REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
19 February 2018
Offset reset? Climeworks secures ‘historic’ first contracts for CO2-sucking system
By Michael Holder, Business Green, 19 February 2018
Rightly or wrongly carbon offset credits have always faced plenty of questions. Advocates of the approach have long argued they provide an effective means of mobilising investment in emissions reduction projects and encouraging corporates to curb their own emissions. But critics have warned that they provide some businesses with an excuse to keep polluting, and highlighted how offset schemes credibility can be quickly tarnished if a renewables or forest project struggles to deliver promised emissions savings.
But what if you could purchase a carbon offset credit where you knew carbon emissions had been sucked from the atmosphere and stored underground? What if you could guarantee the emissions you had released had been properly offset by the same about of CO2 being withdrawn from the atmosphere?
Mondelēz signs new deal with Ghana Cocoa Board to reduce deforestation
By Douglas Yu, Confectionery News, 19 February 2018
Mondelēz’s sustainability program, Cocoa Life, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ghana Cocoa Board to help reduce emissions in its cocoa supply chain, ‘one of the biggest threats to sustainable cocoa production.’
20 February 2018
Greenwashed Timber: How Sustainable Forest Certification Has Failed
By Richard Conniff, YaleEnvironment360, 20 February 2018
When the Forest Stewardship Council got its start in 1993, it seemed to represent a triumph of market-based thinking over plodding command-and-control government regulation. Participants in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit had failed to reach agreement on government intervention to control rampant tropical deforestation. Instead, environmental organizations, social movements, and industry banded together to establish a voluntary system for improving logging practices and certifying sustainable timber.
Tropical forest countries explore the keys to unlocking REDD+ finance
By Mairi Dupar, CDKN, 20 February 2018
In late January, more than 50 forest and climate change experts from around the world gathered in Milan, Italy, to share their progress on measuring the carbon stocks in forests, agriculture and other lands. They were as diverse and far flung as the tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu and the large central African nation of Democratic Republic of Congo. They share a common desire to save their countries’ tropical forests, for the benefit of local populations and the global climate. They also share the goal of accessing international finance to pay for forest conservation.
CORSIA Looms, but Many Bizav Operators Exempt
By Chad Trautvetter, AINonline, 20 February 2018
Most U.S. business aircraft operators will be exempt from the ICAO’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) requirements, according to both NBAA and EBAA. CORSIA is aimed at capping carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation operations at 2020 levels.
Democratic Republic of the Congo’s government reinstates illegal logging concessions in breach of its own moratorium
CNBCAfrica, 20 February 2018
The Congolese Minister of Environment, Amy Ambatobe, has reinstated 6,500 km² of logging concessions that were cancelled in August 2016 by the then Environment Minister Robert Bopolo following instructions from then Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo. The three concessions reinstated on 1 February 2018 were awarded to the Chinese-owned logging companies Forestière pour le Développement du Congo (FODECO) and Société la Millénaire Forestière (SOMIFOR). Two of the concessions overlap with a recently discovered peatland deposit covering 145,000 km² and believed to contain 30 billion tons of carbon. Expanding industrial logging into these areas is considered to be among the biggest threats facing them.
21 February 2018
Guyana’s Forest Preservation Agreement: Hopes, Fears, and Consequences
By William Savedoff, Center for Global Development, 21 February 2018
Since 2008, programs for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) have pioneered the use of performance payments to reduce tropical deforestation. While these programs generated hopes of slowing climate change and protecting indigenous peoples’ access to their lands, they also generated fears over misuse of funds, abuses of rights, displacement and commodification of the environment.
22 February 2018
REDD+ benefits: Men want cash, women want development
By Christi Hang, CIFOR Forests News, 22 February 2018
When it comes to REDD+ benefits, men and women differ in their preferences, with men preferring cash incentives while women lean toward non-cash benefits, says Esther Mwangi, a Principal Scientist and team leader at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Mwangi and an international team of researchers conducted in-depth intra-household interviews in Tanzania, Indonesia and Peru as part of a work package comprising a larger project on REDD+ and tenure.
Indonesia declares disaster alert as forest fires rage in Sumatra, Kalimantan
New Straits Times, 22 February 2018
Indonesia’s disaster agency has declared disaster alert status for four provinces, including Riau province near Singapore, as the number of hotspots from forest fires spiked.
The affected provinces are South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.
The alert status will allow the central government to mobilise resources to easily mitigate any fire threats, the Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) said in a statement on Wednesday.
[Malaysia] K’batangan riparian restoration event
Daily Express, 22 February 2018
A tree-planting activity, funded by the European Union-Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (EU-REDD+) Project, will be held in Kinabatangan today (Thursday).
This is part of a continuous effort to further support the Kinabatangan Corridor of Life (K-COL) objectives of riparian restoration, covering upstream of Kinabatangan River.
In conjunction with the launch of the tree planting activity, a handing-over ceremony of a patrol boat was also held.
[UK] £31million penalty and the maximum directorship ban – it’s all going wrong for Bitcoin fraudster Renwick Haddow
By Andrew Penman, The Mirror, 22 February 2018
Habitual conman Renwick Haddow has been hit with huge penalties for two investment frauds.
Investors put £28million into the two schemes, one supposedly a company that rented office space, another a platform for trading cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Store Inc.
The investments were sold by gushing cold callers at a third company, InCrowd Equity, which, unbeknown to investors, was also owned by Haddow.
23 February 2018
New report published on mapping multiple benefits of REDD+ to support land-use planning in Côte d’Ivoire
UN-REDD programme, 23 February 2018
A new report, entitled «Cartographie des bénéfices multiples de la REDD+ en » aims to support REDD+ planning in Côte d’Ivoire, by identifying areas with the potential to deliver additional social and environmental benefits from REDD+ actions. While the main aim of REDD+ is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon dioxide sequestrations from the atmosphere, it has the potential to deliver a wide range of additional benefits.
DRC breaches logging moratorium for Chinese-owned companies
Mongabay, 23 February 2018
Two Chinese-owned companies have been awarded 6,500 square kilometers of logging concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an apparent violation of a logging moratorium put in place in 2002.
Earlier this month, the two companies, Forestière pour le Développement du Congo (FODECO) and Société la Millénaire Forestière (SOMIFOR), were awarded three logging concessions that had been cancelled in August 2016 by then-Environment Minister Robert Bopolo.
Indonesia raises $1.65bln in first Asian sovereign green bond sale
The Straits Times, 23 February 2018
Indonesia has become the first Asian country to sell “green” bonds internationally in a US$1.25 billion (S$1.65 billion) deal as one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters tapped into investor interest in climate-friendly investments.
Globally, US$155.5 billion of so-called green bonds were sold last year, according to the London-based Climate Bonds Initiative. But only a handful of governments have themselves sold such deals, where the proceeds are earmarked for investment in environmentally friendly projects.
[Kenya] Why families live in forests
By Ndichu Wainaina, The Star, 23 February 2018
History offers a number of reasons why different Kenyan communities settle in forests and eventually suffer after forcible evictions by the government.
Some were settled by the government soon after Independence through the forestry department to conserve forests under the shamba system. Other communities, such as the Ogiek of Mau forest and Sengwer of Embobut forest, are traditionally hunter-gatherer communities, whose forests have been their only home from time immemorial.
24 February 2018
Civilization’s scorched earth: how humans colonize the Amazon forest in southern Colombia
By Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports, 24 February 2018
Fires are raging on the edge of the Amazon forest in southern Colombia. Ranchers and farmers are burning down the lungs of the earth for cattle and coca.
According to weekly Semana, authorities are trying to put out seven forest fires just in Guaviare, the province where President Juan Manuel Santos last week announced to extend the country’s largest natural reserve, the Serrania de Chiribiquete.