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REDD in the news: 17-23 October 2011

REDD in the news: 17-23 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.

Stolen forests protest in PNG

Greenpeace Australia Pacific, no date | Greenpeace ship the Esperanza and her crew are currently protesting the export of illegal timber in the remote Pomio province in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Greenpeace is taking action at the request of local landowners in their struggle to protect their land and forests… Two weeks ago, the notorious Malaysia logging company, Rimbunan Hijau, paid police to fly into Pomio villages and silence the protesters. They abused people with fan belts and sticks and locked young men in shipping containers.

Carbon rights in REDD+: Policy note

By Leo Peskett and Gernot Brodnig, World Bank/REDD-net, 2011 | One of the main debates in REDD+ surrounds the issue of ‘carbon rights’– an issue that has arisen because REDD+ leads to the consideration of carbon as potentially new form of property in tropical forests. Furthermore, some approaches to REDD+ may make it possible for different actors to benefit from the transfer of these rights, for example, through carbon trading. REDD+ could present new financial and other opportunities for poor and vulnerable people. However, they may also face new risks if more powerful actors move to secure rights to benefits from emissions reductions or if they are excluded from REDD+ systems because they are unable to meet the requirements of emissions trading systems. This policy note summarizes what carbon rights are, how they are relevant in REDD+ and the main implications that could arise for poor and vulnerable people.

Act Now: Stop Imminent Land Grab That Threatens More Than 162,000 People in Tanzania, no date | Iowa-based investor Bruce Rastetter and fellow investors in the industrial agricultural corporation AgriSol Energy have their sights on 800,000 acres (325,000 hectares) of land in Tanzania that is home to 162,000 people. The proposed site is inhabited by former refugees from neighboring Burundi. Most of the residents, several generations of families who have successfully re-established their lives by developing and farming the land over the last 40 years, will be displaced against their will. They will lose their livelihoods and their community. Once they are gone, Agrisol Energy will move in. Despite rising international criticism of the proposed plan to evict the residents in the proposed lease areas for foreign investors, the Tanzanian government plans to move forward with the project.

17 October 2011

The “occupy” protests: Cross continents

The Economist, 17 October 2011 | Spain’s Indignados have been protesting against the gloomy economic situation in which they find themselves since May. They have been joined by similar movements from New York to Sydney. The protesters’ preoccupations vary from place to place, as do the economic data that underpin them. Education is the focus in Chile, frustration with bankers in Britain. But they do share a common demand: someone, somewhere, should do something to right the problems of global capitalism as currently constituted. One reason why these protests are so interesting is that their targets, those cheerleaders for globalisation, capitalism and free markets, tend to agree that the system needs fixing. This makes the ‘occupy’ protests, as they have come to be known in the English-speaking world, hard to argue against.

Carbon: What price simplicity?

By Richard Black, BBC News, 17 October 2011 | The theoretical benefits of carbon trading are clear – reducing emissions as economically as possible, rewarding adaptable companies and punishing the dinosaurs. But as things have turned out, it’s possible to argue that the EU scheme has benefited few other than the growing army of traders who make percentages on all the deals. It was only recently that Barclays Capital predicted carbon could become the world’s biggest commodity market – which seems (to this mind) strange when it’s a commodity that is not traded for its use, as are things like copper, cocoa and coal.

Study suggests pricing carbon from ground to consumer

Reuters, 17 October 2011 | To measure a country’s greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels, it makes sense to consider the whole carbon supply chain, from oil well or coal mine to a consumer’s shelf, scientists reported today… Putting a carbon tax at the point of extraction would be efficient since there are far fewer coal mines and oil wells than there are factories and power plants, and this could avoid the relocation of industries that might occur if regulation occurred where the fuel was burned, the authors wrote.

7th Policy Board

UN-REDD programme, 17 October 2011 | The seventh UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting was held in Berlin, Germany from 13-14 October 2011 at the Steigenberger Hotel. Please see meeting documents and presentations below… During its seventh Policy Board meeting 13-14 October 2011, the UN-REDD Programme approved US$4 million in funding for Nigeria’s National Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), bringing the total amount of approved funding for UN-REDD National Programmes to US$59.3 million.

Letter: Carbon Fund Risks Undermining REDD Readiness

Letter to the FCPF, 17 October 2011 | We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to express our concern that the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is not properly sequencing the Readiness and Carbon Funds. Pushing ahead with the Carbon Fund while criteria and guidelines for the evaluation of the Readiness-Package (R-Package) have yet to be developed and only a few countries have even begun implementing activities supported by the Readiness Fund will undermine the effectiveness of both Funds in contributing to reductions in deforestation and forest degradation. The current rush to fully operationalize the Carbon Fund may exclude many REDD countries that are participating in the FCFP but are still in the early stages of implementing readiness activities.

The Matching Game: More on Protected Area Effectiveness

By Sven Wunder, CIFOR Forests Blog, 17 October 2011 | A metastudy by Porter-Bolland et al., shows how most peer-reviewed case studies have found community-managed forests to disappear less rapidly than strictly protected forests. By its very nature, a metasample is heterogeneous in time and space, and areas are not selected randomly by their case study authors. Alternatively, could one compare the fate of each protected forest with that of a similar matched forest without protection status? This is the approach taken in a new study by Andrew Nelson from the International Rice Research Institute and Ken Chomitz from the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. Lacking globally comparable deforestation data, the authors instead used forest fire incidence as a pantropical proxy of forest threats: In most regions, deforestation involves fire use.

‘Ambitious’ Climate Targets Needed to Rescue UN Market, EU Says

By Ewa Krukowska and Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, 17 October 2011 | The United Nations’ carbon program, the world’s second biggest, needs “ambitious” emission- reduction targets to rescue a market that has shrunk by nearly 80 percent since 2007, according to the European Commission. Greenhouse gas credits dropped to a record. More than 190 nations will discuss climate-protection rules for the period after 2012, when the current targets for developed nations under the Kyoto Protocol expire. Talks will take place in Durban, South Africa, starting Nov. 28. The European Union is open to the so-called second commitment period under certain conditions and hopes to have a new agreement binding all countries to cut emissions within five years, said Artur Runge-Metzger, the bloc’s envoy to the talks.

The Privilege of Working with Indigenous Rainforest Guardians (III)

By Hank Edson, Eye on the Amazon, 17 October 2011 | Today, I want to tell you about the work Amazon Watch is doing to steer Bolivia and the REDD movement in a wiser, more humane and more effective direction… Amazon Watch is active in Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil helping to defend indigenous rights as the REDD movement evolves… By partnering with indigenous allies to effectively assert their rights and discuss the issues surrounding REDD with interested parties from the “developed” world and by organizing delegations of indigenous leaders to conferences and international gatherings, like climate conferences and World Bank meetings they have previously not had access to attend, Amazon Watch is helping to redefine REDD in a way that will have substantial positive repercussions.

Ecuador: Threats From Carbon Market

By Luis Ángel Saavedra, AIPP, 17 October 2011 | Ecuador’s participation in the global carbon market has generated complications in indigenous peoples and Afro-Ecuadorian communities, which have not only seen cutbacks in their rights to use land for ancestral activities, but whose organizations have also undergone fracturing due to the government’s offer to establish annual cash bonuses to communities that participate in its flagship program, Socio Bosque, or Forest Partner, driven by the Ministry of Environment since mid-2008.

US Swaps Debt with Indonesia to Preserve Borneo Forests

International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, 17 October 2011 | The US and Indonesia have struck a seldom seen debt-for-nature exchange deal aimed at helping to protect rapidly declining forest cover in Indonesian Borneo. The deal will divert US$28.5 million intended to repay Indonesia’s debts to the US into a fund for improving local land use techniques. The forests are widely known as critical habitats for a wealth of unique and endangered species as well as their ability to keep carbon out of the atmosphere.

Green Award in Indonesia Highlights Positive Impact of Forest Plantations on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Asia Pulp and Paper press release, 17 October 2011 | A first-of-its-kind landmark research project, carried out at Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) pulpwood suppliers’ areas in South Sumatra, by academics at Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia has been honoured at the Indonesian Green Awards, for successfully proving the positive impact of plantation forestry on degraded peat land and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bloggers to support reforestation campaign

Jakarta Post, 17 October 2011 | With 30 percent of Indonesia’s forests having deteriorated or even been destroyed within the last 60 years, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan is encouraging bloggers to participate in a reforestation campaign. “It takes all stakeholders, including the social media community, to restore the forests. Bloggers have a strong influence in social media, so they can call on society to join the reforestation campaign,” Minister Zulkifli Hasan said, as quoted by Antara news agency. He said that the reforestation could be carried out by planting 10 trees per person. He believed that the program could restore Indonesia’s forests in the next 30 years. “To support the effort, I have not issued a new forest permit since 2009,” Zulkifli said during the discussion with the bloggers in South Jakarta.

Japan approves 4 forestry CDM projects

Climate Connect, 17 October 2011 | The Ministry of Agriculture, Japan has approved 4 forestry CDM projects with a potential to generate 30,000 CERs per year as per a press release. The projects are located in Nicaragua, India, Kenya and Brazil. The projects are spread over an area of more than 4,000 hectare. While three projects have a crediting period of 30 years, the project based in Kenya has a crediting period of 60 years.

UN-REDD Programme Approves US$4 million in Critical Funding for REDD+ in Nigeria

UN-REDD Programme blog, 17 October 2011 | During its seventh Policy Board meeting 13-14 October 2011, the UN-REDD Programme approved US$4 million in funding for Nigeria’s National Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), bringing the total amount of approved funding for UN-REDD National Programmes to US$59.3 million.

18 October 2011

The Death of the Kyoto Process

By Christian Schwägerl and Gerald Traufetter, Spiegel Online, 18 October 2011 | The Europeans are the only ones still fighting for new binding targets within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol. Last week, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and environment ministers from the 27 EU member states agreed to campaign for more negotiations in Durban, but with a transitional period lasting until 2015, even though the CO2 reduction targets are set to expire in 2012. It is an attempt to buy time and to keep the Kyoto Protocol artificially alive, even though it’s already clinically dead.

Tax breaks for firms being hit by ‘absurd’ green targets driving business abroad

By James Chapman, Ruth Sunderland and Sean Poulter, Daily Mail, 18 October 2011 | George Osborne is preparing to offer tax breaks to firms hit by Britain’s ‘absurd’ climate change policies after being warned they threaten to drive business abroad. In a major U-turn, the Chancellor will try to help companies that use large amounts of energy. His move comes amid growing concern that companies and households are being hit heavily by Britain’s commitment to cut carbon emissions faster than other countries. Yesterday one of the world’s leading industrialists said manufacturing was being ‘ruinously penalised’ by green taxes and said the levies could put his firm’s £1.2billion investment programme in this country at risk.

Protecting and restoring the world’s forests: Is REDD enough?

By Jim Marzilli, Jim Marzilli’s Blog, 18 October 2011 | Does REDD have the potential to transfer sufficient resources to the developing world to protect and restore biodiverse forests? The developed world has turned the tide in protecting its own forests by exploiting the forests of the developing world along with copious amounts of fossil fuels. Can we now protect the forests of the developing world? Is the REDD mechanism, an FAO, UNDP and UNEP triumvirate, the best way to manage a new regime? Are there better means for the developed world to pay the developing world for the environmental services, including breathable oxygen, undisturbed rainfall patterns, biodiversity, fresh water, and avoided siltration of coastal ocean areas, that we derive from their places?

EU sustainability schemes fall short of safeguarding rural livelihoods

By Laura German and George Schoneveld, CIFOR Forests Blog, 18 October 2011 | The voluntary certification schemes recently approved by the European Commission to verify compliance with the sustainability requirements of the EU’s renewable energy policy have serious shortcomings for safeguarding rural livelihoods in developing countries. This places critical social sustainability issues such as land ownership and access, labor rights and food security at risk, says a recent report by the Center for International Forestry Research.

Wrapping its arms around REDD+

By Joe Heffernan (Flora and Fauna International), Environmental Finance, 18 October 2011 | South-east Asia is becoming a laboratory for REDD+ projects, policies and regulations. Joe Heffernan surveys the landscape. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Competing actors and land uses in Latin America challenges “effective and equitable REDD+ design”

By Gabriela Ramirez Galindo, CIFOR Forests Blog, 18 October 2011 | The rapid growth of agribusiness, cattle ranching, small-scale agriculture, logging and resource-based economies in Latin America leading to competing demands for land means that if REDD+ schemes are going to relieve pressure on tropical forests, they must be tailored according to how the land is currently used in particular areas, says a recent study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Reconciling economic development with forest conservation and social development is a challenging task, but it becomes even more complex when the multiple landscape configurations such as in tropical Latin America are taken into account.

Why is Indonesia afraid of Greenpeace?

By Rhett Butler,, 18 October 2011 | The answer lies in Greenpeace’s increasing effectiveness as a campaign organization. Companies and industries face severe pressure in the marketplace once they are targeted by Greenpeace. There’s plenty of evidence: in the past five years, Greenpeace campaigns have caused dramatic changes in how soy and cattle are produced in the Brazilian Amazon. Un Indonesia the group pushed PT SMART [owned by Golden-Agri Resources (GAR)], the country’s largest palm oil producer, to adopt a strict forest policy. Greenpeace is now focusing on Indonesia’s pulp and paper industry, which is blamed for large-scale destruction of rainforests and peatlands in Sumatra. Specifically, they are targeting Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the country’s largest and most controversial fiber suppliers.

Unilever Resumes Palm Oil Purchases from Indonesia’s Sinar Mas

Jakarta Globe, 18 October 2011 | Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has resumed palm oil purchases from Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) after the planter adopted new green policies, the Indonesian palm oil firm said late on Monday… “SMART has received a purchase order from Unilever today, a decision which SMART views as an acknowledgement of its sustainability commitments including Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification,” the firm said in a statement.

[Peru] Illegal Mining Rises in Amazon Rainforest as Gold Prices Reach Records

BY Karan Kumar, Gold Investing News, 18 October 2011 | With gold prices hitting a record this year as a debt crisis drives investors into commodities, illegal mining of the precious metal has risen in the mineral-rich rainforests of South America, especially in Peru, Brazil, Guyana, Colombia and Venezuela, according to a September report in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. Gold futures for December delivery traded at $1,633.90 an ounce on Oct. 18, after reaching a record of $1,923.70 on September 6.

[Philippines] Southern Leyte’s scant forest cover serves to inspire photographers

By Bea Cupin, GMA News, 18 October 2011 | The photo competition and exhibit are parts of a German government-supported project on “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)” in the Philippines.

[Uganda] Sugar industry takes aim at Ugandan forest again

By Patrick Luganda, AlertNet, 18 October 2011 | The Mabira Forest Reserve is the largest block of moist, semi-deciduous forest remaining in Uganda’s central region. It is also unique because it contains 27 village enclaves. Covering about 300 square km (120 square miles), it is located in Buikwe district, between the towns of Lugazi and Jinja on the Kampala- Jinja highway, 20 km from the source of the River Nile. As well as providing a living for local communities and nurturing plant and animal biodiversity, the reserve is becoming an increasingly important recreational area, and is already popular for picnics, walks and trail-biking. But all that could change if the Ugandan government gets its way. President Yoweri Museveni has indicated he wants to allocate more than a quarter of the

19 October 2011

[Canada] Kyoto? We want out

BY Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun, 19 October 2011 | The idea Canada or the U.S. will comply with Kyoto — which the Americans have never agreed to ratify, dating to the Clinton/Gore administration — is a fantasy. Yet, next month, the UN’s jet-setting Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will hold another of its never-ending annual conferences in the world’s exotic locales to try to draft a successor agreement to Kyoto. This time, it’ll be in Durban, South Africa, where globe-trotting delegates will again generate enough greenhouse gases in 12 days to power a mid-sized African country for a year, while lecturing the rest of us about the evils of over-consumption.

Could a Forest be Worth More than a Gold Mine?

By David Braun, National Geographic, 19 October 2011 | As Armenia was celebrating twenty years of independence in September, local and international experts came together to discuss youth, maturity, and transitions at the TEDx Yerevan event on September 24, 2011. The twenty speakers came from diverse backgrounds, including a former U.S. ambassador, a correspondent for Bloomberg and ABC News, renowned artists, photographers, and intellectuals. Among them was Jason Sohigian, Deputy Director of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP). National Geographic NewsWatch profiled ATP in 2010.

Letting the Market Play Means Fraud and Few Environmental Benefits

By Katy Yan, International Rivers, 19 October 2011 | As Wall Street and the EU continue to reel under the crisis brought on by the financial deregulation of global markets, a recent report on the EU’s carbon market shows just how far these (mal)practices have spread. “Letting the market play: corporate lobbying and the financial regulation of EU carbon trading,” co-produced by Carbon Trade Watch and Corporate Europe Observatory, reveals how under-regulation in a market mechanism meant to reduce global carbon emissions led to fraud and over-speculation. The EU is currently changing its rules in response, but corporate lobbies continue to try to influence this process. Ultimately, the author Oscar Reyes concludes that such reforms are bound to fall short, since they attempt to “regulate the unregulatable.”

Brazil plans $120 billion in infrastructure investments in the Amazon by 2020, 19 October 2011 | Brazil’s push to expand infrastructure in the Amazon region will require at least 212 Brazilian reals ($120 billion) in public and private sector investment by 2020, reports Folha de Sao Paulo. Dozens of large-scale projects — including dams, high-speed rails, roads, electricity transmission systems, mines, and industrial farms — are planned or already in progress in the nine states that make up the “Legal Amazon” in Brazil. By 2020, the government aims to more than double the Amazon’s share of power generation to 23 percent of national output, up from 10 percent today. The target represents 45 percent of planned energy expansion during the period. According to Folha de Sao Paulo, the Growth Acceleration Plan (PAC) will likely require weakening of existing social and environmental laws, potentially antagonizing environmentalists.

Oxfam calls on palm oil company to redress violations of communities’ rights in Indonesia

Oxfam press release, 19 October 2011 | Oxfam is demanding that the Malaysian multinational, Sime Darby, quickly rights wrongs at its palm tree plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. In its report Land and Power published last month, Oxfam revealed a long-standing dispute on a palm oil plantation owned by Sime Darby, which dates from before Sime Darby purchased the plantation. Despite promises since 2007, Sime Darby has yet to take action to redress the situation. Unless Sime Darby produces a concrete action plan to resolve the issue by 23 October, Oxfam will make a formal complaint to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil ( RSPO ) of which Sime Darby is a member.

HeidelbergCement to Invest $500m in Indonesia

By Shirley Christie & Reuters, Jakarta Globe, 19 October 2011 | Germany’s HeidelbergCement plans to invest $500 million to build a cement plant in Pati, Central Java, as its aims to boost production to meet growing demand in Indonesia, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said on Wednesday. “Today I met HeidelbergCement executives, and they said they would invest $500 million,” said Wirjawan, who until this week the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

Eying Mining Boom, UAE Companies To Invest $10b in Indonesia Next Year

By Shirley Christie & Reuters, Jakarta Globe, 19 October 2011 | The United Arab Emirates plans to invest up to $10 billion in various mining and infrastructure projects here next year, Indonesia’s ambassador to the federation said on Wednesday. For instance, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, an investment company owned by the emirate of the same name, expressed interest in an alumina smelter plant in West Kalimantan. “They are interested in mining and infrastructure,’’ Ambassador M. Wahid Supriyadi said on the sidelines of a trade exposition in Jakarta. Total investment for the smelter project is estimated at $4.5 billion, and an official from ADIA was expected to travel to Jakarta in November to conduct a feasibility study, Wahid said.

The blacklisting of Rio Tinto

By NAJ Taylor, AlJazeera, 19 October 2011 | On September 9, 2008, amid the turmoil of the global financial crisis, the Norwegian government announced that it had liquidated its entire $1bn investment in Rio Tinto for “grossly unethical conduct”. Operating the second largest fund in the world, the Norwegians’ decision focused solely on the Grasberg mine in West Papua on New Guinea, which it believed posed the “unacceptable risk” of contributing to “severe environmental damage” if it were to continue funding the Anglo-Australian mining giant.

Isolated indigenous people and tourists collide in Peru park

By Jeremy Hance,, 19 October 2011 | New video released by the Peruvian government shows a potentially disastrous encounter between tourists and indigenous people long isolated from the outside world. In a motor boat tourists follow a group of Mashco-Piro people walking along the shores of the Manu River in Manu National Park. At one point one of the tribal members prepares to fire at the boat with an arrow. But danger doesn’t only come from the possibility of a violent clash: uncontacted indigenous people, those who have chosen isolation from the world, are incredibly susceptible to disease. According to indigenous-rights group Survival International, uncontacted people from the Mashco-Piro tribe have been seen numerous times recently in the park with one ranger being hit by an arrow without a tip as a message to back off.

20 October 2011

Global warming study finds no grounds for climate sceptics’ concerns

By Ian Sample, The Guardian, 20 October 2011 | The world is getting warmer, countering the doubts of climate change sceptics about the validity of some of the scientific evidence, according to the most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found several key issues that sceptics claim can skew global warming figures had no meaningful effect. The Berkeley Earth project compiled more than a billion temperature records dating back to the 1800s from 15 sources around the world and found that the average global land temperature has risen by around 1C since the mid-1950s.

Figueres: Legally-binding climate deal achievable

By Katie Kouchakji, Environmental Finance, 20 October 2011 | A legally-binding post-2012 climate agreement is achievable, said the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres – but not this year. “I certainly think that a legally-binding agreement is achievable, but that is not what governments are moving toward in Durban,” she told Environmental Finance, referring to this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC in South Africa, which runs from 28 November until 9 December.

Japan – The rising sun for carbon markets: part I

By Jonathan Shopley, Eco-Business, 20 October 2011 | Japan has exemplary carbon credentials. It is amongst the most energy and carbon efficient economies in the world, and one of its most beautiful cities gave its name to the UN’s Kyoto Protocol. Despite extraordinarily difficult economic and political circumstances, Japan is quietly forging ahead with initiatives that speak volumes about its dismay and disaffection for the UN-led process to deliver a global deal after the flawed Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012. Is Japan leading the way with a model that will inspire other nations to set their own courses of action, or, is it plotting a cunning escape from the bleeding edge of the UN process?

California adopts historic cap-and-trade regulations

By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times, 20 October 2011 | The California Air Resources Board, after three years of contentious debate, on Thursday approved the nation’s first state-run cap-and-trade program, which will for the first time put a price on carbon emissions. The unanimous vote paves the way for the carbon trading market, which begins in 2013 and will eventually require 85% of the state’s largest polluters to either emit less carbon or purchase credits on a market that the air board will regulate. The market is projected to exchange about $10 billion in carbon allowances by 2016, which would make it second largest in the world behind the European Union. The program is part of AB 23, the state’s 2006 climate change law that mandates a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Said board Chairwoman Mary Nichols: “We’ve done something important.”

EU Commission moves to combat carbon fraud

By Barbara Lewis and Nina Chestney, Reuters, 20 October 2011 | European Union spot carbon permits face regulation alongside other financial instruments under proposed laws published on Thursday as the European Commission seeks to bolster a market shaken by fraud and oversupply. The EU Commission has proposed that spot carbon permits should be classed as financial instruments, adding to futures, forwards and options which are already covered by financial market rules. “By treating emission allowances as other financial assets, the proposal extends financial market protection to the carbon market,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.

Trading trees for carbon credits

Durango Herald, 20 October 2011 | Automotive giant Chevrolet is paying for the reforestation of 250 of 1,800 acres that burned in the 2003 Bear Creek Fire. The company ultimately will receive carbon credits for the estimated 55,000 to 65,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide the trees turn into organic matter over 100 years.

Destruction of Forests Can Increase or Decrease Carbon Intake

By Joshua S. Hill, Planetsave, 20 October 2011 | Huge percentages of forests are destroyed each year as a result of hurricanes, insect outbreaks and wildfire, but scientists are only just beginning to get a handle on what this does to the overall carbon intake of a forest… In theory, destroy a forest, and you expect the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere to increase local warming with no counter. But if the region in which the forest has been felled is home to a large amount of snow cover, then the albedo of the region may actually increase, countering the increase in carbon dioxide. This is obviously not something that is common in more tropical climates, but for boreal forests throughout Canada and Russia, it’s more than likely.

Economic growth still possible even with climate change – WB

By Maynard E. Valdez, Philippine Information Agency, 20 October 2011 | The World Bank (WB) said that developing countries are proving it is possible to shift from climate-vulnerable to climate-smart and have economic growth while doing it. The statement is part of the issue brief on climate change which has been put on the forefront of the operations of the Bank. In the recent G20 meeting of Finance Ministers in Paris, their communique awaits for an effective design for the Green Climate Fund. Relatedly, the United Nations, through Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, expressed optimism that a triple victory could be achieved against climate change, against poverty, and against disasters.

Fact Sheet: The United States and Norway – NATO Allies and Global Partners

The White House press release, 20 October 2011 | President Obama hosted Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg for a meeting in the Oval Office on October 20. The visit underscored the close ties between the United States and Norway, which are grounded in our common heritage, values, ideals and interests… The United States and Norway share a commitment to fostering new models of green growth that include sustainable land management, forest protection, expanding access to renewable energy, and increasing agricultural productivity. This includes $1 billion that the United States and Norway have each pledged to jump start REDD+ activities in the short-term. The two countries are working together to support Indonesia’s strong leadership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), including through strong political support for the Indonesia-Norway REDD+ Letter of Intent.

Brazilian women push for greater role in managing forest reserves

By Rachel Rivera, CIFOR Forests Blog, 20 October 2011 | While women in many of Brazil’s extractive reserves do not play a large role in decision-making processes, a recent study conducted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and National Council of Extractivist Populations (CNS) has found that Amazonian women are pushing for greater roles in generating income from forest products and safeguarding areas that serve as a principal source of food and medicine for their families. “Women in extractive reserves are in need of leadership experience in order to be able to shape policies that more adequately address their specific needs,” said Trilby MacDonald, co-author of Brazil’s Social Movement, Women and Forests: A Case Study from the National Council of Rubber Tappers, published in a special gender themed edition of the International Forestry Review.

McDonald’s joins sustainable palm oil initiative, 20 October 2011 | McDonald’s Corp. has officially joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for improving the social and environmental performance of palm oil production. The move bolsters the RSPO, which has recently been joined by other major companies, including Walmart, The Hershey Company, and Citigroup, and has seen uptake of its certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) increase.

Another Greenpeace Activist Sent Packing From Indonesia

Jakarta Globe, 20 October 2011 | Indonesia has been accused of attacking Greenpeace after the environmental group said on Thursday that a second campaigner had been deported by immigration officials in less than a week amid a row over deforestation. Last week, Greenpeace accused Indonesia of trying to undermine its work in halting deforestation after one of its directors was stopped from entering the country. Andy Tait, a forests campaigner for Greenpeace, was detained by immigration authorities on Wednesday, the group said in a statement.

21 October 2011

Transparency Report Card urges stakeholders to ensure tranparency in forest management

Ghana Business News, 21 October 2011 | The statement said the project was aimed at supporting civil society in some resource-rich countries namely Cameroun, Ghana, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa and Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala in South America, to engage policy makers and advocate for accountable forest governance. “The purpose of this report card is to determine what information is or is not available in the public domain, to show how different groups involved in the forestry sector can use this information to improve the transparency of how forest resources are managed in Ghana and to support local environment and human rights campaigners to monitor transparency and advocate on forestry issues of importance to local communities”, the statement added.

[Bolivia] President Evo Morales announces road will not go through TIPNIS national park

By Dario Kenner, Bolivia Diary, 21 October 2011 | In a press conference this morning President Evo Morales said the road project his government has been determined to build will not go through the TIPNIS national park and indigenous territory. This is a dramatic change in policy. It comes after a two month long march by indigenous movements against the planned road that arrived in La Paz two days ago. President Morales said he would modify a law approved in the Plurinational Assembly last week to include a section stating that this road will not go through the TIPNIS. The version of the law presented by Morales in his press conference will now be discussed in the Plurinational Assembly for its approval.

Myanmar Replaces Myitsone Dam Construction With Gold Mining

Environment News Service, 21 October 2011 | Just five days after Myanmar President Thein Sein announced the suspension of the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam construction due to the “will of the people,” local authorities ordered residents evicted to make way for a government-led gold mining operation at the dam site.

Indonesia: Investors in oil palm have to wait for revised regulations on plantations, 21 October 2011 | Reports indicate that the Indonesian government has decided to delay the implementation of a regulation governing industrial forest plantations that would permit planters, particularly those in the oil palm industry, to cultivate areas reserved for timber and other sources of raw material supply for local industries. The reason cited for the delay is to ensure that the proposed regulation operates in tandem and consistently with previous federal decrees. The government has said it will issue revised regulations. In classifying oil palm plantations as industrial forests, investors in the Indonesian oil palm industry will be able to obtain land permits from the government to developed and convert certain forest land into oil palm plantations.

‘Seven dead’ after Indonesian troops storm Papuan independence rally

Survival International, 21 October 2011 | At least seven people are feared dead after Indonesian police opened fire on hundreds of West Papuans at an independence rally close to the province’s capital. Representatives from tribes all over West Papua were meeting to choose a new leadership and to discuss the political future of the region. West Papua has been ruled by Indonesia since 1963. Police have confirmed the bodies of five Papuans have been found, two dumped behind an army barracks and three in the mountains. Survival has spoken to reliable sources from Papua who say at least another two have been killed; their bodies have not yet been found. Tension mounted as Papuans held their Third National Congress in the town of Abepura. On Wednesday, armed soldiers and police surrounded the venue and, following a declaration of independence from Indonesia, the security forces stormed the stage, firing shots and using tear gas to disperse the crowd.

6 Dead After Papua Rally

By Banjir Ambarita, Markus Junianto Sihaloho & Ezra Sihite, Jakarta Globe, 21 October 2011 | Six people have been found dead a day after security officers fired shots while breaking up a pro-independence rally in Papua, a rights activist said on Thursday. The bodies of two of the dead, identified as university student Matias Maidepa and Papua Land Defenders member Yacop Sabonsaba, were found on Wednesday behind the military headquarters in Padang Bulan, Abepura. “On October 20, 2011, four civilians were also found dead around the venue of the Papua Congress, but their identities remain unknown,” said Matias Murib, deputy chairman of the Papua office of the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

Indufor Supported Mozambique in REDD+

Indufor Oy, 21 October 2011 | Indufor helped Mozambique to become a REDD+ participant under the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and assisted the country in developing a South-South partnership with Brazil to exchange experiences on how to establish a REDD+ framework. Recognizing that REDD+ strategy must be aligned with other national policies and strategies, Indufor has also been working towards ensuring that the REDD+ plans are aligned with the National Forest Program in the country.

Papua New Guinea faces logging threat

By Dr Craig Thorburn, Asian Correspondent, 21 October 2011 | At issue is the widescale transfer of title to millions of hectares of densely forested land from customary local ownership to the state through a mechanism known as lease-leaseback, and then into the names of landowner companies, which in turn contract developers to construct roads and develop ‘agro-forestry projects’. According to articles published in The Age on 14 and 15 October this year, more than 5 million hectares of forest – around 11 percent of the country – has so far been alienated via this mechanism. It has triggered public outrage, expert alarm and the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate charges that most of these leases are merely a front for unregulated logging.

22 October 2011

California Air Board Sweats the Small Stuff on Cap-and-Trade

By Felicity Barringer, New York Times, 22 October 2011 | One thing built into a politician’s DNA is a sense of occasion. Regulators tend to lack that gene. One of the most startling things about California’s groundbreaking adoption of a market-based policy to cut emissions of the heat-trapping gases was how unstartling the final meeting was. The California Air Resources Board’s all-day hearing Thursday was such a well-oiled exercise in democracy and administrative procedure that the momentousness of the occasion was almost lost in the footnotes.

Put money where mine mouth is to reap rewards

By Paddy Manning, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 2011 | It’s still Australia’s toughest climate challenge: what to do about coal exports? If they survive the next election our carbon tax-cum-emissions trading scheme – along with complementary measures like the renewable energy target and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – will start a slow shift away from coal for our domestic energy needs. That won’t bother the coal industry, given export markets are more lucrative and expanding rapidly. The industry is hoping to double or triple export volumes in the next five to 10 years, to as much as 1 billion tonnes a year, up from about 300 million tonnes this year.

[Philippines] DENR-GIZ bares winners in national news photo-essay contest

Philippine Information Agency, 22 October 2011 | The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) recently announced the winners of the photo essay contest on forestry and climate change. The contest focused on the climate-relevant modernization of forest policy and piloting of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation project activities in Southern Leyte. The project is a climate mitigation undertaking by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and GIZ working on forest and climate protection and local livelihoods in five municipalities in Southern Leyte, including Maasin and Silago. The project supports the Philippine National REDD-Plus Strategy, a key government strategy on climate change mitigation.

[Philippines] Multimedia exhibit showcases sustainable management of forest resources

Philippine Information Agency press release, 22 October 2011 | A three-day audio-visual/photo exhibit dubbed “The Philippine Forests: The Before and What Now?” was conducted on October 14 to 16 at the La Plaza, Tiendesitas Frontera Verde, Pasig City. The exhibit showcased how to manage forest resources in a sustainable way that would both benefit people and the environment. Assistant Secretary for Special Projects and Coordinator of the National Greening Program Marlo Mendoza, Director Neria Andin of the DENR Forest Management Bureau and Dr. Bernd-Markus Liss, GIZ Principal Adviser for the REDD Project, were the speakers during the opening program.

23 October 2011

Durban May Be Last Chance to Stabilise Climate Under Two Degrees

By Stephen Leahy, IPS, 23 October 2011 | The window to limit global warming to less than two degrees C is closing so fast it can be measured in months, a new scientific analysis revealed Sunday. Without putting the brakes on carbon emissions very soon, large parts of Africa, most of Russia and northern China will be two degrees C warmer in less than 10 years. Canada and Alaska will soon follow, the regional study shows.

The increasing importance of the ‘patchwork’ approach for REDD

By Nick Oakes, Climatico, 23 October 2011 | It’s possible, then, that “bets” are being made on the growth in REDD supply coming almost entirely from the voluntary markets and a patchwork of non-UNFCCC led unilateral or bilateral compliance mechanisms. The voluntary market is already seeing some significant movement in this area, as the report above demonstrates. In the case of unilateral or bilateral compliance mechanisms, however, the growth is more difficult to envision, precisely because it is a patchwork of mechanisms providing supply, but also because their existence is dependent on the need to offset emissions, i.e. the presence of an emissions cap.

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