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.
Le Monde Diplomatique, January 2012 | Yet REDD shows little concern for the 300 million people across the world who depend on forests for their living. The programme is based on “compensation”: any business enterprise or country that pollutes can compensate for its greenhouse gas emissions (quantified in terms of tons of carbon) by “protecting” a forest. Advocates of REDD claim this approach is scientific but it does not appear to have convinced everyone. Research by Stanford University in California shows that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change overestimated the amount of carbon stocked in a forest in Peru by one-third.
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, no date | The Kasigau Corridor REDD project… Privately Managed REDD Project, by Wildlife Works Carbon Ltd. Kenya’s first Carbon Easement Agreement. First project world wide to issue carbon credits under an internationally accepted standard.
2 January 2012
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 2 January 2012 | Efforts by developed countries to redistribute promised funds to help poorer parts of the world avoid environmental disasters have been described as “dismal” by the foreign minister of Bangladesh. Dipu Moni said wealthier nations must begin immediately delivering the billions of pounds’ worth of aid they have earmarked for climate change projects. “Our achievements – social, economic, environmental – of the past decades will be reversed if [rich countries] take away the funds promised for adapting to climate change,” she said in an interview. “The disbursement of the financing has been dismal so far. We are not seeing the funds.” A total of $30bn has been promised by the end of this year but, after three years of delays in channelling promised money, only $2.4bn has been made available.
Xinhua, 2 January 2012 | Indonesia is taking steps to increase rice production amid ongoing climate change, Agriculture Minister Suswono said here on Monday. Suswono told a press conference that production target of 72 million tons of rice this year is not a hard target with hard work. “We have strategies to face climate change. If we face prolonged rainy season, we need more rice driers to maintain our production quality. If we face prolonged drought, we will optimize irrigation and pumping instruments,” said Suswono, adding that the ministry will use contingency fund for the purpose.
By Justin Rowlatt, BBC News, 2 January 2012 | For years, the story told about the Amazon has been one of destruction – the world’s largest rainforest, a region of amazing biodiversity, key to the fight against climate change, being remorselessly felled. But that is no longer the whole truth. The Environment Agency special ops team gathered in a sultry town right on the southern edge of the Amazon. A group of officers, men and women, were relaxing in the shade of a majestic mango tree outside their offices. They were smoking and chatting. These aren’t bureaucrats with crumpled suits and clipboards. In Brazil, environment agents wear military fatigues, with heavy black pistols slung casually on their thighs. These officers are, as I was to discover, soldiers on the front line in what Brazil regards as a war – a war to protect the Amazon rainforest.
3 January 2012
Dr. Glen Barry, Rainforest Portal, 3 January 2012 | Earth is facing the twin global ecological emergencies of abrupt climate change and land being scoured of natural ecosystems. Sadly, corporate American NGOs and the United Nations are responding to these crises by further promoting logging ancient forests. The United Nations REDD+ program to protect primary and old growth forests as a climate change and deforestation solution has been hi-jacked by logging interests [search] and their big pro-logging NGO friends, and will instead subsidize primary forest logging for new plantations. REDD has become a gravy train for consultants, greenwashing NGOs and charlatans of many sorts – claiming logging ancient rainforests for the first time protects them! Old standing natural forest ecosystems are key to sustaining climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, local livelihoods humanity and the Earth System.
4 January 2012
By Gerard Wynn, Reuters, 4 January 2012 | The European Commission is poised to propose the only short-term fix available for the plunge in carbon prices, removing surplus emissions permits in a move that may still do little to boost low-carbon investment. The European Union’s emissions trading scheme needs rescuing from a 10-year glut in supply of carbon dioxide (CO2) permits, which has left prices near record lows. The best solution is a price floor, which would set the minimum cost of carbon emissions out a decade or more, sending a clear signal for low-carbon investment and the 12,000 polluting factories and power plants directly affected by the emissions trading scheme. That is likely to court political and industry opposition, however, as an intervention limiting the flexibility of the carbon market and raising industry costs.
By Maxine Carr (Strategic Asia Indonesia), Jakarta Globe, 4 January 2012 | Future government policies on forest management, based on better collection of forest data, will need to be streamlined with REDD+ in order to create cohesive policy. It is the government that has the responsibility for proper forestry management through effective policy. It is also the government’s duty to disseminate the idea and details of REDD+ down to the local level. Indeed, the initiative is much more likely to be successful if the interests of forest communities and indigenous people can be secured. On the ground, NGOs such as CARE International have been making progress using the Free, Prior and Informed Consent approach in discussing the roles and rights of indigenous people. It is estimated that there are between 50 to 70 million indigenous people across the archipelago, many of whom depend on the forests for their livelihoods.
5 January 2012
By Alison Leung and Harry Suhartono, Business Report, 5 January 2012 | China’s airlines will refuse to pay any carbon costs under the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS), while other Asia Pacific carriers, already battling a weak travel market, are likely to pass on the extra cost to passengers. The EU’s ETS initiative was launched in 2005 as one of the major pillars of the bloc’s efforts to combat climate change. From January 1, all airlines using EU airports are included in the cap-and-trade scheme. “China will not co-operate with the EU on the ETS, so Chinese airlines will not impose surcharges on customers relating to the emissions tax,” China Air Transport Association (Cata) deputy secretary-general Cai Haibo said yesterday. Cata represents the country’s four major airlines: flag-carrier Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines. A European Commission spokeswoman had no immediate comment on any refusal by China’s airlines to pay.
By Ngembeni Wa Namasso, mongabay.com, 5 January 2012 | The Declaration on REDD+ expected as part of ongoing climate talks in Durban, South Africa, by the Central Africa Commission on Forests (COMIFAC) and some donor countries, was released, Wednesday, December 07, 2011. To many observers this declaration is a ritual and therefore, expected after every meeting by ‘high-level’ decision-makers on forests from that part of the World. However, closer examination would reveal evidence of donor inertia; three tendencies – the forward, the going-it-alone and the going-along; some cracks appearing in the commission, and some face-saving gestures made.
By D. Cameron Prell and Neal J. Cabral, McGuireWoods, 5 January 2012 | The layered deal struck by the international climate negotiations closing this past weekend in Durban, South Africa, is encouraging. Formally known as the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the seventh Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol, the outcome can be viewed as a nonfinal and nonbinding step in the right direction because of the new parameters for negotiation. The significance of Durban may therefore ultimately be gauged by how much it prevented and how much it achieved. To explain, the last-minute deal struck after two full weeks of talks and two additional all-night overtime sessions realistically avoided a collapse of the overall UNFCCC climate treaty process – something that easily could have happened, the effects of which should not be understated…
By Flavia Lanyero, The Monitor, 5 January 2012 | By end of this year, about 88,638 hectares of forest cover will be converted either to farmland, built up area or cut down for firewood. The same size of forest cover was lost last year and could probably continue next year, a recent study by the National Biomass has revealed… Mr Tom Rukundo, the environment impact assessment and research specialist at NFA, says it is a challenge to keep off about 70 per cent of private forest owners from destroying the natural resource, largely due to the absence of incentive to keep the trees standing. He said this is made worse by a growing demand for fuel, an exploding population and an incapable forestry institution that is mired in limited financing and few personnel. Mr Rukundo said forests outside protected areas should have incentives such as Reduction in Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)…
6 January 2012
By Clarice Africa, FutureGov, 6 January 2012 | The Forest Utilisation Monitoring Centre (FUMC) located in West Papua, Indonesia, has unveiled plans to develop a forest and ecological GIS solution for its long-term ecological research for sustainable forestry management. For years, The FUMC has continually aligned its efforts to the development of technical and professional manpower in the field of forest production, and as well as the promotion of the sustainable use of forest resources to meet market demands.
IPPMedia, 6 January 2012 | The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ezekiel Maige, has urged businessmen to invest in natural resources through planting trees saying the demand for timber and its related products is on the rise. Speaking to businessmen here recently, he said at the moment the demand for the timber and its products has reached five million cubic metres while the farms have a capacity of producing only 1.2 million cubic meters. Maige who is Msalala legislator in Kahama district Shinyanga region said in order to bridge the gap, businessmen have to invest in natural resources.
By James Maiden, CIFOR Forests Blog, 6 January 2012 | Reporting research results to villages where the study was conducted fosters relationships crucial to the next phases of the project and allows local stakeholders to validate the findings, said a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “We were able to see already how many changes had occurred at the project sites that weren’t related to REDD,” said Amy Duchelle, CIFOR’s field coordinator for the Global Comparative Study on REDD+ in Brazil. Sub-national governments, NGOs and other organisations running REDD+ demonstration projects found the early results useful in improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and equitability in theirs and potential new REDD+ projects.
7 January 2012
8 January 2012
PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.