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REDD in the news: 2-8 July 2018

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

2 July 2018

Investing in indigenous communities is most efficient way to protect forests, report finds
By Cory Rogers, Mongabay, 2 July 2018
The best way to save forests and curb biodiversity loss is to recognize the claims of indigenous peoples to their territories, a new report urges.
Published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), an international NGO headquartered in Washington, and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous rights, the 28-nation study compares conservation outcomes in lands controlled by indigenous groups against those in government-managed “protection zones.”

Forests Comprise Large Part of Climate Solution But Receive Meagre Investment
By Fabiola Ortiz, IDN, 2 July 2018
It has been a decade now that the mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – known as REDD+ – has been included in climate negotiations, however investments have not been sufficient for bringing them down.
“Even though science tells us that forests represent thirty percent of the solution to climate change in terms of the mitigation potential of greenhouse gas emission, we are only spending less than two percent of climate finance on forest,” according to senior fellow Frances Seymour of the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Environmentalists worry about weakening of airline carbon offset plan
Runway Girl Network, 2 July 2018
ICAO made further progress last week toward implementing its global carbon-offsetting agreement for aviation by adopting the standards required for airlines to monitor, report and verify their emissions ahead of the scheme’s launch.
However, a last-minute addition to allow conventional fossil fuels to be recognized alongside sustainable aviation fuels under CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), if they can somehow achieve a 10% reduction in lifecycle CO2 emissions, has drawn the ire of environmental groups.

The Nature Conservancy’s Statement on ICAO’s Adoption of Climate Rules
The Nature Conservancy, 2 July 2018
The Nature Conservancy welcomes the progress announced by the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization to advance monitoring and reporting of climate change pollution in the international aviation sector.
Countries agreed to a set of Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) that will begin to address international airlines’ contributions to climate change. The new rules, which will be part of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), lay the important groundwork for countries and airlines to report on climate change emissions from international air travel. By assessing their contributions to climate change in the coming years, airlines and governments will be able to achieve the goal of a milestone 2018 agreement that aims to ensure post-2020 carbon neutral growth in the sector via increased biofuels and carbon offsets purchases.

Nepal’s new REDD+ Program to protect 2.4 million hectares of forests
WWF, 2 July 2018
A new REDD+ program in Nepal is poised to protect about 2.4 million hectares of forests between 2019-2024 thanks to the approval of Nepal’s Emissions Reduction Program Document (ERPD) without conditions at the 18th meeting of the FCPF Carbon Fund last month in Paris.
The performance-based Emissions Reduction (ER) Program covers 12 contiguous districts of Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) with the potential to recover up to US$45 million in lieu of 9.16 million tons of CO2e sequestered over a six-year period ending 2024.

3 July 2018

[Indonesia] Tropical forest to the rescue
Jakarta Post, 3 July 2018
As the world confronts new types of challenges, the fight against climate change appears to have taken a backseat. Countries in Europe may continue to show commitment to dealing with the warming of the planet, but as immigration-related problems keep creating internal turmoil that threatens the political establishment, it is difficult to expect progress in dealing with climate change.
With United States President Donald Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the last thing the world expects from the US is leadership on climate issues.

[Mexico] Payments for ecosystem services can boost social capital in addition to forest management: Study
By Mike Gaworecki, Mongabay, 3 July 2018
New research finds that a national payments for ecosystem services (PES) program in Mexico not only benefits the environment but supports social relationships in local communities, as well.
Mexico’s federal PES program is administered by the country’s National Forestry Commission, known as CONAFOR, which signs five-year contracts with selected landowners who agree to maintain existing forest and other naturally occurring vegetation on their land. Participants receive annual payments of between $8 and $32 per acre they have enrolled in the program. Their conservation efforts are monitored by field visits and satellite imagery.

‘Norway cannot stop deforestation alone’, says environment minister
By Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home News, 3 July 2018
Norway cannot be expected to halt the loss of the world’s forest on its own, past and present environment ministers have told Climate Home News.
Through Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (Nicfi), the country has committed to spend up to NOK 3 billion ($366m) each year rewarding rainforest countries that meet agreed targets.
But after a decade of Norway’s ‘Rainforest Billions’ programme, the headlines remain grim. Data released last week showed 29.4m hectares of tree cover was lost globally in 2017, only slightly less than 2016’s record.

British app traps Peru’s illegal goldminers
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 3 July 2018
An indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon has helped to catch illegal goldminers red-handed using a smartphone app developed by a London-based environmental group, the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK).
The app employs smartphones linked to satellites, and by involving communities in monitoring provides a tool which connects local people with national law enforcement, in an attempt to stop deforestation.

4 July 2018

China no longer participating in start of aviation emissions deal
By Allison Lampert and Julia Fioretti, Reuters, 4 July 2018
China has cooled to a landmark deal to curb emissions from international flights, with the country no longer listed as a participant in the agreement’s first phase, according to the United Nations aviation agency’s website.
China does not appear on a June 29 list of participants in the voluntary phase of the deal brokered by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2016, according to ICAO’s website.

5 July 2018

World’s poorest people bearing costs of rainforest conservation that benefits entire world, scientists warn
By Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent, 5 July 2018
Richer nations are “freeloading” off some of the poorest communities in the world by forcing them to foot the bill for rainforest conservation, according to a new study.
In Madagascar, an island known for its stunning biodiversity and lush tropical forests, farming communities are abandoning their way of life to satisfy the demands of international climate change prevention programmes.

The Startup Aiming to Wipe Out Blockchain’s Carbon Footprint
By Jason Deign, Green Tech Media, 5 July 2018
The United Nations is supporting a startup that aims to get rid of the carbon footprint produced by blockchains — by using a blockchain.
Carbon Grid Protocol, owned by the Singapore-based New Era Energy, has developed a blockchain-based framework that is intended to help other blockchain players offset emissions. In the case of bitcoin, these are estimated to equal more than 500 kilos of carbon dioxide per transaction.
New Era Energy is planning to open up carbon credit markets by making them more transparent and accountable, while removing the need for intermediaries such as brokers or funds.

Why we need a global deal for nature and people to achieve the SDGs
By Lin Li, WWF, 5 July 2018
With this year’s UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to review the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) starting next week, it’s timely to reflect on some critical aspects regarding the need for integration in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, from both a pragmatic standpoint as well as a conceptual one.
We are not currently on track to meet most of the goals and targets of the agenda. Take SDG 15 (Life on Land), one of the Goals being reviewed this year, as an example. Global deforestation is actually on an upward trend. Horrifyingly, in 2017 the world lost an amount of forest area equivalent to the size of Italy.

6 July 2018

8 takeaways from the Green Climate Fund meltdown
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 6 July 2018
The UN’s flagship climate finance initiative had a major setback this week, with the board failing to agree on any big ticket decisions.
Longstanding tensions at the Green Climate Fund came to a head in Songdo, South Korea, as it opened talks on raising a new round of contributions.
On top of that, the head of the secretariat abruptly resigned, adding top level recruitment to the fund’s woes.

The carbon floor price – a hammer in need of a toolbox
By Richard Cowart, Energy Post, 6 July 2018
“If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail,” goes the saying. In the context of climate policy, the leading hammer is carbon pricing. To many economists and carbon market enthusiasts, putting a price on carbon is by far the preferred tool to drive down carbon pollution. So, whenever carbon prices fail to reduce emissions fast enough, those advocates simply conclude that the price isn’t high enough. The real message should be that price alone isn’t enough.

[Kenya] Embobut Forest: The only home the Sengwer know
By Tom Mwiraria, The Nation, 6 July 2018
David Kipkosgei, 39, suppresses a shiver as he points to a brown desolation on a hilltop that was once his home.
He was only 15 years old when his family and other members of the Sengwer community were evicted from their homes in Embobut Forest, Elgeyo Marakwet County, in 1994. They were left homeless and desolate.

7 July 2018

Next decade crucial for avoiding catastrophic climate change – financial expert
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Landscape News, 7 July 2018
We will attract the necessary capital and we will avert disastrous climate change over the next 50 years, said a leading investment manager during a presentation at the recent Global Landscapes Forum Investment Case Symposium in Washington.
Carbon emissions reductions, greater transparency, regulated markets and truthfulness are vital to achieving a successful outcome for the climate, said Stephen Rumsey, chairman of Permian Global, a firm that facilitates ecosystem restoration through the production and sale of carbon credits generated through conservation and recovery of natural forests.

8 July 2018

An Open Goal: Why Forests and Nature Need to be at the Center of the Sustainable Development Agenda
By Alistair Monument and Hermine Kleymann, IISD, 8 July 2018
In fewer than 900 days, the world will have halted deforestation, taken urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity, and ensured that ecosystems are being conserved, restored and sustainably used.
That, at least, is part of what the governments of the 193 countries of the United Nations agreed to in 2015 with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The above commitments are just a few of the targets due to be achieved by 2020 under SDG 15, ‘Life on Land.’
So how is it going? Not too well, unfortunately. Recently released figures show that, far from being halted, global tree cover loss actually increased by 51% in 2016; for tropical tree cover loss, 2017 was the second-worst year on record. And with wildlife abundance projected to decline by two-thirds between 1970 and 2020, dramatic changes will be needed to reverse the long-term trend.

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