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REDD in the news: 10-16 October 2011

REDD in the news: 10-16 October 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.

Certification and equity

By C. McDermott, REDD-net, 2011 | This paper assesses the equity dynamics of four different environmental and social certification schemes covering the sectors of fair trade, forest and forest carbon certification. It highlights the interplay between equity in certification governance and certification outcomes.

Carbon markets for the poor: a contradiction in terms? A panel discussion and public debate

Climate and Development Knowledge Network, no date | Ahead of the climate summit in Durban in November, questions are being asked about whether the commitment to carbon markets as a central response to climate change is the right approach. Amid evidence of double-counting of emissions reductions and a failure to deliver sustainable development benefits in developing countries, is the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) worth saving? For some the issue is how to reform the CDM by scaling up, reducing costs and improving governance. For others the CDM is flawed by design.

CarbonFix Standard – Newsletter

CarbonFix, September 2011 | With 58 parcels of land and around 2’000 farmers involved, the project Sierra Piura in the highlands of the Peruvian Andes has successfully been certified by the Rainforest Alliance. In contrast to other standards, grouped certification, also known as PoAs, work under the CarbonFix Standard under the same procedures as regular projects. In fact, a project certified under CFS is always a group of land parcels. “Using CarbonFix enables us to add new areas over time, where with other standard we would have to register entire new projects”, says Edmond Muller, coordinator of the Sierra Piura project. “The CFS is very practical, particularly in combination with the web platform of ClimateProjects, which allowed us to auto calculate the number of credits for every farmer.” For 2012, three further ‘PoA projects’ aim for registration under the CarbonFix Standard.

Boosting investments in Sustainable Forestry and Forest Carbon

Nyenrode Business Universiteit, no date | Moderator: Michael Jenkins, Forest Trends. Date: 22 November 2011. Location: The West Indies House, Amsterdam. Goal: To bring together experienced fund manager or ready-to-invest sustainable forestry funds and forest carbon funds, project developers and investors. They can meet each other, learn from each other and explore mutual business interests in a very pleasant ambiance. Furthermore, trends and prospects in the industry will be analysed.

Commentary on International Symposium for REDD-plus

By Suneetha M. Subramanian, United Nations University, no date | To examine questions related to costs and benefits of REDD, UNU-IAS, Hiroshima University, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Japan and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan co-organized an International Symposium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from from 19 to 20 October 2011. Around 125 participants attended the event, comprising researchers, policymakers, international organizations and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, including ecologists, foresters, economists, political scientists.

COP17 workshop: making REDD+ deliver for everyone

IIED, no date | With deforestation and forest degradation being the third largest global contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, topped only by the global energy and industrial sectors, forests have an enormous role to play in any attempts to combat climate change. An international scheme called REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest degradation, conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of carbon stocks) offers a financial incentive to keep trees standing and reduce global greenhouse emissions. Our workshop on 27 November will share perspectives on how we can make REDD+ deliver for people who depend on the forests.

Climate Connect Webinar

Climate Connect, no date | As a build up to Durban Climate Conference (COP-17), Climate Connect is organizing a series of webinars that will be focused on upcoming Climate Markets in different parts of the world.

The Norrköping Protocol for REDD+, no date | Recommendations and proposals for a Swedish approach to REDD+ – strategically and practically – based on the results from a workshop held in Norrköping on March 21st, 2011. This document is the result of a workshop that was held in Norrköping on 21st March 2011. The workshop’s aim was to discuss suggestions for how Sweden (both Sida and other Swedish development assistance) can approach REDD+ in the future – both strategically and practically. Amongst the thirty participants were members of the Swedish Forest Agency, Sida, The Royal Swedish Agricultural Academy, the academic research community and various NGOs and consulting companies.

10 October 2011

U.K.’s CO2 Floor Uses ‘Trick’ to Circumvent EU Law, RWE Says

By Mathew Carr and Catherine Airlie, Bloomberg, 10 October 2011 | The U.K. is using a regulatory “trick” to introduce its carbon tax on fossil-fueled power generation, which would not have been allowed under European Union emissions trading law, said the U.K. unit of RWE AG. Britain is using an exemption under the EU Energy Products Directive to proceed with its tax, which it named a carbon floor, John McElroy, director of policy at RWE Npower, said in an interview at the Platts emissions conference in Brussels. “That’s the trick that they have used,” he said Oct. 6. “It’s not permitted under the EU emissions trading system.”

Green Europe Imperiled as Debt Crisis Triggers Carbon Collapse

By Kari Lundgren and Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg, 10 October 2011 | The European sovereign debt crisis that’s spread from Greece to Italy and is roiling the region’s banks now has another potential victim: energy policy. European emissions permits, needed by polluters from utilities to cement makers for each ton of the carbon dioxide they put in the atmosphere, slumped to their lowest in 2 1/2 years on Oct 4. An auction of permits by Greece, trying to avoid the euro area’s first default, worsened a glut of permits, UBS AG analyst Per Lekander said last week.

Monoculture pulpwood plantations are not forest

By Muhammad Teguh Surya, Jakarta Post, 10 October 2011 | The idea of Indonesian monoculture pulpwood plantations, better known as Hutan Tanaman Industri (HTI), has actually been in place since the Dutch colonial era. In 1847, the Dutch government requested two German foresters, Mollier and Nemich, to design a forest-farming system for Java in a bid to address the rising demand of teak for the shipbuilding industry owned by Chinese and Dutch entrepreneurs, which was scattered along the northern coast of Java from Tegal to Pasuruan. The Dutch rulers preferred the monoculture system proposed by Mollier to the multicultural system, (planting a variety of trees), proposed by Nemich because the former was economically more profitable and met the demands for timber at that time.

Swedish International Development Agency supports Forest Peoples Programme to help forest communities impacted by REDD in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Forest Peoples Programme, 10 October 2011 | In terms of natural resource endowment, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. However its citizenry are amongst the poorest in the world. Some of the most impoverished and politically marginalized people – indigenous and local forest communities – live here. They mostly rely upon forests and other natural resources to secure their basic livelihoods through subsistence forest hunting and gathering, and small-scale agriculture. These forest peoples currently have little or no influence over national and provincial decisions about how their customary lands will be used by commercial or conservation groups, whose interests are often in conflict with forest communities’ needs, priorities and basic human rights.

Papua’s Forests Next on the Chopping Block: Greenpeace

Jakarta Globe, 10 October 2011 | With the forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan continually shrinking, Papua’s timber fields now face a grave threat, a Greenpeace campaigner for the far-flung eastern province said on Monday. “Almost nine million hectares of forests in Papua have been identified by the government as expendable in the interest of development of large scale industries,” Ricarth Tawaru said. Ricarth said that land takeovers and clear cutting continued to take place for the development of palm oil plantations, timber estates and mining operations. “These activities pose a serious threat to Papua’s forests,” he said.

[Kenya] Allianz invests in protecting forests, 10 October 2011 | Martin Ewald [Allianz]: We’ve acquired a ten-percent stake in Wildlife Works Carbon (WWC), the leading developer of what are known as “REDD” projects (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). These projects aim to slow worldwide deforestation in developing and emerging countries. Allianz considers REDD an attractive investment option because it opens up access for us to major growth markets, and will generate competitive returns through the sale of CO2 certificates. Besides our equity interest in WWC, we’ve also secured the rights to emission certificates from WWC projects in Kenya, with which we will neutralize a portion of Allianz’s CO2 footprint starting in 2012. Through our internal CO2 targets, we’ll continue to reduce our emissions, and beginning in 2012 we’ll be compensating all our emissions by investing in climate protection projects.

11 October 2011

[UK] ‘Greenest Government ever’ failing on climate change

By Louise Gray, The Telegraph, 11 October 2011 | The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) said the recent decision to review targets for cutting emissions in half by 2025 makes business think David Cameron is not really serious about being ‘the greenest Government ever’. As a consequence companies are failing to invest in urgently-needed renewable energy projects like and wind and solar. Ultimately the delay could push up energy prices due to the Government’s failure to see the potential in green energy. Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative member of the EAC, said investors will not provide the capital to replace Britain’s creaking coal-fired power stations with low carbon alternatives until they are certain of support. Without certainty, the UK will be left behind the rest of Europe and be forced to continue paying high prices for imported oil and gas. “It is therefore absolutely crucial that policy-makers recognise that with the stroke of a pen, they can make a good investment bad,” he said.

[USA] California warns could disallow some forestry credits

Point Carbon, 11 October 2011 | California could rule some forestry offset credits ineligible in its carbon trading scheme if the program has unexpected impacts on state forests, officials said, casting further doubt on the value of forestry credits, already the cheapest offset type in the market. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

EU Considered 30 Euro Floor for CO2 Starting in 2013, Lobby Says

By Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 11 October 2011 | The European Commission considered installing a floor price in its carbon market for the third phase from 2013 to 2020 to spur clean investment, said the Carbon Markets & Investors Association. “The unofficial discussion in the European Union was that, during phase three, the commission was hoping to have an operating floor price unofficially of about 30 euros ($41) a metric ton,” Miles Austin, director of the lobby group, said yesterday at a hearing of the energy and climate change committee in U.K. Parliament in London. Carbon has dropped 26 percent this year, falling as low as 9.82 euros a metric ton on Oct. 4, the cheapest for more than two years. Austin didn’t say why the EU didn’t implement the price floor. EU lawmakers should consider tightening the region’s carbon cap to a 30 percent cut on 1990 levels by 2020 instead of the current 20 percent target because the economic recession has made it cheap to do so, he said.

[USA] BofA Merrill Enters California Carbon Market

Environmental Leader, 11 October 2011 | Bank of America Merrill Lynch is entering the nascent California carbon trading market with an agreed option to buy several million tons of offsets from TerraPass, through 2020. The offsets will be generated from a pool of agricultural methane projects located throughout the U.S., and are all expected to be compliant with the forthcoming cap-and-trade regime. The system, based on Californian climate legislation AB32, has been held up by lawsuits. In an April decision, a San Francisco Superior Court judge said that the board had failed to sufficiently study alternatives to carbon trading. But earlier this month, the California Supreme Court ruled that air-quality regulators may establish a cap-and-trade system while the state appeals the lower court judge’s order.

World Bank warns of climate finance ‘desert’

Environmental Finance, 11 October 2011 | The availability of finance to help developing countries tackle climate change is drying up, imperiling the international climate talks, the head of the World Bank’s sustainable development network has warned. Speaking at Chatham House in London yesterday, Rachel Kyte warned of a “desert” emerging between funds already allocated in ‘fast-start’ climate finance, such as to the Clean Technology Fund, and the beginning of operations of the planned Green Climate Fund. “There’s an urgent need for pragmatic action on climate finance in the run up to the Durban talks [which begin at the end of November] and just after,” she said. “It’s crucial if we want to keep the negotiations on track.”

Should public or private money finance efforts to save forests?, 11 October 2011 | This is a special debate hosted by mongabay.con on behalf of the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) ahead of its upcoming dialogue on “The Status and Role of Public and Private Finance to Reduce Forest Loss and Degradation”, and will be taking place in London on October 12, 2011.

Meat consumption jumps 20 percent in last decade with super-sized environmental impacts

By Jeremy Hance,, 11 October 2011 | Meat consumption and production remains on the rise, according to a new report Worldwatch Institute, with large-scale environmental impacts especially linked to the spread of factory farming. According to the report, global meat production has tripled since 1970, and jumped by 20 percent since 2000 with consumption rising significantly faster than global population. “Much of the vigorous growth in meat production is due to the rise of industrial animal agriculture, or factory farming,” Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch senior researcher said in a press release.

Laughing at the global environment

By Erik Meijaard, Douglas Sheil and Louis Verchot, CIFOR Forests Blog, 11 October 2011 | The coalition of financially challenged countries with lots of trees, known as CoFCCLoT is asking wealthy nations to share global responsibilities and reforest their land for the common good of stabilizing climate and protecting biodiversity. ‘We are willing to play our part, but we require a level playing field in which we all commit to equal sacrifices,’ a coalition spokeswoman says. ‘Returning forest cover in the G8 countries and the European Union back to historic levels will benefit all of us in the long-term.’ This recent press release accompanied a paper published by two of us (Erik and Douglas) in the ATBC’s journal Biotropica. The paper examined the double standards that often dominate discussions on the global environment. Many people in wealthy countries have quite different ideas about tropical forest conservation and management than the people in whose countries these forests grow.

Sub-national regions push ahead with REDD+

By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests Blog, 11 October 2011 | Many sub-national regions in developing countries are moving ahead with preparations to implement REDD+ projects on the ground despite policymakers at the national level oftentimes lagging behind, said William Boyd, Governors Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) Senior Adviser and Project Lead. He made the comments in an interview with a writer for CIFOR’s Forests blog on the sidelines of a workshop the GCF held in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province in September that attracted more than 200 experts from around the world to talk about REDD+.

Bolivia cancels controversial Amazon highway – for now

World War 4 Report, 11 October 2011 | Bolivia’s Chamber of Deputies voted Oct. 11 to approve President Evo Morales’ decision to halt a controversial road project through the country’s eastern Amazon rainforest in order to consult with the local population. Chamber of Deputies president Héctor Arce said halting the project would open the way for an “informed dialogue” with the affected communities. Despite the vote—and a police attack on their camp last month—indigenous protesters who oppose the highway project said they would continue their cross-country march on La Paz. The march, numbering some 2,000, has advanced within 100 kilometers of La Paz, but has slowed in recent days, the lowland rainforest inhabitants being unaccustomed to the cold weather and thin air of the altiplano. March leaders said they would probably not arrive until next week, to allow this weekend’s judicial elections to go ahead without interference. A march of counter-protesters in expected in La Paz tomorrow.

[Guyana] Amaila hydro plant will not lower power costs, says AFC’s Khemraj

By Mark McGowan, Stabroek News, 11 October 2011 | Constructing the Amaila Falls hydropower plant at a cost of US$835 million will not reduce the cost consumers have to pay for electricity and may not be the answer to the country’s energy needs, the AFC’s economic advisor Dr Tarron Khemraj says. “Given the demand for electricity in Guyana right now, if they build a hydro for US$835 million, you guys get ready for some very expensive electricity,” Dr Khemraj warned yesterday while delivering a lecture at the Pegasus Hotel. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Guyana] Forestry legality assurance system report handed over to Agri Minister

GINA, Guyana Chronicle, 11 October 2011 | Over the past years, the forestry sector has received a significant amount of international attention, particularly as it relates to the initiation of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation + (REDD+). This attention was heightened yesterday with the handing over of Guyana’s Legality Assurance System, a study conducted by the United States of America Embassy, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It addresses the enhancement of Guyana’s forestry industry to meet international standards. The report outlines mechanisms for improvement to the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and was received by Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud at his Regent Street office from US Ambassador, Brent Hardt.

National Update on REDD+ in Indonesia

Forest Peoples Programme, Pusaka, HuMa, Yayasan Petak Danum, Jasoil, Yayasan Merah Putih, Yayasan Rumpun Bambu, Scale Up, 11 October 2011 | For several years the Forest Peoples Programme has worked with the national NGO Pusaka and local partners in six Indonesian provinces and at the national level, to help indigenous peoples, local communities and local NGOs understand REDD+ and the obligations on governments and REDD+ developers to respect community rights. These briefings draw on this work and review REDD+ developments in Aceh, Riau, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi, Papua and West Papua and at the national level, from the perspective of the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

[Kenya] Allianz takes 10% stake in REDD developer

Environmental Finance, 11 October 2011 | German insurance giant Allianz has invested an undisclosed sum in Wildlife Works Carbon, a US-based developer of projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Allianz will take a 10% equity stake together with a multi-year option to purchase carbon credits from Wildlife Works’ Kasigau Corridor REDD project in Kenya. This 30-year project is set to avoid more than 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year, while protecting wildlife and supporting the local economy. The size of Allianz’s option deal was not disclosed. Last year, French bank BNP Paribas agreed a deal with Wildlife Works to acquire the rights to 1.25 million credits and an exclusive option on its future REDD projects in exchange for project start-up financing of up to $50 million. South Africa’s Nedbank also helped kick-start the project, agreeing to buy 2.5 million credits in 2009.

High gold price triggers rainforest devastation in Peru

By Barbara Fraser,, 11 October 2011 | As the price of gold inches upward on international markets, a dead zone is spreading across the southern Peruvian rain forest. Tourists flying to Manu or Tambopata, the crown jewels of the country’s Amazonian parks, get a jarring view of a muddy, cratered moonscape … and then another … and another in what the country boasts is its capital of biodiversity. While alluvial gold mining in the Amazon is probably older than the Incas, miners using motorized suction equipment, huge floating dredges and backhoes are plowing through the landscape on an unprecedented scale, leaving treeless scars visible from outer space… Such high deforestation rates could derail Peru’s plans to woo more REDD and REDD+ carbon-storage schemes, if the country cannot guarantee that its forests will remain intact.

12 October 2011

My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone magazine. 12 October 2011 | I’ve been down to “Occupy Wall Street” twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

EU must take long look at bio-energy CO2 emissions

By Gerard Wynn, Reuters, 12 October 2011 | The European Union’s efforts to establish the full carbon emissions from burning bio-energy is an all but impossible task which illustrates the difficulty of trying to cut humankind’s environmental impact, which first has to be measured. The complexity of trying to link energy crops including corn for ethanol on one side of the planet with carbon emissions on the other is a tangled web of cause and effects which might recall an equation in atmospheric physics. But a fuller measure of carbon emissions is important, even an inaccurate number beats ignoring the issue, especially given the lessons from a related food versus fuel battle which sparked a global backlash against liquid biofuels three years ago. In a world of limited land and a growing population decisions taken in Europe can cause farmers to wield chainsaws in a tropical rainforest.

EU CO2 catches cold as Durban talks approach

Bloomberg, 12 October 2011 | European Union emission permits slumped to a 30-month low last week as the economic troubles of the region cast their shadow on the carbon market. Carbon permits for delivery in December fell to €9.82 per metric tonne on October 4 – the lowest price since February 2009 – and less than half the floor price the UK has suggested to ensure necessary investment in low-carbon energy generation. The slide was the result of dwindling demand for carbon allowances, juxtaposed with additional supply as Greece and the UK sold permits. EUA prices subsequently perked up on October 6, with the European Court of Justice ruling that the inclusion of international aviation in the EU’s emission trading system is compatible with international law.

If Kyoto dies in Durban, it will be a death knell for the climate fight

By Kelly Rigg (TckTckTck), The Guardian, 12 October 2011 | It is helping drive the growth of the renewables industry in Europe and in big developing countries that are covered indirectly by Kyoto’s carbon markets. 65% of the projects stemming from Kyoto’s clean development mechanism, which allows countries to reduce emissions by investing in projects in developing countries, are focused on renewables. While countries could establish an international carbon-trading market even in the absence of Kyoto, it would have to be governed by basic, commonly agreed rules to ensure projects were genuinely climate-friendly. Kyoto has such rules (representing more than a decade of effort), markets are up and running and those that break the rules are brought to account – why not build on these rather than start over from scratch?

Australian MPs pass carbon tax

By Alison Rourke, The Guardian, 12 October 2011 | The Australian government has cleared the major hurdle towards bringing in one of the world’s biggest carbon emissions trading schemes after MPs passed two bills that are expected to be voted into law by senators next month. The carbon tax aims to cut Australia’s emissions by 5% from year 2000 levels by the year 2020, and bring emissions down 80% by 2050. The prime minister, Julia Gillard, hailed the bills’ passage through the lower house of parliament as a historic reform.

[Australia] Victory for Gillard as MPs back carbon tax

By Peter Smith and Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 12 October 2011 | The Australian government scored a victory in its battle to introduce a carbon tax after measures to combat climate change cleared the lower house of parliament by a tiny margin. Carbon traders and climate activists around the world breathed a sigh of relief that the bitterly contested measures were passed on Wednesday by only two votes. It means another large developed economy is set to join the European Union in putting a price on carbon.

[Australia] Emissions trading scheme? Take a leaf out of our book

By Sue Neales, The Australian, 12 October 2011 | Two months ago, Mr O’Connor became one of only 14 farmers in Australia to be issued with verified carbon credits that can be sold on international markets. In the next few weeks, he expects to sell more than 30,000 carbon offset credits, or units, generated on his historic property, Connorville, to global companies looking to offset their greenhouse gas emissions… he called in specialist carbon assessment company Redd Forests to measure and assess how much carbon would be preserved – and then traded – in his tall eucalypt trees by deciding not to cut them down. The result surprised him, with the opportunity for earning as much annually from selling his protected trees over 25 years as if he had progressively cut them down.

13 October 2011

Future forests may soak up more carbon dioxide than previously believed, 13 October 2011 | North American forests appear to have a greater capacity to soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas than researchers had previously anticipated. As a result, they could help slow the pace of human-caused climate warming more than most scientists had thought, a U-M ecologist and his colleagues have concluded. The results of a 12-year study at an experimental forest in northeastern Wisconsin challenge several long-held assumptions about how future forests will respond to the rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide blamed for human-caused climate change, said University of Michigan microbial ecologist Donald Zak, lead author of a paper published online this week in Ecology Letters.

Durban needs to acknowledge global shifts – Yvo de Boer

Environmental Finance, 13 October 2011 | Negotiators at next month’s UN climate talks need to acknowledge that the world has changed and that all countries have a part to play in tackling climate change, said former UN climate chief Yvo de Boer, who predicts a “very difficult meeting”. Speaking exclusively to Environmental Finance, de Boer – now an advisor at consultancy KPMG – said: “From a political point of view, there’s a need to recognise that the world had changed since 1992 – that we live full technicolour lives, the world isn’t black and white, and you can’t divide the international community into one group of countries that is industrialised and has targets, and another group of countries that is developing and so therefore don’t.”

Climate Change Tumbles Down Europe’s Political Agenda as Economic Worries Take the Stage

By Jeremy Lovell, New York Times, 13 October 2011 | Climate change has all but fallen off the political agenda across Europe as the resurging economic crisis empties national coffers and shakes economic confidence, and the public and the press turn their attention to more immediate issues of rising fuels bills and joblessness, analysts say.

Forest protection efforts faltering – experts

By Laurie Goering, AlertNet, 13 October 2011 | Curbing climate change by paying to protect the world’s forests has proved much more challenging than first expected – mainly because of rising demand for forest land to grow food, widespread economic recession and failing efforts to create a global carbon market. But growing recognition that people who live in and near forests are their most effective protectors means that their communities may be in line for a bigger share of forest carbon payments, a development that could boost the sustainability of forest protection work worldwide, experts at a forest and climate finance conference said this week in London.

How closing the gender gap will lead to better forest management

By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests Blog, 13 October 2011 | Understanding the different roles and responsibilities of women, and increasing their opportunities to participate in forest management could help address gender imbalances in the forestry sector – a move which could have a positive impact on the sustainable management of forests – says a special gender and forests themed journal issue featuring the work of several CIFOR scientists. “We already know that men and women use the forest in different ways but their relationship with the forest is constantly changing. With climate change, traditional gender based roles are becoming more fluid, which is creating opportunities for women to engage in activities that not only improve livelihoods, but allow them to better adapt,” said Esther Mwangi, senior scientist at the Centre for International Forestry Research and co- author of the introduction to the special issue of the International Forestry Review.

Events alert: 7th UN-REDD Policy Board meeting in Germany

Forest Carbon Asia, 13 October 2011 | The seventh UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting will start today in Berlin, Germany. This two day event will be attended by participants from UN-REDD partner countries. After the opening session, participants will be sharing information and progress during session II. UN-REDD funding framework and an update from Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) will be among the topics during this session.

Japan seeks clarity on MRV in REDD+ and Bilateral Mechanism

Climate Connect, 13 October 2011 | In the recently concluded Panama dialogue Japan said that it is seeking clarity from the international community on issues relating to monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) on both Bilateral Mechanism as well as REDD+ projects as per official documents of the Japanese delegation published by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Introduction to the FCPF Readiness Package (R-Package) and the Carbon Fund (CF) Operational

By Patrciik Kipalu, BIC, 13 October 2011 | This update prepared by the Bank Information Center introduces the FCPF Readiness Package (R-Package) and the Carbon Fund (CF) operational.

UN demands urgent answers from Ethiopia over Gibe III dam

Survival International, 13 October 2011 | The UN’s growing concern over Ethiopia’s construction of the controversial Gibe III dam has prompted it to demand urgent information from the African state. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has given Ethiopia until the end of January 2012 to provide reliable evidence that independent assessments have been carried out, and that tribal people in the region have been properly consulted. The UN body has written to Ethiopia with its concerns under its ‘early warning and urgent action procedure’. It has appealed for ‘constructive dialogue’ but noted how previous requests from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on indigenous rights had been ignored.

[Indonesia] Waving the REDD banner the right way

By Warief Djajanto Basorie, Jakarta Post, 13 October 2011 | Indonesia announced three policy moves in September to buttress its wavering REDD+ initiative to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhance accountable forest governance. First, on Sept. 13, Cabinet Secretary Dipo Alam made public a presidential decision (keputusan presiden), signed on Sept. 8, to extend to Dec. 31, 2012, the working of a task force to set up a REDD+ agency. Then, on Sept. 16 REDD+ task force chief Kuntoro Mangkusubroto signed a memorandum of understanding with Central Kalimantan Governor Teras Narang, making the province the site of a REDD+ pilot project. Finally, on Sept. 26 the government revealed a sector-by-sector plan covering 70 self-funded government programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Head of Greenpeace UK barred from Indonesia

By Anthony Deutsch, Financial Times, 13 October 2011 | The head of Greenpeace UK has been barred by customs officials from entering Indonesia, in the latest of a long history of run-ins between the environmental campaign group and the authorities over deforestation… Gonjang Raharjo, a spokesman for the Indonesian ministry of justice and human rights, said Mr Sauven knew in advance he was not welcome. “Even if he had a visa, he was informed not to come to Indonesia. He has cornered the Indonesian government several times, portraying it in a negative light through bad campaigns,” he said, declining to give details.

14 October 2011

October 15th: United for Global Democracy

Red Pepper blog, 14 October 2011 | On 15th October 2011, united in our diversity, united for global change, we demand global democracy: global governance by the people, for the people. Inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Palestine-Israel, Spain and Greece, we too call for a regime change: a global regime change. In the words of Vandana Shiva, the Indian activist, today we demand replacing the G8 with the whole of humanity – the G 7,000,000,000.

Giving a voice to the invisible women in forest product value chains

By Karin Holzknecht, CIFOR Forests Blog, 14 October 2011 | Finding the hidden links in non-timber forest product value chains could help government and non-government agencies lift women out of poverty, say Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) scientists in a special gender-themed issue of the International Forestry Review. The team of CIFOR scientists examined the value chains of three internationally important non-timber forest products from Africa’s dry forests: from production/harvesting to processing, packaging, transporting, and retailing. At each value-adding link in the chain, the team assessed the role women play, the benefits they gain and the challenges they face in securing their livelihoods through the trade. “In the value chains of gum arabic in Burkina Faso, frankincense in Ethiopia, and honey in Zambia, women are key actors at a variety of stages,” says CIFOR scientist Sheona Shackleton, lead author of the study.

Forest and savanna can switch quickly, 14 October 2011 | Two recent studies have found that environmental changes can bring previously stable forests and grasslands to tipping points that produce sudden large-scale and sometimes irreversible changes in which forest can become savanna and vice versa. These findings challenge previous assumptions that changes to natural systems occur continuously and smoothly.

PNG’s great land grab sparks fightback by traditional owners

By Jo Chandler, The Age, 14 October 2011 | A land grab of 5 million hectares of Papua New Guinea, 11 per cent of its territory, has taken place quietly and apparently bloodlessly since 2003, half of it being signed over in the past two years. But tension over one of the controversial leases has reportedly turned violent in the past week, with police chiefs investigating allegations of brutality by officers flown into the site in Pomio, East New Britain, by a logging company.

UN climate talks ‘stupid and endless’ – Maldives

AFP, 14 October 2011 | The UN’s talks on climate change are daft and crippled by finger-pointing and the need for consensus, the president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, was quoted on Thursday by Le Monde as saying. Nasheed also said emerging economies were as much to blame for global warming as rich nations. In an interview with the French daily, Nasheed pounded out the frustrations of vulnerable small island states with the 194-party UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The current negotiation process is stupid, useless and endless. It is based on this principle: two parties reach an agreement, a third one comes alone and says it doesn’t agree and it reduces the ambition of the others,” Nasheed said. “In essence, even if we reach an agreement, it will be an agreement about nothing. It will be so diluted that it will be of no use,” he said bitterly, calling for “an overhaul of international organisations.”

15 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street, Other Corporate Greed Protests Spread to 951 Cities Across the World

AFP, 15 October 2011 | Activists scuffled with police in London and decried the wealthy in Hong Kong on Saturday as an unprecedented outcry against corporate greed and government cutbacks spread worldwide. Inspired by America’s “Occupy Wall Street” and Spain’s “Indignants,” people took to the streets in a rolling action targeting 951 cities in 82 countries from Asia to Europe, Africa and the Americas.

16 October 2011

Carbon Credit Price Falling: Excellent News

By Tim Worstall (Adam Smith Institute), Forbes, 16 Octoober 2011| The UN backed carbon credit price is falling to lows not previously seen: this is excellent news… Low permit prices are showing us that cutting emissions is easier than we had thought which is just great. It is of course possible to take an alternative view: that the low permit prices are just evidence that the people running the permit system aren’t very good at running the permit system. They’ve issued too any perhaps, left too many loopholes. Fine to make that argument but it does then raise a rather more difficult one. Why have we handed the future of the environment, the human race, to a bunch of incompetents?

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