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REDD in the news: 14-20 April 2014

REDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, organised by date with short extracts (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.

Understanding the FCPF Carbon Fund’s Methodological Framework

World Bank, April 2014 | In December 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund’s Methodological Framework was approved by Carbon Fund Participants. It will guide the development of large-scale REDD+ programs aimed to protect tropical forests and enhance the livelihoods of local communities. The Methodological Framework is a set of 37 criteria and related indicators (C&I), associated with five major aspects of Emission Reductions Programs: level of ambition, carbon accounting, safeguards, sustainable program design and implementation, and ER Program transactions. ER Programs included in the CF portfolio are expected to demonstrate conformity with the Framework’s criteria. This webinar is the first in a series of sessions on a variety of aspects related to REDD+ and the FCPF. In this webinar, Marco van der Linden, who co-lead the development of the Methodological Framework, will explain to the audience the key aspects they need to know…

CIFOR Analyzes Challenges to REDD in Six Countries

Forests Policy & Practice (IISD), April 2014 | The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has released a report analyzing the implementation of REDD in six countries. ‘The challenges of establishing REDD on the ground’ covers 23 sub-national programmes, concluding that the greatest challenges facing REDD implementation are inadequate economic incentives coupled with insecure land tenure and use rights. The report features case studies from Brazil, Cameroon, Indonesia, Peru, Tanzania and Viet Nam, which demonstrate that REDD is succeeding in reducing local deforestation and forest degradation. However, the report’s survey results call into question the long-term sustainability of the REDD concept, with about a third of respondents stating that they intend to or have already abandoned the project affiliation to REDD.

14 April 2014

Global study sheds light on challenges to REDD

The Jakarta Post, 14 April 2014 | An incentive program to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, or REDD , risks losing momentum over issues of land tenure and economic viability, a new study has revealed. Researchers said in the study that the challenges were surmountable and a binding international climate agreement could go a long way in bolstering prospects of the REDD program to mitigate climate impacts. The study titled “The Challenge of Establishing REDD on the Ground: Insights from 23 Sub-National Initiatives in Six Countries” is based on 23 local-level REDD initiatives around the world. Hundreds of the initiatives designed to test the feasibility of REDD have got under way in recent years; however, some initiative proponents are losing their enthusiasm for REDD , says the study, which was led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

[Guyana] China logging firm pushing ahead with big expansion

Stabroek News, 14 April 2014 | The Chinese logging firm Bai Shan Lin is moving to construct a wood processing facility, ship building operation and exhibition centre and has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental authorization. In an ad in the Stabroek News, the EPA said that it has determined that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required for the projects and an environmental authorization with specific conditions for environmental management may be granted to the applicants for the implementation of the projects. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Japan, Cambodia sign carbon market deal

Reuters, 14 April 2014 | Japan and Cambodia have signed a deal for Japanese companies to earn carbon credits by paying for greenhouse gas emission cuts in Cambodia, in Japan’s eleventh two-way programme of this type. The programme, known as the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), lets Japan use cheap international emissions cuts to satisfy domestic targets, despite spurning an opportunity to sign up for new binding targets under the U.N. Kyoto Protocol. Japan has been increasingly relying on fossil fuels to generate electricity after idling all 48 of its nuclear plants in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and has found it hard to rein in carbon emissions. In November, the government adjusted its 2020 emissions target, saying it would allow carbon emissions to grow 3 percent from 1990 levels by the end of the decade, against an earlier goal of cutting emissions by a quarter in that time.

[UK] Final member of boiler room scam gang jailed

Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, 14 April 2014 | A salesman who took part in a boiler room scam which fleeced investors out of more than £4m was today jailed for three years today (MON). John Curtin, 38, sold worthless shares for up to four times the agreed value and then siphoned off the profits as part of the scam run by American Brian O’Brien and his British wife Lynne D’Albertson. O’Brien and D’Albertson, who used to live in Westfield, were also jailed for their role in the scam. D’Albertson’s son Damien Smith, of Eversfield Mews North, St Leonards was jailed for three years and four month… Prosecutor Amanda Pinto QC said: “Between 2005 and 2007 the defendant was a sales manager involved in the fraudulent sale of company shares at vastly inflated price. “The defendant would call potential investors and over a couple of months £4m was acquired…”

Analytica Bio-Energy Corp Enters into Agreement with Green Giant Venture Fund

Analytica Bio-Energy Corp. press release, 14 April 2014 | Analytica Bio-Energy Corp. (OTCQB: ABEC) announced today the engagement of Green Giant Venture Fund as part of the Company’s plans to develop and forward sell Carbon Credits. Green Giant is a leading broker in the global Carbon Credits market. Green Giant Venture Fund will develop these credits and the required documentation for ABEC. Green Giant Venture Fund will also seek to secure multiple forward sale offers of these Credits on behalf of /for ABEC. “We are very excited to begin what we expect to be a long term, profitable relationship with Green Giant,” said Luiz Brasil, President of Analytica Bio-Energy Corp. “Our Carbon Credits present a significant financial opportunity as they can be sold forward or booked as an asset for the company.”

15 April 2014

Nutrient-rich forests absorb more carbon

e! Science News, 15 April 2014 | The ability of forests to sequester carbon from the atmosphere depends on nutrients available in the forest soils, shows new research from an international team of researchers, including IIASA. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed that forests growing in fertile soils with ample nutrients are able to sequester about 30% of the carbon that they take up during photosynthesis. In contrast, forests growing in nutrient-poor soils may retain only 6% of that carbon. The rest is returned to the atmosphere as respiration. “This paper produces the first evidence that to really understand the carbon cycle, you have to look into issues of nutrient cycling within the soil,” says IIASA Ecosystems Services and Management Program Director Michael Obersteiner, who worked on the study as part of a new international research project sponsored by the European Research Council.

IMF, World Bank push carbon pricing

The Australian, 15 April 2014 | The leaders of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have called upon finance ministers to “tackle the issue of carbon pricing,” Fairfax reports. According to the news outlet, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said carbon pricing was among fiscal tools government’s could use that would benefit the environment while stimulating global economies. “Even though it’s controversial we’ve got to tackle the issue of carbon pricing,” Mr Kim said on Saturday, according to Fairfax. Ms Lagarde said carbon taxes and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies were “intelligent” ways to reallocate resources to address climate change, Fairfax reports.

‘Rural’ forests nurture healthy socio-environmental activity — scientists

By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 15 April 2014 | Policymakers and conservationists often overlook the importance of rural forests and the local knowledge that has sustained them for centuries, according to a report published in the journal “Ecology and Society” that reflects on the way sustainable development policies have affected rural forests. Rural — or domestic — forests exist all over the world, from temperate countries to arid and tropical humid regions. They are managed by local people as part of their agricultural and livelihood activities, according to the journal, which featured eight studies on rural forests in France, Morocco, Southeast Asia and Africa funded under the Public Policies and Traditional Management of Trees and Forests project (known by its French acronym, POPULAR).

Brazil looks to swap World Cup publicity for carbon credits

By Marcello Teixeira, Reuters, 15 April 2014 | Brazil, looking to offset the carbon emissions generated by construction, travel and other activities related to hosting the 2014 Soccer World Cup, said on Tuesday it wants holders of United Nations-backed carbon credits to swap them for publicity during the games. The World Cup begins June 12 and Brazil’s Environment Ministry said it has launched a program to convince owners of credits to exchange them for publicity in official documents of the event. The country, which is spending 26 billion reais ($11.6 billion) to prepare for the world’s top soccer tournament, has no plans to buy offsets in the market, even if carbon prices are at historical lows. “We talked to some holders of credits and they were receptive to the idea of donating the credits”, said Eduardo Valente, an official working with the program. The government will accept only certified emission reductions (CERs) from Brazil-based projects of the U.N.’s CDM.

Deforestation of Central America rises as Mexico’s war on drugs moves south

By Frédéric Saliba, The Guardian, 15 April 2014 | According to Kendra McSweeney: “Drug trafficking is causing an ecological disaster in Central America.” McSweeney, a geographer at Ohio State University, is the co-author of a recent report on the little-known phenomenon of “narco-deforestation” that is destroying huge tracts of rainforest that are already under threat from other quarters. Viewed from the air, the tropical forests of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua are scarred with landing strips and roads built illegally by the narco-traffickers for transporting drugs to the US, the leading world market. “These protected ecological zones have become the hub for South American cocaine,” according to McSweeney, who stresses that the annual deforestation rate in Honduras more than quadrupled between 2007 and 2011, a boom-period for drug trafficking.

New Study: Global Paper Company Makes Progress, but Continues to Face Challenges in Ensuring Legality of Land Holdings in China

Rights and Resources Initiative press release, 15 April 2014 | Despite headway in addressing land rights violations made in recent years, Stora Enso has yet to fully ensure legality of all lands acquired in the past. A new report reveals that Stora Enso Oyj (Stora Enso), one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, has made substantial progress in reviewing the legality of its land acquisitions in China, but has not yet fully ensured respect for local land rights in their operations. These challenges continue despite important steps by the company since 2009 to improve its land acquisition practices against the backdrop of China’s ongoing nationwide forest tenure reform.

Democratic Republic of Congo accepted into World Bank Carbon Fund “pipeline” to advance REDD work

WWF, 15 April 2014 | The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Emission Reductions Program Idea Note (ER-PIN) was provisionally approved last week in Brussels, Belgium by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) Carbon Fund, administered by the World Bank. DRC’s program would be one of the first jurisdictional-scale REDD+ programs in Africa, including approximately ten million hectares of forest and two and a half million hectares of mixed agricultural lands and savannah. Joining the Carbon Fund’s “pipeline” will now make available up to US$650,000 to support the World Bank’s “due diligence” process and development of a full program proposal worth up to US$60 million to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in western DRC. As a next step, DRC was asked to revise its proposed approach to measuring emission reductions before moving forward with full program development.

Europe To Spend €2B In Carbon Credits On Clean Energy

Law360, 15 April 2014 | The European Commission will invest about €2 billion in carbon capture and storage projects, using money it raised under a carbon allowances sale scheme, the European Investment Bank said Tuesday. The EIB sold 200 million allowances in the NER300 scheme by late 2011 and finished selling the remaining 100 million allowances last week. Gross sales from this second phase added up to about €548 million, the EIB reported. Combined with prior proceeds, the money will fund clean energy and pollution mitigation tech research, as the Commission… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[New Zealand] NZ emissions accelerating

New Zealand Herald, 15 April 2014 | New Zealand’s emissions of greenhouse gases grew 2.2 per cent in 2012, accelerating from 1.4 per cent in 2011. The increase, reported by the Ministry for the Environment in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory, also exceeds the average since 1990, over which period the cumulative increase in emissions was 25 per cent. Emissions in 2012 grew by 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, reflecting 900,000 tonnes or 2.9 per cent more from the energy sector, as a dry year reduced hydro-electricity production, and an 800,000 tonne or 2.4 per cent increase in agricultural emissions as the dairy herd grew. The figure does not include net removals of CO2 from the atmosphere as a result of forestry and land use change.

Biodiversity Boom Bolsters Peruvian Forests (And REDD) Ahead Of Year-End Climate Talks There

By Lauren Cooper, Ecosystem Marketplace, 15 April 2014 | A new survey, by UC Berkeley, SIU-Carbondale, and Illinois Wesleyan University is bringing some much-needed positivity in global biodiversity news. Despite species and biodiversity figures dropping all over the world, Manu National Park of southern Peru has surpassed its own record for species biodiversity. The park continues to hold title as the richest biodiversity hotspot in the world for reptiles and amphibians. Located in the Department of Madre de Dios in southern Peru, Manu Park is already a world-renowned attraction for “eco-tourists” – specifically bird watchers, scientists, and conservationists. The World Heritage List in 1987. The nearly 1.5 million protected hectares hosts a variety of ecosystems, including lowland moist Amazonian rain forest, high-altitude cloud forest, and Andean grasslands.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fall 10 pct since 2005: EPA

Reuters, 15 April 2014 | U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2012, more than halfway toward the United States’ 2020 target pledged at United Nations climate talks, according to the latest national emissions inventory. The report showed that emissions dropped 3.4 percent from 2012 to 2011, mostly due to a decrease in energy consumption and fuel switching from coal to natural gas. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday published the United States’ 19th annual emissions tally to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States uses 2005 pollution levels as its benchmark to measure emissions cuts, and has a target to lower emissions by 17 percent from that starting point by 2020.

16 April 2014

Brazil looks to swap World Cup publicity for carbon credits

By Marcelo Teiceira, Reuters, 16 April 2014 | Brazil, looking to offset the carbon emissions generated by construction, travel and other activities related to hosting the 2014 Soccer World Cup, said on Tuesday it wants holders of United Nations-backed carbon credits to swap them for publicity during the games. The World Cup begins June 12 and Brazil’s Environment Ministry said it has launched a program to convince owners of credits to exchange them for publicity in official documents of the event. The country, which is spending 26 billion reais ($11.6 billion) to prepare for the world’s top soccer tournament, has no plans to buy offsets in the market, even if carbon prices are at historical lows.

Cameroon Guidelines Seek to Avert Conflict Over Forest Carbon Scheme

By Elias Ntungwe Ngalame, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 16 April 2014 | Cameroon’s government has published a guide outlining good practice for initiatives to protect the African country’s rich rainforests and reduce emissions from deforestation. Presenting the guide to groups involved in forest management, environment minister Pierre Hele said it was noteworthy because it had been drafted with the participation of indigenous and local communities in the country’s five agro-ecological zones. Put together in collaboration with WWF, the German development agency GIZ and the Cameroon Centre for Environment and Development (CED), the document is meant to inform the design of programmes under the fledgling U.N.-backed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme.

Deforestation could cause Congo to warm 3C by 2050

By Sophie Yeo, RTCC, 16 April 2014 | The Congo Basin will face disproportionately high levels of global warming by 2050 due to deforestation, researchers have warned. Shrinking rainforest cover means the area will heat up by an additional 0.7C by mid-century, on top of the 1.4C increase from today’s temperatures that rising global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to cause. This is in addition to the 0.85C of warming that the world has already experienced since industrial times, when humans started burning fossil fuels at scale. This puts the Congo on track to hit around 3C of warming by the middle of the century, far exceeding the internationally agreed ‘safe’ target of 2C, with severe implications for the plants and animals in the forest. “When you go to local hotspots of over 3C by 2050, you have some species which won’t be able to adapt to this temperature change,” said co-author Wim Thiery to RTCC.

EU to host industry talks ahead of setting 2030 climate goals

Reuters, 16 April 2014 | The European Commission will hold three meetings this summer on how to ensure the bloc’s industries can compete in global markets while meeting goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it said on Wednesday. The meetings aim to gather views on rules determining if companies can continue to receive free carbon permits under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) beyond 2020, when current measures expire. They will also include how EU governments can fund the development of new technologies to help drive deep cuts in the heat-trapping emissions blamed for warming the planet.

17 April 2014

When it comes to carbon, pay now or pay more later

By Gernot Wagner, EDF, 17 April 2014 | Economics is largely just organized common sense, and it doesn’t get much more common sense than benefit-cost analysis. Want to decide whether to buy that apple, make that investment or pass that clean air rule? Tally up the benefits. Tally up the costs. If benefits outweigh costs, do it. Although in many ways climate change is a problem in its own league, the same principles apply. Secretary of State John Kerry recently said, “The costs of inaction are catastrophic,” and they most likely would be. While climate change ought to be a risk management problem — an existential risk management problem on a planetary scale — that realization alone may not always be good enough. Despite the inherent risks and uncertainties, sometimes we need a specific number that we can plug into a benefit-cost analysis.

To set priorities for research, ask the right questions

By Peter Kanowski, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 17 April 2014 | How should research institutions such as CIFOR, with a global mandate and responsibilities, identify potential research priorities? How can they draw effectively on the knowledge, expertise and insights of the global community of researchers and practitioners? Several recent initiatives responding to questions like these in other topic areas have informed a new project to identify research priorities for forestry and landscapes.

Brazil asks for free offsets to ‘green’ 2014 FIFA World Cup

By Ed King, RTCC, 17 April 2014 | Brazil wants owners of UN carbon credits to donate them to the organisers of this year’s World Cup, offsetting the tournament’s emissions in return for free publicity. The government hopes that up to a million credits known as certified emission reductions (CERs) from the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism will be made available. All donated credits must originate from Brazilian CDM projects. If realised, this would be equal to taking 30,000 cars off the road. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres welcomed the announcement, but said she would reserve judgement until the results of the initiative were revealed once the tournament ended. “I wish Brazil and FIFA every success in their endeavours and look forward to a rigorous assessment after the final whistle blows on what was actually achieved in respect to climate neutrality,” she said.

[Indonesia] Forest law failings could speed up climate change

The Jakarta Post, 17 April 2014 | Climate change experts have said that stronger law enforcement was needed to prevent future disastrous wildfires in susceptible areas such as the peatlands of Riau, Sumatra. Data from the World Resource Institute (WRI) shows that in Riau there were around 3,101 high confidence fire alerts from Feb. 20 to March 11, 2014. As a comparison, the province saw 2,643 fire alerts from June 13 to June 30 last year. From March 2013 to March 2014, 52 percent of all fire alerts in Indonesia came from four regencies in Riau province. Over the last year, haze generated from fires in Riau has caused respiratory problems for more than 58,000 people. The WRI data also shows that in 2009 greenhouse gases (GHG) from forest and peatland fires in Riau contributed to 27 percent of all the GHGs emitted from Indonesia that year. GHGs stay in the atmosphere for tens to hundreds of years after being released and are considered a major driver of climate change.

Nepal selected for carbon market, 17 April 2014 | Nepal has been selected as one of the four countries for promoting forest conservation by controlling deforestation and degradation as well as profiting off forest carbon stocks. During the ninth meeting of Carbon Fund set up under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and implemented by the World Bank (WB) from April 9 to April 11 in Belgium, Nepal was chosen as one of four countries best suitable for results-based payment system for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD plus) scheme, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) on Wednesday.

[New Zealand] PM rejects carbon price rise plea

Radio New Zealand News, 17 April 2014 | A collective of tribal leaders has failed to convince the Government to boost the price of carbon credits. The value of the units has collapsed, and the iwi leadership group on climate change wants the rate to go up. The credits are sold and bought under the emissions trading scheme, which was set up to encourage the growing of trees to absorb carbon dioxide. Tribal spokesperson Chris Karamea Insley told an energy conference they had proposed to Prime Minister John Key that the carbon credit price be raised to $15, and that analysis showed a rise would create 50,000 jobs. But Mr Karamea Insley said Mr Key rejected the plea.

Meet the women trading Sudan’s first carbon credits

By Mary Gallagher, The Guardian, 17 April 2014 | While attention in the sector has recently been focused on the IPCC’s latest report on climate change, in Sudan women have been quietly making breakthroughs by issuing the country’s first carbon credits. In a country blighted by conflict and drought, the Women’s Development Association Network (WDAN) representing over 50,000 women in Sudan, is driving economic growth and reversing deforestation. The town of El Fasher, the capital of the North Darfur region, is an area considered high risk by international markets because of its history of civil war, conflict and reliance on humanitarian aid. It is here that the Darfur Low Smoke Project, financed entirely by private sector money, was launched in 2007 by the WDAN, the international NGO Practical Action and the UK-based company Carbon Clear.

18 April 2014

[Indonesia] Satellite detects 44 hotspots in Sumatra

ANTARA News, 18 April 2014 | The Terra and Aqua Satellites have detected 40 hotspots located in Sumatra Island, which were mostly found in Riau Province that had reached 20 areas. According to the Riau Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency received here on Friday, the total hotspots that are found in Riau have increased 100 percent. The agency noted that the hotspots are spread across eight districts and cities of Riau Province, which are mostly located in Dumai city and has reached five sites. The satellite noted three of the five hotspots in Dumai city including Pelintung Village of Medang Kampai Sub-district, Basilam Baru Village of Sungai Sembilan Sub-district and Gurun Panjang VIllage of Bukit Kapur Sub-district.

Nepal on its way to access results-based payments for REDD

WWF, 18 April 2014 | Nepal made new headway in the REDD+ readiness process with the approval of its Emission Reductions Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) at the Carbon Fund’s Ninth Meeting (CF9) organized by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility under the World Bank in April 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. This opens new horizons in REDD+ readiness for Nepal with the potential to bring additional resources of up to USD 70 million for the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) through the Government of Nepal. This is based on the resolution made at CF9 to negotiate a Letter of Intent with Nepal for an estimated volume of up to 14 million tonnes of emission reductions (CO2 equivalent) over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020.

REDD readiness can bring resources up to $70 million to Nepal

The Himalayan Times, 18 April 2014 | Nepal has made new headway in the REDD+ readiness process with the approval of its Emission Reductions Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) at the Carbon Fund’s Ninth Meeting (CF9) organised by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility under the World Bank in Brussels, Belgium earlier this week… According to WWF Nepal, this initiative opens new horizons in REDD+ readiness for Nepal with the potential to bring additional resources of up to US$ 70 million for the Tarai Arc Landscape through the Government of Nepal. This is based on the resolution made at CF9 to negotiate a Letter of Intent with Nepal for an estimated volume of up to 14 million tonnes of emission reductions (CO2 equivalent) over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020.

19 April 2014

20 April 2014

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