sabotaging a program that has enabled [indigenous peoples] to save their forests”.

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“It is now time that performance-based payments start flowing to REDD+ actors on the ground, in DRC and other countries”: World Bank response to Rainforest Foundation UK and US

Last week, Rainforest Foundation UK and US wrote to staff at the World Bank, asking the World Bank not to approve the Mai Ndombe integrated REDD programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo, because of the risks involved for local communities. Yesterday Laurent Valiergue, Senior Forestry Sepcialist at the World Bank, replied. His response is available in full below.

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How California’s cap and trade market undermines environmental justice

Last week, Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) gave a press conference about a new bill, SB 775, aimed at changing California’s cap-and-trade scheme. The proposed bill would start a new cap-and-trade scheme in 2021 that would include no offsets, no free pollution allowances, and a per-capita dividend.

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