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WWF, 15 April 2014 | The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Emission Reductions Program Idea Note (ER-PIN) was provisionally approved last week in Brussels, Belgium by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s (FCPF) Carbon Fund, administered by the World Bank. DRC’s program would be one of the first jurisdictional-scale REDD+ programs in Africa, including approximately ten million hectares of forest and two and a half million hectares of mixed agricultural lands and savannah. Joining the Carbon Fund’s “pipeline” will now make available up to US$650,000 to support the World Bank’s “due diligence” process and development of a full program proposal worth up to US$60 million to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in western DRC. As a next step, DRC was asked to revise its proposed approach to measuring emission reductions before moving forward with full program development.
WWF, 18 April 2014 | Nepal made new headway in the REDD+ readiness process with the approval of its Emission Reductions Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) at the Carbon Fund’s Ninth Meeting (CF9) organized by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility under the World Bank in April 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. This opens new horizons in REDD+ readiness for Nepal with the potential to bring additional resources of up to USD 70 million for the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) through the Government of Nepal. This is based on the resolution made at CF9 to negotiate a Letter of Intent with Nepal for an estimated volume of up to 14 million tonnes of emission reductions (CO2 equivalent) over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020.
By Eric Hilaire, The Guardian, 24 April 2014 | Award-winning Hong Kong photographer and photojournalist Paul Hilton's latest series of images looks at the impact of deforestation on Indonesia's wildlife. Basing himself in one of the most biodiverse hotspots in the world - the Leuser ecosystem in Aceh, home to rhino, orangutan, tigers and elephants - Hilton found that the clearing of forests for palm oil plantations means more roads are being cut into habitat, with endangered species being killed or sold for the wildlife trade in roadside markets.
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 22 April 2014 | On the outskirts of Sheffield there is a wood which, some 800 years ago, was used by the monks of Kirkstead Abbey to produce charcoal for smelting iron. For local people, Smithy Wood is freighted with stories. Among the trees you can imagine your way into another world. The application to plant a motorway service station in the middle of it, wiping out half the wood and fragmenting the rest, might have been unthinkable a few months ago. No longer. When the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, first began talking about biodiversity offsetting – replacing habitats you trash with new ones created elsewhere – his officials made it clear that it would not apply to ancient woodland. But in January Paterson said he was prepared to drop this restriction as long as more trees were planted than destroyed.
By Frédéric Saliba, The Guardian, 15 April 2014 | According to Kendra McSweeney: "Drug trafficking is causing an ecological disaster in Central America." McSweeney, a geographer at Ohio State University, is the co-author of a recent report on the little-known phenomenon of "narco-deforestation" that is destroying huge tracts of rainforest that are already under threat from other quarters. Viewed from the air, the tropical forests of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua are scarred with landing strips and roads built illegally by the narco-traffickers for transporting drugs to the US, the leading world market. "These protected ecological zones have become the hub for South American cocaine," according to McSweeney, who stresses that the annual deforestation rate in Honduras more than quadrupled between 2007 and 2011, a boom-period for drug trafficking.
The Australian, 15 April 2014 | The leaders of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have called upon finance ministers to "tackle the issue of carbon pricing," Fairfax reports. According to the news outlet, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said carbon pricing was among fiscal tools government's could use that would benefit the environment while stimulating global economies. "Even though it's controversial we've got to tackle the issue of carbon pricing," Mr Kim said on Saturday, according to Fairfax. Ms Lagarde said carbon taxes and the removal of fossil fuel subsidies were "intelligent" ways to reallocate resources to address climate change, Fairfax reports.
Reuters, 15 April 2014 | U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2012, more than halfway toward the United States' 2020 target pledged at United Nations climate talks, according to the latest national emissions inventory. The report showed that emissions dropped 3.4 percent from 2012 to 2011, mostly due to a decrease in energy consumption and fuel switching from coal to natural gas. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday published the United States' 19th annual emissions tally to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States uses 2005 pollution levels as its benchmark to measure emissions cuts, and has a target to lower emissions by 17 percent from that starting point by 2020.
Reuters, 16 April 2014 | The European Commission will hold three meetings this summer on how to ensure the bloc's industries can compete in global markets while meeting goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it said on Wednesday. The meetings aim to gather views on rules determining if companies can continue to receive free carbon permits under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) beyond 2020, when current measures expire. They will also include how EU governments can fund the development of new technologies to help drive deep cuts in the heat-trapping emissions blamed for warming the planet.
By Gernot Wagner, EDF, 17 April 2014 | Economics is largely just organized common sense, and it doesn’t get much more common sense than benefit-cost analysis. Want to decide whether to buy that apple, make that investment or pass that clean air rule? Tally up the benefits. Tally up the costs. If benefits outweigh costs, do it. Although in many ways climate change is a problem in its own league, the same principles apply. Secretary of State John Kerry recently said, “The costs of inaction are catastrophic,” and they most likely would be. While climate change ought to be a risk management problem — an existential risk management problem on a planetary scale — that realization alone may not always be good enough. Despite the inherent risks and uncertainties, sometimes we need a specific number that we can plug into a benefit-cost analysis.
By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 15 April 2014 | Policymakers and conservationists often overlook the importance of rural forests and the local knowledge that has sustained them for centuries, according to a report published in the journal “Ecology and Society” that reflects on the way sustainable development policies have affected rural forests. Rural — or domestic — forests exist all over the world, from temperate countries to arid and tropical humid regions. They are managed by local people as part of their agricultural and livelihood activities, according to the journal, which featured eight studies on rural forests in France, Morocco, Southeast Asia and Africa funded under the Public Policies and Traditional Management of Trees and Forests project (known by its French acronym, POPULAR).
By Peter Kanowski, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 17 April 2014 | How should research institutions such as CIFOR, with a global mandate and responsibilities, identify potential research priorities? How can they draw effectively on the knowledge, expertise and insights of the global community of researchers and practitioners? Several recent initiatives responding to questions like these in other topic areas have informed a new project to identify research priorities for forestry and landscapes.
ANTARA News, 18 April 2014 | The Terra and Aqua Satellites have detected 40 hotspots located in Sumatra Island, which were mostly found in Riau Province that had reached 20 areas. According to the Riau Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency received here on Friday, the total hotspots that are found in Riau have increased 100 percent. The agency noted that the hotspots are spread across eight districts and cities of Riau Province, which are mostly located in Dumai city and has reached five sites. The satellite noted three of the five hotspots in Dumai city including Pelintung Village of Medang Kampai Sub-district, Basilam Baru Village of Sungai Sembilan Sub-district and Gurun Panjang VIllage of Bukit Kapur Sub-district.
The Jakarta Post, 17 April 2014 | Climate change experts have said that stronger law enforcement was needed to prevent future disastrous wildfires in susceptible areas such as the peatlands of Riau, Sumatra. Data from the World Resource Institute (WRI) shows that in Riau there were around 3,101 high confidence fire alerts from Feb. 20 to March 11, 2014. As a comparison, the province saw 2,643 fire alerts from June 13 to June 30 last year. From March 2013 to March 2014, 52 percent of all fire alerts in Indonesia came from four regencies in Riau province. Over the last year, haze generated from fires in Riau has caused respiratory problems for more than 58,000 people. The WRI data also shows that in 2009 greenhouse gases (GHG) from forest and peatland fires in Riau contributed to 27 percent of all the GHGs emitted from Indonesia that year. GHGs stay in the atmosphere for tens to hundreds of years after being released and are considered a major driver of climate change.
World Bank, April 2014 | In December 2013, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund's Methodological Framework was approved by Carbon Fund Participants. It will guide the development of large-scale REDD+ programs aimed to protect tropical forests and enhance the livelihoods of local communities. The Methodological Framework is a set of 37 criteria and related indicators (C&I), associated with five major aspects of Emission Reductions Programs: level of ambition, carbon accounting, safeguards, sustainable program design and implementation, and ER Program transactions. ER Programs included in the CF portfolio are expected to demonstrate conformity with the Framework’s criteria. This webinar is the first in a series of sessions on a variety of aspects related to REDD+ and the FCPF. In this webinar, Marco van der Linden, who co-lead the development of the Methodological Framework, will explain to the audience the key aspects they need to know...
The Himalayan Times, 18 April 2014 | Nepal has made new headway in the REDD+ readiness process with the approval of its Emission Reductions Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) at the Carbon Fund’s Ninth Meeting (CF9) organised by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility under the World Bank in Brussels, Belgium earlier this week... According to WWF Nepal, this initiative opens new horizons in REDD+ readiness for Nepal with the potential to bring additional resources of up to US$ 70 million for the Tarai Arc Landscape through the Government of Nepal. This is based on the resolution made at CF9 to negotiate a Letter of Intent with Nepal for an estimated volume of up to 14 million tonnes of emission reductions (CO2 equivalent) over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020.
By Ed King, RTCC, 17 April 2014 | Brazil wants owners of UN carbon credits to donate them to the organisers of this year’s World Cup, offsetting the tournament’s emissions in return for free publicity. The government hopes that up to a million credits known as certified emission reductions (CERs) from the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism will be made available. All donated credits must originate from Brazilian CDM projects. If realised, this would be equal to taking 30,000 cars off the road. UN climate chief Christiana Figueres welcomed the announcement, but said she would reserve judgement until the results of the initiative were revealed once the tournament ended. “I wish Brazil and FIFA every success in their endeavours and look forward to a rigorous assessment after the final whistle blows on what was actually achieved in respect to climate neutrality,” she said.
By Mary Gallagher, The Guardian, 17 April 2014 | While attention in the sector has recently been focused on the IPCC's latest report on climate change, in Sudan women have been quietly making breakthroughs by issuing the country's first carbon credits. In a country blighted by conflict and drought, the Women's Development Association Network (WDAN) representing over 50,000 women in Sudan, is driving economic growth and reversing deforestation. The town of El Fasher, the capital of the North Darfur region, is an area considered high risk by international markets because of its history of civil war, conflict and reliance on humanitarian aid. It is here that the Darfur Low Smoke Project, financed entirely by private sector money, was launched in 2007 by the WDAN, the international NGO Practical Action and the UK-based company Carbon Clear.
Radio New Zealand News, 17 April 2014 | A collective of tribal leaders has failed to convince the Government to boost the price of carbon credits. The value of the units has collapsed, and the iwi leadership group on climate change wants the rate to go up. The credits are sold and bought under the emissions trading scheme, which was set up to encourage the growing of trees to absorb carbon dioxide. Tribal spokesperson Chris Karamea Insley told an energy conference they had proposed to Prime Minister John Key that the carbon credit price be raised to $15, and that analysis showed a rise would create 50,000 jobs. But Mr Karamea Insley said Mr Key rejected the plea.
eKantipur.com, 17 April 2014 | Nepal has been selected as one of the four countries for promoting forest conservation by controlling deforestation and degradation as well as profiting off forest carbon stocks. During the ninth meeting of Carbon Fund set up under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and implemented by the World Bank (WB) from April 9 to April 11 in Belgium, Nepal was chosen as one of four countries best suitable for results-based payment system for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD plus) scheme, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) on Wednesday.
Law360, 15 April 2014 | The European Commission will invest about €2 billion in carbon capture and storage projects, using money it raised under a carbon allowances sale scheme, the European Investment Bank said Tuesday. The EIB sold 200 million allowances in the NER300 scheme by late 2011 and finished selling the remaining 100 million allowances last week. Gross sales from this second phase added up to about €548 million, the EIB reported. Combined with prior proceeds, the money will fund clean energy and pollution mitigation tech research, as the Commission... [R-M: Subscription needed.]