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REDD in the news: 8-14 March 2010

Greenpeace banner drop, Ministry of Forestry, Jakarta. PHOTO: AntaraA round up of the last seven days’ news on REDD, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). For those who can’t wait until Monday for their REDD news, REDD-Monitor’s news page is updated daily: REDD in the news. Johann Hari, author of “The Wrong Kind of Green” appears on Democracy Now! and governments meet in Paris to discuss REDD.

Moving the REDD Debate from Theory to Practice: Lessons Learned from the Ulu Masen Project

By Ross Andrew Clarke, Law, Environment and Development Journal, 6/1, 2010 | As the dust settles after Copenhagen and the barriers to reaching global consensus on combating climate change are put into stark relief, REDD still has potential to become a UNFCCC success story. In relation to REDD, there is agreement on many core issues and significant momentum remains towards a REDD mechanism firmly engrained in the post-2012 climate change framework. Yet most debate occurs in the abstract with policy and methodological decisions made with minimal conception of how these issues will play out in REDD participant countries. This article aims to break this trend and takes a prominent REDD pilot activity as its reference point. The Ulu Masen Project in Aceh , Indonesia , while only in its infancy, provides valuable lessons on legal frameworks, benefit-sharing and financing. [R-M: The full article is available here: http://bit.ly/97KLCg]

Getting REDD to work locally: lessons learned from integrated conservation and development projects

By Benjamin Bloma, Terry Sunderlandb and Daniel Murdiyarsoc, Environmental Science & Policy, April 2010 | Integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) have been a pervasive, although widely criticized, approach to tropical conservation for more than 20 years. More recently, international conservation discourse has shifted away from project-based approaches and towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). While REDD is based upon experience with payment for environmental services (PES) initiatives and forest-related discussions in the United Nations (UN), REDD implementation will still require sub-national projects. Issues of equity will likely pit these sub-national projects against some of the same challenges that have dogged ICDPs. This suggests that REDD project developers stand to learn a great deal from the lessons generated by experience with ICDPs.

8 March 2010

Carbon fat cat companies could share at least €3.2 billion by 2012

Current Climate Issues blog, 8 March 2010 | New research out today from Sandbag Climate Change compiled in association with www.carbonmarketdata.comreveals the top ten companies set to profit from the EU carbon market. The Carbon Fat Cats List, dominated by steel and cement companies, could share a surplus of pollution permits worth €3.2 billion by 2012 [1]. This is more than double the EU’s investment of €1.5 billion in renewable energy and clean technology as part of the economic recovery plan. [R-M: Sandbag’s report is here: http://bit.ly/bI9MKi]

Getting REDD Ready to Cross the Finish Line

By Maria Bendana, Eko-Eco, 8 March 2010 | REDD is the biggest pool of money that will ever go into the forest sector so deal with it responsibly Northrup advises. For one, actors involved should be aligned. Certification providers (like the Voluntary Carbon Standard, the American Carbon Registry and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity standards) should collaborate since they have a small staff and they need a global network. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) should get involved with REDD by sitting down with the standards folks as well. The United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could support good governance metrics on REDD for national level programs and help craft a compliance grade standard based on the lessons learned from the voluntary standard providers. A shining example of collaboration and alignment of disparate actors is British Columbia and practical lessons could be gleaned from the forestry sector in that region.

9 March 2010

Carbon Markets Conference in Singapore Shares Insights on the Carbon Trade, CDM and Global Carbon Marketplace Post 2012

PRWEB, 9 March 2010 | How will the Carbon markets evolve? the Carbon Markets 2010, meeting on 6-7 May 2010 in Singapore offers clarity on key issues influencing the global carbon marketplace, its effects on carbon trade and CDM. top Carbon experts from BNP Paribas, Bloomberg & more will share views on the reality & drivers of the global carbon market. Attend to pinpoint strategies to combat current market uncertainties over Post- 2012!

The Real Climategate: Conservation Groups Align with World’s Worst Polluters

Democracy Now!, 9 March 2010 | [Amy Goodman interviews Johann Hari and Christine MacDonald.] The second issue is more complex to explain and buried in acronyms, which I apologize to your viewers for, but is really important. It’s called REDD. It’s the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation program. And it’s the absolute centerpiece of how we’re going to build a global agreement to get beyond this. It failed at Copenhagen. It’s going to have to be there in any agreement. And at the moment, it’s based on a very worrying bargain supported by Conservation International and these other groups.

Climate change to be key topic at Australia-Indonesia talks

Radio Australia, 9 March 2010 | WANDOJO: We need to learn what emissions will be in the forest that we conduct selective cutting, and in the protected areas and community forests and other managements of the forest. MOTTRAM: The projects are trial schemes to find out what drives deforestation and forest degradation and to design sustainable livelihoods for local people outside of culling forests. Wandojo Siswento again. WANDOJO: Australian Indonesia co-operation or partnership tries to find out what is the best answer to that. Then from there we could also try to say to the international community what really happen in the forests and how could REDD become one mechanism that could be adopted.

WTO 2010 Focus on Natural Resources in World Trade Report

Climate Commercial Blog, 9 March 2010 | One aspect of interest from a climate change perspective is the support given to the concept of leakage: that forest conservation efforts in one or more jurisdictions or locations can lead to compensating higher rates of deforestation elsewhere – thus not necessarily a net improvement in emissions rates. This phenomenon has been a core part of the REDD debate and, in climate change ’speak’ is known as ‘leakage’. The authors quote a 1990 estimate that between 11%-39% of all anthropogenic emissions may emanate from the forestry sector. As such, it is critical that the international community reaches a uniform, multilateral approach to reducing deforestation, and improved forest conservation, for the purposes of stabilising greenhouse gas emissions. Otherwise, ad-hoc bilateral or unilateral investments may be costly, and undertaken in vain.

Forests, Climate Change and the Challenge of REDD

By Manish Bapna, World Resources Institute, 9 March 2010 | The stakes are high this year. We are going to see how US climate legislation moves forward and how it incorporates REDD. The European Union will decide whether to include REDD in the next phase of its emissions trading scheme. Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will decide how to ultimately operationalize REDD in a global climate deal. These decisions are going to shape global efforts to protect forests. 2010 is the year in which the momentum to address the interlinked challenges of forest loss and global warming can either lead to real change or fade away.

COP 15: What is the Impact on Malaysia and South East Asia?

By Daniel Chandranayagam, CSRdigest, 9 March 2010 | Shekelle continued on about the UN-REDD Programme and about “aid” to countries who sought to conserve their rich, diverse and ancient rainforests. He said, in a nutshell, that he believed that each nation has a right to do what it wanted to do with its natural resources, but it was his job to provide scientific evidence so that the state in question might make an informed decision. If the state in question chose not to destroy its rainforests and sought aid, that would be a good thing. However, if the state in question sought aid from the West, then it would have to consider its ‘customer’. Shekelle drew a commercial analogy, stating that the customer’s needs and desires need to be known in order to get a sale (so to speak). Shekelle said, “If we want foreign sponsored projects, we must practise good business sense.”

Event Announcement: Workshop on Forest Governance, Decentralisation and REDD in Latin America

Climate-L.org, 9 March 2010 | The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), with a number of government collaborators, are organizing a workshop with participants from government, development and environmental NGOs and local community and indigenous peoples representatives to discuss regional perspectives on REDD and develop a better understanding of how decentralisation and forest governance contribute to sustainable management of forests. The results are expected to feed into the 9th session of the UN Forum on Forests. CIFOR is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Location Mexico City, Mexico Start Date 31 August 2010 End Date 03 September 2010

The energy fetish

By Glenn Hurowitz and Stephen Lovett, TheHill.com, 9 March 2010 | As Congress scrambles to cobble together the votes for legislation that addresses climate change, some are advocating “energy-only” options that could entirely exclude forests and farms from participation in a solution. Such an approach, no matter whether through legislation or regulation, is a huge mistake that would needlessly drive up the cost of climate action and dramatically reduce its environmental and jobs benefits.

10 March 2010

Amerindian community slams LCDS consultation

Kaieteur News, 10 March 2010 | The Amerindian community, in a hard-hitting statement last evening, has demanded action from the government and the international community to advance the land rights of indigenous peoples and ensure that the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is respected. “Our top most priority is to secure our traditional lands and territories,” said Toshao Devroy Thomas, from Arau, Region 7. “Outstanding land claims must be resolved and our rights secured before mining, logging, or any other project that may have direct or indirect impacts on our traditional lands, territories and resources proceeds.”

The Nation Slams REDD and sub-national accounting

By John-O Niles, Tropical Forest Group, 10 March 2010 | This has to be one of the most self-righteous article ever written. It is sure to bring more fire works to the issue. Democracy Now followed up on Hari’s article in The Nation with this interview… http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100322/hari_video. The key thing Democracy Now and Mr Hari miss is that REDD+ has been approved by all nations signing up to the Copenhagen Accord. If the United Nations and the UNFCCC trying to tackle climate change and deforestation is not international democracy (Now), then I don’t know what is. No one thinks the Copenhagen Accord is perfect, but it will probably have more traction than Hari’s suggestion that we all put ourselves in front of coal trains.

Deforestation conference to turn plans to action

By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press, 10 March 2010 | French President Nicolas Sarkozy will open a daylong conference Thursday of some 40 nations to start turning plans into action to save the world’s forests and help rein in the noxious gases blamed for climate change. Ministers from countries of the Amazon and Congo river basins and Indonesia – whose massive forests, most at risk, are at the heart of efforts to end deforestation – were among those attending the one-day conference. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for May in Oslo, Norway. “The forest in danger. Massive planet-wide destruction continues,” France’s influential environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo said to reporters Wednesday ahead of the conference… Gabon’s environment minister, Martin Mabala, said the world and indigenous populations need to view the forest differently. For example, he said the term “wood cutter” should be replaced by the term “forest manager.”

World Agroforestry Centre and Partners Convene REDD Workshops

Climate-L.org, 10 March 2010 | Workshops for countries participating in the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD) and the Forest Carbon Partnership Fund (FCPF) were held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1-3 March 2010, and Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 8-10 March 2010. The workshops were hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre and Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins (ASB), both of which are members of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The workshops follow previous meetings in 2009 on “REDD at the Copenhagen Climate Talks and Beyond- Bridging the Gap between Negotiations and Actions.” [R-M: A background paper is available here: http://bit.ly/aqqsca]

Indigenous leaders call for hold on LCDS, REDD+ projects

By Gaulbert Sutherland, Stabroek News, 10 March 2010 | Indigenous leaders are calling on government and international agencies to shelve policies related to projects like the LCDS, REDD+ until free, prior and informed consent guidelines for land use are in place. As they prepare to meet with a Norwegian team today, the leaders say that they are concerned that current local and international policies do not adequately recognise their positive role in maintaining the environment and forests and has failed to protect their rights, including the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

11 March 2010

Indigenous leaders’ objections to LCDS, REDD+ ‘malicious distortion’

Stabroek News, 11 March 2010 | The Office of Climate Change (OCC) last night described the objections by some indigenous leaders to the LCDS and REDD+ policies as “malicious misrepresentations and distortions” and a deliberate attempt to mislead the public on the two policies. The OCC referred to articles published in this newspaper and the Kaieteur News following a statement issued after a workshop on ‘Indigenous Peoples Rights, Extractive Industries and National Development Policies in Guyana.’ The statement had, among other things, called for the policies to be shelved until free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) guidelines for land use are in place.

Gov’t calls accusations malicious

Kaieteur News, 11 March 2010 | Government’s Office of Climate Change (OCC), in response to a highly critical statement by an indigenous people’s group on Tuesday on the LCDS consultations, says that it is surprised and disappointed over what “appears to be a carefully timed release” of what can only be described as malicious misrepresentations and distortions. OCC, part of the Office of the President, said that following the publication of the group’s statements in the Kaieteur News of Wednesday and another daily, it is of the view that there has been a deliberate attempt to mislead the Guyanese public on matters relating to the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and REDD+ activities.

Sarkozy: more funds needed to fight deforestation

By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press, 11 March 2010 | Thursday’s meeting, to be followed by a May conference in Oslo, was focused on how to implement forest-preserving measures agreed on in principle at the last U.N. climate conference in December in Copenhagen, Denmark. Specifically, nations need to work out how to disburse the $30 billion pledged by rich countries over the next three years. In total, world leaders agreed to spend $100 billion by 2020 to help poor nations preserve forests, protect coasts, adjust drought-threatened crops, build water supplies and irrigation systems, and adopt low-carbon energy options such as solar and wind power. French officials said they expected 20 percent of that to go to fighting deforestation. Sarkozy said he wanted the Paris conference to bring more funding pledges for forests while working out how to organize the aid and find mechanisms to guarantee transparency. He said he wanted the private sector join in, too.

European Commission Position on Carbon Markets Undermines UN Climate Convention

By Rebecca Sommer, Huntintonnews.net, 11 March 2010 | The proposals from the European Commission on post-Copenhagen climate policy that were released on March 10, 2010 will undermine the UN negotiations on climate change, warns a group of forest campaigners. They say the report paves the way for highly volatile carbon markets that jeopardize forest-dependent peoples’ livelihoods, and urges policymakers to focus on domestic emission cuts and finance for forest conservation and restoration instead. The European Commission communication proposes to work together with ‘interested’ developed and developing countries to create sectorial carbon market mechanisms, outside the scope of the UN Climate Change negotiations. Forest campaigners fear chaos if a scheme to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is included in these carbon markets.

Sarkozy opens Paris deforestation summit

RFI, 11 March 2010 | French President Nicolas Sarkozy opens an international conference on deforestation in Paris on Thursday. Ministers from 30 heavily forested countries and 12 potential donor countries are attending the conference. “Forests are in danger,” France’s Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told a press conference on Wednesday where he called for efforts to fight deforestation to “step up a gear”. Preserving woodland, which store carbon, is seen as an essential part of the fight against climate change.

Shame on Brazil: Stop the Amazon Mega-Dam Project Belo Monte

By Rebecca Sommer, Huntingtonnews.net, 11 March 2010 | International groups expressed in a joint letter their outrage and opposition against Brazil’s plan to build Belo Monte, a mega-hydroelectric project… “The decision of the Brazilian Government to go ahead with this devastating project is particularly cynical in the light of the massive amounts of funding they are currently receiving from donors like the Norwegian Government to presumably “reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation”(REDD). ” said Simone Lovera, Executive Director of the international group Global Forest Coalition.

WWF – Forest and donor countries stump up to reduce emissions

WWF press release, 11 March 2010 | Forest and donor countries have kicked off an important joint process which could speed up action to reduce the 15 per cent of global carbon emissions linked to deforestation and forest degradation… “Slowing deforestation would help the world significantly cut global emissions,” said WWF Forest Carbon Initiative Leader Chris Elliott. “That’s an opportunity we simply cannot ignore as any delay in reducing emissions only makes it more difficult to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees C.” “The REDD+ Partnership process must build real momentum for countries to move ahead with REDD+,” said Elliott, “It is important this remains an open and inclusive process.”

Meeting on deforestation boosts morale, budget

By Elain Ganley, Associated Press, 11 March 2010 | French President Nicolas Sarkozy, opening the conference, said defending the world’s forests demanded more aggressive funding. “Those who don’t want to do anything are those who don’t want to pay,” he said. He reiterated his appeal for a tax on financial market transactions worldwide that could be earmarked for a global climate fund. “Together, we will demonstrate that it is possible to achieve concrete and measurable results, as of this year, starting with … the fight against deforestation,” Sarkozy said. He called the Copenhagen conference “frustrating.” France, Norway and four other countries pledged an initial $3.5 billion to REDD Plus through 2012. The core coordination group established in Paris will, among other things, see where the funds are spent and ensure it is done fairly. Minc, the Brazilian minister, said: if “we will arrive in Cancun with things that work, we won’t repeat the problems of Copenhagen.”

12 March 2010

Indigenous NGOs baffled at APA’s workshop results

Guyana Chronicle, 12 March 2010 | The National Amerindian Development Foundation, The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana and the Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous Peoples are baffled by the misleading statements carried in the Stabroek News under caption ‘Indigenous Leaders call for hold on LCDS, REDD+ projects’ published March 10, 2010, and Kaieteur News ‘Amerindian Community slams LCDS consultation’ published March 10, 2010. “Our collective responses to these articles were not done under duress, political direction or animosity,” a statement signed by Ashton Simon on behalf of the Indigenous NGOs said yesterday.

Why does Congress want to raid our best carbon bank?

The Seminal, 12 March 2010 | The need to do right by Alaskan Natives needs to be balanced against the need to do right by the planet. Rather than a simple no vote, Congress could consider the concept of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in the bill. If we’re willing to consider paying Indonesia and Brazil not to cut down their tropical forests, perhaps a similar solution for any land transferred to Sealaska can be found close to home? The Wilderness Society believes that the economic realities in the Tongass work in favor of conservation, recreation, and carbon sequestration, and against logging.

13 March 2010

Greenpeace demands immediate end to forest destruction

Antara News, 13 March 2010 | Greenpeace activists scaled the Ministry of Forestry building in South Jakarta and unfurled a giant banner reading “Plantations are not forests”. Greenpeace feared that the inclusion of `plantations in the definition of forests, would lead to massive concealment of the ongoing emissions from peatland and forest destruction that has made Indonesia the world`s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, according to information on the Greeanpeace Southeast Asia`s official website, Saturday. Greenpeace, along with a number of environmental and civil society organizations, have condemned the Indonesian government`s attempts to classify `plantations as forests while allowing continued destruction of critical habitats like peatland forests and the last remaining biodiversity hotspots.

Indigenous people start mapping territory

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 13 March 2010 | Indigenous people have begun mapping their customary land across the country in an effort to gain recognition amid conflict with the government and business communities over land ownership. The Alliance of Archipelagic Indigenous People (AMAN) estimated the indigenous people had traditionally occupied about 20 million hectares of land, most natural forest. AMAN, with its 1,163 communities occupying about 7.5 million hectares of land, mapped 2.3 million hectares of customary land. “We will submit the map to the government as a reference for land policies,” secretary-general of AMAN, Abdon Nababan, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Some Indigenous leaders ‘harassed’ for voicing concerns over LCDS, REDD+ consultations -APA

By Gualbert Sutherland, Stabroek News, 13 March 2010 | Some Indigenous leaders, who recently voiced concerns about the scope of government consultations over forest preservation plans, have since been victims of intimidation tactics, the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) disclosed yesterday, while maintaining that genuine concerns of communities cannot be ignored. Meanwhile, Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai has acknowledged that there is more to do to help Amerindians understand the government’s plans but accused the APA of communicating “misconceptions and half-truths.”

Guatemala reasserts challenges to Belize’s sovereignty

Ambergris Daily, 13 March 2010 | Officials of Belize and Guatemala, including a representative of the surveillance group Comision de Belice, a department in the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held a high-level meeting in Belize City, Belize … in the wake of flared tensions along Belize’s western and southern border with Guatemala. There are 60 small communities of Guatemalans living in the border area inside the so-called “adjacency zone.” “They are coming over and exploiting Belize’s forests, because they have depleted the forest on their side,” Gibson said, describing the incursions as catastrophic. “It has been a burgeoning problem for us to deal with that.” He added: “What we have done under the heading of science diplomacy, is to harness science and technology to deal with this problem under the heading of the Copenhagen UN REDD Plus [Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation]… to which all countries subscribe, including Guatemala.”

14 March 2010

Compounding errors of measurement: An LCDS concern

By Dr Clive Thomas, Stabroek News, 14 March 2010 | There are two further statistics, which readers may find intriguing. First, during the same FAO assessment period (1990-2005) Norway increased its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent! As I shall show later, this supports my contention that Norway’s relations with Guyana are based, as it should be, on protecting Norway’s interests. It is at best the typical, naked, cynical, and self-serving relation often found between rich and poor countries. Those pushing the LCDS as the key to Guyana’s future, therefore, should not try to deceive us or them that the MOU between the Government of Guyana and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway has a moral or philanthropic basis. Or, for that matter, it is inspired by deep humanitarian concerns over the threats posed by climate change and global warming to the world’s environment. This would be very naive.

New Norwegian Counsellor to Strengthen Focus on Deforestation In Vietnam and Indonesia

ScandAsia.Com, 14 March 2010 | The Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta has recently established a new counsellor post to strengthen the focus on deforestation and low carbon development in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. Ms. Ragnhildstveit will work to prepare a strategy for implementation of the Government of Norway International Climate and Forest Initiative. She started working for the Embassy in the beginning of January, but she knows the region well and speaks Bahasa Indonesia. Background: The Government’s Climate and Forest Initiative was launched by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at the climate summit on Bali in December 2007, and started in the spring of 2008. One of the key objectives of the project is to include the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries in a new global climate agreement.

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