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REDD in the news: 17-23 September 2012

REDD in the news: 17-23 September 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 is updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

17 September 2012

ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd Announces Acquisition of Offsetters Clean Technology Inc. and Carbon Credit Corporation

ERA press release, 17 September 2012 | ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd. (“ERA” or the “Company”) (TSX­-V: ESR) is pleased to announce that it has entered into two non-binding letters of intent dated September 6, 2012 to acquire (the “Acquisition”) shares in Offsetters Clean Technology Inc. (“Offsetters”) and Carbon Credit Corporation (“CCC”) of Vancouver BC, Canada. The Company is also pleased to announce that it is conducting a private placement financing of Cdn $220,000 and that it is the intention of the Board of Directors to appoint Dr. James Tansey as the Company’s CEO subject to the completion of the Acquisition and the Financing. Duncan Manson has resigned as the Company’s CEO.

[Indonesia] Deforestation is slowing down

Jakarta Post, 17 September 2012 | The Forestry Ministry claimed that its effort to stop deforestation has been sucessful. Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said that the rate of deforestation in the country has been reduced to 300,000 hectares per year from 3 million hectares per annum 10 years ago. “We have gone past the critical stage and we are now entering a recovery process,” Zulkifli said as quoted by kompas.com. In an effort to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, a presidential decree in May 2011 ordered a two-year suspension on new concession permits on primary forests and peatland.

Climate Change Aid Pledges Go Unfulfilled in Indonesia

By Fidelis E. Satriastanti, ID/Alina Musta’idah & Arientha Primanita, Jakarta Globe, 17 September 2012 | Boen Purnama, the forestry minister’s adviser on forestry strategy and policy, insists that Indonesia is carrying out “real actions” on mitigating climate change through its forestry sector, but that the international community has yet to take notice. “Every country has a responsibility toward addressing climate change,” he says, arguing that developed countries must accept a larger share of the burden because of their higher per capita emissions. He also says funding commitments by developed countries to developing nations under a Payments for Ecosystem Services mechanism have not been fully realized. “Funding for developing countries under the PES mechanism is still very minimal,” Boen says. But Dieter Brulez, coordinator of climate change priority areas at the Indonesian office of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), says the commitments still hold.

Pakistani NGO elected as UN observer

Pakistan Observer, 17 September 2012 | Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), country’s leading policy think tank has been selected as the CSO representative for Asia-Pacific Region by UN-REDD Programme Policy Board, according to a press release issued here on Sunday. SDPI was elected through a voting process where 19 organizations from 12 countries including Pakistan contested for the position of Civil Society Organisation (CSO) Observer for UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal, the SDPI representative would represent Asia-Pacific region as Observer for the next two-year term during which he would solicit issues and concerns at UN-REDD Policy Boards on behalf of civil society organizations and their constituencies, including women’s organizations.

18 September 2012

10.5 billion tonnes of carbon stored in World Heritage forest sites

UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 18 September 2012 | A study commissioned by the World Heritage Centre reviews the total carbon stored in trees, leaves forest litter and soil for all 106 World Heritage forest sites. Carried out by Mr. Devendra Pandey, the former Director General of the Indian Forest Survey, the study is the first to look specifically at World Heritage forests sites, combining information from different sources, to obtain the best estimate to date of the carbon stored in these globally recognized conservation areas. The study relied on a number of sources, including the FAO’s 2010 Forest Resource Assessment, a global compendium of country generated data on forest indicators. It also benefited from a worldwide professional network of senior forest survey professionals who provided more precise or more updated information in many cases.

Turbulent fortnight raises question marks over effectiveness of future Kyoto deal

By John Parnell, Responding to Climate Change, 18 September 2012 | After a turbulent two weeks for the Kyoto Protocol and carbon trading schemes in general, the future of the UN’s flagship policy remains in the balance. Plans for a second period (KP2) of legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are advanced but serious questions surrounding its likely effectiveness and environmental integrity have now emerged. There is a realistic hope that Australia, New Zealand and Ukraine will make binding pledges along with the European Union, although Russia denied it would take part last Friday, branding the system “useless”. The Protocol remains toxic for the US and Japan’s switch away from nuclear power to fossil fuels makes it more unlikely to sign up than ever. Major emerging economies like India and China are exempt.

Glut of Offsets Threatens Global Carbon Market

Environmental Leader, 18 September 2012 | The Kyoto Protocol’s emissions offset market is oversupplied by 13 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, more than 1,000 times greater than the anticipated demand of 11.5 million mt, according to analysis by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. The surplus in the first Kyoto commitment period (2008-2012) could compound in the second phase, which kicks off next year, leading to a glut as large as 16.2 gigatons and threatening the global carbon market over the long term. If Australia and New Zealand do not join the second commitment period, the surplus could be as high 17.2 Gt CO2, which includes the carryover from the first commitment period, Point Carbon said. Demand will remain weak—and sustain the glut—as long as governments continue to set emissions caps higher than the expected business-as-usual emissions for the period, Point Carbon said.

Gold Standard Acquires CarbonFix In Bid To Reshape Forest Carbon Landscape

By Molly Peters-Stanley, Ecosystem Marketplace, 18 September 2012 | Ever since their inception, the Gold Standard for carbon offsets has focused on projects that deliver energy-efficient technology while the CarbonFix standard has focused on projects that plant trees. Today, however, the Gold Standard made a bold move beyond its traditional role as an energy-only carbon offset standard – announcing that it has acquired CarbonFix to integrate into a (literally) greener Gold Standard version 3.0. This represents the first effort of its kind to begin consolidating demand and expertise under one brand – in a market that otherwise continues to proliferate new standards for project certification. Carbon offsets certified to the Gold Standard, which are eligible for use by compliance as well as voluntary buyers, are well recognized by consumers for their contributions to sustainable development.

Financial Futures and Environmental Markets Pioneer Dr. Richard Sandor to Receive 2012 WFE Award for Excellence

MarketWatch, 18 September 2012 | The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) announced today that the recipient of the WFE Award for Excellence this year will be Dr. Richard Sandor, chairman and CEO of Environmental Financial Products LLC (EFP). Dr. Sandor was selected for this Award in recognition of his work at the epicenter of environmental and financial markets for more than four decades. The WFE Award for Excellence is presented annually in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the advancement of regulated exchange markets. The Award salutes innovation and improvement in the exchange industry’s operations, which leads to greater understanding and better usage of the world’s capital markets. While serving as vice president and chief economist of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in the early 1970’s, Dr. Sandor was instrumental in the creation of interest rate futures.

Nestlé tops list of global companies cutting carbon emissions

By Nestlé, Food World News, 18 September 2012 | Nestlé has topped a list of global companies in efforts to disclose and cut carbon emissions. The Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent non-profit organisation, released its annual ranking based on data requested from the ‘Global 500’ companies. It measured companies on a range of factors including how they incorporated climate change into their business plans, how they monitored emissions, their transparency, and actions they were taking to mitigate their impact. “Climate change mitigation remains a key priority for us,” said José Lopez, Nestlé Executive Vice President and Head of Operations. “Since 2001 we have halved the greenhouse gas emissions from our factories per tonne of product. “We are committed to reducing emissions from our operations even further by continuing to improve energy efficiency, to switch to cleaner fuels and to invest in renewable sources,” he added.

[Indonesia] RI refuses to comply with UN on human rights

By Margareth S. Aritonang, Jakarta Post, 18 September 2012 | In addition to rejecting recommendations on religious rights, the government also states in its report for the UNHRC that it is unable to allow foreign journalists free access to Papua and West Papua, as proposed by the French delegation during the May meeting. The Indonesian government also refuses to allow the entry of the United Nations special rapporteurs on indigenous people and minority groups into the country. The Foreign Ministry said the government had abided by the Constitution when drafting its response to the recommendations.

[UK] CF Partners Starts Voluntary Carbon Unit, Competing on Price

Bloomberg, 18 September 2012 | CF Partners (U.K.) LLP, the London investment manager, is expanding beyond mandatory carbon trading to offer voluntary emission reduction products and services to boost sales. The London-based group started Arctix Sustainable Solutions because companies including Microsoft Corp. and Marks & Spencer Group Plc are seeking to show their customers they are helping to protect the climate, said Tobias Troye, head of carbon solutions at the new unit. “There will be an element of price competitiveness” because some buyers may be paying too much, Troye said yesterday by phone. “Buyers of voluntary offsets are not always interested in the lowest price, they are also interested in the marketing benefits the credits can bring their organization, or the project’s contribution to social development, for instance,” he said.

19 September 2012

[Guyana] Amaila Falls Hydro-Electric Project…US$840M price tag assured – Sithe Global

Kaieteur News, 19 September 2012 | Financial closure for the massive US$840M Amaila Falls hydro electric project is expected within nine months with construction set to start shortly after, the developers disclosed yesterday. The Amaila Falls Hydro Inc. (AFH), the local operating company formed to manage the 165-megawatt project to be situated in Region Eight, also indicated that the access roads leading to the site will have to be completed before construction begins. The roads were faced with major delays after the first contractor, Synergy Holdings Inc., failed to meet deadlines and the contracts were severed in January by government and awarded in parts to several other construction firms. “AFH expects financial closure in the second quarter of 2013, with construction beginning immediately thereafter (the Access Road Project is to be completed prior to commencing construction of the Project).” The company said that it will deliver hydro energy in three and half years or 42 months.

[Guyana] Amaila project now set for due diligence

Stabroek News, 19 September 2012 | The stage is set for the next phase of lender due diligence and documentation needed to reach project financial closure and begin construction of the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric facility, scheduled for the second quarter of 2013, now that the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) has been signed. According to a press release from Sithe Global Inc and the Amaila Falls Hydro Inc, the due diligence and documentation phase is expected to conclude in nine months, which is within the window of price certainty pursuant to the EPC Contract. “AFH expects financial closure in the second quarter of 2013, with construction beginning immediately thereafter,” it said. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Tanzania] Dar es Salaam implements carbon emission reduction scheme

By Abdulwakil Saiboko, DailyNews, 19 September 2012 | With generous support from the Government of Norway, Tanzania has been engaging in piloting readiness activities of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in different parts of the country. The five years project which started in 2009 is implemented in partnership with the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG) and the Community Forest Conservation Network of Tanzania (MJUMITA). The project covers the Eastern Arc (Kilosa and Mpwapwa Districts) in an area covering 19 villages with 140,000 hectares of forest and Coastal Forests (Lindi District) covering 17 villages with 75,000 hectares of forest.

Prime Minister approved the “Readiness preparation for the implementation of REDD+ in Viet Nam” funded by the World Bank

REDD – VietNam, 19 September 2012 | At the request of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and comments from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the State Bank of Viet Nam, the Prime Minister has approved the “Readiness Preparation for the implementation of REDD+ in Viet Nam” funded by the World Bank according to the document No. 1371/TTg-QHQT dated September 12th 2012. Based on that document, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will complete the DPO, appraisal and approval of the projects, ensuring the project implementation schedule, efficiency and regulation. The State Bank of Viet Nam has signed the Technical assistance project Agreement with the World Bank.

20 September 2012

Is progress on climate change an illusion?

By David Hodgkinson, AlertNet, 20 September 2012 | The world is not organised to deal with the climate change problem. Climate change is a global problem, but there is, of course, no global government with the interests of the earth as a whole at heart. Rather, there are sovereign states, the interests and concerns of which are very different. This difference is recognised in one way by both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. The UNFCCC states that “developed” and “developing” states have “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” in dealing with climate change. Under the UNFCCC, it’s clear that developed countries “should take the lead in combating climate change” and its effects. These are very successful treaties – at least in terms of signatories. There are 194 state parties to the UNFCCC. And there are no legally binding limits on emissions for those parties to it…

Brazil REDD project pipeline tops 300 mln tonnes

Point Carbon, 20 September 2012 | Brazil’s current pipeline of projects to reduce emissions from deforestation (REDD) could yield as many as 310 million carbon credits, but some carbon market participants have said they are concerned the potential supply could far outweigh demand. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Cambodia] Murders in the forest

By Olesia Plokhill, Reuters, 20 September 2012 | “Cambodia’s donors must use their influence to force the government to change, rather than propping up a corrupt and violent regime,” Global Witness founding director Patrick Alley emailed me after learning of Odom’s slaying. “How many more deaths will it take?” Sam Lawson of Chatham House says forests around the world will be “worse than they are now” in the next decade. The impact will be seen in climate change, displacement and a world bereft of trees. “The illegal logs still being cut each year, laid end to end, would stretch ten times around the Earth,” noted a Chatham House report authored by Lawson. Nigeria, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are also badly gutted, according to global experts.

Locals need land titles before development funds can ease rural poverty in Vietnam

By Maya Thatcher, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 20 September 2012 | A United Nations scheme aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions through forest protection could help ease rural poverty in Vietnam, but only if there are significant changes to the country’s land tenure system, a new publication says. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) aims to reduce carbon emissions from the destruction and degradation of forests – responsible for around 20% of greenhouse gasses globally – by effectively getting rich nations to pay developing countries to make sure trees are left standing. Currently, state companies and management boards control more than half of Vietnam’s natural forests with locals contracted out to protect them, said Pham Thu Thuy, a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research and co-author of Evidence-based Conservation: Lessons from Lower Mekong.

21 September 2012

Brazil, South Africa, India and China discuss climate change

Associated Press, 21 September 2012 | Representatives of Brazil, South Africa, India and China are meeting to define a common position ahead of November’s United Nations’ climate change conference in Doha. Brazilian negotiator Luiz Alberto Figueiredo says one of the main topics being discussed in the meeting that ends on Friday is the future of the 1997 emission- limiting Kyoto Protocol that requires industrialized countries to slash emissions. He told reporters that the BASIC bloc wants to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire at the end of this year, to 2020.The four countries form the bloc known as BASIC that acts jointly in international climate change meetings.

E-Module on REDD+ for Communities

Natural Justice, 21 September 2012 | Natural Justice has prepared a draft e-module on REDD+ for communities. The module seeks to prepare communities, especially communities developing biocultural community protocols, to engage proactively with the international framework of REDD+. It briefly describes the rationale behind and plans for REDD+. It then looks at the key issues that have emerged around REDD+, focusing especially on the concerns with its current status and the safeguards that are being developed to attempt to protect community rights. It closes by looking at the current forms in which REDD+ is being implemented.

22 September 2012

23 September 2012


PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.

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