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 usually updated regularly.
Face – The Future, no date | The Ecuadorean Amazon Region is suffering from endemic deforestation. In this community REDD+ project, deforestation is reduced in close cooperation with the local communities.The 30,000 hectares of forest in the project area belong to three Kichwas communities. Each community has divided their land into small farms, each consisting of a patch of agricultural land and a patch of primary forest. This primary forest is degrading as a result of selective logging practices in the region. Face the Future/PROFAFOR is working with the Kichwas communities on implementing a project that will result in reduced deforestation and forest degradation. The resulting avoided deforestation will translate into carbon revenues, which will provide an alternative source of income for these communities.
By Hans Gregersen, Hosny El Lakany, Luke Bailey and Andy White, Rights and Resources, July 2011 | In the last decade, countries have committed major resources to reducing carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD). A debate continues on how REDD financing should include related activities, such as the enhancement of carbon stocks through afforestation, reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded lands. Meanwhile, several countries have added to their net forest area with little fanfare or donor funding. This paper assesses the factors that underpin the transition from net deforesters to net forest growers in China, South Korea, Vietnam, India and Chile.
CIFOR, no date | The Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS) focuses on information gathering and knowledge sharing in three key research areas. Maria Brockhaus leads research on initiatives, policy processes and strategies at national level that relate to forests and climate change. William Sunderlin leads in-depth, intensive research on developing practices for REDD+ at 20 field sites. Louis Verchot leads research on establishing monitoring and reference levels for measuring carbon emission reductions.
By Slayde Hawkins, Forest Trends, July 2011 | Nested approaches to REDD+ can potentially harness key advantages of both nationally-based and project-based approaches to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation. A well-designed system for nesting REDD+ projects within national accounting and registration, as well as minimum regulatory standards provides opportunities for private investment, early action, and direct community participation while maintaining environmental integrity and accountability. Drawing from the recent Forest Trends publication, Nested Approaches to REDD+ – An Overview of Issues and Options, this issue brief summarizes the basic argument for taking a nested approach to REDD+ and outlines key policy choices in designing nested systems.
By Unna Chokkalingam, Forest Carbon Asia, July 2011 | Mr. Aimilios Chatzinikolaou from the World Bank’s IFC indicated that they were looking to partner with large plantation companies with global experience such as Stora Enso, OJI and Birla to support agroforestry models outside their concession areas in Laos and determine whether carbon finance could provide adequate social revenue. Lack of knowledge on where to start and how to proceed was the biggest issue they faced.
4 July 2011
European Forest Institute, 4 July 2011 | European Forest Institute’s EU REDD Facility was established in December 2010 to provide effective support to the development and implementation of REDD+ policies in developing countries. It aims at helping developing countries build their capacity and improve forest governance for REDD+ through analysis, advice, outreach and training, as well as by facilitating access to and benefit from different on-going initiatives.
Stabroek News, 4 July 2011 | In the fullness of time, the PPP/C’s version of access to information legislation will come under careful scrutiny however urgency is not required at the moment as it is clear to all breathing individuals that no functioning system will be in place before the general elections. Yet, there is great need to pay careful attention to the government’s dealings particularly as it relates to pre-elections spending and its interest in the funds to be disbursed under the agreement with Norway which is now proceeding very cautiously as Oslo becomes more deeply acquainted with local issues and the government’s professed commitment to the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). It is through Oslo’s insistence on transparency that Guyanese have learnt that Oslo and Georgetown have presided over the disbursal of a sum of money outside the established mechanism to Conservation International.
5 July 2011
PWC, IUCN, Winrock and Climate Focus, 5 July 2011 | PwC and its alliance partners, Climate Focus, Winrock and IUCN, were appointed by the UK Government in December 2010 to undertake an independent review of options for scaling up the UK’s REDD+ portfolio over the next four years to 2014/5. The review assessed the effectiveness and absorptive capacity of existing REDD+ multilateral funds and programmes; analysed ways in which the UK Government could undertake REDD+ activities through new bilateral agreements with forested nations; outlined the geographies within which the UK Government may wish to consider partnerships; and looked at ways in which the Government could catalyse private sector innovation and investment in REDD+.
By Unna Chokkalingam, Forest Carbon Asia, 5 July 2011 | In the last months, the Government of Lao PDR received proposals from numerous private enterprises seeking to develop forest carbon projects in Laos. To facilitate information-sharing with and feedback from the private sector, the Department of Forestry organized a workshop “Private sector engagement on REDD+ in Lao PDR” on Friday, July 1st 2011. The workshop was sponsored by FAO and supported by the bilateral and multilateral projects CliPAD, JICA, SUFORD; and by Forest Carbon Asia. Participants included representatives from the government, the private sector, NGOs, and bilateral and multilateral projects.
By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests Blog, 5 July 2011 | REDD+ proponents can learn from the multistakeholder approach of experienced certification body, the Forest Stewardship Council, helping to avoid treacherous forest management politics and better engaging civil society and the private sector in sustainable forest practices said Frances Seymour, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “The objectives of REDD+ are sufficiently aligned with those of the FSC, and the challenges that REDD+ will face are analogous to those of certification, [so] it would be a huge loss for this relative newcomer to the forestry scene not to benefit from two decades of [FSC] experience,” she said in her address at the Forest Framework Convention 2011 (find the transcript of Seymour’s speech below).
Environmental Finance, 5 July 2011 | How can finance be mobilised to protect the world’s rainforests, in a climate of extreme policy uncertainty? Environmental Finance and Irbaris convened a panel of experts to try to find out. Mark Nicholls reports. [R-M: Subscription needed.]
By Tommie Herbert, Ecosystem Marketplace, 5 July 2011 | Indigenous people like Uganda’s Bunyoro-Kitara tend to take good care of their land – and to lose big when someone else finds natural resources on it. Payments for ecosystem services (PES) offer a way to profit from good stewardship, but only if governments keep things clean. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Survival International, 5 July 2011 | The UN’s flagship business initiative is being used as a tool to mask human rights abuses, according to Ayoreo Indians in Paraguay. Leaders of the tribe, some of whose members are still uncontacted, have written to the UN Global Compact saying they are ‘concerned and frustrated’ by the inclusion in it of a controversial Brazilian ranching company. The company, Yaguarete Porá, was charged and fined for illegally clearing the Ayoreo’s forests, and concealing evidence of uncontacted Ayoreo living there. The Ayoreo have asked that it be expelled from the Global Compact.
By Adianto P. Simamora, Jakarta Post, 5 July 2011 | The government issued a new version of a forest map, revising down the size of primary forests and conservation areas in the forest moratorium to 55 million hectares. The new map, posted on the Forestry Ministry website Monday, highlights 55 million hectares of primary forests and conservation areas and 17 million hectares of peatland estimated to store 1 billion tons of carbon. Previously, presidential aide on climate change Agus Purnomo and several officials said a moratorium would cover 64 million hectares of primary forests and conservation areas… Forestry Ministry secretary-general Hadi Daryanto said the ministry found no indications permits were issued to companies to exploit areas within the 72 million hectares. “[The 72 million hectares] is huge, equal to half of Indonesia’s 133 million hectares of forest areas,” Hadi said.
wikinut, 5 July 2011 | Deforestation contributes around 15 – 20 percent towards global carbon dioxide emission. The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) program is an attempt to reduce deforestation in developing countries. Idea is good but there are objections about its possible adverse consequences, particularly on indigenous people.
Guyana Chronicle, 5 July 2011 | President Bharrat Jagdeo has raised the issue of undisbursed climate change funds with Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos and Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner from Latvia, both of whom attended the 32nd CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in Basseterre, St. Kitts. President Jagdeo said he raised the issue from the perspective of the undistributed funds pledged as part of the Copenhagen Accord, under which new and additional, predictable and adequate funding, as well as improved access shall be provided to developing countries to enable and support enhanced action. The accord also allows for developed countries to raise funds of US$30 billion from 2010-2012 of new and additional resources, and sets a “goal” for the world to raise US$100 billion per year by 2020, from “a wide variety of sources”, to help developing countries cut carbon emissions.
Kaieteur News, 5 July 2011 | Guyana has signed an agreement with the Republic of Congo to increase cooperation between the two countries in the fields of forestry and wood industries, according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO). According to the report, the Memorandum of Understanding covering a five-year period was signed by Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud and Congolese Minister of Forestry and Sustainable Development, Henri Djombo. This agreement will see the two countries establishing and developing cooperation to address sustainable forest management, REDD+ initiatives and the enhancement and development of processed wood and wood-based construction industries.
Kaieteur News, 5 July 2011 | No funds from the forest-saving deal with Norway has yet been released into the national treasury, but Government says that it is procuring solar panels for Amerindian homes – a project President Bharrat Jagdeo had said would come from the release of the first tranche of the Norway funds. This weekend, the Government Information Agency (GINA) announced that Cabinet – the council of ministers chaired by the President – had approved the procurement of up to 11,000 65W Solar Home Systems under the Hinterland Electrification Programme. GINA stated that the project falls under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which formed the basis of the five-year agreement between Guyana and Norway. The Norwegian Government has so far deposited US$70 million into a World Bank account, but the monies cannot be released until certain procedures are completed.
6 July 2011
Climate Connect, 6 July 2011 | According to a report released yesterday by the World Bank (WB), the forestry sector (A/R) faces a number of challenges within the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. Some of the highlighted difficulties were: compliance with the CDM requirements, the time it consumes, securing land tenure in project areas, complexity of accounting for GHG emissions in forestry projects, non permanence of the credits issued, high cost of project development and low level of institutionalization. The World Bank’s project development costs for A/R projects are higher than for any other CDM sector, exceeding $1 per tCO2e.
Stabroek News, 6 July 2011 | Several enforcement bodies were trained at a joint workshop the administration hosted in collaboration with the governments of Suriname and French Guiana to address issues related to illegal forest activities, including gold mining. In his address at the closing of the workshop last Thursday, Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud said he was pleased with the participation of the neighbouring governments in the training as it is both timely and relevant as the country pursues national development objectives.
7 July 2011
Forest Peoples Programme, 7 July 2011 | [I]ndigenous peoples’ organisations in Peru led by AIDESEP, the principal national organization, have maintained their position that until clear government commitments are forthcoming to recognise and demarcate an estimated 20 million hectares of outstanding indigenous territorial claims, then REDD constitutes a serious threat to indigenous peoples. Furthermore, indigenous peoples have argued that as long as proposed legal reforms such as the law of prior consultation and the forestry law undermine indigenous people’s rights then current REDD policies will not only fail to reduce emissions but may exacerbate existing land conflicts. Despite these constructive criticisms, the RPP’s treatment of indigenous issues remained relatively unchanged until the final days before the meeting in Vietnam where the RPP was due to be discussed.
School of Applied Sciences, Bournemouth University, 7 July 2011 | A new publication, edited by Bournemouth University researchers Adrian Newton and Natalia Tejedor, explores forest landscape restoration in Latin America. ‘Principles and Practice of Forest Landscape Restoration: case studies from the drylands of Latin America’ was published earlier this month. The book presents the results of an international research project, which was designed explicitly to examine application of the forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach to dryland forest ecosystems in Latin America.
pollutiononline.com, 7 July 2011 | With more than 1,100 registered participants, the Africa Carbon Forum, the leading regional trade fair and knowledge sharing platform for carbon investments, has demonstrated that Africa is an increasingly attractive destination for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, as investors seek new opportunities for growth in the voluntary market as well as the CDM… Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) was also a principal focus of attention at the ACF, along with the development of the concept of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), under discussion at the UNFCCC negotiations. The African Carbon Forum is held under the Nairobi Framework, an initiative launched to help developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, to increase their participation in the CDM.
Forest Peoples Programme, 7 July 2011 | Forest Peoples Programme staff recently visited forest communities in Equateur province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who they have been supporting since 2009 with information-sharing and consultation meetings related to REDD and conflict prevention. During training and project monitoring visits FPP and our local partner CEDEN (Cercle pour la defense de l’environnement) held public meetings with around 2000 forest people from across the Lac Tumba conservation landscape. Along with the Mai Ndombe region further south into Bandundu Province, the Lac Tumba conservation landscape is targeted for REDD pilot funding, as part of DRC’s efforts to protect its forests in response to global agreements about climate control.
By Bong Pedalino, PIA Press Release, 7 July 2011 | A new concept of saving forests from further deterioration while conserving them for biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihood for local communities has been at work in Southern Leyte province since 2009, initiated by a German government organization GIZ. In addition, the Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) concept might as well give flesh to talks in emerging international economics, such as carbon trading or carbon credit. And with the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Aquino administration now being pursued vigorously until the year 2016, REDD project in the province got a perfect boost.
By David Fogarty, Reuters, 7 July 2011 | Australia’s Macquarie Group , World Bank member the International Finance Corp and a forest management firm said on Thursday they had raised $25 million for forest carbon projects in poorer nations. The money comes on top of other funding schemes by the World Bank, United Nations and rich nations including Norway in support of a U.N.-backed programme that rewards poorer nations that preserve and replant carbon-rich tropical forests.
mongabay.com, 7 July 2011 | A new study says that giving local communities control over forest resources can help slow and even reverse deforestation. The research, published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) on the eve of a forestry workshop in Lombok, Indonesia, analyzed trends in countries that have either maintained or expanded forest cover since 1990. It found several factors contributing to forest recovery: expansion of community rights over land and resource management; support for afforestation, restoration, and reforestation projects; and “opening of markets to support sustainable forest management practices.”
By Norman Whittaker, letter to the editor, Guyana Chronicle, 7 July 2011 | I have just perused, for the second time, Amnesty International Report 2011 on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Guyana with its special focus on demarcation of their lands. The AI report assigns responsibility for the statements made and shrewdly seeks to divorce itself from these statements by its declaration, inter alia, that ‘Indigenous Peoples alleged that poor demarcation processes were allowing the Government to take over traditional lands and that in some areas demarcation had taken place without the free, prior and informed consent of the communities affected’. It is incomprehensible; nay unforgiveable that … Amnesty International could only acknowledge the appointment of members of the Indigenous Peoples Commission and pronounce on land demarcation issues in a manner that belies truth and fact.
8 July 2011
By Maureen Farrell, Forbes, 8 July 2011 | Looking for a 270% return on investment over the next five years? Emergent Asset Management, a London hedge and private equity fund, says it has the perfect investment vehicle for you. Farmland in sub-Saharan Africa. (You’ll need €5 million to throw in if you’re an institution and €500,000 if you’re a retail investor.)
Carbonica press release, 8 July 2011 | Carbonica is pleased to confirm the appointment of Ms Rosana Della Mea as REDD project manager at the company’s London office, commencing 1 July 2011. Ms Della Mea has extensive experience in the forestry sector, having worked previously as a consultant through her own firm Reddleaf in the UK, and in many REDD projects through various NGOs around the world. Her previous employment was at the CREES Foundation and Rainforest Concern, where she has worked in various aspects of project origination, carbon trading, sales of carbon credits and ecosystem services. She has also participated in the Bloomtrigger project, a rainforest conservation initiative.
Climate Connect, 8 July 2011 | The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, has announced that it will invest in BioCarbon Group Pte to fund forest conservation efforts in poor and developing countries. The BioCarbon Group was established by Australia-based Macquarie Group. IFC, Macquarie and US-based Global Forest Partners have announced a combined investment of $25 million in the fund… An Indonesian REDD project located in West Kalimantan and spread over 40,000 hectares could be the first to receive assistance from the fund. The carbon offsets generated from these projects will be sold in international voluntary and compliance markets. Macquarie is currently developing three REDD projects in Indonesia in collaboration with Flora & Fauna International. The Macquarie group is exploring investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa.
carbonpositive.net, 8 July 2011 | Australian-based Macquarie Bank’s BioCarbon business, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and the US-based Global Forest Partners will co-invest $25m in avoided deforestation projects in South-East Asia, South America and Africa to generate carbon offset credits. The first project is likely to be a peatland preservation effort on Borneo in Indonesia’s Kalimantan province. Macquarie Global Investments associate director Brer Adams told Reuters the bank is looking to establish “a significant footprint of forest carbon projects” kick-started by the latest capital raising.
By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests Blog, 8 July 2011 | With the power to influence climate change negotiations and give a voice to those who otherwise may not get a chance to be heard, it is disappointing that almost half of REDD+ media coverage in Brazil has focused predominately on high level policy debates, with little attention being given to national or local level concerns, a new study from the Center for International Forestry Research has found. REDD+ Politics in the media: a case study from Brazil, examined media coverage and the nature of REDD+ discourse in four leading Brazilian newspapers from 2005 to 2009. Of the 122 articles that the study examined, almost 50 percent were found to cover policy debates and events at an international level.
By Johann Hari, The Independent, 8 July 2011 | But now management consultancy has been taken to a whole new level, according to a startling new report by Greenpeace entitled: “Bad Influence: How McKinsey-inspired plans lead to rainforest destruction.” Management consultants have, in effect, been tasked with setting the future of the world’s rainforests – and facing accusations that they are using our money to draw up plans that will result in their more rapid destruction. Instead of stopping the loggers and miners, the report suggests they are aiding them.
By Darmawan Prasodjo, Jakarta Post, 8 July 2011 | President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told CNN recently that Indonesia was committed to achieving a 26 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 while concurrently maintaining its rapid economic growth… If forests were to remain intact, these individuals could develop new oil palm plantations utilizing already degraded non-forest land instead of clearing existing forests. Oil palm looks good from an economic standpoint, generating more employment and income than low-intensity cultivation or logging. Oil palm also absorbs carbon dioxide and releases water vapor as it grows. It also stores more carbon than the degraded land. Rather than destroying more rainforest for shifting cultivation, local traditional farmers could go into the oil palm business and benefit from its higher returns.
Bangkok Post, 8 July 2011 | Asean will pursue revisions to a forest preservation and greenhouse gas reduction programme at a meeting in South Africa in December to ensure that efforts to protect woodlands in the Southeast Asia region continue. Delegates at the Asean Senior Officials on Forestry meeting yesterday agreed to push for extending the United Nations’ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (Redd) scheme, which aims to cut carbon emissions that result from forest destruction, such as flooding and deforestation.
9 July 2011
Kaieteur News, 9 July 2011 | With the Amaila Falls road contractor Synergy Holdings way behind schedule, the government is not yet ready to pull the contract. But President Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the contractor will not be allowed to do shoddy work. The government is not yet ready to say that it made a bad decision in choosing Synergy Holdings to pave the road to Amaila Falls, where a hydropower project that could cost almost $700 million is slated to be constructed. “We may have some slippage,” is all Jagdeo said yesterday when asked if the government was ready to take away the contract from Synergy Holdings. “I’ve made it clear to the people who are supervising this that they have to ride the company hard and they have to ensure that the quality is not compromised,” Jagdeo said at a press conference at the Presidential Secretariat in Georgetown.
Kaieteur News, 9 July 2011 | President Bharrat Jagdeo continues to fret about the non-release of the Norway climate funds, and has decided to push ahead with the project to give Amerindians electricity using funds from the treasury. The solar panel project, which President Jagdeo yesterday said would cost US$2.5 million, was expected to be financed through the five-year forest-saving deal with Norway.
10 July 2011
By Michael Simire, Daily Indpendent, 10 July 2011 | Nearly a year after an agreement involving the Federal Government and a duo of environmental management firms was finalised, fears are being expressed over the prospects of the accord, which appears to be mired. Last September, officials of the Federal Environment Ministry and the Global Oxygen Development Corporation New York/UNISPACE Nigeria Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop forests carbon projects in the country, as well as establish a carbon centre for the West African region.
By Edwin Mbulo, The Post Online, 10 July 2011 | Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, with an estimated deforestation rate of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per year.” This is according to the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+)… Mbanga drew inspiration to start a tree nursery from a Canadian tourist who has been visiting Zambia for years now. “Gary Brooks from Canada is my mentor and he gave me some funds to organise these opaque beer packs to plant the seeds in. I have 5,000 Lucina trees and I want to gather more species such as Moringa and some Acacia trees. I also want to have some shed trees so that we can get the village green again,” he says.
By Dr. Lakshman Rodrigo & Dr. Enoka Munasinghe, Sunday Times, 10 July 2011 | Further, negotiations are going on to recompense existing forests/tree crops under the newly proposed programme of Reduce Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) for their service in climate change mitigation. Though there was no outcome from recent Copenhahen and Cancun summits, REDD is likely to be effective after 2012. Therefore, readiness programmes for REDD are also essential to achieve the benefits on time. This is high time to march beyond the latex!
Guyana Chronicle, 10 July 2011 | President Bharrat Jagdeo has accused the partner financial institutions to the Guyana REDD Investment Fund (GRIF) of behaving as though the money Guyana earned through the Norway MOU is a grant that they’re tasked with disbursing through their usual mechanisms. Speaking at a press conference on Friday at the Office of the President, the President lamented that the Government will have to go ahead with the financing of the solar panels for Amerindian and riverine communities from the national coffers with the hope that the financing for it would be released retroactively. He said that Government is still awaiting the release of the Norway funds to facilitate implementation of priority projects under the Low-Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).
Stabroek News, 10 July 2011 | Synergy Holdings will no longer be responsible for constructing the remaining timber bridges which were originally part of the Amaila Falls access road project and the sum budgeted will be deducted from the US$15.4 million contract, government engineer Walter Willis says. Willis, the senior government engineer overseeing the project, told Stabroek News that this is part of an effort to speed up the project. Synergy, Willis said, has so far completed about 30 per cent of the work, but noted that the weather has not been favourable to the contractors. “There is slippage because of bad weather,” Willis said, adding that at present the high water in the Essequibo River has stopped work at Butakari where Synergy is supposed to build a pontoon terminal. [R-M: Subscription needed.]
By Johann Earle, Guyana Chroncile, 10 July 2011 | President of Synergy Holdings Inc Makeshwar ‘Fip’ Motilall says in another month, the Amaila Access Road will be able to accommodate four-wheel drive vehicles, and that the delay will not affect financial closure for the larger Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project. He blamed the delays on the La Niña weather pattern of earlier in the year. “I understand the need for information and for the public to be aware of our progress, as this is a project of national importance. It has been a really tight schedule, and as you are aware, we did not have the normal dry season between January and April as expected, because of the reported La Niña effect that all of Guyana experienced,” Motilall said in a statement to this newspaper yesterday.