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[Indonesia] If not us, then who?

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 8:00am
By Wimar Witoelar, The Jakarta Post, 19 September 2014 | It starts with a drone taking off to fly over Setulang in Malinau regency in the new province of North Kalimantan. Heady aerial shots over thick tropical forests follow, but there is a feeling that this is more than a scenic ride. This is how the video Dayaks and Drones begins. Soon the context becomes clear. This is the spine of a mapmaking process based on principles of participatory mapping — an age-old technique, for how can maps be made if not through public participation? Yet in 69 years of Indonesian independence the public has not been much involved in making public maps. The weakness of civil society has yielded to centralized political powers that see maps as being essential tools for territorial control.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Indonesia] To Reduce Haze and Save Indonesia's Forests, Address the Root Cause of Fires

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:58am
By Agus Purnomo, The Jakarta Globe, 18 September 2014 | The causes of forest fires are complex. They originate in the most basic problems of poverty and unemployment, the challenges Indonesia has been tackling for decades. In most cases, forest fires are initiated to clear land for agricultural purposes since it is the cheapest way of doing so. Farmers often do not understand the damage they are doing when using fire. It is easy to point the finger at big business, but in reality it makes little sense for them to burn their own plantations and crops. These businesses are just as threatened by the fires as the rest of us. A recent analysis by CIFOR, released in July, shows just how complex the issue of forest fires is, as it is entangled with issues such as land use and land tenure. So while legislation, law enforcement and aid are useful tools, what we really need is to work together to develop a sustainable, long-term solution to forest fires...
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

China: Shenzhen to launch carbon asset custody mechanism

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:57am
ICIS, 17 September 2014 | A new carbon asset custody mechanism is expected to be launched in Shenzhen Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) by the end of 2014. It allows compliance entities to entrust professional agencies to manage their carbon assets to achieve better efficiency. On Tuesday, Shenzhen Exchange told ICIS that the new system to be introduced is similar to the current EU ETS carbon asset custody practice. The compliance entities will entrust agencies with their carbon allowances and agencies will trade them under supervision from the ETS. When the trusteeship comes to an end, the involved parties will share the profits as agreed. The new mechanism has similar benefits with the potential “carbon credit borrowing” system of Shanghai ETS, which is increasing the market liquidity by transferring the carbon credits from compliance entities to traders.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

The cheap option on climate change: recognize indigenous rights to forests

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:56am
By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 18 September 2014 | Since 2008, governments have invested $1.64 billion in funds to kick-start REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, the global effort to conserve the world's forests in order to better mitigate climate change. However, a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) finds that same amount of money could have secured the legal rights of indigenous and local people to 450 million hectares of forest, an area 40 percent larger than India. "Securing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities is a necessary precursor for REDD+ to be successful, and unfortunately, REDD+ has not yet substantially driven progress in forest tenure—-either in law or on the ground," Bryson Ogden, an analyst with RRI, told mongabay.com. Research has increasingly shown that indigenous people and local communities are often the strongest protectors of their forests...
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

REDD+ needs to protect forests and boost rural development

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 5:51am
By Claudia Stickler and Joy Hyvarinen, RTCC, 18 September 2014 | If REDD+ is to succeed as part of the global response to climate change and if it is to work for countries and communities it needs to be tackled in the context of rural development. Under the UN climate treaty REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions by protecting forests in developing countries and providing finance to make it possible. Tropical deforestation and degradation is estimated to be responsible for roughly 15% of global emissions. Making REDD+ work on the ground is challenging. Careful monitoring is crucial to make sure people do not profit from emission reductions that never happened or that someone else – for example indigenous peoples – achieved. Inappropriate REDD+ projects could undermine local people’s rights.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 4:38am
By Justin Gillis, New York Times, 16 September 2014 | When the secondary benefits of greener policies — like lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution and reduced medical bills — are taken into account, the changes might wind up saving money, according to the findings of the group, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate... While the commission found that the requisite steps may make economic sense, that does not mean they will be politically easy, the report says. For instance, the group will recommend that countries eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, which cost about $600 billion a year but are vigorously defended by vested interests. It will urge nations to take a fresh look at the potential of renewable energy, whose costs are plummeting, and also recommend the adoption of initiatives to halt destruction of forests, use land more efficiently and limit wasteful urban sprawl, among many other steps.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

REDD+ Offers Collaborative Approach to Save Forests and Climate

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 4:36am
By Tara O'Shea, Skoll World Forum, 17 September 2014 | The private sector – from financial investors to commodities producers – is also beginning to shift its participation in REDD+ from theory to practice. The Global Consumer Goods Forum – representing over 400 retailers, manufacturers, and service providers with combined annual sales of almost $6 trillion – has called on global governments to secure ambitious, legally binding, and enforced REDD+ frameworks under an international climate deal. The CEO of Unilever insisted that the commodities industry “has a clear role to play in creating a more sustainable future… within the framework of an accepted and enforced global climate deal that implements the appropriate elements of REDD+.”
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

For Trees Under Threat, Flight May Be Best Response

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 4:17am
By Carl Zimmer, New York Times, 18 September 2014 | The whitebark pine grows in the high, cold reaches of the Rocky and Sierra Mountains, and some individuals, wind-bent and tenacious, manage to thrive for more than a thousand years. Despite its hardiness, the species may not survive much longer. A lethal fungus is decimating the pines, as are voracious mountain pine beetles. Making matters worse, forest managers have suppressed the fires that are required to stimulate whitebark pine seedlings. Half of all whitebark pines are now dead or dying. In 2012, Canada declared the tree an endangered species, and in the United States it is currently a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Working Towards Zero-Deforestation: Lessons from Acre, Brazil

Sat, 09/20/2014 - 4:16am
By Chris Meyer, Alisha Staggs and Dana Miller, EDF + Business, 19 September 2014 | What do companies, governments, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples have in common? Despite their differences, they share a common interest in reducing deforestation, the second largest source of global emissions after fossil fuels. The state of Acre, Brazil provides an example of how REDD+ can bring governments, companies and local communities together to reduce deforestation and increase economic development. Acre has committed to reduce deforestation by 80 percent by 2020 compared to a historical baseline from 1996-2005, which would prevent 182 to 221 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions using REDD+ policies. Also, Acre installed a robust monitoring system of its forests, including satellite imaging to track deforestation.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Indonesia] New regional body to net forest criminals

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:16am
By Margareth S. Aritonang, The Jakarta Post, 18 September 2014 | Indonesia is proposing to lead the forthcoming ASEAN secretariat in charge of joint efforts to mitigate transboundary air pollution caused by land and forest fires in the region. As the last of the signatories to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, Indonesia’s decision to officially adopt the decade-old treaty on Tuesday finally paved the way for the establishment of a joint secretariat that will function to coordinate the information, reports and policies needed to address the problems raised by transboundary haze pollution in the region.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

REDD progress is possible — just look at Indonesia

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:44am
By Julian Caldecott, SciDev.Net, 16 September 2014 | But Indonesia, one of the largest GHG emitters in the 2000s, is a partial exception. In 2010, it signed a letter of intent to accept up to one billion US dollars under the Indonesia-Norway REDD+ Partnership, most of it payable for reducing emissions in the forest and peatland sector. Norway also negotiated REDD+ agreements with Brazil and Guyana. All stand out for their ‘game-changing’ intent (the ‘game’, of course, being very different in each country) and the large amounts of money on the table. With presidential leadership and start-up funds from Norway and others, some of Indonesia’s best and brightest officials and administrators were tasked with making REDD+ happen. But the scale of the challenge soon became clear. At the root of deforestation was how decisions affecting the use of land and forests were being made throughout Indonesian society — driven and distorted by the plantation sector’s demands...
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Social Movements representing more than 200 million people around the world denounce corporate take-over of Ban Ki-Moon Climate Summit

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 3:40am
Climate Space, 17 September 2014 | In a joint statement published on September 16, they call for systemic change rather than the voluntary pledges and market-based and destructive public-private partnership initiatives that currently feature on the Summit’s agenda, like REDD+ Climate-Smart Agriculture and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The statement calls for 10 concrete actions to be taken to prevent climate chaos including immediate binding commitments to keep the temperature rise to no more than 1.5degrees Centigrade. The social movements go on to warn against what they call the “false solutions” and harmful actions that the big corporations that have been invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to play the lead role at the upcoming Climate Summit in New York are pushing for.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

World Bank Fund to Buy Emission Reductions Using Options

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 5:42am
By Matthew Carr, Bloomberg, 15 September 2014 | A planned World Bank fund will employ options to spur climate-protection investment using rules created by carbon markets. The Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation will use auctions “to maximize the use of limited public resources,” the Washington-based bank said today in an e-mailed statement. Investors will bid for tradable put options giving the right to sell emission reductions to the fund at guaranteed prices. The approach could be used in the future for greenhouse gases other than methane and may attract investment from other institutions including the United Nations Green Climate Fund, which is raising about $10 billion. There’s less incentive to build carbon-reduction projects after the value of UN Certified Emission Reductions plunged 99 percent in the past six years, according to data from ICE Futures Europe in London.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Indigenous people in Brazil facing deforestation, joblessness seek out cities, end up in slums

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 2:28am
AP, 16 September 2014 | In this Brazilian favela, a dense hodgepodge of humble cinderblock homes filled with some of Rio de Janeiro's poorest residents, the indigenous people whose cultures predate recorded history are struggling to keep their traditions alive in the face of modernity. Seeking jobs and forced out of their native lands by loggers, miners and farmers, an estimated 22,000 Brazilian Indians now call the crowded favelas their home. Deforestation continues to reshape the Amazon rain forest region that is home to a third of Brazil's indigenous people. The rate of deforestation rose 29 percent last year, compared with a year earlier, the Brazilian government reported last week. "There are no more forests, no more fish. We've got to survive so we go to the cities. But they're so expensive, where can we live but the favelas?" asked Sandra Benites, a Guarani tribeswoman who moved to Rio's Complexo Sao Carlos slum in 2010 from the neighboring state of Espirito Santo.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Brazil] Drought bites as Amazon’s ‘flying rivers’ dry up

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 3:25pm
By Jan Rocha, Climate News Network, 14 September 2014 | The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America’s giant metropolis, is believed to be caused by the absence of the “flying rivers” − the vapour clouds from the Amazon that normally bring rain to the centre and south of Brazil. Some Brazilian scientists say the absence of rain that has dried up rivers and reservoirs in central and southeast Brazil is not just a quirk of nature, but a change brought about by a combination of the continuing deforestation of the Amazon and global warming. This combination, they say, is reducing the role of the Amazon rainforest as a giant “water pump”, releasing billions of litres of humidity from the trees into the air in the form of vapour.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Indonesia] C. Kalimantan launches 10 green schools to support REDD+

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 3:06pm
ANTARA News, 13 September 2014 | The Managing Agency of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) has launched 10 green schools in Central Kalimantan Province. "We hope every stakeholder provides support to the establishment of green schools by REDD+, particularly the first 10 schools to be launched," Yusurum Jagau, representative of the agency in Central Kalimantan said here on Saturday. The campaign for green schools has been running since 2011 in some 185 schools and has involved more than one thousand participants in Central Kalimantan, he added. In addition to green schools, the agency has also developed green villages, particularly in the location of the former geothermal power plant in Kapuas, South Barito, Pisau Isle, and Palangkaraya.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[USA] CIOMA Requests Attorney General Investigation of Legality of Fuels Under the Cap

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 3:04pm
CIOMA press release, 12 September 2014 | The California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA) today requested that the California Attorney General immediately open an investigation into “competition destruction” of the independent oil and fuels industry by the California Air Resources Board as a result of the design of the wholesale fuel market under “Fuels Under the Cap” regulations. In a letter dated September 8, 2014 addressed to California AG Kamala Harris, CIOMA described the impact of AB 32 cap-and-trade regulations on its members, stating that Fuels Under the Cap will create an anti-competitive, high-risk market for independent fuel distributors, which could cause many of its members’ businesses in California to fail. “The typical independent fuel supplier cannot pass along the cost of cap-and-trade to its wholesale fuel customers without absorbing significant financial risk,” said Jay McKeeman, Vice President of Government Affairs and Communication for CIOMA.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Nepal] Clouds of Uncertainty

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 3:01pm
By Benupraj Bhattarai, myrepublica.com, 13 September 2014 | While the locals, especially the indigenous nationalities, feel threatened, environmentalists in the district, however, try to allay their fear. The Ilam district president for the Federation for Community Forest Users Groups (FECOFUN), Dhurba Shrestha says there is no need to panic. "We are working toward preventing the impact of climate change from affecting the forestlands. There is no particular reason why the people should fear about their livelihood when are so actively involved in protection of the forests," says he. In the same breath he adds that the right of consumers to use forest products should not be breached at any cost. "Things will get better if we start conserving trees and increase the process of carbon sequestration in the forest areas," explains Shrestha. "And we have taking steps to that effect, too."
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[UK] Preston men admit to playing part in £6m global credit scam

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 2:58pm
Lancashire Evening Post, 13 September 2014 | Three Preston men were involved in a multi-million pound carbon credit theft that shut down the European carbon trading market for a week, costing millions to the economy, a court heard. Father-of-three Hanif Patel, 53, of Elgin Street, Deepdale, who was the director of a PPI firm, appeared at Preston Crown Court with Mohammed Hanif Patel, 53, of St Thomas’s Road and a third Preston man. A probe was launched by the National Crime Agency into the theft of 475,000 EU carbon dioxide emissions allowances (EUAs) worth £6m from the Czech Republic’s carbon registry OTE, on January 18, 2011 – following a hoax bomb scare at their base. It formed part of a wider theft of a total of 1.25 million carbon credits - a form of permit allowing organisations to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide, which can be traded between firms. The theft was discovered on January 19, 2011, but thieves had already sold the credits on.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[South Korea] Carbon plan to increase electric bills by 3,000 won

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 2:56pm
Korea JoongAng Daily, 13 September 2014 | The government’s decision last Tuesday to start a carbon-emission trading system next year will increase regular households’ monthly electricity bills by about 3,000 won ($2.90) for the next three years, according to data from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). The price will increase because Kepco’s power generating affiliates will have to buy extra carbon credits due to the massive amount of emissions from power plants, according to Kepco data submitted to the National Assembly’s trade, industry and energy committee and released by committee member and Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Che-ik yesterday. The carbon emission trading system will run a trial period from January through 2017. According to Lee’s statement, Kepco’s affiliates will have to buy carbon credits worth about 400 billion won per year. This will require Kepco to collect about 1.3 trillion won more through its customers’ power bills by 2017.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests