A round up of the news on REDD from the week before last, 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) is updated regularly.
Ecosystem Marketplace, July 2010 | A diverse array of policymakers, investors, businessmen, academics, and environmentalists will be meeting in Hanoi on June 23 and 24 for the Seventeenth Katoomba Meeting. Their mission is to develop various means of protecting nature across Southeast Asia by incorporating the value of nature’s services into the region’s growing economy. Drawing on the success of past Katoomba Meetings, Ecosystem Marketplace will be streaming content from the event to make this a truly global forum… The 17th Katoomba Meeting in Hanoi helped crystallize local and global understanding of Vietnam’s evolving payments for ecosystem services regime. We’ve been sifting through the video to provide you with summaries of most presentations, and are in the process of uploading as audio-only with accompanying powerpoints for people who prefer listening over watching or who are in low-bandwidth areas.
Naombakazi.com, July 2010 | PAC REDD is a new project led by the Asia Pacific Department (APD) at the Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S), and is funded by NORAD. The project is a component of TI’s five year Forest Governance Integrity (FGI) Programme. Principally, the PAC REDD project will, through a process of capacity building and showcasing best practices, ensure that REDD payments meet their intended objectives by having forestry related government agencies, private sector organisations and financial institutions receptive to incorporating transparency and integrity mechanism in REDD schemes, and a civil society capable of monitoring these mechanisms.
Forest Carbon Portal, July 2010 | Investing in forestry and timber assets is nothing new. But the possibility of generating carbon credits by reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) has triggered a dramatic increase in investor interest. To help you understand what kind of projects are currently being undertaken, the potential to use the credits as voluntary offsets or for compliance in mandatory emission reduction regimes, and the risks involved, Environmental Finance Events invites you to participate in Forestry Finance, REDD & the Carbon Market webinar on 6 August.
IGES EnviroScope, July 2010 | Forest Conservation Team Occasional Papers. Author: Lesley McCulloch, 2010/07, No.4. 27., Publisher: IGES. This paper is based on research carried out in Aceh from December 2009 to April 2010. A review of existing literature was conducted together with a detailed analysis of legislation and government documents. Interviews with government actors at the provincial, district, subdistrict level and below enabled us to make a preliminary assessment of the market, policy and governance challenges in the project area that underlie deforestation and forest degradation. Discussions with community members and other local stakeholders gave an insight into levels of transparency of decision making, and on the level of stakeholder satisfaction in their ability to participate meaningfully in the REDD process to date in Aceh. [R-M: The report is available here: http://bit.ly/dc6cAl]
19 July 2010
Xinhua, 19 July 2010 | The 2010 International Meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) opened on Monday in Indonesia’s Bali province amid growing concerns that the world is facing a biodiversity crisis on an unprecedented scale, a press statement said here… “Crisis is a much overused term,” said Dr Terry Sunderland of the Bogor based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a member of the conference organizing committee. “But in terms of global biodiversity at this point, I think it entirely justified. For Indonesia, with its extraordinary wealth of plant and animal life, this crisis is acute.” Sunderland said that biodiversity loss is a time bomb that has the potential to severely damage the global systems that sustain life on earth.
By Ahmad Maryudi, Jakarta Globe, 19 July 2010 | Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation has swiftly taken its place near the top of policy agendas in countries around the world. In Indonesia, the government has promised to slash its emissions between 26 and 41 percent, principally through the scheme… All of this suggests money is there for the taking. But don’t be fooled. We must see results, and this will cost money. In order to fully implement REDD, countries will generally need to follow three main phases… The most important phase is the third, creating financing instruments to reward performance… Indonesia is currently far from this third phase, meaning that the country still has huge investments ahead of it to be able to conduct the necessary activities. Our country faces daunting challenges in regards to land tenure reform, forest law enforcement, fire fighting and forest conversion. These are all expensive.
People’s Daily Online, 19 July 2010 | The Myanmar Foreign Ministry has held a workshop in Yangon on biodiversity and deforestation issues and solution. The workshop in the weekend, co-organized by the ministry’s Strategy and International Studies Department and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, also covered management skill, leadership and team work. Myanmar, India, South East Asia and Europe as well as an expert from Bangkok submitted a total of 14 papers. The workshop was attended by officials and representatives from ministries, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and special agencies, European Union, governmental and non-governmental organizations on environmental conservation and forestry. In April this year, the Myanmar Forestry Department and the UNDP) had also held a workshop in Nay Pyi Taw on reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
By Marc Gunther, The Energy Collective, 19 July 2010 | Environmentalists have labored for decades to protect the impossibly vast rainforests of the Amazon, which make up more than half of the world’s tropical forests. But until recently they had little to show for their efforts. (Ben & Jerry’s Rainforest Crunch doesn’t count.) Since the 1970s, about 230,000 square miles of the Amazon have been lost to development, mostly cattle ranches, soy plantations and illegal logging. Only lately has the rate of deforestation began to slow, thanks to more progressive government policies and corporate campaigns by NGOS, notably Greenpeace. Just last week, there was encouraging news from a British think tank called Chatham House, which published a major report on illegal logging around the world… Tomorrow, we’ll take a 90-minute flight into the Amazon to see an an oil and gas plant operated by Petrobas, one of the sponsors of this trip; we’re told they’ve taken steps to preserve habitat.
20 July 2010
InDepthNews.com, 20 July 2010 | Humankind will suffer annual losses of ‘natural capital’ valued at between 1.3 to 3.1 trillion Euros, if ‘business as usual’ deforestation and land use change continue, according to United Nations’ latest estimates… The calculation has been made by the TEEB project of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Economy Initiative in the lead-up to the 10th Conference of Parties (COP10) of the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) from October 18 to 29 in Nagoya, Japan… Tropical forests will be key to implementing this paradigm shift, predicts [Pavan Sukhdev, special adviser to UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative]. Internationally, REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) plus is a game-changing mechanism seeking to compensate developing countries for the global carbon mitigation benefits of tropical forests.
Geospatial Industry News, 20 July 2010 | GAF AG announces that a new REDD Project in the Congo Basin region – REDDAF- is being negotiated between GAF and the European Commission Framework Programme 7, for implementation from 2010-2013… GAF and a consortium of European and African partners submitted a proposal for the European Commission Framework Programme 7 (FP7) GMES Space Call in 2009, and were notified that this proposal received one of the highest evaluation points achievable in the FP7 programme. The focus of the programme is related to forest monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation which is required for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and quantifying carbon credits in a post-2012 scenario.
GeoCommunity SpatialNews, 20 July 2010 | Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security (GMES), is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC). The GMES Service Element on Forest Monitoring (GSE FM) which has been led by GAF AG since 2003 has aimed at providing operational forest services to the forest user community by including them in the design and implementation of the services. One of the main policy segments that the GSE FM supports is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its related Kyoto Protocol. Since 2006, GSE FM became involved in the post-Kyoto Protocol policy process “Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation” (REDD) in developing countries. Thus a REDD Pilot Project was initiated in Cameroon in 2007, with stakeholder endorsement and financing from ESA, the German Development Bank-KfW and GTZ.
By Jeff Tollefson, Nature News, 20 July 2010 | A once-in-a-century drought struck much of the Amazon rainforest in 2005, reducing rainfall by 60–75% in some areas — and giving scientists a window on to a future coloured by climate change. The drought foreshadowed the Amazon drying that many climate modellers expect to see in a warmer world. But five years on, a spate of research, including 13 papers published on 20 July in a special issue of the journal New Phytologist , shows that researchers are still grappling with the impact of drought and what it could reveal about the fate of the world’s largest tropical forest, a major carbon storehouse.
By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 20 July 2010 | The government has raised plans to encourage the private sector to manage protected forests to ensure sustainable financing for conservation efforts. The conservation forests include about 33 million hectares of national parks, natural reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and hunting parks, currently the country’s only biodiversity havens. The idea comes as the government intensively promotes the regeneration of degraded production forests in an effort to conserve biodiversity and limit the effects of climate change. “Developers could build facilities such as sky trains or hotels in conservation forests without harming the environment,” said director of biodiversity protection at Forestry Ministry, Hari Santoso. “People should pay to enjoy the natural beauty of conservation forests. The money can then be used to conserve the forests and hopefully generate income for the government.”
By David Fogarty and Sunanda Creagh, Reuters, 20 July 2010 | Indonesia, one of the world’s richest nations in terms of species, is losing hugely valuable resources and services through the destruction of forests, coral reefs and watersheds, scientists said on Tuesday… In Indonesia, the loss of biodiversity has reached crisis levels, scientists at a major tropical biodiversity meeting in Bali this week say… A major meeting in Japan in October is expected to agree new targets including a 2050 vision. World leaders agreed in 2002 to achieve a significant reduction in biodiversity loss by 2010. But the United Nations has said the target hasn’t been met and that current trends are placing the planet on a path to possible ecosystem collapse.
21 July 2010
By David Usborne, Independent, 21 July 2010 | Wagons were being hastily circled around Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, last night as top aides absorbed the shock of one of their own blasting him for allegedly thwarting attempts to combat corruption in the world body and leading it into a “process of decay” and “irrelevance”. The damaging and highly personal charges were made by Inga-Britt Ahlenius, a Swedish auditor who until last week served as the UN undersecretary general of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), which is meant to keep the fight against internal fraud and corruption alive. They appeared in an end-of-assignment report to Mr Ban.
Viet Nam News, 21 July 2010 | Ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong have agreed to work together to fight against climate change. More than 5,500 people, who were primarily from the Co Ho ethnic group, along with 24 interlocutors from the United Nation Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) are currently working together on a sustainable development plan, after 78 village meetings. The REDD programme aims to establish projects that provide a financial incentive to locals who preserve the forest for carbon credits. The programme was established during the 11th Convention of the Parties at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that was held in Montreal, Canada, in 2005. Viet Nam has been the first UN-REDD pilot country.
Malaysiakini, 21 July 2010 | As vast areas of forests in Sarawak are being hurriedly cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, there is an urgent need for Malaysia to evaluate the proposed mechanism known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation or ‘Redd’. Redd compensates countries for keeping forests intact that would otherwise be cleared for mono-culture such as oil palm. The compensation is based on the avoided emissions of carbon dioxide that deforestation or land degradation would have caused.
By Clifford Stanley, Guyana Chronicle, 21 July 2010 | A MINISTERIAL team from the Republic of Congo (ROC) yesterday completed the third day of a fact- finding visit on Guyana’s sustainable forestry management and the Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) with a packed programme, including a courtesy call on Agriculture Minister, Mr. Robert Persaud. “We admire the work done by Guyana on climate change issues such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and the LCDS and we are here to learn as much as we can,” Head of the visiting delegation , His Excellency, Mr. Henri Djombo told the Guyana Chronicle… Minister Persaud said: “We have generally been offering Guyana as a model for other countries and this visit by the ROC is the result of such invitations.”
By Bassey Inyang, allafrica.com, 21 July 2010 | Cross River State government has restated its commitment to protection of its forest reserve in conformity with the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forests Degradation (UN-REDD) programme. Imoke said, “The forest deserves to be protected to attract carbon credit and we will encourage partnership with United Nations to further the cause.”
IUCN – Forest Conservation, 21 July 2010 | Challenges and opportunities for the engagement of indigenous peoples and local communities in REDD-plus. “…Indigenous peoples (IP) face specific challenges as a consequence of climate change and related policy measures. Indigenous communities are among those who contribute least to carbon emissions, and at the same time are some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In many cases, indigenous peoples, whose livelihoods often depend on their land and its natural resources, have been pushed to climate sensitive, resource-poor areas due to outside developments and historical marginalization from decision-making…”
Tempointeraktif.com, 21 July 2010 | The government will encourage more investments in pulp industry by providing more operating license in eastern Indonesian forests, the Forestry Department said. A spokesman for the department Hadi Daryanto, Director General of Forestry Production said proposal for license in Papua is growing lately after the government tried to guide investments especially in pulp and paper industry to the easten part of the country. The growing intention he said will help his department to push for more infrastructure projects in the region, adding that pulp and paper industry which rely on forests is “suitable for any region in Indonesia”.
22 July 2010
mongabay.com, 22 July 2010 | Presenting at the annual Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, scientists and policy experts warned that the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) program outlined in international climate talks could fail to achieve the desired outcome of protecting forests, while having detrimental impacts on biodiversity and local livelihoods, if it isn’t properly designed or excludes critical safeguards… According to Barr, “Indonesia’s experience with the Reforestation Fund provides important insights into the government’s capacity to manage and allocate a large stream of funds in the country’s forestry sector. It demonstrates that existing administrative structures are ill-equipped to handle the influx of REDD+ funds and will need to be strengthened. Just as mechanisms are being developed to measure and verify changes in forest carbon emissions, effective systems are urgently needed for financial verification as well.”
By Ian MacDougall, Jakarta Globe, 22 July 2010 | Developed nations pledged more than $4 billion Thursday to finance a program meant to help poor countries protect their forests and slow global warming. An agency monitoring the aid will be up and running before U.N. climate talks start in Cancun, Mexico, later this year, the European Union’s climate commissioner said at a conference on deforestation in Oslo. Also, Indonesia agreed to a two-year moratorium on issuing new permits for forest destruction as part of a $1 billion deal with Norway that would pay Indonesia a fixed sum per ton of CO2 emissions reduced through rain forest preservation. Norway has had a similar deal with Brazil since the mid-1990s.
VoANews.com, 22 July 2010 | Several villages in Indonesia want to reject millions of dollars of international aid to run a forest conservation project near their homes. They are concerned that efforts to stop deforestation will prevent their communities from using the land for subsistence, as they have for generations… The Australian-run project comes under a U.N.-backed program, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, called REDD, in which developed countries can offset their carbon emissions by paying poorer nations to protect their forests. The district of Merangin is one of five sites the Australian government is surveying for its REDD project. Here in Lubuk Beringin village, most people do not know that their forest is a potential project site. Neil Scotland, the project’s manager from the Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership, says that the program is in its early stages. He ensures that communities will be consulted.
By Patrick Kipalu, Bank Information Center, 22 July 2010 | Currently, the RoC- like many other countries in the Congo basin region- is poorly ranked on transparency and governance indexes measuring rule of law, human development, and corruption. Under an atmosphere of total uncertainty, REDD made its debut in the RoC with the approval of the country’s Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN) in 2008… In addition, because of questions raised in the TAP review, conflicting national civil society positions, and criticisms raised by international NGOs and some governments, civil society organizations were successful in ensuring that the Republic of Congo resolution stipulates that the government would have to re-submit the R-PP to the FMT after revisions, at which point the FMT would notify the PC and observers of its availability, soliciting written feedback within four weeks.
By Tommie Herbert, Ecosystem Marketplace, 22 July 2010 | In the March edition of SinergiA, a quarterly newsletter on environmental services in Latin America, Jacob Olander, Director of The Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator (a project of Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends), takes a long, hard look at the future of REDD projects… One regional authority in western Brazil has responded to this urgency. The Government of Acre State, Brazil, has developed an innovative regional REDD model articulated in the state’s draft “Plan for Valuing Forest Assets, Payment for Environmental Services – Carbon Project Guidelines.” (recently renamed “Program of Incentives to Environmental Services: A REDD+ proposal to Acre State”).
By Amanda Wheat, MediaGlobal, 22 July 2010 | The United Nation’s recent program, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) is a controversial, market-based approach to mitigating climate change. In line with the practice of carbon trading, REDD is a set of steps that utilize financial incentives to reduce global carbon emissions. But the program also highlights the doubts associated with balancing the world’s harmful emissions on the back of a corrupt carbon economy… Justin Kenrick, the Community Climate Change Researcher for the Forest People’s Programme, said, “If REDD is funded through market mechanisms it will neither mitigate climate change nor protect the forests. If companies in the North use the market (rather than global funds) to pay for the preservation of the forests of the South then they will do so only to offset their own emissions, which means those industrial emissions will be allowed to continue.”
By Sarah Sharples, Biodiversity: The Forest Perspective, 22 July 2010 | Controversy continued to swirl around the financial incentive scheme to conserve forests – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) – at the ATBC meeting… But Barr believes forest people could be the biggest victims of carbon fraud under the REDD scheme. “In PNG projects were developed which resulted in people moving to claim rights and making false claims or using political leverage to secure unfair contracts from forest communities,” he said.
IUCN, 22 July 2010 | “We need to continuously, strongly and publicly argue that carbon sequestration is only one of many ecosystem services that forests can provide”. “Climate change has focused our attention on the need for urgent and decisive action if we are to avoid the Earth passing a point of no return beyond which the future will be out of our hands” declared IUCN Deputy Director-General Dr William Jackson earlier this month in a keynote speech to the 18th Commonwealth Forestry Congress in Edinburgh… The REDD-plus approach has made considerable progress and yet alone it will not be enough – it is only a part of the solution to climate change. In the longer term, Jackson stressed, “it is essential that all reasonable approaches to stabilize green house gases are used”, particularly the potential technological and engineering solutions.
23 July 2010
mongabay.com, 23 July 2010 | Scientists convening at the annual Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) meeting in Sanur, Bali urged Indonesia’s leaders to strengthen measures to protect the country’s biologically-rich ecosystems. In a resolution issued on the final day of the five-day conference, ATBC commended Indonesia for recent moves to protect forests, including a pledge to cut illegal logging and a billion dollar partnership with Norway to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, but asked the government to immediately implement a planned moratorium on new forestry concessions on peatlands and primary forest lands. The moratorium, which is part of the partnership with Norway, is scheduled to go into effect in 2011, but environmentalists fear the delay provides a window for large-scale granting of sensitive for lands to plantation developers and loggers.
LoveFM.com, 23 July 2010 | Lazlo Pancel; German Technical Cooperation Program: “We are the technical branch of the German Government so to say and we have been in charge from our German Government this has been decided for developing countries and interestingly the REDD initiatives has come from developing countries so its not an imposed concept but it is coming really in this case especially from Costa Rica. Our role is to be a professional facilitator and together with our colleagues to bring together experiences and try maybe if necessary new mechanisms but through our counterparts or national colleagues because they know very well their countries. What we can do is facilitate an incentive and promote some ideas of exchange and also new approaches maybe.” The project is financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
By Fidelis E. Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 23 July 2010 | Conservationists from around the world have concluded their meeting in Bali with a declaration of support for Indonesia’s limited logging moratorium, which they said must be implemented immediately. The 2010 International Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation ended its five-day conference by adopting the Bali Declaration, which lauds Indonesia’s recent bilateral agreement with Norway, signed in May. Under that deal, Norway has pledged to fund $1 billion projects to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in Indonesian forests. As part of the deal, Indonesia pledged a moratorium on new logging permits in peat forests. The Bali Declaration urges the government to go a step further and restrict the expansion of plantations to areas without standing forests.
24 July 2010
By Peter Hatcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2010 | The biggest policy disagreement between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd was over the emissions trading scheme. Gillard was determined to stop Rudd proceeding with the scheme, and yesterday her campaign came to full fruition. Her climate change policy is an elaborate way of saying that a Labor government will not commit to delivering an emissions trading scheme at any particular time, and perhaps not ever. Why not? Because Gillard argues that Australia needs a ”deep and lasting community consensus”. She is setting up her 150-member ”citizens’ assembly” to confer for a year, as a way of trying to manufacture one.
By Janet Redman, Eurasia Review, 24 July 2010 | U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern traveled with Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela to Chile, Peru, and Ecuador last week, to discuss climate change with his government counterparts and civil society. Deepening bilateral and multilateral cooperation to increase economic growth, cutting greenhouse gasses, and helping climate-vulnerable populations were on the official program. But the political objective of the trip was to push the Copenhagen Accord – a controversial agreement the United States introduced to UN climate talks in 2009 and that several Latin American countries blocked – in advance of the climate summit in Mexico at the end of 2010… The Mexican government is determined to make substantial progress on at least two key elements: climate finance and the use of carbon markets to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
Jakarta Post, 24 July 2010 | The United Kingdom is committed to helping Indonesia tackle the impacts of climate change by providing environmentally friendly technological assistance, the Indonesian government says. Following a closed-door meeting with visiting Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Jeremy Browne, Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Radjasa said Friday that the commitment was a follow up to an earlier agreement with the UK government, which touched on, among others, the use of carbon capture storage in Indonesia… In November 2008, the Prince of Wales visited the Harapan Rainforest project in Batanghari regency, designed to restore the forest’s ecosystem and save endangered species. It was developed by a consortium consisting of Burung Indonesia, International Bird Life and the London-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The project, which operates in more than 50,000 hectares of forest, is part of the Prince’s Rainforest Project.
By Willem van Cotthem, Forest Carbon, Business and Politics, 24 July 2010 | The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society are pleased to share with you a new publication entitled Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD): A Casebook of On-the-Ground Experience, which we hope you will find of interest… There is widespread consensus that we cannot solve the climate change crisis without addressing deforestation. Yet, there are on-going attempts to cast doubt on whether forest carbon can be a credible part of the climate solution, and a debate is in full swing about the inclusion of forests in U.S. and international climate policy. Against this backdrop, we felt it was important to document and share our experience. To that end, we set out several months ago to painstakingly synthesize over a decade of history and thousands of pages of technical documents into the attached 70-page casebook on a selection of our REDD efforts.
25 July 2010
By Michael Simire, Daily Independent, 25 July 2010 | Environment Minister, John Odey, has said that the Federal Government is living up to the numerous environmental challenges facing the nation, even though certain forces seem to be drawing back the progress recorded… He noted that the recent Presidential Initiative on Afforestation would give fresh impetus to efforts aimed at addressing all facets of ecological problems. “Under the programme, we will raise and plant 40 million seedlings in the first year and more annually to address the problem of deforestation, forest degradation, desertification, gully erosion and as well as serve as mitigation against the impact of climate change. This will generate forestry-based jobs for our teeming youths. The long-term plan is that the Afforestation Programme will eventually feed into the National Program on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).