January 2008

FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Katoomba Members,

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2008 edition of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group e-newsletter.  

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

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions, including any PES-related information or even 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. NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

4. OTHER RELATED NEWS

5. UPCOMING EVENTS

6.  NEW PUBLICATIONS, RESOURCES & TOOLS

ESA KATOOMBA NEWS

THE EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA KATOOMBA GROUP PARTICIPATES IN THE BALI CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group coordinator together with other Katoomba members from the region participated in the “Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 13) and the Third Session of the  Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol" which was held in Bali from 3-14th December, 2007.  The purpose of the event--which brought together over 10,000 attendees from all over the world—was for countries to agree on a post 2012 framework for internationally reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the main events that the group participated in was “Global Forest Day” – the first of its kind at any COP. Several case studies of “Avoided Deforestation” – including one from Uganda—were showcased at the event. The role that forests and deforestation played at the Bali conference is worth highlighting, not least because, for the first time in over a decade, delegates formally acknowledged that deforestation was a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions (contributing around 20% of global emissions). To address this issue, the Bali roadmap mandated further research on the issues surrounding creation of financial incentives for avoiding deforestation and established a new Ad Hoc Working group to discuss details of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (or REDD). Delegates also adopted a decision to support REDD 'demonstration' projects in developing countries.

At COP-MOP 3, voluntary carbon markets took center stage. With the acknowledgement that deforestation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, a variety of project developers debated the risks and benefits of trying to sell avoided deforestation carbon credits into the voluntary markets. Even the World Bank's newly launched Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is looking towards the voluntary markets as a potential source of funds.

Other major landmarks in the Bali roadmap include: (i) a plan to build a new Adaptation Fund financed by a 2% levy on CDM projects; (ii) continued support for clean technology transfer; and (iii) a new approach to the role of forests in efforts to address climate change.

The Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace is exploring the diversity of views on how to move forward on these issues in a three part series on their website. For more visit www.ecosystemmarketplace.com.. For more details on the Bali Roadmap, visit the UNFCCC website at www.unfccc.int

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NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

THE KATOOMBA GROUP MEETING SPARKS A STUDY VISIT TO COSTA RICA BY UGANDA ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES

Costa Rica has pioneered working with owners of forests who are paid for the ecosystems services of carbon fixation, water protection, biodiversity conservation and landscape improvement. These are delivered using a range of financial mechanisms that have contributed to poverty reduction in rural communities. A 1.5% tax on fuels supports a special forest fund. Similarly, some forest owners are paid for their water production by users downstream. Indigenous communities have also benefited from carbon sequestration payments. Such payments are not based on central government or donor subsidies, but on sustainable market-based mechanisms. Costa Rica has declared its intention to be the first carbon neutral country in the world. It has proposed to the UN that carbon credits should be granted for “avoided deforestation” – a proposal that received support at the recent Bali climate change meeting, and from which African countries stands to benefit.

The Uganda Environmental agencies (Uganda Wildlife Authority, National Forestry Authority and National Environmental Management Authority - NEMA] first heard about the Costa Rican experiences during the 8th Regional Katoomba Group Meeting which was held in Uganda in September of 2005.  The meeting, which was hosted by NEMA among others, brought together PES experts from all over the world to share experiences. After the meeting the agencies led by Uganda Wildlife Authority embarked on preparations for a study visit to Costa Rica

The purpose of the visit, which is scheduled from 23 February – 9 March 2008 is for the agencies and to learn lessons from the many best-practice methods used in Costa Rica. In particular, ways of complementing UWA’s, NFA and NEMA’s command and control approaches with economic instruments. Topics to be discussed during the visit include: payments for environmental services, payments for avoided deforestation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, to mention a few.

Advice and support for the visit is being provided by Mr Carlos Manuel Rodriguez (a former Minister of Environment, and current senior member of Conservation International) and Mr Alvaro Ugalde (the founder of the Costa Rican National Parks Service). The programme will include a 5-day field trip to see a variety of projects and activities, and meetings with a range of organisations involved with protected areas, ecotourism, conservation initiatives, and rural development.

For more information about the visit, please contact Bill Farmer at farmers66@yahoo.com

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COMMUNITY-BASED FOREST MANAGERS IN TANZANIA RECEIVE TRAINING ON HOW TO TAKE STOCK OF THEIR CARBON

How do rural communities monitor and manage the carbon sequestered by their own forests? A recent project in Tanzania provides one example of how to do so.

Village Forest Councils are responsible for managing communally held forest lands in rural Tanzania. Under the umbrella of the Kyoto: Think Global, Act Local research program, a team of researchers and project coordinators trained four to seven villagers from each of four Village Forest Councils in forest inventory and mapping techniques to assess changes in carbon stocks. With capacity building and training, participants:

  • map the forest area;
  • stratify the forest by ecotype;
  • accurately locate permanent sample plots using hand held Global Positioning Systems (GPS);
  • measure parameters relating to forest biomass in the field;
  • reliably record data in small lap top computers;
  • analyze the collected data;
  • draw conclusions and,
  • retrieve the permanent sample plots for future assessment.

Each village forest was found to sequester an average of 1,300 tons of carbon per year. The team estimated that, at current rates, carbon could be sold for an average of US$6,500 per year per village. The research team’s results suggest that this level of income generation would likely be sufficient incentive for villages to conserve their forests. However, they also suggest that selling the bundled ecosystem services produced by these forests, including water and biodiversity conservation, could provide an even more substantial incentive and greater relief to the poverty experienced in the majority of these villages.

For more information about how and where other participatory carbon stock monitoring is being done, contact: Laura Franco at communit@ommunitycarbonforestry.org  or visit www.itc.nl/research/policy/spearhead1/thinkglobalact.aspx - 28k -

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UGANDA NILE BASIN SMALL SCALE CDM AFFORESTATION/REFORESTATION PROJECT

According to FAO, Uganda has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world with 2.7% per year. Only a few thousand hectares of timber plantations remain, but at least 65,000 ha of high yielding plantations are necessary to meet the domestic demand. Due to investment barriers tree planting for timber production is only viable if public incentives are provided. The EU-funded Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS), which supported the establishment of 2,500 ha in the last 2 years, has demonstrated these dynamics.

The Nile Basin Reforestation small-scale CDM A/R project is part of a project cluster of 5 similar projects aiming to provide a new financing mechanism to overcome the current barriers to establish timber plantations in Uganda and to allow communities to benefit from the CDM. In total the project activities cover an area of 341.9 ha within Rwoho Central Forest Reserve (NFA planting area: 318.2 (93 %), community planting area: 22.7 ha (7 %). The Reserve covers in total an area of 9,100 ha. Based on conservative estimates, with a 22 years rotation cycle the project will produce 29,573 tCO2-e by 2012.

The project allows the involvement of private and community-based tree planting initiatives with
different investor shares. Due diligence, monitoring, validation and verification costs will be shared
among the project cluster. Based on a successful implementation of the first pilot cluster it is planned to extend the portfolio across the country clustered in a number of deforested public forest reserves and target regions. Hence, a project design that can be easily replicated was developed and the concept will consider options for a broader approach.

In the project the Uganda National Forestry Authority (NFA) is the main investor being responsible for 93 % of the investor shares and proportional area. The NFA is dominating this first project cluster considering that it is currently the only organization in Uganda able to provide confidence to international investors in this new investment concept and being able to provide the expected guarantees to replace the emission reductions in case the project activities may fail. The co-investors are community groups—including the Rwoho Environmental Conservation and Protection Association (RECPA), with 250 members that are interested in tree planting. Many of the members already have a track record planting trees. Community groups will manage the remaining 7 % of the project area. In subsequent project activities the community share and/or private enterprise share will be gradually increased considering the learning curve and the available track record from the first project cluster.

Community groups will receive the payments for each tCO2 sequestered at a price stipulated in the Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement between the buyer and the NFA. Detailed rights and responsibilities are regulated in Community Forest Management Agreements and a Tree Farming License.  The NFA will provide seedlings and technical advice to community groups return they will be in charge to protect the plantations from fire and the remaining patches of natural forests.
NFA has all rights, titles and interest to the emission reductions produced by community groups. Community groups will be paid for the carbon sequestered by the NFA up-on delivery, but the NFA will maintain overall responsibility for the project implementation and delivery of the emission reductions

For more about this project read the project design document at http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/Validation/DB/FQGS8PBL08KI02MK9PEC5TY2K3G1MS/view.html

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AFRICA TAKES HOME A RESEARCH CENTER FROM BALI

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) is to set up an Africa Center for Climate Policy Studies in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Delhi Based Energy Resources Institute.  The joint project, announced at the UNFCCC Climate Change conference in Bali, will help develop the capacity of African countries adversely affected by climate change but unable to cope with its impacts because of high levels of poverty, reliance on rain-fed agriculture and other climate sensitive sectors such as forest, tourism and fisheries. The initiative is expected to safeguard chances of achieving long term growth and development by helping African countries devise workable adaptation measures and mainstream climate risk management into their development strategies and plans.

The UN ECA will assist in developing the capacity of African countries through the Climate Information for Development (Clim-Dev Africa) programme which it is implementing in collaboration with the African Union and the African Development Bank. Clim-Dev will help scale up the capacity of key institutions and stakeholders to improve climate related data and observation, information services, policies and risk management practices in all climate sensitive sectors.

The importance of the two initiatives lies in the fact that climate change will negatively affect the efforts of African countries to achieve the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs

For the full story see: The East African Newspaper; December 24-30, 2007

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NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

BRAZIL: NINE ORGANIZATIONS MAKE A PACT TO USE PES TO END AMAZON DEFORESTATION

Nine international and national conservation organizations have signed a pact that proposes to reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by adopting a system of reduction targets through economic mechanisms, mainly based on payment for environmental services. It also aims to establish a wide-ranging commitment between different sectors of the government and the Brazilian society to conserve the Amazon. The new pact is pushing for a 25 per cent deforestation rate drop in the first year compared to the 1,400,000 hectares of forest lost in 2005-2006, and an overall reduction in deforestation of 6,873,780 hectares in seven years. Economic incentives will be directed to strengthen forest governance, including monitoring, control and inspection, and will be used to create and implement more protected areas and indigenous lands. The nine organizations involved in development of the pact include: Conservation International-Brazil, Friends of the Earth-Brazil, Greenpeace, Instituto Centro de Vida, Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia, Instituto Socioambiental, The Nature Conservancy and WWF-Brazil.

For more information about this story see the Tropical America Katoomba Group newsletter at katoombagroup.org/documents/newsletters

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MEXICO:  SIERRA GORDA TAPS VOLUNTARY MARKETS FOR CARBON AND ENVIRONMENTAL OFFSETS - AGAIN

After years of trying to develop and market a carbon sequestration project under the formal Kyoto rules for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda and its partner organization Bosque Sustentable changed course and decided to pursue voluntary markets instead. Voluntary markets offered Grupo Ecologico and Bosque Sustentable advantages associated with innovation, vibrancy and accessibility, and they seized the opportunity. Bosque Sustentable completed its first sale in the voluntary market in 2006 to the United Nations Foundation, which wanted to offset its carbon footprint as well as support a UN-sponsored project that also helped alleviate poverty. Bosque Sustentable is now in the final stages of concluding a second sale with the United Nations Foundation as well as a sale to the World Land Trust, based in the U.K. The World Land Trust will be selling Sierra Gorda Carbon and Environmental Offsets to a range of voluntary European buyers who are interested in biodiversity and poverty reduction benefits in addition to carbon sequestration. These sales highlight a principal advantage of voluntary markets in relation to regulatory markets in allowing Bosque Sustentable to access buyers that are interested in more than just carbon sequestration, an advantage that it is well positioned to exploit. Martha "Pati" Ruiz Corzo, the director of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, has described the voluntary credit as "not just a carbon credit, but a green jewel protected by its inhabitants."

For more information read the ecosystem market place article at www.ecosystemmarketplace.com

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OTHER RELATED NEWS

TREES ABSORBING LESS CO2 AS WORLD WARMS, STUDY FINDS

The ability of forests to soak up carbon dioxide is weakening, according to an analysis of two decades of data from more than 30 sites in the frozen north. This finding is crucial, because it means that more of the CO2 we release will end up affecting the climate in the atmosphere rather than being safely locked away in trees or soil. The results may partly explain recent studies suggesting that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing faster than expected. If higher temperatures mean less carbon is soaked up by plants and microbes, global warming will accelerate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel peace prize with Al Gore, has concluded that humanity has eight years left to prevent the worst effects of global warming. Carbon uptake by land and sea is crucial to predictions about future warming. "We are currently getting a 50% discount on the climatic impact of our fossil fuel emissions," the climate scientist John Miller of the University of Colorado wrote in a commentary on the research in the journal Nature - meaning that half of what we put out is sucked up by the oceans and ecosystems on land.

For more on this story and to download the publication visit http://topics.developmentgateway.org/environment/rc/ItemDetail.do~1127864

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CARBONFUND.ORG OFFSETTING OVER 2 BILLION POUNDS

 In December 2007, Carbonfund.org announced that it has received donations to offset over 2 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road for one year.

"This milestone is a testament to the desire for change," said Carbonfund.org Executive Director Eric Carlson. "Our supporters are showing leadership in the fight against climate change and in the transition to a clean energy future. We are all responsible for climate change and we all must be part of the solution. High-quality verified carbon offsets at an affordable price are a critical way to drive new technology, market transformation and be part of the solution for our and future generations."

Carbonfund.org makes it easy and affordable for individuals and businesses to take leadership role in the fight against climate change. Carbonfund.org’s model of seeking carbon reduction projects that meet the highest international standards and offering them at an affordable price has fueled our continued growth over the past year, with partners like Volkswagen and Allstate joining us in the fight against global climate change by instituting groundbreaking carbon emission reduction programs.

For more on this story http://www.csrwire.com/News/10267.html
And to learn more about carbon Fund.org, visit www.carbonfund.org

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THE UNITED NATIONS TO GO CARBON NEUTRAL

The U.N. kicked off its plan to go carbon neutral by offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from officials traveling to Bali. The U.N. estimates it emits around 1 million tons of GHGs annually, mostly due to travel and operating activities, which are both fossil fuel-intensive. To obtain offsets, the U.N. bodies will invest in credits accumulating in the Kyoto Protocol's Adaptation Fund, which aims to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries.  "Offsetting emissions by supporting the soon-to-be operational adaptation fund sends a clear signal that climate proofing vulnerable economies has - like the U.N.'s action on climate change generally - risen to the top of the organization's agenda in 2007," said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the U.N. Environment Programme.

For more information read the U.N. press release at http://tinyurl.com/2tpe9e or Read the Reuters article -http://tinyurl.com/3cml3w

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INVESTMENT ANALYSTS PUBLISH FREE RESEARCH ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Source: Environmental Finance news; December 21, 2007

Investment banks, research institutes and the City of London authority have collaborated to release a public collection of investment research relating to climate change, to help inform investors about the issue. Key points from the research are:

  • Investors should invest now if they believe carbon markets are here to stay. If prices per tonne of carbon dioxide rise to €30–40, investment portfolios could be constructed that produce both attractive financial and carbon returns
  • Forestry is a big unknown – there is a need to narrow the range of credible estimates for the extent of abatement possible and the real costs of forestry projects which mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, as well as solidifying carbon offset markets for forestry.
  • Energy efficiency gains continue to show great potential for financial and carbon returns but behavioural incentives, such as regulation, will facilitate uptake.
  • Carbon capture and storage seems an unrealistic investment at prices for greenhouse gas emission allowances below $45 per tonne (approximately €32/tonne).

The institutions contributing research include ABN Amro, Bank Sarasin, Barclays, Canaccord Adams, Cheuvreux, Credit Suisse, Forum for the Future, Herbert Smith, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale and WestLB.

For more information visit http://www.environmental-finance.com/onlinews/2112inv.htm
Copyright Environmental Finance Publications
This e-mail is from the weekly online news service provided by Environmental Finance magazine (www.environmental-finance.com)

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NEW YORK MERCANTILE EXCHANGE LAUNCHES GREEN EXCHANGE FOR TRADING CARBON CREDITS

The New York Mercantile Exchange has launched The Green Exchange for trading carbon emissions and other environmental products. Green Exchange partners include Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc., Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Tudor Investment Corp., ICAP and Constellation Energy.

The new exchange says it will offer a comprehensive range of environmental futures, options, and swap contracts for markets focused on solutions to climate change, renewable energy, and other environmental challenges. The Green Exchange products are expected to begin trading during the first quarter of 2008 and will be cleared by Nymex. The Green Exchange venture is expected to launch as a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulated exchange during the first quarter of 2009, pending regulatory approval.

Initially, The Green Exchange intends to offer trading in global carbon-based contracts, such as carbon allowances under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, carbon credits under the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism, and verified greenhouse gas emission reductions used in accordance with voluntary carbon standards. The Green Exchange will also offer contracts for U.S. SO2 and NOx emissions allowance trading programs, as well as contracts for national Green-e certified voluntary renewable energy certificates.

The Green Exchange says it intends to offset all of its electricity use with Green-e certified renewable energy credits, and intends to offset its remaining non-power related carbon emissions through the purchase of voluntary carbon credits.

For more details visit http://www.environmentalleader.com/2007/12/12/nymex-launches-green-exchange-for-trading-carbon-credits/

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BARCLAYS UNVEILS GLOBAL CARBON INDEX

Barclays Capital unveiled its creation of the first index that tracks the performance of carbon credits issued via established GHG trading schemes. Barclays Capital's Environmental Markets Index Committee will manage the index, which is intended to produce a "comprehensive benchmark" for carbon markets. Initial operations are set to track CDM and EU ETS credits.

For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/3xdq5e

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UPCOMING EVENTS

4TH – 6TH FEBRUARY 2008
CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON PAYMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES (PES) IN EASTERN AFRICA; - DAR ES SALAAM

Objectives of the workshop;-

  • Build capacity for using PES as an incentive for Sustainable Land Management:
  • Provide an introduction to what PES are and how they could work- aimed at land and water agricultural managers/planners/decision makers that aren’t yet familiar with
  • the mechanism
  • Offer an overview of PES scenario in the world, focusing on East Africa and highlighting obstacles faced and successful approaches
  • Generate discussion on the legislation and institutional framework required for PES development in East Africa
  • Highlight the necessary conditions to facilitate the participation of poorer rural groups in PES schemes
  • Create in country and regional partnerships among policy makers and Natural Resource managers to facilitate the development of PES related schemes and required institutional
  • mechanisms;
  • Get feedback on need for tools/guidelines/analyses from the field to support ongoing PES development (also link with the Kagera community catchments river basin and related project
  • activities)

Target audience includes technical staff from a range of sectors: water, livestock and cropping systems, rangeland management, agro forestry, wetland conservation; Civil Society and NGOs: Buyers of Environmental Services: River Basin Authorities, Ministries, private sector; Research institutions/networks; donors and Foundations

For more information about the workshop please contact Bernardete Neves - bernardete.neves@fao.org______________________________

25TH - 28TH FEBRUARY 2008.
2ND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HEALTH AND BIODIVERSITY, GALWAY, IRELAND 2008

The Second International Conference on Health and Biodiversity will be held in Galway, Ireland. Conference sessions will explore how health aspects of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals are influenced by the status of global biodiversity, and will review the impacts and implications of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The conference will also look at the outputs of other relevant programmes and mechanisms, including the recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and outputs of other related conferences and initiatives. The over-riding focus will be on experience sharing, with the aim of encouraging greater cross-sector and inter-disciplinary co-operation on issues at the interface of the health and ecological sciences.

For full details of the conference, please visit the conference website at: Www.cohabnet.org/cohab2008, or contact the conference organising committee at: conference@cohabnet.org______________________________

MAY 19-30, 2008
NINTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (COP 9), 19-30 MAY 2008, BONN, GERMANY

For details and the full text of this notification see http://www.cbd.int/doc/notifications/2007/ntf-2007-150-cop-en.pdf______________________________

JUNE 2-6, 2008
SULLIVAN SUMMIT VIII, ARUSHA, TANZANIA

The Leo Sullivan Summit VIII, convened through plenary sessions and forums, is an opportunity to among others, advocate for the sustainability of the environment as an integral part of Africa’s long-term economic success. The summit will:-

    • Bring together African and American entrepreneurs and investors in the infrastructure, tourism and environment sectors to meet the development needs of Tanzania and Africa
    • Engage the African Union, COMESA, ECOWAS, SADC, EAC and other regional blocs in discussion on regional integration strategies
    • Reach out to Asia as a source of strategic partnerships and investment generating opportunities
    • Ensure that investors, NGOs and governments, are practicing in accordance with the standards of social accountability put forth in the Global Sullivan Principles creating facilitative conditions for the growth of the private sector

For more details visit http://www.leonsullivanfoundation.org; http://www.thesullivansummit.go.tz/ or email e. kcohen@thesullivanfoundation.org

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7-11 AUGUST 2008
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS BIENNIAL 2008; NAIROBI, KENYA,

The ISEE is pleased to announce that its 10th Biennial Conference has been scheduled for August 7-11, 2008 in Nairobi Kenya. The conference, "ISEE2008 NAIROBI: APPLYING ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS FOR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY" is a joint undertaking by the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), African Society for Ecological Economics (ASEE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The conference will highlight the vision, methods and policy adjustments needed to enable ecological economics principles to be applied to the design and management of environmentally and socially sustainable development processes in the face of increasing global change and interdependence. The venue for the Nairobi event is the UNEP conference facilities. Principal organizers of the conference are Peter May, ISEE President-Elect, Kevin Urama, President, ASEE and Anantha Duraiappah, Chief, Ecosystems and Economics Unit, UNEP.

 Expanded abstracts must be submitted by March 31, 2008 through the conference website. http://www.ecoeco.org/conferences.php

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RESOURCES AND TOOLS

PARTICIPATORY GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) FOR CARBON MONITORING IN COMMUNITY-BASED FORESTRY

One of the greatest obstacles to including rural communities in markets for ecosystem services is the high cost and technological complexity of monitoring and measuring the services produced. The Kyoto: Think Global, Act Local (K:TGAL), is a research and capacity building program investigating the possibilities and potential for community-based management of existing (as opposed to newly planted) forest to be included as an eligible carbon mitigation activity under future international climate change agreements. They have supported a number of pilot projects to develop Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies and protocols that are simple and low cost, and train rural community members in using them to measure the carbon sequestered by community forests. Below are links to a number of reports on the process of developing the community-accessible GIS technology and some of the benefits and pitfalls of using it in participatory monitoring of carbon stocks.

 For more information visit www.itc.nl/research/policy/spearhead1/thinkglobalact.aspx - 28k -

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AGROENTERPRISE GUIDEBOOKS FROM CIAT AN AID FOR DEVELOPING MARKETS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

One of the most difficult aspects of implementing a community-based PES program is developing the internal infrastructure and organization to sell ecosystem services, AND at the same time, finding a market for those services. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia has produced a number of manuals, workbooks, and case study examples of successful development of small-scale agroenterprises. There are innumerable resources for download at the Rural Agroenterprise Development website that will be useful for practitioners both in educating themselves and the communities they work with.
 
For more information visit http://www.ciat.cgiar.org/agroempresas/ingles/index.htm

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THE FORMA PROJECT FROM CATIE PROVIDES A HOST OF NEW TOOLS FOR CARBON OFFSET PROJECTS

Meeting the standards set by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change is notoriously difficult and costly. The FORMA project, hosted by the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica, has developed a number of resources and guides for implementing CDM projects. Though their focus is on Latin America, non-Spanish speakers and practitioners from other regions will find much useful information, including the recently published "Update on Markets for Forestry Offsets" (in English and Spanish). For more details visit http://www.proyectoforma.com/

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NEW PUBLICATIONS

BSR RESOURCE GUIDE: “THE NEW MARKETS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES”

 In response to increasing requests from members for guidance and collaboration on corporate environmental strategy, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has published "The New Markets for Environmental Services: A Corporate Manager's Resource Guide to Trading in Air, Climate, Water and Biodiversity Assets.” This new 63-page resource guide explains market-based mechanisms related to the environment and provides the information that corporate managers need to assess the risks and opportunities associated with the emerging concepts of environmental services and growing domain of environmental markets.

BSR's "New Markets for Environmental Services" is a valuable reference tool based on interviews with dozens of researchers and practitioners around the world. It describes the various market mechanisms and provides illustrative case studies, materiality assessment resources, as well as lists of service providers and potential partner organizations.

The resource guide is available at www.bsr.org/reports/BSR_environmental-services.pdf.

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MARKETS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: NEW CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Authors: J. Bishop; L. Timberlake
 
 This briefing paper published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in December 2007 outlines the potential for mobilising business and markets to conserve nature. It argues that market mechanisms can be a powerful complement to existing strategies for conserving ecosystems, if used in the right way. Three mechanisms to develop markets for ecosystem services are outlined in the paper:

  • direct payments: creating incentives for resource managers to supply ecosystem services 
  • tradable permits: using the market to manage environmental liabilities 
  • certification: helping consumers and investors make informed choices

Authors highlight key issues to consider as markets develop, including:

  • cultivating an ethic of environmental stewardship throughout the business world 
  • finding consensus on the roles and responsibilities of governments, business and other stakeholders 
  • defining environmental principles, standards and indicators appropriate for eco-enterprise and markets 
  • ensuring that markets for ecosystem services do not result in conservation for the rich at the expense of the poor 
  • monitoring and enforcing the environmental performance of business in credible ways

For more details see http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/trade-policy&id=34365&type=Document

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POTENTIAL AND CHALLENGES OF PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES FROM TROPICAL FORESTS 
ODI Forestry Briefing 16
by Michael Richards and Michael Jenkins
December 2007

This paper summarises current potential and challenges facing the development of payments for ecosystem services (PES) as a means of promoting the sustainable management or conservation of tropical forests, including the challenge of combining equity or poverty reduction objectives with environmental objectives, and the interaction of PES with broader forest sector and 'extra-sectoral' policies.

The paper can be downloaded at http://www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/publications/policybriefs/forestrybriefings/fb16-0712-ecosystem-services.pdf

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THE IMPLICATIONS OF CARBON FINANCING FOR PRO-POOR COMMUNITY FORESTRY
ODI Forestry Briefing 14

By Cecilia Luttrell, Kate Schreckenberg and Leo Peskett
December 2007

The emergence of new financing mechanisms associated with the rise of carbon markets brings potential for increased investment in forestry. This paper explores the implications of these mechanisms for community forestry and suggests ways in which such finance may contribute to the pro-poor outcomes of community forestry. The paper also provides an opportunity for those working on the design of carbon financing mechanisms to draw on the experience of community forestry in structuring appropriate benefit systems. The main focus of the discussion is on 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation'(REDD).

The paper is available on http://www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/publications/policybriefs/forestrybriefings/fb14-0712-communityforestry.pdf  
For ODI work on forest carbon, visit the ODI Forest Policy and Environment Programme pages;
http://www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/publications/policybriefs/forestrybriefings/index.html
 Or Contact Forestry@odi.org.uk

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RISK AND RESPONSIBILITY IN REDUCED EMISSIONS FROM DEFORESTATION AND DEGRADATION
ODI Forestry Briefing 15
By Leo Peskett and Zoe Harkin
December 2007

Investment in reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in developing countries relies on the ability to guarantee effective maintenance of forest cover over long timeframes, while also avoiding negative social and environmental repercussions. Given the complex and often unpredictable drivers of deforestation in developing countries, risk reduction is therefore of paramount importance. This paper looks at how REDD transaction mechanisms between buyers and sellers might be established and the implications that risk reduction mechanisms might have for different stakeholders in developing countries. It focuses on the likely implications for the interests and welfare of the forest-dependent poor.

The paper can be downloaded at  http://www.odi.org.uk/fpeg/publications/policybriefs/forestrybriefings/fb15-0712-redd.pdf

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CONSERVATION AND BIODIVERSITY BANKING: A GUIDE TO SETTING UP AND RUNNING BIODIVERSITY CREDIT TRADING SYSTEMS
Edited by Nathaniel Carroll, Jessica Fox and Ricardo Bayon

The world of environmental markets is growing by leaps and bounds - with carbon trading already in the mainstream, watershed management markets in the works, and payments for biodiversity conservation represented in a wide variety of forms. Conservation banking is perhaps the most developed example of a market for biodiversity mitigation. In all the enthusiasm for market-based instruments for environmental management, it is important to keep perspective and learn from success and mistakes to ensure the goal of maintaining, and in some cases restoring, ecological integrity is met.

This book, edited by the Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace, provides detailed information on how a biodiversity credit trading system, conservation banking in the U.S., is currently working and where the practice may be heading in the future. This book comes at a time of increasing recognition that traditional approaches to conservation are not sufficient to stem the loss of biodiversity. Creative ways of bringing biodiversity into the financial equations and decisions that underpin local and global economies is a powerful way to scale conservation up to the level of the threats faced. Biodiversity credit banking is one such tool that creates an economic value and demand for what is often considered a financial liability.

Conservation and Biodiversity Banking will be the first comprehensive book on species mitigation banking. It will provide practical guidance, tools, case studies, analysis, and insights into endangered species banking in the United States and abroad.

To purchase a copy visit http://shop.earthscan.co.uk/ProductDetails/mcs/productID/802

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CARBON CRUNCH: MEETING THE COST

UNEP FI’s Climate Change Working Group launched its latest publication "Carbon Crunch: Meeting the Cost" in December at the UNFCCC meeting. The briefing analyses the most recent studies on the economics and cost of climate change, and the investment required for mitigation and adaptation. It highlights the crucial role played by the finance sector due to its influence in directing investment and financial flows, and reviews what leading financial institutions are already doing to address the climate problem, and what should be done to extend and deepen those actions across the entire sector. The briefing also emphasizes the crucial role of the policy making community in setting up the regulatory frameworks that will provide the necessary long-term investment horizons, and pave the way for further large-scale investment towards a low carbon economy.

To view the report, please visit: http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/CEObriefing_carbon_crunch.pdf or
Contact: climate@unepfi.org

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