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REDD in the news: 1-7 October 2012

REDD in the news: 1-7 October 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.

US Forest Climate Assistance: An Assessment

By Wolosin Michael, Climate Advisers, September 2012 | Almost three years ago, the United States launched a major effort to help tropical forest nations dramatically reduce deforestation, one of the primary sources of climate pollution. This report assesses the progress made implementing this program and offers concrete recommendations for reform. By and large, the United States has done a good job getting the new REDD+ program (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) off the ground. The US government has significantly ramped up funding and will come close to meeting its international commitments in this area. It is helping to create the institutions, standards, knowledge, and new practices necessary for large-scale deforestation reductions. It is also making important contributions to several forested developing countries as they build national-level forest policies and capacity for better forest and land management.

1 October 2012

Carbon Trading Grows as Preferred Policy Tool, IETA Says

By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 1 October 2012 | The expansion of carbon-trading mechanisms demonstrates that emission markets are the “policy instrument of choice” for cutting greenhouse gases, according to the International Emissions Trading Association. New carbon markets are developing in several regions, including Australia, California, Chile, South Korea and China, IETA said in an annual report published today. “These schemes all have their own timelines but are emerging as evidence that market-based trading systems are on the rise in both the developed and developing world,” IETA President Dirk Forrister said in the report. The growth of new trading mechanisms requires policy coordination and linkage where possible to “guard against a disjointed and complex global carbon market,” Forrister said.

Can REDD+ Save the Forest? The Role of Payments and Tenure

By Edward B. Barbier and Anteneh T. Tesfaw, Forests, 1 October 2012 | A recent policy response to halting global forest deforestation and degradation, and any resulting greenhouse gas emissions is REDD+, which also includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Although still in its infancy, the success of REDD+ will depend significantly on whether it can be economically viable and if any resulting payments are sufficient to cover the opportunity cost plus any transaction cost. Where tenure security over forest is weak, REDD+ can pose a risk for forest communities, who could be dispossessed, excluded and marginalized. This review of existing studies explores how payment for avoided deforestation, and forest tenure impact the success of REDD+ projects in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and equity.

How the mafia is destroying the rainforests

By Sara Reardon and Rowan Hooper, New Scientist, 1 October 2012 | It’s not as glamorous as cocaine or diamonds, but the illegal logging industry has become very attractive to criminal organisations over the past decade. A new report finds that up to 90 per cent of tropical deforestation can be attributed to organised crime, which controls up to 30 per cent of the global timber trade. For years, environmental regulators thought that illegal logging was decreasing worldwide. But they were just looking in the wrong places, says Christian Nelleman, author of the 27 September report from the United Nations Environment Programme. Import and export records don’t tell the whole truth, he says. When the report’s authors factored in the impact of sophisticated concealment techniques of the kind used by drug cartels, they discovered that rates of illegal logging have actually been rising. The criminals have become simply better at hiding their tracks.

Illegal logging worth $30-100B annually, 1 October 2012 | Illegal logging accounts for 15-30 percent of forestry in the tropics and is worth $30-100 billion worldwide, alleges a new report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL. Consuming countries play a major role in the trade, which is increasingly sophisticated and in some places is facilitated by the expansion of industrial plantations. “Illegal logging is not on the decline, rather it is becoming more advanced as cartels become better organized including shifting their illegal activities in order to avoid national or local police efforts,” wrote Achim Steiner and Ronald Noble — the heads of UNEP and INTERPOL — in the report’s preface. They go on to add that illegal logging is jeopardizing REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation), a program aimed to reduce rural poverty and recognize the value of services afforded by healthy forests.

Ecosystem Marketplace Forest Carbon News Brief

Ecosystem Marketplace, 1 October 2012 | With the fast-approaching launch of California’s cap-and-trade program, opinions surface on everything from the supply of offsets to the type of offsets available. The Forest Carbon Portal’s California update discusses different viewpoints expressed by project developers and the American Carbon Registry on the program’s offset supply and participation. Greenpeace also published a report in which it expresses opposition to REDD offsets in the carbon crediting scheme, to which California REDD Offsets Working Group member Daniel Nepstad provided a response. In the midst of these talks, the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) met last week to discuss progress in its member states’ REDD+ initiatives. Mergers and partnerships were also seen this week, as the Gold Standard announced it acquisition of the CarbonFix Standard and MOU with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)…

Rich nations owe more to combating global climate change: Brazil

By Brian Winter, Reuters, 1 October 2012 | Major emerging economies’ obligations to cut emissions under a climate change agreement should not be the same as those of rich countries, Brazil’s chief negotiator said, signaling a retreat to an old position that has hamstrung years of U.N. negotiations. Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado told Reuters during last week’s U.N. General Assembly that Brazil is committed to working toward a global pact to cut emissions in both developed and developing nations as agreed at last year’s climate talks in Durban, South Africa. But Figueiredo said that agreement should adhere to the U.N.’s principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” a line between developing and developed countries drawn in 1992 that enabled countries such as Brazil, China and India to escape mandatory carbon cuts, which the Durban summit had supposedly eliminated.

Indonesia denies it has any indigenous peoples

Survival International, 1 October 2012 | The government of Indonesia has responded to UN recommendations to recognize the rights of its indigenous peoples by claiming that none live in Indonesia. In fact, Indonesia is home to an estimated 50-70 million indigenous and tribal people. In a response to the United Nations Periodic Review, a four–year human rights check-up for all countries, Indonesia said this month, ‘The Government of Indonesia supports the promotion and protection of indigenous people worldwide… Indonesia, however, does not recognize the application of the indigenous peoples concept… in the country’. The UN’s report recommended that Indonesia should consider ratifying ILO Convention 169, the only international law for indigenous and tribal peoples. It also recommended that Indonesia should secure the rights of indigenous peoples, especially to their traditional lands, territories and resources.

Pacific Island ministers endorse regional REDD+ policy framework

Islands Business, 1 October 2012 | The 3rd Regional Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community on 28 September 2012 in Nadi, Fiji, endorsed the Pacific Islands Regional Policy Framework for REDD+. The framework was developed at the request of the regional Heads of Forestry meeting in 2009, to support Pacific Island countries (PICs) to address and participate in international regimes on greenhouse gas emission reduction in the forest and trees sector, commonly called: REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation PLUS forest conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks).

Can REDD+ protect the trees that nourish nut harvesters in Peru’s Amazon rainforest?

By Gabriela Ramirez Galindo, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 1 October 2012 | Families in Peru have for decades carved out a living harvesting the nutrient dense, half-moon shaped Brazil nuts from 40-foot-high emergent trees in the Amazon. But with rainforests rapidly disappearing and Brazil nut-rich forests under threat, these communities are now looking towards a UN-backed forest preserving program as their last potential hope. REDD or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, sees forest-rich countries compensated for conserving carbon stored in trees while promoting alternative livelihoods and poverty alleviation. The nature of Brazil nut harvesting makes it a perfect candidate for a REDD project given that survival of the Brazil nut tree is dependent upon a relatively pristine forest capable of maintaining the large bodied bee species which pollinate the trees – Brazil nut trees do not fare well in disturbed forests or in plantations…

2 October 2012

UN climate chief pins hopes on Doha

Gulf Times, 2 October 2012 | Christiana Figueres, who heads UN efforts to prevent global warming, said yesterday that she expected good progress in the next round of climate talks in Doha, starting in late November. But efforts still fell short of what is needed to keep global temperatures from rising no more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, she told reporters in Washington. At the November 26-December 7 Doha meetings, climate negotiators are to decide how long the expiring Kyoto Protocol, which ends in December, is to be extended. The extension period could be five to eight years. That extension is to serve as a bridge until a broader legally binding agreement is in place in 2015 with the full support of all countries, including foot-draggers like the US and China. That broader agreement is intended to be fully implemented by 2020.

Australia in talks to link carbon market with California

BusinessGreen, 2 October 2012 | Mark Dreyfuss, the country’s Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister, has used a visit to the US to set up an “ongoing working relationship” with the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, news agency Bloomberg reported yesterday. Dreyfuss also met Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), last week to discuss the Asian nation’s seven pilot carbon trading schemes in the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen Tianjin, and the provinces of Guangdong and Hubei. China is expected to bring in a nation-wide scheme in 2015 and traders are hoping the giant Chinese carbon market could integrate with existing or planned schemes in the EU, Australia, and the US.

Challenges Mount for REDD+ as Scheme Prepares for Implementation

By Fawziah Selamat, RTCC, 2 October 2012 | “REDD+ as an idea is a success story,” says Arild Angelsen, an environmental economist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Angelsen is the lead author of Analysing REDD+:Challenges and Choices, compiling three years of research on REDD+ conducted by CIFOR scientists. “It was something genuinely new, and the new key element was that it was based on payments for performance or results. And it was also accompanied by big money. “We compare it to sustainable development – a nice catchphrase and promising to do a lot. Both ideas have been inspirational for policy-makers and practitioners, but the results so far are not what many hoped for.” The initial idea was simple: REDD+ would financially reward developing nations for protecting, restoring and sustainably managing forests.

No carbon pay for Indian farmers?

Bretton Woods Project, 2 October 2012 | The World Bank’s compliance body, the Inspection Panel (IP), has received a request for inspection from farmers who reforested land in India as part of a Bank carbon sequestration project, under the BioCarbon Fund (see Update 79). The farmers claim the Bank failed to “respect the timeframes for the validation and verification of the emission reductions, which generate the carbon revenue”. According to the request, by the time revenue was released, some farmers had harvested and sold their trees, as set out in the project design document, but the Bank was only willing to pay those whose plantations were still standing. The IP is expected to submit a report to the Bank board on the request’s eligibility by mid October.

[Indonesia] Alert: End intimidation & forest destruction in Muara Tae

EIA International, 2 October 2012 | The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling for supporters world-wide to demand an end to the intimidation of an indigenous community in East Kalimantan and the destruction of its customary forests by plantation firms. Two companies are clearing forests and farmland belonging to the Dayak Benuaq of Muara Tae, in Indonesian Borneo, while the community is being intimidated by armed police. Bulldozers are now just metres away from a camp set up by the community to protect what remains of their forests. Faith Doherty, EIA Forests Campaign Leader, said: “This is fundamentally a human rights abuse that has to stop now. Our friends in Muara Tae are being brutally oppressed, with state backing and in legally questionable circumstances. “We must send a message to these companies that people across the world know what’s happening and that it will not be tolerated. The Dayak Benuaq can’t be left to face this form of oppression alone.”

[Indonesia] Govt denies 1965 rights abuses happened

Jakarta Post, 2 October 2012 | The government has rejected the findings of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) declaring the 1965 communist purge a gross human rights violation and has refused to apologize for the victims of the atrocity. Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto rejected the Komnas HAM conclusion and insisted that the mass killings, which were state-sponsored according to the rights body, were justified to save the country from communists. “Define gross human rights violation! Against whom? What if it had happened the other way around?” Djoko said on the sidelines of a meeting with the House of Representatives’ budget committee on Monday. Djoko indicated that the mass killings during the communist purge were justified as they were aimed at protecting the country.

[Indonesia] Governing Interests in REDD Policies

By Rini Astuti, Jakarta Post, 2 October 2012 | In an interview with, the head of REDD+ Taskforce, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, described how REDD+ creates new ways of seeing things. Therefore, as a new paradigm, REDD+ has to struggle to be accepted and mainstreamed among forest stakeholders in Indonesia… French philosopher Michel Foucault argued that power no longer lies in the hands of the sovereign, but instead can be exercised and found at all levels of society. This rings true in the context of REDD+, where non-state actors such as private companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) hold the power to re-shape the REDD+ paradigm through lobbying, advocacy, and influencing public opinion… Following Foucault’s concept of governmentality, as he called it, the government could work indirectly on stakeholders’ beliefs and their sense of responsibility, so that the stakeholders ultimately comply with regulations on their own accord.

The Model Forests and REDD+ in Latin America

By Luis Trevejo, REDD-Net, 2 October 2012 | The Model Forests are large-scale partnerships that serve as platforms for cooperation among diverse actors with the aim of promoting effective participation in sustainable management of an area’s natural resources. Latin America has 19 Model Forests across 11 countries, with over than 25.5 million hectares and 3.5 million people involved. With broad objectives that encompass poverty reduction and combating desertification, Model Forests have emerged as a major regional platform to face up to the challenges of climate change and its consequences, including delivering global REDD+ objectives.

[New Zealand] Forestry planting falls to near zero

Business Day, 2 October 2012 | The low price of carbon credits is a factor but probably not the root cause of new forestry plantations dropping off to near zero over the past few years, according to a leading economist. The comments from Infometrics consultant Adolf Stroombergen follow an open letter by a group of forestry executives to the Prime Minister calling on the Government to block the sale of international carbon credits in New Zealand. The letter claimed the introduction of the cheap overseas credits has lowered the returns in the forestry sector to the extent that there was no incentive for farmers to plant new forests. However Stroombergen said that would apply only to marginal planting in those areas that were not suitable for harvesting such as steep slopes, which farmers are unlikely to plant now that carbon costs are so slow. As it stands carbon credits were trading at around $5 per tonne of emission, down from $22 per tonne a year ago…

3 October 2012

[Australia] The truth behind global corporate Greenwash

ABC Radio, 3 October 2012 | Green is the new corporate black, with almost every major global brand in recent years rolling out advertising campaigns claiming they’re going earth friendly or cutting carbon emissions. While politicians are failing the leadership test on climate change, the corporate world has been keen to occupy the space to grab brand advantage. But what’s the truth behind this advertised green revolution?

[Australia] Logged old-growth forests release two times more CO2 than plantations

Science Network, 3 October 2012 | A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology has examined the carbon footprint associated with the logging of Tasmanian forests. The study, titled “Are there any circumstances in which logging primary wet-eucalypt forest will not add to the global carbon burden?” compares emissions from the logging of young and old-growth forests by different logging methods, such as clearfell and non-clearfell. It found that the logging of wet-eucalypt Tasmanian forests by clearfell generated long-term emissions (LTE) of 2 Tg (teragrams) 10 x 12 each year between 1999 and 2009. And while logging of young and old-growth forests generates the same long-term emissions, the short-term emissions are two times higher for old-growth forests. Clearfell is a logging method whereby a site is fully cleared of trees and any remaining stumps removed in a high-intensity burn.

Costa Rica’s youth eye a carbon neutral future

By Tierney Smith, RTCC, 3 October 2012 | Costa Rica is one of the world’s smaller countries, but in the world of climate change it stands tall. Former President Jose Maria Figueres is chairman of the Carbon War Room, while his sister Christiana Figueres is Executive Secretary of the UN climate convention, leading negotiations towards a legally binding emissions treaty. Most impressively of all, Costa Rica aims to be the world’s first carbon neutral country. It already meets over 95% of its primary energy needs from renewable sources, mainly hydro power, and has set a target to be fully carbon neutral by 2021. The country is also under threat from the consequences of climate change. According to the UN Development Programme, the Caribbean side of the country could see 35-75% more rainfall in some months, while northern Pacific and central regions could see 15% less.

Russia accuses al-Qaida of ‘forest jihad’ in Europe

By Miriam Elder, The Guardian, 3 October 2012 | Russia’s top security official has alleged that al-Qaida was waging “forest jihad” in Europe by sparking the wildfires that have ravaged the continent in recent summers. “Forest fires in EU countries should be considered one of the new trends in al-Qaida’s ‘thousand cuts’ strategy,” Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service, told a security conference in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported. “This approach allows them to inflict significant damage on the economy and morale without any serious preparation, technical equipment or financial losses,” he said. He cited talk of “forest jihad” on various extremist websites and forums as evidence of the strategy.

4 October 2012

Call for UN climate agency to back Robin Hood Tax

By John Parnell, RTCC, 4 October 2012 | The UN climate secretariat must show its support for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) if proposals for it to contribute to international climate action are to be fulfilled. According to the Sustainable Energy & Economy Network/Institute for Policy Studies (SEEN/IPS) in Washington DC, the UNFCCC must send a signal to governments that the FTT has a legitimate role to play in raising funds to help developing countries cut their emissions and adapt to their new climate reality. While the FTT may well fall beyond the reach of the UNFCCC’s remit, SEEN/IPS Co-director Janet Redman believes there is a role for it to play at the next meeting in Qatar this November.

Groundbreaking Jurisdictional REDD+ Requirements Released

Verified Carbon Standard, 4 October 2012 | Today, VCS released the first framework for jurisdiction-wide activities that Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (REDD+). The Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) requirements provide a comprehensive framework for accounting and crediting emission reductions and removals from state, provincial and national REDD+ policies and programs as well as individual REDD+ projects.

Second generation of biofuels could give forests a break

By Andrea Booth, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 4 October 2012 | Biofuels have been criticised for propelling deforestation, but a second generation of this energy source may have the potential to supply a larger proportion of our fuel sustainably, experts say. The European Union seems to agree. In trying to encourage the use of second-generation biofuels to meet renewable energy targets, it doubled the value assigned to them as compared to first generation. Growing concerns about climate change and fluctuating oil prices have reignited interest in wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of ‘clean’ energy in recent years, especially among industrialised nations. First-generation biofuels — those derived from starches, sugar, soy, animal fats, palm and vegetable oil – have won wide popular support. But because some of these crops require a tremendous amount of land, scientists worry that forested areas will be cut down or burned to make way for agricultural expansion.

Agricultural expansion: an “either or more” factor in deforestation

By Melati Kaye, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 4 October 2012 | Pastureland has been identified as the leading driver of deforestation in many parts of Latin America. But when considering alternative land uses – like the growing of soya beans and oil palm – it’s not necessarily an “either-or” question, says Pablo Pacheco, a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research. Much of the land used for agricultural expansion occurs on pastures formerly used for ranching, he said. Those who have been “displaced” often tend to cut down forests in search of new land to till or graze. So, in terms of sustainable development, Pacheco notes, it’s rarely a question of “do we want more grazing pastures or land for agriculture.” Rather, he says, the discussion ends up being “either [pasture] or more [pasture carved out of the forest by ranchers that have been displaced by agricultural expansion].”

World Bank chief Kim signals changes to come

By Lesley Wroughton, Reuters, 4 October 2012 | The head of the World Bank said on Thursday he is preparing broad reforms at the development lender to make it more effective in ending global poverty and will discuss the changes with member countries at meetings in Tokyo next week. The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank from Oct. 11-14 in Japan will be the first opportunity for Jim Yong Kim to put his mark on the institution since becoming president in July. “We’re not ready to ask for specific changes yet … but if we are going to be really serious about ending poverty earlier than currently projected … there are going to have to be some changes in the way we run the institution,” Kim told reporters. He said he wants the poverty-fighting institution to be less focused on pushing development loans out of the door and more on making a difference on the ground.

[Brazil] Blockade by Earth’s most threatened tribe paralyzes railway

Survival International, 4 October 2012 | A protest involving Earth’s most threatened tribe, the Awá, has forced the world’s largest iron ore mine to suspend operations along its main railway line. On Tuesday, hundreds of Indians including the Awá, took to the tracks of Vale’s Carajás railway to voice their opposition to Brazilian government plans that could weaken their land rights, if legalized. The demonstration follows months of anger surrounding a draft text called Directive 303, which prohibits the expansion of indigenous territories. The government has refused to scrap the proposed directive, despite it violating national and international laws by suggesting certain projects can be carried out on Indian land without proper consultation. Frustrations spilled over on Tuesday, with several different tribes uniting to demand that their land rights are respected.

[Tanzania] Carbon funds plan in the pipeline

By Ludger Kasumuni, The Citizen, 4 October 2012 | The National Strategy on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Land Degradation (REDD) will soon be set up to enable people to access REDD funds more easily. Environment director in the Vice President’s Office, Dr Julius Ningu, told BusinessWeek that the final draft of the National REDD Strategy was already developed ready for stakeholders to give their inputs. “The process of technical drafting is over and soon it will be presented to stakeholders for discussions,” said Dr Ningu. The final document is expected before the end of this year. Highlighted in the draft strategy is a National REDD Fund, which at the beginning would be centralised under the ministry responsible for environment. The national REDD fund would incorporate local and foreign sources of financing contrary to the current situation whereby the country relies on donor funds, with the Norwegian government taking a leading role.

Developing a national REDD+ Strategy for Vietnam

By Dang Cong San, TalkVietnam, 4 October 2012 | The UN-REDD Vietnam Program is assisting the Government of Vietnam in the Readiness Phase of REDD+. One of the key activities is the development of a National REDD+ Strategy. A team of national and international consultants has prepared a draft strategy for the National REDD+ Strategy as a basis for further discussion with government and civil society stakeholders. The drafting process began with a review of international experiences developing similar climate-related strategies, an assessment of how international best practice and UNFCCC guidance aligns with existing national policies.

5 October 2012

Emission reduction policies must be based on accurate carbon measurements

By Andrea Booth, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 5 October 2012 | Forest-rich countries must ensure that policies for emissions reduction programs, such as REDD+, are based on accurate measurements of carbon stored and released from trees, otherwise they could greatly overestimate their contribution in reducing the planet’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Louis Verchot, lead climate change scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research says without these basic metrics it is impossible to gauge the impact forestry policies have on global GHG levels. “One of the biggest technical challenges to implementing REDD+ is determining what your impact is,” he said. “How much area has been deforested? What is the carbon content of the area that has been deforested? And how much of that carbon content has been transferred from the ecosystem to the atmosphere.”

Nitrous oxide and methane: the forgotten gases in the forests and climate change debate

By Catriona Moss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 5 October 2012 | Policy makers seeking to reduce greenhouse gases from deforestation cannot ignore the levels of nitrous oxide and methane released into the atmosphere as part of land conversion for palm oil, soya bean and other crops, scientists say. While these forgotten gases account for only a small fraction of total greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, nitrous oxide is up to 300 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere when compared to carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period. Methane is 25 times more effective, says Kristell Hergoualc’h, a scientist with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). As such, they need to start being a bigger part of the climate change debate.

How can we break the REDD+ stalemate?

By Daniel Murdiyarso, Sven Wunder and Lou Verchot (CIFOR), RTCC, 5 October 2012 | As negotiators prepare for the UN climate change conference (COP18) inDoha in December, protecting forests because of their critical role in mitigating climate change and in meeting sustainable development goals must remain a priority. The internationally-backed climate mitigation scheme that pays developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, or REDD+, is moving forward — but slowly. Finding funds to support such a scheme in the long term is proving to be a huge undertaking. While many options exist, investors seem unlikely to commit the cash needed until they see that REDD+ really works. REDD+ is a performance-based mechanism and developing countries will receive financial support contingent on achieving emissions reductions.

100 DRC Legislators Attend GLOBE Forest Legislation Workshop

Globe International, 5 October 2012 | Following the launch of GLOBE DRC, the GLOBE International Secretariat and the CN-REDD organised a full day Forest Legislation Workshop on REDD+ on 19th September. One hundred and fifty participants attended the event and the audience was primarily formed by legislators. Hon. Timothée Kombo Nkisi, 2nd Vice-President of the National Assembly officially opened the event by delivering a speech from the President of the National Assembly, Hon. Aubin Minaku. Hon. Kombo Nkisi expressed the National Assembly’s support of both GLOBE DRC and identified efforts to build legislative capacity on REDD+ as being strategic to the country’s development.

[Fiji] Saving our forests

By Felix Chaudhary, Fiji Times Online, 5 October 2012 | Rural communities in the Western Division are working with a regional organisation to sustainably maintain their native and plantation forests under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. It is hoped that the work facilitated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and government will thwart attempts by unscrupulous loggers to destroy forests and secure funding for the communities involved in the near future. SPC’s Land Use planning and facilitation specialist Christine Fung said by involving landowners in surveys and creating awareness programs, villagers were becoming more aware of the benefits of keeping their forests. “We have trained land owners in Navosa — our pilot project and they have come on board with this but the threat from loggers continues,” she said.

How much would REDD+ boost Philippines forest budget?

By Elizabeth Kahurani, ASB, 5 October 2012 | REDD+ could provide a huge financial boost to forest conservation plans in developing countries like the Philippines. A new study titled, Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus (REDD+) in the Philippines: will it make a difference in financing forest development? shows that if the country was to reduce the rate of forest degradation by 5 to 15% and at the same time increase reforestation rate by 1.5% annually, Philippines could approximately sequester up to 60million tonnes of carbon by 2030. Going by the current rate of US$ 5 per ton carbon, this would translate to US$ 97 to 417 million carbon credits per year which would make a huge difference to the country’s forest budget that stood at US$ 46million in 2005 only to fall to US$ 12million in 2006.

[Vietnam] Forest scheme needs more time

VietNam News, 5 October 2012 | Viet Nam may need more time to prepare for the implementation of the emission reducing REDD+ initiative as many stakeholders are still getting to grips with the concept and its importance. There is also a lot of work still needed to ensure co-ordination across sectors and improve the relevant legal frameworks. Yet this is something ‘expected’ given that REDD+ is still new world-wide and Viet Nam is among the pioneering countries who have pledged to implement this new approach, experts agreed at a workshop to share experiences of an UN project on REDD+ in Ha Noi yesterday.

6 October 2012

The Biodiversity Bargain

By Achim Steiner and Braulio Dias, Project Syndicate, 6 October 2012 | What will it cost to save the world’s forests and boost the life prospects of its seven billion people? In a few days, India will host a meeting in Hyderabad of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The assembled countries will consider how to raise the resources necessary to achieve the ambitious Aichi Biodiversity Targets, adopted two years ago at the last such meeting in Japan. The Aichi targets call for cutting by half the rate of loss of the planet’s natural habitats, including forests, by 2020. In Hyderabad, governments will be presented with the likely costs of scaling up efforts to achieve that goal. One assessment estimates that about $40 billion a year will be needed to halve rates of deforestation and ensure sustainable management of forests in developing countries by the target date.

7 October 2012

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