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.
Asia Indigenous Peoples Climate Change Monitoring And Information Network, 2011 | Many Indigenous Peoples fear that the implementation of REDD+ may have the same impacts to them as the imposition of conservation areas such as national parks. They are apprehensive about implementing REDD+ because such imposition has led to conflicts, physical and economic displacements, food insecurity and loss of income, and loss of biodiversity and traditional knowledge due to prohibitions of their traditional livelihoods, resettlement or eviction. On the other hand, independent studies have shown that biodiversity and forest conservation in genuine partnerships and under co-management arrangements with Indigenous Peoples have been more successful and are mutually beneficial.
FAO, 2011 | The Forestry Department of FAO and the National Forest Programme Facility have initiated a joint effort to assist countries address emerging policy issues related to forests and climate change through integrating climate change considerations into national forest programmes.
14 November 2011
By Kelly Rigg, Huffington Post, 14 November 2011 | What a difference a year can make in the World Energy Outlook (PDF). Released just last week, the International Energy Agency’s press release led with an attention-grabbing clarion cry: “The World is Locking Itself into an Unsustainable Energy Future Which Would Have Far-Reaching Consequences…” What consequences do they mean? To start with, they warn that the window to limiting global temperature rise to 2°C — the threshold at which catastrophic climate change may become inevitable — is rapidly closing.
WWF, 14 November 2011 | WWF asks for REDD+ in Durban are: 1. Close the REDD+ finance gap and clarify the role of market finance. 2. Decide on REDD+ methodologies that benefit the climate, people and nature (information system for safeguards, reference levels and MRV). 3. Develop a global target for REDD+ mitigation linked to long-term finance. 4. Address drivers of deforestation
By Richard Smith, naked capitalism, 14 November 2011 | I posted this a few days ago, about the screechingly obvious fake Gibraltar company Validated Carbon Credits, a trading name of Baron Traders Ltd and its lying “CEO” James Richards. Two comments to the post have caught my eye: “It’s obvious your posting is not only slanderous but based on pure conjecture without any circumstantial evidence whatsoever. Why is it you don’t have a ‘contact us’ link? Did you even bother contacting the company / individuals to try and establish some facts?”
By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 14 November 2011 | Warfare and poaching have decimated forest elephant populations across their range with even elephants in remote protected areas cut down finds a new study in PLoS ONE. Surveying forest elephant populations in the Okapi Faunal Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, researchers have found that the population has fallen by half – from 6,439 to 3,288 – over the past decade in the park. “Having protected areas is not enough to save elephants in times of conflict,” says lead author Rene Beyers, a postdoctoral fellow at UBC’s Department of Zoology. “The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo had a large impact on elephant populations, including those in parks and reserves.”
15 November 2011
By Daniel Cooney, CIFOR Forests Blog, 15 November 2011 | Antonio La Viña, who facilitates REDD+ negotiations at the U.N. climate change summits, said that while he is optimistic of progress at the upcoming talks in Durban there are three main negotiation sticking points that could slow a program to safeguard the world’s forests that are major stores of greenhouse gasses. “The first is, from a political point of view, the decision on finances … how REDD+ will be funded,” he said in an interview at his office in Manila. “Then there are two technical issues that have to be elaborated and then adopted. That is guidance on reference levels, which is how countries essentially measure, report and verify (MRV) their emission reductions, and the levels from which they start their MRV. And safeguards, guidance on how to implement what is called an information system for (social, governance and environmental) safeguards.”
By Susanne Rust, KQED’s Climate Watch, 15 November 2011 | Just as the federal government released its annual index of greenhouse gases, showing a steady increase over the past 21 years, the International Energy Agency warned that we are on the path to 11-degree warming if we don’t curb emissions now. “Delaying action is a false economy: For every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would be needed to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions,” the authors of the energy agency report wrote in their 2011 World Energy Outlook.
By Mark Sweney and Tara Conlan, The Guardian, 15 November 2011 | The BBC World News channel has been banned from buying certain programmes and accepting some sponsorship deals, after an investigation found serious breaches of the corporation’s editorial guidelines in shows about subjects including Malaysia and carbon trading. A full investigation was launched by the BBC Trust into programming on BBC World News, a commercial channel distributed internationally, after it found conflict of interest and sponsorship issues with a show called Taking the Credit, about carbon trading, originally broadcast in 2009… Taking the Credit was funded by a company called the Africa Carbon Livelihood Trust, which had links to a firm called Envirotrade, which featured in the documentary. According to the BBC Trust, the ESC “concluded that the funding in full or in part of this programme by Envirotrade – via the Africa Carbon Livelihoods Trust – amounted to sponsorship”.
By Joanna Eede (Survival International), National Geographic, 15 November 2011 | [T]he results of a recent study by the World Bank, which show that indigenous peoples are key to preserving the world’s forests are – again – unsurprising. After all, it is thought that 80% of the world’s protected areas lie within the territories of tribal peoples. They are the forests’ original owners, scientists and conservationists. They have detailed knowledge of the flora and fauna; to put it simply, they know things we don’t. It is, in fact, precisely because these protected areas have been looked after so well by their indigenous guardians that they have been chosen, by western conservationists, as reserves… And a glance at a map of the Amazon shows that much of the rainforest that lies outside tribal reserves has been denuded, whereas, within indigenous areas, it largely remains intact.
By Benny Wenda, This Blog Harms, 15 November 2011 | For a country so close to West Papua, I am always surprised at how many Australian citizens remain unaware of the genocide that is taking place less than 50 miles beyond the country’s northern shores. Over 400,000 civilians have been killed by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua since the early 1960s, and the last month has seen some of the bloodiest incidents in recent times. In mid October, Indonesian military opened fire on a peaceful gathering of civilians at the Papuan Peoples Congress, leading to the deaths of 7 people and the arrest and torture of hundreds of others. Graphic footage has just emerged showing the gross acts of barbarity inflicted on those present. The Indonesian authorities have refused to allow any enquiry to take place.
By Dofa Fasila & Ismira Lutfia, Jakarta Globe, 15 November 2011 | The Jakarta administration’s threat to close the Greenpeace office on Monday fizzled after the environmental group asked for more time to move out of its building in Kemang, South Jakarta. Widyo Dwiyono, head of the South Jakarta Building Control and Monitoring Office (P2B), said the Greenpeace representatives had explained that they were not extending their lease and planned to move to new offices. “As a result, the governor has given them more time to move out,” he said, adding that the deadline had been pushed to Friday. “Although all the administrative procedures are done as far as sealing off the building goes, they have until Friday before we actually do it.”
By Patricia Parkinson, Climate Spectator, 15 November 2011 | President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s commitment to dedicate the last three years his term to delivering “enduring results that will sustain and enhance the environment and forests of Indonesia” was met with a standing ovation at the Forests Indonesia Conference in Jakarta on September 29. The previous day, Hadi Daryanto, from Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry, and Dr Deddy Saleh, Director General for Foreign Trade, appeared in front of a Sydney audience to discuss Indonesia’s shift to a low-carbon economy and its management of “the paradox” of Indonesia’s pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 per cent by 2020 (and up to 41 per cent with international assistance), while also achieving an annual growth rate of 7 per cent per annum.
Jakarta Globe, 15 November 2011 | Villagers living on the Indonesian side of Borneo have killed at least 750 endangered orangutans during a year-long period, some to protect crops from being raided and others for their meat, a new survey shows. Such practices, never before quantified, are now believed to pose a more serious threat to the existence of the red apes than previously thought, Erik Meijaard, the main author of the report that appeared in the journal PLoSOne, said on Monday.
16 November 2011
By Rousbeth Legatis, IPS, 16 November 2011 | Asian countries, home to about 60 percent of the world’s population, will be hit hardest by changing weather patterns and a degrading environment, research indicates. A whopping 90 percent of all disaster displacement within countries in 2010 was caused by climate- related disasters, the international body Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) reported. That year, 38.3 million women, men and children were forced to move, mainly by floods and storms. Out of 16 countries with the highest risk of being severely affected by environmental changes in the next 30 years, ten are in Asia, according to the 2010 Climate Change Vulnerability Index, released by global risks advisory firm Maplecroft.
By Jeff Conant, Climate Connections, 16 November 2011 | I think this next year that CARB has given itself to fine-tune Cap and Trade is going to make it even worse than it was already. It’s deeply problematic and it will not work. It’s not going to reduce green house gas emissions, and it is going to deeply impact poor people who can least afford it. We are going to be deeply engaged in ensuring that California at least takes the right steps in other regards, so that when it fails, hopefully, there will be some things going forward that will still allow California to take a different direction. We still have hope that there are ways to impact California’s policy decisions and protect our communities, because Cap and Trade will fail.
By Maya Thatcher, CIFOR Forests Blog, 16 November 2011 | Smallholder farmers in developing countries risk being left behind in the push to produce sustainable biofuels, deterred by complex and expensive certification schemes, according to a recent CIFOR study. With limited scope to meet the high financial, technological and capacity demands of more sustainable practices, the study argues that existing standards and certification schemes are heavily biased towards industrial-scale producers. “It is imperative for proponents of sustainability standard and certification schemes … to ensure that no farmer is left behind in the quest towards sustainable biofuel production,” said Janice Lee, lead-author of the study No farmer left behind in sustainable biofuel production.
Jakarta Globe, 16 November 2011 | WWF-Indonesia is appealing to authorities to take steps to save a valuable area of Sumatran jungle from deforestation after an “amazing” five of the seven wild cat species found on the island were captured on camera. The WWF’s systematic three-month survey captured on camera 404 photos of wild cats, including 226 of Sumatran tigers, 77 of clouded leopards, 70 of golden cats, 27 of leopard cats and four of marbled cats. All of the wild cats were found in an unprotected forest corridor between the Bukit Tigapuluh forest landscape and the Rimbang Baling Wildlife sanctuary in Riau Province. The area is threatened by encroachment and forest clearance for industrial plantations. “Four of these species are protected by Indonesian government regulations and are listed as threatened by extinction on the IUCN Red List,” Karmila Parakkasi, Coordinator of the WWF-Indonesia Tiger Research Team, said in a statement.
Survival International, 16 November 2011 | Alarming video of Indonesian forces shooting, beating and kicking civilians at a peaceful rally in West Papua has emerged ahead of a US visit to the region. Ten people are believed to have died when Indonesian security forces broke up the rally of independence activists last month… The video comes ahead of a visit to Bali by the US President and Secretary of State, for a regional summit. The US has applauded its ‘new partnership’ with Indonesia, but only last week Hillary Clinton criticized its human rights abuses. The disturbing footage was smuggled out of West Papua exactly one year after scenes of Indonesian soldiers torturing Papuan men caused worldwide revulsion.
By Ronna Nirmala, Jakarta Globe, 16 November 2011 | With a special budget allocation and some corporate help, the Ministry of Forestry has prepared about two billion tree seedlings for planting around the nation. “From the Ministry’s access to the state budget, we have prepared 600 million seedlings, and we have also had donations from private and state-owned companies. So right now we have around two billion seedlings,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said on Tuesday. The seedlings will go toward President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s call for one billion trees to be planted annually. “It is said that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ I would like to say: ‘A billion trees a year shield the world’s lungs from decay,’ ” the president said at the Forests Indonesia Conference in late September.
By Rhett Butler, mongabay.com, 16 November 2011 | Bustar Maitar, Head of Indonesian Forest Campaign, said APP’s press release even alludes to a “smear campaign” currently being conducted against Greenpeace in Indonesia. Last month Tait and John Sauven, Greenpeace International’s Executive Director, encountered immigration troubles in Indonesia, while last week the Indonesian headquarters has been ordered closed by a Jakarta authority for alleged “zoning violations.” At the same time, rhetoric about Greenpeace’s “foreign funding sources” has become more heated. “Greenpeace is under escalating attack in Indonesia now, at the same time that our campaign work against APP has increased here and around the world. One of the claims used to attack us is that we represent so called ‘ foreign interests’, claims that have no basis in fact,” Bustar told mongabay.com.
17 November 2011
By Pablo Solon, Hoy es Todavía, 17 November 2011 | Can you imagine what would happen with an average global temperature increase of 4°C or more? Nobody at the climate change negotiations defends or justifies an increase of that magnitude. However, Cancun opened the door to it. When Bolivia opposed this outcome, the negotiators told us that the important thing was to save the diplomatic process of negotiation, and that the climate would be saved in Durban. Now we are just days away from the start of Durban, and it turns out the reduction pledges have not risen by a millimeter. Worse yet, some countries are announcing that they may stick toward the lower range of their pledge amounts. Sadly, throughout 2011, the climate change negotiations held in Thailand, Germany and Panama have focused on form rather than content. What is being negotiated is not how the reduction pledges can be increased, but rather, how they can be formalized.
By Ban Ki-moon (UN Secretary-General ), 17 November 2011 | Globally, deforestation accounts for some 17 per cent of global carbon emissions, the second largest source after the energy sector. Each hectare of forest lost or degraded adds to global greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot keep global temperature rise below 2° Celsius from preindustrial levels without reducing emissions from the forestry sector. This understanding is the basis of the UN REDD programme and REDD+. REDD+ can be a win-win-win for local communities, for Indonesia and the world. But let me be clear, while REDD+ can play an effective role in engaging developing countries in the global fight against climate change, it is not a substitute for deep greenhouse-gas emission reductions in developed countries. It is complementary.
By Isilda Nhantumbo, IIED, 17 November 2011 | With the dusk of the International Year of Forests fast approaching, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, sustainable forest management, conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) has the potential to bring positive changes to the lives of people who are dependent on forests for their livelihoods. But this can only happen if REDD+ is implemented in a way that ensures their participation in the process. How and when people are engaged in the REDD+ process will define whether it will be a win-win or a win-lose deal for them. Entrenching social and environmental safeguards in the readiness process will ensure win-win solutions for investors, local communities and the society at large.
Climate Connections, 17 November 2011 | “No REDD Papers, Volume I is a must read for all who seek to know the truth about this mercantilist tool called REDD. It is also highly recommended for those who believe that policies to fight the current climate chaos must see the people and Mother Earth, and not merely see trees as commodities for cash and carbon speculation.” – Nnimmo Bassey, Alternative Nobel Prize Laureate, Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Chair of Friends of the Earth International and poet.
By Leony Aurora, CIFOR Forests Blog, 17 November 2011 | The decision to finance Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, or REDD+, through the carbon market is the biggest factor that will determine the success of the global scheme that aims to slow the rate of climate change, said an expert. “Like it or not, if we expect real climate gains from REDD, it means a carbon market,” said Andrea Tuttle, a director at the Pacific Forest Trust, at a plenary session at the second Asia Pacific Forestry Week in Beijing recently. Bilateral and multilateral funding that has been flowing thus far would not be enough to push REDD+ to the scale it needed to result in a significant reduction of emissions, she said.
By Leão Serva, New York Times, 17 November 2011 | In 1888, Brazil became the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery — a profound moral stain for a nation that prides itself today on being a multiracial democracy. During the long 19th-century struggle against slavery, at a time when abolitionists in Britain were protesting the forced transfer of millions of Africans from their homelands, Brazilian leaders denounced the global abolitionist movement for interfering in the country’s internal affairs. More than a century later, the same right to noninterference in internal affairs is again being invoked, this time by the agribusiness interests defending Brazil’s right to strip and burn what remains of the planet’s tropical rainforests.
By William Laurance, Yale Environment 360, 17 November 2011 | China is now overwhelmingly the biggest global consumer of tropical timber, importing around 40 to 45 million cubic meters of timber annually. Today, more than half of all timber being shipped anywhere in the world is destined for China. Many nations in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa export the lion’s share of their timber to China… The pulp and paper have been used by Chinese manufacturers to make branded products for scores of well-known companies around the world. Some of those companies — including Gucci, Scholastic, Hachette, and Tiffany & Co. — have switched to recycled and sustainably certified paper products. As of this year, other companies — including Prada, American Greetings, Marc Jacobs, and the Rupert Murdoch-owned HarperCollins publishing — are continuing to use APP or APRIL paper products supplied by Chinese manufacturers, according to RAN.
By Mary Ama Kudom-Agyemang, Public Agenda, 17 November 2011 | A National Consultation and Participatory Working Group has been constituted to incorporate the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) into Ghana’s Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) Readiness Preparatory Plan (R-PP). The group was formed in May 2010 following a series of stakeholder consultations held from mid-2009 to early-2010 to formulate the Ghana R-PP. The consultations were held in stages. The first stage was organised by the REDD Secretariat at the Forestry Commission (FC) for representatives of major stakeholders including: government ministries, institutions and agencies; the timber industry and private sector; CSOs/NGOs; and the media. These were held in Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale.
Philippine Information Agency, 17 November 2011 | With the theme “People for Forests, Forests for the Future: Evolving Trends, Maximizing Opportunities,” Philippine Federation for Environmental Concern (PFEC)in cooperation with the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) and Kerk in Actie, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) will conduct 16th National Environmental Congress on November 17 – 19, 2011 at Hotel Stotsenberg, Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
18 November 2011
By Peter Fowler, NewsRoomAmerica.com, 18 November 2011 | Deforestation not only threatens the planet’s climate and national economic development, but also communities whose income, culture and way of life depend on healthy forests, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on a visit to Indonesia. Mr. Ban was in the Central Kalimantan region of Borneo, which has been chosen by the Indonesian Government for a pilot programme of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative.
By Brindaveni Naidoo, Engineering News, 18 November 2011 | Some scientists are warning that development progress in the world’s poorest countries could be halted or even reversed by midcentury unless bold steps are taken to slow climate change, prevent further environmental damage, and reduce deep inequalities within and among nations… [Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) chief negotiator Alf] Wills tells Engineering News that South Africa is 100% aligned to the Africa position. “Within Africa, there are a few differences, such as the market-based approach of reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) between the Democratic Republic of Congo and East African countries. But the African position is the South African position,” he explained.
By Gabriela Ramirez Galindo, CIFOR Forests Blog, 18 November 2011 |Although indigenous groups and smallholders in Latin America can now benefit from increased access to forests resources as a result of a wave of tenure reforms in the past few decades, this has not necessarily led to improved livelihoods or the conservation of community-owned forests, warns a new study by the Center for International Forestry Research. “While granting rights through forest tenure reforms represented a necessary step for enhancing the livelihoods of smallholders and communities, and for improving forest management, in some cases they failed to recognise local decision making, and in others they failed to provide market incentives and technical support to communities”, said Anne Larson, CIFOR Senior Associate and co-author of the study Recognition of Forest Rights in Latin America: Progress and Shortcomings of Forest Tenure Reforms.
By Leony Aurora, CIFOR Forests Blog, 18 November 2011 | Economic sanctions are severely limiting Myanmar’s economy prompting the government to overly lean on logging as a way to prop up the state budget, said a representative of the country’s timber association, warning that there may be “no trees left” unless the trade embargo is lifted. The government has cut more trees than allowed under a sustainable forest management system as it had no other choice to fund the budget, said Barber Cho of the Myanmar Timber Merchants Association at the sidelines of the Asia Forest Partnership (AFP) Dialogue 2011 in Beijing last week. “The sanctions are intended for the 55 million people of Myanmar, but because of deforestation and climate change, all 7 billion people (on Earth) have to suffer,” he said.
20 November 2011
By Dr Clive Thomas, Stabroek News, 20 November 2011 | Last week’s column looked at the intrinsic double-dealing and its associated opportunism, which drives the low carbon development strategy (LCDS) and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Guyana and Norway signed in 2009. I tried to analyze this in a manner that would encourage readers to form their own judgement as to how much trust, deceit, and/or double-dealing is involved… [R-M: Subscription needed.]
PHOTO Credit: Image created using wordle.net.