I. In THE PRESS
24 March 2011 – UN-REDD
During its sixth Policy Board meeting 21-22 March 2011, the UN-REDD Programme approved US$4 million in funding for Ecuador's National Programme for REDD+, bringing the total amount of approved funding for UN-REDD National Programmes to US$55.4 million.
21 March 2011 – Point Carbon
21 March 2011 – Mongabay
The UN-backed Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) is urging nations to conserve their forests in a bid to mitigate rising water scarcity problems.
21 March 2011 – CDKN
World Forestry Day on 21 March allows us to reflect on the many and varied benefits of forests to communities around the world. One of the biggest of these is the important role forests play in carbon sequestration and storage.
16 March 2011 – Nature News
To succeed, the REDD initiative needs a dose of 'GREEN' to restore degraded forests and help boost economic development, argues Andy White.
14 March 2011 – ABC
Growing trees is nature’s way of absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. So most would assume that the forest industry would be front and centre of the government’s climate change policy. They’d be wrong.
9 March 2011 – Daily Mirror
The protracted UNFCCC process which is crucial for the future of mankind has become a very complex scenario full of technical jargons and rather difficult to follow by non “experts”.
9 March 2011 – Nature News
Growing environmental costs and energy demands have persuaded China's leaders that the country cannot sustain its breakneck economic growth. In a speech on Saturday at the annual National Party Congress in Beijing, Premier Wen Jiabao announced ambitious five-year goals for increasing energy efficiency and curbing carbon emissions — and a reduced target for economic growth.
8 March 2011 – Mongabay
Extensive deforestation for low-yielding cattle production means some Brazilian beef carries a disproportionately high carbon footprint, reports a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology.
8 March 2011 – World Bank
A small community in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that decided to replant its degraded forest is ensuring education for hundreds of children and providing basic health care services – in part thanks to carbon revenue that their reforestation project is expected to generate.
7 March 2011 – Global Witness
Guyana has seen deforestation rates soar over the last year, despite the signing of an agreement with the Norwegian government aimed precisely at supporting a reduction in deforestation rates, said Global Witness today.
1 March 2011 – CIFOR
Women are the main users of forests in developing countries – gathering food and firewood – but they continue to be sidelined in how the forests are managed despite years of efforts to mainstream their involvement, experts said ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.
II. UNFCCC negotiations and related discussions
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
No negotiations have taken place since the December 2010 newsletter. In the april issue we will be back with a report on the Bangkok Climate Talks leading up to COP 17.
The next scheduled UNFCCC negotiations in the lead up to COP 17 will take place from 3-8 April 2011, Bangkok, Thailand and from 6 - 17 June 2011 in Bonn, Germany
III. Events & meetings
International Year of Forests, 2011
1 January - 31 December 2011
UN General Assembly has designated 2011 as International Year of Forests. The secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests will serve as the focal point for the implementation of the International Year of Forests, in collaboration with governments, the members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and international, regional and subregional organizations and processes as well as relevant major groups. More.
5th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change
24-31 March 2011, Dhaka, Bangladesh
The conference is hosted by IIED and BCAS aims to share the latest developments in adaptation planning and practices, priority sectors and measures at different levels and disseminate knowledge among stakeholders and communities. More.
UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies
3-8 April 2011, Bangkok, Thailand
AWG-KP 16, AWG-LCA 14 and workshops related to the Cancun Agreements. More.
The II Mediterranean Forest Week
5-8th April 2011 - Avignon, France
The Mediterranean Forests Week will bring together the forest research community and relevant stakeholders (policy-makers, managers, forest owners’ representatives, NGO’s, etc) to improve the science-policy dialogue. More.
UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies
6-17 June 2011 Bonn, Germany
Sessions of SBSTA, SBI and the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA. More.
FAO European Forestry Commission and UNECE Timber Committee
10-14 October 2011, Antalya, Turkey
Six Regional Forestry Commissions were established by the FAO Conference between 1947 and 1959. Every two years, the Commissions bring together the Heads of Forestry in each major region of the world to address the most important forestry issues in the region. More.
FAO Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission
7-11 November 2011, Beijing, China
The Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) is one of six FAO Regional Forestry Commissions that cover the world's major geographic regions. The APFC is a forum for advising and taking action on key forestry issues. It focuses on issues pertinent to Asia and the Pacific, a region characterized by its diversity and rapid changes, This year’s theme is “New challenges – new opportunities”. More.
Asia Pacific Forestry Week
7-11 November 2011, Beijing, China.
The Second Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, promises to be the most significant forestry event of the year in the Asia-Pacific region. More details will be available soon on the website of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week. More.
Previous meetings in February/March
Asia-Pacific regional consultation and capacity-building workshop on REDD-plus
15 - 18 March, 2011 Singapore
The Asia-Pacific regional consultation and capacity-building workshop on REDD-plus, including on relevant biodiversity safeguards, was held in Singapore from 15 to 18 March 2011. The workshop was co‑organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the National Parks Board of Singapore. The key issues discussed were the application of relevant safeguards for biodiversity in REDD+, possible indicators and monitoring on REDD+ impacts on biodiversity and capacity building on REDD+ and the links to biodiversity. The report from the workshop will be available on http://www.cbd.int/forest/.
IV. Research Articles
Property rights and liability for deforestation under REDD+: implications for 'permanence' in policy design
Ecological Economics. 2011. 70: 4, 571-576.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is critical in efforts to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Despite uncertainty about the exact form of a future, international REDD+ system, REDD+ carbon property rights would need to be created and allocated with liability assigned for the potential loss of climate benefits in the event of carbon reversal from deforestation. This commentary explores the links between forest property rights and liability, to different REDD+ policy options and their implications for permanence. Should national governments retain liability for permanence then project-level activities that have individually-assigned REDD+ carbon rights may have a higher risk of carbon reversal than policies where rights are assigned to the state. Knowledge of pre-existing forest rights is necessary for some policies implemented with government-assigned REDD+ rights in order to compensate for potential income losses from policy implementation.
The treatment of land use, land use change and forestry in the post-2012 climate agreement: a perspective from non-Annex I Parties
iForest. 2010. 3: 56-58.
Given the greater vulnerability of developing countries to climate change, their paramount interest is to establish effective mitigation policies including the land use and forestry sectors as part of the post-2012 Climate Agreement. In this context, an accounting system for land use, land use change and forestry acceptable to non-Annex I Parties can arise only if critical elements in current accounting rules are removed and a solution to data uncertainties is found. Indeed, current accounting rules oppose the fundamental principles outlined in the both Convention on climate change and in the Kyoto protocol. They require accounting of only a portion of land-use activities and exclude forest management, give special provisions to exclude some net emissions from accounting, do not require the use of a reference level in quantifying net emissions and risk remunerating business as usual mitigation actions. Encouragingly, the current negotiation text contains options which, if adopted, would define an accounting system capable of responding to developing countries' expectations. These options include the establishment of a national reference level suited to country-specific circumstances and other measures to ensure that only truly additional mitigation actions are remunerated and that all anthropogenic net emissions on managed lands are included. Finally, the opportunity of applying the principle of conservativeness in the future accounting routine is discussed, as a straightforward and effective instrument to correct uncertain estimates and therefore to reduce the risks of assigning an incorrect amount of credits and debits in this complex sector.
Integrated modelling approaches to analysis of climate change impacts on forests and forest management
This paper reviews integrated economic and ecological models that address impacts and adaptation to climate change in the forest sector. Early economic model studies considered forests as one out of many possible impacts of climate change, while ecological model studies tended to limit the economic impacts to fixed price-assumptions. More recent studies include broader representations of both systems, but there are still few studies which can be regarded fully integrated. Full integration of ecological and economic models is needed to address forest management under climate change appropriately. The conclusion so far is that there are vast uncertainties about how climate change affects forests. This is partly due to the limited knowledge about the global implications of the social and economical adaptation to the effects of climate change on forests.
Compensations for avoided deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: implications from direct payments
Simoes, C. G. Lavinia, P. Masuda, M.
Journal of Sustainable Development. 2011. 4: 1, 119-129
To significantly reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, one of the main proposals of REDD schemes is to directly pay landowners for their opportunity cost. However, this idea gives little consideration to the conservation status of forested areas in small properties, ignoring that maybe direct payments will not bring a fair and equal distribution of benefits. This paper discusses implications the adoption of direct payments might have to smallholders in the Brazilian Amazon using a case study in the municipality of Cotriguacu, Mato Grosso State. Interviews with landholders show that if the presence of a legal forest reserve, as determined by Brazilian Forest Code, is considered, the current environmental "deficit" found in most properties would represent the exclusion of thousands of smallholders from a direct compensation scheme, dramatically reducing the scope for REDD. The results show that alternative crediting schemes are needed for REDD to be equal and fair.
Forest policies and programs affecting vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
Afreen, Shamama; Sharma, Nitasha; Chaturvedi, Rajiv K.; Gopalakrishnan, Ranjith; Ravindranath, N. H.
Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change. 2011 Feb. 16(2) p. 177-197.
Due to large scale afforestation programs and forest conservation legislations, India's total forest area seems to have stabilized or even increased. In spite of such efforts, forest fragmentation and degradation continues, with forests being subject to increased pressure due to anthropogenic factors. Such fragmentation and degradation is leading to the forest cover to change from very dense to moderately dense and open forest and 253 kmpo of very dense forest has been converted to moderately dense forest, open forest, scrub and non-forest (during 2005-2007). Similarly, there has been a degradation of 4,120 kmpo of moderately dense forest to open forest, scrub and non-forest resulting in a net loss of 936 kmpo of moderately dense forest. Additionally, 4,335 kmpo of open forest have degraded to scrub and non-forest. Coupled with pressure due to anthropogenic factors, climate change is likely to be an added stress on forests. Forest sector programs and policies are major factors that determine the status of forests and potentially resilience to projected impacts of climate change. An attempt is made to review the forest policies and programs and their implications for the status of forests and for vulnerability of forests to projected climate change. The study concludes that forest conservation and development policies and programs need to be oriented to incorporate climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.
The effect of temporary certified emission reductions on forest rotations and carbon supply
Galinato, G. I. Uchida, S.
Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2011. 59: 1, 145-164
This paper examines the effect of the Clean Development Mechanism regulations that create temporary certified emission reductions on harvesting decisions, land use allocation, and the carbon supply in forest plantations. We develop a model that solves the landowner's harvesting decision when revenues from carbon uptake are included. Rotation intervals and carbon credit supply slightly increase. Fast growing tree species with shorter rotation intervals have relatively more inelastic carbon credit supply curves than slow growing tree species with longer rotations. With moderate carbon prices, most carbon sequestration gains originate from the extensive margin through the expansion of forest land, but approximately 22-35% of total carbon sequestered comes from the intensive margin through an increase in rotation intervals. The contribution to carbon sequestration from the intensive margin is more significant as the carbon price increases.
Forests and climate change adaptation policies in Cameroon
Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change. 2011 Mar. 16(3) p. 369-385.
Nowadays, adaptation has become a key focus of the scientific and policy-making communities and is a major area of discussion in the multilateral climate change process. As climate change is projected to hit the poorest the hardest, it is especially important for developing countries to pay particular attention to the management of natural resources and agricultural activities. In most of these countries such as Cameroon, forest can play important role in achieving broader climate change adaptation goals. However, forest generally receives very little attention in national development programme and strategies such as policy dialogues on climate change and poverty reduction strategies. Using a qualitative approach to data collection through content analysis of relevant Cameroon policy documents, the integration of climate change adaptation was explored and the level of attention given to forests for adaptation analysed. Results indicate that, with the exception of the First National Communication to UNFCCC that focused mostly on mitigation and related issues, current policy documents in Cameroon are void of tangible reference to climate change, and hence failing in drawing the relevance of forest in sheltering populations from the many projected impacts of climate change. Policies related to forest rely on a generalized concept of sustainable forest management and do not identify the specific changes that need to be incorporated into management strategies and policies towards achieving adaptation. The strategies and recommendations made in those documents only serve to improve understanding of Cameroon natural resources and add resilience to the natural systems in coping with anthropogenic stresses. The paper draws attention to the need to address the constraints of lack of awareness and poor flow of information on the potentials of forests for climate change adaptation. It highlights the need for integrating forest for adaptation into national development programmes and strategies, and recommends a review of the existing environmental legislations and their implications on poverty reduction strategy and adaptation to climate change.
A method to evaluate the option of storing carbon in your forest
Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 2010. 40: 11, 2243-2247
Managing the forest to store carbon is a relatively new concept. Various regional greenhouse gas initiatives and new Federal legislation are providing financial incentives for forest owners to manage for carbon in addition to other forest products. These incentives are intended for landowners who engage in activities that go beyond business as usual practices. Managing for carbon will likely involve foregoing other investment alternatives and increasing rotation lengths. The analysis approach demonstrated here provides a relatively simple method for an owner to compare traditional forest management and regular harvests with letting the trees grow to accumulate more carbon in the forest. Several financial decision statistics are considered and demonstrated with examples. A derivative of land expectation value, called rotation equivalent value, is shown to be a useful decision tool for comparing carbon storage with other management options having different rotation lengths.
Carbon sequestration and the optimal forest harvest decision: a dynamic programming approach considering biomass and dead organic matter
Journal of Forest Economics. 2011. 17: 1, 3-17
Carbon sequestration in forests is being considered as a mechanism to slow or reverse the trend of increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We present results from a dynamic programming model used to determine the optimal harvest decision for a forest stand in the boreal forest of western Canada that provides both timber harvest volume and carbon sequestration services. The state of the system at any point in time is described by stand age and the amount of carbon in the dead organic matter pool. Merchantable timber volume and biomass are predicted as a function of stand age. Carbon stocks in the dead organic matter pool changes as a result of decomposition and litterfall. The results of the study indicate that while optimal harvest age is relatively insensitive to carbon stocks in dead organic matter, initial carbon stock levels significantly affect economic returns to carbon management.
Carbon storage potential of harvested wood: summary and policy implications
Mitigation and adaptation strategies for global change. 2011 Mar. 16(3) p. 307-323.
Within national greenhouse gas inventories, many countries now use widely-accepted methodologies to track carbon that continues to be stored in wood products and landfills after its removal from the forest. Beyond simply tracking post-harvest wood carbon, expansion of this pool has further been suggested as a potential climate change mitigation strategy. This paper summarizes data on the fate of carbon through the wood processing chain and on greenhouse gas emissions generated by processing, transport, use and disposal of wood. As a result of wood waste and decomposition, the carbon stored long-term in harvested wood products may be a small proportion of that originally stored in the standing trees--across the United States approximately 1% may remain in products in-use and 13% in landfills at 100 years post-harvest. Related processing and transport emissions may in some cases approach the amount of COe stored in long-lived solid wood products. Policies that promote wood product carbon storage as a climate mitigation strategy must assess full life-cycle impacts, address accounting uncertainties, and balance multiple public values derived from forests.
Crops, cows or timber? Including carbon values in land use choices
Tek Narayan Marasenia, Geoff Cockfieldb
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 140 (2011) 280–288
Farm forestry is a very minor land use in the inland agricultural landscapes of Australia. The Australian Government intends to introduce a program to encourage landholders to trade the carbon sequestration value of plantations and this may change the relative profitability of plantations against other agricultural land uses. This research compares the returns from a timber and ‘carbon’ plantation, with those from grazing and a common crop rotation in the Kingaroy area of Queensland. Typical production patterns for all systems were developed from producer and expert knowledge and soil and vegetation sampling were used to estimate sequestration rates. The costs and benefits of all land use systems were converted into monetary terms and discounted to produce net present values. With a standard discount rate and average commodity prices based on recent history, cultivation is the most profitable option, followed by pasture and plantations. After the inclusion of carbon, plantations are the most profitable option, followed by pasture and cultivation. A number of qualifications of these findings are also discussed.
The economic value of selling carbon credits from restored forests: a case study from the Navajo Nation's tribal forests.
Huang, C. H. Sorensen, C.
Western Journal of Applied Forestry. 2011. 26: 1, 37-45
The goals of this study were to promote restoration of forest ecosystems through fire hazard reduction treatments and to evaluate potential economic benefits of carbon credits to the Navajo Nation. We used the historic Navajo Nation's Continuous Forest Inventory data to calibrate the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) with growth increments and used the FVS to run simulations that encompass the next 50 years. We calculated C revenues using two carbon accounting approaches: (1) reduced buffer pool under the Climate Action Reserve protocol and (2) increased C stocks based on with-and-without analysis. We investigated nine C price scenarios, including constant- and rising-price trajectories; performed discounted cash flow analyses; and calculated net present worth (NPW). When timber was the only marketable output, using a real alternative rate of return (ARR) of 4%, the NPW of target basal area (BA) 40, 70, and 100 ft2/ac were -$144.89, -$267.98, and -$308.57/ac, respectively. When both timber and C were marketable outputs, with a C price of $3/ton, the NPW of target BAs of 40, 70, and 100 ft2/ac were increased to -$119.26, -$256.83, and -$306.31, respectively, under the first accounting approach, and were increased to $168.62, -$57.29, and -$184.09, respectively, under the second accounting approach. Our results indicate that C accounting method, C price, and landowner's ARR affect forest landowner's profitability in participating in the C market.
Forest sector carbon management, measurement and verification, and discussion of policy related to climate change
Carbon Management. 2011. 2: 1, 73-84.
The objective of this review is to give ecologists, land managers and policy makers a better understanding of important issues related to forest sector carbon management, measurement and verification, as well as policy related to mitigation and the adaptation of forests to climate change. The focus is on carbon sequestration processes; appropriate measurements for international, regional and local scale assessment of net ecosystem carbon balance; and life cycle analysis, with special attention given to the concept of substitution of fossil fuels with bioenergy from forests. Given the slow dynamic of forest carbon, life cycle analysis needs to account for pre-existing forest conditions, since carbon neutrality (i.e., net ecosystem carbon balance of forests is zero) can take at least a century to achieve in many cases. The substitution of wood for more energy-intensive materials has probably been overestimated compared with cases in which additionality, permanence and saturation of wood building stores are considered. GHG emission policies will need to account for emissions associated with bioenergy, which is currently not considered internationally. Thus, GHG emissions resulting from substitution for fossil fuels will have to be more accurately represented if their true impact is to be understood.
V. Publications, Reports and other media
Agricultural Expansion and Deforestation
In its first "UN-REDD Report", the Programme explores the linkage between deforestation and the agricultural sector and suggests ways forward for consolidating the global agendas of curbing climate change and ensuring food security for all. The report.
Does REDD Need a Global Carbon Market to Work?
Rights and Resources
As a issue in the Tenure Trends series the brief aim to alerts the global development community to important news, events and research findings regarding forest tenure, rights and development in the world's forests. It is published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition of community, development, research and conservation organizations and prepared by the Rights and Resources Group, the secretariat of the coalition. The brief.
Investing in Forest Carbon, Lessons from the First 20 Years
This report first describes forest carbon projects and the forest carbon market. It then presents lessons learned through forest carbon project experiences to date and potential pathways forward. The report.
Biodiversity and Livelihoods: REDD-plus Benefits
CBD and GIZ, 44p.
This brochure demonstrates how measures and policies can be shaped to simultaneously address climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty. It identifies opportunities for synergies and mutual enhancement of the objectives of international agreements, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as decisions taken by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly following the recommendations of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF). The brochure.
The Cancun Agreements: Do they advance global cooperation on climate change?
In this paper, FIELD outline and reflect on the circumstances that led to the Cancun Agreements, analyze its substance and provide some insights over the future of global cooperation on climate change as we move forward in the direction Cancun has now set. The paper.
Smoke and Mirrors. A critical assessment of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility