July-August 2007

FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Katoomba Members,Greetings and welcome to the eighth 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) both in the East and Southern Africa region and 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

EAST AND SOUTH AFRICA KATOOMBA GROUP ROUNDTABLE ON BUSINESS AND ECOSYSTEMS

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group held a roundtable on Business and Ecosystems on July 25th in Kampala, Uganda. Participants included beverage manufacturers; soft drinks bottling companies; district/municipal water companies, electricity distribution companies and exporters of cut flowers.
 
The roundtable is a continuation of a survey that the E&SA KG has been carrying out with businesses in Uganda to explore whether businesses are becoming aware of linkages between their core operations and critical ecosystem services on which they rely, and whether they would be willing to pay to ensure the restoration and maintenance of these ecosystems.

All of the companies that participated in the meeting demonstrated awareness of the linkages between their core operations and ecosystem services on which they rely, particularly water. The companies have also invested substantially in anticipation for future water shortages. However, all corporate participants said they would like to learn more about what they can do to restore and maintain the ecosystem services, especially if these investments would result in cutting costs. The companies also called for more frequent roundtables to discuss these issues and share best practices.
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Proceedings of the meeting will be posted on our website- www.katoombagroup.org/africa in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Alice Ruhweza; aruhweza@forest-trends.org.

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NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

EQUITABLE PAYMENTS FOR WATERSHED SERVICES (EPWS) IN TANZANIA
Equitable Payments for Watershed Services (EPWS) is a global programme managed by an International Consortium formed by CARE, WWF and IIED and, financed by the Governments of the Netherlands (DGIS) and Denmark (DANIDA). The programme aims to deliver (1) sustainable natural resource management (land use changes focused on conserving and improving “watersheds” for reliable flow and quality of water), and (2) improved livelihoods for the rural poor that reflects greater social justice and equity. The Programme operates in five countries located in 3 continents across the world. Tanzania is the only African country included.

The work in Tanzania is based in the Uluguru Mountains for the Ruvu River and is focused on addressing the growing problem of watershed degradation and its consequences for urban dwellers (in Dar es Salaam for example) as well as for agriculture, industry and, trade. Studies conducted by EPWS’ experts during Phase One have identified and located specific areas within the watershed which contribute the most to the water problem. These studies also indicate where and how land use changes must be introduced so as to reduce and eventually eradicate the sources of such problem. While providing water services downstream the mechanism also seeks to address poverty among the stewards of the watershed (i.e. communities around Uluguru Mountains in Kibungo Juu Ward) through payments for watershed services. That is, the intention with EPWS is that those who “provide” watershed services by conserving or restoring watersheds (natural ecosystems) are compensated/rewarded by the beneficiaries or “users” of the service, freshwater.

At present, EPWS is closing Phase 1 having completed baseline studies on hydrology, community livelihoods, legal-institutional frameworks and cost-benefit analysis. This Phase ends with the signing of a cooperation agreement (MoU) between watershed upland service providers and downstream service users. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between sellers and buyers of the watershed services will indicate what, how, and where activities will be implemented according to the provisions stipulated in the Business Case. Under the MoU, the proposed scheme will be trialed over a period of 4 years in the Kibungo sub-catchment, before being scaled up in a subsequent phase to cover the entire catchment (Ulugurus). Phase Two will then focus on implementation of the terms of the agreement for 4 years. While Phase One has been fully financed by the Donors, Phase Two will be co-financed by the Donors and local service users. CARE International in Tanzania and WWF Tanzania Programme Office are spearheading the programme in collaboration with the Poverty Reduction and Environmental Management (PREM) programme.

Benefits of the Programme
Community level benefits are being designed to include direct payments to the communities; improvement in social services such as hospitals, roads pipe water supply and schools; introduction and enhancement of alternative income generating activities;community empowerment and land tenure security; facilitation of formulation of Water User Associations (WUAs); and restored ecosystems (Forest and freshwater)
Government benefits include shared costs in the management of the watersheds; capacity building and knowledge sharing with the government technocrats; improved water quality and quantity; reliable water supply and quality; and good public-private relationships
Progress of the EPWS project is being monitored by Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique who have shown interest in replicating this initiative in their watersheds.
For more information, please contact for Julio Tresierra  at jtresierra@wwf.nl

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USAID, COCA COLA & THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND COASTAL RESOURCES CENTER HELP TANZANIA GOVERNMENT MANAGE RISKS TO WATERSHEDS

Population growth and poverty in Tanzania have increased demand on the Wami-Ruvu and Pangani River watersheds and placed the health of Saadani National Park at risk. The Wami-Ruvu and Pangani Rivers are the most populated of Tanzania's nine water basins and have an important role to play in supporting livelihood activities for local communities. These rivers are also critical to maintaining biodiversity and managing wildlife in reserves, parks and marine ecosystems. The population growth has resulted in stress on the watersheds, including increased need for drinking water, over-exploitation of freshwater fish, erosion caused by deforestation, and risks to wetlands from the expansion of agriculture.
To help the Tanzanian government manage these issues, the University of Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Center (CRC) was recently awarded a four-year, $800,000 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development and The Coca-Cola Company. The grant is part of the Tanzania Water and Development Alliance, which aims to strengthen government efforts to promote sustainable management of water and watershed resources in the river basins, improve community access to safe and sustainable water, and provide sanitation services and hygiene education to local communities. 20,000 people are expected to benefit from the project.

The first step in the project is to conduct an environmental flow assessment to determine the quantity of water required to flow in the rivers to meet human and ecological needs. From this data, a water budget and water use plan will be developed. The CRC team will also promote the use of environmental management systems to reduce wastewater discharges from agriculture and industry. Technical assistance will be provided to a local sugar factory, a sisal farm and two local Coca-Cola bottlers, among others. The sugar factory, in particular, is the most important water user in the region, and also the one with the greatest potential for impacting the river.

One reason the CRC project is considered particularly timely and important is because the recently designated Saadani National Park is located in the lower reaches of the watershed. It's the closest national park to the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, so it is expecting a 100-fold increase in tourism in the coming years. In addition, the upper portion of the watershed includes the Eastern Arc Mountains, which have been designated by Conservation International as one of “25 globally important hot spots of forest biodiversity” in need of immediate conservation action.

Partners in the Tanzania Water and Development Alliance include URI/CRC, USAID, the Tanzanian government, The Coca-Cola Company, World Vision Tanzania, Florida International University, and the Tanzania Health, Environment and Sanitation Association.
For more information see http://advance.uri.edu/inadvance/archive/070607%20v04n12.pdf

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INTRODUCING PES IN SOUTH AFRICA’S WATER PRICING STRATEGY 
This Working for Water initiative entails a change in South Africa’s water pricing strategy by including a new charge for water users to pay for removal of invasive alien plants from especially riparian zones and mountain catchments areas.  This charge is intended to work in conjunction with legislation that requires landowners to remove invasive alien species from their land, but can require outside assistance in particular cases where the task is deemed too onerous or expensive and not affordable to the landowner. The income from the invasive alien plant water user charge could be used to support landowners’ actions where extensive problems exist.  Both the charge and the legislation are in recognition of the fact that there is an increasing demand for water and that the removal of invasive alien plants constitutes a supply augmentation programme and that water users have to pay for such service delivery.

For more information visit www.rncalliance.org/epages/rncalliance.storefront/?ObjectPath=/Shops/rncalliance/Products/%22RNC%20Africa%20001%22  or contact James Blignaut (james@jabenzi.co.za)

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DEVELOPING A MARKET FOR MOUNTAIN CATCHMENT SERVICES IN THE DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS

The Maluti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Programme, a project co-funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the World Bank is developing a market for mountain catchment services. 

The Drakensberg mountain range occupies less than 5% of the country’s surface area but produces 25% of the runoff. The landowners in the upper-catchment are conservation agencies as well as both commercial and communal farms.  The water users are primarily water utilities, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and municipalities.  By changing the land use practices through a range of incentives—including a new market for water security, predominantly “winter water”—this project hopes to contribute to improved water resource management.  The major land use changes that have to take place relate to grazing practices and fire management to optimise the cover of indigenous species (mostly alpine grasslands) for quality and consistent water runoff.  Such investment in both the restoration and maintenance of natural capital is considered equivalent to an investment in any other water supply scheme in the built environment.  The payment for the service that natural capital is rendering could therefore be easily catered for through the existing legislative and institutional structures set-up for payments to the water schemes in the built environment. 

For more information visit www.rncalliance.org/epages/rncalliance.storefront/?ObjectPath=/Shops/rncalliance/Products/%22RNC%20Africa%20001%22  or contact James Blignaut (james@jabenzi.co.za)

 

PES NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

PASO PACIFICO AND CARBONFUND.ORG DEVELOP CARBON OFFSET PROJECT TO HELP ENDANGERED TROPICAL FORESTS AND MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE IN NICARAGUA
Source: CSRwire; July 5, 2007 

Carbonfund.org and Paso Pacifico, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring endangered tropical forests have launched phase I of "The Nicaragua Return to Forest Project" which will restore large areas of tropical dry forest habitat while offsetting 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. This initial project is part of a multi-year restoration effort that will benefit biodiversity conservation and local communities while mitigating climate change. This unique partnership combines Paso Pacifico’s expertise and capabilities in restoring natural ecosystems with Carbonfund.org’s creative carbon financing, bringing together two highly regarded, non-profit organizations: one dedicated to confronting the challenge of climate change, and the other dedicated to conserving endangered plants and wildlife.

Tropical dry forests are one of the planet’s most threatened ecosystems. In Nicaragua, these ecosystems are found only in small and isolated patches. By planting a diversity of native trees and promoting natural regeneration, Paso Pacifico will restore abandoned pastures to natural forest. The newly restored areas will form habitat corridors for wildlife such as the spider monkey and ocelot. These restored forests will also limit climate change by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In addition to restoring endangered forests, this project contributes to Paso Pacifico's broader efforts to conserve western Nicaragua's ecosystems by creating and strengthening private reserves, and by supporting local partners in sustainable eco-tourism and alternative agriculture. This innovative project will be developed in accordance with Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) international standards, developed by leading organizations like The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International. The project will seek CCBA Gold certification through the Rainforest Alliance's Smartwood program. These standards have aided Paso Pacifico in designing a project that meets multiple goals: addressing climate change, supporting sustainable development and conserving biodiversity.

Paso Pacifico's project partners in Nicaragua include private reserve owners and small-scale farmers. Landowner partners are engaged at all levels of the project, from the contribution of their land, to the collection of native tree seeds, to nursery establishment and actual tree planting. Paso Pacifico’s broader mission is supported by additional partners including: the United State Forest Service International Institute for Tropical Forestry/USAID, the Nature Conservancy, Fauna and Flora International, and the Nicaragua Network for Private Reserves.

"The benefits of carbon offsets need not be limited to carbon sequestration. Through reforestation projects, carbon offsets can also contribute to protecting watersheds, improving livelihoods, and saving endangered species" says Paso Pacifico's Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Otterstrom.
For more information visit www.pasopacifico.org

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INDONESIA'S PEATLANDS: A GOLDEN CARBON TICKET?
Source: Reuters; 5 July 2007

Indonesia's Gunung Palung National Park houses peatlands; and according to this Reuters article, peat is the new 'black gold'. Conserving Indonesia's peat bog forests could become a hot investment ticket.

Peat, formed when plant matter rots, is a natural carbon store. At 50–60% carbon, the world's peat bogs contain more carbon than all vegetation combined. Carbon is released when peatlands are burned or drained to plant crops such as palm oil. Indonesia, which has 60% of the world's peat bog forests, emits two billion tons of carbon dioxide a year through burning or draining these peat bog forests.

Carbon credits — where carbon emissions can be traded for reductions elsewhere — are big business. Investors are already targeting towns close to Indonesia's peat bogs in preparation for when emissions cuts from peatlands (made through tree-planting, fire-fighting and peat rehydration) become eligible for trade, possibly as soon as six months away. However, those descending on the peat-towns are finding people unaware of carbon trading and peatland protection. Commentators say such initiatives cannot succeed without involving local communities, particularly as preserving carbon stores requires ongoing monitoring.

Northern countries could help the situation by not accelerating the dynamics associated with deforestation through promotion of biofuels. And without tackling poverty — one of the causes of deforestation — Indonesia may burn both its forests and carbon traders' dreams.

For more information see http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSSP25064020070702

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OTHER RELATED NEWS

UNILEVER COMMITS TO RAINFOREST ALLIANCE CERTIFICATION OF TEA PRODUCERS IN EAST AFRICA
Source: CSRwire; May 25, 2007-

Unilever, the world's largest tea company, has announced plans to source its entire tea supply sustainably, starting with the certification of its tea producers in East Africa, to Rainforest Alliance standards. Rainforest Alliance certification involves a holistic approach – treating environment, ethics and economics equally. To meet the standards, farmers must commit to continuous improvements in worker welfare, farm management and environmental protection. Farmers learn how to improve their productivity and reduce costs by reducing pesticide use, eliminating waste and introducing better farming techniques. Workers earn decent wages and have access to good housing, education and healthcare. In addition, the environment on which these farmers depend is protected.

One aim of the certification program is to enable growers to obtain higher prices for their tea, creating incentives for sustainable natural resource use while also raising their incomes and enabling them to achieve a better quality of life and standard of living on a sustainable basis. Unilever expects that Rainforest Alliance Certified TM tea will command prices 10% to 15% higher than current average prices paid at auction and estimates that farmers will receive around $2.69 million (€2 million) more for their tea by 2010 and around $6.71 million (€5 million) more by 2015.

The program of conversion starts immediately with Unilever’s own tea estate in Kericho, Kenya, the first to be audited. Other tea farms in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Indonesia, India, Argentina and Sri Lanka will follow, with the potential of eventually improving the natural environment and livelihoods of around 2 million people across three continents.

The first certified tea will be made available to restaurants and the catering trade in Europe from August 2007. It will be quickly followed by Lipton, the world’s best-selling tea brand, and PG Tips, the UK’s No.1 tea. The company aims to have all Lipton Yellow Label and PG Tips tea bags sold in Western Europe certified by 2010 and all Lipton tea bags sold globally by 2015.

The focus on Africa also strengthens the Rainforest Alliance’s growing presence on the continent. Already coffee farms in Ethiopia and cocoa and banana farms in Côte D’Ivoire are benefiting from Rainforest Alliance certification. The news also signals the Rainforest Alliance's move into certifying tea farms in addition to its long established programs in coffee, cocoa, bananas and other crops; sustainable forestry; and tourism.
For more information see www.csrwire.com/PressRelease.php?id=8684, or visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.

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GETTING CREDIT FOR SAVING TREES
By Bryan Walsh | Source: Time Magazine; Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007

Deforestation is responsible for about 20% of global carbon emissions, more than from all the cars, boats and planes in the world. Plenty of programs plant trees to offset emissions, but it is even more important to save the trees we already have.

Despite the high emissions rate, the Kyoto Protocol gives tropical countries no incentives for protecting their forests, a process called "avoided deforestation." But that's beginning to change. The World Bank is raising $250 million for a pilot fund to support projects that would encourage governments and companies in the developed world to pay for preserving trees in the tropics in exchange for carbon credits that grant the right to emit CO2. It is a small step, but it represents one of the first attempts to use the tools of carbon finance to save the 32 million acres of forest destroyed each year. Existing carbon-credit programs focus on industrial emissions; this initiative extends carbon trading to the big chunk of CO2 emissions caused by deforestation. "If deforestation is 20% of the problem, it should be 20% of the solution," says Benoit Bosquet, a biocarbon specialist with the bank who is setting up the fund.

If avoided deforestation takes off, the benefits will go well beyond reducing CO2 emissions. Tropical forests are rich in biodiversity, but there's been no way to make money from keeping them pristine--until now. Giving tropical countries carbon credits for the greenhouse gases saved when trees are preserved puts a market price on maintaining forests as forests. And that allows conservation to compete economically with destructive logging and ranching. Instead of clearing trees, the rural poor could earn a living from the sale of carbon credits for preserving forests. "You can address poverty reduction [and] biodiversity cultivation and deal with huge carbon losses," says Marcel Silvius, senior program manager for Wetlands International.

Not every critic is convinced. Jutta Kill of the forest advocacy group FERN worries that rich countries will use forestry credits as an excuse to avoid reducing industrial emissions. What's certain is that avoided deforestation gives tropical nations a vital stake in the efforts to slow climate change by not forcing them to choose between development and the environment. Indonesia is already pushing for deforestation to be included in any post-Kyoto deal at the climate- change talks this winter. Let's hope it succeeds. It's time to save the trees, so they can save us.

With reporting by Zamira Loebis, Jason Tedjasukmana / Jakarta
To read the full article visit http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1642887,00.html

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SEARCHING FOR TRUE CARBON OFFSETS
Source: GLOBE-Net; 5 July 2007

The fast-growing carbon offset industry is at risk of being discredited as operators struggle to prove their offsets are actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is unease in the sector amid growing evidence that some carbon offset schemes are of dubious value.

The principle behind carbon offsets is that greenhouse gas emissions generated by one activity can be offset or neutralized by paying for a project that reduces GHG emissions by the equivalent amount elsewhere. For example, firms in Canada can pay to install solar panels, wind turbines, or more efficient lighting systems in developing countries because it may be cheaper than reducing emissions from domestic operations.

There are a wide variety of potential offsetting methods. Renewable energy or energy efficiency upgrades in developing countries are popular because on the surface they appear to offer tangible results. Other favoured projects include purchasing or ‘retiring' carbon credits legally owned by firms that allow them to emit GHGs (such as in the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme); and carbon sequestration projects - such as reforestation - that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

An important consideration when purchasing offsets is the principle of ‘additionality'. This means the project must demonstrate it resulted in net emission reductions compared to what would have happened under a ‘business as usual' scenario. In other words, the emissions reductions would not have been realized without the project. For example, one of the largest offsetting organizations in the United Kingdom, Climate Care, once distributed 10,000 energy-efficient light bulbs in a South Africa township, only to discover that a local utility was offering the same bulbs free. As the bulbs would have been distributed anyway, the offset project did not meet the test of additionality.

Even measuring the amount of emissions to be offset is problematic, despite international protocols for doing so. In one study, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found a margin of error of 10% when measuring emissions in the cement and fertiliser industries; 60% with the oil, gas and coal industries; and 100% with some agricultural processes.

Emerging Standards

There are a number of organizations offering to verify offset projects, but so far no standard has been universally endorsed. The United Nations rules for Kyoto Protocol offsets have been subject to criticism, and the voluntary offset market lacks any uniformity in standards.

The UN provides a set of rules for CDM projects and allows Designated Operation Entities (DOEs) to act as project evaluators to ensure that earned credits are additional. However, some CDM projects have been dogged by allegations of corruption and inadequate evaluation. While defending Kyoto's independent verification and validation requirements, Yvo de Boer, head of the UN climate change secretariat, has conceded that some “bad projects” may have slipped through the cracks. Such missteps are “to be expected in the early stages” of a new market, he argues, but criticism persists despite safeguard mechanisms that have been put in place.

Because Kyoto (and other regulated markets) are governed by legislation, the system is likely to be refined to make it more difficult for poor projects to slip through. The key will be developing clear rules based on sound science that can easily be applied to a wide range of projects. A positive aspect of a single UN offset standard is that national governments are likely to adopt it for domestic offset plans.

The lack of credibility of some offsets and the need for a shared standard has not gone unnoticed, and a number of groups have launched offset codes, though universality remains elusive.
The United Kingdom is developing a standard for voluntary carbon offsetting based on the CDM rules, but this venture has itself been criticized for being open to the same weaknesses as the Kyoto process.

One of the most respected set of rules has been developed by the Swiss non-profit Gold Standard Foundation, which offers standards for both CDM and voluntary credits. The Gold Standard establishes requirements that go beyond CDM disclosures, and a certified carbon credit label is issued after adherence has been assured by third party DOEs. Gold Standard projects require the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies while explicitly excluding reforestation, and the Foundation says these credits can command premium prices on world carbon markets. Many respected environmental groups support Gold Standard offsets, including Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

A set of rules from the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) is due next month, following an 18 month consultation. The IETA code will have significant weight behind it through Association's membership of private firms and financial institutions.

This week, a group of major banks and carbon market participants known as the European Carbon Investors and Services (ECIS) issued its own voluntary code of practice for offsets. The group's participants, including ABN Amro, Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, cited a need for quick action to quell allegations of abuse in the carbon market.
Universal implementation of any well-formed offset standards would go a long way to improving the efficacy of the carbon market and to restore confidence in the still-fledgling venture. However, lack of an oversight body in the voluntary market means that a shift towards respected certifications will rely on the actions of purchasers and offset providers.

This article is reproduced with kind permission of GLOBE-Net, for more information on this see www.globe-net.ca/news/index.cfm?type=1&newsID=2976

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EUCALYPTUS SELECTED AS THE NEXT TREE GENOME TO BE SEQUENCED, CHARACTERIZED & HARNESSED FOR BIOENERGY, CARBON SEQUESTRATION, AND OTHER INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS
Source: CSRwire; July 3, 2007

An ambitious international effort has been launched to decode the genome of Eucalyptus, one of the world's most valuable fibre and paper-producing trees--with the goal to maximize its potential in the burgeoning bioenergy market and for capturing excess atmospheric carbon.

The scientific effort to characterize the Eucalyptus genome, unites some two dozen institutions world-wide, including the University of Pretoria (South Africa), and Catholic University of Brasilia (Brazil).

The genus Eucalyptus, comprised of over 700 different species, include some of the fastest growing woody plants in the world and, at approximately 18 million hectares in 90 countries, it is one of the most widely planted genus of plantation forest trees in the world. Already, a considerable amount of carbon is tied up in Eucalyptus biomass. Coupled with the emerging economic incentives for carbon sequestration, Eucalyptus is a prime candidate for increased efforts to remove carbon from the atmosphere. "In countries such as Brazil, Eucalyptus is used as a source of renewable energy for high quality steel production in a way that reduces the net production of greenhouse gases.
 
Eucalyptus is capable of sequestering carbon at rate of 10 tons of carbon/hectare/year and has a positive net carbon balance even when it is used to generate energy from charcoal or for pulp and paper production. Furthermore plantation forestry of Eucalyptus plays a crucial role to reduce the pressure on tropical forests and associated biodiversity," said project co-lead Grattapaglia.

The project will be coordinated and the information disseminated by the Eucalyptus Genome Network, EUCAGEN (www.eucagen.org).

For more information visit  www.csrwire.com/profile/3972.html

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INTERNATIONAL FINANCE COPORATION (IFC) TO LAUNCH INITIATIVE TO PROTECT BIODIVERSITY IN AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES PRODUCTION
Source: CSRwire; July 17, 2007

IFC and the Global Environment Facility, with other donors and partners, will launch an initiative in the third quarter of 2007 to promote best environmental and social practices in the production and overall supply chain of four commodities: palm oil, cocoa, soybeans, and sugarcane.
The initiative, the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program, recently obtained final approvals from IFC and the Global Environment Facility. The program will offer advisory services for projects involving the private sector that support adoption of better management practices at the production level, increase the demand for biodiversity-friendly products, and improve financial institutions' ability to support adoption of biodiversity-friendly practices. The program will also support multi-stakeholder initiatives that create sustainable markets for agricultural commodities.

The Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP) will seek to reduce these threats by leveraging market forces at all levels of the value chain. This will help to mainstream the use of so-called Better Management Practices (BMPs) that decrease the impact of production on biodiversity. BACP will work in partnership with major players in four commodity markets who are willing to adopt more sustainable practices.
Initially, BACP will work in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, who are major producers and exporters of palm oil, cocoa, sugarcane and soybeans, which today cover approximately 125 million hectares globally. Projects in other countries will be welcome as the program unfolds.

For additional information, please see http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/Content/Biodiversity_BACP

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THE BODY SHOP ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE ON SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL TO TACKLE GLOBAL THREAT TO BIODIVERSITY
Source CSRwire; July 12, 2007

The Body Shop International today became the first cosmetics and toiletries retailer to introduce sustainable palm oil into the global beauty industry. The company has made this pioneering move as a response to the continued and rapid destruction of the world’s ancient rainforests caused by irresponsible palm oil production.

Many people who use soap everyday will be unaware that they are contributing to a major environmental catastrophe: the destruction of ancient rainforests and the extinction of endangered species. 

Palm oil is one of the world's most popular vegetable oils. It is used in countless everyday items including cosmetics, household products and foods and is regularly consumed by over a billion people worldwide.  Palm oil is also an important and versatile raw ingredient, accounting for more than 29 million tonnes of the world’s annual 95 million tonnes of vegetable oil.

A huge growth in demand – a six-fold increase since the mid 1980s – has led to the clearance of vast areas of primary rainforests for plantations, particularly in South East Asia. At current rates of destruction, around 1.3m hectares of forest – equating to around six football pitches per minute – will be cleared this year in Borneo alone to allow for new plantations. Deforestation’s most drastic effect is on endangered animal species such as orang-utans in Borneo and Sumatra, Sumatran rhinoceros and Asian elephant and tigers, all of which are heading towards extinction due to the loss of natural habitat.

The Body Shop is now calling on other manufacturers and retailers to follow their lead to help slow the drastic environmental and social effects of unsustainable production and ensure that within the next two to three years, the majority of palm oil is produced sustainably.  Sustainable palm oil production means far less destructive planting methods, and therefore protects rainforest biodiversity.

For more information Visit the Body Shop online at www.thebodyshopinternational.com and www.thebodyshop.com.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

12-18 August 2007
BUSINESS AT THE WORLD WATER WEEK IN STOCKHOLM.
Business and industry combine for some 20% of global water use on an annual basis, and livelihood improvement in many developing countries is tied to business growth (which also increases water demand). Thus, business and industry are often at the forefront of technological innovation and market-based incentives that improve productivity and also protect the environment. These are among the issues that will be discussed at the World Water Week. For details about the sessions, seminars, workshops and special activities that will take place at World Water Week, visit www.worldwaterweek.org.

20 - 24 August 2007
CAPACITY BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP FOR CDM PROJECTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
ABSA CONFERENCE CENTER; PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
This Workshop aims at reducing barriers to CDM project development in South Africa. Offshore and local experts will provide information and knowledge in the areas of: CDM project development, Best practices in the preparation of the project design document (PDD), and Methodological issues for selected project types and categories.
At the workshop UNIDO and its team of experts will provide advice with the development of industrial
energy efficiency projects for the CDM. Ideally delegates to the workshop should have CDM
projects that they wish to develop, or have started to develop. For more information, contact Dr.IanLane at eneficy@mweb.co.za

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

28-31 August 2007,
BIOFUELS AFRICA;
Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The conference will draw on key industry leaders that can share their vision and practical strategies for industry development and growth in Africa. The conference will provide a platform to debate lessons learnt and best practice strategies from international and local industry
>leaders. For registration go to: http://www.powergenerationworld.com/2007/ebfza/

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

31 October 2007
ONE DAY TECHNICAL CONFERENCE ENERGY AND SUSTAINABILITY,
Cape Town, South Africa
 For more information, contact Douw Willemse, :douw.willemse@eskom.co.za

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

CarbonFree(TM) Certified Product Label
Carbonfund.org, the nation's leading provider of climate change solutions for individuals and businesses, announced the launch of its CarbonFree™ Certified Product label. The CarbonFree(TM) label is designed to allow leading companies to promote their products as being climate neutral by reducing and offsetting the life-cycle carbon footprint associated with the production, shipping,. For more information visit: www.carbonfund.org.

New Global Warming Scorecard Gives People Power to Make Climate-Based Buying Decisions
Consumers can now factor a company's track record on climate change into their purchasing decisions for everything from sneakers to soft drinks, thanks to the Climate Counts Company Scorecard. The Scorecard, released today by the nonprofit Climate Counts, scores 56 major corporations across eight sectors - from apparel to electronics to fast food ' on their commitment to reversing climate change. Canon, Nike and Unilever top the 56 companies scored on the inaugural Climate Counts Company Scorecard.
Consumers can review all the company scores and download a pocket-sized shopping guide at www.climatecounts.org

CarboFor - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
CarboFor is a web-based tool developed under CIFOR main webpage to serve the communities working on land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities and the associated climate change. It features Projects carried our by CIFOR and its partners; current Publications of carbon/climate change related issues around LULUCF sector; Permanent Sample Plot (PSP) run by various agencies as part of their operational as well as research activities – mainly for forest management purposes.
http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/carbofor

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NEW PUBLICATIONS

Payments for Ecosystem Services: Issues and pro-poor opportunities for development assistance
Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Mette Gervin Damsgaard et al
The Danish Institute for International Studies just published “Payments for Ecosystem Services: issues and pro-poor opportunities for development assistance” which makes recommendations to funders on promoting PES from a pro-poverty alleviation perspective.
Download the PDF document at http://www.povertyenvironment.net/pep/?q=payments_for_ecosystem_services

State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets:2007
The Ecosystem Marketplace in partnership with New Carbon Finance recently launched the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report in London and New York. The report gives a quantitative analysis of the voluntary carbon markets that includes estimated size, ratio of project types, use of standards and predictions for growth for the markets. Download the PDF version at www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/documents/acrobat/StateoftheVoluntaryCarbonMarket17July.pdf

Environmental service incentives in conformity with poverty alleviation: policy implications and guidance
Authors: Sakuyama, T.
Produced by: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2006)

This newsletter presents the overall conclusions from the environmental service incentive (ESIs) component of the Roles of Agriculture Project Phase II. The objective is to draw policy implications and to deliver practical policy guidance to design, implement and enforce ESIs consistent with poverty alleviation in developing countries. A key conclusion is that 'pro-poor ESIs' needs to be defined clearly in order to avoid confusion over the concept. The main source of confusion is whether poverty alleviation is treated as an objective before intervention, or a consequence or outcome of ESIs.
Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/rdr.cfm?doc=DOC24136

The impacts of carbon trading in developing countries             

Researchers from the Overseas Development Institute in the UK examine how carbon offset schemes could better benefit the countries in which they are based. For key findings see  Making voluntary carbon markets work better for the poor: the case of forestry offsets’ Overseas Development Institute Forestry Briefing 11, by Leo Peskett, Cecilia Luttrell and David Brown, 2006 (PDF) Full document. -www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/publications/policybriefs/forestrybriefings/ODI%20Forestry%20Briefing%2011.pdf
And ‘Can payments for avoided deforestation to tackle climate change also benefit the poor?’ Overseas Development Institute Forestry Briefing 12, by Leo Peskett, Cecilia Luttrell and David Brown, 2006 (PDF) Full document.- www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/publications/policybriefs/forestrybriefings/ODI%20Forestry%20Briefing%2012.pdf

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NEWSLETTERS

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

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