November 2007

FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Katoomba Members,

Greetings and welcome to the eleventh edition of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group e-newsletter.  

Our newsletter aims to keep our readers aware of the latest news and events relating to payments for ecosystem services (PES) around the world.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions, including any articles that you may wish to share with our readers. Please send them by e-mail to aruhweza@forest-trends.org

Yours sincerely

Alice Ruhweza
Coordinator, East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. ESA KATOOMBA NEWS

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

3. PES NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

4. OTHER RELATED NEWS

5. UPCOMING EVENTS

6.  NEW PUBLICATIONS, RESOURCES & TOOLS

ESA KATOOMBA NEWS

THE EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA KATOOMBA GROUP PARTNERS WITH CIFOR TO STUDY BENEFITS CAPTURE FROM PES PROJECTS

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group and the Center for International Forestry and Research (CIFOR) have launched a study (1) to look atcurrent trends in benefits capture from CDM-related and select non-CDM PES in the Eastern African countries of Uganda and Tanzania, and (2) to identify how current policies and institutions are shaping identified patterns of benefits capture.  The study will also assess any negative spin-offs of the emergence of CDM-related PES schemes in the region through literature review and field visits to representative sites. 

For more information about the study please contact Laura German; l.german@cgiar.org or Alice Ruhweza – aruhweza@forest-trends.org

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NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

WORLD BANK TO BUY US $3MILLION WORTH OF CARBON CREDITS FROM UGANDA

The Uganda government will receive US $3 million more from the World Bank as payment for reducing carbon emissions under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) arrangement.

The West Nile rural electrification hydropower plant at Nyagak is the first in Africa to qualify for Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) carbon financing. The Nyagak project yields environmental benefits by reducing carbon-dioxide emissions through hydropower generation and operation of more efficient diesel generators and has shown evidence of reduced use of wood as fuel within the West Nile region. The total cost of the 3.5 Megawatt Nyagak hydropower plant is $14.4 million. The sale of Nyagak carbon-dioxide emission reduction credits to the PCF is estimated at $3 million.

The PCF is a private-pubic partnership operated by the World Bank. The carbon-dioxide emission reduction units will be purchased by the Bank as trustee for the Prototype Carbon Fund. The West Nile Rural Electrification Company Ltd and the World Bank signed the emission reduction purchase agreement in September 2007.

The Uganda government earned $3.6 million in 2002 from the emission reduction agreement signed between Kakira Sugar Works Ltd and Global Environment Facility under the Community Development Carbon Fund.

In a new deal, the Global Environment Facility intends to purchase emission reductions of up to 440,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 10-year period from the Kakira Sugar Works project. The deal is based on a byproduct from the sugar factory which is bagasse (the left over fibre material from sugarcane) which has a high calorific value and can be used to drive turbines to generate electricity. Kakira Sugar Works Ltd is to produce 14 Megawatts of power for its own use and sell the rest — 7 Megawatts — to the national grid by the end of this year.
From the two projects, the Uganda government’s CDM earnings will now stand at $6.6 million.

Philip Gwage, Assistant Commissioner for Meteorology at Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment, however said that African countries are not getting a fair share of the CDM cake; the bulk of CDM projects are going to Asia (India and China) and Latin America (Brazil). Mr. Gwage pointed out that the main barriers for African countries are weak institutional and technical capacity, weak private sector players and lack of financing. He said energy efficiency is an important contribution that individuals, companies and governments can make to help reduce carbon emissions. The switch last year to energy-efficient lighting bulbs by the Uganda government is seen as one of the CDM initiatives.

For more details, see http://dtweekly.blogspot.com/2007/10/wb-to-buy-3m-carbon-credits-from-uganda.html

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FIRST EVER CARBON NEUTRAL CONFERENCE IN EAST AFRICA HELD IN NAIROBI

The first carbon neutral conference in East Africa was held in Nairobi as the Eco-tourism society of Kenya (ESOK) seeks to raise awareness on global warming that has previously generated more talk than action. The society calculated the carbon footprint of the conference and paid off what is expected to be emitted during the three day conference to a CO2 Balance – a carbon offsetting company in Kenya. Calculations were based on the distance each of the 100 delegates will travel, including seven delegates who will be coming in from South Africa, Sudan, and Tanzania

Co2 Balance has already enabled carbon zero operations at Capital FM Radio station, Naivasha Horticultural Fair and Azalea Restaurant in Nairobi. The company, which started last year, uses proceeds from the offsets for energy efficiency projects in schools, solar energy solutions and biogas generation from animal waste.

Source: The Daily Monitor Newspaper; October 23rd, 2007; www.monitor.co.ug
For more about CO2 Balance visit www.co2balance.com

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UGANDANS PLAN TO LOBBY THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT TO PUSH FOR “AVOIDED DEFORESTATION” IN BALI
Source: The East African Newspaper; October 22-28, 2007

Ugandan lobby groups have asked Government to lobby world leaders at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be held in Kampala from November 19-26, 2007, to support a proposal on climate change that will see natural forests included in the international carbon credit scheme. They hope that the commonwealth countries, if persuaded, will push this issue at the UNFCCC meeting in Bali in December.

“We want the president and the cabinet to get the message across to CHOGM so that we have a strong position during the convention in Bali” said Professor Ian Swingland (Chief Scientist, at Sustainable Forestry Management) while briefing Ugandan Members of Parliament and other stakeholders on climate change and global warming.

Getting the President to sponsor the resolution would be beneficial for Uganda’s conservation efforts. For example if Mabira and Budongo Forests are conserved in their natural state, they would be worth US$ 29 million and $100 million respectively. The two forests are estimated to be sequestering over 290,000 and 800,000 tonnes of CO2 respectively. However, Uganda has not been able to sell those carbon credits because natural forests are not included in the global carbon trading scheme as of now.
 
For more details on this story visit: www.nationmedia.com/eastafrican
For more on Professor Swingland's Speech, please visit www.ugandacarbon.org

 

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ECOTRUST HELPS OFFSET CHOGM CARBON EMISSIONS

The organisers of this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) are seeking to offset their carbon emissions with the help of ECOTRUST (The Environment Conservation Trust of Uganda). ECOTRUST’s task is to offset carbon emissions resulting from the travel. The meeting is estimated to be attended by over 4000 participants from the various commonwealth member countries. ECOTRUST will offset the emissions with carbon sequestration activities resulting from planting native tree species

For more details see http://peoplesforum.britishcouncil.org/2007/10/16/ecotrust-helps-offset-chogm-carbon-emissions-and-each-individual-action-counts-2/

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MADAGASCAR CALLS FOR 'ECOLOGICAL PARTNERSHIPS' TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

Africa and the industrialized world should form an "ecological partnership" in which African States supply clean energy and other natural products and wealthy countries increase their investment in the continent, Madagascar's President told national leaders gathered at the recent UN General Assembly

The Malagasy President said the possibilities in Africa for producing new and clean forms of energy and reducing the output of carbon dioxide were enormous. "Madagascar could provide some of the energy needs through the development of hydro energy. And half of Madagascar could be reforested. Our island, called the red island, could once again, be known as the green island. Such a partnership could contribute substantially to finding real solutions to some of the climate problems, through a programme of investment. Other important features would be nature conservation, and the preservation of our biodiversity. I am convinced that Africa could be the supplier of clean energy, medicinal and industrial plants, as well as other natural products in the future. The world is bound to need more and more of these."

For more details see http://www.planet2025news.net/ntext.rxml?id=5079&photo

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PES NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

MEXICO - RAINFOREST-2-REEF HELPS BRING BACK THE RIGHTFUL STEWARDS OF THE CALAKMUL RESERVE

The Rainforest-2-Reef program in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico finds is using payments for ecosystem services to promote sustainable development in the buffer zones of the Calakmul National Park. The non-profit organization has partnered with the tourism operator, EcoColors, based in the tourist center of Cancun to raise USD $300 from every eco-tour reservation which goes as a donation to Rainforest-2-Reef. More recently, the NGO developed a program in which individual donors can, with just a click of a mouse, pay to protect a hectare of rainforest or buy carbon offset credits. The money raised is used to "lease" this forest land for conservation from the owners of the land in the buffer zone or to pay them to participate in conservation activities such as reforestation projects.

Rainforest-2-Reef also works with the Mayan indigenous group that are the legal and traditional owners of part of the Calakmul National Park buffer zone to reclaim and restore their land after being pushed out by settlers who migrated into the region and cleared it for farming.
 
For more information contact: Heliot Zarza, Program manager, info@rainforest2reef.org or visit the  Rainforest-2-Reef website at http://www.rainforest2reef.org/

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OTHER RELATED NEWS

THE WORLD BANK INTRODUCES NEW CARBON FINANCE FACILITIES TO BENEFIT DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

The Bank is working to increase the world’s ability to tackle global climate change and deforestation with two new carbon finance facilities to benefit developing countries. The two new carbon facilities, which could total as much as USD 800 million, aim at providing financial support for developing countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) will target investment into projects that prevent deforestation by compensating developing countries for carbon reductions made by keeping forests. This fund has a target size of USD 300 million. The Carbon Partnership Facility, with a target size of USD 500 million, will mainly be used to finance investment in the energy sector - renewable technology, energy efficiency and gas flaring, as well as waste management and transportation.

For more details see http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:21506175~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

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UNEP FI INAUGURAL EAST AFRICAN BANKERS ROUNDTABLE HIGHLIGHTS, AMONG OTHERS, BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN CLIMATE CHANGE

The UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) held their inaugural sustainable finance roundtable in East Africa on October 1st, 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya. The event, hosted by Citigroup, welcomed senior financial sector delegates and government representatives from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The main aim of the roundtable was to provide clarity of the strategies, products and responses leading financial institutions can take to responds to environment, social and governance issues.

One of the hot topics discussed was climate change. Various presentations highlighted ways the financial sector can get involved in combating climate change by, for example, introducing innovative financing mechanisms to provide credit for projects that reduce GHG, and providing financing to their clients to introduce technological innovations that result in emission reductions or even investing in purchasing homegrown credits.

East African financial institutions will look to learn from their counterparts which are starting to shift from awareness to action in using investment to help solve the climate crisis. For example, HSBC announced the launch of climate change fund in September, and last week Deutsche Bank appointed a climate change strategist and published a white paper on climate change investing.  Furthermore, a new report from Innovest Strategic Value Advisors finds that, companies addressing climate change proactively do tend to make more money-. The 'Carbon Beta' study shows that companies minimizing risks and seizing opportunities associated with climate change financially out-performed their same sector peers over the past three years--with the premium growing over time as carbon regulations tighten around the world. Ironically, the report estimates that only a tiny fraction of investors advocating for corporate action on climate change are using investment tools to promote such action. (See http://www.innovestgroup.com/)

The International Finance Corporation is also taking first steps in this direction. At the annual meeting of its parent World Bank Group, IFC committed to create a new methodology to measure the impact on climate change of its entire investment portfolio, and to help its clients assess their climate change vulnerability. IFC's strategy will inform the overall World Bank Group strategy starting in 2008.

For more on the East Africa bankers conference contact phillip.walker@unepfi.org
And for more information on how various financial institutions are investing in climate change see www.csrwire.com/news/9945.html

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FOOD MILES OR POVERTY ERADICATION?
By Benito Muller
Published by Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

The concept of ‘food miles’ – the ecological impacts of food transport, particularly long-haul aviation – is increasingly being used by some organisations to encourage the buying of local produce as an environment-friendly gesture. One example is fresh strawberries in the midst of winter, transported by air freight from countries like Kenya.

The author argues that It is not necessarily true, that the carbon footprint of strawberries grown in Kenya is higher than that of out-of-season strawberries grown in the UK, even if air freight emissions are included. Indeed, he says, there have been a number of studies which demonstrate that this need not be the case. For climate change purposes, the concept of 'food miles' is at best simplistic and can lead to unfair trade distortions which end up penalising the very people who already bear an unfair burden of the impacts of climate change.While to the more austere fresh strawberries in winter may appear as frivolous luxuries regardless of their provenance, there is an all-important moral difference that must not be ignored, namely the degree to which they help alleviate poverty in the producing countries. This aspect must be taken into consideration even if the local produce were indeed less carbon intensive, argues Muller.
 
The Facts
 
A number of studies analysing the total carbon footprint of agrarian products, particularly those sold in the UK, have conclusively shown that the full life-cycle climate change impact of food supply in industrialised countries cannot be reduced to simple distances between consumers and producers. According to DfID, research shows that the emissions produced by growing flowers in Kenya and flying them to the UK can be less than a fifth of those grown in heated and lighted greenhouses in Holland. (In short, it is plain that ‘food miles’ – the distance between grower/producer and consumer – are woefully inadequate as a measure of the climate change impacts of agricultural produce, indeed of any product! What is required instead is a full life-cycle carbon footprint analysis.
 
The emissions due to importing fresh produce from the poorest and most vulnerable countries are manageable. The transport carbon dioxide emissions associated with fresh fruit and vegetable imports to the UK from Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) have been estimated to be between 279,000 and 686,000 tCO2, which at current prices would cost between £2.8m and £6.7m to offset through, say, the acquisition of credits (CER’s) generated.
 
The harm to the poorest and most vulnerable countries through boycotting their fresh agricultural produce is significant. “While the climate change debate identifies air freighted fresh produce from Sub-Saharan Africa as the epitome of unsustainable consumption, research shows over one million livelihoods are supported in part owing to the fresh produce trade with the UK alone.” (9) According to the Kenyan High Commission OIES in London, (10) the Kenyan horticultural industry supports around 135,000 Kenyans directly and many hundreds of thousands more indirectly, and the produce supplied to the UK alone generates at least £100m per year for Kenya. In other words, the benefits of trading these high value-added goods for these countries are significant.
 
Possible Solutions
 
Some of the solutions proposed by the paper include:-

  1. Equitable offsetting. Use public finance to offset the international transport emissions generated for fresh fruit and vegetables imported from the poorest and most vulnerable countries, say through the acquisition and retirement of credits generated under the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism, preferably in the producing countries, indeed in the producing sectors in question, thus providing not only a double sustainable development dividend, but also providing much needed pilot CDM projects in these countries.
  2. Fair labelling. Use proper carbon labelling – such as that currently developed by the UK Carbon Trust – ensuring that the carbon offsets are taken into account, as well emphasising the development benefits of these produce, be it indirectly as in the ‘grown under the sun’ labels proposed by the Kenyan High Commission, or directly through some sort of fair trade label, to assure the poverty eradication benefits.)
  3. Support of shift towards less carbon intensive transport. In addition to offsetting the offending international transport emissions the consumer countries should also help the producers by improving maritime technology to make it amenable for shipping their products, as well as to help them grow produce of equal social benefit which can be transported by sea.

 
Given that the boycott of fresh produce from the poorest and most vulnerable countries will have a significant negative impact on their efforts to eradicate their poverty, the author argues that eating Kenyan strawberries at Christmas, in other words, is not a guilty pleasure, it is (part of) a moral obligation!

 For the full article visit www.oxfordclimatepolicy.org/publications/mueller.html - 58k -

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UPCOMING EVENTS

13th – 15th November, 2007
CARBON MARKETS AFRICA - THE PAVILION CONFERENCE CENTRE, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Join leading climate change experts at Carbon Markets Africa and find out:

  • What is being done to develop the market for CDM projects in Africa with policy and market updates from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South African Designated National Authority, Department of Trade and Industry and the UNFCCC;
  • How business leaders are generating new revenue streams from trading carbon emissions with commercial case studies from Sasol Nitro, AES Nitrates and the Anglo American;
  • What financing options are available for CDM project developers with expert input from Investec Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Bank and the Development Bank of South Africa, and
  • How the voluntary carbon market can help sustainable and social development.

The workshop will also include a Project Developer Coaching Seminar on, 13th November 2007 which will provide prospective project developers with an in-depth introduction to the carbon markets.  Attendees will learn best practice ways to develop projects that are attractive to the carbon credit buyers, providing a roadmap for successfully entering the market.

For more on these two events see www.greenpowerconferences.com/carbonmarkets/carbonmarkets_capetown07.html?gclid=CPzGxPqTjY4CFQQdEgodWD1gDw______________________________________

19th – 21s November, 2007
POVERTY AND ENVIRONMENT PARTNERSHIP MEETING, WASHINGTON DC. For more see www.povertyandenvironment.net______________________________________

November 22-23, 2007
INTERNATIONAL REGIME, AVOIDED DEFORESTATION AND THE EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FOREST POLICIES IN THE SOUTH. PARIS, FRANCE
Towards an International Forest Regime through the Convergence of Public Policies and the Rise of Private Initiatives.  For more information see www.iufro.org/events/rss/ -______________________________________

3rd – 6th December, 2007
6TH TANZANIA WILDLIFE RESEARCH INSTITUTE (TAWIRI) SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE; Arusha, Tanzania. Conference theme is "Consequences of Global Environmental Changes to Natural Ecosystems".
Abstracts are invited on the following conference sub themes;-
* Environmental changes and conservation.
* Biodiversity and Monitoring
* Wildlife diseases
* Human-wildlife Interactions
* Wildlife ecology and behavior
* Wildlife socio-economics and ecotourism

Deadline for submitting abstracts is: Friday August 30th, 2007. Abstracts should be sent to:
conference@tawiri.org . For more information see: www.tawiri.org

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RESOURCES AND TOOLS

TEACHING THE NEW CARBON MATH – THE GREEN HOUSE GAS MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

WRI staff are teaching corporate carbon accounting as part of the newly-formed Greenhouse Gas Management Institute. The initiative, a joint effort of Earth Council Geneva, the GHG Experts Network and ClimateCHECK, will use WRI's Greenhouse Gas Protocol to train professionals on measuring and managing GHG emissions. 
The first classes are open for enrollment, and are due to begin November 1st. More information is available at the website -- http://www.ghginstitute.org; E-Mail: info@ghginstitute.org______________________________________

IIED LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE ON PAYMENT FOR WATERSHED SERVICES

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has launched a new website that will be an invaluable resource for anyone involved in promoting water-based PES projects. Along with a
searchable database of case studies on country-specific payment for watershed service programs, a number of very insightful reports that analyze the impact and effectiveness of these types of programs are also available for download. One particularly helpful component of the site is a glossary of the terms. Be sure to look on the "Resources" page for the contact information, organized by region, of organizations involved in PES throughout the world.
To access the website visit http://www.watershedmarkets.org/______________________________________

EUROPE - EUROPEAN UNION FUNDS "TOOL KIT" FOR DEVELOPMENT OF CDM CARBON OFFSET PROJECTS

The application process for CDM projects is both complicated and costly and because of this very few have been approved. The cost and complexity of the process is so great, in fact, that it puts forest-based CDM projects out of reach of the budgets and technical capabilities of most rural communities. In response to this problem, Europe AID, the European Union's international development assistance agency, sponsored a program to develop a framework for these types of CDM projects that is favorable and "user friendly" for communities. The program, called ENCOFOR (ENvironment and COmmunity based framework for designing afFORestation, reforestation and revegetation projects in the CDM: methodology development and case studies), is currently being tested with some success at sites in Uganda, Kenya, Bolivia and Ecuador.

For more information on the project and tools they have
developed, see the ENCOFOR website  http://www.joanneum.at/encofor/index.html

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NEW PUBLICATIONS

THE STATE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE 2007- PAYING FARMERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

This report, to be launched next month, focuses on Payments for Environmental Services (PES) and their potential to encourage farmers to improve land management decisions and increase provision of environmental services.

The report will available at: http://www.fao.org/es/esa/en/pubs_sofa_07.htm______________________________________

AFRICA - THE STATE OF PLAY: PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
by Alice Ruhweza and Sissel Waage

Over the past two years, the non-profit organization Forest Trends has commissioned a series of country-level inventories of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in select East and Southern African nations.  These inventories were designed to highlight the gaps that must be addressed in order to expand PES in the region. One of the most important findings is that ecosystem service payments and environmental markets are already widespread in East and Southern Africa. The study found PES programs currently operating in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa. The report catalogues no fewer than 17 carbon projects, 18 biodiversity projects and 10 water projects. Money has already exchanged hands in 5 carbon projects, 2 biodiversity projects and 2 water projects. In addition, there are several projects that are already offering non-monetary compensation, especially in the case of biodiversity-based projects.
Read the full report at ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/article.opinion.php?component_id=5108&component_version_id=7498&language_id=12

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NEWSLETTERS

We invite you to look at the Katoomba Group’s other newsletters.

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