Last year I wrote a series of posts about the Ulu Masen REDD project, based on interviews with NGOs and indigenous leaders in Aceh. Missing from the story is Dorjee Sun’s version of events.
The province of Aceh in Sumatra is currently drawing up its spatial plan. In the current version, an area of 1.2 million hectares of forest would be converted to mining, logging and oil palm plantations. One of the driving forces behind this proposal appears to be a Canadian mining company, East Asia Minerals.
On 6 February 2008, Ulu Masen became the first REDD project to be validated under the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standards. Last month, five years later, it became the first REDD project to lose its CCB validation status.
Dusun Guhanaga is a village in Aceh in an area called Gunung Hujan (Rain Mountain). The road to the village is an ex-logging road built by PT Aceh Inti Timber. When the company was awarded the HPH (Hak Pengusahaan Hutan) Forest Concession, it immediately started logging the forest outside the concession area.
In 2007, Dorjee Sun was going to save the rainforests, stop climate change and make some money. Five years later, even the most panglossian REDD proponent would have to admit that Sun’s plans are not going too well.
Here, as promised, is my presentation from last month’s meeting in Bangkok about carbon markets in Southeast Asia. My presentation contrasts the way the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and others still promote carbon trading despite the fact that the carbon markets have been in the doldrums for well over two years.
This week, a Canadian mining company called East Asia Minerals Corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to buy 50% of Carbon Conservation Pty Ltd. East Asia Minerals’ aim is simple: “Through the acquisition of a 50% equity interest in CC, the Company will develop a ‘green’ mining project which will use carbon and biodiversity offsets and the latest in environmentally friendly mining practices.”
The Ulu Masen project covers an area of 770,000 hectares in Aceh province in the north of Sumatra. The project aims to generate 3.3 million carbon credits a year to finance conservation and development projects for local communities. To find out more, REDD-Monitor interviewed Joe Heffernan of Flora & Fauna International and David Gaveau of the University of Kent in England.