A round up of the news on REDD from last week, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). I’m currently travelling, hence the delay with this post. REDD-Monitor’s news page (REDD in the news) will not be updated daily for the next couple of weeks. Normal service will be resumed shortly.
African Development Bank, June 2010 | The Congo Basin forest, the second largest and most intact rainforest in the world, is at the centre of the debate on reconciling timber and non-timber production while satisfying divergent stakeholders’ interests. Increasing pressures from logging, shifting agriculture, population growth and mining are accelerating land-use change and forest degradation in the region, and threatening the livelihoods of over 50 million people whose shelter and wellbeing depend on these forests. The Congo Basin forest is also a vital economic resource in the region: over 40% of its 200 million hectares are allocated to commercial logging leases. Given the large number of forest-dependent people living in or near production forest areas, the management of these forests will have a direct impact on local livelihoods.
Climate Investment Funds, June 2010 | The major sector targets, which must be achieved to contribute to poverty eradication are; 1) To improve quality of existing forested area so as to recover forest cover rate to about 70% of the total land area by naturally regenerating up to 6 million ha and planting trees up to 500,000 ha in temporary unstocked forest areas as an integral part of rural livelihood support system including stable water and forest products supply and mitigation of natural disasters 2) To generate a sustainable stream of forest products for domestic processing and consumption, and many of them for eventual export generating adequate household incomes, contributing to the country’s foreign exchange resources and fiscal revenue, and increasing direct and indirect employment 3) To preserve the existence of many species and unique habitats, which are threatened with extinction 4) To conserve environment including protection of soil, conservation of watershed and climate.
Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Scotland, 28 June – 2 July 2010 | Contents: Invited Speaker Abstracts, Oral Obstracts, Poster Abstracts, Author Index. www.cfc2010.org
A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907), deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2010 | Guest Editor, Dr. Elena Petkova, CIFOR. Associate Editor, Dr. Anne Margaret Larson. Associate Editor, Dr. Pablo Pacheco, CIFOR.
Tyndall°Centre for Climate Change Research, June 2010 | Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) has been variously viewed as an inexpensive tool to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and a mechanism for financing forest and biodiversity conservation. While international attention from both within and outside the forest sector has therefore galvanized around REDD, it is increasingly recognized that forest protection depends as much on existing formal and informal forest governance systems as it does on new projects and initiatives. Research will examine the effectiveness of the diverse array of both “new” and “old” governance structures and policies and the degree to which they do, or do not, contribute to REDD objectives.
Forest Trends, June 2010 | A Tool for Prioritizing Sub-National REDD+ Activities – Case Studies from Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda… The Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator (Incubator for short) aim s to help rural communities access payments for ecosystem service (PES) markets, and to develop regional capacity in land-use based carbon finance. As part of this process, the Incubator has developed a tool or methodology called the REDD Opportunities Scoping Exercise (ROSE). ROSE is a tool for classifying and prioritizing potential REDD+ sub-national activities and for assessing critical constraints to project development, especially those associated with the legal, political, and institutional framework for carbon finance. The ROSE tool is therefore relevant to the development of REDD+ at both the sub-national and national levels; in the three case study countries, the ROSE studies have provided key inputs to national ‘REDD+ Readiness’ processes.
Ecofys Germany, no date | The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ethiopia with support from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank are working to help Ethiopia prepare for REDD implementation. A team of consultants led by Ecofys Germany have been hired to support the facilitation of the development of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Readiness Preparedness Proposal (R-PP). The R-PP is effectively a plan that lays out what needs to be done to get Ethiopia as ready as possible for the opportunity of widespread REDD implementation. The R-PP has to lay out a plan to help coordinate existing and planned REDD related work, as well as tapping into existing relevant information, experiences, expertise and ideas in Ethiopia and internationally.
21 June 2010
By Duncan Mboya, 21 June 2010 | Fredrick Njau, of the Nairobi-based Green Belt Movement, told SciDev.Net he believed the trading scheme would improve the livelihoods of communities by generating money in exchange for trees planted. “This is the first time in the past 30 years that communities are set to benefit from planting trees in this country,” he said. Claudia Ringler, a senior research fellow at the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute, said … “setting up such a system is highly complex and will require a large amount of resources and capacity development. It is not clear if the government has the will or the resources needed to both develop and keep such a system alive. “Secondly, while a Kenya-based scheme could and should support poor rural smallholder farmers in the country, reaching out to farmers, pastoralists and those in charge of conserving forests will be even more complex, and has yet to be achieved at scale by existing voluntary carbon markets.”
By Michael Richardson, Japan Times, 21 June 2010 | Recent developments in curbing high levels of forest loss around the world, particularly in the tropics, are promising. They are significant because deforestation, including the clearing of trees from peat swamps in Southeast Asia, is the biggest source of global warming emissions from human activity after fossil fuel burning. Indonesia has the eighth-largest forest area on the planet and half the global total of tropical peatland. It is the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases from deforestation. So Indonesia’s announcement last month that starting next January it will place a two-year moratorium on new permits to clear natural forests and peatlands is a potentially important advance in a program backed by Japan to help developing countries protect forests and slow global warming.
22 June 2010
By Telly Nathalia, Reuters, 22 June 2010 | Indonesia’s Kalimantan region has proposed converting 1.9 million hectares of forest, or about 12 times the size of London, mostly for housing, despite the country’s planned moratorium on forest clearance. A forestry ministry spokesman said on Tuesday that the government would study the proposal from the West Kalimantan government, with any decision likely to be a long process that would require approval from parliament. West Kalimantan province has “idle” land that is not forested, added forestry ministry spokesman Masyhud… Indonesian green group Walhi said the proposal would be acceptable if it filled a need for housing, but it urged the central government to make sure the conversion would not be used for other purposes such as palm oil plantations or mining. “If the conversion is aimed at housing, it is not a controversy because that is a basic need, but we worry if that is only a cover,” said Pius Ginting, a mining campaigner at Walhi.
IISD, 22 June 2010 | The fifth Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change took place in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, 22 June 2010, and was attended by approximately 100 participants representing 18 countries. The Dialogue engaged representatives of governments, indigenous peoples, civil society, investors and businesses, and conservation and development organizations from around the world. The Dialogue allowed participants and panelists to consider developments on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD); and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+),particularly concerning governance, efforts to protect the rights and interests of local peoples, and the prospects for REDD at the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
By Rosemary Lyster, Social Science Research Network, 22 June 2010 | One of the crucial questions which emerges in the context of REDD is how the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities will be protected. These rights include the rights of sharing in the financial benefits of REDD , the rights to participate in decision-making around REDD schemes, and the rights to have their knowledge about forestry resources respected. Each of these issues depends on the extent to which they have some sort of claim to, or tenure over, tropical rainforests. While the REDD Advance Negotiating Text is ‘groundbreaking’ for including references to the rights of indigenous peoples, and local communities, the implementation of these rights requires clarity with respect to the type of tenure which grants property rights in forest carbon.
Antara News, 22 June 2010 | President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono planned to lead a national call for readiness in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, in July. “This call for readiness is for forest and land preservation to prevent fires,” West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis said in Pontianak Monday. He said the Kalimantan tropical forests had become an international attention and therefore need to be preserved well. He also said that actually forests rarely caught fire. In 2009, he said, plantations however often caught fire, especially those two years old plantations, reaching 800 hectares, and mostly peat during the dry season. Spokesman and Protocol of the West Kalimantan provincial administration Numsuan Madsun said the call for readiness will be held on July 18.
23 June 2010
By Charlotte Streck, VietNamNet, 23 June 2010 | When it comes to national implementation, REDD+ provides an opportunity for Vietnam to show-case the success and lessons learned from the implementation of the 5 Million Hectare Reforestation Program (Program 661). The participation in REDD+ may help Vietnam to expand but also to reform, fine-tune and improve Program 661 that has been under implementation since 1998. With additional funds, the Program 661 could extend its coverage to the protection of existing forest areas, particular natural forest. Further and targeted support of plantations would help remove pressure from the remaining natural forest areas. Linking the 661 Program to REDD+ may also help to support the monitoring of the program and applying a stricter performance based approach towards the program payments.
By David Fogarty, Reuters, 23 June 2010 | Indonesia has no formal definition of degraded land, however. “If you read different reports you get different estimates, varying from 6 to 76 million hectares (15 million to 190 million acres). People are talking about different things,” said Moray McLeish of the World Resources Institute, an environment think tank based in Washington. McLeish is manager of Project POTICO (Palm Oil, Timber and Carbon Offsets), a WRI project designed to switch planned palm oil plantations in Indonesia from forests to degraded land. He said a definition of degraded land should encompass environmental, economic, social and legal factors as well as the creation of a database of degraded land. “This will offer certainty to the industry for it’s expansion plans,” he told Reuters in an e-mail message.
By Narayani Ganesh, Times of India, 23 June 2010 | Norway pledged $1 billion to Indonesia from its public money to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Norway’s environment minister ERIK SOLHEIM spoke to NARAYANI GANESH on the sidelines of the Oslo Climate and Forests Conference (OCFC) on May 27 where rich countries agreed to spend big to save forests in developing countries.
By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 23 June 2010 | Nepal has announced a two month ban on logging throughout the mountainous country, reports the AFP. The ban was issued after officials received reports of alarming deforestation in lowland areas; according to one official over 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of forest was lost in a few months, nearly double the amount of forest lost on average each year from 2000-2005. The forests under threat are mostly community-owned, lowland forests in the southern belt of Terai. “Some logging is allowed in these community forests, but what we’re finding is that this allowance is being exceeded,” Deepak Bohara told the BBC. “So we have banned all logging until we can formulate a new government policy.”
Climate-L.org, 23 June 2010 | The June Newsletter of the UN-REDD Programme highlights the Programme’s latest activities in support of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+).The Newsletter highlights the UN-REDD Programme’s participation in the climate talks which took place in Bonn, Germany, in early June, including the hosting of a side-event on measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) and monitoring systems. The Newsletter reports on a two-day workshop to set up a common understanding and framework for monitoring governance safeguards for REDD+, which was co-hosted with Chatham House. UN-REDD also participated at a conference in Kigali, Rwanda, which had a strong focus on REDD+ and moving towards a green economy.
justmeans.com, 23 June 2010 | The project in Indonesia to Use degraded land rather than forested or peat land for oil palm plantation expansion, is a UN-REDD project. Similarly the Kasigau Corridor REDD Project, a conservation based development project designed to give the local Kenyan communities economic alternatives to poaching and charcoal production, is also a REDD project. The latter did so by creating an Eco-factory which produces organic cotton tees and other clothing items for sale. As with most sustainable development plans, REDD is not without its detractors. In addition to worries over corruption which could undermine the process, and the questions of the long-term viability of some of the projects there is also a question of the rights of many of the Indigenous peoples who inhabit REDD lands.
24 June 2010
By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 24 June 2010 | The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) has released a resolution urging the UN to change its definition for ‘forest’, before the controversial definition undermines conservation efforts, biodiversity preservation, carbon sequestration, and the nascent REDD (Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and forest Degradation). Currently, the UN definition of ‘forest’ doesn’t designate between a natural forest ecosystem and a monoculture plantation, such as palm oil or pulp and paper. In addition, the definition allows degraded or partially-logged forests to still be considered ‘forest’ so long as they have the requisite canopy cover.
IISD, 24 June 2010 | The Katoomba Group, an international network of individuals working to promote and improve capacity related to markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES), held its 17th meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 23-24 June 2010.
By Cyril Kormos, Liberian Observer, 24 June 2010 | Unfortunately, early versions of REDD design didn’t focus on conservation they focused more on sustainable logging. The rationale from the forest sector was that if you improve logging practices and log forests selectively you can reduce emissions. In some cases that’s true, but a number of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change led by the Coalition of Rainforest Nations argued that we could do better: the debate shouldn’t just be about logging more effectively and releasing a little bit less carbon, it should be about protecting the vast carbon stocks locked up in forests. REDD shouldn’t act as a subsidy to industrial logging companies it should focus on maximizing these carbon stocks and providing the social and biodiversity benefits this planet desperately needs. Fortunately, this message seems to have been heard.
Forest Carbon Portal, 24 June 2010 | A series of presentations are featured from a session focused on Forest Carbon and REDD Architecture given as part of the 17th Katoomba Group Meeting held June 23-24 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Tim Boyle is one of three UN coordinators for the UN REDD Asia Pacific Region. Tim is based in Thailand and is engaged across a number of countries across the region supporting the development of REDD. Kurt McLeod, Vice President for PACT for Asia and Eurasia, presents a comparative analysis of policy and implementation approaches across Southeast Asia. Here, Yakob Ishdamy the head of Aceh’s Green Secretariat, presentes on the Experiences of REDD, PES and Biodiversity Conservation in Aceh Province, Indonesia. Goodwill Amos from the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority presents the work of his organisation and its perspective on REDD. Eveline Trines, from Silvestrum, takes us through her work in designing national REDD programs from the bottom up.
Climate-L.org, 24 June 2010 | The fifth Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change took place on 22 June 2010, in Washington DC, US. The Dialogue provided a forum for representatives from governments and civil society to discuss recent developments in the global architecture for a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+).
25 June 2010
By Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, IFAD, 25 June 2010 | Outline: 1. History of REDD+; 2. Indigenous Peoples’ engagement; 3. Opportunities; 4. Risks; 5. Road Ahead… REDD-plus “ conservation” – risk of evictions and loss of rights for indigenous peoples and local communities, “ sustainable management of forests” could include subsidies to commercial logging operations, Approaches and risks “ enhancement of forest carbon stocks” could result in conversion of land (including forests) to industrial tree plantations, with serious implications for biodiversity, forests and local communities.
Climate-L.org, 25 June 2010 | The UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD Programme), along with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Mexican Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), held a workshop titled “Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), a roadmap for implementation at the country level,” from 22-24 June 2010, in Guadalajara, Mexico. The workshop brought together representatives from pilot and partner countries of the UN-REDD Programme, as well as other forested countries. Participants shared experiences in implementing MRV systems for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) while identifying current challenges, bottlenecks and data issues.
26 June 2010
By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 26 June 2010 | The Forestry Ministry has said that it could allocate only 170,000 hectares of the nation’s 21 million hectares of peatlands for a carbon trading deal struck recently with Norway. The preliminary estimate also stated that about 25 million hectares of natural forest could be covered by the two year moratorium on concessions for forest and peatland conversion as stipulated in the Letter of Intent (LoI) signed by Indonesia and Norway. “We still need to discuss it *the figures* with other departments,” director general of forest production development at the Forestry Ministry Hadi Daryanto told reporters… “There will be no land swap alternative – the moratorium on new permits will take place next year so any business players that have secured permits before the moratorium can still run their business,” he said.
27 June 2010
By Michael Simire, Daily Independent, 27 June 2010 | Nigeria a couple of months ago endorsed the Copenhagen Accord when she submitted a letter in May to the United Nations indicating her association with the document. However, Nigeria did not provide any specific emission reduction targets as part of its commitment to the Accord… In April 2010, the Federal Ministry of Environment and UNDP issued a call for expression of interest for developing Nigeria’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) Preparedness Plan. Consultants were engaged in May and work has begun on the REDD document. The REDD Readiness Plan is a national document providing an overview of the state of Nigeria’s forest and land resources. It also details national plans for sustainable forestry and land resource management as well as the role of international cooperation.