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REDD in the news: 2-8 June 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.

2 June 2014

Legislation Alone Will Not Address Africa’s Climate Challenges

By Ignatius Banda, IPS, 2 June 2014 | Despite a raft of legislation dealing with the environment, African countries are still falling short when it comes to enforcing the legal instruments that respond to challenges posed by climate change, researchers say. “Most African countries have robust legislation on the environment. But good on paper as they are, they fall far short of implementation,” Samuel Ogalla, programme manager at the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a coalition of civil society organisations from the continent, told IPS. Many countries have acts of parliament and statutory laws in place that, for example, punish those contributing to global warming. Deforestation is a huge challenge towards implementing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) programmes and while wood poaching is illegal under environment laws, researchers note that nothing is being done to provide alternative sources of energy to curb deforestation.

[Australia] Federal Government continues campaign to delist part of Tasmania’s wilderness with state government’s help

By Selina Bryan, ABC News, 2 June 2014 | The Federal Government remains outwardly confident it can convince the World Heritage Committee to delist part of Tasmania’s World Heritage wilderness. It is giving committee members more information about past logging but conservation groups doubt it will be enough. The Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry, Richard Colbeck, is leading the campaign to have 74,000 hectares excised from the World Heritage listing. He argues it has been degraded by past logging. The Senator says the World Heritage Committee will be given new information, after concerns the Federal Government’s submission had no detailed justifications or explanations. “Up until the state election in March we didn’t have a co-operative State Government and there was certainly some information around previous harvesting that we didn’t have access to the information for,” Senator Colbeck said.

[India] Carbon Haul

The Financial Express, 2 June 2014 | Worldwide, the share of greenhouse gases covered by carbon pricing initiatives increased over the past year, indicating a growing sensitivity towards meeting emission control targets. According to the World Bank’s State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2014 report, eight new carbon markets came up in 2013 and one in early 2014, including six in China, long held to be one of the worst emitters. Carbon pricing encompasses market-driven methods to establish emission control. For example, under emission trade schemes (ETS), permits, or carbon credits, become an item of trade—an emitter with a greater emission burden than the cap can purchase credits from an emitter who holds such permits in excess of its emission burden. Some jurisdictions may choose to impose a carbon tax to check emissions. As per the Bank’s report, the world ETS market has grown to $30 billion over 2013.

Mexico Underlines Transformation in Global Climate Change Debate

By Alejandro Encinas (GLOBE), IPS, 2 June 2014 | It is now two years since Mexico passed the General Law on Climate Change, a landmark piece of national environmental legislation. This was a truly significant move and came at a time when the country had also just approved a far-reaching REDD+ law that has set the benchmark for international best practice on tackling deforestation and forest degradation. Passage of Mexico’s far-reaching climate law (which was supported, significantly, on a cross-party basis) highlights the progress on climate change now being made globally. Numerous national economies have passed landmark climate and energy-related legislation over the last few years.

[Peru] I Bought A Rainforest – TV review

By Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 2 June 2014 | Charlie has bought a rainforest in Peru. Well, if you can call 100 acres – that’s 0.4 square kilometres, I believe, or enough room for approximately one 50th of a jaguar to roam about in – a rainforest. But I Bought A Rainforest (BBC2, Sunday) is a better title for a TV show than I Bought A Bit Of Land. It’s not primary forest either, but secondary, meaning it has been chopped down before. Not that Charlie – affable, handsome wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton James, last seen splashing around an English river with his family – probably knew. He forgot one of the fundamental rules of property purchase: always view before you buy. Anyway, it looks promising when he turns up in the middle of the night after a long drive down from the Andes into the Amazon.

[USA] Obama unveils historic rules to reduce coal pollution by 30%

By Suzanne Goldberg, The Guardian, 2 June 2014 | The Obama administration unveiled historic environment rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants by 30% on Monday, spurring prospects for a global deal to end climate change but setting up an epic battle over the environment in this year’s mid-term elections. The new rules, formally announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, represent the first time Barack Obama, or any other president, has moved to regulate carbon pollution from power plants – the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change. The EPA said the regulations, which would cut carbon pollution from power plants 30% from 2005 levels by 2030, would “fight climate change while supplying America with reliable and affordable power”. The EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, said the new rules would be critical to Obama’s efforts to deliver on his promise – to Americans and the international community – to fight climate change.

Zimbabwe: Redd Credits Over Supply Affects Sales

By Jeffrey Gogo, The Herald, 2 June 2014 | Carbon prices from projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation plunged more than 43 percent last year, which could spell potential revenue difficulties for Zimbabwe’s planned implementation of REDD initiatives… Now, a “State of the Carbon Markets 2014” report released last week by the Ecosystem Marketplace, a US-based firm, showed that although carbon buyers were loving forests offsets, they paid low. Buyers like governments and companies spent $94 million purchasing 22,6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent (MtCO2e) of REDD offsets in 2013, more than double the volume bought in 2012. But they paid just $2 per tonne of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), on the average, down from $7,4/tCO2e prior year comparative. This year, offset prices from REDD projects have fallen to below $1. Prices have largely been suppressed due to an oversupply of credits in the market. Other credits are finding no takers.

3 June 2014

Conservationists split over ‘biodiversity offsetting’ plans

By John Vidal, The Guardian, 3 June 2014 | Conservationists around the world are split over whether to let developers destroy green space in return for paying cash to restore equivalent space elsewhere, a meeting at London Zoo on Tuesday found. Britain and 38 other countries have, or are in the process of setting in place, policies which will allow “biodiversity offsetting”, a market system of conservation used in the US and Australia which aims to ensure that there is no net loss of nature from any development. But giant oil and mining companies, as well as conservationists and governments at the first global conference on offsetting, heard that evidence from projects where offsets have been used is conflicting and that while they can be made to work there is no guarantee of success and many examples of failures. “There is a great deal of public distrust about offsetting biodiversity. The concept of ‘no net loss’ is seen as questionable,” said Kerry ten Kate…

The Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News

Ecosystem Marketplace, 3 June 2014 | The market value of REDD also increased by 35% in 2013, to $94 million, buoyed by a significant and historic transaction between the German development bank KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) and Brazil’s Acre state. This growth came at an average price of $4.2/tCO2e, down from $7.4/tCO2e in 2012 – though less than a handful of REDD project developers sold REDD offsets at under $3/tCO2e. “Some of the larger [REDD] projects are able to unload a significant quantity of offsets at a very low price to help with their cash flow issues,” explained Brian McFarland of Maryland-based, in an interview with Ecosystem Marketplace. McFarland noted that he’s hoping for a compliance signal from California or (longer-term) China or a forward market commitment by a multi-lateral agency like the United Nations’ REDD program or the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

China to limit carbon emissions for first time, climate adviser claims

By Adam Vaughan and Tania Branigan, The Guardian, 3 June 2014 | China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, will limit its total emissions for the first time by the end of this decade, according to a top government advisor. He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing on Tuesday that an absolute cap on carbon emissions will be introduced. “The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap,” Reuters reported He as saying. Though not a government official, He is a high level advisor. However, Jiankun later in the day appear to row back on the comments. “What I said today was my personal view. The opinions expressed at the workshop were only meant for academic studies. What I said does not represent the Chinese government or any organisation,” he told Reuters.

[French Guiana] MOU provides a framework for exchange of technical and strategic information on REDD between UNDP and ONF, 3 June 2014 | On Monday June 2, 2014 in Cayenne, French Guiana, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Guyana, Khadija Musa, and the French Forest Office (ONF) Guyane Regional Director, Nicolas Karr, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the entities, on REDD+ in the Guiana Shield. UNDP is enhancing its development activities in the Guiana Shield, through implementation of the Guiana Shield Facility (GSF), a multi-country funding facility dedicated to conservation and sustainable development of the Guiana Shield eco-region.

Logger continues to destroy Indonesian rainforest despite green promises

By Rhett A. Butler,, 3 June 2014 | Indonesian logging giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is continuing to destroy endangered rainforests on Sumatra despite a high profile commitment to clean up its operations, reveal aerial photos captured by Greenpeace last month. The pictures show excavators leveling forests on carbon-dense peatlands on Pulau Padang, an island where APRIL claims to be restoring forest. Visible in the images are canals dug to drain peatlands to make them suitable for industrial acacia plantations. The photos clearly show APRIL’s subsidiary PT. Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (PT RAPP) violating the spirit of APRIL’s forest conservation policy, which commits the company to protecting and restoring high conservation value forests and high carbon stock areas.

[Indonesia] PT. Rimba Raya Conservation Hands Over the Community Development Funds to Four Villages in Seruyan Regency

ANTARA News, 3 June 2014 | Four of nine villages in Seruyan Regency have received the Village Development Funds as a realization of the Community Development located around the work area of PT. Rimba Raya Conservation (RRC). Vice President Public & Government Relations, PT. Rimba Raya Conservation, Nisa Jalil, explained, “The fund contribution for the Village Development is a part of the obligation of RRC in implementing the ecosystem conservation and restoration program that is related to REDD+ (emission reduction through the degradation and deforestation) for Ulak Batu village, Danau Sembuluh sub-district, which is used to build Ulak Batu’s village hall.” … The handover of the Village Development Funds ceremony was facilitated by World Education, which was representated by Billy M. Hasbi, the Field Coordinator, as the partner of RRC.

Singapore intercepts massive illegal shipment of Madagascar rosewood

By Rhett A. Butler,, 3 June 2014 | Authorities in Singapore have made the largest-ever international seizure of rosewood logs, providing further evidence that industrial-scale smuggling of Madagascar’s rainforest timber continues despite an official ban on the trade. Details of the seizure remain sparse since the investigation is still active, but leaked correspondence between officials in Madagascar indicates that the shipment amounts to 3,000 tons, or more than 29,000 illicit rosewood logs. By comparison, the Mombasa seizure that made headlines last week after a probe by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) was 500 tons or 4,400 logs — more than six times smaller. The Kenya seizure came less than two months after Sri Lanka intercepted a 420-ton shipment.

US Federal Government Throws Its Weight Behind REDD

By Gloria Gonzalez, Ecosystem Marketplace, 3 June 2014 | In the shadow of political uncertainty and Congressional inaction, US President Barack Obama has not been shy about his using his executive authority to support projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). His administration has pledged $1 billion to REDD+ efforts in recognition of the fact that as much as 80% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the land use sector in some developing countries. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) kicked these efforts up a notch with last week’s announcement that it will offer a new-risk sharing loan guarantee to enable the Althelia Climate Fund to lend up to $133.8 million in commercial financing for forest conservation and sustainable land use projects in developing countries. The Althelia guarantee is the first of what the agency hopes will be similar transactions with other partners.

4 June 2014

One goal, but many paths to financing a ‘green economy,’ panelists say

By Greg Clough, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 4 June 2014 | The necessary public and private investment to finance a “green economy” in Southeast Asia has so far been slow to arrive, experts said at a recent regional conference, urging a range of different approaches to help accelerate it. Mobilizing financial resources to stimulate investments in smallholder agriculture and sustainable land use — ranging from REDD+ activities to a forest carbon market, among others — could help to slow drivers of deforestation. A financing gap has emerged, though, attributed by some to a lack of political will.

Intact Amazon forests show possible signs of global warming impact, 4 June 2014 | Climate change may be taking a hidden toll on intact rainforests in the heart of the Amazon, finds a new study based on 35 years of observations. The research, published in the journal Ecology, focused on the ecological impacts of fragmentation but unexpectedly found changes in the control forests. These shifts, which included faster growth and death rates of trees, increased biomass accumulation, and proliferation in vines, may be linked to rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, according to George Mason University’s Thomas Lovejoy, who initiated the study in the late 1970’s. “These changes might be driven by increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Lovejoy in a statement. “Plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and when it increases, the forest evidently becomes more unstable and dynamic, as long as the soils have enough nutrients.”

Endangered wild cattle discovered in Cambodia’s northwest, 4 June 2014 | Unexpected photos from Siem Reap Province, north-west Cambodia, signal hope for the country’s wild cattle amidst threats from hunting and habitat loss. Positioned to gather local biodiversity data, hidden camera traps have captured photos of banteng, a wild cattle species of Southeast Asia, in an area of Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province where the species was previously believed to be extinct. The camera traps were set by Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) Asia-Pacific Community Carbon Pools and REDD+ Programme and recorded six individual banteng (including three young). Hoof prints and dung were also found in the area. “The discovery of banteng in a region where few individuals remain and hunting risk is high signifies renewed hope for the species and emphasises the critical and urgent need for effective conservation in this region of Cambodia,” said Rob Harris, FFI’s Programme Manager, Asia-Pacific Community Carbon Pools and REDD+.

FAO and Chinese partners working to unlock carbon finance for herders and grazers

The Global Miller, 4 June 2014 | FAO and the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Science (CAAS), the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and China’s Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology (NWIPB) have for the past several years been working to link grasslands restoration efforts to international climate financing schemes… [R]estoring degraded grasslands can also trap large volumes of atmospheric carbon, mitigating climate change. For this to happen, economic incentives are critical. Carbon crediting schemes that pay projects for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon do exist, in theory offering farmers the potential to earn money in exchange for adopting practices that help mitigate climate change.

Britain convicts Madrid-based boiler room conmen

By Kirstin Ridley, Reuters, 4 June 2014 | Two men who tricked hundreds of British investors into buying inflated or worthless shares in a 70 million-pound “boiler-room” scam were convicted in a London court on Wednesday. After a three month trial, a jury found Jeffrey Revell-Reade, a 49-year-old Australian, and 58-year-old Anthony May guilty of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the Madrid-based scam that duped at least 1,000 investors… Six people have already been jailed for up to seven years as a result of the investigation, code-named Operation Steamroller, while a 62-year-old woman was handed a suspended jail sentence. Reporting restrictions on these convictions were lifted on Wednesday. But the latest verdicts include the so-called “controlling mind” of the operation, rather than just the sales team – a key but often elusive target for prosecutors. Revell-Reade and May, who lived in Switzerland before moving to Spain, will be sentenced on Friday.

[UK] Four south Essex crooks involved in UK’s biggest ever boiler room scam

By Jon Austin, Echo News, 4 June 2014 | Three south Essex people were jailed for a total of more than 15 years after being convicted of being involved in the country’s biggest ever boiler room scam. Shaun Rumsey, 33, from Basildon, was jailed for five years, Daniel Gooding, 39, sister Emma Farmer, 41, from Oaklands Park, Hutton in Brentwood, received three years. All had denied one count of conspiracy to defraud. They were part of the senior management of three Madrid boiler rooms Tresaderns & Partners, Price Stone Group and Anderson McCormack. Their convictions follow a seven-year probe named Operation Steamroller.

5 June 2014

UCS: Report highlights successful efforts to stem deforestation in 17 countries

Union of Concerned Scientists press release, 5 June 2014 | Brazil is home to the world’s largest tropical forest, the Amazon. As early as 2002, the Brazilian government reduced deforestation by establishing forest protected areas, and later companies agreed to moratoriums on buying soy or beef raised on deforested land. While these deforestation programs and policies proved effective, Brazil took additional action through the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation plus pro-forest activities (REDD+) program in cooperation with Norway. REDD+ offers financial incentives, provided by developed countries, to developing countries for reducing deforestation. Today, 80 percent of original Amazonian forest is still standing due to forest protections, moratoriums and the REDD+ program… Yet other countries still, like Guyana and Central Africa exemplify how economic development socioeconomic changes are relieving pressure on forests.

Synergies across a REDD landscape: Non-carbon benefits, joint mitigation and adaptation, and an analysis of submissions to the SBSTA

Climate & Development Knowledge Network, 5 June 2014 | This brief draws from the scientific literature on non-carbon benefits and joint mitigation and adaptation, evaluates recent submissions to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) on these issues, and intends to inform the negotiations on these approaches. It highlights that international policy makers are currently exploring methodological matters associated with non-carbon benefits and joint mitigation and adaptation approaches as they relate to REDD+. The brief argues that although few pilot projects are exploring these issues, emerging evidence shows how these approaches can be implemented on the ground. It is suggested that Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and observers consider the synergies among safeguards, non-carbon benefits, and mitigation and adaptation as critical to providing some of the best REDD+ results.

Report Finds Central Africa Successfully Reducing Deforestation

By Isa Chuki, Africa Science News, 5 June 2014 | “Central Africa and Guyana exemplify how economic development socioeconomic changes are relieving pressure on forests. Guyana’s case is unusual in that its deforestation rate is nearly zero and forest policies are focused on preventing deforestation entirely. Like Brazil, Guyana formed a partnership with Norway through the REDD+ program. But Guyana’s program focuses on promoting economic growth while still keeping deforestation low,” said report author Doug Boucher, director of UCS’s Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative… “Countries can have their cake and eat it too,” said Boucher. “The report shows that economic development is not hindered by reductions in deforestation. For example, the soy and beef industry in Brazil thrived despite moratoria preventing deforestation, Vietnam expanded agricultural production and forest area simultaneously, and Costa Rica’s well protected forests attract millions of ecotourists each year.”

Forget the World Cup – Brazil Posts Double Win with Simultaneous Soy Boom and Deforestation Drop

By Andrew Revkin, New York Times, 5 June 2014 | Brazil is considered a front runner as it hosts the World Cup, but on the long-troubled boundary between its agricultural frontier and the Amazon rain forest the country is already a big winner, according to a paper being published in the journal Science on Friday. Just savor this line for starters: “The prospect of ending Amazon deforestation with most of the forest still standing while agricultural production continues to grow has improved in Brazil.” The study charts the extraordinary combination of a sharp rise in soy production and sustained drop in forest destruction and finds a mix of factors at work, ranging from big food companies toughening environmental standards along their supply chains to better monitoring and enforcement.

Mexican forest communities seek business benefit from climate laws

By Talli Nauman, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 5 June 2014 | In the mountain birthplace of Latin America’s venerated 19th century indigenous reformer and Mexico’s 26th president, Benito Juárez, Zapotec communities like his are distinguishing themselves with award-winning, world-class forestry projects regarded as vital for climate stability. Yet Mexico’s trailblazing climate-change legislation, together with its reforms in forestry and energy, have done little to reward indigenous people for their contributions to curbing carbon emissions and keeping nature in balance, according to participants in community-managed forestry efforts. “The climate change law isn’t disseminated – it isn’t something the community members know about, and it doesn’t take them into consideration,” said Oscar Méndez, an accounting adviser for Ixtlán de Juárez.

[UK] Nine fraudsters convicted in £70m boiler room scam

By Jun Merrett, New Model Adviser, 5 June 2014 | Nine fraudsters have been found guilty of conducting a £70 million boiler room scam. Following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Jeffrey Revell-Reade and Anthony May were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud by Southwark Crown Court this week. Six other individuals were also found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and were charged in 2010 and sentenced in May this year but reporting restrictions meant the outcome of the trial has only been able to be publicised now. The six defendants formed the senior management and operations team for three Madrid boiler rooms. The defendants were: Daniel Gooding, Shaun David Rumsey, Philip Morris, Jon Steven Frank Emery, Ian Hughes and Emma Farmer. A seventh defendant, Michelle Coleman, pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering.

[USA] GreenTrees: Going the extra mile

By Gloria Gonzalez, Forest Carbon Portal, 5 June 2014 | Gloria Gonzalez: What did you see in the voluntary carbon markets in 2013? Chandler Van Voorhis: I thought it showed a lot of life and was very robust during the first eight months of the year. In the fourth quarter, it got really quiet in the market and it has been quiet. I’m not necessarily sure what to attribute that to. The one thing we did speculate was that there’s been a flood of (landfill) methane credits that have come on the market. I think it’s put a lot of downward price pressure in general in the market. There are those that are trying to hit a (corporate social responsibility) CSR mandate and they don’t care what the credits look like. Then there are those that go above and beyond just buying the credit. Right now, until all this landfill methane kind of works itself out of the system, I think that’s the number one thing we can point to.

6 June 2014

Brazil First to Submit Forest CO2 Data for UN Assessment

By Alessandro Vitelli, Bloomberg, 6 June 2014 | Brazil today submitted data on emissions reductions achieved by forest protection to the United Nations, the first country to do so under rules on deforestation agreed in November. The country’s data will be assessed by international experts to establish a benchmark, against which future reductions in greenhouse-gas discharges will be measured. Nations are meeting this week and next in Bonn to progress negotiations over a global climate treaty to be signed in Paris in December 2015. The rules for the system known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD-plus, establish a financial value for the storage of carbon dioxide, the biggest climate-warming gas, in forests that may otherwise have been cut down. Deforestation and changes in land use account for more than 20 percent of global emissions, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Results of Cameroon land-fee study hold lessons for REDD

By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 6 June 2014 | An assessment of large-scale agriculture in Cameroon has shown that land benefit-sharing reforms could help develop a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) revenue-payment mechanism, clarify the legal basis of land management in the country and help combat rural poverty. Amid growing demand for farmland and mining permits, scientists with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) set out to assess the mechanism governing land-rent fees in Cameroon’s agro-industry. The results of the study, which have been presented to parliamentarians, raise hopes that revised legislation could pave the way for successful implementation of REDD+.

[Indonesia] Water Technology speaks with Jim Procanik of InfiniteEARTH

Water Technology Online, 6 June 2014 | InfiniteEARTH’s goal is to move the world from an unsustainable extractive economy to a sustainable replacement economy by changing the way the world views the consumption and pricing of goods and services. The organization is in charge of the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Project in Kalimantan, Indonesia… “It’s basically a community development project, very much so,” said Procanik. “It focuses on helping the communities to develop alternative livelihoods that are not destructive to the environment, which is typical for the area.” Listen to the rest of our conversation with Procanik on our podcast page, here:

[USA] Oil Industry Kills California Assembly Bill to Support Biofuel Expansion

By Peter Waldman, Bloomberg, 6 June 2014 | The oil industry did some intellectual gymnastics last week over California’s low-carbon fuel standard, a 2007 mandate that gasoline refiners reduce the carbon intensity of their transportation fuels 10 percent by 2020. After arguing for years that there simply aren’t enough low-carbon fuel alternatives around to meet the rule’s requirement, the fossil fuel companies killed a bill in the state assembly May 29 aimed at—yes—bolstering the supply of low-carbon fuels. The proposed legislation, called AB 2390, was meant to address what biofuels producers call their biggest hurdle in expanding production: high financing costs stemming from regulatory uncertainty. The bill would have allowed the state treasurer to make long-term commitments to purchase carbon credits at preset prices from producers developing biofuel projects—credits the state could then sell to petroleum refiners that need them to meet their obligations…

7 June 2014

As world dithers on forest carbon rules, private investors go it alone

By Fidelis E. Satriastanti, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 7 June 2014 | The Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve, made up of nearly 65,000 hectares of tropical peat swamp forest on the south coast of Borneo island, is known as the largest initiative to conserve Indonesia’s endangered species, including orangutans, sun bears, gibbons, clouded leopards and proboscis monkeys. It also aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions through a forest protection project that sells carbon credits on the voluntary market… After gaining a license for its concession in 2010, Rimba Raya has forged ahead, and is the only scheme in Indonesia that has actually sold any carbon credits on the market… Procanik said Rimba Raya has generated more credits than any other similar project internationally, derived from around 10 million tonnes of certified emissions reductions (1 tonne translates into one credit). Half the credits have been sold, with the remaining 5 million available for sale as of 2013, Procanik said.

[UK] Jail for £70m boiler room share fraudsters we exposed

By Tony Hetherington, Daily Mail, 7 June 2014 | Two international share swindlers named in Mail on Sunday investigations are starting lengthy jail sentences after being convicted in the biggest ‘boiler room’ investment case ever brought by the Serious Fraud Office. Australian businessman Jeffrey Revell-Reade, 49, was sentenced on Friday to eight and a half years in prison, and his British accomplice Anthony May, 58, was jailed for seven years and four months after they were found guilty at South London’s Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud. The two men controlled a string of bogus stockbroking firms based in Spain that used false claims and high-pressure phone calls to persuade more than 1,000 investors to part with about £70million for shares that proved worthless… The Mail on Sunday was instructed to take down more than 40 investigative reports from its website in case they influenced the jury in either trial. The first trial ended in May last year.

8 June 2014

As forests are cleared and species vanish, there’s one other loss: a world of languages

By John Vidal, The Observer, 8 June 2014 | According to a report by researchers Jonathan Loh at the Zoological Society of London and David Harmon at the George Wright Society, the steep declines in both languages and nature mirror each other. One in four of the world’s 7,000 languages are now threatened with extinction, and linguistic diversity is declining as fast as biodiversity – about 30% since 1970, they say. While around 21% of all mammals, 13% of birds, 15% of reptiles and 30% of amphibians are threatened, around 400 languages are thought to have become extinct in the same time. New Guinea, the second-largest island in the world, is not just the world’s most linguistically diverse place, it is also one of the most biologically abundant, with tree-climbing kangaroos, birds of paradise, carnivorous mice, giant pigeons, rats bigger than domestic cats and more orchid species than any other place on the planet.

[Nepal] Community forests earn Rs 5.9m for carbon sequestration

Republica, 8 June 2014 | Community forests in Chitwan that had been generating income through the sale of timber have started earning additional money for reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Sixteen community forests in Chitwan district have received a total of Rs 5.9 million for reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. According to Bishnu Sapkota, General Secretary of Federation of Community Forest Users, Nepal (FECOFUN), Chitwan, 16 community forest users committees have received Rs 5.9 m from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) project for their contribution toward reducing carbon from the atmosphere since 2009.

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