I. In THE PRESS
28 June 2010
The United States will spend $136 million over three years on environment and climate change programs in Indonesia, according to a statement issued by the White House on Monday.
27 May 2010
The Global Environment Facility announced Thursday at a summit in Chad that it will fund a "Great Green Wall" to reforest northern Africa to the tune of 119 million dollars (96 million euros).
27 May 2010
Indonesia receives USD 1 billion to reduce deforestation
The Government of Norway has agreed to invest USD 1 billion in forest conservation projects in Indonesia. Together the two countries will identify priority forests to be targeted under this conservation initiative.
24 June 2010
Ending Amazon deforestation could boost the fortunes of the Brazilian agricultural sector by $145-306 billion, estimates a new analysis issued by Avoided Deforestation Partners, a group pushing for U.S. climate legislation that includes a strong role for forest conservation.
24 June 2010
The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) has released a resolution urging the UN to change its definition for 'forest', before the controversial definition undermines conservation efforts, biodiversity preservation, carbon sequestra-tion, and the nascent REDD.
17 June 2010
They found a 48 percent increase in malaria cases in one county in Brazil after 4.2 percent of its tree cover was cleared.
17 June 2010
African leaders are meeting in Chad to push the idea of planting a tree belt across Africa from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east.
16 June 2010
The sale of illegally harvested timber and timber products will be banned throughout the European Union from late 2012 under an informal deal struck by EU lawmakers.
9 June 2010
Palm oil grown on recently deforested land is unlikely to be acceptable for use in European biodiesel, a draft report from the European Commission shows.
Norway's billion dollar contribution to forest and peatlands conservation in Indonesia will not fund reforestation of deforested areas, a government minister told The Jakarta Post.
1 June 2010
Rich nations are pushing to lock in a logging loophole at the United Nations climate talks in Bonn that would give them leeway to increase forest carbon emissions - rather than reduce them - and not pay a price, a group of advocates warned.
1 June 2010
An agreement reached at an international conference last week pledged over four billion dollars to the U.N.'s effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from deforestation and forest degradation. But a study published Friday questions what impact that effort, called REDD, can have.
27 May 2010
Rich and poor countries agreed on Thursday on guidelines for releasing aid to save forests, in the first concrete sign of global action on climate change since Copenhagen.
18 May 2010
Timber companies and environment groups have unveiled an agreement aimed at protecting two-thirds of Canada's vast forests from unsustainable logging. Over 72 million hectares are included in what will become the world's largest commercial forest conservation deal.
II. UNFCCC negotiations and related discussions
The Bonn Climate Change Talks 31 May - 11 June 2010
UNFCCC meetings held from 31 May to 11 June 2010 in Bonn, Germany included those of two subsidiary bodies (the 32nd sessions the SBSTA and SBI) as well as the tenth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) and the twelfth session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments of Annex 1 Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).
AWG-LCA: Before the meeting, the chair of AWG-LCA made available a new negotiation text based on the text coming out of COP 15 and including the main points of the Copenhagen Accord. The main focus of the negotiations was to exchange views on the new draft text. The new text was in general well received by most Parties, issues already agreed upon in Copenhagen were not reopened, and discussions were constructive. Even though little progress was made in negotiations other than on financial issues, the meeting was judged by many to be successful. The key issues still to be tackled relate to monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV); compliance; and mitigation by developed and developing countries. At the end of the two weeks, the chair presented a revised negotiation text which will be further developed before the next negotiations session which will be 2-6 August 2010 in Bonn.
AWG-KP: Among other issues, the flexibility mechanisms; land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF); and the link of these to the pledged emission reductions were addressed. Discussed on how to avoid a gap between the first and second commitment period led to a request to the Secretariat to draft a technical paper on legal issues. Also the Parties requested a workshop on scale of emission reductions by Annex 1 Parties to be arranged before the next session in August 2010. Intensive discussions took place on cooperation or a “common space” between the two negotiating tracks LCA and KP, but no agreement to proceed with this was reached.
SBSTA: Some of the key issues discussed by SBSTA included review and continuation of Nairobi Work Programme, coordination and capacity building on REDD, revision of reporting guidelines, standardized baselines and inclusion of new activities under CDM. The UNFCCC was requested to prepare a technical paper on the cost and benefits of limiting temperature increase to 1.50C. A request for further work on the possible role of the agriculture sector in mitigation resulted in informal consultations but no consensus was reached. Progress in SBSTA discussions was in general seen as limited; the main outcomes were the requests to the Secretariat to organise some workshops and prepare a number of papers on various issues and the request to Parties to submit views on the Nairobi Work Programme and standardised baselines under CDM.
Points of particular interest regarding forests
REDD-plus: As the negotiations on REDD-plus were quite advanced compared to many other issues, only one session was devoted to discussion on REDD-plus. Progress made on the outstanding issues therefore was limited. The EU called for an agreement in Cancun on a 50% reduction in deforestation by 2020 and halting global forest loss by 2030. A number of countries stressed the need to bring REDD-plus discussions and initiatives occurring outside the UNFCCC under the framework of the Convention. Major areas still to be agreed upon before COP 16 in Cancun include the financing modality (market based, fund based or a mixture of the two); the method of deciding the reference levels for forest emissions (projections of business-as-usual trends, negotiation or historical records) and national versus sub-national approaches to REDD-plus (if incentives would be provided to developing countries only if mitigation benefits were achieved at national level or if sub-national mitigation actions could receive incentives).
SBSTA discussed REDD-plus methodological issues, including coordination of activities on REDD-plus and capacity building on the use of IPCC guidance and guidelines. SBSTA agreed that stakeholders should share information on activities on the UNFCCC web platform and requested the Secretariat to increase the number of experts trained in the use of the IPCC guidance and guidelines and work with the IPCC on promoting the use of the IPCC Emission Factor Database. Furthermore, the Secretariat was requested to set up a discussion forum on the UNFCCC web platform on these issues.
LULUCF: One of the key issues in the discussion on LULUCF is how Annex 1 Parties’ set and document the reference levels for accounting of emissions and removals from forests. This issue received intense debate which stems from concern that loopholes in the LULUCF text could allow Annex 1 Parties to adjust their reference levels for greenhouse gas emissions and carbon uptake (removals) from forests and forest management in such a way as to undermine their emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol. In Bonn the actual construction of reference levels was again very high on the agenda, and a detailed suggestion on how to construct and ensure transparency in setting reference levels was put forward by a group of non Annex 1 Parties (G77+China). Also related to forests was the discussion on how to account for inter-annual variability and force majeur (e.g. damage from storms or other non-anthropogenic causes). It was agreed to organize a workshop prior to the next session on forest management accounting and the chair invited Annex I countries to submit new data on their expected use of LULUCF in their emissions accounting for the second commitment period.
CDM: AWG-KP continued its debate on expanding the scope of CDM, including e.g. REDD, wetlands, sustainable forest management, in the second commitment period. In SBSTA, Brazil, with support from several Parties, proposed that reforestation of “forests in exhaustion” should be a possible action under the CDM mechanism. No precise definition was given on this new term but it could be seen as land where plantations would no longer be economically viable due to soil degradation. No agreement was reached. The issue will be taken up again at SBSTA 33.
Harvested wood products: SBSTA discussed revision of the reporting guidelines for Annex I annual greenhouse gas inventories, including the issue of accounting for harvested wood products. The outcome was that SBSTA invited the IPCC to organize an expert meeting to clarify methodological issues related to reporting on HWP. The various options for including harvested wood products in emissions accounting related to LULUCF were brought up in AWG-KP.
Oslo Forest Climate Conference
On 21 May, the Oslo Forest Climate Conference took place and a non-binding partnership on REDD-plus was established with the aim to help coordinate and scale up action on REDD-plus. Fifty countries participated in the conference and signed the agreement. Around 4 billion dollars will be made available for measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and partners have expressed their willingness to scale up financing substantially after 2012 provided that sufficient emission reductions are achieved.
The objective of the partnership is: “.... to contribute to the global battle against climate change by serving as an interim platform for the Partners to scale up REDD+ actions and finance, and to that end to take immediate action, including improving the effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and coordination of REDD+ initiatives and financial instruments, to facilitate among other things knowledge transfer, capacity enhancement, mitigation actions and technology development and transfer.”
The Partnership efforts will be led by two co-chairs, one from a developing and one from a developed country. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the UN REDD Programme will provide secretariat services. It was stressed at the conference that the partnership would be consistent with negotiations under the UNFCCC. More information on: http://www.oslocfc2010.no/.
III. Events & meetings
UNFCCC subsidiary bodies
2 - 6 August 2010. Bonn, Germany.
Bonn Climate Change Talks – August 2010 includes meetings of the thirteen session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties of the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 13) and the eleventh sessions of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 11). More information on the UNFCCC website.
XXIII 2010 IUFRO World Congress
23-28 August, 2010. Seoul, Korea
International Union of forest Research Organizations IUFRO congress with the theme of “Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment”. More.
Workshop on Forest Governance, Decentralization and REDD+ in Latin America
30 August to 3 September 2010, Oaxaca, Mexico
A country-led CIFOR initiative in support of the UN Forum on Forests by the Governments of Mexico and Switzerland which will contribute both to COP 16 and the ninth session of the UN Forum on Forests. More.
UNFF ad hoc expert group on forest financing
13 September 2010 - 17 September 2010. Nairobi, Kenya.
A part of the UN Forum on Forest’s strategic plan on forest financing an open-ended intergovernmental ad hoc expert group on financing for sustainable forest management will meet. More information on UNFF website.
INTERREG IVB conference on "European Forestry - Fit for Climate Change?"
21-22 September 2010. Nancy, France
The European ForeStClim project (2008-2012) which develops transnationally harmonised forestry management strategies for Northwest Europe, invites to its mid-term conference. More.
Twentieth session of the FAO Committee on Forestry (COFO)
4-8 October 2010, Rome, Italy
The biennial sessions of COFO bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action. Other international organizations and, increasingly, non-governmental groups participate in COFO. Participation in COFO is open to all FAO member countries. More.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 10
18-29 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan
The tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity is expected to, inter alia, assess the achievement of the 2010 target to reduce significantly the rate of biodiversity loss. It will be preceded by the fifth Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. More.
Pilot International Conference on Global Sustainable Development
19-21 November 2010, Kampala Uganda
The conference will bring together leading experts from a wide range of disciplines to discuss the impact realities of climate change and sustainable development. Climate Change, A Challenge to Businesses in the 21st Century. More.
COP 16 of the UNFCCC
29 November to 10 December 2010, Cancún, Mexico
The 33rd meetings of the SBI and SBSTA will also take place as well as AWG-LCA 13 and AWG-KP. More.
Forest Day 4
5 December 2010, Cancun (Quintana Roo), Mexico
This event will be held alongside the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and will be hosted by CPF and organized by a CIFOR and CPF members. More.
IV. Research Articles
Assessing the mitigation potential of forestry activities in a changing climate: A case study for Karnataka
Khatun, Kaysara; Valdes, Paul J.; Knorr, Wolfgang; Chaturvedi, Rajiv Kumar;
Forest policy and economics. 2010 Apr. 12(4) p. 277-286
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol allows Afforestation and Reforestation (A/R) projects as mitigation activities to offset the CO in the atmosphere whilst simultaneously seeking to ensure sustainable development for the host country. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified by the Government of India in August 2002 and one of India's objectives in acceding to the Protocol was to fulfil the prerequisites for implementation of projects under the CDM in accordance with national sustainable priorities. The objective of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of using large-scale forestry projects under the CDM in achieving its twin goals using Karnataka State as a case study. The Generalized Comprehensive Mitigation Assessment Process (GCOMAP) Model is used to observe the effect of varying carbon prices on the land available for A/R projects. The model is coupled with outputs from the Lund-Potsdam-Jena (LPJ) Dynamic Global Vegetation Model to incorporate the impacts of temperature rise due to climate change under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2, A1B and B1. With rising temperatures and CO, vegetation productivity is increased under A2 and A1B scenarios and reduced under B1. Results indicate that higher carbon price paths produce higher gains in carbon credits and accelerate the rate at which available land hits maximum capacity thus acting as either an incentive or disincentive for landowners to commit their lands to forestry mitigation projects.
The European carbon balance. Part 3: forests
Luyssaert, S. et al
Global change biology. 2010 May. 16(5) p. 1429-1450
We present a new synthesis, based on a suite of complementary approaches, of the primary production and carbon sink in forests of the 25 member states of the European Union (EU-25) during 1990-2005. Upscaled terrestrial observations and model-based approaches agree within 25% on the mean net primary production (NPP) of forests, i.e. 520pl75 g C mpo yrp# over a forest area of 1.32 x 10e kmpo to 1.55 x 10e kmpo (EU-25). New estimates of the mean long-term carbon forest sink (net biome production, NBP) of EU-25 forests amounts 75pl20 g C mpo yrp#. The ratio of NBP to NPP is 0.15pl0.05. Estimates of the fate of the carbon inputs via NPP in wood harvests, forest fires, losses to lakes and rivers and heterotrophic respiration remain uncertain, which explains the considerable uncertainty of NBP. Inventory-based assessments and assumptions suggest that 29pl15% of the NBP (i.e., 22 g C mpo yrp#) is sequestered in the forest soil, but large uncertainty remains concerning the drivers and future of the soil organic carbon. The remaining 71pl15% of the NBP (i.e., 53 g C mpo yrp#) is realized as woody biomass increments. In the EU-25, the relatively large forest NBP is thought to be the result of a sustained difference between NPP, which increased during the past decades, and carbon losses primarily by harvest and heterotrophic respiration, which increased less over the same period.
Forests and rural development in the light of global change - a perspective of mountain forests
Jandl, R.; Stohr, D.;
Folia Forestalia Polonica. Seria A, Lesnictwo. 2009. 51: 1, 33-38
Mountain forests are facing substantial changes. The need to adapt forest management to climate change is overlaid by the consequences of demographic changes that alter the form of land use profoundly. The European policy is aware of the challenges and supports mountain regions by the Regulation for Rural Developments and other strategies. Regional efforts of the Forest Authorities account for the changing ownership structure in order to ensure sustainable forest management and the provision of the dependent ecosystem services.
Evaluating Temporary Certified Emission Reductions in Reforestation and Afforestation Programs
Galinato, Gregmar I.; Uchida, Shinsuke;
Environmental and resource economics. 2010 May. 46(1) p. 111-133.
This article investigates the efficiency of the temporary certified emission reductions (tCERs) system that attempts to internalize the carbon sequestration function of the forest under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. We find that the regulations creating tCERs partially internalize the carbon sequestration function of the forest. The amount of carbon re-released into the atmosphere, due to timber harvest, and sequestered, after the project period, is not internalized in the private landowner's decision, which induces shorter rotation intervals than socially optimal. Furthermore, the carbon sequestered during the project is over-credited because credits are counted based on accumulated carbon instead of marginally sequestered carbon, which induces longer rotations intervals. Simulation results for the Philippines and Tanzania show that the difference in social welfare between the tCERs system and a socially optimal policy is only about 2% because of the countervailing effect of the inefficiencies on rotation interval choices.
Invasive insects impact forest carbon dynamics
Clark, Kenneth L.; Skowronski, Nicholas; Hom, John;
Global change biology. 2010 Jan. 16(1) p. 88-101.
Invasive insects can impact ecosystem functioning by altering carbon, nutrient, and hydrologic cycles. In this study, we used eddy covariance to measure net CO exchange with the atmosphere (NEE), and biometric measurements to characterize net ecosystem productivity (NEP) in oak- and pine-dominated forests that were defoliated by Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Three years of data were used to compare C dynamics; 2005 with minimal defoliation, 2006 with partial defoliation of the canopy and understory in a mixed stand, and 2007 with complete defoliation of an oak-dominated stand, and partial defoliation of the mixed and pine-dominated stands. Previous to defoliation in 2005, annual net CO exchange (NEEyr) was estimated at -187, -137 and -204 g C mpo yrp# at the oak-, mixed-, and pine-dominated stands, respectively. Annual NEP estimated from biometric measurements was 108%, 100%, and 98% of NEEyr in 2005 for the oak-, mixed-, and pine-dominated stands, respectively. Gypsy moth defoliation strongly reduced fluxes in 2006 and 2007 compared with 2005; NEEyr was -122, +103, and -161 g C mpo yrp# in 2006, and +293, +129, and -17 g C mpo yrp# in 2007 at the oak-, mixed-, and pine-dominated stands, respectively. At the landscape scale, Gypsy moths defoliated 20.2% of upland forests in 2007. We calculated that defoliation in these upland forests reduced NEEyr by 41%, with a 55% reduction in the heavily impacted oak-dominated stands. 'Transient' disturbances such as insect defoliation, nonstand replacing wildfires, and prescribed burns are major factors controlling NEE across this landscape, and when integrated over time, may explain much of the patterning of aboveground biomass and forest floor mass in these upland forests.
Institutional adaptive capacity and climate change response in the Congo Basin forests of Cameroon
Brown, H. C. P.; Nkem, J. N.; Sonwa, D. J.; Bele, Y.;
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 2010. 15: 3, 263-282.
Climate change presents additional challenges to a diverse country like Cameroon that shares the Congo Basin rainforest. Not only is the population vulnerable to the direct effects of climate change, forest-dependent communities are also vulnerable to changing environmental policy that may affect their access to forest resources. Using a qualitative approach to data collection through semi-structured interviews and content analysis of relevant documents, the perception of decision-makers within, and the response of the institutions of the state, the private sector and civil society to the complex challenges of climate change in the Congo Basin forest of Cameroon were analysed. Results indicate that while decision-makers' awareness of climate change is high, a concrete institutional response is at a very early stage. Cameroon has low adaptive capacity that is further constrained by weak linkages among government institutions nationally and between different levels of government and with communities. Civil society institutions play a role in enhancing government capacity to respond, particularly in relation to new international policies on climate change and forests. Adaptive capacity would be further enhanced by facilitating institutional linkages and coordinating multilevel responses across all boundaries of government, private sector and civil society. A collaborative capacity builder could foster the transfer, receipt and integration of knowledge across the networks, and ultimately build long-term collaborative problem-solving capacity in Cameroon.
V. Publications, Reports and other media
What is needed to make REDD+ work on the ground?
The report provides preliminary insights on what will be needed to make REDD+ work on the ground based on a review of 12 forest carbon initiatives in which Conservation International has been involved as a partner since 2003. The publication.
Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study
The study was made to better understand the implications of using wood for energy in Massachusetts, titled “Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study.” The study was conducted for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The report.
Guidance for Forest Emissions and Removals
The UNFCCC Secretariat has published the report of the informal meeting of experts, which took place in Bonn, Germany, from 25-26 May 2010, on enhancing coordination of capacity-building activities in relation to using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidance and guidelines as a basis for estimating forest-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, forest carbon stocks and forest area changes. The report.
Forests and climate change after Copenhagen
Following Copenhagen, forestry stakeholders have raised many questions about the meaning of COP15 for people, forests, and forestry. FAO and RECOFTC recently brought together 12 experts to debate the issues and provide answers to a dozen key questions. Read the workshop report.
Realising Rights, Protecting Forests : An alternative vision for reducing deforestation
This report is intended primarily for opinion-formers and decisionmakers with a role in making and influencing national policy and legislation on REDD. The case studies show that respecting the rights and realities of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities is the only way to ensure that the forests remain standing. The report.
The report on “Bioenergy and Food Security: The BEFS Analysis for Tanzania,” aims to support the development of bioenergy policies that are aligned with Tanzania’s poverty reduction and food security strategies. The results of the study suggest that the land in Tanzania is highly suitable for cassava and sunflower cultures. In terms of producing biofuels, the analysis recommends ethanol production from cassava because it allows participation of smallholder farmers, though the report notes that technological capacity is limited in Tanzania. The report.
Bringing Forest Carbon Projects to the Market
The UN Environment Programme, the World Bank's Carbon Finance Unit and others have published a guidebook titled "Bringing Forest Carbon Projects to the Market." The objective of the publication is to guide project developers and financial investors on developing and implementing profitable forestry projects in the carbon markets. The publication.
Making African Forests Fit for Climate Change
A regional View of Climate-Change Impacts on Forests and People and Options for Adaptation”, at the current fourteenth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nairobi, Kenya. The report.
Forest Carbon Specialist
Carbon Conservation, project developer of the CCBA registered Ulu Masen REDD project is seeking a dynamic results orientated individual with experience in forest and carbon standards. More.
REDD Project Manager, DRC
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Albertine Rift program seeks a REDD project manager with expertise in forestry carbon project development to undertake the technical analyses needed to launch forest carbon projects (REDD) primarily in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. More.
Forest monitoring & carbon expert
Bio Energy Resources Ltd.
Together with other relevant staff, reporting to the Officer Sustainability and Public Relations BERL seeks a expert who can coordination and design of monitoring systems and campaigns to determine the carbon sequestration in the Jatropha trees, process the measurement data that received from field measurements, prepare reports for the management team and board and prepare the project’s documentation for VCS and CCBA certification. More.
New website on carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services: exploring co-benefits
UNEP-WCMC, with support from the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), has launched a new website highlighting the potential for REDD+ and related actions to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services (co-benefits). The website features recent work on co-benefits with in-country partners under the UN-REDD Programme, and complementary work for other countries supported by BfN. It also includes an interactive mapping tool that allows users to explore the spatial relationships between carbon and co-benefits, using global data. These resources demonstrate how spatial analyses can assist REDD+ decision-makers in securing co-benefits. To access the website and interactive tool, please visit www.carbon-biodiversity.net.