REDD in the news

REDD-Monitor’s on-going round-up of the news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter. For weekly REDD in the news posts, click here.

This indigenous tribe of Kenya needs the world’s attention
By Yator Kiptum, Down to Earth, 10 September 2018
The Sengwer are an indigenous hunter-gatherer people living along the slopes of the Cherangany Hills in the western highlands of Kenya. Their estimated population is 33,187.
The Sengwer’s homeland, the Cherangany Hills and forests along their slopes, give the tribe its identity, culture and provide spiritual anchorage. However, these very hills and forests have also been the cause of much trouble to the Sengwer. The reasons have been varied over the course of the last two centuries. In the 19th century, the colonial British administration and white settlers sought to evict the Sengwer to facilitate the creation of tea plantations in the area. In post-independent Kenya, evictions of the tribe began in 1978. But it is only in the last decade that violence has intensified.

In Solomon Islands, the gendered effects of corporate logging
By Gabrielle Lipton, CIFOR Forests News, 10 September 2018
Sicolastika Okapisi cried as she watched machines raze the mangroves near her village of Mararo to the ground. These mangroves were so peaceful that she could still hear her children back at the house while she was out foraging; they were where she went to find her late husband’s favorite roropio – mangrove worms – that he ate on his dying bed. Now, all that’s left is a log pond.

Carbon removal is not enough to save climate
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 10 September 2018
New studies from the US provide an answer to one of the thorniest questions facing climate policymakers: carbon removal will not replace stringent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions enough, they say, to avert the threat of global warming.
In a world making (so far) only halting progress to cut the pollutants that heat the planet through reducing emissions there is support for a different approach, using carbon removal and other forms of geo-engineering rather than emission cuts to remove the pollution already in the atmosphere, the oceans and the biosphere.

Natural climate solutions are the future, and indigenous rights are key to their success
By David Kaimowitz, Ford Foundation, 10 September 2018
This summer, record high temperatures around the world focused people’s attention on climate change. In California, Australia, and elsewhere, intense wildfires have had a similar effect. But if we have any hope of curtailing climate change, we must remember that these alarming flashpoints are part of a larger, systemic problem—one that threatens life as we know it, and that doesn’t recede when the seasons change or the flames of one fire go out. A problem this big will require serious steps by every part of society: including all levels of government, businesses, communities, faith leaders, citizens, and indigenous tribes.

The twin crises no one can avoid—or allow to continue
By Darren Walker (Ford Foundation), Thomson Reuters Foundation, 11 September 2018
Too often we talk about climate change and inequality as though they were separate issues. When we talk about climate change, our conversations tend to focus on the earth’s systems—rising temperatures and sea levels and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—and the megastorms they produce, like hurricanes and even the wildfires still raging in California.
When we talk about inequality, our focus is typically on social and economic concerns like poverty, jobs, and the cost of living.

A Different Kind of Climate Summit Comes to San Francisco
AP, 11 September 2018
The international effort to fight climate change is about to get injected with a bit of Hollywood flash, a lot of Wall Street green and a considerable dose of cheerleading rather than dry treaty negotiations.
Business leaders, mayors, governors and activists from around the world gather this week in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, where participants will trumpet what they’ve done and announce new efforts to slow a warming world.

Estimating Transaction Costs of REDD+
By Jayne P Lambrou, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 11 September 2018
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is generally believed to be a cost-effective mitigation strategy against climate change. Some suggest, however, that costs of REDD+ are underestimated because many studies either exclude or undervalue transaction costs. A major challenge in this field of research is the absence of a common framework and methodology for assessing such costs. This paper uses the notion of governance structures to suggest a generic definition and methodology for measuring transaction costs. The methodology is subsequently used in an analysis of transaction costs for REDD+ pilots in RDS Rio Negro, Brazil and Kilosa, Tanzania. Results indicate higher unit costs – costs per ton of reduced CO2 – of establishing the REDD+ governance structures in Kilosa, while unit costs of using those structures are higher in RDS Rio Negro. The results also show that while REDD+ was originally conceived as a market i.e., a direct trade between buyers and sellers, it could also take on a non-market governance structure or a mixture of market and non-market elements. These different forms of governance structures have implications for transaction costs.

Guyana to Face Several New Challenges With the Discovery of Oil Wells
By Desmond Brown, The Wire, 6 September 2018
Recent huge offshore oil discoveries are believed to have set Guyana – one of the poorest countries in South America – on a path to riches. But they have also highlighted the country’s development challenges and the potential impact of an oil boom.
Oil giant ExxonMobil has, over the last three years, drilled eight gushing discovery wells offshore with the potential to generate nearly $20 billion in oil revenue annually by the end of the next decade.

A Global Baseline of Carbon Storage in Collective Lands
Rights and Resources Initiative, Woods Hole Research Center, Environmental Defense Fund, World Resources Institute, 9 September 2018
Forests and other lands are essential for achieving climate and development ambitions. If appropriately leveraged, natural climate solutions can contribute upwards of 37 percent of cost-effective CO2 mitigation by 2030, and evidence shows Indigenous Peoples and local communities are key to achieving such outcomes. This report presents the most comprehensive assessment to date of carbon storage in documented community lands worldwide.

How Guyana Must Prepare to Cope With the ‘Jeopardies and Perils’ of Oil Discovery
By Desmond Brown, IPS, 3 September 2018
Recent huge offshore oil discoveries are believed to have set Guyana– one of the poorest countries in South America–on a path to riches. But they have also highlighted the country’s development challenges and the potential impact of an oil boom.
Oil giant ExxonMobil has, over the last three years, drilled eight gushing discovery wells offshore with the potential to generate nearly USD20 billion in oil revenue annually by the end of the next decade.

Letter from the Indigenous Peoples of the world to the Governor of California and the Governor’s Climate and Forest Task Force
Indigenous Environmental Network, 10 September 2018
Original peoples and Indigenous nations of the world gathered on the Ramaytush and the greater Ohlone territory in California supported by ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (1989) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) to protest the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) hosted by Governor Jerry Brown and the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF). The GCAS and GCF must not place a market value on the carbon sequestration capacity of our forests in the Global South and North.
You cannot commodify the Sacred — we reject these market based climate change solutions and projects such as the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD+), because they are false solutions that further destroy our rights, our ability to live in our forests, and our sovereignty and self-determination. False solutions to climate change and climate disruption destroy both our material and spiritual relationship to the Earth. The GCF does not represent us and has no authority over our peoples and territories.

Forests cut warming better than technology
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 11 September 2018
Simple solutions are often the best, and British and European climate scientists have identified one: forests cut warming better than the technological solutions now being widely canvassed.
They have established some simple ground rules for limiting global warming to the international target of an average rise of no more than 1.5°C by 2100.

Amazon Deforestation in Brazil: What Does It Mean When There’s No Change?
By Doug Boucher, EcoWatch, 10 September 2018
I was recently invited by the editors of the journal Tropical Conservation Science to write an update of a 2013 article on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon that I had published with Sarah Roquemore and Estrellita Fitzhugh. They asked me to review how deforestation has changed over the past five years. The most notable result, as you can see from the graph in the just-published article (open-access), is that overall it hasn’t changed. And that’s actually quite surprising.

[Indonesia] GAMA Plantation Faces Legal Risks from Peat Fires
Chain Reaction Research, 11 September 2018
Foresthints.news reports that, on August 25-26, the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry sealed four of the five palm oil concessions owned by GAMA Plantation in West Kalimantan’s Kubu Raya regency — PT SUM, PT PLD, PT AAN, and PT RJP. Foresthints says that law enforcement acted due to continuing peat fires on these concessions.
This sealing is occurring against the backdrop of multiple events happening with GAMA, one of the largest palm oil groups in Indonesia with 27 plantations and a landbank with likely more than 400,000 hectares. During 2014-2018, GAMA cleared forests and peatland in both Papua and West-Kalimantan. In June 2018, a Greenpeace report looked at selected estates of GAMA, noting that 21,500 ha of forest and peatland clearing has occurred since December 2013. The report referred to the Sitorus family’s involvement in Indonesian operations of both GAMA and Wilmar. NDPE-leader Wilmar spun off its problematic plantations to non-NDPE GAMA to avoid outside pressure.

[USA] Governor Brown Signs 100 Percent Clean Electricity Bill, Issues Order Setting New Carbon Neutrality Goal
Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., 10 September 2018
Reaffirming California’s global climate leadership, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed Senate Bill 100, authored by Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, setting a 100 percent clean electricity goal for the state, and issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality – both by 2045.
“This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” said Governor Brown.

Protect Indigenous Rights and Culture to Confront the Climate Crisis
By Lilian Painter (WCS), National Geographic, 11 September 2018
This week in San Francisco, government and business leaders, investors, and average citizens are gathering to inspire large commitments towards addressing climate change. Among the key issues to be discussed is the role ecosystems must play in mitigating climate change and building global resilience.
Increasingly, the role of Indigenous Peoples in maintaining carbon stocks and preventing a climate tipping point in the Amazon and beyond is widely recognized. This role challenges us to consider how Indigenous Peoples should be supported by the global community to continue providing this benefit for the good of the entire planet.

Securing Intact Forests and Indigenous Livelihoods in DR Congo
By Deo Kujirakwinja and Michael Painter (WCS) National Geographic, 10 September 2018
In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Batwa people have played a critical role in preserving the integrity of the intact forests of the Kabobo Massif, which is the source of fresh water and associated electrical power for hundreds of thousands of people.
In recent years, however, violent civil conflict has undermined the Batwa’s stewardship, leading to large-scale population movement and poor local governance. In response, local people— supported by the provincial government and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)—have worked for a decade to re-establish local control of the area through the creation of protected area and community forestry concessions.

Climate mitigation has an ally in need of recognition and land rights: indigenous peoples in tropical countries
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 10 September 2018
As global warming continues to outpace the tepid international response, a range of environmentalists are raising their collective voice to demand full rights and recognition for those long associated with land stewardship connected to climate mitigation: indigenous peoples.
On Monday, September 10, researchers released what they called “the most comprehensive assessment to date of carbon storage” on forested lands occupied by indigenous peoples and local communities in 64 tropical countries. One of the main findings of the research is that indigenous peoples are far better stewards of the land than their countries’ governments.

Funders Stand Together in Support of Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate
Climate and Land Use Alliance, 11 September 2018
Joint Statement Supporting Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate
“As leaders of philanthropic organizations, we are participating in the Global Climate Action Summit by stepping up our support to protect, restore, and expand forests, make land use more sustainable, and secure the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, who are the best stewards of their lands, territories, and forests.”

Illegal Mining Forces Suspension of Groundbreaking Forest Carbon Project in Brazil
By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 10 September 2018
As the first indigenous-led conservation effort to be financed through the sale of carbon offsets, the Suruí Forest Carbon Project (PCFS in Portuguese) dramatically slowed deforestation and incubated sustainable livelihood programs in Brazil’s Sete de Setembro Indigenous Territory (TISS), but a dramatic surge in illegal mining activities throughout the region in which TISS is located has forced the Paiter-Suruí indigenous people and their partners to suspend the program indefinitely.

[Canada] Greenpeace suing Ontario government over cancellation of cap-and-trade program
CBC News, 11 September 2018
Leading environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government over the cancellation of the province’s cap-and-trade program.
Lawyers for Ecojustice, in conjunction with the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, filed the suit on behalf of Greenpeace Canada, according to a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.
The suit aims to halt the regulation, approved in July, which calls for the end of the province’s cap-and-trade program. The program was brought in by the previous Liberal government.

Halting deforestation? REDD+ and the protection of the fossil fuel and conservation industry
World Rainforest Movement, 12 September 2018
A compilation of articles from the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin on the occasion of the Global Climate Action Summit to be held 12-14 September, in California, United States.
The state of California in the US has been seeking to integrate other jurisdictions into its state carbon market programme, now extended until 2030. The first thing to note about California’s emission reductions targets is that they are extremely low. And these low targets are further undermined with the use of a carbon market. Among several other corporate giveaways, companies are allowed to ‘compensate’ for their excess pollution without making emission reductions on site.

Pulitzer Center Launches 5-Year, $5.5 Million Rainforest Journalism Fund
By Jeff Barrus, Pulitzer Center, 12 September 2018
The Pulitzer Center is pleased to announce the launch of the Rainforest Journalism Fund, a five-year, $5.5 million initiative focused on raising public awareness of the urgent environmental issues facing the world’s tropical forests.
The Pulitzer Center is pleased to announce the launch of the Rainforest Journalism Fund, a five-year, $5.5 million initiative focused on raising public awareness of the urgent environmental issues facing the world’s tropical forests.

EU climate law could cause ‘catastrophic’ deforestation
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 12 September 2018
Senior climate scientists say that the world’s carbon sinks could be facing a grave threat from a wholly unexpected source: the EU’s renewable energy directive.
The climate law could suck in as much imported wood as Europe harvests each year because it will count energy created from the burning of whole trees as “carbon neutral”, according to several academics including a former vice-chair of the UN IPCC.

ICIS VIEW: Is the European ETS falling at the first hurdle?
By Tom Marzec-Manser, ICIS, 11 September 2018
The recent bull-run on EU emission allowances will soon no doubt draw the attention of policy-makers and the general media, which in turn could filter through to the Europe’s wider population.
There is, after all, a lot to discuss: A long lambasted EU policy is finally delivering a price which should structurally force plant operators to alter production to lower their carbon emissions. Something which was a cornerstone objective of the emissions trading scheme.
Except it is increasingly looking like it won’t, not for this winter at least in the UK.

Not seeing the emissions for the trees – why responsible finance must focus on forests
By Eleanor Spencer, Spott, 13 September 2018
Against a backdrop of increasing fossil fuel divestment and the rapid growth of the renewable energy and green transport sectors, the topic of climate change currently takes centre stage. The financial sector’s growing interest in climate change and emission reduction indicates a significant shift in the right direction, and is a crucial force for a global transition to a lower-carbon economy. However, the important link between forests and climate is too-often overlooked.

[USA] Global Climate Action Summit Gets Push Back From Anti-Capitalist Activists; Gov. Brown Calls Trump a ‘Fool’ on Climate
By Kiki Intarasuwan, Seth Borenstein, and Janie Har, NBC Bay Area, 13 September 2018
While business leaders, elected officials and activists from around the world gather in San Francisco Thursday for the Global Climate Action Summit, indigenous activists rallied to call out California governor’s “hypocrisy” on fossil fuel and call on the summit to not make profit-driven decisions.
Activists with Brown’s Last Chance campaign have been voicing their concerns and pushing back on Gov. Jerry Brown’s inaction on the state’s fossil fuel extraction and oil drilling, the processes which activists say undercuts other climate progress the state has made.

[USA] Sweeping Civil Rights Lawsuit Alleges Racial Bias In Implementation Of California Climate Policies
By Michael Shellenberger, Forbes, 13 September 2018
Top civil rights leaders are suing California for climate policies they say disproportionately harm its poorest residents, particularly Latinos and African Americans.
“California politicians are using anti-racist and environmentalist words to hide the regressive impact of their climate policies on the poor and people of color,” said John Gamboa, the co-founder of The Two Hundred, a coalition of prominent civil rights leaders, which filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in Superior Court.

Policy Brief: REDD+ Who does it help?
Centre for Science and Environment, 13 September 2018
Deforestation and forest degradation have been globally acknowledged to contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The most prominent global mechanism to tackle deforestation and forest degradation is called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+.
Since its formalisation in 2007 at the United Nations Conference of Parties (CoP) on climate change held in Bali, Indonesia, more than 300 REDD+ initiatives have taken off across the world, with mixed results. However, after a decade, there is no convincing evidence to establish the contribution of REDD+ in halting or reversing global deforestation trends. In fact, figures on tree cover losses released at the 2018 Tropical Forest Forum in Oslo, Norway show that 2016 and 2017 have been the worst years for tropical forests since 2001. In these two years, tree cover loss has amounted to an area of forest equivalent to the size of Vietnam. The results have got the forest fraternity scratching their heads to figure out where their efforts have gone wrong.

Protesters Disrupt Governor’s Task Force on Climate and Forests
The Real News, 13 September 2018
The task force was created to use carbon credits to fight climate change and deforestation, but protesters say the program harms Indigenous people and doesn’t curb emissions.

California Gov. Jerry Brown casually unveils history’s most ambitious climate target
By David Roberts, Vox, 12 September 2018
California Gov. Jerry Brown kicked off a week full of climate change news with an announcement, and boy was it a doozy: at once surprising, strange, and stunning. It was so out of left field and yet so profound in its implications that few in the media, or even in California, seem to have fully absorbed it yet.
To explain, we must begin with a little backstory.

[Indonesia] Four People Named Suspects in C. Kalimantan`s Forest Fire
Tempo, 12 September 2018
The Police of East Kotawaringin district, Central Kalimantan, have named four suspects allegedly accused of committing forest fire in a number of areas in the district.
“We have been investigating six cases. Four people have been named suspects. The frequent rains (falling in the district) does not discourage us to investigate the fire cases,” Chief of the East Kotawaringin District Police Adjunct Chief Commissioner Mohammad Rommel said on Tuesday.

When a Tree Falls, Is It Deforestation?
By Nancy Harris, Elizabeth Dow Goldman, Mikaela Weisse and Alyssa Barrett, World Resources Institute, 13 September 2018
The narrative is not a new one: The world is losing tree cover at an alarming rate, and the effects on biodiversity, the climate and indigenous communities cannot be overstated.
The question is, why? What’s causing this loss? And will tree cover come back, or will the land be used for a new purpose? Our new study, released today in Science, gets us one step closer to answering these questions.

Protesters Have Their Day at California Climate Talks
By Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 13 September 201
They erected a mini oil rig, locked arms through oil drums and sat down on the street. “Keep it in the ground,” their banners read. “No more fossil fuels,” they chanted.
rotesters gathered at the Global Climate Action Summit on Thursday morning as mayors, ministers, environmentalists and corporate executives poured into the Moscone Center conference hall. By 9:30 a.m., only one entrance was open, and a long line spooled out at another entrance, tightly guarded by the police.

Indonesia’s SBY Government: ‘Vast Criminal Conspiracy’
By John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel, 11 September 2018
The Indonesian government that left power in 2014 was a vast criminal conspiracy that stole as much as US$12 billion from taxpayers and laundered it through international banks, with as many as 30 officials in on the scheme, according to a massive 488-page investigation filed with the Mauritian Supreme Court last week.
The report, a forensic analysis known as a testament in evidence, was compiled by a task force of investigators and lawyers in Indonesia, London, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and other countries, that was filed along with an 80-page affidavit containing the allegations. It also implicates a string of international financial institutions including Nomura, Standard Chartered Bank, United Overseas Bank (Singapore) and others.

September / November 2018 edition of The REDD+ Resource now available!
UN-REDD Programme, 10 September 2018
We are excited to share this special newsletter edition with you, which commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the UN-REDD Programme. Over the past decade, we have worked with 64 partner countries to successfully achieve substantial climate, forest and development goals. To name just a few successes: more than 30 countries have advanced their national REDD+ strategies or action plans, 40 countries were supported in developing national forest monitoring systems, and 15 countries have developed country approaches to meeting the UNFCCC social and environmental safeguards requirements.

Host nations must drive China’s Belt and Road towards sustainability. Here’s how
By Ping Manongdo, Eco-Business, 14 September 2018
By the time the Laos leg of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is completed in 2021, thousands of Laotians would have been pushed off their land.
In place of these villages, concrete structures and tunnels are now being built to support the 414-kilometre high-speed rail connecting capital Vientiane to the China-Laos border.

New analysis: Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities protect 5 times more carbon than previously thought
Rights and Resources Initiative, 10 September 2018
Two new studies released on the eve of the Global Climate Action Summit illustrate the powerful links between securing indigenous and community land rights and protecting the forests that are vital to mitigating climate change. As climate researchers, advocates, and leaders gather in California this week to discuss priorities and goals at the Global Climate Action Summit, they must recognize the urgent need to secure the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities as a key climate solution.

Charities Pledge Nearly $500M Against Deforestation
AP, 11 September 2018
A coalition of charitable groups and the government of Norway on Tuesday pledged to spend nearly half a billion dollars over the next four years to prevent deforestation internationally and recognize indigenous peoples’ rights to manage forests.
The charitable groups pledged $459 million to help indigenous groups gain rights to the forests where they live and to help them protect their land. The government of Norway pledged another $33 million to help prevent deforestation in Indonesia and Brazil.

Indigenous Peoples Are Vital to Curtailing the Climate Crisis
By Cristián Samper (Wildlife Conservation Society), Scientific American, 13 September 2018
Spanning the border between Bolivia and Peru, the magnificent Madidi-Tambopata landscape rises from dense lowland Amazon upward to Andean peaks at almost 6,000 meters. No other protected area on the planet spans such a gradient. Not surprisingly, this wilderness boasts more plant and animal species than any other protected area in the world.

Safeguarding the Carbon Stored in Indigenous and Community Lands is Essential to Meeting Climate Goals
By Katie Reytar, Marlena Chertock and Peter Veit, World Resources Institute, 13 September 2018
Scientists estimate that by managing the world’s land more sustainably, such as by protecting forests and investing in reforestation, we could achieve up to 37 percent of emissions reductions necessary to limit the global rise in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius by 2030.

Project Gigaton Q&A: How forest-focused sustainability targets can reduce emissions
By Martha Stevenson and Linda Walker, WWF, 10 September 2018
Walmart’s Project Gigaton is a supplier-focused initiative to prevent one gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions across their global supply chain over 15 years (2015-2030). Project Gigaton aims to inspire suppliers to reduce emissions across their own operations and supply chains.

Paris Conundrum: How to Know How Much Carbon Is Being Emitted?
By Fred Pearce, YaleEnvironment360, 10 September 2018
Will we be able to verify the Paris climate accord? Right now science is not up to the task, say the people in charge of assessing our annual emissions of CO2. There is, they say, no sure way of independently verifying whether national governments are telling the truth about their own emissions or of knowing by how much global anthropogenic emissions are actually increasing.

Research Shows Climate Finance Is Reaching Most Jurisdictions, But Slowly
By Daniel Nepstad, Ecoystem Marketplace, 11 September 2018
Never before in history has there been as much international attention and finance focused on the goal of solving tropical deforestation. The reason is quite simple. Tropical forests could be critical to avoiding extremely dangerous impacts of climate change.

UNDP Announces First Group Of Projects To Support Jurisdictional REDD+ Strategies And Investment Plans
Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, 12 September 2018
The Climate and Forests Team of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced the first round of projects under the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) to support jurisdictional REDD+ strategies and investment plans during the GCF Annual Meeting on 11 September in San Francisco. The range of projects approved reflects the diversity of the GCF Members, while responding to local contexts and bringing a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach to low emissions development.
Tim Clairs, lead of the Climate and Forests Team at UNDP remarked, “we are thrilled to be a part of the GCF Task Force partnership and to support the member states and provinces in bringing about genuine transformation at the subnational level”.

The Bonn Challenge Barometer: Tool tracks restoration and reforestation progress
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Landscape News, 13 September 2018
The Bonn Challenge, launched by the German government in 2011 in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is an ambitious global effort that aims to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.

What’s causing deforestation? New study reveals global drivers
By Rachel Fritts, Mongabay, 14 September 2018
Knowing where deforestation is happening is critical for efforts aimed at stopping or slowing it. Major breakthroughs toward this goal have been made over the previous few years, with NGOs harnessing the power of satellites to monitor and identify canopy loss in forests around the world. Now, a new study sheds more light on forest loss, determining the primary causes of deforestation around the world.

California Had Its Own Climate Summit. Now What?
By Brad Plumer, New York Times, 15 September 2018
For years, presidents and prime ministers have been the public face of the fight against climate change, gathering at United Nations summit meetings and pressuring each other to reduce emissions.
The results have often been lackluster.
A climate conference in California this week tried something different. The meeting, organized by the state’s governor, Jerry Brown, had far fewer national leaders present. Instead, an array of governors, mayors and business executives from around the globe met to promote their successes in cutting greenhouse gas emissions locally and to encourage one another to do more.

Landscape Finance Lab: Key partnerships with major corporations to drive sustainable land use
Climate-KIC, 13 September 2018
In Innovation Spotlight, we explore some of the most promising innovations from around our community. This week, we take a look at an EIT Climate-KIC supported WWF initiative, the Landscape Finance Lab.
Land use accounts for one fourth of world emissions and potentially over one third of possible solutions. But currently, in terms of green finance, only one per cent is going to land-based solutions: Investors and land managers still struggle to generate high-quality and de-risked land-use projects.

Putting the action in the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 14 September 2018
The second day of California Governor Jerry Brown’s three-day Global Climate Action Summit on September 13 put a hard emphasis on action, whether in speeches at San Francisco’s Moscone Center or at presentations across the city.
There was discernible disgust with national leaders, not limited to Washington, D.C. and the Trump Administration, whose words have not resulted in greater ambition to drive down carbon emissions, protect forests and oceans, or provide the promised billions to developing nations who must adapt to or recover their losses from the ravages of global warming.

[Kenya] Embobut operation targets bandits not Sengwer, says state
By Stephen Rutto, The Star, 11 September 2018
A government official has assured the indigenous Sengwer community that they will not be harmed in an ongoing operation to smoke out bandits in Embobut forest.
Marakwet East deputy county commissioner Stephen Sangolo said police are only targeting armed criminals suspected to behind banditry attacks that left at least four people dead on the Elgeyo Marakwet-West Pokot border.
Sangolo’s assurance comes amid claims that police are slaughtering sheep belonging to Sengwer during the operation.

[Kenya] Sengwer women: We’ve lost our dignity, rights violated in evictions
By Stephen Rutto, The Star, 11 September 2018
Margaret Chesir was born in Embobut forest and for over 50 years has known no other home. She is a member of the indigenous Sengwer community, often evicted by the government in a bid to conserve the forest.
An agonised Chesir was evicted in 2014, and since then, she has been in and out of the forest, struggling to get back to the hunter-gatherer life that defines her community.

Veridium taps former Apple executive as CEO of its Natural Capital Exchange
Crypto Reporter, 13 September 2018
Veridium Labs Ltd, the environmental blockchain technology company which is partnered with IBM to build tokenized carbon credit markets, announced today that William Wei, a former Apple executive, has joined Veridium as its new CEO.
William is an engineer-entrepreneur turned investor who boasts a strong track record of building successful businesses in both the US and China. William also advised Taiwanese legislators to pass a FinTech regulatory sandbox law. William previously worked at Apple for over 12 years as a senior software architect and enterprise consultant.

The promise and peril of blockchain
By Swati Mandloi, Eco-Business, 11 September 2018
When the financial crisis of 2008 struck, it left in its wake devastated economies and a general distrust of financial markets and the institutions meant to hold the industry to account.
So when a shiny new cryptocurrency named Bitcoin emerged later that same year, promising transparency, incorruptibility and freedom from middlemen such as banks and traders in transacting, there was hope that it would revolutionise the global financial system.

South Pole, ixo Foundation, and Gold Standard develop blockchain application for carbon credit tokenization
IXO press release, 11 September 2018
South Pole is partnering with the ixo Foundation, developer of the Blockchain for Impact, and Gold Standard, the benchmark standard for climate and development projects, to develop an application and impact tokens on the ixo protocol that will facilitate the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of data for compiling greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and originating carbon credits.

Institutional Finance Update: Leveraging Digital Technologies, Using Blockchain for Climate Action and Sustainable Development
By Beate Antonich, IISD, 11 September 2018
Discussions in recent months have explored how emerging technologies such as blockchain and digitalization processes could serve the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change. In August, the World Bank launched a blockchain-operated US$110 million bond, with potential impacts on carbon market trading. Other multilateral institutions have stressed the potential of digitalization technologies for sustainable development. The UNFCCC issued a report that assesses financing climate technology entrepreneurship and actions needed to support overcoming specific challenges in developing countries.

Himalayan Countries Begin Implementation of Transboundary Landscape Management Initiative
By Wangu Mwangi, IISD, 13 September 2018
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and country partners embarked on implementation of HI-LIFE, a regional conservation and development initiative that seeks to promote an integrated conservation and development approach in the Far-Eastern Himalayan landscape in China, India and Myanmar. The implementation phase of the Initiative, which was first proposed in 2008, will run from 2018 and 2022.

Research Finds Collective Forestlands Key to Meeting Climate Mitigation Targets
By Wangu Mwangi, IISD, 13 September 2018
“If appropriately leveraged, natural climate solutions can contribute upwards of 37 percent of cost-effective CO2 mitigation by 2030 and evidence shows Indigenous Peoples and local communities are key to achieving such outcomes.” This is one of the key conclusions from the global baseline study described as “the most comprehensive assessment to date of carbon storage in documented community lands worldwide.”
The report titled, ‘A Global Baseline of Carbon Storage in Collective Lands: Indigenous and Local Community Contributions to Climate Change Mitigation,’ covers forested lands occupied by indigenous peoples and local communities in 64 tropical countries.

Bangkok Climate Change Conference Makes “Uneven” Progress in Advance of COP 24
By Leila Mead, IISD, 13 September 2018
The Bangkok Climate Change Conference concluded with negotiators making limited progress on advancing the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), the guidelines required to operationalize the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which are expected to be adopted at the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December 2018.

The 36-billion-dollar question
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 12 September 2018
It’s estimated that around USD 36 billion is needed annually to meet the Bonn Challenge target of restoring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands around the world. But public financing for these kinds of initiatives is decreasing year by year, said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Director and Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), at the recent Global Landscapes Forum in Nairobi.

Can a jurisdictional approach boost sustainability?
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 12 September 2018
Conserving and restoring tropical forests could represent over a quarter of the near-term solution to addressing climate change. And because millions of people around the world live in or near these forests and rely on them for their livelihoods, conservation and reforestation work needs to take into account existing land uses and seek solutions that serve local communities as well as bigger-picture goals.