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REDD in the news: 5-11 December 2016

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.

5 December 2016

Engine manufacturer GE Australia joins the Qantas corporate carbon offset programme
Green Air, 5 December 2016
GE Australia has joined the Qantas Future Planet programme, in which the airline manages carbon offset portfolios for its corporate customers and providing them with access to more than 40 certified offset projects in Australia and overseas. Most of GE’s offsetting is expected to support Australia-based projects that have significant community benefits as well as reducing carbon emissions, such as the North Kimberley fire abatement project lead by native title groups in Western Australia. Other major organisations that have signed up for the airline’s corporate partnership programme, which is an extension of the voluntary carbon offsetting offered to passengers, include international law firm Allens, Destination NSW and Ernst & Young.

IUFRO Report: New Strategies Needed to Combat Illegal Logging and Trade
By Leila Mead, IISD, 5 December 2016
The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) launched the report, ‘Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade – Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses,’ on the sidelines of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancún, Mexico. The study, coordinated by the IUFRO Global Forest Expert Panels (GFEP) initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), was released with an accompanying policy brief, ‘Forests Beyond the Law: Scientific Insights into Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade.’

China set for top spot in carbon trading
Eco-Business, 5 December 2016
With the US seen as likely to backtrack on climate change commitments when Donald Trump takes office as President, China is fast emerging as a frontrunner in the battle against global warming.
A planned nationwide carbon trading scheme set to be put in place in 2017 is likely to be more than twice the size of European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), which is currently the world biggest carbon market.

EU lawmakers postpone vote on carbon market reform until Dec. 15
Alissa de Carbonnel, Reuters, 5 December 2016
A vote by European lawmakers on an overhaul of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) will be postponed until Dec. 15 because major parties remain divided over how far the reforms should go, EU sources said on Monday.
The European Parliament’s environment committee, which had been due to vote on Thursday, has the lead on reviewing the European Commission’s proposal to reform the ETS.
The cap-and-trade system is designed to make big polluters, such as power companies and industrial firms, pay for their emissions by buying carbon permits. But since the global financial crisis, a surplus of carbon credits has weakened their price.

Indonesia’s Peat Moratorium could benefit people, welfare and climate
Government of Norway press release, 5 December 2016
Indonesia’s President Jokowi today issued a moratorium on the conversion of peatland. According to the government regulation issuing the moratorium, activities that degrade the hydrological functions of peat are illegal. The moratorium could – if properly monitored and enforced – contribute greatly to future fire prevention and significantly reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. It could also help restore the parts of the Indonesian economy that was badly hurt by last year’s peat fires.

Indonesia targets catastrophic wildfires, climate change with historic move to protect peatlands
UNEP, 5 December 2016
Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo announced today a landmark moratorium, which bans all activities that damage the hydrological functions of peatlands – the world’s largest terrestrial soil carbon stock.
The move is expected to slash greenhouse gas emissions and prevent disastrous peat fires that have plagued the Southeast Asian nation in recent years.
Recent studies suggest that the 2015 Indonesian peat fires affected 43 million people, caused over 500,000 people to be treated for respiratory disease, and led to US$ 16.1 billion in overall economic damage (twice the value of the Aceh Tsunami Reconstruction).

6 December 2016

We did it again! November is hottest on record
By Joe Romm, Think Progress, 6 December 2016
Last month was easily the hottest November on record globally, according to satellite data sets.
In fact, satellite data, ground-based weather stations, sea-based buoys, and even weather balloons all reveal a steady long-term warming trend.
Here is the latest data from the RSS satellites. (These are the satellites some climate deniers love to quote, because their data contain errors that low-ball total warming.) This chart looks at every 12-month period ending in November. It starts with December 1979 to November 1980 and ends with December 2015 to November 2016. These data show that not only is November 2016 the hottest on record, but there is an ongoing, annual trend.

Fiji stakeholders discuss carbon emissions
By Litia Cava, The Fiji Times, 6 December 2016
The National REDD+ Program workshop hosted by the Ministry of Forests started at Holiday Inn in Suva this morning.
Conservator of Forests Eliki Senivasa said the aim of the two-day meet was to hold discussions with stakeholders about the objective and plan for the Fiji National REDD+ Program that would support and strengthen initiatives that address the drivers of forest-based carbon emissions.
“REDD+ is about addressing land use and land use change and this is a holistic approach as it looks at the social, economic and environmental dynamics of development to ensure there is place and is aligned well with the Green Growth framework,” Mr Senivasa said.

[Indonesia] Four indigenous groups demand custody of home forests
By Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, 6 December 2016
Four indigenous communities from Jambi, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Banten are demanding that the government fulfill its pledge to grant custody of customary forests to their communities, arguing that they have met all the requirements and, most importantly, have always played a role in protecting the forests.
More than a year ago, four indigenous communities — Wana Posangke from Central Sulawesi, Marga Serampas from Jambi, Ammatoa Kajang from South Sulawesi and Kasepuhan Karang from Banten — applied to have their lands recognized at the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

Indonesia Takes New Step to Combat Loss of Forests, Fires
By Stephen Wright, Associated Press, 6 December 2016
Indonesia has strengthened its moratorium on converting peat swamps to plantations in a move a conservation research group says will help prevent annual fires and substantially cut the country’s carbon emissions if properly implemented.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s amendment to the moratorium regulation, which was issued on Monday, expands it to cover peatlands of any depth and orders companies to restore areas they’ve degraded.

7 December 2016

Vanishing Wildlife on a Warming Planet
By Joseph Stewart, The Years Blog, 7 December 2016
The sun is rising on Donner Summit. The air in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is cold and still. It’s eerily quiet. I’m waiting — listening for the song of the American pika — and growing concerned that pikas here might have gone the way of the glaciers. When I finally hear a staccato series of chirps echo from the crags above, I breathe a sigh of relief. Thank goodness. They are still here.

Maintaining Forest Momentum is Central to Climate Goals
By Josefina Brana-Varela (WWF), IISD, 7 December 2016
2015 was a big year for forests – the year forests were recognized and enshrined in all-encompassing, forward-looking international agreements. In September, the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 15, which specifically focuses on the protection and sustainable management of forests, the reversal of land degradation and the halting of biodiversity loss.
December saw the adoption of the Paris Agreement, which provides that all countries should take action to conserve and enhance carbon sinks and reservoirs, explicitly including forests, in its Article 5. Efforts in the run up to Paris were focused on finishing the framework to support developing countries to halt deforestation and protect their forests, and recognizing the role of forests in the new climate agreement. This year, the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakech was crucial to maintaining that momentum and showcasing the transformations that are already underway. Marrakech was thus labeled the action COP.

Palm oil boom: companies must clean up their act in Africa
By Annie Kelly, The Guardian (supported by RSPO), 7 December 2016
The palm oil industry is one of the world’s biggest, projected to be worth $88bn (£70bn) by 2022. While it has pumped billions into the local economies of countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, the aggressive expansion of the industry has also become synonymous with widespread environmental and community destruction.
With global demand increasing, Africa has become the new frontier of industrial palm oil production. As much as 22m hectares (54m acres) of land in west and central Africa could be converted to palm plantations over the next five years.
As the industry sets its sights on Africa, how can we ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated? Is it possible to establish a sustainable palm oil industry that operates in a way that protects environmental and human rights and provides local communities with genuine opportunities?

Position Statement of Indigenous Peoples on Emission Reduction Program of Nepal
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, 7 December 2016
Reiterating the fact that Nepal has ratified the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No.169, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and voted for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),
Reminding the fact that the Cancun Agreement on REDD+ Safeguards (2010) and the Climate Change Paris Agreement recognize Indigenous Peoples’ rights,
Demanding that, as we, the Indigenous Peoples have an intrinsic relationship with the Nature, our rights over natural resources, including our lands and territories be recognized and that our rights to self-determination including the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) procedure be ensured,
The Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples of Nepal declares the following points as a minimal position of the Indigenous Peoples of Nepal with regard to Emission Reduction Program Document (ERPD) and Emission Reduction Program (ERP) implementation.

S. Korea’s afforestation project marks 50th anniversary: forestry chief
By Kim Boram, Yonhap News Agency, 7 December 2016
South Korea’s afforestation projects have successfully turned the bare territory into a green land for the past half century on the back of nationwide efforts to recover degraded forests, a high-ranking official handling forestry affairs said Wednesday.
“The government had mapped out systematic policies to rehabilitate degraded lands for the past 50 years and the people actively participated in the government-led campaigns,” Korea Forestry Promotion Institute (KFPI) President Kim Nam-gyun said in an email interview with Yonhap News Agency. “South Korea’s reforestation plan is regarded as one of the most successful cases in the world in producing a substantial increase in forest coverage.”

UK slashes number of Foreign Office climate change staff
By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 7 December 2016
The UK has cut the number of Foreign Office staff working on climate change, despite ministers arguing the issue should be a top foreign policy priority.
The Liberal Democrats said it was “appalling” and sent “the wrong signals” to the world, after a minister revealed the figures in a recent parliamentary answer.
Experts said that with Donald Trump promising to roll back international climate efforts and with 2016 set to be the hottest on record, it was a bad time to cut back.
In London, the number of staff working full time on climate change is down by more than two thirds, from 26 in July 2013 to eight now. Overseas, the figure is down from 177 in March 2013 to 149 today.

[USA] Donald Trump Just Dealt the EPA a Massive Blow
By Jared Keller, Pacific Standard, 7 December 2016
On Monday, environmental activists were treated to something of an early Christmas miracle.
After months of sneering at the scientific evidence of climate change — from alleging that it was a hoax dreamed up by the Chinese, to vowing to nix the historic Paris climate accords — President-elect Donald Trump held an unusual meeting this week with one of climate change’s biggest most vocal advocates: former Vice President Al Gore. Invited by Trump’s eldest daughter and aspiring “climate czar” Ivanka, the New York Times reported that Gore left Trump Tower “project[ing] optimism,” calling his conversation with the president-elect “lengthy and very productive,” marked by a “sincere search for areas of common ground.”

8 December 2016

Alternative fuels power more than 5 000 flights
By Martin Zhuwakinyu, Engineering News, 8 December 2016
The global airline industry will have made more than 5 000 commercial flights powered by sustainable alternative fuels by the end of the year, reporters attending the International Air Transport Association’s (Iata’s) global media day heard on Thursday.
The alternative fuels initiative forms part of the aviation industry’s efforts to slash net carbon emissions to half their 2005 levels by 2050.
The industry accounts for about 2% of global carbon emissions, the same as the emissions of a country like Germany.

Cookstoves May Not Be the Humanitarian Panacea We’d Hoped
By Francie Diep, Pacific Standard, 8 December 2016
Getting cleaner-burning cookstoves to low-income countries is a popular charity initiative. In 2010, the United Nations launched the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which aimed to bring 100 million clean cookstoves to families by 2020. But a new study has found that at least one cookstove benefit funders had hoped for may not pan out.
The study, published in The Lancet, finds that cleaner cookstoves didn’t prevent potentially deadly pneumonia in children in Malawi. The appliances were meant to replace open fires or traditional stoves that poorer families use, which burn fuels such as wood, coal, and dung, and spew smoke into the house. Living in that smoke can cause lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, and pneumonia. For reference, other research shows that, if the air in an American city were as polluted with burnt particles as the air measured in Nepalese homes, it would trigger a population-wide health alert. To combat the problem, charities give away technologically improved stoves that burn more cleanly, or vent smoke outside. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves reports it generated $413 million in pledges from donors between 2010 and 2015.

GCP’s Sarah Lake: ‘Landscapes means addressing things beyond a singular supply chain or commodity’
By Leona Liu, CIFOR Forests News, 8 December 2016
Sarah Lake is the Head of the Drivers of Deforestation Program at the Global Canopy Programme (GCP). She spoke to CIFOR on the sidelines of the Global Landscapes Forum about the link between supply chains and sustainable landscapes.
What is your organization’s mission?
I work at the Global Canopy Programme as the head of their supply chain program. Global Canopy seeks to transition to a zero-deforestation, deforestation-free economy… looking at different approaches, looking at companies’ involvement, some of the financial elements, trying to create the right investment and drive sustainable production, but also looking at landscape-level investments.
We have three core programs at Global Canopy: the supply chain one that I work on, as well as one looking at unlocking forest finance, and one looking at landscape approaches.

Brazil’s dispossessed: Belo Monte dam ruinous for indigenous cultures
By Zoe Sullivan,, 8 December 2016
Late in 2015, Brazil’s Public Federal Ministry (Ministério Público Federal, MPF), launched legal proceedings against the government’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), and Norte Energia, the consortium that built the Belo Monte mega-dam on the Xingu River in Pará state. The MPF accused both of the crime of “ethnocide,” committed against seven indigenous groups displaced and/or heavily disrupted by the hydroelectric dam, a construction project that, investigators say, wrecked indigenous homes, lives, livelihoods, communities and cultures.
After carrying out a lengthy study which included testimony from numerous experts and filled 50 books, the MPF concluded that the “social organization, customs, languages and traditions” of the indigenous groups had been destroyed by the building of the dam.

Polluting Industries Could Receive €230 Billion In Subsidies From EU Emissions Trading Reform
Blue & Green Tomorrow, 8 December 2016
Energy intensive industries could be given more than €230 billion in subsidies from the reform to the EU Emissions Trading System, suggests a new report by the Corporate Europe Observatory.
Published today, the Carbon Welfare report comes ahead of next week’s European Parliament vote on the scheduled EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) reform. Tabled amendments include additional subsidies to pollution-heavy industries such as the steel and energy sector.
The publication outlines how the EU’s biggest industrial polluters have lobbied hard for giveaways in the next phase of the ETS, which would run from 2021 to 2030. The lobby efforts, led by oil giant Shell, global steel company ArcelorMittal and the EU steel industry association Eurofer, have translated into an envisaged volume of free emission allowances worth over €175 billion during this period.

Ghana: Roadmap to revitalize forest resource sector
IHB, 8 December 2016
The Minster for Lands and Natural Resources, Prof. Nii Osah Mills, has launched a three pronged strategy designed to address the challenges facing the country’s forest and wildlife sectors.
The strategies are set out in the ‘Ghana Forestry Development Master Plan’, the ‘Ghana National REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) Strategy’ and the ‘Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy’. The aim is to transform the natural resource sector.
The Forestry Development Master Plan is a 20-year Action Plan, designed to fully implement the 2012 Forest and Wildlife Policy, which has shifted the focus from over-reliance on timber revenues to conservation of biodiversity and increased revenues from eco-tourism and payment for eco-system services.

[India] Forest fires add to smog in Kinnaur, Kullu
By Anand Bodh & Suresh Sharma, The Times of India, 8 December 2016
The acrid haze from forest fires in Kinnaur and Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh, which have destroyed rare flora and fauna, is beginning to engulf the mountain landscape. With forest department and fire services failing to control the forest fires at many places in Kullu, situation has only worsened as smog has not only restricted visibility but is even causing health problems.
Shimla was covered under smog on Wednesday because of “stubble burning” by farmers in the forests of Kinnaur.With no mechanism in place by state disaster management authority , wealth worth several crores has already been gutted in these fires.

[Indonesia] New initiative to protect peatland
The Jakarta Post, 8 December 2016
The biggest question looming over all the laws and regulations the government has enacted so far to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions is how strong and consistent their enforcement will be.
Likewise, the effectiveness of the latest regulation on peatland ecosystem management and protection will rest on the government’s ability to enforce all the elaborate provisions, which in effect impose a permanent moratorium on the conversion of peatland into plantations.
Under the new regulation, any conversion of peatland into plantations such as palm oil is prohibited, until a zoning system for the protection and cultivation of the peatland ecosystem is in place.

[USA] California climate opportunities can overcome science deniers
By Gary Graham Hughes, Friends of the Earth US, 8 December 2016
The result of the United States presidential election has been shocking to many people concerned about civil rights and environmental issues, including those concerned about climate change. While Trump’s climate change denialism poses many dangers, it is important to recognize that opportunities exist in California for securing climate policy that is scientifically defensible, economically equitable and socially just.
In the Trump era, California can and must continue to lead on climate. California’s well-established global climate leadership multiplies in effectiveness by the unparalleled expertise, strength and political momentum of grassroots advocates that call the state their home.

[USA] Gore, DiCaprio and the media: tools in Trump’s climate deception
By Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home, 8 December 2016
The nomination of a climate sceptic to lead the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set fear amid the ranks of those who care about the environment.
But there is another reason to be alarmed. The circumstances leading to the appointment of Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt reveal a sophisticated, well-executed deception that turned the media and high-level environmental activists into vassals for an end contrary to their own. It was all too easy.
The ground began being laid a fortnight before, in a seemingly convivial, but altogether unilluminating meeting with the New York Times. Trump was asked, but not pressed about his views on climate change.

9 December 2016

The power of an enabling environment for REDD+ Action
By Mirey Atallah, UN-REDD, 9 December 2016
As the sand of the Moroccan desert settles, so do perspectives from the Marrakech COP 22. In comparison to the Paris COP, which had triggered much adrenaline and excitement, COP 22 seemed much more poised and quiet. What happened to the ‘COP of Action’!
At first, it may seem a bit odd that the COP of Action would be so calm. But looking back, it actually makes sense. True, the negotiations front was focused, starting primarily with operational elements and focusing mainly on matters related to the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, now that the ratification thresholds have been met. This translated into decisions that outlined the operational next steps on key areas of the Paris Agreement, such as nationally determined contributions, finance, adaptation, etc.
That is not to say that there was no buzz in Marrakech, quite the opposite. In fact, the hype that has come to characterize the COPs had moved out of the negotiations rooms to the informal space of side-events, platforms, exhibitions etc…. When the Green Climate Fund (GCF) undertook its dialogue on operationalizing Results Based Payments for REDD+, the room was so packed that some were sitting on the floor. The dialogue was not about commitments and political statements. Rather, critical and practical points were made by participants on flexibility and anchoring in national ownership, applying REDD+ as a financial incentive rather than a compensation scheme, and balancing between rigor and time for reference levels.

Advancing SDG Implementation through Forest Certification
By John Hontelez (FSC), IISD, 9 December 2016
A year after the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted, implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it introduced has gained momentum. Governments, financial institutions, businesses and civil society are all increasingly adapting their policies to take the Goals into account. This is great news as the SDGs provide for an effective and comprehensive framework to achieve global sustainability across the environmental, social and economic spectrums.

ECB’s quantitative easing programme investing billions in fossil fuels
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 9 December 2016
The European Central Bank’s (ECB) quantitative easing programme is systematically investing billions of euros in the oil, gas and auto industries, according to a new analysis.
The ECB has already purchased €46bn (£39bn) of corporate bonds since last June in a bid to boost flagging eurozone growth rates, a figure that some analysts expect to rise to €125bn by next September. On Thursday the bank said it would extend the scheme until 2018.
But an EU pledge to cut its carbon emissions by at least 80% by mid-century could be undermined by the asset purchasing scheme, according to investments revealed in an analysis of the bank’s international security identification numbers (ISINs) by campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory.

Indigenous land rights key to stopping deforestation in Central America
By Karl Mathiesen, The Guardian, 9 December 2016
Conservation reserves in Central America have shut indigenous peoples off from their traditional lands and driven deforestation, community leaders have told Climate Home.
Since revolution in the region started to wind down in the 1980s, there has been an internationally celebrated trend to create large conservation areas. Hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of forest have been placed within borders designed to protect them.
But according to a report released at a meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Mexico on Thursday, some of those areas have placed restrictions on the tribes who made their living in the forest through traditional, and what they say are sustainable, practices.

[Indonesia] Green groups raise red flags over Jokowi’s widely acclaimed haze law
Eco-Business, 9 December 2016
A crucial new government regulation on peatland management in Indonesia is spurring debate over whether the country is going far enough to prevent a repeat of last year’s disastrous forest fires.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed into law on Dec. 1 a new regulation intended to call time on untrammeled commercial development of the archipelago’s vast peat swamp zones, which have been widely drained and dried — rendering them highly flammable — by the palm oil and paper industries. The new Presidential Regulation No. 56 of 2016 amends Presidential Regulation No. 71 of 2014 on the Protection and Management of Peatland Ecosystems.

[Malaysia] Making locals equal partners in forest management
Daily Express, 9 Friday 2016
The European Union-Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (EU-REDD+) project in Kampung Gana here is set to demonstrate how the lives of forest-dependent communities can change for the better when they are fully engaged in forest management as equal partners.
According to the Head of the EU delegation to Malaysia, Maria Castillo Fernandez, what has to happen first is that the communities must be made to feel that they own any project that involves managing a forest.
“We need to bring them along. We need to listen to them and bring the issues in when we work with them.
That’s why we, the EU, can’t come here and just impose our concepts and principles. We have to adapt to what the communities need.”

[Republic of Congo] A Congolese success story: Part 1 – Perseverance and government ownership
By E. Cheney & J. Gheyssens, UN-REDD, 9 December 2016
The Republic of Congo recently completed an economic analysis of the costs and benefits of its strategic options for REDD+ and a review of the sources of financing for the implementation of its National REDD+ Strategy. This is the first part of a conversation between UN Environment’s Emelyne Cheney and Jonathan Gheyssens about their experience of supporting the country with this challenging but decisive piece of work.
What does a cost-benefit analysis consist of?
Emelyne: A cost-benefit analysis enables countries to assess the economic value of the policies and measures (PAMs) they have identified to implement REDD+. It uses quantitative data and projections to calculate the costs of implementing the PAMs and the financial benefits to be expected over a number of years. It not only provides a realistic estimation of the costs involved in implementing a PAM, or a group of PAMs, over time but it also makes it possible to compare these costs to the benefits that will be generated through REDD+ result-based payments and other forms of revenues. Of course, economic considerations are just one of the elements that countries will consider when selecting their PAMs – which should primarily be informed by the desired environmental and social outcomes – but a cost-benefit analysis can help ensure that a National REDD+ Strategy is viable financially.

10 December 2016

The violent costs of the global palm-oil boom
By Jocelyn C. Zuckerman, The New Yorker, 10 December 2016
Just after nine o’clock on a Tuesday morning in June, an environmental activist named Bill Kayong was shot and killed while sitting in his pickup truck, waiting for a traffic light to change in the Malaysian city of Miri, on the island of Borneo. Kayong had been working with a group of villagers who were trying to reclaim land that the local government had transferred to a Malaysian palm-oil company. A few days after the murder, the police identified Stephen Lee Chee Kiang, a director and major shareholder of the company, Tung Huat Niah Plantation, as a suspect in the crime, but Kiang flew to Australia before he could be questioned by authorities. (Three other individuals were eventually charged in the case.) Around the world, environmental and human-rights activists added Kayong’s death to the tally of violent incidents connected to the production of palm oil, which has quietly become one of the most indispensable substances on Earth.

[Fiji] Funds for forests
By Charlene Lanyon, The Fiji Times, 10 December 2016
Fiji has been approved to receive forest carbon funding and has proposed an emissions reduction program (ERP) to be implemented on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni.
The Fiji national REDD+ program said the funding was made available by the forest carbon partnership facility, which assists developing countries reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and assist in conservation, sustainability and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
“Fiji is aiming to reduce and remove around 3.6 million carbondioxide emissions with three major activities between 2019 and 2024.
“The three major activities include reforestation, forest conservation and sustainable harvesting,” a statement said.

[India] Massive forest fire rages in Tral
By Irfan Amin Malik, Greater Kashmir, 10 December 2016
Massive fire engulfed Shikargah , Aripal, Zoustan and Satura forest areas in south Kashmir’s Tral area on Saturday, witnesses told Greater Kashmir.
They said continuous fire has destroyed the massive forest cover here for the past many days while concerned officials have turned a blind eye. Locals fear that fire may spread to their houses as they are living a dreadful life. “This is sixth forest fire incident during a month. We fear it may engulf residential areas also,” said Abdul Ahad a local.

[Indonesia] NGOs Call Out 26 Palm Oil Companies for Illegal Operations in Riau
By Ratri M. Siniwi, Jakarta Globe, 10 December 2016
A number of palm oil plantations in Riau province have allegedly received under the table permits, according to a report by a coalition of environmental NGOs dubbed the Eyes of the Earth, or EoF.
Earlier in 2014, the Forestry Ministry had converted 1.6 million hectares of forest areas into non-forest areas under a ministerial decree, but 26 companies have been found to be operating under the wrong type of license within the converted area as they are missing cultivation permits (HGU) and forest-estate release permits.
“We urge the Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK] to investigate the land swap scandals of a forest area covering more than 1.6 million hectares,” Woro Supartinah, coordinator for Jikalahari NGO which is a member of EoF, said in a statement on Thursday (08/12).

11 December 2016

[Indonesia] BRG to restore 2.4 million hectares of damaged peat lands
ANTARA News, 11 December 2016
Indonesias Peat Land Restoration Agency (BRG) said it hoped to restore 2.4 million hectares of damaged peat lands until 2020.
By 2020, around 2.4 million hectares of damaged peat lands would be restored, BRG chief Nazir Foead said here.
Nazir said the country has 14 million hectares of peat lands in 17 provinces, but President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) wanted to focus on restoration of 13 million hectares of damaged and burnt peat lands in seven provinces.
The seven provinces are Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, Papua, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.
Approximately 875,000 hectares of peat lands in the seven provinces burned during forest fires and land in 2015.

[Malaysia] Two tour operators set aside 200 acres
Daily Express, 11 December 2016
Head of European Union Delegation, Maria Castillo Fernandez, launched the FGV-BCT-SWD Biodiversity Awareness Programme and “Plant Trees, Save the Earth” Campaign at Proboscis Lodge Bukit Melapi, Lower Kinabatangan.
The collaboration was made with the support from two tour operators in Lower Kinabatangan – Proboscis Lodge Bukit Melapi and Myne Resort – both of whom have shown their early commitment through allocating their own land for Wildlife Corridor (combination area of at least 200 acres) and at the same time execute tree planting which will further enhance the carbon stock.
FGV also demonstrates their commitment by protecting 180ha of riparian reserve and setting aside another 20ha from their own plantation for riparian reserve.

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