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REDD in the news: 9-15 January 2012

REDD in the news: 9-15 January 2012

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.

Mexico can’t see the wood for the trees

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.

[Cambodia] Carbon Credits on the Market

PACT, no date | Terra Global Capital, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, is initiating the sale of dually-validated VCS/CCB carbon credits from the Oddar Meanchey Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) project. The implementing partners, Pact Cambodia and The Forestry Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia, along with Children’s Development Association, Monks Community Forestry, and Community Forestry Federation of Oddar Meanchey, have developed the first Cambodian REDD project, located in the northwestern province of Oddar Meanchey. The project involves 13 Community Forestry Groups, encompassing 58 villages, which protect 64,318 hectares of forest through the implementation of project actions designed to mitigate a variety of deforestation drivers.

Lessons on Land Tenure, Forest Governance and REDD+

By Lisa Naughton-Treves and Cathy Day (Eds), University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 2012 | This volume of case studies comprises one of two main publications resulting from the Oct. 21-22, 2011 Land Tenure and Forest Carbon Management Workshop hosted by the University of Wisconsin/Madison’s Land Tenure Center (LTC), Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and Geography Dept. (www.rmportal.net/landtenureforestsworkshop). Contributed by an impressive array of researchers, NGOs, and other development partners, these cases are intended to complement a set of research papers being prepared simultaneously for a forthcoming special issue of World Development.

TZ-REDD Newsletter

Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF), January 2012 | The TZ-REDD quarterly newsletter is a part of the TFCG/MJUMITA project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. The newsletters aim to keep practitioners, donors, universities and CSOs up-to-date about REDD projects in Tanzania, upcoming events, and REDD developments around the world… At the end of Cancun last year, negotiators for REDD were set some important bits of homework. One of them was to provide guidelines for the system to provide information on the safeguards – that is how the rights and livelihoods of women and men, and the protection of the environment, would be promoted under REDD.

Deforestation and Greenhouse Gases

Congressional Budget Office, January 2012 | If actions to support forest preservation are to play a cost-effective role in a significant international effort to reduce global GHG emissions, three broad challenges would have to be met: Obtaining useful measurements of changes in the amount of carbon stored in forests, Structuring incentives to reduce total forest-based emissions, and Improving governance in developing countries… The United States and other developed countries could also generate resources for reducing forest-based GHG emissions by creating demand in private markets for such reductions. They could do that by establishing —cap-and-trade programs or by taxing GHG emissions and providing tax credits for those who fund forest preservation activities. The potential for forest preservation in developing countries to lower the private-sector costs of achieving a goal for global GHG reductions might motivate substantial funding from private sources.

IPCCA Analytical Background Paper on REDD+

Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative, November 2011 | However, there are a number of inherent problems with REDD+. Due to the nature of the climate regime, REDD+ policies are based on the principlethat developing countries, and actors within those countries, will be paid for the amount of carbon they succeed to store or sequester in their forests.These “forests” do not necessarily have to be biologically diverse, as the definition of “forests” used for REDD+ includes monoculture tree plantationsand even clearcut areas. So the replacement of biologically diverse forests and other ecosystems by monoculture tree plantations is not necessarilysanctioned by REDD+, even though there are some non-binding safeguards that prioritize the conservation of natural forests and even discouragethe direct replacement of forest by tree plantations.

9 January 2012

“Peasant Farming Can Cool Down the Earth”: An Interview with Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, Executive Director of Mouvement Paysan de Papaye, Durban South Africa, December 2011

By Jeff Conant, Climate Connections, 9 January 2012 | JC: Here in Durban the Clinton Foundation held a high-profile to promote REDD carbon forestry projects. We know that Clinton is deeply involved in Haiti, and has been for a long time. If you could speak to Mr. Clinton, what would you say? CJB: Bill Clinton has this project, he’s trying to take our land and to give it to this big corporation from Asia. So the message we would send to Mr. Clinton is, we don’t want your project promoting REDD, we don’t want your agribusiness projects. We need our land to produce food, we need our land to rebuild native forest. So we would ask Mr. Clinton to keep his money. We don’t want him to kill our country. The Haitian people know what the Haitian people need.

REDD+ and Agricultural Supply Chains

By Charlotte Streck and Leticia Guimaraes, Climate Focus, 9 January 2012 | Agriculture is the main driver of deforestation in many countries and therefore is intrinsically connected to REDD+. Public-private partnerships in and around supply chains can generate emission reductions from REDD+ while also helping developing countries improve the sustainability of their agricultural sectors. This WWF study suggests that if these companies commit to making their supply chains more sustainable, they can lead a change in behavior faster than change led by end consumers. In other words, if these key companies change, others are likely to follow.

[Philippines] A CSR project for protecting the Bataan National Park

By Felicito C. Payumo, Philippine Inquirer, 9 January 2012 | The project was started after the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) signed a business and operations agreement on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTex). In order to insure payment of the debt service obligations of BCDA for its construction, MNTC must promote the use of SCTex to motorists. But as traffic volume increases, so does carbon emission. As owner and operator of the expressway, BCDA and MNTC felt an obligation to offset the effects of the additional emission (the rule of thumb says it takes 12 trees to soak up the carbon spewed out from a motor vehicle). Thus, if the volume increases by 10,000 vehicles, they must plant 120,000 trees. The problem, however, extends beyond planting additional trees. The existing forest of the Bataan-Zambales Mountain Ranges, or whatever remains of them, is seriously threatened and must be protected.

10 January 2012

North American carbon market volume to double in 2012, says Thomson Reuters Point Carbon

Point Carbon press release, 10 January 2012 | Volume traded in North America predicted to reach 179 Mt, with a value of $782 million. “For US carbon markets, 2012 will be an important year with several key policy decisions due and significantly increased volumes of trade expected as a result of two WCI allowance auctions and increased activity in the secondary market”, said the firm’s North American carbon market analyst Ashley Lawson. Thomson Reuters Point Carbon thinks it likely that early auctions in California and Quebec will distribute some 24 million metric tons (Mt) of 2013 allowances in 2012 with the remainder of the approximately 180 Mt cap freely allocated to emitters or auctioned in 2013. “We foresee the primary market dominating WCI transactions in 2012, with a total market size of 28 Mt and a value of $392 million, up nearly tenfold from 2011 and overtaking RGGI as the biggest North American carbon market in value terms”, Lawson explained.

Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas Dedicates Over $1.4 Million for Environmental Causes

Mitsubishi press release, 10 January 2012 | At its annual meeting on December 12, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas (MCFA) approved over $900,000 in additional support for environmental causes, including new grants and a roll-over of its $300,000 program-related investment (PRI) in the form of a loan to Root Capital (www.rootcapital.org). The newly approved grants and PRI roll-over, combined with continuing multi-year grants totaling $507,433 bring the aggregate of MCFA’s current grant/PRI portfolio to over $1.4 Million. The newly approved grants include: $150,000 payable over two years to the Indian Law Resource Center (www.indianlaw.org) for their work securing indigenous rights as a basis for facilitating REDD+ projects; $150,000 payable over four years to Island Conservation (www.islandconservation.org) to protect biodiversity on the Juan Fernandez islands of Chile; $100,000 over two years to the Rainforest Alliance…

Agrarian Reform, Village Reform and Ecological Justice: Indonesia Way for Social Justice

Via Campesina press release, 12 January 2012 | We of the ” Joint Secretariat of the Indonesian Movement for Recovering People’s Rights”, an alliance of Farmers, Workers, Indigenous People, Women, Youth, Students, Village Governance, and NGOs. Today, Thursday, January 12, 2012 to act in unison in Jakarta and 27 provinces in Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara. Today, we declare resistance and pledge our alliance against land grabbing facilitated by the SBY-Boediono regime throughout Indonesia. We view that the agraria (land, water, and natural resources) main problem in Indonesia is the concentration of ownership, control and exploitation of agrarian resources including land, forest, mining and water in the hands of a few people and large corporations, in the middle of millions of small holder farmers and landless people. Ironically, in the midst of that inequality, expropriation of people’s land is still happening.

Industrial palm oil production expands at expense of rainforests in Peru

mongabay.com, 10 January 2012 | Intensive palm oil production is expanding at the expense of biolologically-rich lowland rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon, reports a study published in Environmental Research Letters. The research indicates that enthusiasm for oil palm — one of the world’s most lucrative crops — is taking a toll on forests outside of Southeast Asia, where the vast majority of palm oil is produced. The analysis, based on satellite mapping and on-the-ground field studies, found that 72 percent of new plantations in Peru expanded into forest areas. Expansion into forest areas was more common with industrial plantations, rather than low-yield plantations established by smallholders.

11 January 2012

Supernatural plays key role in forest use

By Karin Holzknecht, CIFOR Forests Blog, 11 January 2012 | The power of supernatural beliefs to influence sustainable forest use in indigenous communities should be considered in land management strategies, says a recent study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Center for International Research in Agronomy and Development (CIRAD). “The fact is that for many communities, supernatural agencies are realities,” said CIFOR post-doc research fellow Masatoshi Sasaoka who, together with CIRAD scientist Yves Laumonier, studied the belief system of indigenous peoples in the Seram Island forest in eastern Indonesia and how it related to their use of natural resources.

Clark Labs Unveils IDRISI Selva

Clark Labs press release, 11 January 2012 | Clark Labs is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the 17th version of the IDRISI geospatial software for monitoring and modeling the Earth system. The IDRISI Selva software incorporates major revisions to its Land Change Modeler and Earth Trends Modeler applications. It also includes a variety of new analytical techniques, optimizations to current modules and additional import/export options. IDRISI’s Land Change Modeler application for the modeling, prediction and impact assessment of land cover change now includes major modeling enhancements and special tools to support REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). These include accounting methodologies required for REDD projects, such as the estimation of baseline emissions from various carbon pools and the calculation of deferred emissions and carbon credits.

[Tanzania] Let’s put our money where our mouths are

The Citizen, 11 January 2012 | Some programmes have been established at global level to encourage local communities to participate in conserving forests. One of these is the UN’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) programme. Tanzania is one of the countries implementing this programme in which local communities are paid for their conservation efforts. Funding for the programme seems uncertain, though, because of the stalling of climate talks at the Durban Climate Conference late last year. Participants were unable to reach consensus on issues such as the modality of disbursement of funds to these projects. The issue is still pending in anticipation of the next climate conference in Qatar this November. The REDD project in Tanzania was mainly funded by foreign donors including the UN and Norway.

[UK] Secret forest sell-off ‘shopping lists’ drawn up by conservation groups

By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 11 January 2012 | Secret “shopping lists” of public woodlands were handed to the government by the National Trust and the Wildlife Trusts before huge public anger halted the proposed sell-off, the Guardian can reveal. The lists were a “betrayal of their members”, according to the leading environmentalist Jonathon Porritt, who said the organisations had “rolled over to have their tummies tickled by the government”. The same organisations now sit on the independent panel set up in the wake of the fiasco to advise the government on the future of public forests. Porritt is member of a new pressure group called Our Forests that on Wednesday set out its vision, including a plan for a “Domesday forest” involving planting a billion trees in England.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Makes Climate Change a Top Priority

By Zachary Rybarczyk, ThinkProgress, 11 January 2012 | By incorporating private funds into climate adaption and mitigation, developing nations will be able to support the inclusion of renewable or lower-carbon fuels into their energy supply (through sources such as biomass or wind power), and at the same time will support public campaigns to increase energy efficiency. The Development Strategy also aims to promote responsible land usage through REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), which is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuel consumption.

Vietnam’s sustainable forest target deemed unattainable

VietNamNet, 11 January 2012 | A forest development program of the agriculture ministry has a target of making around one-third of the nation’s forests meet sustainable development standards by 2020 but this goal is considered too ambitious. Under the Forest Development Program of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 30% of forests will be issued the Sustainable Management Certificate by 2020. Speaking at a conference last week, Cao Chi Cong, director general of the ministry’s forest use department, said Vietnam has 10 sustainable afforestation models nationwide. Five of them have been piloted with international involvement and the rest carried out by local authorities and businesses without a specific direction on sustainable forest management. Only 20,000 hectares has been licensed with the Forest Sustainable Certificate. “Given the current implementation pace, the 30% target is infeasible”, said Cong.

12 January 2012

Some airlines embrace CO2 trade, buy permits

By Jeff Coelho, Reuters, 12 January 2012 | Several big airlines are taking advantage of European carbon law by snapping up emission allowances at bargain prices, tuning out an outcry against the scheme by many non-EU airlines and shoring up demand in a market that saw prices cut in half last year. All airlines using EU airports were brought into the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) on January 1, joining more than 10,000 power and industrial plants which have been active in the scheme since 2005.

Earth, Inc.: Will Corporate Monopolies Dominate the Green Economy?

Just Means, 12 January 2012 | Rio+20 may launch the “biggest Earth grab in 500 years,” argues new report… But how will this green economy — whether local, regional or global in scale — ultimately manifest itself? Much innovation of course happens on a small, entrepreneurial level. But once start-up innovators launch a big idea, it doesn’t take long for established big businesses to get in on the action, for better or worse. ETC Group (the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Conservation) has recently warned that the world’s biggest corporations are “riding the coattails of the ‘Green Economy’ while gearing up for their boldest coup to-date — not just by making strategic acquisitions and tapping new markets, but also by penetrating new industrial sectors.”

[Guyana] Fip Motilall’s Amaila Falls access road contract quashed

By Kwesi Isles, Demerara Waves, 12 January 2012 | Government on Thursday announced that it has terminated the US$15.4M contract held by Fip Motilall for the construction of the Amaila Falls access road and transmission line clearing project. Works minister Robeson Benn made the announcement at a news briefing saying the action was due to the repeated delays in completing the project among other things. “As of December 2011 the Contractor, Synergy Holdings Inc, had completed only 40 percent of the works despite repeated urgings and interventions from the Project Engineer and the Consulting Firm to have the project completed,” Benn said. As a result of the termination, Benn said the government will be applying for the liquidated damages at the rate of US$10,000 per day from January 1 to the date of termination; seaizing the Contractor’s existing performance bond (10 percent of contract price), the retention sum and all equipment and property used on the Amaila Access Road project.

[Guyana] Miniscule progress on access road to Amaila Falls

By Janette Bulkan letter to the editor, Kaieteur News, 12 January 2012 | Your report ‘Two local contractors to help ‘Fip’ finish US$ 15.4M road’ (Kaieteur News 08 January 2012) appears to exaggerate progress on this shambles. Section 2 is the piece branching off from the Mabura Road. At the end of December 2011, this piece was an unconsolidated stretch of crudely bulldozed sand with shallow side drains, while the specification calls for a consolidated 300 mm thickness of white-sand-clay. The road should be able to take 100-tonne loads, but the little bridge just 2 km from the Mabura Road junction is hardly big enough for a small truck. The specification calls for a consolidated 150 mm thickness of laterite on top of the clay-sand base. Instead, there was just 3.6 km of a thin skin of laterite, also not consolidated.

[Guyana] Fip Motilall’s Amaila Falls access road contract quashed

By Kwesi Isles, Demerara Waves, 12 January 2012 | Government on Thursday announced that it has terminated the US$15.4M contract held by Fip Motilall for the construction of the Amaila Falls access road and transmission line clearing project. Works minister Robeson Benn made the announcement at a news briefing saying the action was due to the repeated delays in completing the project among other things. “As of December 2011 the Contractor, Synergy Holdings Inc, had completed only 40 percent of the works despite repeated urgings and interventions from the Project Engineer and the Consulting Firm to have the project completed,” Benn said. As a result of the termination, Benn said the government will be applying for the liquidated damages at the rate of US$10,000 per day from January 1 to the date of termination; seaizing the Contractor’s existing performance bond (10 percent of contract price), the retention sum and all equipment and property used on the Amaila Access Road project.

Scientists: Well-structured economic incentives could massively reduce deforestation emissions in Indonesia, yield billions of dollars

Environmental Defense Fund, 12 January 2012 | Indonesia has the potential to realize major reductions in national greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, and simultaneously earn significant new income for national and regional governments, if policies to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) are developed with strong and specific economic incentives, said scientists in a new paper published in the leading scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These encouraging conclusions were reached following groundbreaking economic modeling performed by scientists who reviewed observed deforestation in Indonesia from 2000 to 2005, as well as variations in the benefits and costs of converting land to agriculture during that same period.

Indonesia could earn billions from well-designed deforestation-reduction program, finds study

mongabay.com, 12 January 2012 | Indonesia could have earned $5 billion in revenue and avoided 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions between 2000 and 2005 had a reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) program been in place, reports an assessment published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Jonah Busch, a forest economist for Conservation International, and colleagues used economic models to estimate the emissions reductions and potential revenue under different REDD+ policies and found that a mandatory, Indonesia-wide system that relied on international carbon payments of $10/ton of carbon dioxide would have resulted in the greatest avoidance of deforestation and generated the highest profit for the country. In contrast, a site-by-site payment for ecosystem services approach would have reduced emissions by only 310 million tons of CO2 at a net cost to Indonesia of some $31 billion dollars.

[Mexico] *NEW* Video Release from Global Justice Ecology Project: A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests

Climate Connections, 12 January 2012 | Over the course of a year, Global Justice Ecology Project has documented the impacts of and resistance to REDD, in Cancun and Chiapas, Mexico, in Acre, Brazil, and among environmental justice communities in California. A Darker Shade of Green: REDD Alert and the Future of Forests puts this work into the compelling form of a short, sharp video. This critical 28-minute documentary, introducing concerns about REDD from the perspective of the people most impacted, was co-produced by Global Justice Ecology Project and Global Forest Coalition, and will be released next week. Watch the trailer now.

Nigeria: Reducing Forest Emissions Needs Good Science

Daily Trust, 12 January 2012 | REDD offers a singular opportunity to combine forest management with sustainable development but establishing a one-size-fits-all framework is not easy, particularly given the diversity in forest types, management and use found across the tropics. As a result while there is an emerging consensus on some aspects of REDD — for example, that only developing countries should be able to benefit, and that funding should come from multiple sources – many of the details remain to be agreed. Simultaneously meeting local needs and adding to sustainable economic growth is a particular challenge for REDD. A critical component to achieving this is to ensure that REDD strategies are informed by good science that is also locally relevant.

[Tanzania] Funding for carbon trading projects halted

By Ludger Kasumuni, The Citizen, 12 January 2012 | Speaking to BusinessWeek the Chairman of Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), Deodatus Mfugale said that Tanzania which is one of the beneficiaries of REDD fund was still uncertain on the future modality of carbon funding because it was postponed. “The postponement of REDD at the COP 17 Durban Conference was due to the fact that there was no consensus about the approach of disbursing funds to developing countries from developed countries.While most of members from developed nations proposed to channel funds through the private sector, many representatives of developing countries were for channeling the funds through governments,” said Mr Mfugale who also attended the conference.

[UK] Forest sell-offs

By Peter Nixon (National Trust) letter to the editor, The Guardian, 12 January 2012 | By suggesting (Report, 12 January) that the National Trust had some sort of “secret shopping list”, you have confused the regular disposal of Forestry Commission land with the government’s proposals for the entire forestry estate in England. It is perfectly true that we have acquired parcels of land from the Forestry Commission in the past. In previous years, the commission spoke to us and other land-owning organisations about their annual plans for straightforward disposals of small parts of their estate. This was a perfectly normal and regular occurrence. The extent of the government’s proposals to sell off Forestry Commission sites in England, as revealed in January 2011, took many of us in the NGO sector by complete surprise and indeed raised serious concerns, which we voiced very clearly.

13 January 2012

What Durban means for carbon markets

By Payal Parekh, Climate & Energy Expert, 13 January 2012 | Since there is now a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is still alive. The problem is that there are still no targets in the second commitment period; Japan, Russia, Canada and USA will not be participating, while Australia and New Zealand are mulling over participation. Given the current low price of the carbon credits coupled with economic downturn in Europe, there is unlikely to be a demand or need for carbon credits. According to the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) the Durban outcome did nothing to increase demand for carbon markets, the key issue in their view.

The Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News

Ecosystem Marketplace, 13 January 2012 | As 2012 ushers in a new chapter for the forest carbon market, the Forest Carbon news brief is taking a look back at last year’s top stories – ranked by you, our loyal readers, who shared your take on 2011 and what you think 2012 has in store for forest carbon. Last year, the ascendant REDD+ commanded the attention of project developers, buyers, and policy makers – and our readers. Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011 found that REDD+ supplied 67% of the volume of tonnes contracted in the primary market in 2010, revealing the expanding role of forest carbon credits in the voluntary market. A number of stories also saw forests growing on compliance market decision-makers. New Zealand currently stands alone as the only active marketplace crediting forestry activities (albeit, only domestically generated credits). California and Australia crept in, though, with the passage of forest-friendly legislation last year.

International Highlight on Sustainable Mountain Development

Redd Carbon Credits UK, 13 January 2012 | The importance of sustainable mountain development was recently highlighted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), especially with regards to mountain forests. Similarly to lowland forests, highland and mountain forests preserve biodiversity, sequester carbon and provide a variety of ecosystem services. In addition, according to the FAO, they influence strongly the quantity and quality of fresh water, which is due to the fact that mountains happen to provide more than half of the world’s freshwater resources. Nevertheless, mountain forests are somewhat neglected in terms of sustainable forestry investments and forestry funds, which in some instances have contributed to the sustainable development of lowland forests.

Great ape conservation must be integral to REDD+, says leading primate biologist

By Michelle Kovacevic, CIFOR Forests Blog, 13 January 2012 | Great apes play an important role in the long-term health of forests and climate change schemes such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) should be structured so that they can channel funds to primate conservation projects, leading biologist Ian Redmond said. “Conservation is not an optional extra that you might add on if it is convenient, it’s integral [to REDD+]… If you want to have permanence in your forest carbon store, you need the animals as well as the plants,” Redmond said at an event hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research and the International Institute for Environmental Development that looked at how Africa and Asia can learn from each other’s experience in great ape conservation.

Ghana: Forestry Sector Policy Review Underway

By Ama Kudom-Agyemang, Public Agenda, 13 January 2012 | Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is currently reviewing one of the sector’s major policies the 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy. The review has been necessitated by a number of emerging issues including institutional and legislative reforms within the forest sector and current global initiatives such as the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU), the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and the Non-Legally Binding Instruments (NLBI) project.

[Guyana] Motilall axed from Amaila project

Stabroek News, 13 January 2012 | The government has terminated the Amaila Falls Access road contract with the Fip Motilall-run Synergy Holdings Inc, citing the contractor’s failure to meet deadlines and the Works Ministry is taking steps to complete the project. The US$15.4 million contract had been at the centre of criticism from the inception, with questions being raised about the company’s ability to construct roads and to complete large projects. Motilall’s company was awarded the contract after undergoing a tendering process, the government noted, back in 2007. Reading from a prepared statement yesterday, Transport Minister Robeson Benn, at a brief, hastily-called press conference at his Wight’s Lane, Kingston office, told the media that the decision to… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Indonesia] Preserving peatlands benefits orangutans, makes economic sense, experts say

By Leony Aurora, CIFOR Forests Blog, 13 January 2012 | Preserving peatlands carries more benefits for orangutans — the face of conservation efforts in Indonesia — than tropical forests on mineral soil and makes economic sense as their carbon values are higher than any other types of land use, experts say. The high water level in peatlands allow flowers and fruit to be available all year long for orangutans, said Laura D’Arcy, the Zoological Society of London’s Co-Country Coordinator in Indonesia. “Across Borneo, you can clearly see that where they have peatland forests, there’s a higher density of orangutans,” she said at the sidelines of a workshop on great apes held in Bogor, Indonesia, today.

[Nepal] Mainstreaming Gender in REDD: Beyond Livelihoods to Identity

By Regan Suzuki, RECOFTC, 13 January 2012 | Experience from Nepal shows women value forest resources, but taking part in public meetings on REDD provides a democratic space for engagement that enhances their sense of identity… In my work with REDD-Net in the Asia-Pacific region, I’ve come up against these questions time and again. Over time, I’ve come to believe that reflection on the real value added of highlighting gender in REDD+ and the cost effectiveness of devoting REDD+ funds to gender activities is valid and well-founded. These questions do need to be explored and considered critically as we move forward with REDD+ and other climate mitigation activities. At the COP17 in Durban earlier this month, RECOFTC and Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and NRM (WOCAN) organized an official side event “Gender and REDD+ in the Asia Pacific: Supporting Champions for Women’s Leadership/ Gender Equality”…

[Pakistan] 1% increase in forest cover

The News, 13 January 2012 | Since the adoption of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the government took measures to enhance forests cover from 5% to 6% including approval of forestry mega projects at the cost of Rs12 billion, said Muhammad Javed Malik, Federal Secretary, Ministry of National Disaster Management. He said this while inaugurating a workshop on “REDD + Safeguards” organized by the Ministry of National Disaster Management. Pakistan joined UN REDD as a partner in 2011, and is set to operational and mainstream REDD+ in its forest management practices. This is aimed to bring benefits of REDD+ to curb deforestation, enhance tree cover, realize multiple benefits, generate employment to the forest dwelling and dependent communities without compromising on environmental and social integrity.

[Papua New Guinea] New envoys appointed

By Poreni Umau, Post Courier, 13 January 2012 | Kevin Conrad’s appointment as PNG’s Special Envoy and Ambassador for Environment and Climate Change and all other decisions contained in Decision No 16/2007 of January 17, 2007 were revoked. NEC has endorsed that all diplomatic and policy responsibilities, other than technical for Environment and Climate Change, be vested in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the interim, with a view of making a permanent arrangement in the future. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has expressed satisfaction with all the appointments, saying that the high calibre of prominent nationals should be able to actively and effectively promote and advance PNG interests in the international community.

[Tanzania] Consult locals on land deals

The Citizen, 13 January 2012 | A National Strategy and Action Plan for Redd was recently initiated and is facilitated by an appointed task force in a bid to make use of the Redd credit, which offers the opportunity to utilise funding from developed countries to reduce deforestation in developing countries. We could not agree more with civil society organisations implementing the Redd pilot projects in recommending that the government consider engaging rural folk when allocating land to investors so that they can also benefit from the carbon market investments. This follows an observation that investments meant to serve as carbon sinks have of late raised concern among rural dwellers, who complain about not being adequately involved in issuing of land to investors.

14 January 2012

Stirring Jamaican entrepreneurship towards carbon trading

By Carol Lue, Jamaica Observer, 14 January 2012 | The Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) is currently championing carbon trading in the forestry sector by pursuing plans to earn carbon credits to fund future REDD and ARR activities for the Jamaica Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. As golden rules, project activities must increase carbon sequestration and/or reduce GHG emissions, and meet the following requirements: additional (beyond business-as-usual activities), measurable based on an approved methodology, and independently verified. Essentially, the amount of carbon sequestered or the reduction in GHG emissions must be additional to what would have occurred without the project. To signal that these requirements have been met to potential buyers, project activities must also be certified by a leading carbon standard, such as the Verified Carbon Standard.

UN aid to protect Sri Lankan forest cover

Sri Lanka News, 14 January 2012 | The Department of Forests under the Ministry of Environment, with the support of FAO, UNDP and UNEP, took steps towards making forests a major part of Sri Lanka’s strategy to combat climate change through the United Nations UN-REDD programme which assists developing countries to prepare and implement their national REDD+ strategies and mechanisms to improve forest governance. Deforestation and forest degradation are part of the main sources of the release of Green House Gases (GHG) into the atmosphere and climate change. The United Nations UN-REDD programme is a collaborative initiative to prepare countries to participate in the global programmes on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). UNREDD builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

15 January 2012


PHOTO Credit: Image created by wordle.net.

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