December 2006


Dear Katoomba Members,

It gives me much pleasure to share with you our very first East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group newsletter. We are very excited about the newly formed network and we look forward to sharing with you our members' activities in future newsletters.

If you have a news item or are working on a project that you wish to share with members of our network, please send it to us at aruhweza@forest-trends.org.

We are already looking ahead to our next issue and would welcome feedback, comments and suggestions.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Ruhweza
Coordinator, East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group

 

1. ESA KATOOMBA NEWS

2. NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

3. CARBON NEWS FROM AFRICA - From the AfriCarbon Newsletter -Fall 2006

4. OTHER AFRICA RELATED NEWS

5. UPCOMING EVENTS

6. RESOURCES


November 2006:- REGIONAL KATOOMBA GROUP FOR EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA FORMALLY LAUNCHED IN CAPE TOWN

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group (ESA KG) was formally launched in Cape Town, South Africa on November 8th - 10th. Participants from various parts of the world including East and Southern Africa, Bolivia, Costa Rica, India, Mexico, UK, and USA attended the launch.

The meeting was hosted by the South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the Council for Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIR); the Botanical Society of South Africa and MINTEK. Funding for the meeting came from the Government of South Africa's Departments of Water Affairs & Forestry (DWAF) and Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT); EcoAgriculture Partners; Forest Trends, the Katoomba Group,, the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), TerrAfrica, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Participating countries in the ESA KG are Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar and South Africa. The main objective of the group is to address the key challenges to designing, implementing and scaling up PES in the region. It will do so by bringing together expertise at the country and regional level and providing a network of support for both existing and new PES projects. In addition, the ESA KG will undertake a series of activities aimed at building foundations for information sharing, coordinated planning and implementation support that would enable a substantial scaling up of pro-poor PES

Prior to the launch, there had already been consultative meetings in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi hosted by national partner institutions to introduce the network; take stock of what is happening; identify key gaps and opportunities for using the network to scale up PES and develop an action plan for the network. The action plans focus on issues such as building technical capacity; assisting with the development of PES projects and initiatives which demonstrate new methodologies (such as, 'bundled' projects - where land owners receive simultaneous payments for various different ecosystem services provided, including water, carbon and biodiversity); supporting strategic PES-related regulation and policy in the region; and engaging with prospective buyers in the private as well as public sector. National networks in the participating countries have already been formed and will continue to grow and feed into the regional and global Katoomba network.

For more information about the meeting including the conference proceedings and presentations, please visit www.katoombagroup.org/meetings/katoomba11.php or contact aruhweza@forest-trends.org.

<<BACK TO TOP

THE POTENTIAL FOR PES IN THE RWENZORI MOUNTAINS OF UGANDA
by Martin Asiimwe (Contact Email: kyanmartin@yahoo.com)

The Rwenzori Mountain region is a "water tower" for Uganda and many other African nations. It is the source of the Nile and over 2 million people depend directly on its water resources. Within the Rwenzori Mountains is the National Park that was awarded a World Heritage Site designation by UNESCO and is a home for unique and endemic biodiversity.

The Rwenzori region in general, and the National Park in particular, face a number of challenges that threaten the biodiversity, as well as ecological and the watershed functions. Most notable are the issues of glacial recession and deforestation.

Scientists increasingly link climate change to glacial recession globally, including in the Rwenzori peaks. Glaciers has shrunk considerably in the last century-from 650 hectares in 1906 to a mere 108 in hectares in 2005 (WWF 2006). This glacial melt has meant reduced stream flow and increased threat of famine in the foothills due to unproductive soils.

Further compounding challenges is the growing human population in the Rwenzori mountains and the corresponding increasing demand for forest products. The annual population growth rate in the region is estimated at 5.16 in Bundibugyo, 3.76 in Kasese and 1.56 in Kabarole Districts (Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 2002). The result is high demand for land to cultivate and use for fuelwood resources. The steep mountain slopes are continuously cleared for cultivation which has increased the occurrences of landslides and soil erosion. Deliberate bush burning is a common practice within the massif. Fires have a potential for destroying valuable biodiversity from the park as well as accelerating soil erosion, land slides and flooding on lowlands. The sight of bare hills in the Rwenzori region is a result of these frequently occurring wildfires. One main reason for these fires is the fact that the lands that burn have no economic value. Hence the farmers who burn do not lose anything of value. If adjacent farmers would add value to their often burnt lands, by planting expanses of woodlots, they would be more concerned with the fires.

All of these pressures had led to the net result of forests increasingly confined to the park. In addition, the hills are increasingly eroded and de-vegetated; leading to landslides have affected the water quality and quantity, and posing a threat to downstream fisheries, hydropower stations, and domestic water supplies. Some of the once large rivers have been reduced to streams and the smaller ones have become seasonal, most likely due to changes in catchments characteristics. Regional residents face growing challenges, poverty and dependence on the park resources for basic needs and sustenance.

This situation has undercut functioning of the ecosystem resources provided by the Rwenzoris in general and the water flows from the mountains in particular.

There is a range of ways in which PES could be a relevant part of addressing ecosystem service stresses in the Rwenzori region. One possibility would be to search for prospective ecosystem service buyers, most likely water-focused, who would be willing to explore restoration on degraded hillsides sites that would improve water quality and quantity. Another potential would be carbon buyers focused on sequestering carbon through woodlots of indigenous tree species or through environmentally-friendly expanse afforestation especially on bare hills.

The potential pathways forward for the Rwenzoris, like other rural areas interested in PES, include reaching out to the international voluntary ecosystem service markets, particularly related to carbon and water. The direct payments of the Plan Vivo carbon trade model would be one of the most promising for moving forward quickly. Alternatively, PES could emerge from discussions with direct service beneficiaries, such as downstream water users. Either approach will be challenging to fully assess the ecosystem structure and function and to devise a plan for ensuring that desired ecosystem services are produced by local community sellers.

Yet, payments for ecosystem services has the exciting potential of enlarging the pool of stakeholders who see themselves as benefiting directly from the restoration and maintenance of the ecosystem services that lay at the source of the Nile River-in the Rwenzori Mountains.

<<BACK TO TOP

INTEGRATED ECOSYSTEM ASSESSMENT IN EASTERN UGANDA : WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PES?
By Dr. Anne Akol

The very first integrated ecosystem assessment is currently being carried out in two districts in Eastern Uganda . It is focused on the links between poverty and the environment as well as the potential of PES to address poverty issues.

These Eastern Ugandan local communities are almost entirely dependent on natural resources for sustenance and income. With a growing population, however, resource pressure has increased. In recent years, communities have had to give up farming practices, like fallows, that helped to conserve and renew soil fertility, because of the need to produce enough food to sustain the family. Decreased yields also meant that there was little extra food to sell, so people are seeking off-farm sources of income such as trade in timber and fuel wood.

Wood resources were previously harvested from the natural forests, which have since disappeared or are now protected by law. The restricted access to the forests, while meant to protect against deforestation, has also prevented surrounding communities from harvesting other resources such as medicinal herbs, mushrooms, bamboo shoots. This raises an issue of how best to avoid alienating communities live near and rely on natural resources, as well as how to involve community members in conservation.

The Risks of PES: Undercutting Livelihoods

PES schemes meant to compensate communities neighbouring forest resources or that aim to encourage communities to conserve such resources should consider the local values attached to such resources and the very limited options (sometimes nonexistent) that locals have for meeting their basic needs. For instance, the locals in Eastern Ugandan districts reported that afforestation programmes had been implemented in the district. However, the trees did not really meet all their needs for fuel wood energy, medicinal herbs, specialty foods like mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Rather, the trees were mainly a source of timber/construction poles which were sold by the owners (of these trees) to traders coming from the urban centres. Thus the income distribution was limited to only a small proportion of the community.

The Opportunities of PES-Related Investments: Improving Water Quality

In Eastern Uganda, many of the natural (open) sources of water (river) have become heavily silted as a result of cultivation on the steep slopes characteristic of the district. Such cultivation is driven by increased population numbers translating into land shortages. The result is decreasing soil fertility as people have been forced to abandon traditional practices of allowing the land to rest due to continual need to provide food for home consumption and for sale.

What is clearly needed is to start a series of collective steps that build the capacity of people to earn an income from other sectors other than (subsistence) agriculture. An appropriate PES scheme would compensate people in such a manner that allows them to preserve the steep slopes and water catchment area.

<<BACK TO TOP

THE POTENTIAL OF PES FOR RIVER BANK MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY IN THE KAPCHORWA DISTRICT, UGANDA
By Chemangei Awadh B.Sc (Educ), M.Sc. (Contacts: +256-772-645591; chemawadh@yahoo.com)

Kapchorwa district is located in the eastern part of Uganda on the slopes of Mt. Elgon, with a total land area is 1,738Km 2 (3.3% of the total land area of Uganda - 241,551km 2). It is bordered by Sironko District to the west, Nakapiripirit District to the North and the Republic of Kenya to the east. The District is predominantly occupied by the Sabiny people of Kalenjin ethnic group who are crop cultivators and cattle herders. The total population is 193,510, with a population density of 169/km 2 . The population growth rate is at 4.33%, which is higher than the national average of 3.3%.

Approximately 82.1% of the households live on subsistence farming, with an average of 2 acres per house hold. Community members keep cows, goats and donkeys (beast of burden) and fowls. Insecurity is caused by the neighboring district populations that cross borders to come and raid livestock. The overall impact is displacement of communities, increasing pressure on the ecosystem which results in soil erosion and siltation of riverbanks and wetlands.

Even without these additional resource pressures, the area is considered to be a fragile ecosystem with very steep hillsides prone to landslides with poor farming methods to the riverbanks. The area has fast flowing waters from Mount Elgon which can cause erosion and floods on riverbanks if not maintained with vegetation. The result of devegetation along riverbanks is brown river waters during rainy season causing wetland siltation.

Uganda's National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has provided support to this fragile ecosystem through addressing issues that emerged following a water supply project that began in the late 1990s.

Water Supply Project for the Town of Kapchorwa

In 1998 a survey was carried out to put up water works at the River Atari's waterfalls in order to supply Kapchorwa Town Council with piped water. This project was supported by European Development Fund (EDF). The plan was for the water to be sieved by the bushes along the riverbank. The piped water therefore was to be taken directly to town for use since it was clean. At time of plan the forest was intact.

However, concurrent with the water works project, local communities opened the forest for maize cultivation. Cultivation went up to the highest water mark (right to the edge of the river). There was increased soil erosion into the river due to farming methods.

Nonetheless, EDF went ahead to complete the plant. Water then served at Kapchorwa town was brown and with soil from erosion. This was a concern to everybody. It also silted the swamps (wetlands) in the low plains causing floods and blockage of waterways that join the Nile

Kapchorwa Town council requested support to the program officer EDF for sedimentation of water. EDF advised the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), presidential representative at the district and the Chairman Local Council Five (LCV) the political head of the district, asking them to see how they can protect the riverbank from cultivation so as to reduce soil erosion into the river. The offices of LCV, RDC, and LCIII (Kapchorwa T/C) communicated about how the river bank should be conserved. They agreed on natural sieving of river water.

In 1999/2000 the sub-county leaders mobilized the communities by convening a one day sensitization meeting in which communities and the leaders at lower governments were informed of the siltation problem. It was agreed to establish a fund to be used for the process of protection of the river through demarcation of the riverbanks and formation for a community-level committee. Despite the fact that the communities were going to loose some of their land to the riverbank, they agreed to contribute some money for demarcation. Community members participated in measuring off the 100m on either side of the river to form a 200m width and a length of approximately 4km distance up the river. And the community organized themselves to form a committee monitoring progress.

Demarcation took about one month in the month of Jan 1999. This was done before farmers went to prepare their land for crop cultivation. Owners of land affected and local leaders (LC Is) were present during demarcation. Two patrol men were temporarily employed to ensure that the status of the boundary remains.

Live Demarcation - Tree Planting

In September 2000 a large seed bed of over 10,000 seedling of Eucalyptus was raised in the riverbank. One local community person was paid little money to tend the seedbed (from urban water grant - Kapchorwa T/C)

In April and May 2001 (rainy season) tree seedlings were planted to form the live demarcation. Hired labour was used from the communities. The trees belong to the farmers whose land borders those trees. However at of harvest they are asked to seek advice to avoid unplanned cutting.

In 2002 and onwards, the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) provided technical input and funds in the sensitization of the fragile ecosystems across the country to include Kapchorwa and in particular Rivers Atari and Ngenge and their ridges that forms the hilly and mountainous areas. This was a response to the national environment statute regulations 2000 (including: The National Environment (wetlands, Riverbanks and lake shores) Regulation, 2000 and the National Environment (mountainous and hilly areas management) Regulations, 2000).

In subsequent years there have been visits by parliamentary committee on natural resources as a wider sensitization to the problem in the country. In addition, celebrations have been held in the area to commemorate the world environment days.

The key players in this process are the community leaders, district technical staff and leaders and NEMA staff.

Sources of funds

  • Community contributions at sub-county level (for community hired labour token)
  • Urban water conditional grant (for patrol persons)
  • European Development Fund (EDF) - water works
  • District Environment office/NEMA. Potting materials and some seed
  • NEMA provided technical support and funds for a wider implementation and wider visualization.

Achievements:

  • The town dwellers have been able to use clean water (not brown water)
  • There is reduced use of chemical for cleaning the water
  • 200m x 5000/10000 = 100 ha of area is restored (no cultivation and regeneration is taking place) maintain the clean quality water.

Benefits to the communities

  • Increased grazing land especially during wet season when all land is cultivated
  • Communities downstream get piped water, thereby reducing walking distance for water by females and children.
  • The boundary trees are now used for community service (ladders and firewood)

Issues and gaps

  • Community members feel that they really don't benefit from this conservation process since they lost land to the riverbank
  • They do not get the piped water directly since they are above the gravity force and even then enjoy better water and conservation may not be an issue
  • There is need for compensation of this community either directly or indirectly to maintain the sustainability of this ecosystem.
  • The communities whose land touches in the riverbanks are Approx 120 households above the water falls.
  • Those from they water fall down 10 km distance which is being addressed currently (addresses 30m on either side of the river from the highest water mark)

Ongoing Challenges

  • Resistance from the community due low sensitization, pressure on land, poverty, farming as a sole source of livelihood.
  • Some households were all included in the 100m stretch and the 100m distance was lowered to approx 30m (Community decision)
  • The demarcation was occasionally encroached
  • Those who failed to comply were arrested and taken to court (an extreme decision). They pleaded guilty and requested the case be sorted out of court which was accepted this people felt that their rights were oppressed
  • Need for composition has been a common complain from these community persons to date especially those who bought.
  • Conserving the main river without its feeder streams will reduce the quality of water because they are not equally addressed

Therefore the cost borne by the local communities versus the benefits accruing to them in this whole process looks not worthwhile to them

Lessons Learned

  • There was no needs assessment carried out before the process hence all the communities suffered same pain even those who were not
  • Involvement of the local leaders is respected by the local communities
  • Not all can go by the decisions of the majority and they are the most troublesome persons. (For example, one of the local leaders forced his demarcation down to almost 40m. When given to supervise the bank, he hired it out to farmers for cultivation and was stopped and replaced.)
  • Enforcement of the law though harsh improves the process in most situations.
  • The 100m distance cannot be applicable in all the stretch and not all the rivers of the same volume.

<<BACK TO TOP

THE UNIVERSITY OF MALAWI'S 50 HECTARES SET ASIDE FOR CARBON SEQUESTRATION PROJECTS & BUYERS
By Sosten S.Chiotha

Malawi has experienced very rapid deforestation of the indigenous forests, mainly due to high dependence for biomass energy by the majority of the people as well as due to agricultural expansion. The result of this trend has been increased soil erosion, siltation of rivers and loss of biodiversity.

The University of Malawi which is situated at the foot of Zomba plateau, and rises to approximately 1,500 meters above sea level, has set aside 50 hectares of its land for tree planting. The University will be following carbon sequestration models and is keen to attract international carbon buyers.

If the University can access international carbon markets, it offers the potential for introducing the concept of carbon sequestration in a country that badly needs to regain its vegetation cover again.

In addition to accessing international carbon markets, the University wants to use carbon market afforestation projects for capacity building and research in carbon sequestration. These carbon deals could have the potential to set benchmarks for replication in Malawi and beyond.

<<BACK TO TOP

POTENTIAL CARBON PROJECT: SCALING UP CATTLE MANURE-BASED BIO-ENERGY PROJECTS IN RURAL MALAWI
By Sosten S. Chiotha

The potential of entire villages switching to biogas offers another way for rural communities to tap into international carbon markets. Malawian experience with biogas offers one nation in which to scale up access to the carbon market.

Application of cattle manure to improve soil fertility has been one of the mechanisms adopted by rural farmers in Malawi to improve food security. The quality of manure varies, but generally the results are positive, especially in the growing of maize, the staple food. Adoption of enhancement of qualities of the manure is taking place in some parts of Malawi, such as Dowa district by the transfer of knowledge from farmer within the same or neighbouring villages.

Low soil fertility is not the only livelihood challenge facing rural farmers in Malawi . Another equally important challenge is energy for basic needs such as cooking and lighting but also for small scale business enterprises such as chicken production.

One farmer who has effectively utilized cattle manure for both soil fertility replenishment and as a source of energy is Mr. Chafukira Banda of Mkomba Village in a district called Dowa, very close to the capital Lilongwe . Having visited Arusha, Tanzania in 1994 as part of a SADC regional Project of innovative farmers, Mr. Banda was impressed with the technology of biogas production from cattle manure as practiced by local farmers in Arusha.

On return to Malawi he sought technical assistance from the University of Malawi and the Malawi Industrial Technology and Development Centre. He provided all the materials such as bricks, cement and pipes and a biogas digest was constructed in 1996. Ten years down the line, he still uses the biogas for cooking and lighting the kitchen. In addition he used the gas for lighting and warming a brooding house when he acquires day old chickens. The dependence on firewood and charcoal has been drastically reduced through mere substitution for cooking and chicken brooding.

Mr. Banda has allowed his small woodlot of indigenous trees to regenerate in the last 10 years because of reduced pressure for wood energy. Mr. Banda argues that he replenishes the biogas tank with 3 shovels full of cattle manure per month which is not much and in any case the manure eventually gets released after the gas has been produces and he can apply the manure to his crops even after going through the digester. Government officials and Journalists who visited Mr. Banda in September 2006, after the consultative Katoomba meeting in Malawi were impressed with the blue soot free flame from the biogas technology.

Biogas technology is not new but has not been given the attention and support that it deserves. With so many cattle in Malawian villages, there is need for scaling up this technology to reduce dependence on wood fuel. Malawi is experiencing serious deforestation and loss of biodiversity as a result of excessive demand for wood fuel.

To help replicate the biofuel technology, there would be need for technical support for the design and construction of the digestors and to find markets for carbon offset. With improved gas capture, the gas could be sold as well.

This area of bioenergy offers an opportunity for improving rural livelihood in Malawi while also accessing carbon markets. The potential is to make connections that will enable brokering the deals for villagers to access these markets.

<<BACK TO TOP

POTENTIAL PES PROJECT: FORESTRY IN THE MPIRA WATER CATCHMENT, MALAWI
by Mathews D. Tsirizeni & Sosten S. Chiotha

Mpira/Balaka Rural Piped Water Supply is the largest gravity-fed piped water scheme in Malawi . The water is drawn from a reservoir is located Traditional Authority Kwataine, Ntcheu district, in the Central Region of Malawi, on Mpira River . Rivirivi River, Mpamadzi River and Dzonzi-Mvai Forest Reserve form the catchment for the reservoir and the entire scheme. The scheme was commissioned in 1988 with resources contributed by Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), African Development Bank (ADB) and the Malawi government. It serves about 400,000 people in four small towns in Malawi .

At present, the issue is that the water volume has reduced and filtering process is being undercut due to catchment degradation resulting from several factors. The driver is increasing resource pressures, as a number of communities have settled within the Dzonzi-Mvai Forest reserve and have established gardens, which result in deforestation. The increased deforestation rate has led to soil erosion and reduced rainwater retention, which in turn has reduced ground water recharge. The accelerated soil erosion has affected sedimentation and siltation of the reservoir and the entire system. Finally, poor agricultural practices have also encouraged soil erosion and deforestation.

Studies show that there are two main problems surrounding the scheme. The first problem is that communities in the catchment do not benefit directly from the scheme because water is supplied to those down slope. Water supplied to the people in the catchment has no direct link to Mpira Dam. The second problem is that communities (direct beneficiaries and non direct beneficiaries) do not have ownership of the project, which is evidenced by high rate of vandalism to the pipes and taps.

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) offers one potential way to address these issues, specifically by enabling communities in the Mpira dam catchment area to participate in afforestation for carbon sequestration through being paid by organizations/companies engaged in international carbon markets. Another potential is to assess the downstream beneficiaries of high quality and reliable quantities of water and explore local payment for watershed services.

<<BACK TO TOP

ASSESSING THE POTENTIAL FOR PAYMENTS FOR WATERSHED SERVICES IN THE NAIVASHA CATCHMENT IN THE RIFT VALLEY KENYA
by Mark Ellis - Jones

Interest in the potential for PES environmental and development synergies has led Care International and WWF-EARPO to consider an experimental PWS scheme in the Naivasha catchment in the Rift Valley in Kenya . The roll-out of this scheme is contingent upon realisable environmental and equity gains.

Preliminary research provides an assessment of the feasibility for pro-poor PWS in the Naivasha catchment from economic, regulatory and livelihood perspectives. It is demonstrated that potential buyers of watershed services include:

  • commercial farmers and KenGen through monies raised by the Water Resource Management Authority fund;
  • tourists;
  • and consumers of flowers sourced from the Naivasha catchment.

A benefits appraisal indicates that:

  • if PWS can successfully reverse catchment degradation, the scheme could generate nearly USD 37 million in present benefits to potential buyers of watershed services over the first 8 years of the envisaged PWS scheme, subdivided amongst the various buyers as follows:

 

Commercial farmers and KenGen

Tourists

Flower consumers

Total

Benefits
(USD million)

8.7

1.9

26.0

36.7

  • If PWS is only able to mitigate against further loss of watershed services, then present benefits of PWS scheme implementation will be of a magnitude less. For example, present benefits which would accrue to commercial farmers and KenGen would amount to only USD 2.3 million.

It is further shown that the Kenyan regulatory framework, whilst not precluding a role for PWS, is likely to impose constraints on its operation. Of greater concern are the distribution of property rights and structure of livelihoods around such rights in the upstream catchment which necessitate innovation in PWS payment mechanism design so as ensure equitable outcomes in PWS implementation.

<<BACK TO TOP

PAYMENTS FOR CATCHMENT PROTECTION SERVICES AND IMPROVED LIVELIHOODS IN SOUTH AFRICA
By Nicola King

The CSIR, together with IIED and DFID, have embarked on a project that will increase our understanding of the potential for incentives/payments to address the provision of catchment protection services and to improve livelihoods.

South Africa was selected as it is a country approaching 'absolute water scarcity' where costly supply-side development options are becoming less viable. The young democracy has also prioritised equity, efficiency and sustainability of water resources. Creative solutions for catchment management that integrate these principles in support of demand-side options are encouraged.

The term 'catchment protection services' defines those services that when protected improve the quantity or quality of water in a river system. Examples of services in South Africa include the removal of alien invasive plants on the river banks in order to increase the water flow in a river, or the rehabilitation of wetlands in a catchment in order to improve water quality in the catchment or changing land use practices within a catchment to reduce poor quality runoff or sedimentation to improve water quality in a river. Other services include water table regulation and the maintenance of aquatic habitats.

Payments are used within the legislative and policy framework and focus beyond regulation as a means to achieve goals. These payments aim to internalise the benefits and costs associated with land-water management through the use of compensation or incentives to maintain catchment protection services over time. These include salinity credits, eco-friendly products, payments for land rehabilitation, and seasonal leases. Payments for catchment protection services rely on having downstream users who are prepared to pay those upstream in cash or kind for protecting the river. The concept of paying to protect the environment through the preservation of environmental services is fairly new, but is gaining global support rapidly. Many companies in developed countries are already paying for carbon sequestration schemes to offset their carbon dioxide production to help mitigate the effects of global warming.

The purpose of this project is to increase the understanding of the potential for payments to improve livelihoods through catchment protection services. The approach focuses strongly on shared action-learning both nationally and internationally.

The international initiative being tested in South Africa, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean is trying to determine how upstream users can be incentivised to protect river catchments, providing more or better quality water to users downstream.

Two sites chosen for the pilot projects are the Ga-Selati River in the Lower Olifants catchment and the Sand River in the Sabie-Sand catchment. The potential for payments for catchment protection services to address water resource management while at the same time improve the livelihoods of the people living upstream has been tested through this project.

The Olifants River catchment was given high priority in the site selection as it is under such extreme stress with a demand for water far exceeding supply. In 2000, water requirements were 965 million cubic metres, but only 781 million cubic metres were available. Projections by the department of water affairs and forestry indicate that this situation is expected to worsen in future, to the detriment of the environment as river flows decrease. The excessive demand for the Olifants River's water resources places tremendous stress on the ecological reserve and compounds events such as the recent fish deaths in Kruger, with the park being the last downstream user in South African before the river enters Mozambique . Some of the 'payments' options that have been identified for the Ga-Selati river include downstream commercial farmers giving up their time to train upstream emergent farmers in the best agricultural practises for saving water. Downstream mines can also provide old piping materials to upstream farmers to reduce water losses from the use of unlined earth canals for irrigation. Other ways of protecting catchments include preventing excessive grazing of livestock in sponge areas or excessive harvesting in wetlands, controlling soil erosion and removing alien invasive vegetation

The Sabie River catchment was chosen as, according to the National Water Act (Act No.36 of 1998), it is one of the first catchments to roll-out the implementation of its Catchment Management Association (CMA). The pilot project will look at how to incorporate payments for catchment protection services into the management plan of a CMA.

The lessons learned from these projects include issues around identify buyers and providers of services, institutional, governance and legal aspects around payments fore environmental services, livelihood and hydrology impacts of this mechanism as well as the economic tradeoffs and benefits of the mechanism. It is hoped that the lessons learnt from these two pilot projects can be extrapolated into other catchments where the mechanism has the best potential to provide effective and efficient solutions to water scarcity and water quality constraints.

For further information on this project, please contact Nicola King at Mintek. Email address: nicolak@mintek.co.za , telephone number 011 709 4392 or visit the project website at www.csir.co.za/ere/markets_4_watershed_services.

This pilot integrated assessment is one of the project activities being carried out under the Government of Uganda UNEP/UNDP Poverty and Environment Initiative.

<<BACK TO TOP

AFRICAN FARMERS AUCTION GHG OFFSETS ON EBAY

An eBay internet shopper can now buy GHG offsets for US$ 20 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, while helping subsistence farmers in Tanzania, India, Uganda, or Kenya . These farmers aim to sequester carbon over the next 10 years under the International Small Group and Tree Planting Program (TIST). There is currently limited demand for LULUCF (land use, land-use change and forestry) credits in the Kyoto compliance market due to certain regulatory restrictions. The TIST eBay boutique is evidence that such carbon emission reductions have value in the non-Kyoto market.

<<BACK TO TOP

RURAL COMMUNITIES AND CARBON: THE NIGER MODEL

Land degradation was identified by local communities as a priority under Niger's Community Action Program (CAP). The Niger carbon project takes into account this priority by implementing community plantations of Acacia Senegal (agro forestry species). The project will bring a multitude of benefits to the local communities. These include environmental benefits from intercropping and land rehabilitation as well as economic benefits from Arabic gum production and the sale of emission reductions.

In addition, the project will improve the lives of youth and women in these communities who actively participate in the operation of the plant nurseries. At the country level, this initiative has made Niger a new player in the global carbon market.

<<BACK TO TOP

UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE SUMMIT CLOSES ON GLOBAL-WARMING DEAL
20 November 2006; Source - Euractiv.com;

A fund and a five-year programme to help developing countries deal with the effects of global warming was the main outcome of the Nairobi conference on climate change. A timetable to review the Kyoto Protocol was also agreed. The 180-nation conference concluded on 17 November with the adoption of the " Nairobi Work programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation " which will be supported by a fund to support concrete adaptation activities in developing countries. "The conference has delivered on its promise to support the needs of developing countries," said Conference President, Kenyan Minister for Natural Resources and the Environment Kivutha Kibwana. "The positive spirit of the conference has prevailed."

A proposal by Brazil to provide incentives to reduce deforestation emissions in developing countries will be further explored in March 2007. Another proposal to allow funds under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism to be used for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects was held up until the technology gains in maturity.

Progress was slower on what to do after 2012 when the targets agreed under the Kyoto Protocol expire. A timetable was agreed to revise the protocol, with a review due in 2008.

This article is reproduced with kind permission of EurActiv.com. Visit EurActiv.com for more news and articles

<<BACK TO TOP

UNITED NATIONS' ANNAN LAUNCHES PLAN TO AID AFRICA ON CLIMATE
15 November 2006; Source: Reuters

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched a plan to help Africa fight global warming and criticised a "frightening lack of leadership" in confronting what he called one of the world's biggest threats. "Global climate change must take its place alongside those threats -- conflict, poverty, the proliferation of deadly weapons -- that have traditionally monopolized first-order political attention," he told ministers at a U.N. conference. Annan announced a plan by six U.N. agencies called the "Nairobi Framework" to help developing nations, especially in Africa, get more funds to promote clean energies such as wind and hydropower. He urged rich donor nations to contribute. Annan also said the U.N.'s environment and development agencies were launching a scheme to help poor nations factor climate change into development plans, such as building roads, bridges or buildings to withstand more floods or droughts.

(Source: http://www.alertnet.org/redir.htm?URL=http://www.reuters.com/)

<<BACK TO TOP

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK EYES CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS
14 November 2006;; Source: Reuters

The African Development Bank (AfDB) may create a new facility for rich nations to fund emission cuts on the world's poorest continent under the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. climate change conference heard on Tuesday.

The Kyoto treaty sets limits on emissions by industrialised countries, but lets them meet these by funding clean energy projects in the developing world. This trade, called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), was worth some $5 billion in the past 20 months or so, but has mostly gone to China, Brazil and India .

"AfDB is concerned about the lack of CDM projects in Africa, but we do have funding for baseline CDM projects," said Wim Klunne, coordinator of the bank's Finesse project, which is developing clean and renewable energy policy for the Tunis-based AfDB.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is expected to announce a two-year plan aimed at helping Africa set up CDM and climate change adaptation projects. Abyd Karmali, European managing director for ICF International consultants working for the AfDB, said the proposed new facility would highlight opportunities for reducing emissions, help countries build capacity to develop projects and establish the necessary institutions. "We are not trying to duplicate activities already ongoing," Karmali said. "We are all very aware of the role of private sector investment (in the CDM)... We are looking at some kind of sign-posting system so the AfDB can identify opportunities." The U.N. says the global CDM trade could reach $100 billion annually by 2050.

<<BACK TO TOP

TANZANIA SET TO BECOME ONE OF THE TEST SITES FOR A SCIENTIFIC MODEL SETTING DOLLAR VALUE FOR ECOSYSTEMS;
1 November 2006; Source - Agence France-Presse

Canadian and US scientists have announced a new scientific model announced aimed at answering questions like'what is a honeybee worth?' and measure the economic costs and benefits of ecosystems to human life. The model was launched in Washington by the World Wildlife Fund, the Nature Conservancy and scientists from Stanford University in California and the University of British Columbia .

Researcher Kai Chan of the University of British Columbia said the model will help estimate the dollar value to people of such "ecosystem services" as mangroves and wetlands.

Such modeling could allow decision-makers to include the costs and benefits of nature conservation when planning developments such as housing, agriculture zones or hydroelectric dams.

Chan said the first part of the model will be put in place in China, Tanzania, Hawaii and the west coast of the United States over the next eight months.

Chan said development plans are often made with little understanding of hidden or future environmental issues that can cause economic loss and even death. For example, Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, and the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were exacerbated by failure to assess the value of nature's "services" in protecting coastlines.

Because US authorities had permitted development to shrink and damage wetlands on Louisiana's coast, there was no natural buffer when Katrina hit New Orleans at a cost to the US economy of some 150 billion dollars, he said.

Throughout Southeast Asia, shrimp farming had wiped out so much mangrove forest that there was nothing to protect against the tsunami, which hit land at full force, killing about 230,000 people.

Chan said that until now there has been no way to effectively measure the value of nature to people, although he noted in some ways its value is "infinite" because without nature people cannot survive.

"Efforts to save wildlife often play out within a win-lose framework that pits conservation against economic opportunity," said Chan.

Chan was lead researcher in a study with Stanford biologist Gretchen Daily titled "Conservation Planning for Ecosystem Services" that measured the value of ecosystem services on a section of the coast in the US state of California . The researchers assessed carbon storage, flood control, forage production, outdoor recreation, pollination of crops such as strawberries and provision of water.

The new model is part of a trend for scientists and economists to measure the natural world in economic terms. Earlier this week a British report by former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern warned that worldwide inaction over climate change could cost the equivalent of between five and 20 percent of global gross domestic product every year.

This article is reproduced with kind permission of Agence France-Presse (AFP). For more news and articles visit the AFP website.

<<BACK TO TOP

March 12 - 17 2007; PAYMENTS FOR WATERSHED SERVICES: Building on pilot experiences to mainstream a tool for sustainable conservation and development. International Meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Conference Centre, Como, Italy .. Organized by Fundación Natura Bolivia, Centre for International Forestry Research, IIED and EcoFund Ecuador.

Demand for water for domestic consumption and agriculture is increasing around the world. However, as human-induced pressures increase, watersheds are providing services of decreasing quality and quantity. Direct, contingent incentive mechanisms for watershed management have emerged in recent years, and there is sustained hope that such "payments for watershed services" (PWS) schemes may have the potential to significantly improve watershed services, and at the same time to protect biodiversity and reduce poverty in the upper sections of many watersheds.

June 2007: TGICA IPCC- Workshop on Integrating Analysis of Regional Climate Change and Response Options

The IPCC Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA) is organizing an expert meeting on climate-society-environment interactions that are important to understanding climate change and its potential implications: Integrating Analysis of Regional Climate Change and Response Options. The purpose of this conference is to explore and stimulate innovative research on connections and feedbacks across space, time and systems at scales appropriate to mitigation and adaptation decision-making. The 3-day expert meeting will be held June 20-22 2007 in Nadi, Fiji . Financial support will be available for invited participants from developing and transition economy countries.

For more information, please contact Neil Leary, PhD; The International START Secretariat; 2000 Florida Avenue NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20009 USA; Phone: 1 202 462 2213; Fax: 1 202 457 5859; Email: nleary@agu.org Website: www.start.org; www.aiaccproject.org

NEW STUDIES & REPORTS

Joint Ecosystem Marketplace & Business for Social Responsibility report on Voluntary Carbon Markets. - Available online at www.ecosystemmarketplace.com

BSR Environmental Markets Trends Report - Available online at :- (http://www.bsr.org/meta/BSR-Trends-Report_Enviro-Markets.pdf )

World Business Council on Sustainable Development reports- "Business & Ecosystems" - Available on-line at http://www.wbcsd.org/DocRoot/OsIFoH95P37LHq0C61Od/Business%20and%20Ecosystems_211106_final.pdf

New Report by UNEP and World Agro forestry Centre on Africa's Untapped Potential to Boost Agriculture and Drinking Water Supplies - Available online at:- www.unep.org and www.worldagroforestry.org

Study on Reducing Emissions from Avoided Deforestation By Johannes Ebeling: Consultant; EcoSecurities; Email johannes.ebeling@ecosecurities.com www.ecosecurities.com;
Available online at : http://news.mongabay.com/2006/1204-avoided_deforestation.html

NEW WEBSITES

CIFOR Webpage on payments for environmental services (PES). You can visit the website at http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/pes/_ref/home/index.htm

United Nations Environment Programme, Yale University "Online Access to Research in the Environment" (OARE). You can visit the website at http://www.oaresciences.org/en/ or c ontact: s erge.bounda@unep.org/paul.walberg@yale.edu/kimberly.parker@yale.edu; Tel : +1 (254-20) 762-3105.

<<BACK TO TOP

 

www.katoombagroup.org