May 2007

FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Katoomba Members,

Greetings and welcome to the sixth 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, reinforce the links between members and inform members about events and initiatives 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 FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

4. OTHER RELATED NEWS

5. UPCOMING EVENTS

6. RESOURCES

ESA KATOOMBA NEWS
SURVEYING PROSPECTIVE BUYERS OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN UGANDA

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group has been carrying out a survey of businesses in Uganda to explore:

  • How core business operations depend on and impact ecosystem services;
  • What conditions and trends in ecosystem services may present business risks as well as opportunities;
  • What elements of a business case may exist for investing in reliable and flows of clean water, clean air and other ecosystem services, through restoration and maintenance of ecosystems;  and
  • What strategies / pathways forward exist to address these opportunities

The results of the survey will be summarized in a synthesis document that will be shared with our readers later this year. With our partners, we also hope that there is interest in replicating this survey in other countries within the region.

For more information, please contact Alice Ruhweza; aruhweza@forest-trends.org

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NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

PRESA: PRO-POOR REWARDS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES IN AFRICA

PRESA is an IFAD-funded and ICRAF-led initiative, designed to pilot pro-poor rewards for environmental services in three core or four sites in East and West Africa. It is a product of ICRAF's strategic goal of expanding RUPES approaches and methodologies to Africa and Latin America. Specifically, PRESA is aimed at facilitating negotiated agreements designed to benefit hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers and residents in East and West Africa through fair and effective agreements between the stewards and beneficiaries of ecosystem services.

The expected outcomes of PRESA include,

  • setting up of workable environmental service agreements providing fair rewards to ecosystem stewards,
  • enabling private companies to become increasingly involved in a range of initiatives for ecosystem management, including policy dialogue with public agencies and fair contracts for ecosystem management and
  • facilitating improved quality and increased number of environmental service reward mechanisms in place and operational

ICRAF will engage with a number of organizations during implementation of PRESA, including Katoomba Partners such as Nature Harness Initiatives and ECOTRUST in Uganda.

Currently, ICRAF (Nairobi) in conjunction with RUPES Asia is in the process of setting up the 'mechanics' of the project. Implementation will start in the second half of 2007.

For more information, contact Thomas Yatich; Email:t.yatich@cgiar.org>

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UGANDA CARBON BUREAU GETS READY FOR BUSINESS

The Uganda Carbon Bureau is a newly established organization that aims to:

  1. Market carbon credits of Ugandan firms, organizations and event managers that aim to be carbon neutral as part of their CSR initiatives, while also providing advice on energy savings, emission reductions, and supply of locally sourced carbon credits.
  2. Offer support and advice on certification of carbon credits and purchase of the resulting credits, including from small suppliers who currently have no market.
  3. Assist with sourcing and provision of carbon investment funds to project developers for tree planting, energy schemes, biofuel/biomass and others.
  4. Develop of new standards and methodology packages for small-holder initiatives for generation and marketing of carbon from private tree planting.
  5. Increase awareness of carbon markets and how Ugandans can expand their involvement.

For more information see – www.ugandacarbon.org or write to mail@ugandacarbon.org

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UGANDA’S NGAMBA ISLAND CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY EXPLORES PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Uganda boasts some of the finest viewing chimpanzees in the wild.  Unfortunately, due to habitat loss, and the bush meat and pet trade, their numbers are declining.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, located 23kms from Entebbe in Lake Victoria was established in October 1998 to mitigate the decline in chimpanzees. The goals of the Sanctuary are to provide a safe home for orphaned and confiscated chimpanzees and to provide a high quality educational experience for visitors. It is now the home for 42 orphaned chimpanzees. The sanctuary is managed by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT). 

CSWCT has started a project in south western Uganda working with owners of private forests offering both habitat for chimpanzees to ensure their survival in the wild, as well as water catchment areas that feed into Lake Albert.  This project is exploring the possibility of a PES scheme aimed at compensating the owners of the forests to keep them intact in order to provide a home for the chimpanzees and also to continue to act as water catchments for the lake.  Buyers could be Government or private sector especially those dependent on the water catchment. The private sector could also be interested in such a venture. According to the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, revenue from chimpanzee tracking in the area has increased from US $6000 to US $40,000 during the past year, and this is expected to increase as visitor services and facilities such as accommodation are improved. The main sources of revenue are tourists.

For more details about how you can help or for more information, please contact: Lilly Ajarova, Executive Director; Chimpanzee Sanctuary & Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT); Email: director@ngambaisland.org; www.ngambaisland.org

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SHOMPOLE COMMUNITY TRUST IS THE 2006 UNDP EQUATOR INITIATIVE PRIZE WINNER!

The Equator Prize is awarded to recognize and celebrate outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation of biodiversity. Since 1979, the Shompole Ranch, spanning over 62,000 hectares of Kenya’s grasslands and savannahs, has preserved and restored the local environment. Re-emerging and thriving wetlands have attracted an increasing number of tourists. Revenue from ecotourism has been invested through the Shompole Community Trust in protecting and restoring the environment, as well as in funding healthcare services, education, water supply, and school fees. The trust, a legally recognized corporation, is owned by the Maasai people and addresses issues of socio-economic development on behalf of the community.  The Shompole Ecotourism Lodge is located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley between the alkaline lakes Magadi and Natron. It is situated on the Kenya–Tanzania border and is inhabited by the Loodokilani section of the Maasai.

For more information, please contact Ole Yusuf Petenya; Email: yuspet@yahoo.com and visit http://www.shompole.com; or http://www.undp.org/equatorinitiative/equatorprize/EquatorPrize2006/2006-finalists.htm#africa4

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PES NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

ECUADOR SEEKS COMPENSATION TO LEAVE AMAZON OIL UNDISTURBED

The Government of Ecuador will wait up to one year to see if the international community offers to compensate the country for not developing a major oil field in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Energy Minister Alberto Acosta says. The area of lush, primary rainforest shelters a unique diversity of animals and plants.  The Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and his government say that if the international community can compensate the country with half of the forecasted lost revenues, Ecuador will leave the oil in Yasuni National Park undisturbed to protect the park's biodiversity and indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation. "The first option is to leave that oil in the ground, but the international community would have to compensate us for immense sacrifice that a poor country like Ecuador would have to make," said Correa in a recent radio address. 

President Correa estimates the compensation figure at around US$350 million per year.  The government's offer is in response to intense opposition to oil development in the area from Ecuador's vocal environmental and indigenous organizations who urgently strive to keep this continuous primary rainforest intact.

The oil fields, known as Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha, ITT, are the largest untapped oil fields in Ecuador. They have been estimated by Ecuador's government and analysts to contain 900 million to one billion barrels of oil equivalent, about a quarter of the country's known reserves.

On April 4, 2007, Petrobras signed a memorandum of understanding with Ecuador's state-run oil company Petroecuador, in which the companies plan to jointly develop the giant oil block. Petrobras said the partners also are considering building a crude oil upgrading plant on site at ITT. Since late March, Petroecuador also has signed agreements for the development of ITT with Sinopec of China, Enap of Chile, and the Venezuelan State Oil Company PDVSA.

Ecuador is a country of 13 million people, more than half of whom live in poverty. The government claims that oil revenue is necessary to meet the development needs of its citizens. These revenues account for around 40 percent of the federal budget every year. Ecuador is burdened with over 15 billion dollars of external debt, including substantial amounts owed to the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank - more than enough to cover Ecuador's ITT compensation offer.

Yasuni National Park protects one of the most biologically rich regions in the world, including a large stretch of the world's most diverse tree community and the highest known insect diversity in the world. It is one of the most diverse places in the world for birds and amphibians. Yasuni shelters 25 mammal species that are of global concern according to IUCN-The World Conservation Union, including the endangered Amazon tapir, the largest land mammal on the continent, and at least 10 monkey species.

For more information see www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/2007-04-24-04.asp

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PERU CREATES ONLINE BIODIVERSITY REGISTER
Source: SciDev.Net; 22nd March 2007

Peru has created an online system with full public access of biodiversity research. The measure will ensure Peru's authority over its native genetic heritage. The system will enable the tracking of scientific collection activities both inside and outside protected areas. And by centralising information about research on genetic resources, it should also allow authorities to prioritise proposed research.  It includes a database showing in real time the national and international research being done with genetic resources native to Peru. The system will also include a register of researchers who have applied for a permit to work in protected sites, forests and wildlife habitats. Both local and international researchers will be asked to provide a research proposal and a letter of authority from their supporting institution. If the application is accepted, a permit will be automatically issued within two weeks.

The system aims to keep the local and international community informed about research in biodiversity performed in Peru.

For more information see - www.scidev.net/dossiers/index.cfm

Brazil announced a similar initiative in March. For details visit http://www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?fuseaction=readnews&itemid=3475&language=1

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OTHER RELATED NEWS

CARBON MARKET TRIPLES IN VALUE IN 2006 – SAYS WORLD BANK REPORT

The global carbon market tripled in size to $30 billion in 2006, from $10 billion the previous year, according to a report from the World Bank. The State of the Carbon Market 2007, released at Carbon Expo on 2 May, found that the carbon market is still dominated by the trading of EU allowances (EUAs) in the region's emissions trading scheme (ETS). More than 1.1 billion EUAs were traded in 2006, worth almost $25 billion, compared with 321 million tonnes traded in 2005, worth just under $8 billion. One EUA is equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Project-based activities, such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), accounted for almost $5 billion in 2006, more than double the previous year, the report said. The market for certified emission reductions (CERs) from the CDM dominated with around 450 million tonnes (Mt) traded. Emission reduction units (ERUs) from JI projects accounted for about 16Mt, the Bank said.

The World Bank report also found strong growth in the voluntary market for carbon, with more than 50 companies offering offsets. It estimated that this market could be worth as much as $400 million in 2010. The Bank estimates that, since 2002, direct carbon purchases have leveraged an additional $16 billion in associated investments supporting clean energy in developing countries, on top of $8 billion in new resources for such countries generated by the CDM.

"These numbers are relevant because they demonstrate that the carbon market has become a valuable catalyst for leveraging substantial financial flows for clean energy in developing countries," said Warren Evans, World Bank director of environment.

The report found that prices for primary carbon credits are up across the board. The weighted average for CERs was $10.90 in 2006, representing a 52% increase on the previous year. CERs ranged in price from a low of $6.80 up to $24.75. The report's findings were based on interviews with market participants, analysis of the World Bank's confidential project database and reviews of published literature. The Bank was assisted by the International Emissions Trading Association and New York-based carbon asset manager Natsource. It estimated a completeness of information of more than 90% for all analysis except price, which it said was about 60% complete.

Some participants at the Carbon Expo thought the figures may be underestimated. This is because there are trades taking place where no information is available … and some demand [for carbon credits] is hard to quantify.
For more information see - http://www.environmental-finance.com/onlinews/0503car.htm

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LAUNCH OF A NEW OPEN-SOURCE AGREEMENT FOR CDM PROJECTS

A new open-source agreement template for selling and buying Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects was released coinciding with the Carbon Expo 2007.

The new template - titled CER Sale and Purchase Agreement or "CERSPA" - was developed by over 30 lawyers and CDM experts from around the world, representing the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental organizations, and financial institutions. The CERSPA provides a simple, balanced, open-source CDM contract that is accessible to sellers and buyers in many countries.

As the carbon market continues to develop, and moves from a buyers market to a sellers market, there is a need to assist project developers and sellers draft and negotiate contracts. Many CDM projects are developed by entities that do not have the means to obtain advice from international legal firms.

Unlike many buying institutions, sellers are rarely represented in international forums and do not have the capacity to follow international discussions closely. In most cases, their legal advisors are generalists without specific expertise in the carbon market. In order to benefit from the CDM and the carbon market, it is important that entities selling CERs receive proper legal advice.

The IIC, the private sector lending facility of the Inter-American Development Bank, is the main sponsor of the CERSPA initiative. IIC sees the template as an important contribution to the carbon market as it will help financial institutions to consider an emission reduction sales agreement as collateral for their lending activities. The CERSPA initiative will open many doors to smaller-scale developers around the world that may otherwise have been closed

For more information on the CERSPA initiative including lists of sponsors and participants, to obtain a copy of the CERSPA and Guidance Document, and to provide input for future versions please visit www.cerspa.org,www.iic.int, www.climatefocus.com and www.go-worldlee.com.

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SCIENTISTS SAY CARBON EMISSIONS CAN BE REDUCED AT REASONABLE COST

According to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) measures to mitigate global warming can be undertaken at reasonable cost. The report states that growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be curbed through a series of measures ranging from efforts to boost renewable energy use and increase energy efficiency to curbing deforestation.
 
The report lists mitigation practices and technologies by sector, examining both those commercially available at present and those projected to be commercialised by 2030. While no one sector or technology can address the entire mitigation challenge, the technologies with the greatest potential  include energy supply, transport, buildings, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste. The report stresses that energy efficiency plays a key role across many scenarios for most regions and timescales.

In terms of the agriculture, the IPCC highlights the large mitigation potential of soils through carbon sequestration. However, stored soil carbon might be vulnerable to loss   through both weak land management practices and climate change itself. Considerable   mitigation potential further exists for methane and nitrous oxide emissions   from some agricultural systems. The report also highlights the importance of   biomass from agriculture and dedicated energy crops as bioenergy feedstock,   but cautions that widespread use of agricultural land for biomass production   for energy may compete with other land uses and could have either positive or   negative impacts on environment, and implications for food security.

Other mitigation measures highlighted include: installing efficient lighting, heating, cooling and insulation systems.; improving efficiency and fuel-switching to alternate energy sources  such as nuclear, hydro, solar and bio-energy; developing combined heat and power generation and carbon dioxide capture  and storage. Mitigation efforts within the industrial sector should focus on energy-intensive industries, where efficient electrical equipment, heat and power recover techniques, and material recycling processes could be installed.

The IPCC further stressed that forest-related mitigation activities could have a considerable impact.
65% of total mitigation potential is located in the tropics and about 50% of the total could be achieved by reducing emissions from deforestation.   The report also notes that sustainable development benefits, such as employment,   biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation, can be derived from mitigation projects.

Policies and instruments targeting producers and consumers that countries could choose from include, among other things, regulations and standards, taxes and charges, tradable permits, financial incentives, and voluntary agreements.

For more information see http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM040507.pdf.

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WORLD BANK EYES $250 MILLION DEAL TO SAVE FORESTS
Source: Environmental News Network; 4th May 2007

The World Bank is in talks with Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica and Indonesia, and regional bodies in Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo to fund forest protection. The aim is to cut the contribution to climate change of clearing and burning rainforests, responsible for about one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bank wants to sign deals with three to five countries by 2009 or 2010 to agree to limits on national carbon emissions from deforestation, in return for some $250 million investment. The World Bank would raise funds from national governments and charitable foundations. Donors may get carbon credits in return, depending on their future eligibility for carbon trade under the Kyoto Protocol. Part of the money would be distributed to local people, for example through infrastructure development. The plan would pilot possible expanded forest protection under Kyoto using a carbon trading model after 2012.

Already under Kyoto rich countries can pay poor countries to cut emissions from other activities, such as the manufacture of refrigerants and fertiliser, but paying countries to avoid deforestation is not yet eligible. The pilot project depends on support from national governments at upcoming climate talks on extending the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, at G8 meetings in Germany and in Indonesia.

For more information visit - www.enn.com/printerfriendly.html?id=1583&cat=invest

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JPMORGAN MAKES CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH PUBLICLY AVAILABLE
Source: CSRwire; May 14, 2007

In an effort to heighten the awareness and understanding of climate change as it relates to financial markets, JP Morgan's research department announced today that it is making its analysis on the subject publicly available on its website: www.jpmorgan.com/climatechange.
In their environmental research, JP Morgan analysts and economists focus on economic, legislative and business developments in light of current and proposed carbon operating constraints. Recent reports include: Capturing the Gains from Carbon Capture; Global Utilities: Trading Climate Change; Coal and Carbon Controls; and Liability for Climate Change. Also available on the website is information and aggregated values for the JP Morgan Environmental Index - Carbon Beta (JENI-Carbon Beta), the first high-grade corporate bond index designed to address the risks of global warming.

JP Morgan's decision to make its environmental research publicly available underscores the firm's commitment to the issue. In addition to reducing its own carbon emissions, as set forth in its environmental policy, the firm raised $1.5 billion of equity for the wind power market in 2006 and has its own portfolio of investments in renewable energy totaling $1 billion. The firm is also the lead sponsor for this week's C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York to further engage business and political leaders on climate change.

Information about the firm is available at www.jpmorganchase.com

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MURDOCH EMPIRE TO GO CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2010
Source; Environmental Finance News; London, 10 May

Rupert Murdoch has promised to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from his media empire to zero by 2010 and the News Corporation's media outlets will be expected to "inspire their audiences" to take action on climate change. The News Corp will adopt energy efficiency measures and buy renewable energy to cut emissions as much as possible, and then offset the rest using carbon credits. The firm will start buying credits from a wind farm project in India this year.

For more information see www.environmental-finance.com/onlinews/0510mur.htm

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UPCOMING EVENTS

18-20 June 2007
11TH POVERTY ENVIRONMENT PARTNERSHIP MEETING, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
Capturing ideas and suggestions from the 10th meeting in Nairobi, the overall theme for this meeting will be "Environmental Improvements for Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Growth: the Challenges of Implementation.” The agenda includes a dedicated session on creating new markets and engaging the private sector on poverty environment issues (with a special focus on Payment for Ecosystem Services). For more information see http://www.povertyenvironment.net/pep/

24-26 August 2007
CARBON CYCLE RESEARCH IN AFRICA; Kruger NP, South Africa
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 or visit
www.globalcarbonproject.org/meetings.htm

12-14 September, 2007
ENVIROINFO 2007; The Conference focuses on methods, tools, technologies, best practice and case studies developed recently in the world in Environmental Protection.
Detailed information can be found on www.enviroinfo2007.org

20-21 September 2007
9TH BIOECON CONFERENCE ON ECONOMICS AND INSTITUTIONS FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION,  Kings College Cambridge, UK. The conference will look at among others, institutions for payments for ecosystem services and valuation. Contact: Mare Sarr: m.sarr@ucl.ac.uk

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 behavio
  • * 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

EARTH PORTAL

  • The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has launched the Earth Portal (www.EarthPortal.org), which is a comprehensive, free and dynamic resource for timely, objective, science-based information about the environment built by a global community of environmental experts: educators, physical, life, and social scientists, scholars, and professionals who have joined together to communicate to the world. In contrast to information from anonymous sources with no quality control, the Earth Portal is created and governed by individuals and organizations that put their names behind their words and where attribution and expert-review for accuracy are fundamental.
     
    The Earth Portal includes:
     
    Encyclopedia of Earth (www.eoearth.org) has an initial 2,300 articles from over 700 experts from 46 countries, as well as such content partners as the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations Environment Programme. The Encyclopedia is a means for the global scientific community to come together to produce the first free, comprehensive expert-driven information resource on the environment. The Encyclopedia includes articles, e-books and reports, interactive maps, and biographies, and will eventually be published in other major languages. Environmental scholars and experts are invited to become contributors to the Encyclopedia.
  • Earth News (www.earthportal.org/news) includes breaking news updates from many sources, with links from key words to Encyclopedia articles, enabling readers to learn about the science behind the headlines.
  • Earth Forum (www.earthportal.org/forum) allows the public to engage in discussions with experts, ask questions and get answers, and to participate in community debates about issues that matter to them.
  • Environment in Focus (www.earthportal.org/?page_id=70) provides an exploration of a major issue each week – energy, climate change, environmental economics and other topics – led by a prominent expert in the subject and involving articles, news, places, discussions, Q&A, interesting facts, and more.

The National Council for Science and the Environment (www.NCSEonline.org) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the scientific basis for environmental decision-making. The NCSE specializes in programs that foster collaboration among diverse institutions, communities and individuals. The NCSE serves as secretariat for a growing Environmental Information Coalition of environmental experts and organizations, which is building the Earth Portal. ManyOne Networks, an innovative IT firm based near San Jose, California, has provided engineering and vision for the Earth Portal.

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ONE MILLION SPECIES – A CATALOG OF LIFE

The Catalogue of Life – a project led by Species 2000 and ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System) - has reached one million species. The 2007 Annual Checklist contains information on 1,008,965 species and is freely available on the Web and on CD. This is a major milestone in the quest to complete the first comprehensive catalogue of all known species on Earth by the year 2011.
For more information see www.sp2000.org ; or  www.catalogueoflife.org

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NEW PUBLICATIONS

EQUAL EXCHANGE: DETERMINING A FAIR PRICE FOR CARBON; PUBLICATION MAY 2007.

UNEP Risoe announces forthcoming publication on carbon credit pricing Equal Exchange: Determining a Fair Price for Carbon, which provides unique insights and in-depth analysis from traders, DNAs, legal advisers, investors, and CDM developers. It promises to become an essential guide for understanding the complex issues in determining equitable prices in CDM deals.

 For more information see www.climatefocus.com/newspubs/pubs/UNEPRisoeannouncesforthcomingpublicationoncarboncreditpricing.html


VALUING NATURE; WHEN ECONOMIC PAYOFFS JUSTIFY CONSERVATION
Robin Naidoo of the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC, & Wiktor L. Adamowicz of the University of Alberta in Edmonton

This study on Mabira Forest Reserve in Uganda finds that more than half the park is more valuable in its current state than it would be as farmland. The white-bellied kingfisher, the joyful greenbul, the papyrus gonolek, and about 140 other bird species attract about 4,000 foreigners to Mabira each year.  The tourists spend money on transportation, accommodations, and food, and pay park-entrance fees amounting to US $9,500 a year.

Naidoo and Adamowicz compared the park's potential to generate entrance fees with the land's commercial promise if it were put under the plow.  They used satellite images and other data to assess the potential of different segments of land. According to their calculations, even if the more fertile half of the area within the reserve were converted to farmland, the remaining forest would be large enough to support about 115 bird species - enough to keep many tourists coming, the researchers calculated.  They concluded that 80 percent of the bird species can be protected just from the entrance fees.

The researchers also had their assistants interview 861 foreigners who were on their way out of Uganda, via its international airport.  From that survey, the team attempted to gauge the foreigners' willingness to pay to see wildlife, taking into account such factors as the animals' abundance and diversity. They report that a more-than-tenfold increase in the reserve's entrance fee, to $47 per foreigner, would maximize revenues.  The income from such a fee would outweigh the potential agricultural value of about two-thirds of the 300-square-kilometer reserve and would protect 90 percent of the bird species.
For more information see; - www.intute.ac.uk/sciences/spotlight/issue30/rainforest.html or www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0508036102v1

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NEWSLETTERS

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

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