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Historic Wildfires Burn Through Canada As Sub-Arctic Forests Heat Up

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:47pm
By Jeff Spross, Climate Progress, 25 August 2014 | Wildfires are taking off in Canada as the country goes through one of its hottest and driest summers in decades. Wildfire activity in the Northwest Territories is more than six times higher than its 25-year average, and as of August 23 a total of 162 wildfires were burning in British Columbia. The latter province has seen 1,269 wildfires so far this year, along with 314,895 hectares of land burned — almost equivalent to 2010, when the province lost 337,149 hectares to various blazes. The fires have cut through the boreal forests that lie just outside the Arctic Circle throughout Canada, aided by the hottest and driest summer the Northwest Territories have seen in 50 years. According to Canada’s National Post, the fires can kick smoke up to 10 or even 15 kilometers into the atmosphere, leaving massive plumes that can be spotted by satellite and seen as far away as Portugal.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Guyana’s CMRV model lauded by WWF

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:45pm
Kaieteur News, 30 August 2014 | Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Robert Persaud yesterday reaffirmed that Guyana stands on firm ground in asserting that its forest is well-managed and has consistently reflected a low deforestation rate of less than 0.1 percent and has reported a verified low rate of illegality. He was at the time speaking at the closing of a weeklong international exchange workshop on Community Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (CMRVs) organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Guianas. The workshop was held at the Arrow Point Resort where participants had easy access to the country’s pristine forest and saw participants from Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, the Congo, Indonesia, Brazil, Nepal, United States, Great Britain, Austria, and the Netherlands.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Coal To Be Hardest Hit By Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:41pm
By Mike Scott, Forbes, 26 August 2014 | [W]hile divestment campaigns such as 350.org’s are gaining momentum among high-profile but relatively small investors such as Storebrand, the Norwegian fund, and Stanford University, for bigger institutions selling out of fossil fuels is more problematic, says a new white paper from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the research group. The paper looks at what divestment on a trillion dollar scale would look like. Oil & gas and coal companies form one of the world’s largest asset classes, worth nearly $5 trillion at current stock market values, the paper says. “Fossil fuels are investor favourites for a reason,” it adds. “Few sectors offer the scale, liquidity, growth, and yield of these century-old businesses vital to today’s economy.” It is no surprise, therefore, that the world’s largest investors – the likes of Blackrock and JP Morgan – and governments ranging from Norway and Russia to India and Colombia are key shareholders in the sector.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Why fossil fuel divestment won’t be easy

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:39pm
By Simon Evans, The Carbon Brief, 27 August 2014 | There's a growing global campaign to stop investments in the fossil fuel industry. The British Medical Association, the World Council of Churches and Stanford University are among those pledging to take their money out of oil, coal and gas firms. But if the idea catches on, it won't just cause headaches for oil moguls. Investment managers will be scratching their heads too. If they can't invest in fossil fuel firms, where should they put their money? Clean energy firms simply aren't big enough to soak up $5 trillion currently invested in oil and gas firms, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). But divesting from coal would be much more feasible, it finds.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

France underlines commitment to "legally binding" agreement at Paris climate summit

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:37pm
BusinessGreen, 1 September 2014 | The French government has stressed it wants to deliver a "legally binding" climate change agreement at the UN's Paris summit in late 2015, arguing that it represents the primary goal of the crucial meeting. Speaking at the Annual French Ambassadors Conference in Paris late last week, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is expected to have a central role at the UN climate summit, indicated that success or failure of the summit would be measured against its ability to deliver a legally binding agreement.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

China's carbon emission down by 5%: Premier Li

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:36pm
Xinhua, 27 August 2014 | China's carbon emission has declined by 5 percent this year, the largest progress in recent years, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday. "China's economy maintained medium-high growth in the first half of this year while its carbon emission has achieved the largest reduction this year, down by 5 percent year on year," Li said in his talks with Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, an island country in the Caribbean. Browne is on his first China visit since his government took office in June. Climate change has been a major topic of discussion for the two leaders during his visit to Beijing. Li stressed the Chinese government attaches great importance to climate change and has made arduous efforts in this regard. He said China's 1.3 billion people must understand the importance of energy and environment to realize modernization.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

EU carbon prices edge lower ahead of increased supply

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:35pm
Reuters, 25 August 2014 | European carbon prices edged lower in thin trade on Monday ahead of an increase in supply from government sales of carbon allowances. Front-year EU Allowance (EUA) futures closed at 6.34 euros, down 4 cents on Friday's settlement. Liquidity was poor with around 4 million allowances of all vintages changing hands across all platforms as many traders were absent from their desks due to a national holiday in Britain. "The biweekly UK auction on Wednesday as well as the prospect of auction volumes going back to pre-August level in September could slow down the upward trend we have seen recently," analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said in a weekly report on Monday.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Time to Recognize Community Forest Rights to Combat Climate Change

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:19pm
By Tony La Viña, The Jakarta Globe, 28 August 2014 | In December, climate negotiators will converge in Lima, Peru, for the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It will mark a milestone for the Durban Platform on Enhanced Action, the process established in 2011 that is supposed to end with a new climate change agreement at the 2015 COP in Paris. As the new agreement takes shape, it is clear that forest landscapes will be part of the negotiating agenda. An essential component of the agreement must be the recognition of a critical approach to climate change mitigation: the recognition of community forest rights. A new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), “Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change: How Strengthening Community Forest Rights Mitigates Climate Change,” finds overwhelming evidence that strengthening community forest rights can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions...
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Study gauges relative importance of forest incomes

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:18pm
By Mark Foss, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 26 August 2014 | Meat. Woodfuel. Spices. Forests provide all these and more, yet the role of these products on rural livelihoods is still coming into focus. A comparative study on the relative role of these non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in supporting livelihoods in three West African countries has reaffirmed the benefits of seeing forests in a wider context. The study examined the relative importance of forest-related income for some 1,000 rural households in Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana that have varying access to markets and forests. It also aimed to uncover regional patterns in a larger ecological, social and political context. In so doing, researchers highlighted the different roles that NTFPs play, or might play, in a landscape context.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

‘Landscape approach’ defies simple definition — and that’s good

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 2:16pm
By Terry Sutherland, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 27 August 2014 | The terms “landscapes,” “landscape approaches” and “integrated landscape management,” among similar “landscape-focused” terminology, underpin much of the discourse in contemporary research, donor and development circles related to conservation, agriculture and other land uses. The plethora of terms is both confusing and yet pervasive. As such, an agreed understanding on what such “landscape approaches” represent conceptually or actually look like on the ground remains elusive. In an attempt to provide a guiding framework to the landscape approach, the Center for International Forestry Research and partner institutions described 10 principles that characterize such an approach. These 10 principles emphasize adaptive management, stakeholder engagement and dialogue, and multiple objectives.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Web of mistrust snags forest-protection programs in Cambodia

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:56pm
By Chris McCall, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 1 September 2014 | Forest-based goods such as bamboo, rattan, and yes, edible spiders — a delicacy in Cambodia — can provide an incentive to protect tropical forests in the Southeast Asian country. But formalized programs to promote sustainable trade in such products while boosting local people’s incomes have left communities there disillusioned, new research has found. This disillusionment can undermine the projects and threaten the protection of the forests that provide such goods, known as non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Why? A recent study, “No forest, no NTFPs for rural communities in Cambodia,” noted numerous reasons including: gaps in information regarding local communities’ access to markets; a lack of capacity to process raw NTFPs into marketable items; ambiguity over payment of royalties on NTFPs, which squeezes profit margins; and a lack of trust in local government tasked with aiding the projects.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Vietnam] Investors destroy forests as they lease land in Dak Nong under false pretenses

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:52pm
Eco-Business, 25 August 2014 | Thousands of hectares of forests in the central province of Dak Nong have been eliminated due to a policy that allows investors to lease forest land. Many investors have leased land not to develop forest plantation projects but to clear land for rubber growing, or to sell the land to buyers. Arrests of some investors have been made by the Dak Nong province. The police have arrested Hoang Throng Hieu in Xuan Thoi Thuong Commune of Hoc Mon District in HCM City for damaging forests. Hieu is chair and deputy director of Phuong Linh Dak Nong Company Ltd. In 2012, Phuong Linh Dak Nong signed a contract with Quang Tin Forestry Company, a state-owned enterprise specializing in forest protection, development and business, for setting up a joint-venture to develop forests and grow rubber on the forested land. While waiting for the provincial authorities’ approval of the project, Hieu hired Hung Linh Company and one individual to illegally bulldoze 39 hectares...
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Alarm over tourists’ encounters with uncontacted Indians in Peru

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:46pm
Survival International, 28 August 2014 | Peruvian Indians have issued an urgent appeal for government action following a spate of encounters between highly vulnerable uncontacted Indians and tourists. Dozens of encounters between uncontacted Mashco-Piro Indians, tourists and settlers have been recorded near the border of the Madre de Dios Reserve in south-east Peru in recent years. Tourists traveling through the area have taken photographs and left items of clothing on the riverbanks for the Indians, sparking fears that “human safaris” are spreading to the region. Amazon Indian organization FENAMAD traveled to the Madre de Dios Reserve last week, and has issued a damning statement against government inaction.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[USA] California-Chiapas, other climate-change plans could see new life

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:45pm
By Carolina Lopez, The Explorer, 25 August 2014 | The concept was complex and controversial: California companies would be allowed to exceed limits of carbon-dioxide emissions by paying to protect rainforests abroad. The pollute-locally, restore-globally strategy was put forth in a 2010 memorandum of agreement between then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and representatives from the states of Chiapas, Mexico, and Acre, Brazil. The goal was to create incentives for the countries to move forward in developing programs to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. California companies would pay to preserve tropical forests that scientists say are key to slowing the generation of greenhouse gases and climate change. But four years later, the program in Chiapas has stalled. The state officials who made the agreement are out of office and Mexico’s national government now has its own climate-change policy with which state governments must coordinate.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Brazil] Three Months Into Partnership, SOCIALCARBON And VCS Verify First Joint Project

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:44pm
By Ben McCarthy, Forest Carbon Portal, 29 August 2014 | Only three months after announcing their partnership, SOCIALCARBON, a certification standard for contributions to sustainable development, and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), a leading voluntary offset standard, have verified their first joint project. The Ecomapuá Amazon REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation or Degradation of forests) project, developed by ecosystem investment company Bio Assets Ativos Ambientais and forest carbon project developer Ecomapuá Conservação Ltda, is located in the State of Pará, Brazil, on the Marajó Island at the mouth of the Amazon River. The project's goal is to avoid the deforestation of more than 86,000 hectares of tropical forest in an area that has historically converted to agriculture as subsistence farmers move in.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Indonesia] Green education promoted for sustainable development

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:42pm
The Jakarta Post, 31 August 2014 | A newly established collaboration agreed between the Republic of Indonesia and United Nations (UN) agencies will hopefully foster a knowledge exchange to share lessons learned and best practices in promoting green education across Indonesia. “Green schools for sustainable development” agreement signatories, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Agency (BP REDD+), the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia (UNORCID) and the Green School Bali, committed to identifying 1 million "green youth ambassadors" in schools across Indonesia by 2017. UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said decision-makers had "tough choices to make", especially leading up to the Climate Summit and the post-2015 development agenda, concerning the alarming threat that climate change poses to development and the betterment of the living conditions of the poorest.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

REDD+ Learning Session 25: What Drives Deforestation and What Stops It

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:41pm
Center For Global Development, 29 August 2014 | In this webinar hosted by the World Wildlife Fund, CGD research fellow Jonah Busch discusses a recent publication, ‘What Drives Deforestation and What Stops It? A Meta-Analysis of Spatially Explicit Econometric Studies,’ co-authored with Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon. While some findings from the research confirm conventional wisdom, for example, that building roads worsens deforestation, the analysis also shows that contrary to popular belief, factors such as poverty, rising incomes from economic development, and strengthening land tenure, do not necessarily have the expected impacts on deforestation. Jonah discusses how these findings have important implications for REDD+ and how deliberate policies coupled with financial incentives can slow, halt, and eventually reverse the loss of the world’s remaining tropical forests. A Q+A session follows the presentation.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[USA] Five Questions with…a Southern Oregon University Student on Carbon Reduction

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 12:39pm
FastLane, 29 August 2014 | Chevrolet supports the cause for cleaner air. We’re reimagining manufacturing to lower environmental impact and designing efficient vehicles. But there are other ways to fuel the clean-energy movement beyond transportation and industry. To us, it’s about finding the innovators who are doing big things to leave a smaller footprint. From New York to Florida to Oregon, colleges are aggressively improving their energy efficiency and engaging the next generation along the way. After collaborating with some strong partners, we developed a way to monetize their progress, providing them with ammo to reinvest in even more clean energy technologies.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Tanzania: Olmotonyi Forestry Institute Up for Face Lift

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 11:43am
By Yasinta Amos, Tanzania Daily News, 25 August 2014 | Norway has pledged to help improve the Arusha-based, Olmotonyi Forestry Training Institute's infrastructure while Finland promised to equip the college and provide capacity building. The government of Finland, through its National Forest and Beekeeping Programme (NFBKP mark II) will equip Olmotonyi Forestry Training Institute with teaching equipment and provide capacity building training programmes to its teaching staff. "Norway (on the other hand) through its ECOPRC programme will provide scholarship programmes for our 32 students, in addition to donating two Toyota Land-cruiser trucks and a Toyota Coaster Minibus to the Institution," revealed the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Selestine Gesimba, during the FTI Olmotonyi's 74th Graduation Ceremony.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

[Panama] Guna Yala and REDD+: A Look at Why Some Resist

REDD Monitor - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 11:41am
By Jes Walton (EcoAgriculture Partners), Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature Blog, 29 August 2014 | Despite a very real understanding of how climate change impacts them, the Guna have openly rejected REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), a climate mitigation project that calls for the landscape-scale protection of forests in developing countries to absorb carbon created by industrialized nations. Mainland Guna Yala is home to a high percentage of Panama’s best preserved forests, with high levels of plant and animal biodiversity, which have been sustainably and communally owned by the Guna people for centuries. Recently, the government of Panama offered this land up for REDD+ without consulting the Guna, despite the state’s recognition of their rights and ownership of the same lands. This action led to years of tense debate and the eventual withdrawal of the Guna from all REDD+ discussions.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests
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