I. In THE PRESS
13 July 2009
Forests’ capacity to sequester carbon as part of the growth process constitute a sink that reduces the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and thereby helps in the mitigation of climate change due to global warming.
12 July 2009
Widely sought efforts to reduce fuels that increase catastrophic fire in Pacific Northwest forests will be counterproductive to another important societal goal of sequestering carbon to help offset global warming, forestry researchers at Oregon State University conclude in a new report.
10 July 2009
Indonesia has released revenue sharing rules for forest carbon projects, reports Reuters. According to a document released by the forestry ministry, the profit-sharing depends on the type of forest ownership or permit, ranging from 10 to 50 percent for the government, 20 to 70 percent for local communities, and 20 to 60 percent for developers.
9 July 2009
A declaration issued by political leaders meeting at the G8 summit in LAquila, Italy, included a strong statement on the need to include forest conservation in a future climate agreement.
9 July 2009
Ambitious plans to grow 24 million trees to soak up carbon dioxide and restore the rainforest have got underway in Ghana.
8 July 2009
The US cap and trade bill currently stands to deliver a huge stimulus to the clean energy and forest carbon sectors in North America and in the developing world. And it’s already clear generous international carbon offset provisions and linkages with other national emissions trading schemes will ensure the carbon market spreads well beyond US borders. This is particularly so for the emerging avoided deforestation, or REDD, sector.
7 July 2009
U.S. scientists say they've determined climate -- not high temperatures or longer fire seasons -- is the most significant factor in wildfires.
3 July 2009
Across the globe an emerging El Nino weather pattern threatens to cause droughts and floods and trigger a spike in planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from burning forests.
3 July 2009
The World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) has approved REDD readiness plans (R-Plans) for Panama and Guyana, and rejected a plan for Indonesia, reports the U.N. and the Bank Information Center, an advocacy group.
22 June 2009
Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell below 10,000 square kilometres for the first time since record-keeping began, reported Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc.
19 June 2009
In 2005, a small group of countries changed everything. Papua New Guinea teamed up with Costa Rica and a handful of other countries to make a formal plea to the United Nations. Their request was simple—if developing countries can credibly reduce rates of deforestation and the associated CO2 emissions, the countries should get paid.
18 June 2009
Permanence risk is also one of the biggest challenges of crediting forestry and land use projects, and is one reason this project category has comprised such a small slice of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
17 June 2009
A new UK government-sponsored initiative seeks to address the demand side of deforestation by identifying how an organization's activities and supply chains contribute to forest destruction.
16 June 2009
In July 2006, after Greenpeace International authored a report claiming that soya farming was the leading driver of Amazon deforestation, ADM, Cargill and other members of Brazil’s vegetable oil and grain exporting industries “agreed to a voluntary moratorium...".
II. The Road to Copenhagen - UNFCCC negotiations and related discussions
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
No negotiations have taken place since the June newsletter. In the August issue we will be back with a report on the Bonn Climate Talks, 10 - 14 August.
The remaining UNFCCC negotiations in the lead up to Copenhagen (8-19 December) are:
- Bonn, 10-14 August
- Bangkok, 28 September- 8 October
- Barcelona, 2-6 November
The G-8 summit
In the G8 session, Leaders recognised the scientific view on the need to keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and agreed on a global long-term goal of reducing global emissions by at least 50% by 2050 and, as part of this, on an 80% or more reduction goal for developed countries by 2050. They also agreed on the need for significant mid-term targets consistent with the long term goals and for global emissions to reach their peak as soon as possible. The active engagement of all major emitting countries through quantifiable mitigation actions was highlighted, as an indispensable condition to successfully tackle climate change.
In the G8 Leaders Declaration "Responsible Leadership for a Sustainable Future" forests were one of the agenda points and several statements were made on forest adaptation and mitigation. G8 Leaders said they will support efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) by combatting illegal logging, addressing drivers of deforestation, and promoting conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
The following action points specific on REDD were set:
a) support the development of positive incentives in particular for developing countries to promote emission reductions through actions to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Considering that these measures will provide tangible results only in the medium term, it is also crucial to undertake early action initiatives to urgently tackle drivers of deforestation, and we will cooperate to identify innovative instruments in this respect, including through initiatives such as UN programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the Informal Working Group on Interim Finance for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (IWG-IFR)
b) continue to support efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, including the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, as set out in the Bali Action Plan. We continue to support REDD and will consider the inclusion of financial mechanisms within the future global agreement on climate change;
c) encourage cooperation and the use of synergies between the UNFCCC and other international forest-related processes, and promote national strategies developed in collaboration with relevant players, including governments, indigenous peoples and local communities, civil society groups and the private sector;
d) enhance cooperation with partner countries to combat illegal logging and trade in illegally-harvested timber, in accordance with our obligations under international agreements and building on our previous commitments and actions, including those under the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) processes. We reaffirm our intention to promote transparent timber markets and trade in legal and sustainably produced timber. In that regard, we will follow up, where appropriate, with concrete actions on the preliminary list of options presented in 2008 by the G8 Forest Experts Report on Illegal Loggin
e) reinforce international cooperation and information sharing for sustainable forest management, including use of forest resources, prevention and management of forest fires and monitoring of pests and diseases.
For more information see meeting site.
III. Events & meetings
Financing the World's Forests: Integrating Markets and Stakeholders
3 August, London
Imperial College London, Centre for Environmental Policy. The event will provide a forum for ideas on how forest conservation is best financed, linking different aspects and stakeholders, and facilitating agreement in preparation for the Copenhagen Climate Summit. More.
19th Ph.d Workshop on international climate policy
8 - 10 October, Lausanne, Switzerland,
The workshop is organized by the European Ph.D. network on International Climate Policy. This independent scientific community is open to PhD students and researchers from all disciplines working on aspects of International Climate Policy.
As a vital part of the network, the PhD candidates meet twice a year for a workshop which gives them the opportunity to present their theses and discuss them with other PhD students and scientists working in the area of climate policy. More.
Forum on forests and climate change
21 October, Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina. As part of the XIII World Forestry Congress, the global forest community is invited to this Forum for a debate aiming to produce a recommendation of a technical nature to be presented at the UNFCCC COP15 in Copenhagen in December. More.
Forest Day 3
13 December, Copenhagen
Forest Day 3 will take place alongside the 15th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It will be hosted by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, the Government of Denmark and CIFOR. At Forest Day 3 aim to ensure that the design and implementation of forest-related climate mitigation and adaptation measures are effective, efficient and equitable. More.
Nairobi work programme: Technical workshop adaptation planning and practices
1 August - 30 September
The exact dates and location for this meeting are to be confirmed. More.
IV. Research Articles
Climate change mitigation via afforestation, reforestation and deforestation avoidance: and what about adaptation to environmental change
Reyer, Christopher; Guericke, Martin; Ibisch, Pierre L
New forests. 2009 July. 38(1) p. 15-34
Climate change is affecting the world's ecosystems and threatening the economic system, livelihoods and availability of natural resources. Forest ecosystems can be carbon sources or sinks and are therefore integrated in international climate policy. Forest-related carbon mitigation projects are threatened by climate change through altered environmental conditions and forest processes, as well as through synergistic effects of climate change impacts with already existing socioeconomic and environmental stressors. Data on risk management and adaptation strategies were collected by a survey of 28 current forest projects targeting climate change mitigation. Ten of these represent the officially implemented afforestation (A) and reforestation (R) activities under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto protocol. Additionally, the official methodologies for AR activities under the CDM (Scope 14) were examined for potential climate change adaptation requirements. As a result, the adaptation of forest mitigation projects to climate change is found to be insufficient. A systematic approach for the inclusion of climate change risk management and adaptation is developed and guidelines for the design of climate-change-proof afforestation, reforestation and deforestation avoidance projects are proposed. A broader mainstreaming of the issue is required and clear policy regulations are necessary, especially for the post-Kyoto process.
Changing governance of the world's forest
Agrawal, A.; Chhatre, A.; Hardin, R
Science (Washington). 320: 5882, 1460-1462.
Major features of contemporary forest governance include decentralization of forest management, logging concessions in publicly owned commercially valuable forests, and timber certification, primarily in temperate forests. Although a majority of forests continue to be owned formally by governments, the effectiveness of forest governance is increasingly independent of formal ownership. Growing and competing demands for food, biofuels, timber, and environmental services will pose severe challenges to effective forest governance in the future, especially in conjunction with the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. A greater role for community and market actors in forest governance and deeper attention to the factors that lead to effective governance, beyond ownership patterns, is necessary to address future forest governance challenges.
Carbon Subsidies, Taxes and Optimal Forest Management
Guthrie, Graeme; Kumareswaran, Dinesh
Environmental and resource economics. 2009 June. 43(2) p. 275-293
We consider the effect of carbon credit payment schemes on forest owners' land use and harvest decisions. We study two possible credit allocation regimes: one where credits are allocated according to the actual amount of carbon sequestered by the trees on a piece of land and another where credits are allocated according to the long-run potential to sequester carbon on the land. Using a real options model with uncertain future timber prices, we examine the effect on the timing of harvests and the replanting-abandonment decision. We show that both schemes discourage deforestation. Compensating growers for actual carbon sequestration leads to longer rotation periods between harvests, while basing compensation only on the long-run potential level of sequestration induces shorter rotation periods. The former scheme leads to greater benefits of carbon sequestration at lower cost than the latter scheme. Although inducing moderate levels of sequestration is expensive under both schemes, the cost falls dramatically when the level of payments climbs above some threshold. Indeed, providing the payments are sufficiently generous, carbon credit payment schemes offer an effective means of increasing carbon sequestration.
Forest Landowners' Willingness to Sell Carbon Credits: A Pilot Study
Fletcher, Lena S.; Kittredge, David Jr.; Stevens, Thomas
Northern journal of applied forestry. 2009 26(1) p. 35-37
Sequestered carbon is a new forest product that could help private forest owners earn financial returns while keeping their forests intact. Private forest owners are responsible for 78% of forests in Massachusetts, and the carbon these trees sequester could be traded in emerging cap-and-trade carbon markets in the United States. In forming policy about climate change and forestry, it is important to understand the factors that influence the likelihood of landowners choosing to sell sequestered carbon and participate in the carbon marketplace. In this pilot study, we explored the likelihood of Massachusetts forest owners selling carbon sequestered on their forestland. We found that landowners significantly favor higher payments, no withdrawal penalty, and, unexpectedly, longer time commitments. We also found that at current carbon prices, very few participants (less than 7%) would be willing to sell. Additional studies need to be conducted, with a larger sample of respondents, which may elucidate how socioeconomic variables and ownership attitudes influence forest owners' willingness to enroll in carbon markets.
The feasibility of carbon incentives to private forest management in Korea
Han, KiJoo; Youn, Yeo-Chang
Climatic change. 2009 94(1-2) p. 157-168
Forest management is regarded as one possible approach to reducing greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon at a relatively low cost. In Korea, the forest comprises 64% of the total land area, so forests are expected to play a key role in mitigating climate change on the one hand. On the other hand, since 70% of the forest area is owned by the private sector, there is considerable uncertainty about managing forests for the national carbon sink strategy. The objective of this study is to examine the levels of carbon incentives to private forest management for the purpose of maximizing forests' carbon absorption. First, in the context of present forest management policies, this study discusses applicable measures for the promotion of carbon sequestration in private forests. Next, considering the implications of policies related to forestry, the study develops a hypothetical carbon incentive scheme to compensate for economic revenue loss derived from accepting a rotation period that maximizes carbon sequestration. Carbon incentive levels are estimated by assessing the difference of financial revenue between a financially optimal rotation plan and a carbon-sink maximizing rotation plan. This study found that for red pine forests, the levels of the carbon incentives vary US$2-6 at 5% discount rate and US$ 34-88 at 7% discount rate while the values for oak forests are differing US$2-22 at 5% discount rate and US$ 20-52 at 7% discount rate. The study concludes that the carbon incentive scheme could be effective for increasing the carbon sink. However, given related governmental policies, it may not be desirable to employ the scheme without considering changes in government policy toward land use and regional development.
Forests - a viable option for mitigating climate change.
Meenakshi Gupta; Saleem, M.; Gupta, L. M.
Indian Forester. 2009. 135: 2, 252-262. 19 ref.
Forests contribute to global climate change through their influence on the global carbon (C) cycle. The world's forests store an estimated 536 Giga tonnes of carbon (GtC) in biomass, 1104 GtC in soils (to a depth of 3 m) and additional amounts in dead organic matter pools, including fine and coarse woody debris. Accounting for the imbalance in the global C cycle suggests that forests are not significantly contributing to the net increase in atmospheric CO2 and thus not playing a major role in global climate change. But this may not continue into the future as temperate and boreal forests reach maturity and become a smaller C sink, and if rates of tropical deforestation and degradation continue to accelerate. Mitigation options by the forestry sector include extending carbon retention in harvested wood products, product substitution, and producing biomass for bioenergy. Aggressive adoption of these forest management options are necessary to prevent forests from becoming a significant net source of CO2 to the atmosphere in the future and contributing to climate change.
Towards green markets for New Zealand plantations
Hock, B.; Payn, T.; Clinton, P.; Turner, J.
New Zealand Journal of Forestry. 2009. 54: 1, 9-19
There is increasing interest in planting trees for benefits other than wood production: for carbon sequestration (Emissions Trading Scheme), for erosion control (East Coast Forestry Project), for water flow regulation (e.g. farm plans in the Manawatu), for reducing nutrient leaching (e.g. into the North Island lakes), and for biofuel production (reduction of fossil fuel reliance). Planted trees also contribute to biodiversity on productive lands (e.g. for Convention on Biodiversity reporting; for forest certification requirements) and provide options of multiple use (tourism and recreation activities). This paper draws together knowledge on the achievable environmental benefits and services of New Zealand plantations, covers the lessons from this research, where the knowledge gaps are, and discusses some of the trends and future issues of markets for these services.
Carbon sequestration in Indian natural and planted forests
Melkania, N. P
Indian Forester. 2009. 135: 3, 380-392. 47 ref.
Among the global common concerns, climate change has been identified as the most important environmental challenge facing humanity. Emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons are identified as green house gases causing warming of earth globally. Of these, CO2 alone accounts for 60% share. Absorbing atmospheric CO2 and moving into the physiological system and plant biomass, and finally into the soil, is considered as the most practical way of removing excess C from atmosphere and storing it into a biological system. C is, thus, sequestered into the plants and then the animals. Studies have established that C sequestration by trees and forests could provide relatively low cost net emission reductions. C management in forests is, therefore, one of the most important agenda in India in the 21st century in context of greenhouse gases effects and mitigation of global climate changes. Studies indicate that Indian forests store 1083.81 MtC (wood only) in the year 1994 to 3907.67 MtC (above- and below-ground material) in the year 1993. In forest soil, total C storage is estimated 9815.95 Mt as per 1994 forest stands under 19 ligneous species. Site-specific C estimates depend on stand composition, age, site quality and management. Estimated rate of C flux in selected Indian planted forests reveals that: (i) planted forests of short-rotation tree species with regular leaf shedding patterns have more capacity for C sequestering in litter which decomposes more rapidly than those with annual or bimodal leaf shedding patterns, and (ii) mixed planted forests of exotic and native species could be more efficient in sequestering C than the monocultures. This contribution reviews C sequestration in Indian forests at national level and site-specific situations, and elaborates some possible opportunities for sustainable C forestry.
V. Publications, Reports and other media
Making forests fit for climate change: a global view of climate-change impacts on forests and people and options for adaptation
Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
This report constitutes the most comprehensive assessment to date of scientific information about climate-change impacts and how forests and people can adapt to it. Based on the assessment, this policy brief aims to provide policy and decision makers with essential knowledge for enhancing the adaptive capacity of both forests and people to the impacts of climate change. The report.
Carbon finance for developing country greenhouse gas emissions mitigation from 2010-2020 and the role of a Global Climate Change Fund
Climate Change Capital
This paper was written as a contribution to discussions of the Catalyst Project finance working group as well as to informal requests from a number of policy-makers. Among other things it discusses The Global Climate Change Fund’s role in establishing a supplemental source of demand for emission reduction credits in order to drive investment flows. The paper.
Ready or Not? A Review of the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership R-Plans and the UN REDD Joint Program Documents
This paper reviews documentation detailing national REDD initiatives that have emerged from both the FCPF and UN-REDD, in order to assess how these efforts are dealing with fundamental issues of governance in the forest sector that underpin deforestation and degradation problems in pilot countries. The policy brief.
Climate Change Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions, Copenhagen 2009
This report has been critically reviewed by representatives of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP), by the parallel session chairs and co-chairs, and by up to four independent researchers from each IARU university. This extensive review process has been implemented to ensure that the messages contained in the report are solidly and accurately based on the new research produced since the last IPCC Report, and that they faithfully reflect the most recent work of the international
climate change research community. The report.
Economics of carbon sequestration projects involving smallholders
Afforestation and reforestation projects have the potential to help mitigate global warming by acting as sinks for CO2. However, participation in carbon-sink projects may be constrained by high costs. This problem may be particularly severe for projects involving smallholders in developing countries. Of particular concern are the transaction costs incurred in developing projects and measuring, certifying, and selling the carbon-sequestration services generated by such projects. This chapter addresses these issues by analyzing the implications of transaction and abatement costs in carbon-sequestration projects. A typology of transaction costs is presented, and estimates of the five cost types are derived based on a review of existing projects. The influences of project design on abatement costs and transaction costs are explored, and the critical values of a set of three project-design variables (farm price, number of participating farms, and minimum farm area) are identified for any given combination of transaction costs. The report.
REDD from an integrated perspective: considering overall climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and equity issues
The discussion paper assesses selected options currently “on the table” in the international debate and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD). REDD design options are analyzed with regard to their implications for overall climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and equity issues.The report.
Convenient Solutions to an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change
The World Bank’s Environment Department has published a report titled “Convenient Solutions to an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change,” which sets out an argument for including ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation and adaptation as a third and essential pillar in national strategies to address climate change. The report.
Assessment of existing global financial initiatives and monitoring aspects of carbon sinks in forest ecosystems - The issue of REDD
Swedish research network om Forest, Climate and Livelihood issues
From three different perspectives; REDD demonstration activities, potential REDD host countries and the investor's perspective it looks at REDD and monitoring aspects focusing on baseline issues and sustainable development. The report.
Climate change scientist
World Agroforestry Center
The World Agroforestry Centre seeks to recruit a highly motivated and experienced Climate Change Scientist to contribute to its research on improving the stability of farming systems and livelihood strategies of smallholder farmers in the face of current climate variability and long-term climate change. Duty Station: Nairobi, Kenya. Deadline for Applications: 31 July 2009. More.
Senior Client Manager, Forestry & Land Use
The manager will be responsible for developing and leveraging relationships with intermediaries to source and then managing a portfolio of emission reduction projects generated from the forestry and land use sectors in North America. This role will also be responsible for evaluating, structuring and executing deals relating to forestry. Duty Station: New York, NY USA. More.
Clean Development Mechanism/Joint Implementation (CDM/JI) consultants/experts
The World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit is seeking to develop a roster of Clean Development Mechanism/Joint Implementation (CDM/JI) consultants/experts. Individuals and firms with strong knowledge of methodologies and procedures, experience in developing projects and programs of activities (POA) and capacity to deliver CDM/JI-related training are requested to send their CVs and/or company profiles, including the following specific information. 1. Number of years of experience with CDM/JI 2. Specific sector expertise, e.g., power sector, demand-side energy efficiency, renewable energy 3. Specify country experience (South Asia, South-east Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America) 4. List of methodologies, projects and POAs developed 5. Interest in and availability for short-term, individual assignments Please email to [email protected]; specify in the subject line "Roster of CDM Consultants" The deadline for responding is Friday, July 24.
New newsletter on adaptation and mitigation
TBI, ETFRN, GTZ and WI
Tropenbos International (TBI), the European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN), GTZ and Wageningen International are jointly preparing a special ETFRN Newsletter on best forest practices for climate adaptation and mitigation. The objective is to contribute to a better understanding of the most viable approaches, measures, and conditions on how sustainable forest management and forest governance can most effectively contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. If you are interested to contribute, please contact as soon as possible Mr. Arend Jan van Bodegom ([email protected]) specifying your organization and the topic of your article. The Newsletter is scheduled for publication before November 2009.
World Agroforestry Center Launches REDD-Alert Project
ICRAF and CGIAR
The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), has initiated a research project on the socioeconomic drivers and impacts of deforestation.The project will address the ‘missing link’ between agreed national level targets under international level REDD rules and changes in the behavior of indigenous people, farmers, ranchers, and loggers who live on the land. The findings of this three-year project will be interpreted in respect of current and future UNFCCC policies on deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as in the broader global context of the sustainable use of tropical forests. More.
Baseline and Monitoring Methodology for Project Actions that Reduce Emissions from Deforestation on Degrading Land
The Carbon Management Service of TÜV SÜD is currently auditing a new methodology for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects according to the requirements of the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). The documentation on the methodology and the commenting option can be found here: Comment.
The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) awarded 23 fellowships in June 2009, four of which were awarded to recipients for climate change-related activities, namely: undertaking laboratory training in methods to quantify carbon sequestration in afforestation plantation; and attending courses in forest ecosystem and climate change management, climate change and desertification, and climate change and development. More.
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