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REDD in the news: 12-18 November 2012

REDD in the news: 12-18 November 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.

Christiana Figueres confident ahead of COP18

Climate Change TV, November 2012 | UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres tells RTCC she’s confident that the forthcoming COP18 climate talks in Doha will be a success and see the adoption of a Kyoto Protocol second commitment period. Figueres called on China’s new leader Xi Jinping to ensure the country remains committed to a low-carbon future and engaged in the next round of negotiations later this month. And she also expressed a hope that the climate would become a priority for US President Barack Obama in his second term of office. Other topics of discussion include EU ambitions for COP18, the Kyoto Protocol extension, climate finance, future of the Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and what ‘confidence building’ measures we can expect in the first week of the summit.

Closing the REDD+ Gap: the Global Forest Finance Facility

By Donald Kanak and Iain Henderson, November 2012 | Tropical forests have a critical role in the prevention of dangerous climate change. Experts have estimated that reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) could provide one third of the world’s most cost-effective carbon reduction potential by 20201, while simultaneously protecting irreplaceable biodiversity and safeguarding the livelihoods of some of the poorest people on earth. The clearing of 12–15 million hectares of tropical forests per year2 means the REDD+ opportunity is a narrow—and closing—window of time. During the past five years, dozens of conferences, hundreds of papers and billions of dollars have been devoted to accelerating REDD+. In order to judge whether REDD+ is fulfi lling its potential, however, the two fundamental metrics by which we must judge progress are time and scale. Assessed in such a way, then, current efforts are not delivering what is required.

REDD Plus Strategy Workshop Reels Off, November 2012 | Some 53 participants from Visayas and Mindanao Regions attend the three-day workshop on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation-Plus (REDD Plus) which is now going on at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Claveria, Davao City. This will wind off on Friday, October 19, 2012. As part of the readiness phase of the Philippine National REDD Plus strategy, the workshop aims to provide an overview on the science of Climate Change , role of forest in Climate Change mitigation; discuss in detail common questions, concerns and cross-cutting policy issues on REDD Plus and Climate Change; and discuss in details the different safeguards of REDD Plus implementation.

12 November 2012

An overview of private sector involvement in REDD+

Sustainable Business Toolkit, 12 November 2012 | By encouraging the flow of capital to the developing world, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is an important global climate change initiative. A mechanism primarily aimed at creating financial incentives to reduce deforestation and degradation, it forges an important link between those with the technological and financial capacity, and communities invested in deforestation. Through incoming investment flows, incentives are created for communities to develop other livelihoods that are less carbon-intensive. Executed successfully, REDD+ programs can be an effective way in which to reduce carbon emissions at a global partnership level. For companies pursuing CSR policies, REDD+ schemes are a worthy investment option. They also provide a source of carbon emission credits for those pursuing carbon neutrality. However, there are financial gains to be made also.

[Brazil] Indigenous Rangers Track, Document Illegal Logging On Protected Territory

By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 12 November 2012 | Indigenous forest rangers working in support of the first-ever indigenous REDD project have documented illegal logging, fishing, and cattle grazing on protected territory. The rangers, who are members of the Paiter-Surui indigenous group, have been monitoring the territory for two years as part of an effort to earn carbon credits for saving endangered forest under a voluntary REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) program. “Our rangers have photographed the activities and tagged the photos using GPS technology,” says Almir Narayamoga Surui, overall chief of the Paiter-Surui. “They also tracked the loggers to a mill just outside the territory, and now we will present our findings to the local office of FUNAI (Fundação Nacional do Índio, the National Indian Bureau) and other law enforcement agencies. We need them to act on this information.”

Frankfurt School and Forest Carbon Begin REDD+ Sustainable Financing Project with UNDP Malaysia

Forest Carbon, 12 November 2012 | The Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) with co-funding from The United Nations Development Programme, launched a project this month to develop sustainable mechanisms to finance REDD+ in Malaysia. The goal of the project is to facilitate private and public sector capital towards financing climate mitigation activities that will lead to the long term enhancement and expansion of country’s natural forests. To implement the project, the UNDP and the Malaysian government have engaged Frankfurt School of Finance and Management’s International Advisory Services (IAS) in partnership with Forest Carbon (, a Southeast Asian-based environmental consulting firm.

Norway’s $650B pension fund to require deforestation disclosure among portfolio companies, 12 November 2012 | Norway’s $650 billion sovereign wealth fund will ask companies in which it invests to disclose their impacts on tropical forests, as part of its effort to reduce deforestation, reports Reuters. The move could usher in broader reporting on the forest footprint of operations and boost eco-certification initiatives. In a policy posted on its web site in September, Norway’s Pension Fund said it now expects portfolio “to manage risk associated with the causes and impacts of climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions and tropical deforestation.” The fund has investments in some 7,000 companies but the policy is initially directed at “companies with operations or value chains in sectors and regions materially exposed” to deforestation risk. The move came after campaigners targeted the fund for continuing to invest in companies associated with deforestation — especially timber, palm oil, mineral, and wood pulp production…

[New Zealand] Warning of mass deforestation after govt’s Kyoto pull-out

By Sam Thompson, NewstalkZB, 12 November 2012 | A warning of mass deforestation, now that the Government is walking away from the Kyoto Protocol. Climate Change Minister Tim Groser says as of next year New Zealand will align climate change efforts with countries that are collectively responsible for 85 percent of global emissions. Kyoto Forestry Association spokesman Roger Dickie says that decision will lead to foresters cutting down trees and looking at the use of their land for a better return. “The sad thing is that the forest industry will soon surpass tourism, (will) be our second biggest export industry and yet there will be massive deforestation. So it’s totally against what the government themselves said when they came into power.” Mr Dickie says the Government had promised that foresters would get their carbon credits and on that basis people invested in forestry.

[Thailand] Forest issue takes a serious turn for the worse

By Veera Prateepchaikul, Bangkok Post, 12 November 2012 | The Royal Forest Department had to scrap its plan to issue Sor Tor Kor land occupation right documents to some 15,000 poor families living on about 300,000 rai of so-called deteriorated forest in nine northern and northeastern provinces. But there is no cause for celebration or reason to lower the guard because the suspension is only temporary pending _ in the words of the Pheu Thai minister _ further study to make sure that the forest is still fertile or is not classified as deteriorated and therefore threatened by the plan. The question which begs an answer from the minister _ which will not come anyway _ is why further study is needed now when it should have been completed before the plan was slated to be implemented. According to the Royal Forest Department, the 300,000 rai of deteriorated forest land is just a start as it plans to issue Sor Tor Kor documents to another 2.5 million rai of forest land…

[UK] ‘Misleading’ carbon credit claims by Enviro Associates

BBC News, 12 November 2012 | A partner in a Hampshire finance company has been filmed making apparently misleading claims about the investment potential of carbon credits. Luke Ryan, of Winchester-based Enviro Associates, was secretly filmed by BBC Inside Out. A carbon credit is a certificate or permit which gives firms the right to emit a tonne (1,000kg) of carbon dioxide (CO2). The credits are designed to combat climate change and cash paid for them is usually invested in environmentally friendly and ethically responsible projects. They can also be traded for money. Covert filming showed Mr Ryan offering carbon credits for sale for £5.50 a tonne – a discounted rate on what he said was the “retail price” of £7. Edward Hanrahan, from ClimateCare, said the credits should be sold at less than £1 per tonne.

[USA] A Business-Friendly Climate Agenda for Obama’s Second Term

Eric Pooley (EDF), Harvard Business Review, 12 November 2012 | President Obama has some unfinished business to attend to, and taking care of it will require help and support from corporate leaders across the country. When he ran for president in 2008, Obama made three big promises: end the Iraq War, extend health care coverage to all Americans, and take federal action to reduce the threat of global climate change. He delivered on the first two. And though his Administration made some progress on emissions reduction by doubling federal fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles, the president chose not to move comprehensive climate legislation through a recalcitrant Senate in the wake of the Great Recession. After 2010, climate all but disappeared from the national conversation. Hurricane Sandy put it back on the map. Sandy is just the latest reminder that climate change, which fed the storm’s fury by warming Atlantic waters and loading moisture into the atmosphere, isn’t going away.

13 November 2012

How to see the forest for the trees: new textbook helps to craft a global understanding of forest economics for all stakeholders

By Gabriel Thoumi,, 13 November 2012 | Environmental economics is similar to other expanding fields, it turns out. For example, Tauhid Zaman, assistant professor of operations management at the MIT Sloan School of Business, lamented that network analytics far too often focuses on the purely theoretical, and quipped that his colleagues “want to date a model more than they want to model data.” William F. Hyde might argue that the same could be said for environmental economists. In his excellent book The Global Economics of Forestry, Hyde has done more than lay out the paradigm that unites the biology and bounty inherent in global forests with market economics that utilize the resource. He has gone to painstaking efforts to compile literature, sometimes spanning centuries, to identify where human experience matches or defies our modeled understanding of forest-related markets.

Where Biodiversity Abounds: Hunting For New Species In Papua New Guinea

By Laurence Caramel, Le Monde, 13 November 2012 | Armed with thousands of test tubes, flasks, microscopes, mouth aspirators, gillnets and compressors, Olivier Pascal and Philippe Bouchet have arrived in Madang, their departure point for their new expedition in Papua New Guinea, which started last month. The botanist for an NGO, Pro-Natura International, and the zoologist specializing in mollusks at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris are old accomplices. They even have special nicknames for each other: “Muddy old boot” for the former and “Sea-shells” for the latter. Since 2006, they have led the biggest known research team in recent years. “Our Planet Reviewed” has taken them from Santo Island and Vanuatu to Mozambique and Madagascar in 2009 and 2010.

14 November 2012

‘Wild west’ if Doha climate talks fail

By Julian Drape, AAP, 14 November 2012 | A collapse in upcoming global climate negotiations in Doha could lead to a “wild west” approach to reducing carbon emissions, an Australian environmental think tank says. But Climate Institute deputy chief executive Erwin Jackson says Australia’s recent in-principle decision to take on a second Kyoto commitment means the talks are now more likely to succeed. The United Nations climate discussions will take place in Qatar in late November and early December. Governments agreed last year to negotiate a legally binding agreement by 2015 covering all major polluting countries. The Climate Institute released a policy paper on Wednesday which outlines three possible scenarios for Doha.

Preserve the services of mangroves – Earth’s invaluable coastal forests, experts urge, 14 November 2012 | Experts are urging policy makers to preserve mangroves and their essential services to nature and humanity alike, saying their replacement with shrimp farms and other forms of development is a bad economic tradeoff both short and long-term. An unprecedented partnership of organizations – from forestry and conservation sectors and from across the United Nations – have released a policy brief drawing on the 2nd edition of the World Atlas of Mangroves (2010). It aims to provide managers with lessons learned in past mangrove conservation and management efforts, and with policy recommendations. Found mostly in the tropics straddling the land and sea, mangroves make up less than half of 1% of forests of all kinds worldwide. Taken together, some 70 species of mangroves are found in 123 tropical and sub-tropical nations and territories but occupy just 152,000 square km in total—an area slightly larger than Nepal.

REDD+ opens up new opportunities for forest product management in the Amazon

By Amy Duchelle, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 14 August 2012 | The emergence of subnational REDD+ projects in southwestern Amazonia is showing potential for multiple-use management of non-timber forest products, particularly Brazil nuts, and forest carbon. Multiple-use forestry, which includes NTFPs, timber and environmental services, has gained momentum among researchers, practitioners and policy-makers as a way to promote forest conservation and livelihood development in the tropics. While there have been a multitude of initiatives towards integrated management of NTFPs and timber, there has been less of a focus on environmental services in these multiple use systems. Recent strategies (REDD+) to reduce carbon emissions through avoided deforestation and forest degradation and enhancement of carbon stocks have opened up new opportunities for integrated management of NTFPs and environmental services.

Brazil’s Amazon rangers battle farmers’ burning business logic

By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 14 November 2012 | As his helicopter descends through the smoke towards an Amazonian inferno, Evandro Carlos Selva checks the co-ordinates via a global positioning satellite and radios back to base a witness testimony to deforestation. Flames lick up from below the canopy, smoke billows across the horizon, and down below, the carbon that has been stored in the forest for hundreds of years is released into the atmosphere. Skeletal trees are charred grey, others burnt black. Nearby, what was once forest is reduced to an expanse of ash, dust and embers. Trudging through the debris, Carlos Selva points to a soya farm: “They’ve been paid to do this. Forty per cent of next year’s harvest on this land has already been bought.”

Counting carbon: Measuring carbon stocks in logging concessions in Cameroon

By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 14 November 2012 | Deep inside a logging concession in southern Cameroon, scientists from the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) are measuring the carbon content of a huge tree, selectively felled by a timber company. They’re hoping to bolster scientific evidence that shows sustainable timber production in forests logged by private companies and local communities could increase carbon stocks – thus reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. When logging is conducted selectively and sustainably, research has shown it can actually help to protect forests from deforestation and conversion into other types of land use, like agriculture. And sustainably managed forest concessions could also help to store carbon – with huge impacts for schemes that aim to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation like REDD+ – but this has not yet been proven.

Afro-­Colombian Community Becomes First to Receive VCS Credits for Forest Conservation on Collective Lands

Anthrotect press release, 14 November 2012 | Anthrotect, LLC delivers on its community­-oriented business model designed to produce carbon offsets through reducing deforestation and forest degradation. The 13,465-hectare project was successfully validated and verified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), and expects to prevent the emission of over 2.8 million tons of C02 into the atmosphere over its 30-year lifespan. The project is the first VCS-­approved REDD+ project in South America to address unplanned deforestation, and the first REDD+ project in the world to be issued credits for activities carried out on community-­owned, collective lands. Led by Anthrotect in partnership with members of the COCOMASUR landholder association, the Chocó-Darién Conservation Corridor REDD+ Project engages Afro-Colombian families to improve natural resource management in the Chocó, a region known for its biological diversity and endemism.

Under Threat: Deforestation pressure on Congo Basin forests increasing

By Babatope Akinwande, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 14 November 2012 | Rainforests in the Congo Basin are being cleared at an alarming rate amid global demand for mineral, energy and wood resources from Africa, experts say, commending efforts by affected nations and other stakeholders to try to create an effective monitoring system. Pressures on the 200 million hectare forests — though not has high-profile as those in the Brazilian Amazon or Indonesia — are enormous, said Richard Eba’a Atyi, the Center for International Forestry Research’s coordinator for central Africa. In the grab for natural resources, newly built roads have opened up vast tracts of virgin rainforests to loggers (both legal and illegal), miners and villagers.

EU carbon market needs quick fix and deep reform -Commission

By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, 14 November 2012 | The European Union must agree by the end of this year on a stop-gap measure to tackle the virtual collapse of its main instrument for cutting carbon emissions, the bloc’s climate boss said on Wednesday. Allowances on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) sank below 8 euros a tonne, down more than 6 percent on the day, reflecting trader disappointment Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard’s statement on Wednesday did not go further. Anticipation of EU action to support the market has been behind a slight recovery for the price of an emissions permit from a record low of 5.99 euros hit in April. At the start of this week, the Commission, the EU executive, delivered its formal proposal for a temporary withdrawal – or backloading – of some of the huge surplus of allowances generated by economic slowdown that crushed demand.

[India] ICFRE to join hands with American counterpart in exchange programme, 14 November 2012 | The United States Forest Service (USFS) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) will collaborate to facilitate exchange visits of forestry personnel between the two countries for studying climate initiatives and exchange of faculty and students from Forest Research Institute University with the US counterparts. A team from USFS discussed the proposed collaboration with the ICFRE director general VK Bahuguna in Dehradun for planning and implementing Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) plus in India. Bahuguna said that an assessment for this purpose has been conducted by USFS, USAID and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for building the institutional capacity of ICFRE and its institutes for national level monitoring of improved ecosystem services, net benefits to communities and biodiversity gains from REDD+.

Indonesia to propose yet another climate agreement

Jakarta Post, 14 November 2012 | Indonesia will try to convince developed nations to adopt a treaty on climate change and join a trust fund for its mitigation efforts in the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Doha, Qatar in December. Rachmat Witoelar, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special envoy on Climate Change, said on Tuesday that the effort was critical as few developed countries had signed up for new targets under the second Kyoto Protocol commitment period, which is expected to begin this year. Japan, China, Russia and the United States, along with other developed and developing countries responsible for 85 percent of global emissions, refused to adopt the treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions. “We hope that the countries will show their commitment to protecting the environment by adopting the Bali Action Plan…”

Indonesian Government Accepts Ancestral Domain Maps: Making Indigenous Peoples visible within the Nation State

AMAN press release, 14 November 2012 | Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) and Network for Participatory Mapping (JKPP) have officially handed over ancestral domain map registered in Ancestral Domain Registration Agency (BRWA) to the Indonesia’s Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) and Presidential Delivery Unit for Supervision and Control of Development (UKP4). This is the initial handoverdone by AMAN and JKPP. As a start, being submitted are 265 maps of ancestral domains covering 2,402,222 hectare wide. Ancestral domain maps available in BRWA, of which process facilitated directly by AMAN and JKPP as well as NGOs advocating the archipelago’s indigenous peoples, are prominent information to support One Map Indonesia carried out by the government through UKP4 and BIG. It is a collective movement of all including indigenous peoples, for managerial improvement of Indonesia in order to be a better Country.

[Philippines] Manila not optimistic on coming climate talks

BusinessWorld Online, 14 November 2012 | The talks on climate change in Qatar towards the end of the month are unlikely to produce concrete results insofar as the Philippines is concerned as global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions expire by yearend, an official said yesterday. “We still don’t have an idea on how to deal with climate change because when it comes to the international negotiation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; we are looking at the economic implication of doing climate change initiatives especially on the definition side,” Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering, secretary of the Climate Change Commission, told reporters in a briefing. Climate change initiatives have been viewed in light of adaptation and reduction of greenhouse gas emission, she said, while there are separate discussions on disaster preparedness. Talks on both issues must be integrated, an approach that is applicable for the Philippines, Ms. Sering said.

[South Africa] Dialogue on Rights-based REDD+ Held in Cape Town

Natural Justice, 14 November 2012 | Natural Justice, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa co-hosted a Rights-Based REDD+ Dialogue from 11-12 November in Cape Town, South Africa. Over twenty civil society organisations (CSOs) and government and multilateral representatives from seven different African countries participated. Dialogue sessions included contextualising REDD+, safeguards, regional and national REDD+ readiness activities, CSO perspectives, synergising links between the UNFCCC and the Convention on Biological Diversity, a REDD+ role play scenario, and biocultural community protocols. Discussions were intense and key issues raised included the roles and responsibilities of REDD+ stakeholders, who benefits from REDD+ and how, effective participation, the need for independent REDD+ knowledge brokers and advisors, local level capacity building, complexities, variations and overlaps of safeguards, lack of safeguard compliance…

[USA] California to Polluters: Go Green or Pay Up

By Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, 14 November 2012 | Of course, much can go wrong with cap and trade. In the European Union, which created the first and largest carbon market after ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the price of carbon dioxide emissions allowances rose to more than $42 per ton before plunging almost to zero during the recent economic downturn—in part because it allowed polluters to purchase cheap carbon offsets from abroad. Similar volatility has plagued RGGI—one key reason why Gov. Chris Christie called the program “a failure” last year and pulled New Jersey out of the initiative. California has learned from those setbacks. “AB 32 has been touted as the strongest and best design for a cap and trade program anywhere in the world,” says Timothy O’Connor, director of the EDF’s California Climate and Energy Initiative. Unlike RGGI or the EU climate initiative, California’s program sets a price floor ($10 per ton) on emissions allowances…

15 November 2012

Doha conference: carbon cuts talks must wait, says key negotiator

By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 15 November 2012 | The debate on whether the world needs stronger greenhouse gas cuts to keep the planet from warming by 2C should be deferred until next year, according to Brazil’s lead negotiator at the upcoming talks in Doha. Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo says delegates at Qatar – the most important climate negotiations of the year – should prioritise an extension of the Kyoto protocol and the rules for a longer-term agreement rather than be distracted by the crucial but contentious issue of emissions reductions. Environmental groups, however, are calling for greater urgency from Brazil, a country that has won plaudits at previous gatherings for leading the search for common ground between wealthy and developing nations.

IIED at the COP18 UN climate summit

International Institute for Environment and Development, 15 November 2012 | Ever since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) entered into force in 1995, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC have met each year to assess progress. Some of IIED’s researchers will attend the climate change talks and support the Least Developed country negotiators at this year’s conference (COP18). Other IIED staff will lead side events on topics such as communicating climate change and reducing emissions from deforestation while helping the poor. Read our latest blogs or follow us on twitter to keep up to date on developments and our activities during the COP18.

REDD+ should value forests as more than “carbon warehouses”

By Tierney Smith, Responding to Climate Change, 15 November 2012 | Efforts to reduce emissions through deforestation must take into account the biodiversity and livelihood benefits of forests and view them as more than “carbon warehouses”, a new report has warned. Researchers from the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) found biodiversity to be critical to a forest’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases. They called on policy makers to address the potential co-benefits of REDD+ for ecosystems and climate change.

FSC first for Brazil forest concession

TFT, 15 November 2012 | Brazilian forestry company LN Guerra has achieved FSC certification for Mamuru, its 46-000 hectare concession in Para state. This is the first forest concession in Brazil to achieve FSC certification. Lead by Leandro Guerra, the company employs 100 people and began working with TFT towards responsible forest management in March 2012 through the TTAP project following its nomination by one of its European buyers, DLH. Its FSC certificate for the forest concession and its processing facility was issued by Imaflora, a partner of Rainforest Alliance, in October 2012.

Up the river & paddling hard: Climate adaptation & mitigation in the Congo

By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 15 November 2012 | The second largest tropical forest in the world, the Congo Basin has received global attention for its huge potential to slow the pace of climate change. It is estimated to store 25 – 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which if released through deforestation or forest degradation would raise global temperatures even higher. In an effort to ensure that that carbon stays locked in the trees and out of the atmosphere, 16 REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) pilot projects are operating the region, forming part of a global scheme that aims to pay developing countries to keep forests standing. But, says Anne Marie Tiani, CIFOR research has pointed out that the forest is not just a carbon sink providing a global good, it is also a home and a larder for nearly 80 million people, most of whom are very poor, dependent on forest resources to survive, and vulnerable to climate disturbances.

Indonesia urges developed nations to join 2nd Kyoto Protocol

Xinhua, 15 November 2012 | Indonesia has called on all advanced nations to sign up to the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, ahead of the annual conference on climate change from Nov. 7 to Dec. 7 in Doha, Qatar, official said here on Wednesday. “Indonesia hopes advanced countries would show leadership in saving the Earth from destruction due to climate change, the effects of which are getting stronger every year,” Executive Chairman of the Climate Change National Council (DNPI) Rachmat Witoelar said. The chairman noted that the global community had not yet reached an agreement on the continuation of Kyoto Protocol. “Besides, there is no agreement on how long the second phase would last. Some countries want the second phase to last until 2020, but others want to shorten the period in order to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” Witoelar was quoted by Antara news wire as saying.

As Myanmar Opens to World, Fate of Its Forests Is on the Line

By Charles Schmidt, Yale Environment 360, 15 November 2012 | [W]ith Western governments now lifting sanctions to reward the government’s democratic reforms, some experts warn that an influx of foreign capital might open the floodgates to development and cause significant environmental harm. In a bid to expand regional trade routes, for instance, both the Chinese and Japanese governments are making plans to open transportation corridors through some of Myanmar’s far-flung jungles, paving the way for resource exploitation. The economic might of China, just to the north, is ever-present. In the Hukaung wildlife sanctuary, only 50 tigers are thought to survive, the rest victimized by an illegal wildlife trade with Chinese merchants who pay up to $30,000 for a single animal, dried and packed in a box.

[New Zealand] Forestry the fallback as carbon values tumble

By Gerald Ford, Wairarapa Times-Age, 15 November 2012 | Wairarapa forest owners hit by plummeting carbon credit prices should only be worried if they never saw the wood for the carbon, according to a Wairarapa consultant. Steve Wilton of Forest Enterprises said he was unaware of Wairarapa forest owners selling up as the value of carbon credits diminishes, as have some elsewhere in New Zealand. Once pegged at around $25, the importation of overseas carbon credits has reduced the value in New Zealand to less than $3 a tonne of carbon “sequestered” in the ground as wood. However, Mr Wilton says the price of carbon should always have been only one consideration for forest owners. “If [people] are entertaining carbon forestry, they should have made sure that their fallback position was a commercial forest,” Mr Wilton said. “The peril of not taking that into consideration is now obvious, if it wasn’t before.”

16 November 2012

No success for REDD+ without understanding possible impacts on forest biodiversity and people

IUFRO press release, 16 November 2012 | The world’s rapidly dwindling forests should be valued as more than just “carbon warehouses” to mitigate climate change, according to a new report released today from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations(IUFRO), the world’s largest network of forest scientists. In fact, biodiversity is found to be a critical determinant of a forest’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases. The assessment also stresses that accounting for those who live in or near forests when implementing REDD+ increases the likelihood of achieving carbon and biodiversity goals. The report is the most comprehensive scientific analysis to date of the relationship between biodiversity, forest management and climate change mitigation in the framework of the United Nations-backed initiative REDD+ (reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancing forest carbon stocks in developing countries).

REDD+ must consider biodiversity, forest livelihoods to have any chance of success, 16 November 2012 | Safeguarding biodiversity is a critical component in any plan to mitigate climate change through forest protection, argues a comprehensive new assessment published by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the world’s largest network of forest scientists. The report, which will be released December 2 at Forest Day 6 during the U.N. climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, is based on a large-scale review of scientific research on the relationship between biodiversity, forest management and climate change mitigation via the REDD+ program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in tropical countries. The report concludes that in order for REDD+ to succeed, it must take an “integrated landscape management approach” and embrace strategies that involve all forest stakeholders.

Trees Stand Tall Against Climate Change

By Joe DeCapua, Voice of America, 16 November 2012 | The next U.N. Climate Change Conference gets underway November 26 in Doha, Qatar. Once again, negotiators will try to reach a broad agreement on dealing with rising global temperatures. Deforestation is expected to be on the agenda… In advance of COP 18, 60 experts with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations have released a new report on reducing carbon emissions. The report said, “The relationships between biodiversity, carbon, forests and people are complex and interdependent.” It added that “reducing the rates of global deforestation and forest degradation will yield substantial gains for climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.”

Amazon deforestation tracking higher in Brazil, 16 November 2012 | Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon continues to rise off historic lows according to satellite data released this week by Imazon, a Brazil-based NGO. Imazon’s Deforestation Alert System, which tracks deforestation on a monthly basis, detected 487 square kilometers of forest clearing during October 2012, a rise of 377 percent over October 2011. Worryingly it is the second straight month with markedly higher deforestation. September’s figure was 154 percent above the year-earlier period. Imazon reported than more than 60 percent of deforestation in October occurred on private land holdings. Two-thirds of deforestation took place in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso. Accumulated deforestation from August 2012 to October 2012 totaled 1,152 sq km, an increase of 125 percent over the August 2011 to October 2011 period.

Colombia gets world’s first certified REDD project on collective lands, 16 November 2012 | A conservation project in Colombia has broken new ground in the world of forest carbon credits. The project, run as partnership between an Afro-indigenous community and a Colombian company, is the first REDD+ project certified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) in Colombia. More importantly, it is also the first certified REDD+ project on community-owned, collectively-titled land. The 13,465-hectare Chocó-Darién Conservation Corridor REDD+ Project is located in the northeastern-most part of Colombia near the border with Panama. Until recently, the area was beset by violent conflict which had displaced many of the region’s traditional residents, including members of the COCOMASUR landholder association. But with the restoration of relative peace to the area, the community began to re-establish itself on lands to which it holds collective title.

[Tanzania] Anyone guarding our forest cover?, 16 November 2012 | A seven-month investigation conducted in various parts of the country has revealed massive forest degradation with dire consequences for the nation. Journalists from this newspaper have accompanied teams of forest stakeholders to witness wanton destruction of forest reserves while relevant authorities look on. The district councils and forest departments have blamed their inaction on inadequate budget, shortage of staff and equipments to effectively and efficiently execute their duties including conducting patrols to curb illegal activities. As authorities rightly or wrongly blame inadequate budgets, the forests which sustain life, come under the electric chain-saws, infamous for denuding large areas of tree cover in a short time.

[Tanzania] The millionaires made from forests

By Deodatus Mfugale,, 16 November 2012 | Visit Nainokwe village in Kilwa District and the impression you get is that that Kilwa District Council has favoured the residents here by building for them a good office for village government and the house of the village executive officer. You would also think that the Council has special interest in this village because their primary school has enough classrooms and no pupil sits on the floor during classes; every pupil sits on a desk even if it means three pupils sharing one desk. But it is a completely different story. All these buildings- the village government office, the house of the village executive officer and some of the classrooms are built from the villagers’ efforts in conserving forests and harvesting sustainably.

17 November 2012

18 November 2012

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