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REDD in the news: 16-22 September 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.

[Indonesia] CIFOR, ICRAF and FORDA Celebrate Partnerships in Forestry Research

Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), September 2013 | The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and the Forestry Research and Development Agency (FORDA) of Indonesia released a report describing their collaboration on forestry research. The report, titled ‘Forestry Research Collaboration Between FORDA and Partners – Improving Sustainable Research and Development,’ highlights the relationship between CIFOR and Indonesia, its host country, and notes that forest research in Indonesia was first recorded 100 years ago. The report also explores collaboration with ICRAF, including joint research and publications, capacity building and secondments, joint presentations at international events and partnerships in strategic planning.

16 September 2013

Impact of climate change on forests requires early action

FAO press release, 16 September 2013 | Early action and more investments are needed to respond to the threats of climate change on the world’s forests. It will probably cost less to adjust forest management strategies immediately to the impacts of climate change than to react to the aftermath of climate-inflicted damage, FAO said in its new Climate change guidelines for forest managers.Early action will also help to improve the livelihoods and food security of local communities. Decreased forest ecosystem services, especially water-cycle regulation, soil protection and the conservation of biodiversity, may affect millions of people in rural areas, who use forests for food, fuel, timber, medicines and income. For example, 4-5 million women in West Africa earn about 80 percent of their income from the collection, processing, and the marketing of nuts harvested from shea trees.

REDD+ Can Be a Game-Changer in the Battle Against Tropical Deforestation

By Dr. Tom Evans, National Geographic, 16 September 2013 | In a high profile side event to the UN General Assembly next week, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector will gather at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo to celebrate recent successes in forest protection to combat climate change and call for much greater future investment… Whilst the global incentive structures are laboriously debated, interim measures can build momentum, allow design testing, and boost confidence. Here smaller, more nimble players are already making a difference. Examples include Norway’s multi-billion-dollar pilot programs with several tropical countries, the World Bank’s Carbon Fund, California’s forthcoming cap-and-trade system, and the large and growing global voluntary market for carbon offsets, which is driven by the private sector.

Smallholder agroforestry plots may boost tree conservation: Report

By Barbara Fraser, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 September 2013 | When natural forests are threatened by deforestation or climate change, the best hope for the survival of certain at risk tree species may be to include them in agroforestry plots managed by small farmers, according to new research. Tree species can be conserved in three ways, according to a recent review in Biodiversity and Conservation by scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). They can be left to grow in their native, natural habitat, which is known as conservation in situ, or “in their original place”. If trees are valuable because they produce timber, fruit or other commodities, farmers may transplant them to nearby agroforestry plots, a technique known as conservation circa situm, meaning “close to their place of origin”. Or, they may be conserved in seed or gene banks, known as conservation ex situ, or “outside their original habitat”.

Costa Rica Independence Day & Carbon Credits (Audio)

The Costa Rican Times, 16 September 2013 | Overseas Radio Has Teamed up With The Costa Rican Times to provide multiple modes of information sharing for local and foreign expats in order to get Costa Rica news and knowledge to listeners. Topics for this week include September 15th Independence Day in Costa Rica, Carbon Credits in Costa Rica, and Getting Involved with Community Service in Costa Rica. Talk with Dan Stevens is during the second segment of the show… For a taste of Overseas Radio including the most recent interview with Dan Stevens click on the link below to listen to the past show.

EU beef imports threaten uncontacted Indians

Survival International, 16 September 2013 | Forest inhabited by uncontacted Indians in Paraguay is being destroyed to make way for cattle destined for the European market. New satellite images reveal that Brazilian company Yaguarete Pora has been felling forest in the north of Paraguay, the ancestral home of Ayoreo Indians. Some of the Ayoreo are uncontacted and are continually forced to flee from cattle ranchers who have taken over much of their land. Yaguarete is part of the UN Global Compact, an initiative set up to encourage companies to abide by principles that ‘support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights’. But the company’s work places the lives of the uncontacted Ayoreo in extreme danger. Uncontacted Indians have no immunity to diseases brought by outsiders and could be wiped out if contact occurs with company workers.

[Indonesia] Fires and haze – how to maintain a glow of interest?

By Peter Holmgren, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 September 2013 | Fires in Sumatra and elsewhere are ablaze every year, often causing haze problems in southeast Asian countries. Everyone seems to agree with this observation, and many have asked over the past months and in various media: Why, if this is a recurring problem, has it not been dealt with more decisively? Or, rather, it appears that many were asking this question while the haze was still in the air, but that interest has largely vanished with the haze. To illustrate mainstream media attention to the recent fires in Sumatra, we compared over time the number of hotspots with the number of related news items over time.

17 September 2013

UN Official: World Failing Over Climate Change

By Raphael Satter, Associated Press, 17 September 2013 | International leaders are failing in their fight against global warming, one of the United Nations’ top climate officials said Tuesday, appealing directly to the world’s voters to pressure their politicians into taking tougher action against the buildup of greenhouse gases. Halldor Thorgeirsson told journalists gathered at London’s Imperial College that world leaders weren’t working hard enough to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change. "We are failing as an international community," he said. "We are not on track."

FAO Issues Guidelines on Climate Change for Forest Managers

Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 17 September 2013 | The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released guidelines on climate change for forest managers, which discuss the projected positive and negative impacts of climate change on policy, social, economic and biophysical forest factors. The guidelines discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change mitigation and adaptation in forests, the role of sustainable forest management (SFM) in climate change responses, the links between climate change policies and forest management, and vulnerability and risk assessments. They also present guiding frameworks for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities to be carried out by forest managers.

Indigenous Peoples Discuss REDD+ at FCPF/UN-REDD/BMZ Workshop

Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 17 September 2013 | The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the UN Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have convened a meeting of indigenous peoples to discuss their participation in REDD+. The meeting, held in Weilburg, Germany, from 10-12 September, 2013, discussed practical approaches to ensure the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples in REDD+ given that the cultures and livelihoods of approximately 60 million indigenous peoples around the world are dependent on forests. Participants identified a number of barriers to participation, including: lack of inclusion in decision-making; gaps in capacity; and poor recognition of the potential contribution of indigenous peoples and their importance as a stakeholder group.

UNFCCC Releases Documents on REDD+, Finance and Gender

Climate Change Policy & Practice, 17 September 2013 | The UNFCCC Secretariat has released three documents to be considered by country representatives during the upcoming Climate Change Conference to be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 11-22 November 2013. Documents released include: parties’ submissions on gender balance related to climate change; finance provided by developed countries in accordance with the Conference of the Parties (COP) decisions; and a report on two REDD+ workshops. One of the documents released on 17 September contains 16 parties’ submissions, as well as organizations’ views, on options and ways to advance the gender balance goal (FCCC/CP/2013/MISC.2) in order to improve the participation of women and to inform more effective climate change policy in a way that needs of women and men are equally addressed.

Maputo Statement: No REDD in Africa Network Declaration on REDD

NO REDD in Africa Network, 17 September 2013 | The NO REDD in Africa Network gathered here in Maputo Mozambique, on 26 August 2013 during the occasion of an international workshop on REDD with participants from Mozambique, other African countries, North America and South America deliberated on the implications of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) for Africa and by extension the global South. We recognise the decision of the Tunisia meeting in March 2013 that decided on the need for a No REDD Platform to educate and inform communities and governments of the developing countries about the negative impacts of REDD in all its forms. We acknowledge the fact that African governments have been ambushed with offers and promises of development financing flowing through REDD and adopted this without applying critical minds and making the necessary consultations.

[Australia] Alpha mine ‘could accelerate climate change’

By Virginia Tapp, ABC Rural, 17 September 2013 | The Australian Conservation Foundation says a proposed coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin could accelerate climate change if it goes ahead. Court proceedings started yesterday in the Land Court to stop GVK Hancock’s Alpha Coal Project in the state’s central-west. Community members are contesting the mine, but Hancock Coal says it’s already passed rigorous federal and state approval processes. The Conservation Foundation’s Professor Ian Lowe says climate change is a valid argument when opposing mining developments. "Well, a mine like this gives an enormous boost to accelerating climate change. "I mean, to put it in perspective, the burning of the coal from this proposed mine would contribute as much to global warming as the entire Australian vehicle fleet. It’s equivalent to about 10 percent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions."

[Australia] Carbon Conscious eyes revenue boost from sale of carbon credits

Proactiveinvestors, 17 September 2013 | Carbon Conscious (ASX: CCF) expects to generate additional revenue from the sale of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU) after its Carbon Conscious Carbon Capture Project 1 in Western Australia was declared an “Eligible Kyoto Offsets Project” by the Clean Energy Regulator. The company has lodged an application of ACCUs with the CER and expects the first ACCUs to be issued to customers and itself in October. Carbon Conscious has long term contracts to manage carbon estates for customers, which delivers stable revenue of about $600,000 a quarter until 2027. This will be supplemented by the sale of the ACCUs. The company, which has planted in excess of 18,000 hectares of carbon plantations in Australia since 2008, added that while there would be policy changes from the new Government, the Carbon Farming Initiative under which it operates, has bi‐partisan support to enable Australia to achieve its 2020 target of a 5% reduction in carbon emissions.

Indonesia Vice President Boediono Meets GGGI Council

Global Green Growth Institute press release, 17 September 2013 | Chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Council Lars Lokke Rasmussen, GGGI Council Member Indonesia Vice Minister of National Development Planning Lukita Dinarsyah Tuwo, GGGI Director-General Howard Bamsey, Country Representative for GGGI Indonesia Anna van Paddenburg and Danish Ambassador to Indonesia Martin Bille Hermann met with Indonesian Vice-President Boediono accompanied by Head of Presidential Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP4), Kuntoro Mangkusubroto and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wardana to discuss Indonesia’s policies and progress with green growth. The high-level meeting saw GGGI’s Council underline its support for President Yudhoyono’s aim of achieving green growth in Indonesia in the context of sustainable development. Both developing and developed country members of the GGGI Council encouraged continued South -South cooperation on green growth.

[Madagascar] Credits from first African government-backed REDD+ project go on sale

By Rhett A. Butler,, 17 September 2013 | Carbon credits generated from protecting thousands of hectares of endangered rainforest in northeastern Madagascar have now been certified for sale, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the project’s main organizer. The development represents the first time that credits generated by African government-owned project have been put on the voluntary carbon market. The Makira REDD+ Project aims to protect 400,000 hectares of forest in a part of Madagascar that has suffered from illegal rosewood logging. Backers estimate the initiative will prevent emissions of 32 million tons of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years, or roughly the annual emissions of the state of Montana. More importantly, the project will help protect some 20 species of lemurs, including more than a dozen at-risk species, while creating new economic opportunities for locals living in and around the park, according to WCS.

A New Deal for Carbon Raises Hopes for Threatened Forests in Madagascar

By Bryan Walsh,, 17 September 2013 | Deforestation has ravaged much of Madagascar, as trees have been cut down to support slash-and-burn agriculture. Less than 10% of the original forest cover remains, in part because there’s always been more market value in chopping down trees than in keeping them standing. Now the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is trying to change that. Today the WCS and the government of Madagascar announced the first-ever government-backed sale of forestry carbon credits in Africa, based around the endangered Makira Forest in the eastern half of the country. Called the Makira REDD+ Project (which means Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation “plus” conservation), WCS and Madagascar will be making 705,588 carbon credits available on the market, which will prevent the release of the 32.5 million tons of carbon that would be emitted if Makira wasn’t protected.

[Uganda] Forest Communities Draw a REDD Line

By Amy Fallon, IPS, 17 September 2013 | As the ink dries on a $3.6 million agreement between Uganda and the World Bank to support the country’s preparations for REDD, some analysts are pessimistic over the mechanism’s potential… Uganda’s REDD negotiator, Xavier Mugumya, told IPS that in addition to the 3.6 million dollars from the World Bank, the Austrian government has offered a grant of 650,000 euros (865,000 dollars). But this is only a fraction of the total set out in the country’s Readiness Preparation Proposal (RPP). “We still need nearly six million dollars to reach our budget as proposed in Uganda’s RPP,” said Mugumya. Lauren Goers Williams is an associate in the Institutions and Governance Programme at the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) who has been working with civil society partners in Cameroon for the past four years. She admitted to being somewhat of a “REDD skeptic”: “In some ways it’s a very simple idea: create an economic incentive to protect forests

18 September 2013

Climate change: A patchwork of emissions cuts

By Elliot Diringer, Nature, 18 September 2013 | Governments are yet to formally agree on anything. But in discussions earlier this year in Bonn, Germany, they began earnestly exploring a middle way — one neither as rigorous as the fading Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC, nor simply do-as-you-please. Although this approach might not look much like a grand climate solution, it is one that over time could substantially advance the global climate effort. In the emerging model, which has been advanced by the United States among others, the efforts of countries would be tracked under agreed rules. But individual emissions-reduction goals would be set by each country on its own, without negotiation. The agreement would, in essence, stitch together a mixture of self-defined contributions. To encourage ambition, countries would scrutinize each other’s initial offerings.

Climate change to have double impact – study

By Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian, 18 September 2013 | As the world awaits the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest verdict on the state of the climate, new research out this year finds that climate change could have double the impact previously thought. The peer-reviewed study published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society argues that conventional conclusions on climate sensitivity – the extent to which global temperatures respond to greenhouse gas emissions – underestimate the role of some amplifying feedbacks that may intensify climate impacts in ways that many models tend to overlook.

[Australia] Coalition carbon policy: What’s in it for farmers?

By Lucy Barbour, ABC Rural, 18 September 2013 | A prominent agricultural scientist says farmers are unlikely to earn much money under the Coalition’s Direct Action plan, which relies heavily on soil carbon sequestration. The plan would mean that landholders and companies would be paid for reducing CO2 emissions, rather than taxed for polluting the atmosphere with them. The incoming government would spend $3 billion buying carbon credits from companies and landholders at the lowest possible price through a reverse auction system. Professor Snow Barlow, from the University of Melbourne, says farmers would struggle to compete against larger companies such as power stations and aluminium smelters. "I’m hopeful that there might be discussions with the minister regarding how there may be quarantining of carbon credits for the land-based sector," he said.

[Australia] Tax gone but hunt for carbon cash not forgotten: minister

By Sue Neales, The Australian, 18 September 2013 | The incoming federal government has moved fast to reassure farmers the generation of on-farm carbon credits through storing carbon in trees or reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions remains a valuable and potentially lucrative source of income despite the imminent axing of the carbon tax. Incoming environment minister Greg Hunt said the Abbott government was intent on giving the rural sector more rather than less certainty about its ability to earn income from carbon farming. Mr Hunt said not only would the government encourage carbon farming and simplify "green" and red tape, but it also had allocated $1.55 billion in its first three years to its Emissions Reduction Fund, to buy stored carbon direct from farmers and for other low-cost emission abatement schemes.

Brazil: Female chief leads re-occupation of ancestral land after her three children die

Survival International, 18 September 2013 | Guarani Indians have carried out a courageous ‘retomada’ (re-occupation) of the sugar cane plantation that has taken over their ancestral land. The group is led by a female chief who has seen her husband and three of her children die on the roadside where they have lived for ten years. Their roadside camp was mysteriously destroyed in a fire last month and gunmen threatened to kill them. The same camp was torched by gunmen in 2009. In a statement released on Monday, Damiana Cavanha, the leader of the Apy Ka’y community, said, ’We decided to reoccupy part of our traditional land where there is a well of good water and a bit of remaining forest. ‘We decided to return to the land where three of our children, who were run over and torn apart by vehicles belonging to the ranches, are buried; where two leaders who were assassinated by gunmen employed by the ranchers, and where a 70 year old shaman who died from inhaling pesticides sprayed…

Report on Climate Change and Forests Reveals Vulnerability in Southern Europe

Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), 18 September 2013 | The Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg and Forest Europe released a report on the Models for Adaptative Forest Management (MOTIVE) project funded by the European Union (EU). The MOTIVE project, with a budget of nine million Euros, aims to evaluate the impacts of climate change on Europe’s forests and design adaptation activities to reduce negative impacts. The report contains a summary of the scientific evaluations including case studies from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Villagers occupy govt office in Indonesia Borneo in protest against palm oil land grab

By Diana Parker,, 18 September 2013 | Villagers in Indonesia’s Central Kalimantan province occupied a local government office last week, fed up with the government’s lack of action to resolve a long-running land dispute with palm oil company PT Rezeki Alam Semesta Raya. Around 29 villagers occupied the Kuala Kapuas district head office in Central Kalimantan on Thursday. The residents of Sei Ahas, Katimpun, Kalumpang and Pulau Kaladan villages demanded the company return nearly 3,000 hectares of customary land, which they said was taken from them without their consent. The occupation came after years of frustrated attempts by the villagers to negotiate with the company and the government for their lands to be returned.

[Kenya] Conservationists Partner with Locals to Save African Forests

By Kim Lewis, Voice of America, 18 September 2013 | Wildlife Works, an international development and management company that applies innovative market-based solutions to help preserve biodiversity, has been helping local landowners in the developing world benefit from forests and other assets. Through an initiative originated by the United Nations, called REDD+, an acronym for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, Wildlife Works is working to protect thousands of acres of forests in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company’s founder and, CEO, Mike Korchinsky, explained his organization’s efforts to counter the damaging effects of climate change.

Massive carbon credit sale announced in Madagascar, 18 September 2013 | The Government of Madagascar and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today that 705,588 carbon credits are certified for sale from the Makira Forest REDD+ Project. WCS estimates that it will prevent the release of more than 32 million tons of CO2 over the next thirty years. The Makira REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation "plus" conservation) Project is the first sale of government-owned, government-led REDD+ credits in Africa. Through carbon credit sales from avoided deforestation, the Makira REDD+ Project will finance the long-term conservation of one of Madagascar’s most pristine remaining rainforest ecosystems harboring rare and threatened plants and animals while improving community land stewardship and governance along with supporting the livelihoods of the local people.

Will Norway withdraw from Repsol because of indigenous people?

By David Hill, The Guardian, 18 September 2013 | Some years ago, the Council on Ethics within Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) began investigating oil and gas company Repsol. The council’s stated aim is to evaluate "whether or not investment in specified companies is inconsistent with the [Fund´s] established ethical guidelines" before making recommendations to the Ministry of Finance, and the reason it was interested in Repsol was because of its operations in a remote part of Peru’s Amazon inhabited by indigenous people living in "voluntary isolation" who have no regular contact with anyone else. What, if anything, did the Council conclude? According to Anders Krogh, from the NGO Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), the Council presented a report to the Ministry in 2011 recommending that Norway disinvests from Repsol.

[USA] California to Issue First Carbon Offset Credits

Environmental Leader, 18 September 2013 | The California Air Resources Board (CARB) says it will issue the first compliance offset credits eligible for use in California’s cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions reduction program by the end of the month. The first batch of 600,000 offsets includes a combination of early action projects and compliance offset projects. Carbon offset credits are issued for GHG reductions that take place in sectors not covered under the state’s cap-and-trade program. Each credit represents 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide and only carbon offset credits issued by CARB are considered compliance offset credits. CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols says the offsets have undergone “the most rigorous verification of any existing program.” The evaluation process included third-party verification to ensure that the offset credits achieve real GHG reductions under CARB-approved protocols.

19 September 2013

Developers risk losing billions if they fail to address land conflicts

By Claire Provost, The Guardian, 19 September 2013 | Investors eager to snap up land in developing countries risk losing billions of dollars if they fail to address potential conflicts with local communities, according to research that looks at the extent to which mining, timber and agriculture land deals in Africa, Latin America and Asia encroach on community and indigenous territory. In a paper published on Thursday by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a US-based non-profit organisation, researchers found at least 30% of land covered by commercial deals in 12 emerging economies overlapped with community forests, indigenous territory and other local land claims. Ignoring these claims could cost companies billions of dollars in financial damage, from increased operating costs to the abandonment of projects, says the paper. Investors also risk domestic legal challenges, prosecution in international courts for human rights abuses, protests by communities and public outcry…

The multi-million dollar question: Is forest certification working?

By Thomas Hubert, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 19 September 2013 | Forest certification is considered a promising tool to improve forest management, but there needs to be a robust evaluation of a complex web of factors to establish its true value for various stakeholders, according to a new analysis… “However, the often-claimed environmental and social benefits of certification remain to be empirically evaluated,” scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) have said in a paper proposing a framework for such an evaluation. The scientists analyzed existing literature on forest certification. Although much information has already been collected, they found that none of the approaches they reviewed resembled what could be considered a well-designed, independent evaluation.

REDD+ Talks: Leaders from business, UN and forest communities highlight REDD+ to tackle climate change

REDD+ Talks press release, 19 September 2013 | Leaders from the private, public and civil society sectors yesterday convened at REDD+ Talks: NYC to discuss their experiences of REDD+ and the role of the private sector in advancing this critical mechanism to tackle deforestation and climate change. Held at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, the event provided a platform for high-level REDD+ practitioners and leaders of the business and policy worlds, indigenous peoples, and forest communities, to exchange experiences and explore the contributions the private sector can make to REDD+ through finance, sustainable operations, project investment, and sharing expertise… Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP said, "By some estimates, the world will need to invest US 40 billion a year to halve the rate of global deforestation–and in doing so play a pivotal role in tackling poverty, combating climate change and catalyzing a transition to an inclusive Green Economy."

Ethiopia and Norway Signed a REDD+ Partnership Agreement

By Meraf Leykun,, 19 September 2013 | Ethiopia and Norway signed a REDD+ Partnership agreement to support Ethiopia’s forest sector and Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy. Agriculture State Minister, Sileshi Getahun and Norwegian Ambassador to Ethiopia Oddlnge Kvalheim signed the agreement on Friday 16 August, 2013. Sileshi on the occasion said the agreement will contribute to Ethiopia’s efforts to build climate resilient green economy. Ambassador Kvalheim on his part said the partnership is to contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation, thereby supporting the development and implementation of Ethiopia’s REDD+ Strategy. Kvalheim said there is no specific budget for this partnership agreement; it is an agreement with result based payments for verified results that the parties will agree upon along the way. The agreement is part of Norway’s commitment in the Durban Declaration…

[Indonesia] Webinar to launch Performance Milestones for Asia Pulp and Paper

European Environmental Paper Network, 19 September 2013 | Today the Environmental Paper Networks in Europe and North America release seven “Performance Milestones” necessary to verify the implementation of commitments made by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) under the company’s Sustainability Roadmap – Vision 2020 and latest Forest Conservation Policy. The Performance Milestones and their auditing will help customers and investors determine whether APP effectively implements its policy commitments and can help guide action by other pulp/paper companies in Indonesia and elsewhere. The Environmental Paper Network is urging customers to insist on independent third party auditing to verify the implementation of APP commitments and the performance milestones released today. An online event to introduce the Performance Milestones will be held today, Thursday, September 19th. This webinar will broadcast at 11:00 AM in New York, 17:00 in Central Europe and 10:00 PM in Jakarta…

Indonesian agriculture in the midst of sustainability options

By Ridwana Saleh, Jakarta Post, 19 September 2013 | PISAgro [is] a multi-stakeholder collaboration between the government; national and global private sectors; and international organizations to address Indonesia’s food, climate and poverty challenges. The initiative was announced at the June 2011 event at the East Asia’s World Economic Forum in Indonesia to address food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity by assisting Indonesian smallholders of eight commodities (cocoa, coffee, corn, dairy, palm oil, potatoes, rice and soybean) to increase productivity… And so the question will be: Who will benefit most from farmers’ productivity, the farmers themselves or the private sectors? Correct me if I’m wrong, but looking at the composition of the PISAgro’s seven private companies (Bayer Cropscience, Indofood, McKinsey, Nestlè Indonesia, Sinar Mas, Syngenta and Unilever), it appears that the beneficiaries are these gigantic companies.

20 September 2013

EU carbon markets set ‘to be oversupplied until 2027’

By Will Nichols, BusinessGreen, 20 September 2013 | The European carbon market is likely to remain oversupplied until 2027 even if the EU adopts stricter emissions reduction targets, analysts have warned. Thomson Reuters Point Carbon says the 2.5 billion excess carbon credits likely to be in the emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) in 2020 will not be fully eroded until allowance prices start to rise dramatically in the mid-2020s. Prices in the market are currently around €5.5 per tonne of CO2, which is well below the €40/t level most analysts agree is needed to drive large-scale low carbon investment. And prices will average only around €7.7/t between now and 2020, according to Point Carbon, when the return of around 900 million allowances likely to be temporarily removed from the market may force prices down to a little as €5/t.

Climate change: UN makes high-risk attempt to break deadlock on talks

By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 20 September 2013 | The United Nations secretary general is to invite world leaders next week to an unprecedented summit on climate change, in the hope of breaking the long deadlock on global warming talks. The high-risk strategy will put heads of state and government together to talk about the issue for the first time since the Copenhagen summit in 2009 ended in scenes of farce and disarray. Ban Ki-moon has decided he must convene the meeting because of the stalemate in the talks for the past four years, with international action dwindling even as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise strongly, and scientific warnings over the consequences grow more strident. He will tell world leaders next week that he expects them to attend crucial talks in 2014, ahead of a diplomatic push for a new global treaty on the climate, to culminate the following year.

Green Climate Fund prepares first of $US100b capital raising

The Age, 20 September 2013 | The new head of the Green Climate Fund, charged with disbursing some of $US100 billion ($106 billion) a year pledged to poor countries affected by climate change, is readying an initial capital raising to conclude as soon as 2014. “The desirable scenario is that some time in the third quarter of 2014 we would successfully conclude what we are calling an ad-hoc pledging process, the equivalent of the first financial close,” Hela Cheikhrouhou said.

[Australia] Cattle giant to cash in carbon credits

By Matt Brann, ABC Rural, 20 September 2013 | The Tipperary Group has become the first beef producer in Australia to earn carbon credits under the savanna burning carbon farming methodology. The company has been issued over 26,000 credits for its early-season burning program, which was carried out across four of its stations in the Northern Territory; Elizabeth Downs, Litchfield Station, Douglas Station and Tipperary Station. General manager of the Tipperary Group, David Warriner, says the company is hopeful of selling the credits for over $500,000. "The money is not in the bank yet, but there’s certainly interest (in buying the credits) for over $22 a tonne, so that’s looking pretty good."

[Indonesia] Improved Governance Crucial to Protect Our Most Pristine Forests

By Fitrian Ardiansyah and Erik Meijaard, The Jakarta Globe, 20 September 2013 | A study by Douglas Fuller of the University of Miami and colleagues — in press in the Indonesian Journal of Nature Conservation — is likely the first-ever assessment looking at all terrestrial protected areas in Indonesia, including national parks, and nature and wildlife reserves. The study reveals that between 2000 and 2010 these areas lost 3,700 square kilometers of forest, equaling about half the greater metropolitan area of Jakarta. When it comes to the status of the areas, deforestation rates in nature and wildlife reserves were about twice as high as those in national parks. Such different deforestation rates may be due to the fact that national parks have been slightly better equipped with funds, human resources and technology compared to other protected areas.

[New Zealand] NZ Steel takes almost $5m in free credits

Carbon News, 20 September 2013 | New Zealand Steel is once again the biggest recipient of free carbon credits, receiving nearly $5 million worth from the Government. Official figures show that the Glenbrook steel mill operator has been given more than a million tonnes of NZUs for last year’s production. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

21 September 2013

Strategy and tactics in the environmental movement

By Chris Williams, Climate and Capitalism, 21 September 2013 | Naomi Klein, in a recent interview, Green Group’s May be More Damaging than Climate Change Deniers, has sparked a furious debate amongst activists on the right and left of the North American environmental movement. Thanks to Klein’s article, the flames of controversy have been fanned and brought forth some fiery rhetoric around a dispute which has smoldered since the emergence of a more combative and distinctive left current within the environmental movement. A current associated with the concept of climate justice, and one that has further expanded since Occupy burst onto the political scene in the fall of 2011. Prominent climate blogger Joseph Romm, in a quite rancorous piece, labeled Klein’s views as “filled with contrarian “media bait” statements devoid of substance” and recommended no-one review or buy her upcoming book and film on climate change.

West Africa adopts regional approach to manage forest ecosystems

By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 21 September 2013 | In response to the dramatic decline of forest cover in West Africa, 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have agreed to work together across borders to protect and manage the region’s forests and wildlife. “States need common policies on how to manage their resources. Many forest-related issues, such as livestock or wildlife crossing national borders at different seasons, cannot be managed by one country on its own,” said Michael Balinga, regional scientist for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in West Africa, who took part in the meetings. “This decision sends a strong message that governments are serious about managing their forests more effectively — we finally have a policy document for all of West Africa.”

22 September 2013

[UK] Oaken Wood in Kent to be uprooted as quarry plan gets go ahead

By Daniel Boffey, The Observer, 22 September 2013 | The destruction of one of Britain’s ancient woodlands, a sweet-chestnut coppice that has been part of the Kent landscape for more than 400 years, is at the centre of a political and legal scrap involving claims of ministerial foul language and bullying. Last week Oaken Wood in the village of Barming, on the outskirts of Maidstone, was condemned to be turned into a quarry to supply Kentish ragstone to a company called Gallagher Aggregates. The last hope for the 80 acres of woodland – an attempt by campaigners to force a judicial review of a decision made by the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, to allow development – was thrown out by Judge Mark Ockelton in a 10-minute hearing. Campaigners fear that those 10 minutes could be a landmark point for another 300 ancient woods, covering nearly 9,000 hectares, that the Woodland Trust has said are under threat from the government’s new permissive planning policy…

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