REDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, forests and climate. The links are organised by date (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on delicious.com are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.
21 December 2015
Paris Outcome – Yet Another Raw Deal for Africa
By Jeffrey Gogo, The Herald, 21 December 2015
The world eventually grinded out a climate deal on December 12 – the Paris Agreement – named after the city in which it was agreed, but Africa accepted the outcome reluctantly. Firstly, the 32-paged Paris Agreement moves away from the binary differentiation system as espoused under the failed Kyoto Protocol to, for the lack of a better word, a more inclusive system that compels all 195 countries party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to commit to climate change mitigation. This is not what Africa was looking for, even when several countries from the continent had submitted to the UN national climate plans that formed the basis of the Paris Agreement. Africa expected developed countries to show in climate mitigation the kind of leadership they exhibited driving human-induced climate change and global warming since the industrial revolution 250 years ago.
22 December 2015
Paris treaty establishes new carbon trading mechanisms
Carbon Market Watch, 22 December 2015
Despite seemingly genuine fears amongst some negotiators that the role of carbon markets might not be mentioned in the final agreement, the Paris treaty created two different frameworks for market approaches that will be developed in detail over the next years. Parties put aside opposing views on markets to create new (non) market frameworks that accommodated all 195 countries. The result was Article 6 that creates the following three frameworks: i) one for cooperative approaches to allow the linking of emissions trading systems, ii) one for a new “mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development” to replace the Kyoto’s flexible mechanisms, and iii) one non-market mechanism to promote “integrated, holistic and balanced non-market approaches”.
Nations urged to improve climate pledges by April 2017
By Alex Pashley, Climate Home, 22 December 2015
In a new global warming pact, countries set out milestones over the next five years in a bid to bridge the gap between national targets and what science recommends. Climate offers from 187 out of 195 countries fail to cap warming to the upper limit of 2C this century. Instead the planet is set to heat up at least 2.7C, according to the UN. That’s why a “global stocktake” of pledges to reduce greenhouse emissions or “intended nationally determined contributions” is slated for 2018. And by 2020, the pact encourages – but does not require – countries to submit updated plans. But instead of allowing the years to pass by, a group of researchers involved in drafting countries’ pledges is calling for action today.
A new course for the Congo
CIFOR Forests News Blog, 22 December 2015
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to 10 percent of the world’s tropical forests. Vast and varied, these forests have a value that extends far beyond the country’s national borders: They harbor an immense wealth of biodiversity, provide livelihoods for two-thirds of the population and contribute to the environmental stability of the entire planet. Maintaining these forests and managing them sustainably are essential for the wealth and health of the nation, both now and into the future. This video explores the threats to the forest and shows how solutions are being forged – in the classroom.
23 December 2015
Three areas to focus on to make REDD+ work
By Arild Angelsen and Louis Verchot, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 23 December 2015
First, REDD+ countries must assume a stronger role and ownership in the implementation of REDD+ and incorporate it into their INDCs and in their domestic emission targets. Second, corporate efforts—through the greening of supply chains—can play a major role, driven by consumer pressure and environmental watchdogs and complemented by domestic policy reforms. Third, international funding should nudge countries toward stronger commitments, support capacity building, and provide incentives for forest conservation through results-based mechanisms.
REDD+: missionaries, conservation fortresses and the politics of carbon landscapes in Africa
By Isilda Nhantumbo, International Institute for Environment and Development, 23 December 2015
Scholars, researchers, policymakers and practitioners from across the public, private and voluntary sectors have been contributing to understanding Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and how it can be implemented effectively. A new book from Melissa Leach and Ian Scoones highlights the risk of ignoring these lessons in Africa. I argue that there is an urgent need to apply the lessons more widely. ‘Carbon Conflicts and Forest Landscapes in Africa’ reviews carbon projects in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, asking whether these bring the expected impact (a win-win for environment and people) in conserving or managing trees for carbon sequestration to offset emissions from elsewhere.
[Cambodia] ‘Edge effects’ harming forests
By Igor Kossov, Phnom Penh Post, 23 December 2015
Even comparatively small patches of human intrusion into contiguous forestland disproportionately saps forests’ ability to trap harmful carbon, a recent study has shown, a finding that suggests Cambodia’s government may be underestimating the environmental damage caused by logging and development. So-called “forest degradation” – unlike typical deforestation – occurs when forest cover is thinned or pockmarked by human development, but not entirely clear-felled. However, even this selective cutting down of forest trees not only releases carbon but dries out the remaining plants, lowering their ability to capture carbon, according to the new study, published in science journal Nature Communications on December 18. Human development increases the number of holes and edges a forest has, dramatically reducing its effectiveness as a carbon sink.
[Indonesia] Unitary map to rule land use
The Jakarta Post, 23 December 2015
The most important measure of the eighth reform package launched on Monday, though its effect may not be felt for two or three years, is its one-map policy that will harmonize all maps on land use and spatial planning, thereby making land ownership more transparent and reducing the risk of conflict. A comprehensive, transparent and centralized map on land use and ownership will provide clarity on the boundaries of land owned by companies, communities and the government. The absence of such a comprehensive and transparent map has been one of the main reasons for difficulties in pinpointing the source of the forest fires that have been hitting the country every year. It’s no wonder very few plantation companies have been brought to justice so far even though a massive wave of fires takes place annually in Sumatra and Kalimantan.
24 December 2015
Paris Agreement: Not perfect, but the best we could get
By Stephen Leonard, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 24 December 2015
COP21 in Paris delivered a part legally binding, part voluntary deal on climate change that has generated a mass of interest, global media coverage and a multitude of interpretations. Some argue that it weakens the notion of historical responsibility and provides inadequate certainty in terms of support for implementation, while others say that it puts in place the necessary foundations to avoid the full dangerous effects of climate change. Academics, environmentalists, economists, scientists, lawyers and political analysts will spend a long time interpreting and reinterpreting this document and, in doing so, will be unable to ignore that it has forests and other carbon-absorbing ecosystems at its heart.
25 December 2015
26 December 2015
27 December 2015
[Sri Lanka] India-based green energy firm gets green light for bamboo venture in Vavuniya
By Bandula Sirimanna, The Sunday Times Sri Lanka, 27 December 2015
Sustainable Green Energy (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan company headed by an Indian entrepreneur, has received the green-light from the government to launch its ambitious industrial venture of going green with a bamboo cultivation project in the North.The company has already started a massive bamboo cultivation and Dendro power project with an investment of US$20 million in a 2000-acre land in Nedunkulam, Vavuniya. The project components include policy framework, bamboo tissue reproduction, setting up of plantations, plantation operation, transfer of bamboo processing technology to Sri Lanka and pelletising.
[USA] The value of forests is recognized by Microsoft
By George Walter, The Olympian, 27 December 2015
In a first-of-its-kind transaction, Microsoft Corp.is purchasing something called carbon credits from the Nisqually Land Trust. Among its many conservation holdings, the Nisqually Land Trust owns forest land in the upper Nisqually watershed, west of Mount Rainier National Park. As a result of the Microsoft transaction, the Land Trust will manage a 520-acre forest tract to allow the trees to grow older, much older than the usual timber management cycle. The trees will remove and store, or “sequester,” carbon. And, since the larger the tree the more carbon is stored, the entire deal provides for a more mature forest in the upper Nisqually watershed.
PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.