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REDD in the news: 31 December 2012 – 6 January 2013

REDD in the news: 31 December 2012 - 6 January 2013

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.

Changing forestry discourses in Vietnam in the past 20 years

By Thi Kim Phung Dang, Esther Turnhout and Bas Arts, Forest Policy and Economics, December 2012 | Governance and sustainability are important topics of debate in global forest policy. It is however crucial to understand how these ideas have impacted national and local forest policy and management. The case of Vietnam is interesting and relevant because since the late 1980s, Vietnam’s state forestry has undergone a reform towards sustainable management and social participation. This reform has triggered the emergence of two new policy discourses — ‘forestry socialization’ and ‘sustainable forest management’. This article uses discourse analysis to investigate the implications of these discourses in Vietnam forestry. In particular, it examines the extent to which the ‘forestry socialization’ and ‘sustainable forest management’ discourses can be recognized in Vietnamese forest policy over the last 20 years. The results show that both discourses are well represented in policy documents…

Pulp industry and environment in Indonesiais there sustainable future?

By K. Obidzinski and A. Dermawan, CIFOR, December 2012 | The global demand for wood is set to increase signi cantly over the next two decades. The growth is to be particularly pronounced in the Asia Paci c, and timber plantations are expected to be a major source of wood ber. Indonesia is taking steps to meet the global demand for wood by expanding its pulp production and timber plantations. However, there are concerns about the environmental trade-offs of this expansion. The pulp sector continues to rely on natural forests for timber. The size and productivity of timber plantations are uncertain because of unreliable data. The employment and poverty alleviation potential of the pulp sector are overstated. The pulp sector continues to attract large-scale foreign capital due to high returns on undervalued timber from natural forest. However, environmentally and socially, it is a high-risk investment.

[Burma] Legal Review of Recently Enacted Farmland Law and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management Law

By Robert B. Oberndorf, Forest Trends, December 2012 | In order to inform Myanmar’s first multi-stakeholder national dialogue workshop on land tenure and user rights (held November 24th & 25th, 2012), Forest Trend’s Senior Law & Policy Advisor Rob Oberndorf was asked to conduct an in-depth analysis of recently enacted land legislation in the country, and suggest ways in which the legal frameworks relating to rural land management could be improved. This report is the result of that research and analysis assignment.

31 December 2012

The year in rainforests

By Rhett A. Butler,, 31 December 2012 | 2012 was another year of mixed news for the world’s tropical forests. This is a look at some of the most significant tropical rainforest-related news stories for 2012. There were many other important stories in 2012 and some were undoubtedly overlooked in this review. If you feel there’s something we missed, please feel free to highlight it in the comments section. Also please note that this post focuses only on tropical forests.

1 January 2013

[Kenya] What Really Came Out of Doha Meeting?

By Dr Alex Awiti, The Star, 1 January 2013 | So what did really come out Doha? First, the extension of Kyoto was finally approved… Second, governments agreed on something called loss and damage… Third, Doha upheld the undertaking at Copenhagen by industrialized countries to make available up to $100 billion in climate financing… Fourth, the “technology mechanism” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has become fully operational… Fifth, Efforts to promote Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) faltered when Brazil objected to calls from international donors such as Norway for an international verification system of emissions reductions for REDD+, leading to the suspension of discussions in Doha. This was a major blow because deforestation generates 15-20% of global emissions, second only to the energy sector.

2 January 2013

[Tanzania] Z’bar keen to conserve endangered forests

By Issa Yussuf, Daily News, 2 January 2013 | Zanzibar is sparing no efforts in conserving its endangered forest and environment, but Mzee Khatib who resides close to Jazan forest in South Unguja, says it is a big challenge for the majority poor people to abandon reliance on forest. “This is not easy; many of us rely on forest for our daily bread. People have to cut trees for logs, fire wood and timber for sale and for energy at home,” argues Khatib after the launch of Zanzibar’s second National Tree Census… The objective is to expand to reach at least 60,000 ha of forests in Zanaibar beyond the pilot phase. The target beneficiaries include 16,000 rural households. Norway is upporting the projects under CARE and primary implementing partners being the Zanzibar Department of Forestry and Non-Renewable Natural Resources.

3 January 2013

[Indonesia] 5 Biggest Environmental Stories of 2012

By Fidelis E Satriastanti, Jakarta Globe, 3 January 2013 | It is a tradition in mass media to compile an end-of-the-year list. While the Jakarta Globe has covered “Indonesian Stories That Raised Eyebrows in 2012” and “The Biggest News Stories of 2012 Have Only Just Begun,” do not forget to take a moment to review environmental issues. Indonesia is often dubbed as a country plagued with amnesia. Hence, here are a few of environmental stories that made headlines over the past year — those that still need to be followed up in 2013.

[USA] California carbon trading scheme gets underway

By Will Nichols, BusinessGreen, 3 January 2013 | The United States’ first legally-binding emissions cap-and-trade scheme kicked off in California on Tuesday, with campaigners hoping the state could provide a model the rest of the country could follow as it attempts to tackle carbon emissions. The scheme officially came into effect on January 1, establishing a state-wide limit on total emissions of 162.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and imposing emission allowances on around 350 companies generating more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Each of the companies covered by the scheme must carry allowances for the right to pollute under the cap, the first of which are due to be handed over to authorities in November 2014. The bulk of the allowances will be handed to companies for free, but some allowances will be auctioned and any firm exceeding its emissions cap will have to purchase additional allowances to cover the excess.

4 January 2013

[USA] Secret and Lies of the Bailout

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 4 January 2012 | It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right? Wrong.

5 January 2013

[Indonesia] Indigenous people and nature conservation

By Freddy Pattiselanno and Agustina Arobaya, Jakarta Post, 5 January 2012 | Dubbed one of the world’s top-two mega centers of biodiversity alongside Brazil, Indonesia is also a country of enormous cultural diversity. Among its 259.94 million inhabitants today, there are more than 500 ethnic groups speaking over 1,000 languages and dialects. Anthropological studies indicate that hot spots of high biodiversity are associated with regions where traditional societies are frequently found. In this circumstance, indigenous groups offer alternative knowledge and perspectives based on their own locally developed practices of resource use (Berkes et al, 2000) or known as the indigenous knowledge — practice belief complex. Indigenous knowledge and biodiversity are complementary phenomena essential to human development. During the past decade, a rapidly growing set of evidence indicates strong relations between indigenous knowledge and sustainable development.

The True Face of Laos

By Joshua Kurlantzick, Asia Unbound, 5 January 2012 | But in recent months, it has become clearer that, despite the investment and better relations with the United States and other Western nations, the Lao government remains extremely opaque and paranoid about any domestic criticism. In fact, with Burma opening up, Laos is now the most closed and repressive state in Asia outside of North Korea. Last year, the call-in show, News Talk, was abruptly forced off the air. Then, in an even more shocking turn of events, in December Laos’ most well-known activist, Sombath Somphone, vanished. According to several news reports, he was held at a police post in the capital and then taken away in another truck which had stopped at the police post. Despite his high profile in Asia—he received the prominent Ramon Magsagsay Award for his community activism—his whereabouts remain unknown…

6 January 2013

Australian wildfires continue to rage across Tasmania – video

Reuters, 6 January 2012 | Australian authorities search burnt-out homes for bodies in areas worst hit by wildfires on the island of Tasmania on Sunday. More than 40 fires continued to rage amid a heatwave and strong winds. The wildfires began on Thursday on the thinly populated south-eastern coast and have also hit mainland states.

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