Dear Katoomba Members,
Greetings and welcome to the fourth edition of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group e-newsletter.
Our newsletter aims to keep our readers aware of the latest news about the network, to reinforce the links between members and to inform members about events and initiatives relating to payments for ecosystem services (PES) around the world.
We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.
Coordinator, East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group.
1. ESA KATOOMBA NEWS
2. NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES IN THE REGION
3. PES FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN
4. OTHER RELATED NEWS
5. UPCOMING EVENTS
East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group talks PES with Uganda’s Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources
On February 27th, 2007, the National Environment Management Authority invited theEast and Southern Africa Katoomba Group Coordinator to speak to the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources. The Coordinator, Ms. Alice Ruhweza talked about the role of Government in creating an enabling environment for markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). Ms. Ruhweza told the members of Parliament that in order to scale up PES in Uganda, the Government needs to formulate pro-PES policies and legislation and develop a code of conduct for PES. She stressed that without Government support, the deals would remain small and ad hoc, and may not be considered legitimate enough to entice the private sector to invest in PES. Ms. Ruhweza also called on Government to build supporting institutions for PES in order to reduce the transaction costs. She also saw the role of Government to include monitoring performance of the ecosystems to ensure that they are improving over time and that payments are reaching all stakeholders. For more information, contact email@example.com.
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PES Learning Tools section of the Katoomba website launched
The Katoomba Group has launched a "PES Learning Tools" section on their website www.katoombagroup.org. The "PES Learning Tools" webpage will make it easier to find and share resources for PES If you have tools that you are ready to share, please upload them directly on http://22.214.171.124/~katoomba/learning_tools.php or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
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The Uganda Urban Stove Improvement Project seeks to sell carbon credits
The Urban Stove Improvement Project provides high quality, affordable stoves to replace inefficient metal charcoal burners and three-stone wood fires. The improved charcoal models have been shown to reduce charcoal consumption by an average of 37% and are capable of saving more than half the fuel used previously. The project also offers fuel-saving wood stoves, with wood savings on average of 58%.
According to the project team, these stoves will significantly reduce green house gas emissions (GHGs) while simultaneously offering co-benefits to families in the form of relief from high fuel costs and reduced exposure to health-damaging airborne pollutants. On average, the improved charcoal stove will save the a household approximately $130 USD over three years, and the improved wood stove will save approximately $50 USD over three years
GHG emission reductions will come from reduced fuel use, less global warming intensive combustion products (due to improved combustion efficiency) and avoided charcoal making and its related GHG emissions. The total reductions are estimated conservatively to be 1.28 million tones of CO2 equivalent during the project period. The project has already attracted interest from Climate care and will be seeking other buyers in due course
The project is based on pilot work by the Urban Community Development Association of Uganda (UCODEA), working with assistance from the Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development based at the University of California, Berkeley. Initial support for the project was provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency – Partnership for Clean Door Air.
For more information contact Dana Charron, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Gearing up for PES in Madagascar
In order to get ready for scaling up PES in Madagascar, The Wildlife Conservation Society (Madagascar) and the Sustainable Finance Committee in collaboration with USAID launched a study of all possibilities of PES in the Northeast of Madagascar Atongil Bay landscape. The final report will be available in September 2007.
Furthermore, the World Bank and the Ministry of the Environment through the “Designated National Authority” (DNA) trained the private sector (such as TOTAL Energy, D1Bio ethanol project), NGOs (such as Tany Meva, Cooperation Suisse, Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society) and local partners on carbon sequestration and avoided deforestation. Experts from the World Bank presented different experiences from Morocco, Tunisia and related them to local projects in Madagascar, such as Makira with Wildlife Conservation Society and Mantadia with Conservation International. The goal was to raise awareness about the carbon market; to identify potential carbon projects and to and to inform decision makers about the mechanism.
In addition, a round table was held with the University, GTZ and Intercooperation Suisse as well as other development partners in Madagascar to elaborate the methodology of the Madagascar post-Kyoto strategy focused on carbon sequestration and the credit market.
The Madagascar national network on the PES is being mainstreamed in the Ministry of Environment. A staff member will be nominated to handle all PES issues. The Ministry has two structures to collaborate with the PES team: (1) the Sustainable Finance Committee and (2) the Designated National Authority which manages all projects linked with climate change and explores financials mechanism for conservation. The institutional support is very important for the national network to succeed. For more information, contact Nirina A. RANDIMBY (Benitany); Email: email@example.com
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Exploring Ecosystem Service Payments on Mangrove Forests in Kenya
In Kenya, mangrove forests cover an area of 54,000 ha; representing 0.3% of global mangrove cover. A history of unsustained utilization and conversion to other land-uses has reduced the mangrove cover. Loss of mangrove has in turn affected local economy through a shortage of building poles and firewood, reduction in fishery stocks, and increased coastal erosion. Conservation alone cannot reverse these conditions; artificial regeneration is desirable in order to rehabilitate degraded areas and convert disturbed forests into uniform stands of higher productivity.
Compared to other ecosystems, mangrove forests have been rated among the most productive in the world - after tropical rainforests and coral reefs. In addition to providing a range of goods and services critical to human needs, such as; building materials and firewood, tannins, fodder and herbal medicines, mangroves also provide invaluable ecosystem services. They serve as breeding ground for juvenile fish, control erosion, serve as defences against extreme weather conditions e.g. tsunami and hurricanes and also, in the current context of climate change, act as sinks for excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, increased human pressure has led to global reduction in mangrove cover at a rate exceeding 1% per annum, therefore, suggesting a need to have in a place a proper, environmentally sound and economically sustainable scheme to utilize this resource.
Aware of the vital ecological and economic roles played by mangroves, the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), in collaboration with other conservation and development partners, initiated a program to rehabilitate mangroves in 1990. While initial goal of the program was to return the lost forests, early success of the project led to broadening of the program objectives to include; biodiversity conservation, shoreline protection, carbon sequestration and community development.
To date, over 2.0 million mangrove trees have been replanted at Gazi bay alone. Survival rates ranges from less than 10% in high energy areas to more than 70% in areas protected from strong waves.
In order to enhance community participation and improve community livelihood KMFRI has initiated community based mangrove ecotourism enterprise through the construction of boardwalks across the mangroves. The current mangrove boardwalk at Gazi village measuring a length of 350m was constructed with financial support from Oveljise Community in Brussels and International Ocean Institute (IOI). Visitors to the boardwalk are charged a small levy equivalent to US$ 4 for non-residents and US$ 0.3 for residents. The project will serve as a model of creating awareness on the non-extractive values of the mangroves.
In a study to evaluate economic returns of replanted forest, KMFRI scientists identified major goods and services from a 12 year old mangrove plantation as: firewood and building poles; coastal protection, ecotourism, research and education, carbon sequestration and on-site fishery. The net value of extractable wood products (fuel wood and building poles) from the plantation was estimated at US$ 379.17/ha/yr. For non extractable products, however, the net value ranged from US$ 44.44/ha/yr in carbon sequestration to US$ 770.23/ha/ for research and education. The total economic value of 12 year old mangrove plantation was therefore US$2902.89/ha/yr. These findings reveal that it is economically viable for the government to invest in mangrove reforestation. Even with such a net gain realized from mangrove reforestation, the major question remains how to compensate community groups involved in mangrove conservation in their areas. KMFRI suggests that PES should be looked into as one alternative ways of compensation. Details on how such a scheme would work are still being worked out. For more information, contact Dr J. G. Kairo ; Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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ENVIRO-CARE seeks buyers for carbon credits from mini-hydro power project in Tanzania
ENVIRO-CARE is developing mini hydro power generation of between 2MW to 20MW to enhance and supplement power supply in Tanzania.
According to ENVIRO CARE, only 10% of the 35 million people in Tanzania have access to electricity. Without electricity, people depend on forest products (wood) and petroleum products for daily power use. This increases deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, 45% of the electricity power generated is derived from thermal sources which use petroleum products. This exacerbates carbon dioxide emissions and is very expensive; costing the Government approximately, US$ 120million each year.
ENVIRO CARE is in the process of calculating the tonnes of carbon that the mini-hydro project will be able to avert; and also seeking assistance for certification. Interested buyers should contact Maffa Chizara; Email: email@example.com
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Ethiopia Rainwater Harvesting Project Wins 5th Swiss Re Award for Sustainable Watershed Management
The Ethiopian Rainwater Harvesting Association (ERHA) has won Swiss Re's 2007 International ReSource Award for Sustainable Watershed Management. The ERHA will receive up to USD 80 000 for the implementation of a rainwater harvesting system to provide access to drinking water to a vulnerable community located in Southern Ethiopia, 600km south of Addis Ababa..
According to the World Bank, 88% of the rural population in Ethiopia has insufficient access to clean drinking water. This is particularly true for rural communities inhabiting the Borana zone, in Southern Ethopia, where people are largely dependent on open water sources of unreliable quality, responsible for diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and a high child mortality rate.
The ERHA project aims to improve water availability for household activities and small-scale production by installing water harvesting techniques. Sand dams and storage tanks will be set up to provide access to reliable clean water for at least 2 000 people in more than ten rural communities. The award of USD 80 000 will be paid in two tranches: USD 50 000 upon completion of the pilot; a further USD 30 000 will be released upon scaling-up of the project.
Ivo Menzinger, Head Sustainability & Emerging Risk Management for Swiss Re and Chairman of the International ReSource Award Jury, comments: "The project distinguishes itself through combining the implementation of a straightforward and proven technology with an approach involving all local stakeholder groups. It thus creates strong emotional ties and local support while providing access to a reliable source of water for more than 10 communities."
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Tropical America Katoomba Group Steering Committee discusses work plan for 2007
Fifteen Steering Committee members of the Tropical America Katoomba Group met in Colombia on February 20, 2007 to discuss and develop the TAKG workplan for 2007. The meeting created a space for those present to engage in issues relevant to their work and develop a plan for the best strategic focus of the network and the organizations that are a part of it. TAKG work for 2007 will focus on three principal initiatives:
- Strengthening network infrastructure: A broad initiative that focuses on capacity building and creating an enabling environment so that resources, tools, information and technical assistance are available for those engaged or seeking to engage in PES. One key component is the development of Rapid Response Teams, which utilize available expertise from the network to share knowledge and give technical input to projects of other network members; interactions are monitored and reported back to share knowledge with the broader group.
- Avoided Deforestation: This initiative focuses on promoting the inclusion of credits from avoided deforestation in international regulatory and voluntary markets. The TAKG will work with a select group of experts to create/select, promote and use a standard for land-based carbon projects, publishing issue briefs to engage the broader public in the negotiation and facilitation of land-based carbon transactions.
- Development of a fund for ecosystem services: The work will facilitate the development of a fund for ecosystem services, which will provide high-quality ecosystem services to private and public investors. In the process, TAKG will evaluate methodologies and certification standards to be applied to projects, define the institutional structure and financial mechanisms of the fund, and finally, will select ecosystem services projects to deliver units to the fund. It is expected that the ground work for this initiative will take place throughout the year.
For more information, contact Carina Bracer – firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE COCA-COLA COMPANY AND USAID TO EXPAND WATER PARTNERSHIP IN AFRICA
On March 22, 2007, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca-Cola Company announced a $7 million joint investment in nine new water projects in Africa. The projects will be located in Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana/Ivory Coast. Working together since November 2005, USAID and The Coca-Cola Company have supported water partnership activities in Bolivia, Mali, Indonesia, Malawi, Egypt, Thailand, Uganda and South Africa. The new projects in Africa provide locally-driven solutions to address the global water crisis, growing the global partnership's investments from $3 million to $10 million.
The partnership between USAID and The Coca-Cola Company was established in 2005. Dr. Sharon Murray, Freshwater Program Manager with the USAID Water Team said of the partnership, "Our alliance with Coca-Cola is an excellent example of how a development agency can effectively join forces with a private sector partner to address our common concern about the global water crisis, bringing tangible benefits to communities in the developing world.
In its first group of projects, the USAID/Coca-Cola water partnership has improved water supply services, hygiene, household water disinfection and watershed management in several African countries. In Mali, 21,000 people have seen an increase in access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and 1,000 people have been able to carry out small-scale garden irrigation to increase nutrition and incomes. Around Malawi's Mt. Mulanje, residents are benefiting from clean water and soil conservation efforts.
Planning is underway to expand and deepen the impact of the USAID/Coca-Cola partnership in future years throughout the countries where both organizations work. "We are focused on water because it is fundamental to sustainable communities," said Dr. Dan Vermeer, Director of Global Water Partnerships at The Coca-Cola Company. "While water is a key ingredient in all of our beverages, we recognize it is a shared resource that we must protect and preserve in all the communities where we operate." He added, "Our relationship with USAID is a positive example of how public-private partnerships can provide localized support to those with the greatest needs for water and sanitation services while ensuring water resources are managed to serve future generations."
A multi-year effort, the partnership capitalizes on the strengths and experience of its partner institutions, which include USAID, The Coca-Cola Company and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF). These three partners work together on the collaborative development and implementation of water activities. The relationship demonstrates how government, business and the NGO community can engage to solve global water problems in innovative ways.
Copyright Business Wire 2007;for more information please contact: Lisa Manley; The Coca-Cola Company; 404-676-4571; www.coca-cola.com
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WORLD BANK PLANNING POST-2012 CARBON FUND
Source: Carbon Finance
The World Bank is planning a fund to buy carbon credits generated from 2013 onwards, according to Robert Watson, the Bank’s chief scientist. He told Carbon Finance that the Bank would like to raise around $1 billion into such a fund, but added that the project was pending board approval, and no firm decision on its formation had been made. “We’re in conversations with government and the private sector to see if there’s an appetite for it.”
The World Bank has long been concerned that, without an international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, emissions reductions projects will find it increasingly hard to raise finance as that date approaches. This is because the value of their carbon revenue streams falls away to almost zero after 2012.
Watson expects the Bank to design and launch such a fund over the next year, given sufficient interest, and board approval. An issue would be that the fund would be buying reductions that may not be recognised by a future regime. One concern is that “we don’t want to prejudge where regulations are going on post-Kyoto,” he added.
Longer term, Watson would like the Bank to establish a much larger fund that would provide up-front financing to emissions reduction projects, in exchange for rights over their carbon credits as they were generated.
Currently, most carbon buyers pay for credits as they are delivered, making it difficult for developers to use carbon finance to kick-start projects. The new fund – for which Watson believes $10 billion-20 billion, over the long term, would be required – would offer a combination of grant and soft-loan financing. It would be replenished by the sale of carbon reductions generated by the projects, he said.
The idea of such a facility came out of the World Bank’s Clean Energy Investment Framework, which it is working on at the behest of the G8, following the July 2005 Gleneagles meeting.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC23529
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U.S. EXPERTS SUPPORT GOVERNMENT OF ETHIOPIA TO RESTORE RANGELANDS
A team of four fire technical experts from the United States Forest Service (USFS) will be assisting in a series of planned fires in the Negelle area of the Oromia Regions of Ethiopia. Restoration of fire to these rangelands will increase fodder for livestock grazing, and ultimately increase food security for pastoralist communities. The prescribed burns are at the request of the Government of Ethiopia and support the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Pastoralist Livelihoods Initiative (PLI).
As a result of fire suppression in the Afar and Oromia Regions for some 30 years, former rangelands which provided food for livestock have been overrun by thorny invasive species that prevent grazing. The PLI is working with the Government of Ethiopia to return fire to land that depends on it for healthy survival in an effort to improve the lives of Ethiopian pastoralists. Controlled rangeland fires repair the health and overall ecological integrity of the land by removing invasive species and allowing new growth.
The US fire experts will also be working in collaboration with in-country partners, including PARIMA, Save the Children, and CARE. Two to four sites will be selected in partnership with government officials, and the burns will begin the week of March 12th.
For additional information, please contact Mr. Yacob Wondimkun or Mr. John Stamm (tel: 251-11-551-0088) with USAID/Ethiopia’s Business, Environment, Agriculture and Trade Office.
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WORLD INCHING CLOSER TO GLOBAL CLIMATE COLLABORATION?
More than a hundred legislators from key developed and developing countries recently reached a non-binding agreement on tackling climate change, looking to implement emissions targets for all. A group of global private sector companies and organisations agreed on the need for a "bold" framework for tackling climate change in the near future.
Parliamentarians from the G8 major industrialised countries 'plus 5' (China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa) met at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., from 14-15 February at a "Legislators Forum on Climate Change" to discuss how best to reduce the global risks of severe climate change impacts and forge collaboration to stop to rise of atmospheric greenhouse gases.
The forum took place shortly after the release of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- the scientific body examining global climate research -- concluded that humans are to blame for climate change. It concluded by adopting a "Washington Statement," in which the parliamentarians stressed that human induced climate change is now "beyond doubt". "Climate change is a global issue and there is an obligation on us all to take action, in line with our capabilities and historic responsibilities," they said. They urged, among other, the establishment of a global market to trade carbon dioxide emissions as this was "the most efficient and powerful way to stimulate investment" in new technologies. Intergovernmental, regional and private-public initiatives and partnerships would all be needed to spur innovation.
The legislators called for action on creating a global regime for binding emissions reduction post 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires. The next meeting in this process will take place in November this year in Bali, and the legislators expressed hope that the G8 summit could provide a strong political message to help deliver results there.
The "Washington Statement" on climate cooperation by G8 + 5 parliamentarians is available at
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BANK OF AMERICA LAUNCHES $ 20 BILLION ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE INCLUDING SUPORT FOR TRADING IN CARBON UNITS
Bank of America Corporation recently launched a US$ 20 billion environmental initiative which includes support for trading in carbon units. The bank will launch the capability to trade carbon emissions credits, a move designed "to enable clients to achieve carbon emission neutrality through existing and emerging market mechanisms.
By pushing for carbon trading, Bank of America's promoting a practice that could help reduce greenhouse gases while scoring big trading profits from derivatives and other instruments tied to the practice. Carbon trading works by assigning a dollar value to carbon dioxide emissions. Companies then trade credits that give them permission to emit a set amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, effectively giving them the potential to gain financially when they reduce air pollution.
Another component of the environmental initiative 's an eco-friendly credit card. For every dollar spent, the bank will make a contribution to an environmental organization to invest in greenhouse-gas reduction projects.
The bank is also evaluating investment management solutions that incorporate forest conservation principles consistent with those defined by the Forest Stewardship Council.
In addition, Bank of America will commit $1.4 billion to achieve LEED certification -- short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- in all new construction facilities and banking centers, including a New York City skyscraper expected to open late in 2008.
The Bank will also donate $50 million from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support non-profit organizations focused on forest preservation, innovative energy conservation, development of green, affordable housing, and other programs.
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30 April -11 May, 2007 : UN CSD-15. The fifteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) will focus on the areas of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, and climate change. For further information contact the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; tel: +1 212 963 8102; fax: +1 212 963 4260; e-mail: email@example.com; internet: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/policy.htm.
3 - 4 May 2007: "INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY & DEVELOPMENT IN EAST AFRICA”. This Conference will be held at the National Museums of Kenya. The conference is part of the plans for the formation of an East Africa wide professional body -Ecological Society of East Africa (ESEA). For comments and enquiries, contact : Dr. Nicholas O. Oguge, Earthwatch Institute, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Nathan Gichuki, University of Nairobi; Email: email@example.com
24-26 August 2007: CARBON CYCLE RESEARCH IN AFRICA; Kruger NP, South Africa Symposium and field visit to Kruger National Park. The meeting will bring together a number of regional and international experts working on carbon cycle sciences in the African continent. Topics of discussion will include regional carbon budgets, urban and regional carbon management, bioenergy, carbon-biodiversity interactions, and other key terrestrial and aquatic processes and fluxes of the carbon cycle (natural, managed and human dimensions of the carbon cycle). All groups are invited to participate. A trip to Kruger National Park is scheduled to visit a number of observation and experimental facilities used in carbon research. For more information contact: Guy Midgley, Pep Canadell and Shobhakar Dhakal
12-14 September, 2007: ENVIROINFO 2007. The main goal of the Conference is the presentation and popularization of methods, tools, technologies, best practice and case studies developed recently in the world in Environmental Protection. Detailed information about the Conference can be found on www.enviroinfo2007.org
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Edward B. Barbier and Geoffrey M. Heal (2006) "Valuing Ecosystem Services," The Economists' Voice: Vol. 3 : Iss. 3, Article 2.
This report identifies methods for assigning economic value to ecosystem services, including the intangible services, and calls for greater collaboration between ecologists and economists in such efforts.
Available online at: http://www.bepress.com/ev/vol3/iss3/art2 or http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11139.html.
CGIAR Virtual Library: A New Online Resource for Agricultural Development Professionals. The CGIAR Virtual Library (CGVlibrary) is an internet gateway that allows agriculture and development specialists to search an interdisciplinary array of leading databases on agriculture, food policy, and the environment. It enables users to retrieve thousands of full-text documents, abstracts, or references from the online libraries of the CGIAR research centers and over 160 other databases. Users can access more than 4,000 online journals without any registration or fees. Visit: http://vlibrary.cgiar.org.
The Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Initiative. The Foundation’s Innovation Initiative aims to spur the development of innovations to help poor or vulnerable people around the world. The Initiative hopes to increase the number of solutions to development problems. It will enhance the process of innovation by funding access of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs working on development problems to proven innovation models and resources worldwide. Visit website at http://www.innocentive.com.
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Payments for environmental services: a solution for biodiversity conservation?
Authors: Wertz-Kanounnikoff, S.; Produced by: Institut du developpement durable et des relations internationales (IDDRI) (2006)
Can biodiversity be conserved through direct payments to landholders to adopt sustainable land-use practices? This paper reviews the literature on payments for environmental services (PES) â€“ where environmental services are defined as the benefits that humans obtain from ecosystems â€“ to assess the use of PES in terms of its economic, social and ecological impacts.
The paper outlines the main modes of implementation to date. These have moved from supply-side to demand-side concerns, and have particularly addressed: watershed services; carbon sequestration; biodiversity conservation & landscape beauty.
This review finds that, if properly designed, PES can ensure long-term conservation financing as it is the ultimate users who pay for the generation or preservation of given services. However, a number of
risks and shortcomings of the PES approach are also identified, for example:
- if transaction costs are prohibitively high due to a lack of clearly defined property rights and enforcement mechanisms, PES mechanisms are less effective
- PES only accords value to ecological systems of value for humans, and does not provide a mechanism for protecting other services. Bundling of services can potentially go some way to overcoming this problem
- participation in PES is difficult for the poor as they do not necessarily have proper land titles or the necessary knowledge and ability to manage administrative tasks required by PES schemes
- there is also the risk that PES can further impoverish the poor or disadvantaged, as for instance if they are required to pay for services that were previously provided for free. PES can in some cases be seen as compensating the poor for not developing
- there are difficulties in attributing an economic value to environments that have a high cultural value.
The paper concludes that PES is a useful tool, but cannot be considered as panacea for biodiversity
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC23541
Addressing local people's rights in a tree-planting project -
Lang, C.; Byakola, T. / World Rainforest Movement (WRM) , 2006
This report documents human rights abuses at Mount Elgon National Park in east Uganda, where a Dutch foundation plants trees for the purpose of carbon offsetting. The report attests that villagers living along the boundary of the park have been beaten and shot at, have been barred from their land and have seen their livestock confiscated by park rangers guarding the trees inside the National Park.
The authors question the validity and logic of planting trees as a long-term carbon storage medium, but more crucially criticise the fact that the project’s trees are planted on land belonging to someone else. The report finds that:
- the project has taken away local communities’ access to forest goods, particularly firewood
- the Dutch foundation is contributing to the tension because the carbon stored in its trees must be protected from damage from local communities
- claims that the project has provided jobs, especially in planting and the tending of nurseries, are disputed
- the Ugandan Wildlife Authority (UWA), which manages the Park, is accused of violently evicting villagers from Mount Elgon.
- The tree-planting project is planting in an area of land disputed by local communities, and the way in which the boundary is determined and by whom is a key factor in the relationship between the park management and the local communities
- the net climatic benefit of the Mount Elgon project can only be determined by following the thousands of people who have been evicted from the National Park and comparing their carbon emissions before and after the evictions. Some may now be forced to clear other areas of forest to continue farming, which may negate some of the carbon sequestration goals of the project.
The report suggests that a way forward would be to address local land rights and acknowledging the boundary of the national park as a highly contested zone. Any top-down solution to the park boundary will result in further conflicts between park management and local people. The key recommendation is that when looking at all of the various stakeholders’ rights, one needs to start from the perspective of the rights of the people living in and around Mount Elgon National Park.
Available online at http://www.eldis.org/cf/search/disp/docdisplay.cfm?doc=DOC23544&resource=f1climate
Climate risk management in Africa: Learning from Practice
Authors: Hellmuth, M.E.; Moorhead, A.; Thomson, M.C.; Williams, J. (eds.); Produced by: International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI), Columbia University (2007)
What implications does climate change have for sustainable development, and lifting African people out of poverty? This report and associated policy briefing highlights the urgent need to integrate climate information and knowledge into broader development efforts.
A number of country case studies illustrate, among others:
- climate information is most effective when integrated into multidisciplinary decision-making frameworks
- reducing climate-related risks requires multi-level stakeholder coordination and communication
- climate information must be credible if it is to be used in decision making
- reinforcing and sustaining climate observation networks is essential
- innovations for managing climate-related risks are being developed and deployed
The report is major recommendations to policy makers are:
- Recast climate as a development issue. The economic implications of climate-related risks must be made clear and the potential of climate information and services to improve the management of risk should be established
- Encourage institutional innovation. African centres of excellence should create networks and partnerships that can develop and implement innovative CRM programmes. Investing in institutions can help to bring climate information to bear on sectoral planning, and these institutions can act as intermediaries between scientists and decision makers or between climate specialists and sectoral managers
- orient meteorological services towards achieving development outcomes. Governments are urged to provide new resources where necessary to reorient national meteorological services towards sustainable development outcomes
- strengthen research in support of climate risk management. Strategic and applied climate research has a key role to play in improving CRM. Also needed is sector-specific research to improve sectoral decision making under climate uncertainty
- promote systematic knowledge sharing. Inadequate knowledge management systems are leading to critical information gaps, and this must be addressed with better funding, improved partnerships, and more concerted knowledge sharing.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC23499
Adaptation of forest ecosystems and the forest sector to climate change
Authors: Robledo, C.; Forner, C.
Produced by: Intercooperation (2005)
This report discusses climate change adaptation strategies with an emphasis on forest ecosystems. The paper argues that adaptation measures must be part of a country's development process, and that every adaptation action should be framed within the national development policies. The paper discussed the following:
- an introduction to the topic of climate change in the context of international policymaking, its relationship to sustainable development, and the most important environmental conventions of the United Nations system organizations
- the theoretical basis for responding to the problem of climate change, starting with a summary of the scientific knowledge accumulated so far. It also presents a description and analysis of positive and negative impacts deriving from a changing climate, with emphasis on forest ecosystems
- international institutions and the challenges for institutional development at the national level, including the importance of adaptation policy as the framework for actions aimed at decreasing vulnerability
- the stages in adaptation process to climate change and their concrete application in the forest sector
- projects for each stage of the adaptation process presenting examples of potential projects that cover the national, sub national and very local levels
- the financing of adaptation measures in the forest sector. It considers the limitations of UNFCCC and widens the spectrum to include all those entities and financial mechanisms that are interested in sustainable forest management.
Is carbon offsetting fundamentally flawed?
Smith, K. / Carbon Trade Watch , 2007
This report from Carbon Trade Watch argues that carbon offsets are actually indulgences sold to an increasingly environmentally aware public to allow us to continue our polluting activities with a clear conscience. But below the surface, the report concludes that creative accountancy and complex games cover up the fact that verifying genuine climate change benefits is practically impossible.
Key points made are that:
- offset companies are selling a false ‘peace of mind’ to consumers, and that this breeds complacency
- some big polluters are using offsets as a cheap form of greenwash, as a distraction from their unsustainable practices and refusal to take more serious action on climate change
- our knowledge of the carbon cycle is so limited that it is impossible to say whether plantations even have even a net positive benefit in terms of mitigating climate change
- projects that look great on the website or in the leaflet are often mismanaged or detrimental to the local communities who have to endure them
- the media and certain celebrities have been complicit in promoting an analysis of climate change that puts all the focus on individual lifestyles and draws attention from the wider, systemic changes that need to be made in our societies and economies
The authors insist that promoting more effective and empowering approaches involves moving away from the marketing gimmicks, technological quick fixes, and the North/South exploitation that the carbon offsets industry embodies.
Available online at http://www.eldis.org/cf/search/disp/docdisplay.cfm?doc=DOC23408
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LAUNCH OF THE AFRICAN MARINE ATLAS
The Atlas was developed by the Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA) with support from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and the Government of Flanders, Belgium. The Atlas was realized after nine months of intensive work by a team of 16 marine scientists and GIS experts from NODC's in Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, and Tanzania. International ocean data experts provided key inputs in data analysis. It is based on an extensive survey of coastal and marine data needs undertaken in early 2006 in all the countries participating in ODINAFRICA.
The Atlas provides substantial maps, images, data and information to coastal resource managers, planners and decision-makers from various administrative institutions and specialized agencies in Africa. The Atlas will be of immense benefit to national institutions and a variety of users such as environmentalists, local administrators, park managers, scientific community, fishing cooperatives, tourists, hotel keepers, teachers, NGOs, the general public, and any other interested persons. It has over 800 downloadable data products derived from the fields of marine geo-sphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, geopolitical and the human socio-economic dimensions.
It can be accessed at http://iodeweb2.vliz.be/omap/OMAP/index.htm
For more information, write to Email1: firstname.lastname@example.org; Email2: email@example.com
AFRICAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS (AFJARE)
The first issue of journal of the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) has been launched in electronic form on the journal website. Access and download the Volume 1, No. 1 Issue articles from www.aaae-africa.org/afjare. Information about the Association is available at its website www.aaae-africa.org. Contact the Editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE AFRICAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH (AJAR)
is fully committed to providing free access to all articles. The journal is currently accepting manuscripts for publication. AJAR publishes peer-reviewed, high-quality solicited and unsolicited articles, in English, in all areas of agriculture. Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript within three weeks of submission. Instruction for authors and other details are available on our website www.academicjournals.org/ajar. Send manuscript(s) to email@example.com.
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We invite you to look at the Katoomba Group’s other newsletters.
The Ecosystem Market Place Newsletter - http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/newsletter/1.3.07.html
The Community Forum Newsletter- http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/newsletter/cf_1.17.07.html
Voluntary Carbon Newsletter - http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/newsletter/vc_1.18.07.html
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