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REDD in the news: 5-11 January 2009

REDD in the news: 5-11 January 2009

Science Daily reports an increased rate of deforestation in Brazil; Down to Earth critiques the Clean Development Mechanism; Jakarta Globe on the potential of REDD in Indonesia; Financial Post on carbon credits from tree planting in China — raising the question, who will buy the credits?; and Guyana’s President Jagdeo on the REDD negotiations in Poznan.

5 January 2009
Amazon Deforestation Trend On The Increase
Science Daily reports on figures released by Brazil’s space agency INPE, which reveal that deforestation in the country’s Amazon forests is increasing,

From August 2007 to July 2008, Brazil deforested 11,968 square kilometers of forests in the area designated as the Legal Amazon, a 3.8 per cent increase over the previous year and an unwelcome surprise following declines of 18 per cent over the previous period.

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Clean dev. mechanism must change
Article criticising the Clean Development Mechanism in Bandladesh’s The New Nation written by the Down to Earth team of India’s Centre for Science and Environment.

From its inception, the operations to promote ‘clean’ development through CDM have remained questionable. The most controversial operative in the game remains the Designated Operational Entity (doe), or consultants accredited to the CDM Executive Board. These consultants are paid by project proponents even as they work for the board to validate a proposed project. This conflict of interest makes CDM an opaque process. It is no wonder these consultants figure pretty high in the reform agenda. It is obvious in the climate negotiation parties acknowledge this faulty system and so are looking for changes.

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REDD Touted as Solution for Business and Environment
Jakarta Globe article on REDD in Indonesia. The Australian government is funding the monitoring of 100,000 hectares of peatland in Central Kalimantan as a pilot project for REDD.

“REDD is desperately needed here because 20 percent of global emissions is caused by forestry activities,” said Fitrian Ardiansyah, a program director for climate and energy at the World Wildlife Fund.

There has long been debate on whether to save the forests or to continue development. Proponents of REDD believe the program could provide a solution to the dilemma.

“REDD could be a solution for forests and development,” Fitrian said. “The government would still be able to concentrate on development but they can use the money from REDD to preserve the forests. But the program should be implemented under a clear legal framework.”

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11 January 2009
A Great Wall of carbon credits
Financial Post article about tree planting in China for carbon credits.

Perhaps worse, forestry credits occupy a tenuous space in the carbon market. John Gao, deputy managing director of carbon credit developer Camco International Ltd., estimates that China has the capacity to become the biggest carbon market on earth. As the market develops, it could easily produce a billion tonnes of annual carbon credits, a third of which could be the voluntary type that the State Forestry Administration is producing.

The problem: “we can’t find a buyer who would like to buy these from forestry,” he says. Carbon customers just don’t trust the forest credits, he says – a problem compounded in the near-term by the falling demand for offsets created by the economic crisis.

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Guyana walking tall on global climate change
Guyana’s Office of the President website comments on REDD discussions in Poznan.

“[F]rom our perspective we made significant progress. We got a greater understanding, awareness of the role of the forests in the climate issue,” said President Jagdeo.

“We have moved beyond the discussions of the traditional REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) methodology which focused on reforestation and afforestation. There is an understanding now that you have to include, as part of the formula, conservation and avoided deforestation,” he said.

“That is a big movement forward by some NGO communities and the delegations that were there, because the primary focus so far has been reforestation and not preserving the forests and that will not benefit countries like ours,” he told reporters.

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