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REDD in the news: 10-16 January 2011

A round up of the week’s news on REDD, in chronological order with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news page (REDD in the news) is updated regularly.

Development of REDD and Community Forest projects in West Kalimantan, Indonesia

ForestCarbon, no date | Forest Carbon has been engaged by Fauna Flora International (FFI) to act as the organization’s lead adviser on the development of carbon forestry projects in three areas of High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) across the Sungai Putri – Gunung Palung ecological corridor in West Kalimantan funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Office, AusAID, and the Packard Foundation. Through the submission of a proposal on behalf of FFI to the Planet Action Foundation, Forest Carbon obtained free SPOT satellite imagery for FFI saving the organization over $50,000 in project costs. Forest Carbon is currently advising the organization on the development of a REDD project and two community forestry projects under the Voluntary Carbon Standard. In this role, Forest Carbon is responsible for the development of land cover classification maps, baseline emission calculations, and the writing of project design documents.

Letter from the REDD+ Partnership

By Federica Bietta and Junya Nakano, REDD+ Partnership, no date | In conclusion, over the past six months, it is clear that the REDD+ Partnership has accomplished a great deal. As co‐Chairs, our objective was to tackle many of the potentially contentious issues early so that the Partnership could move quickly to meet its core objectives in the New Year. While the ‘growing pains’ have been difficult at times, please reflect that all of this progress was managed while starting from ground‐zero while launching an innovative vehicle for international cooperation. Therefore, we should all take pride in the groundbreaking efforts this Partnership has been able to achieve together!

Forest Carbon Stock in Community Forests in three watersheds (Ludikhola, Kayarkhola and Charnawati)

ANSAB, January 2011 | Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources (ANSAB), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and Federation of Community Forest Users’ Nepal (FECOFUN) are jointly implementing the project “Design and setting up of a governance and payment system for Nepal’s Community Forest Management under Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)” in 104 community forests of three watersheds of Nepal, namely; Kayarkhola of Chitwan district, Charnawati of Dolakha district and Ludhikhola of Gorkha district. The project is in operation since July 2009 with financial support of Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). The watersheds cover an area of 27,000 ha where community forest area alone stands at about 10,266 ha.

Monitoring, reporting and verification for national REDD + programmes: two proposals

Martin Herold and Margaret Skutsch, Environmental Research Letters, January-March 2011 | Different options have been suggested by Parties to the UNFCCC (United Framework Convention on Climate Change) for inclusion in national approaches to REDD and REDD +. This paper proposes that from the practical and technical points of view of designing action for REDD and REDD + at local and sub-national level, as well as from the point of view of the necessary MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification), these should be grouped into three categories: conservation, which is rewarded on the basis of no changes in forest stock, reduced deforestation, in which lowered rates of forest area loss are rewarded, and positive impacts on carbon stock changes in forests remaining forest, which includes reduced degradation, sustainable management of forest of various kinds, and forest enhancement.

Cancun summit a climate catastrophe

By John Bell, Socialist Worker, January 2011 | Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) sounds nice too. A scheme that converts forest preservation into carbon offsets for polluting governments and corporations, REDD commodifies rainforests in the name of preserving them. The program is opposed by organizations of indigenous people around the world. The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) describes it as a new form of colonialization. Tom Goldtooth, the IEN activist who was barred from the Cancun meetings, told the media, “We are protesting this detrimental investment with a clear market orientation.” Indigenous groups in Mexico, India and elsewhere the first phase of REDD has been implemented want to see it ended. They discovered they lose control of their own lands to foreign governments and corporations trying to cover for their own failure to clean up their industrial processes.

Business is Everything and Everything is Business

Socialist Standard, January 2011 | On the table was a discussion on TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), cousin to REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). The REDD initiative has been highly contentious because it has transferred large swathes of forest into the hands of corporations seeking profit from carbon trading, (i.e. trading in carbon dioxide emissions) disenfranchising the previous caretakers of those forests. TEEB will undoubtedly raise similar alarm bells for millions living in or near forest, mountains, coastline, estuaries, steppe, savannah, marginal land, meadow, farmland etc, because the overall aim is to make biodiversity a commodity just as carbon became one a few short years ago. To commodify biodiversity means to own the back garden of someone who lives half a world away, to control another’s fishing ground or grazing land.

International Technical Seminar on REDD+ –Knowledge sharing and discussions from practices and experiences

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), no date | 16-17 February 2011 Tokyo, Japan. Sponsored by Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) and Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI).

Brief: In the aftermath of a REDD+ bilateral agreement

By Madelene Ostwald and Sabine Henders, Focali, January 2011 | The bilateral REDD+ agreement between Norway and Guyana in 2009 has received international attention. This Focali brief gives and update on the Gyuana case from the previous brief (Henders 2010). The bilateral REDD+ agreement between Norway and Guyana in 2009 has received international attention, both as an innovative model for forest conservation activities under continued economic development, and for allowing Guyana to increase its historically low deforestation rates. Now the discussion turns to Guyana’s plans to use the Norwegian REDD+ funds for a project that might in fact increase deforestation in Guyana.

10 January 2011

Ghana: All Our Forests Sit on Gold

By Basiru Adam, Public Agenda (Accra), 10 December 2010 | It appears Ghana would have some tough decisions to make in the future regarding whether it should allow mining in the country’s forest reserves or not. This is because, as explained by Mr. Oppon Sasu of the Forestry Commission, “every forest reserve in the country is sitting on one mineral resource or the other.” That is not all; some of the over 300 forest reserves are also protecting water sheds. The Atiwa range, for example, contains very important rivers including Densu which is the source of water for the Weija Dam that serves most homes in Accra.

Shift2Neutral Now Offers Unique Environmental Products to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Shift2Neutral press release, 10 January 2011 | The company announced it is launching a range of alternative energy products from simple household lighting through to more complex energy systems. A spokesperson for Shift2Neutral advised “We have partnered with a range of global suppliers to introduce products that will assist with the reduction of global emissions, these products will be sold in countries such as Australia, the United States, whilst also being part of our technology investment in emerging countries where we are currently engaged in carbon credit certification.”

Yudhoyono Talks Tough on Forest Destroyers

Jakarta Globe, 10 January 2011 | Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday ordered provincial governors to act more firmly against mining and plantation firms which continue to destroy forests in the country. “A number of mining and plantations operations remained destructive to the environment. I urged governors to carry out firmer actions against them,” he told a national forum attended by high-ranking officials in the capital.

REDD taskforce is slow: Greenomics

Jakarta Post, 10 January 2011 | The performance of the REDD taskforce led by Kuntoro Mangkusubroto has been slow, according to one forestry and mining NGO. The taskforce was established to plan and execute, among other things, the US$1 billion agreement between Indonesia and Norway on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD plus). Elfian Effendi from Greenomics Indonesia said the taskforce had yet to perform well. Established on Sept. 20, the taskforce was supposed to complete its work by Dec. 31, or could be extended until June. “There should have been clear action, such as a national strategy on REDD signed by the deputy chairman of National Planning Development Board and a national action plan on the greenhouse effect, by Dec. 31. If those two documents are not available, then there won’t be a clarity on legal mechanism for moratorium of peatland and forest conversions,” he said in a press release.

A critical year for REDD in Indonesia

By Fitrian Ardiansyah and Aditya Bayunanda, Jakarta Post, 10 January 2011 | January has arrived and after approximately seven months of continuous public discourses and reviews within the relevant ministries as well as inside UKP4 – a special presidential delivery unit charged with managing this LoI – the government is yet to produce a clear strategy and legal framework to support this initiative. One sign of progress is the formation of a special taskforce that has a mandate to establish a special agency that will report directly to the President and coordinate the efforts pertaining to the development and implementation of REDD+. Another recent development following this LoI, which happened just before the turn of the year, was the selection of Central Kalimantan province as a province-wide REDD+ pilot. However, these moves are far from sufficient and adequate to show that Indonesia has a credible REDD+ platform.

Al Gore: ‘Chaos Awaits if Nothing Happens’

By Fidelis E. Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 10 January 2011 | The evening speech at the Shangri-La Hotel, co-sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), capped a day of workshops and events led by Gore. The visit was also a curtain-raiser for a global summit on business and the environment to be held in Indonesia in April… In a tone that was both dire and inspirational, Gore praised President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for taking “a stand that no other leader of any developing nation has been willing to take when he stood and said ‘we will act.’ ” … “Anything I can do as a friend of Indonesia and as a friend of men and women who are committed to doing the hard, right thing and supporting your president as he faces the difficult path to follow the choice that has been made and announced — I offer my services,” [Gore] said.

Forest Carbon News

Forest Carbon Portal, 10 January 2011 | Back from a restful holiday break following the frenzied pace set by the climate negotiations in early December, the Ecosystem Marketplace team sat down and distilled our website traffic over the past year into the top 10 themes that emerged in forest carbon news over 2010 and to keep your eye on in 2011. Beginning with our first State of the Forest Carbon Markets report in January, 2010 which dramatically revealed a growing forest carbon sector even amidst the exploding financial crisis and global recession, Ecosystem Marketplace was convinced 2010 would be a year for major milestones in the world of forest carbon, and we were not disappointed.

Carbon Trade Exchange links with Winrock’s American Carbon Registry

Carbon Trade Exchange press release, 10 January 2011 | The Carbon Trade Exchange and Winrock International’s American Carbon Registry announced a new partnership today that demonstrates a commitment to take voluntary carbon offset trading to a new level… Agreed to on the sidelines of COP16 in Cancun and signed on New Year’s Eve, the deal between the two organizations proves their mutual commitment to making 2011 the year voluntary carbon offset trading grows to record levels. By working together to build the market, CTX and ACR are demonstrating that business is taking the initiative to combat climate change and spur innovation in the carbon market.

Slow death by carbon credits

By Dennis Martinez, Boston Globe, 10 January 2011 | Established by wealthy nations, venture capitalists, the World Bank, and the United Nations, REDD would pay for the carbon absorbed in developing countries, to compensate for pollution caused by industrialized countries. The initiative would allow polluters to buy carbon credits from companies, communities, non-government organizations, or countries that promise not to destroy forests for a specific period. To polluters, setting aside money for carbon absorption in a REDD forest is far less costly than reducing emissions at tailpipes or smokestacks. But even if it works — itself a point of contention — this carbon-offsetting simply postpones any weaning off the fossil-fuel economy.

Burning up biodiversity: forest fires increase in Madagascar

By Rhett A. Butler,, 10 January 2011 | The number of fires burning in and around forests in the northeastern part of Madagascar increased during the 2010 burning season relative the the year before, according to analysis of NASA data by / The rise in burning corresponds to an especially dry year and continued illegal logging of the region’s biologically-rich rainforests. Data available from Conservation International’s Fire Alert System, which aggregates MODIS fire data from NASA satellites, shows that the number of fires in districts in Sofia, Diana, Analanjirofo, and Sava in northeastern Madagascar increased roughly 8 percent in September through December 2010 relative to the year earlier period. In total, 1,965 fires were recorded burning in and around forest areas during the 2010 time frame, whereas 1,827 were observed in 2009. But fires outside forest areas decreased by about a quarter in the region.

Documents for Norway $$ projects to be submitted within 1st quarter

Stabroek News, 10 January 2011 | The concept notes for several projects to be funded under Guyana’s forestry agreement with Norway are expected to be submitted to the Steering Committee of the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) within the first quarter of this year. It was expected that that two projects: the Hinterland Electrification project and the Institutional strengthening of key agencies involved in the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and Guyana’s… [R-M: subscription required.]

Business key to saving Indonesia’s forests, says Al Gore

By Sara Schonhardt,, 10 January 2011 | Former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore kicked off the International Year of the Forests by promoting business solutions for forest conservation to hundreds of lawmakers, environmental advocates and business leaders on Sunday. He was in Jakarta speaking at the Business for the Environment (B4E) summit… He responded to a question about debate on the forest-clearing moratorium by assuring business leaders it would prove beneficial: “There are alternatives for the development of palm oil plantations,” he said, referring to the commodity whose expansion is most-often associated with deforestation. It’s easier to find solutions for land-use issues than it is to restore biodiversity loss, he added. The speech by Gore … capped a day of workshops and events co-sponsored by the WWF and Indonesia’s Regional Representatives Council.

Making the case for CCS in the CDM

By Henk Sa and Lodewijk Nell (EcoMetrix Africa), Carbon Capture Journal, 10 January 2011 | The CDM issues are either related to the rules of the CDM when it comes to monitoring or project boundaries for exam­ple which can be addressed rather straight forward within the existing CDM frame­work or to the fundamental issue of storing GHG as a climate change measure. Al­though this is an excepted concept within the current CDM framework it would be useful to included CCS in the CDM by adopting for example a CER buffering mechanism such as applied within the REDD system. In such a system a percent­age of the CERs generated by the project could be held by the UNFCCC as a buffer to offset potential leakage from a CCS proj­ect in the future.

Lessons from REDD+ for Agriculture, 10 January 2011 | In a new analysis published by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Christine Negra and Eva Wollenberg explore the opportunities for agricultural mitigation in light of key lessons from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). Since the first appearance of REDD on the international agenda in 2005, the issue has made significant progress as a policy, as well as on the ground in terms of pilot projects. They authors argue that REDD+ has successfully progressed due to strong financial leadership by donor countries; clear analysis on technical issues; a shared vision and coordination among and within countries; and early actions on pilot projects to generate lessons.

CP16/CMP6: Cancun Agreements: Summary and Analysis

Climate Focus, 10 January 2011 | The results of CP16/CMP6 in Cancún, Mexico, held from November 29 through December 10, 2010, offer a reason to celebrate even though a post-2012 climate deal was not struck and thorny issues will remain unresolved until next year at CP17/CMP7 in Durban, South Africa. Both the UNFCCC as well as the Kyoto Protocol governing bodies adopted comprehensive, new and substantive decisions in Cancún. These make further steps toward a new legally-binding climate agreement, legitimize emission targets in the Copenhagen Accord and, most importantly, restore the diplomatic trust needed to reach consensus on a climate deal in 2011. This final achievement, perhaps more than anything else, revived the often contentious UNFCCC negotiating process among more than 190 countries.

Climate change talks: the road to Durban

nternational Energy Agency, 10 January 2011 | Another encouraging outcome was formal support for a new phased approach to the UN’s initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, referred to as REDD, which gives developing countries financial incentives to protect their forests. The decision to include Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) – a new technology, the sole purpose of which is to reduce CO2 – in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was strongly welcomed by the IEA.

11 January 2011

Follow the money or follow the logs?

CIFOR blog, 11 January 2011 | It’s easy to point fingers at a particular country’s illegal log trade, but we need to keep in mind that the industry is feeding the world’s demand for timber. Illegal logging is a collective problem that requires a collective solution, says Nalin Kishor of the World Bank. Kishor, speaking at the at the CIFOR pre-conference workshop “People, institutions and forests: Moving toward a new governance agenda” as part of the IASC 2011 conference in Hyderabad, describes collective solutions to illegal logging in terms of those that “follow” the logs and those that follow the money trail. Penalties can be linked to the timber, the money, or both. “You need as many instruments as you can get your hands on.” Since this is essentially a trade issue, one might first look to trade for a solution, but Kishor believes trade theory has little to offer in the fight against illegal logging.

Institutions should facilitate local forest monitoring

CIFOR blog, 11 January 2011 | For many policy analysts and scholars, turning forest management over to governments, particularly as protected areas, is one way to preserve forests. But according to Elinor Ostrom, at the CIFOR pre-conference workshop “People, institutions and forests: Moving toward a new governance agenda,” research increasing shows that self-governance in the form of monitoring by user groups can be as important as formal designation as protected areas. This workshop was held as part of the International Association for the Study of the Commons biennial conference in Hyderabad. An IFRI study asked foresters and biologists to evaluate forest density after completing a random sample of forest plots, and to compare densities among several forests in the region. The results were surprising: officially designated parks did not yield significantly higher densities than non-park forests.

After Cancun: We’re all foresters now

By Ben Vickers, RECOFTC’s blog, 11 January 2011 | At times, REDD+ has seemed to pull the rest of the negotiations along, against a tide of apathy and pessimism, towards the distant promise of agreement. This was partly due to enlightened chairmanship (particularly of the Philippines’ Tony La Vina, who actively encouraged the direct participation of civil society groups in the negotiations). But REDD+ was also driven forward by the beguiling simplicity of the idea – pay poorer countries to manage and preserve forests – and the intimate, ancient connection between people and forests which all of us can understand… instead of starting from scratch, foresters can look to the experience of global certification schemes, such as that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) with its balanced, democratic membership of economic, environmental, and social interest groups.

Task force chief: only few aware of REDD

Antara News, 11 January 2011 | Chief of the REDD Plus Task Force Kuntoro Mangkusubroto has said only few people were aware of REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). “Those who know about REDD are very few,” Kuntoro said in the opening ceremony of a national workshop on REDD Plus activities, here Tuesday. He urged all parties including academicians, NGO activists, and government officials to help the public understand about REDD. “Our challenge is to introduce this (to the public),” he said.

REDD implementation challenged by industry lobbyists

Antara News, 11 January 2011 | The implementation of REDD Plus has often faced challenges from vested-interest industry lobbyists, an official said. “Our moves have been closely watched by lobbyists of industries such as mining and oilpalm plantations,” Kuntoro Mangkusubroto , chief of the REDD Plus Task Force, said at the opening of a national workshop on REDD activities here Tuesday. However, discussions on REDD Plus activities, in fact, have also involved the private sector including industries as one of the stakeholders, he said. He urged all stakeholders to respect and implement logging moratorium. Kuncoro disagreed with an idea that tree logging could be done as long as it would be followed by tree planting. “Once a forest area, it must remain forest area,” he said. Kuncoro said as the REDD Plus Task Force chief, he would make sure the success of the implementation of REDD Plus and that all stakeholders have a common goal.

Call to use local funds in climate change mitigation

IPP Media, 11 January 2011 | The Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) and Community Forest Conservation Network of Tanzania (MJUMITA) have called on the government to use available resources while awaiting international agreement on funding to address issues of climate change. A joint MJUMITA and TFCG statement, which was signed by Rahima Njaidi and Charles Meshack said the situation will not only mitigate climate change but also increase resilience capacity of local communities to the impacts of climate change… Meanwhile, Executive Director of Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) Charles Meshack said … there is a fundamental split between parties over whether REDD should be financed through a fund, a carbon market that would allow developed countries to buy forest carbon credits through REDD rather than reducing their carbon emissions at home, or a combination of the two.

Good policies a must for commercial use of forests

By Edwin Agola, IPP Media, 11 January 2011 | The United Nation (UN) has declared 2011 as the international year of forests although more than a billion forest-dependent poor will probably not see it that way. Spiraling global demand for food, energy, fibre and water spell trouble for these people’s forests. Schemes for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) may have been agreed at last month’s climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, according to Terezya Huvisa Minister for State Vice President’s Office, but without locally controlled forestry this, in itself, will not stop the pressure on forests. Locally controlled forestry is essential because local people generally value forests for more than cash alone, which gives them a reason to manage it sustainably and resist converting forests purely to satisfy distant consumer demands within the global economy.

EFI to host the EU REDD Facility

European Forest Institute press release, 11 January 2011 | According to the contract signed by Director Risto Päivinen with Europe Aid on 22 December 2010, EFI will host the newly established EU REDD Facility. The EU REDD Facility aims at assisting developing countries by providing effective support to the emergence of REDD national frameworks, assisting the European Commission and the EU Member States in providing such an effective support, and helping developing countries in building their capacity and improving forest governance so as to help them meet their REDD objectives. The EU REDD Facility will provide support to targeted developing countries in building their capacity and improving forest governance in support of both REDD and FLEGT objectives, as well as guide the development of EU financed REDD actions. A contribution of €3 million has been pledged by the European Commission to start the EU REDD Facility.

International: National REDD+ Strategies In Asia And The Pacific: Progress And Challenges

Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources, 11 January 2011 | This paper takes stock of developments in Asian and Pacific countries as they prepare to take advantage of emerging financial incentives for forest conservation created through the “REDD+” approach for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and other actions that conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks. The paper contributes to the active dialogue on how best to organize for good knowledge management and coordination in Asia and the Pacific for implementing the REDD+ approach. Countries of the region, and especially those of Southeast Asia, have the potential to significantly contribute to mitigating global climate change through forest conservation with incentives provided through REDD+ payments.

REDD+ and Promoting Synergies for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate Himalaya Initiative, 11 January 2011 | As post-Cancun actions and forest management and conservation related action points of Government of India, CHI would like to highlight the scope and possible processes towards the implementation and acceptance of REDD+ in India. In the recent Cancun Summit, the UNFCC agreed on a new framework for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries). Given that, REDD + is a carbon trading scheme, meant to enhance market-based forest stocks, in which developing countries will be compensated for keeping their forests intact. As per Cancun agreement, UNFCC agreed that; developed countries will get more avenues in carbon credits from carbon capture and storage projects from land use and forestry.

Interview with Nnimmo Bassey from COP 16, Cancun

By Jeff Connant, Climate Connections, 11 January 2011 | JC: Now, for years you’ve been fighting against oil development in Nigeria, against the human rights violations and the violence associated with oil development. You’ve gone to prison for it, you’ve given your life over to it, and now we’re seeing this new initiative, REDD, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, which, ostensibly is going to give money to developing countries to protect their forests, which, in theory, should prevent oil exploitation, mining exploitation, in forest areas. And yet you are not in favor of this policy. Can you talk about that? NB: The whole idea of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation is not about stopping deforestation. The focus is on emissions reduction, and even that is still based on the fiction of market as a force that can the yield dividends in favor of tackling the challenge of global warming. There are many things wrong with the process.

California Air Resources Board Grants Forest Clearcutters a Free CO2 Pass

By Mark Mardon (Forests Forever), California Progress Report, 11 January 2011 | Charged with implementing the provisions of A.B. 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the California Air Resource Board (ARB) last Dec.16 held a marathon day of public testimony in Sacramento before adopting the cap-and-trade program they declared would set “the gold standard” for such programs nation-wide. Perhaps they meant fool’s gold, because in its rush to establish the final forestry greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting protocols for the program, the board tarnished the standard by giving timber companies a free pass on clearcutting… Perhaps under a new, greener governor, Nichols will yet manage to hold true to her statement. As yet, however, Big Timber is getting its way.

Teams invites views on plan to cut emissions

By Victor Karega, The Citizen, 11 January 2011 | The National Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) task force has invited stakeholders to give their inputs to the first National REDD draft strategy. According to a statement released yesterday by the University of Dar es Salaam’s Institute of Resource Assessment, after a series of consultations for the initial draft of the strategy, regional consultations are currently being planned in order to ensure multi-stakeholder participation from the entire region in Tanzania. “International stakeholders are also invited to give their inputs before the task force conducts a national consultation workshop in order to approach a national consensus. A final document is expected to be ready by amid April 2011,” the statement said.

12 January 2011

Business and forest protection in Indonesia

By Richard Welford, CSR Asia, 12 January 2011 | Former US vice president Al Gore has kicked off the International Year of the Forests by promoting business solutions for forests in Indonesia. He has praised the country for committing to greenhouse gas reductions of 40 per cent by 2020. Most of these reductions will be achieved by reducing the country’s deforestation rate. Indonesia loses 1.08 million hectares of its 120 million hectares of tropical forest each year. But he also called on business, government and civil society to carry out the pledges already made and to protect the country’s mega-diversity.

Business interests blamed for forest moratorium delay

By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 12 January 2011 | The delay of a scheduled moratorium on forest conversion that was supposed to be enforced at the beginning of the year is the result of lobbying by businesses operating in the country’s forests, an official says. Head of the presidential taskforce on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD plus) Kuntoro Mungkusubroto said that the lobbyists included people from mining companies and oil palm plantations who were seeking to protect their own interests. “Our move [on the forest moratorium] has been sharply observed by lobbyists such as mining companies and oil palm plantations,” Kuntoro said as quoted by Antara news agency on Tuesday.

Businesses turn towards conservation to improve revenues, reputations

By Sara Schonhardt,, 12 January 2011 | Some unlikely businesses have emerged to lead the way on conservation, and the trend appears to be catching on, noted former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore at a business dialogue in Jakarta on Sunday. Timber, palm oil and pulp and paper companies, for instance, have committed to conserving vast tracts of land in Indonesia’s forests. Other firms are partnering with non-governmental organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund, which recently launched the Heart of Borneo Green Business Network (GBN), a campaign aiming to transmit information to businesses about carbon financing and new government regulations.

ISESCO to help REDD training programmes: Afridi, 12 January 2011 | Islamic Educational Scientific & Cultural Organization (ISESCO) of OIC would extend financial support and technical cooperation for imparting training about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) for capacity building of forest officers through-out the country. This was disclosed in a meeting held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Environment Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi here Wednesday. The meeting was also attended by Director General Environment Javed Ali Khan, I.G. Forest Mehmood Nasir. Dr. Khursheed and Irfan Tariq. Federal Minister said that forests are the gift of nature and precious wealth which should be protected from all sort of damages and losses. He said that importance of the forestry sector can not be ignored and projects like REDD are being initiated for conservation and preservation of the forests in the country.

Fighting ‘Ecocide’: Interview With Environmental Lawyer Polly Higgins

By Arwa Aburawa, Green Prophet, 12 January 2011 | Also we already have a lot of the hardware in place. We have the United Nations which deals with international law, the International Criminal Court where people can be tried and international climate negotiations where we can put these ideas forward. At the moment what we’re doing is using the wrong hardware such as the REDD+ system which is all about creating markets and profiteering from forests and ultimately we have to ask ‘whose interests are protected here?’ By putting that in place we’re protecting corporate interest, it’s not protecting indigenous people who live in these places and forests. So it’s about stopping these mechanisms which don’t solve the problem and putting in place the rights of mother earth, outlawing ecocide and setting up an environmental court.


Anna Zhou, Th!nk About It cliamte Change, 12 January 2011 | REDD is a feasible plan that may work but the problem is with all the loopholes and corruption. This plan is made in the interests for people who frankly don’t care much about tribes being killed daily, they don’t even care about the destruction of the Earth. If this plan was made in conjunction with the indigenous tribes then it may be a success. Even if we managed to do so then it’s highly likely the plan would be rejected unless voted upon by the consensus of the people and not high ranking politicians and government bodies. I seriously hope that we may be able to extirpate this corrupted piece of text before it is too late.

13 January 2011

Secondary forest small print unlawful

Jakarta Post, 13 January 2011 | A proposal to exclude secondary forests from a planned moratorium on forest conversions would be a breach of the 1999 Forestry Law and last year’s climate deal between Indonesia and Norway, The Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) has warned. Walhi said the forestry law and the letter of intent (LoI) signed by Indonesia and Norway stipulated that all natural forests be protected. “Separating primary and secondary forests means the government would violate not only the LoI but also the forestry [law],” Wahli’s international and climate finance affairs head Teguh Surya said Wednesday. “If the government insists on imposing a moratorium only on primary forests, there would no change in forest protection since all primary forests are now protected areas, including conservation forests.”

Letter: The use of ICT in REDD

By Idris F. Sulaiman, Letter to the editor Jakarta Post, 13 January 2011 | One area where ICTs can assist in tackling deforestation is in the area of Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) through the use of satellite monitoring. At the UN-REDD event at the Climate Change Talks in Bonn in July 2010, there were various discussions on the development of MRV and Monitoring Work by UN-REDD and Partners who are expected to work side by side to make satellite monitoring systems available to UN-REDD Program countries. With respect to satellite monitoring, it is interesting to see that there is now a group called Global Forest Watch which has turned its focus toward Indonesia. But as we all know, monitoring alone is never enough. Without effective MRV (and accurate satellite monitoring) and enforcement the value of allowances is diminished.

Poor B.C. logging practices ‘add to gas emissions’

By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist, 13 January 2011 | Massive emissions of greenhouse gases are coming from B.C.’s coastal forests because of poor logging practices and inadequate management, according to a new report by environmentalists. The carbon from coastal rainforests, much of which comes from Vancouver Island, is not counted in B.C.’s official emissions tally as, at the international level, Canada and the provinces decided against including forests. If they were included, emissions numbers for B.C. would increase by 24 per cent, said Jens Wieting, coastal forests campaigner for Sierra Club B.C. and author of the group’s report, “Restoring the Balance for Climate and Species.” “These emissions are not caused by the mountain pine beetle or large fires, as in other parts of B.C. They are mainly produced by inadequate logging practices and insufficient management, and it’s time for that to change,” Wieting said.

IDB to be Guyana’s partner in forest carbon facility

Stabroek News, 13 January 2011 | The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been approved as the delivery partner through which Guyana will access grants from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Guyana had requested that the IDB perform the services as delivery partner for Guyana’s participation in the FCPF and the World Bank, which is the Trustee for the Fund, approved. “In Guyana’s proposal to have the IDB as delivery partner, it was noted that the in-country resources of the IDB office will support the range of technical and administrative requirements for Guyana’s FCPF implementation. Guyana also noted that with the IDB as the Delivery Partner for the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund, there will be opportunities for synergies in technical and administrative oversight, as well as implementation”, a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said. [R-M: subscription required.]

IDB to help Guyana’s readiness to access forest carbon money

Kaieteur News, 13 January 2011 | The World Bank has approved Guyana’s request for the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) to perform the services as delivery partner for Guyana’s participation in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) which focal point is the Guyana Forestry Commission. This request for piloting the Multiple Delivery Partners’ Initiative for the coordination of the FCPF framework, and guidelines for the Formulation and the Readiness Grants, was in keeping with Resolution PC 7/2010/4 of the seventh Participants Committee meeting of the FCPF held in Washington D.C.

Bushmen ‘determined’ as legal battle over water approaches climax

Survival International, 13 January 2011 | On January 17th, Botswana’s Court of Appeal will begin a hearing to decide whether Kalahari Bushmen living on their ancestral lands have the right to water. The Bushmen, who returned to their lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve after a previous court victory, are appealing against a 2010 High Court ruling that denied their right to access a well in the reserve they had used for decades. The 2010 ruling, which came a week before the UN formally recognized water as a fundamental human right, has been slammed by Africa’s key human rights body for denying the Bushmen’s ‘right to life’. Without the well, the Bushmen are forced to make arduous journeys by foot or donkey to fetch water from outside the reserve.

Post-Cancun – what it means

KPMG, 13 January 2011 | Furthermore, it has been agreed that developing countries should aim to implement actions to reduce emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and forest conservation (REDD plus), in which the activities are to be implemented in stages. Financing options to support these activities will be considered at the 2011 talks. To facilitate adaptation to climate change impacts that cannot be avoided, the Cancun Framework on Adaptation has been adopted, with an Adaptation Committee established to facilitate implementation. Of interest to the private sector is the work program launched in Cancun to consider mechanisms to address loss and damage, including insurance mechanisms. This was established to strengthen regional centers and networks on adaptation.

Asians awarded for their work on human development, 13 January 2011 | Abidah Billah Setyowati is a PhD student in political ecology in the Geography Department of Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. Through an in-depth study combining multiple methods, her thesis will explore whether and how Indonesia’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus (REDD+) project can contribute to human development in the region. The research will specifically focus on exploring the social benefits of the REDD+ project in Ulu Masen, Aceh. The broader aim of her research will be to assist policy makers to develop better tools for the assessment of climate change mitigation projects, so that such projects are more likely to empower forest dependent communities.

Govt to implement forest conversion moratorium in January

Antara News, 13 January 2011 | The Forestry Ministry is to implement a 2-year moratorium on the issuance of permits for the conversion of primary and peat forests this year soon. “The moratorium will apply to primary and peat forests,” said Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan here on Thursday, adding that the halt in issuance of primary and peat forest conversion permits would be put into force in January 2011. He said the moratorium had been agreed on in an Indonesia-Norway Letter of Intent (LoI) signed by the two countries on May 26, 2010. This agreement stipulates that the two-year moratorium must start in January 2011… In tandem with implementation of parts of the LoI, the Norwegian government has disbursed the funding instrument of 200 million US dollar. The Indonesian government on its part is preparing the sectors for the implementation of the cooperation, Minister Hasan added.

14 January 2011

It’s beginning to look a lot like…the WTO

Global Forest Coalition, 14 January 2011 | See the latest Forest Cover for a report by GFC Board member Mary Lou Malig on the Cancun Climate Summit. [R-M: Download “Forest Cover” here: – also includes: “REDD Skepticism at FAO’s World Forest Week” and “International Conference on Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change, Alternatives and Solutions”.]

Japan Undeterred From Buying Ukraine Carbon Permits

By Risa Maeda, Reuters, 14 January 2011 | Japan has no objection to buying more carbon emissions rights from Ukraine as its checks have shown that money Tokyo previously paid for permits has been properly accounted for, a government official said Thursday. Ukraine’s current government has accused the former prime minister of misusing the funds. “We sent people to Ukraine twice last year and in November confirmed the full amount of money was secured at the account,” So, we don’t see any problem,” the official said. Developed nations which are comfortably below greenhouse gas targets under the Kyoto Protocol can sell excess emission rights to other countries, called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs). The AAU deal for 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent was made in 2009 with Ukraine’s former government headed by Yulia Tymoshenko. The payments were to be used for emissions cuts and other environment projects.

World Bank puts up €68m to avert post-Kyoto carbon market crash

BusinessGreen, 14 January 2011 | The World Bank has launched a €68m (£57m) pot of funding aimed at enabling carbon-cutting projects to keep selling UN-backed offsets after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. A statement published by the bank yesterday said the second tranche of funding under its Umbrella Carbon Facility (UCFT2) was now operational, with Deutsche Bank, GDF SUEZ and the Swedish Energy Agency providing much of the money… “During a period of regulatory uncertainty, the UCFT2 is helping to maintain demand for post-2012 carbon credits,” said Joëlle Chassard, manager of the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit. “It means we have another tool to help bridge the gap in the carbon markets.” The first tranche of the UCF (UCFT1), capitalised to €775m and launched in 2006, purchased 129.3 million tons of CERs generated by two Chinese incinerators of greenhouse gas HFC-23.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature to review and advance implementation of the ‘new conservation paradigm’, focusing on rights of indigenous peoples

Forest Peoples Programme press release, 14 January 2011 | Indigenous peoples’ representatives met with Chairs of Commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other conservation organizations, for a high-level dialogue during the Sharing Power conference, in Whakatane, New Zealand, on January 13th, 2011. IUCN agreed to review the implementation of resolutions related to indigenous peoples taken at the 4th World Conservation Congress (WCC4) in 2008, in Barcelona, Spain, and to advance their implementation. These resolutions, along with the Durban Action Plan and the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), are often termed as the “new conservation paradigm”.

Public Comment period open for Panda Standard AFOLU specifications

WWF, 14 January 2011 | The China Beijing Environment Exchange, BlueNext, China Forestry Exchange, and Winrock International are proud to announce the continuation of the Public Comment Period for the Panda Standard AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use) Specifications. The Panda Standard ( is a pilot carbon standard designed specifically for China. It aims to provide transparency and credibility in the nascent Chinese carbon market and will advance the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Government’s poverty alleviation objectives by encouraging investment into China’s rural economy. The Panda Standard AFOLU Sectoral Specification (PS‐AFOLU) describes Panda Standard requirements for all land‐use activities eligible for registration on the PS Registry taking place… The PS-AFOLU Public Comment Period is open until 28 January 2011.

Guyana among first to receive green light for its Readiness Preparation Plan- IDB approved as ‘delivery partner’

Guyana Chronicle, 14 January 2011 | Agriculture Ministry, in a release, has stated that the World Bank has approved Guyana’s request for the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) to perform the services as delivery partner for its participation in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), which focal point is the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC)… “Guyana has already done extensive work in preparing its Readiness Preparation Proposal for the FCPF, and will continue this work with the IDB with the aim of smooth implementation,” the release stated. Minister Persaud, in his meeting with the IDB Mission, made a call for timely and effective implementation of the FCPF.

Information on the LCDS is readily available

By Peter Persaud, letter to the editor Guyana Chronicle, 14 January 2011 | I wish to refer to a letter under the caption, ‘Only one introductory LCDS meeting was held in Santa Rosa’ published in the Stabroek News issue of Tuesday January 11, 2011. The name of the letter writer was provided and withheld. Kindly allow me to raise the following points in relation to the letter…

La Vía Campesina Declaration in Cancun

Via Campesina, 14 January 2011 | No to market-based business deals proposed by the governments of industrialized countries and transnational corporations, the thousands of solutions to the climate crisis are in the hands of the people… To promote these markets, they pushed forward different instruments such as the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) which we have denounced as false solutions.

Increasing Women’s Participation in Climate Change Negotiations

By Sieane Abdul-Baki, Liberian Observer, 14 January 2011 | At the COP 16 summit, WEDO [Women’s Environment and Development Organization] has again supported the participation of Mrs. Abdul- Baki, who is the representative of the Ministry of Gender on the REDD Technical Working Group of Liberia following her return from the COP 15 Copenhagen Summit in2009. In addition, she has been undergoing training sessions and daily networking meetings, as well participating in the negotiation meetings along with the other delegates from Liberia.

15 January 2011

Capacity to understand REDD is limited all over the world: Syed Mehmood Nasir, 1/2, 15 January 2011 | Mr Nasir thinks that the capacity to understand REDD is very limited all over the world. ‘It is not just about REDD. You have to have full grasp on existing systems.’ The British government’s Climate Development Knowledge Network has published a policy brief on REDD through LEAD Pakistan that was written by the former State Minister for Environment Malik Amin Aslam. He has a master’s in Environmental Management from Oxford University, UK. The Ministry of Environment approved this brief as Pakistan’s official policy on REDD at Cancun. However, Mr Nasir thinks that the brief was good only as a background note. ‘This material for a beginner — yes it gives a good introduction but for a negotiator LEAD has to work hard for the next COP. Please click: to read the full story.

16 January 2011

UN declares 2011 as Int’l Year of Forests

Kaieteur News, 16 January 2011 | According to Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, the commemoration provides an excellent platform to increase awareness of the connections between healthy forests, ecosystems, people and economies… Guyana has since gone ahead and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Norway that outlined a cooperation framework over the next five years. “The MoU is accompanied by a Joint Concept Note that details the main aspects of the agreement which are: sustainable forest management; maintaining a low rate of deforestation and forest degradation; strengthening various identified REDD+ enabling indicators and activities for accelerating REDD+ efforts; reporting on REDD+ performance indicators of which forest legality is one aspect, among other areas.” For this year, Persaud noted, Guyana will continue to deploy its pristine forests in climate change mitigation activities such as those being targeted under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, and the Forest Investment Program.

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