March 2008

FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Katoomba Members,

Welcome to the March 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) 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. NEWS FROM ACROSS THE OCEAN

4. OTHER RELATED NEWS

5. UPCOMING EVENTS

6.  NEW PUBLICATIONS, RESOURCES & TOOLS

ESA KATOOMBA NEWS

THE EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA KATOOMBA GROUP PARTNERS WITH FAO TO BUILD CAPACITY ON MAINSTREAMING PES INTO SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT

On February 4th – 6th, 2008, the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group joined FAO (Agricultural Development Economics Division PESAL Project, Land and Water Division; Regional Office of Tanzania) and CARE Tanzania, to organize a workshop focused on the role of agriculture in providing environmental services and on the potential of PES programmes to support their provision by encouraging Sustainable Land Management.

The overall purpose of the workshop was to explore the potential of PES programmes to provide incentives for Sustainable Land Management in the Kagera River Basin and, more broadly, to support Sustainable Land Management programmes in the region under the TerrAfrica program. More specifically, the workshop was aimed at building capacity for using PES schemes as an incentive for Sustainable Land Management, provide an introduction to what PES schemes are and how they work, offer an overview of on-going worldwide PES activities, generate discussion on the legislative and institutional framework required for the development of PES programmes in East Africa and highlight the necessary conditions to facilitate the participation of poorer rural groups in PES schemes.

Agriculture's emissions, the bulk of which comes from livestock, account for around 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to 2006 report by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Yet despite such warnings from scientists that farming will be a growing contributor to climate change, few ideas for projects to cut emissions from the agriculture sector are being developed through the Kyoto protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM).

With the exception of capturing methane from animal waste – there has not been that many ideas to cut emissions from the agriculture sector that have succeeded in securing carbon finance or getting off the drawing board.

According to a report published this month by Greenpeace, the main potential for reducing farming emissions lies in better cropland management, which would allow more trees and plants to remain as carbon sinks. GreenPeace argues that the single biggest emitter in agriculture is overuse of fertilizer – all we need to do is reduce synthetic fertilizer and go back to go compost.  That sounds easy – after all, there are many projects in Africa aimed at improving crop land management and a substantial percentage of farmers especially in rural areas do not even use fertiliser– so how come there are still no projects? Part of the reason for the lack of new projects in the sector, says Ben Atkinson of CDM project developer Agrinergy, is that complexity of such projects means they are saddled with more risk and less reward than longer-established types of GHG reduction projects.

But before we even discuss methodology, do we know how to design PES schemes in the agricultural sector?  And do we even know how the carbon market works? Participants at the workshop said more awareness is needed first about what PES and how such schemes can be designed to fit the African context. For example, gaining emissions reductions on a large scale from the sector depends on how industrialised the level of farming is in a particular country. In Africa, livestock farming is nowhere as intensive as in richer countries. Monitoring small livestock farms is also expensive and time-consuming. How many farmers would afford that?

Despite these obstacles, there is hope that many new projects will be developed. According to Point Carbon ( www.pointcarbon.com) two recent ideas are cited as examples of promising projects. One is feed additives to cut methane emissions from dairy cows (cows emit 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year, according to Greenpeace) and the other is better irrigation of rice fields (the world’s biggest food crop is responsible for 616 mtCO2e, also according to Greenpeace).

There have also been recent calls for Agriculture to be linked to international carbon markets and granted access to Kyoto project credits. In an article on SciDev.net, Ivar Pettersen, a Norwegian agricultural economist proposed that an emissions trading approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming will help ensure more equal costs of curbing climate-changing emissions between economic sectors, said Ivar Pettersen, director of the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Economic Research (NILF).

"It is unwise to inflict a greater burden on agriculture than other sectors," he told Point Carbon. "The agricultural industry needs the same opportunities as companies covered by the EU emissions trading scheme," he said.

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group together with EcoAgriculture partners are exploring the possibility of working with farmers at a selected site in the region to carry out an ecosystem services assessment and identifying potential buyers for the ecosystem services created by sustainable land management activities. Progress on this project will be reported in future newsletters.

All workshop materials are available at http://www.webalice.it/g.branca/PESAL_Project/tools/index.htm

Part of this story is taken from the latest edition of CDM & JI Monitor at Point Carbon http://www.pointcarbon.com/category195.html?categoryID=195
http://www.pointcarbon.com/Home/News/All%20news/CDM%20&%20JI/article26823-470.html

<<BACK TO TOP

NEW KATOOMBA WEBSITE IS UP AND RUNNING

In December 2007, we announced the upcoming launch of the Katoomba Group redesigned, interactive website. We are pleased to inform you that the new website is now up and running.
 Key features of the new website:

  • An Announcements Box where you can send us job descriptions, new publications, workshop and meeting information, etc to be posted weekly.
  • Searchable Partner listings enabling you to identify others working on markets and payments for ecosystem services around the world. 
    • You can update your partner profile on the Searchable partner listing, as described above. If you choose to make available your expertise, you can also seek support for your PES activities and participate in the Technical or Policy Rapid Response Mechanism.
    • You may use our PES Networks tab to highlight work of local PES groups you have established, enabling you tolist members, make direct links to your publications, and share information on your activities.
  • On the Meetings and Media page, learn about upcoming meetings and outcomes from Katoomba and Katoomba partner events in the regions, and post news articles where your PES work has been highlighted.

 Visit the website at www.katoombagroup.org
 Any suggested improvements to making this site useful are always welcome! Please send any suggestions or questions to Rachel Miller at rmiller@ forest-trends.org with questions

 

<<BACK TO TOP

NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

SOUTH AFRICAN ANGLO COAL PROJECT LEADS IN BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT

Coal-miner Anglo Coal's Isibonelo coal mine has a comprehensive wetland offset project to compensate for significant impact on some hillside-seep wetlands, as well as a flood plain wetland, located within the mining footprint.  The Department of Minerals and Energy, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the Mondi wetlands project, the Mpumalanga Parks Board, specialized wetlands consultants, and Isibonelo formulated a solution.

An intricate rehabilitation plan was designed, which aimed to increase the area of flood plain wetland that remained after mining, and a commitment was made to try to re-establish some of the hillside-seep wetlands which will be mined through in the mining footprint. During the premining phase, wetland plants were identified and removed from the mining area, and are maintained in specially designed beds. These plants will be propagated and used for future rehabilitation.

Isibonelo colliery environmental coordinator Dipuo Molamu says the original commitment in the environmental management programme report was to spend R2-million on off-site wetland mitigation.

“The amount only covers the actual spend on the off-site mitigation, and none of the other commitments and maintenance costs. A quantifiable amount is spent on invasive alien plant control, and the colliery continues to identify opportunities of positive value-add to biodiversity and the environment,” explains Molamu.

The key biodiversity issues at Isibonelo relate to the presence of red data plant species, a significant area of wetland within the area to be mined, veld management, pollution and alien-plant invasion. She points out that Isibonelo has a biodiversity action plan (BAP), which consists of a biodiversity baseline, and an associated management plan for biodiversity in the various areas of the mine. This BAP is fully integrated into the mine’s environmental management system and has undergone a peer review from Anglo American and achieved 79%, which indicated good management of the system.

The priority area is to define the business case for the BAP, as well as involvement with other stake- holders, such as local farmers.

Molamu says finding off-site wetlands that can be rehabilitated, maintained, accessible, and not located on top of future mineral reserves as a challenge. Ensuring their long-term sustainability is another challenge, as presently no legal mechanism exists to do so.

The wetland rehabilitation site is ensuring that the off-site wetlands are maintained and kept safe into the future. This process is being done in conjunction with SANBI, which will be using the information from both the earlier and the present rehabilitation project for its Grasslands programme’s mining sector portion. The two main objectives of the mining component of the Grasslands programme are to ensure that mining companies use regional biodiversity data when planning future mines, as well as the development of an offsite mitigation banking theme. Clear playing rules will help both mining companies and regulators. The banking scheme will ensure that off-site biodiversity-rich areas are protected in perpetuity.

“Isibonelo will continue to work with SANBI on its projects regarding the off-site wetlands commitment. We believe this allows for great synergy and opportunities into the future. Isibonelo, like most of the Mpumalanga collieries, is located within the Grasslands’ biome, which is one of the most threatened biomes in South Africa. This brings with it potentially added responsibilities in future,” notes Molamu.

For more on this story - visit Mining Weekly Online (South Africa)
http://www.miningweekly.co.za/article.php?a_id=126330

<<BACK TO TOP

IL N'GWESI ECOTOURISM LODGE IN KENYA BENEFITS HOUSEHOLDS AND CONSERVATION

In 1995, pastoralists in the Laikipa Plains in northern Kenya came together to establish a Group Ranch, made up of 500 households and covering a span of 165 km2. Prior to the establishment of the Group Ranch, poaching, illegal logging, and over-grazing threatened and endangered wildlife in the area. With support from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and funding from the Kenya Wildlife Service, the group established the first community-owned and managed lodge in Kenya. Revenue from the ecotourism lodge is paid into a community owned trust where local Maasai serve as trustees and oversee project implementation. The high-end ecotourism lodge provides jobs and income, which in turn produces a variety of conservation and social benefits. Using revenue from the ranch, the group has hired guards to protect against poaching and excessive logging, and invested in community infrastructure and services including a primary school, nurseries, and improved water maintenance and health schemes. They also implemented a controlled grazing plan, which helped regenerate flora and fauna in the area. Part of the Ranch, where the ecolodge is located, has been set aside to serve as a conservation area for wildlife populations. The rest of the land is managed more intensely and directly supports the nearly 500 households in the area.

One of the factors that have made the Il N'gwesi project successful is that the ecosystem services the ranch provides, wildlife, has a ready and affluent market.  However, another crucial component of project success is that the Samburu pastoralists are a homogenous population and that land rights were defined in the 1960s.

For more about this project, Visit the IL N'gwesi Website

http://www.ilngwesi.com/index.html and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy    http://www.lewa.org/ilngwesi.php

<<BACK TO TOP_________________________________

SAVING AFRICA’S FORESTS, THROUGH PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), indigenous (also known as “old-growth”) forests in Africa are being cut down at a rate of more than 4 million hectares per year — twice the world's deforestation average. Losses, according to the FAO, totaled more than 10 per cent of the continent's total forest cover between 1980 and 1995 alone.

The fate of the forests could spell the difference between success and failure in the race against global warming. Estimates of the total amount of carbon stored in the forests vary greatly. One estimate, based on research by the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), put the total at about 1,000 billion tonnes, or about 166 years' worth of current global carbon emissions. Africa contains about 15 per cent of the world's remaining forests and is second only to South America in the amount of the dense tropical forests that are the most effective in removing carbon from the atmosphere. The vast forests of the DRC alone are estimated to contain as much as 8 per cent of all the carbon stored in the earth's vegetation.

Kenya's tea plantations are a good example of the linkages between indigenous forests and the commercial economy. Tea is a major source of the country's export earnings and the plantations are all near the major forest areas. This is because tea requires even temperature and moisture for optimum growth. The forests provide that. By regulating temperatures and trapping and releasing moisture during the hot dry season, forests create the climate conditions needed for the quality teas that Kenya sells. “If you don't have the forests you don't have tea.” Says Mr. Lambrecht who works with UNEP in Nairobi. When comparing the cost of preserving the forests to the wealth created by the tea plantations, he says, it makes financial sense for the tea estates to invest in sound forestry and encourage greater government regulation and control of forest resources.

Kenya is similarly reliant on the forests for electricity, over 70 % of which is generated by hydroelectric dams fed by mountain forest watersheds. “It is less about finding an exact value for the forests than in calculating the losses if the forests disappear,” he explains. “If we apply the payment-for-services principle to all the sectors that receive services from the forest — agriculture, power, water and many others — we might find a good basis for having the private sector be in favour of conservation.” As forests dwindle, he notes, both government and the private sector are beginning to realize that forest services can no longer be had for free and must be paid for like other goods and services.

Enlisting industry can also broaden the political constituency for the forests, Mr. Lambrechts points out. “We are working at getting the private sector to persuade the government to protect some of those sites,” he says, noting that lobbying on behalf of stronger enforcement of forestry laws by a range of business interests attracts more notice from policymakers. In the past, he says, only forestry officials would respond to UNEP reports on the health of Kenya's forests. Now they work with officials in the finance ministry and the vice president's office as well, an indication that the importance of the forests to Kenya's overall economic development is more widely appreciated by government. “That is the way to get support from what I would say is the higher decision-making level,” he argues. “I believe that is the way forward.”
Efforts to bring the private sector into the struggle to preserve the world's remaining old-growth forests are also underway internationally. Under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) established by the Kyoto Protocol — the international treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions — Northern polluters can offset some of their discharges by financing “green” projects in the developing South.

Incentives not to cut down existing forests, a phenomenon known as “avoided deforestation,” were recently discussed in Bali. If avoided deforestation were eligible for the same CDM incentives available to reforestation programmes, Gabon, Cameroon, DRC, Costa Rica, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia, (“the Forest Eight”) which together contain 80 % of the world's remaining tropical forests, argue that they would be eligible for tens of billions of dollars in green investment by polluting countries. That money could then be invested in other climate-friendly development programmes.  

The World Bank has also announced plans for a pilot $250 million fund to finance avoided deforestation projects in developing countries. Although the proposal enjoys considerable support among developing countries, it remains controversial, with questions remaining about how to calculate the carbon value of existing forests and fears that forest nations could blackmail industrialized countries by threatening to cut their forests down.

However humanity chooses to preserve them, because the world's indigenous forests are simply too valuable to lose. “For ten thousand years we have been conquering the earth,” Mr. Lambrecht concludes, “Now the earth is full and we have no choice but to manage it instead.”

This article is reproduced with kind permission of Africa Renewal, published by the Strategic Communications Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information, with support from UNDP, UNICEF and UNIFEM. Read full article at http://www.wbcsd.org/plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?type=DocDet&ObjectId=MjgyOTA

 

<<BACK TO TOP_____________________________________

NORWAY EYES CDM IN AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA
Source: Point Carbon; 4th February, 2008

Norway is stepping up its efforts to find emissions reduction projects that can generate UN-endorsed carbon credits in Africa and Latin America
"We are strengthening the cooperation with our foreign missions, to make our interests known," said Sigurd Klakeg, deputy director general of the finance ministry's economic policy department.

Klakeg said he will be attending a conference of Norway's African embassies to highlight the finance ministry' desire to find projects on the continent.

Norway is set to significantly overshoot its target for greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto protocol, and has set aside NOK4.1 billion (€510 million) to purchase UN carbon credits to balance its books. Last year, the country agreed to buy around 1 million certified emissions reductions (CERs) from a Chinese hydro power plant that displaces power generated from fossil fuels such as coal.

"There are very few projects in most African countries, and the challenges are on several levels," Klakeg said. "Some places they are not aware of the resources they are possessing, while in other places all that is needed is a push for them to get going."

The country is seeking projects in Africa and Latin America for political reasons, but Klakeg stressed it had commercial interests in helping the countries identify and develop projects.

For more details visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/article.php?articleID=26564

<<BACK TO TOP_____________________________________

SOUTH AFRICAN POWER CRISIS LIKELY TO BOOST CDM INVESTMENT

South Africa’s power shortage is likely to stimulate investment in the clean development mechanism (CDM) in the country, as the crisis could boost electricity prices and provide additional financing in renewable energy- according to consultants.

South Africa, which is currently undergoing power blackouts due to demand outstripping supply, has typically been a laggard when it comes to investment in the CDM. Consultants say the new measures, to boost energy efficiency could stimulate investment in the CDM.

Eskom upped domestic power prices by 14 % this year and some expect bigger hikes later in the year. In an attempt to conserve power, the government has gone on a marketing campaign to try and alter the public’s behaviour and conserve energy. But while this may have an impact in the short-term, South Africa will need large-scale investment in non-coal plants over the next four years to meet demand forecasts, consultants say.

“We need massive investment in energy efficiency and in least some of the renewables that are cost effective such as solar water heating and cogeneration. No longer can we look at the marginal cost of generation, but what is the marginal cost of not having power,” Spalding-Fecher said.

Despite South Africa being one of the world’s biggest emitters per capita, it has only a tiny share of CDM projects. Latest UN data states that the country has 12 projects registered, equivalent to just over 1 per cent of all projects that have been given the green light so far.

But while the number of projects working their way through the pipeline totals 63, according to government figures, only five of them are being developed by Eskom, the country’s state-owned utility. Two of those projects are in the renewable sector and two will aim at improving energy efficiency at power plants. But Eskom is stimulating investment in the CDM in other areas, albeit indirectly. The company’s invitation for tenders last year to develop cogeneration projects to supply power saw over 100 bids, many of which were potential CDM projects, including a gas-flaring project that could add 300 MW of capacity.

Eskom recently said that it may hold another round of tenders to try and boost capacity, opening up the scope for more CDM projects.
One way in which the country can dramatically conserve power is by improving efficiency on an industrial scale, experts say. However, with continuing cheap power and a dearth of approved CDM large-scale energy efficiency methodologies, getting big users to cut back on demand has proved difficult to achieve.

“Programmatic CDM may be the next big opportunity. Large scale industrial consumption is huge, here and when you start shutting gold mines, that is very damaging for the economy,” Spalding-Fecher said.

For more on this article visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/article.php?articleID=26459

<<BACK TO TOP

OTHER RELATED NEWS

AMAZON DEFORESTATION SPEEDS UP AGAIN
Source: BBC- www.bbc.co.uk;
24th January, 2008

Rising grain prices has fueled the fastest rate of forest-clearing in the Amazon in years. From August through December of 2007, 3,235 square kilometers (1,250 square miles) was cut down or burned away.  And the large increase may prove even larger after a more detailed study of satellite imagery. The Brazilian government will turn to the army to help try to stem the land rush.

Gilberto Camara, of INPE, an institute that provides satellite imaging of the area, said the rate of loss was unprecedented for the time of year. Officials say rising commodity prices are encouraging farmers to clear more land to plant crops such as soya.  The monthly rate of deforestation saw a big rise from 243 sq km (94 sq miles) in August to 948 sq km (366 sq miles) in December.

"We've never before detected such a high deforestation rate at this time of year," Mr. Camara said.

His concern, outlined during a news conference in Brasilia on Wednesday, was echoed by Environment Minister Marina Silva. Ms Silva said rising prices of raw materials and commodities could be spurring the rate of forest clearing, as more and more farmers saw the Amazon as a source of cheap land. "The economic reality of these states indicates that these activities impact, without a shadow of a doubt, on the forest," she said.

The state of Mato Grosso was the worst affected, contributing more than half the total area of forest stripped, or 1,786 sq km (700 sq miles). The states of Para and Rondonia were also badly affected, accounting for 17.8% and 16% of the total cleared respectively.

The situation may also be worse than reported, with the environment ministry saying the preliminary assessment of the amount of forest cleared could double as more detailed satellite images are analysed.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is due to attend an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss new measures to tackle deforestation in the Amazon. The latest figures will be an embarrassment for the Brazilian president, says the BBC's Americas editor, Warren Bull.

Last year, President Lula said his government's efforts to control illegal logging and introduce better certification of land ownership had helped reduce forest clearance significantly. Even as he celebrated the success, though, environmentalists were warning that the rate was rising again.

For more on this story, read the BBC article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7206165.stm

<<BACK TO TOP

_____________________________________

PAYING PARKS TO CONSERVE WATER IN THE TRÊS PICOS STATE PARK IN BRAZIL

In 2006, Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) developed a methodology to implement a Payment for Environmental Services (PES) system focused on water conservation for human consumption in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.  This payment system approach is supported by the 47th and 48th articles of the Brazilian National System of Conservation Units Law, which aims to generate income for protected areas management.  The project study area was the Guapiaçu and Macacu rivers basin, which provides water for about 1.7 million people in Três Picos State Park, close to Rio de Janeiro city. 

The methodology was developed in five phases:

    • Quantification of park management expenditures needed to ensure protected of water resources:
    • An estimate of the protected area’s contribution to the water supply within the basin;
    •  Analysis of alternative criteria for allocating park protection costs among water users;
    • Estimated payments for different users, based on these criteria; and
    •  A proposed institutional arrangement to govern the payment for environmental services system.

The estimate of protection costs was limited to those needed to safeguard water resources, such as sorting out land tenure for disputed parts of the park, paying guard salaries, specific training, equipment, fuel, administrative costs and certain physical infrastructure. Unrelated costs, such as visitor facilities, were excluded. The total cost was estimated at around US$ $318,000.

To calculate the park’s water contribution to each user, CSF used a geographic information system with data on topography, rivers, land use, park boundaries, water intake points and rainfall. The system estimates both surface and aquifer supplies originating in the park.

 When calculating how much each user should pay, CSF started from the rather obvious idea that the sum of all payments should equal the cost of protecting the park. However, they also considered the basic economic principle that the quantity demanded of a good goes down if the price goes up. So, the price was set at a level to cover park protection costs, presuming slightly diminished consumption. Their proposal also adjusts the price based on the proportion of each consumer’s total water use that is supplied by the park. That means that users will only pay extra for water that is actually provided by the park. The cost of park protection adds only 1.18%, on average, to the rates currently paid by water user in the study area. However, this figure varies widely among users, since the proportion of their consumption derived from the park also ranges significantly.

For more information on this project, see: http://conservation-strategy.org/en/brazil/atlantic_forest or read the policy brief at http://conservation-strategy.org/files/csf_policybrief_3_en.pdf

______________________________________

OTHER RELATED NEWS

CARBON MARKET TO BE WORTH €63 BILLION IN 2008
Source: Point Carbon; 28th February 2008

 Oslo-based Analysis Company Point Carbon predicts that the global carbon market will grow by 56% this year compared with 2007, with 4.2 billion tonnes of carbon credits traded. Based on current prices, this will value the market at €63 billion ($95.1 billion).

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will again account for the largest share of the market, and could be worth €46 billion by the end of the year. Increased allowance auctions and a surge in the options market will help boost volumes in this market, said Point Carbon. The EU ETS accounted for €28 billion in trading in 2007, the firm estimates.

The market for Kyoto Protocol projects will be worth €15.4 billion, with €15 billion – equating to 1.2 billion tonnes – from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This is up from 947 million tonnes in 2007, with a value of €12 billion. But Point Carbon expects the number of credits bought directly from CDM projects to shrink, while secondary transactions of CDM credits will grow this year.

The Joint Implementation market will account for the remaining €400 million, with expected volumes of 50-57 million tonnes, based on current prices of €7-8/tonne.

Other markets, such as the emerging Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the north-east US, that for Kyoto Protocol Assigned Amount Units and the trading of offsets in the US, Canada and Australia will amount to some €1.5 billion this year, said Point Carbon.

The figures, derived from a mixture of publicly available data and Point Carbon’s proprietary data, appear in the firm’s Outlook for 2008 report.
For more information see http://www.environmental-finance.com/onlinews/0228car.html or visit www.pointcarbon.com

<<BACK TO TOP

INDONESIA EYES 100 METRIC TONNES OF AVOIDED DEFORESTATION VERS
Source: Carbon Finance; 20 February, 2008

US investment bank Merrill Lynch has joined an Indonesian-based avoided deforestation project, which is expected to generate 100 million tonnes of voluntary emission reductions (VERs) over 30 years. The bank is working with Australian project developer Carbon Conservation to commercialise the credits, and is offering VERs to its investment banking and wealth management clients, said the bank’s global head of carbon emissions Abyd Karmali.

The project is based in the 750,000 hectare Ulu Masen forest, the last remaining unprotected rainforest region on the island of Sumatra. It is being implemented by the government of Aceh province, UK-based conservation NGO Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and Carbon Conservation. The group will look to the validation and sale of avoided deforestation credits as well as official development aid funds to provide financial incentives to Aceh’s residents to deliver forest protection.

FFI Australia representative Joe Heffernan said the sale of VERs would be seen in the next phase of the project and represent “going forward from aid to trade”.

Under the plan, legal logging will be curtailed and sustainably managed, while illegal logging will be prevented by government law enforcement in cooperation with FFI, which has existing operations in the area. Aceh’s governor Irwandi Yusuf was an FFI employee prior to taking office and intends to increase manpower and improve equipment to patrol the rainforest, which is home to tigers, elephants, orangutans and clouded leopards. Project funding will also go toward sustainable development projects, including production of ‘green certified’ soft commodities, to provide alternatives to illegal logging activity.

These activities are budgeted at $48 million over five years, with $26 million earmarked for direct payments to communities. Current funding from the World Bank Multi-Donor Fund’s Aceh Environment and Forest project is to be joined in future by carbon credit sales under the reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) model, as well as from the recently established World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

The project was recently certified under the Rainforest Alliance Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA). Carbon Conservation chief science and policy officer, John Niles, said: “The CCBA certification gives the project and generated VERs a level of credibility, and reflects the fact that we used conservative estimates of carbon savings in our calculations.” Niles said that at the end of 2008 a process of post facto verification and monitoring would generate a 2008 vintage of VERs available on the market in 2009. The planned 85% reduction in logging is expected to generate 3.3 million tonnes of carbon credits annually. He said it is hoped that REDD credits will become fungible and certified post-2012, but that initially VERs would be sold on the voluntary market.

For more on this story visit http://www.carbon-financeonline.com/index.cfm?section=global&action=view&id=11052

<<BACK TO TOP________________________________

MULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS DISCUSS ESTABLISHMENT OF A CLIMATE INVESTMENT FACILITY

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) met in Washington DC from January 17-18 to discuss the establishment of a Climate Investment Facility (CIF). The CIF portfolio of three new multi-donor trust funds aims at supporting poverty reduction and economic growth with an emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaptation and deforestation. The CIF will focus on countries with the greatest potential for transformation towards low carbon economy, countries with particular adaptation challenges as well as important carbon sinks.

Over the last two years, the role the MDBs can play in addressing global challenges posed by climate change has gained increased recognition. Each MDB has undertaken to develop climate change strategies and programs of actions tailored to their particular client needs, largely based on resources and funding mechanisms currently available. The CIF is expected to start with some US$6.5 billion of additional financing.
Donors are expecting that the MDB collaboration would be broadened and deepened in relation to the proposed CIF. The private sector is also expected to play an increasing role in efforts aimed at dealing with the effects of climate change. Principles for private sector investments are therefore needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the evolving markets for low carbon technologies and climate resilient development. Discussions during the Washington focused on issues covering the types of investments needed to accelerate a market based transformation towards low-carbon growth, level of profitability required; reasonable leverage ratios, and methodologies to determine appropriate subsidy associated with types of investments for achieving financial sustainability for similar activities.

The meeting was attended by 36 participants from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World (WB), Asian Development Bank (AsDB), Inter-American (IADB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Banks, US Treasury and Japanese Government.
For more see http://www.zibb.com/article/2562298/MDBs+Meet+On+Climate+Investment+Facility

Copyright (C) 2008 All Africa Global Media. All rights reserved

<<BACK TO TOP
________________________________

UNDP AND FORTIS ANNOUNCE FIRST PROJECTS FOR MDG CARBON FACILITY
Source: Point Carbon; 21st January, 2008

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Dutch-Belgian finance group Fortis on Thursday announced the first round of project agreements under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Carbon Facility, which aims to reduce global poverty and cut greenhouse gas emissions to help combat global warming.

The projects, which fall under the Kyoto protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM), consist of three methane capture projects located in Uzbekistan, Macedonia, and Yemen, and a renewable energy project in Rwanda.

“All of the projects would bring the benefits of clean development mechanism support to countries where previously there has been little or no CDM activity,” the UNDP and Fortis said in a joint statement. The projects are now undergoing “a detailed due diligence process” by UNDP and Fortis, it said.

The expected amount of carbon credits the projects will generate was not immediately available.

The MDG Carbon Facility was created to assist developing countries in meeting the overall Millennium Development Goals, which are specific 2015 targets, agreed by UN member states, for diminishing global poverty and promoting health, education, environment and equality.

The facility focuses on projects that meet the criteria of the Kyoto protocol’s CDM and joint implementation markets. The Kyoto protocol’s billion-dollar international markets allow developed countries to meet their emission caps by buying carbon credits from developing country projects that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the carbon facility partnership, UNDP will help developing countries conceive emission-reducing projects. Fortis will buy and sell on the carbon credits generated by the projects, with the proceeds from the purchases going back to developing countries and communities to help them with investments and financing for development.

The MDG Carbon Facility covers an initial pipeline of projects which will generate 15 million carbon credits during the Kyoto protocol's commitment period 2008-2012.

For more information visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/Home/News/All%20news/CDM%20&%20JI/article26838-470.html

<<BACK TO TOP________________________________

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT PARTNERS PROVIDE ADDITIONAL $20 MILLION TO PROTECT ENDANGERED HABITATS

On Jan. 11, 2008, The World Bank and Conservation International (CI) signed an agreement for $20 million in new funds, provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to protect some of the world’s most unique and threatened areas, including island ecosystems and temperate forests.
These so called “biodiversity hotspots” include the forests along the east coast of southern Africa, which harbor the highest diversity of tree species of any temperate forest on the planet, also will benefit. Others include the fragile island ecosystems in the remote Pacific island nations of Micronesia, Polynesia and Fiji, and the diverse landscapes of the Caribbean Islands and Mediterranean Basin. Together these hotspots are home to more than half of all terrestrial plants and animals, as well as more than 1.8 billion people who are highly dependent on healthy lands for their livelihoods and well-being.
The funds will be made available as grants for projects undertaken by nongovernmental, community, and private sector organizations through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), which is administered by CI. In its seven-year history, CEPF funding has enabled the protection of lands equal to an area the size of Portugal.
The new funding brings the total GEF commitment to CEPF to $45 million. The money is pooled with contributions from CI and other global leaders in the partnership to create a biodiversity fund that unites expertise and resources to safeguard the hotspots. Other partners are the French Development Agency, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.

For more on this story visit http://www.cepf.net/xp/cepf/news/releases/CI_WorldBank_GEF.xml

<<BACK TO TOP________________________________

PROVIDE CARBON CREDITS FOR LONG-TERM SOIL AMENDMENTS
Source: SciDev.net

Research emerging from the Amazon basin is locating large deposits of extremely fertile and resilient Terra Preta soil. It appears to have been made by ancient Indians adding charcoal to soil, and carbon dating as far back as 2500 to 4000 years.

Terra Preta soil is incredibly productive, increasing plant growth by up to 800 %, and could have easily supported an agriculture capable of feeding millions of people living in great cities in the central Amazon basin.

But what if we could we develop an equally impressive modern soil technology? Lou Gold a retired scientist argues that faster-growing plants would draw more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and unused plant waste could be turned into charcoal to be returned to the soil. This in turn would result in increased crop yields, more carbon capture, more food and fuel for increasing populations — and a new era of sustainable abundance.

Right now overwhelming economic opportunities are located in creating fuel. What can incentivise devoting a portion of the charcoal produced from agricultural waste to amendments for renewing the soil? Carbon exchange can provide this economic tipping point, argues Mr. Gold.

Carbon credits for long-term soil amendments promise to feed people, save rainforests and reduce global warming.

For the full story visit http://www.scidev.net/EditorLetters/index.cfm?fuseaction=readeditorletter&itemid=128&language=

<<BACK TO TOP

FIRST CERTIFIED CARBON-NEUTRAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER IN NORTH AMERICA
CSRwire; January 17, 2008

 BetterWorld Telecom, a nationwide full-service voice and data telecommunications services carrier based in Reston, Virginia, has received Zerofootprint's certification as the first telecom provider in North America to achieve carbon-neutral status. Zerofootprint, based in Toronto, Canada, is an organization that provides information, products and services to people and businesses working to reduce their environmental impact.

"BetterWorld Telecom is now the first carbon-neutral telecom carrier in North America," explains Matt Bauer, president and co-founder of BetterWorld. "We have teamed with Zerofootprint to calculate and offset our carbon emissions and we couldn’t be more pleased with earning this very important distinction from this very innovative organization."

Bauer explains that achievement of the carbon-neutral status was only the first step in an ongoing commitment towards environmentally sustainable operations. Future goals include working with the US Green Building Council to develop telecoms as a LEED certification component, developing a "telecom offset" for all of our customers' usage, rolling out an employee home/personal offset program by 2009, as well as becoming 100% environmentally neutral through core business practices and offsets by 2010.

Zerofootprint combines the best financial engineering, environmental engineering, social networking tools and business intelligence to create products and services that help large corporations, organizations and individuals significantly reduce their environmental footprint.
To learn more, please visit www.zerofootprint.net. Or www.betterworldtelecom.com

<<BACK TO TOP

______________________________________

UPCOMING EVENTS

27-28 MARCH 2008

INAUGURAL BIODIVERSITY & ECOSYSTEM FINANCE SUMMIT 2008
 NEW YORK

The inaugural Biodiversity & Ecosystem Finance summit is taking place in New York from 27-28 March 2008. This exciting event will provide an excellent opportunity to network with leading financiers, biodiversity and  ecosystem experts and be fully updated on the business opportunities in biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

The summit aims to:-

  • Explore ways to stimulate the involvement of the finance and business community
  • Understand the business risks & opportunities for the financial sector
  • Assess the opportunities for private sector companies in biodiversity & ecosystems finance
  • Find out how to achieve the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity

To secure your attendance at this high profile event, you can:- book your place online by following this link: http, or –by telephone on +44 207 801 6333; or email pia.dorfinger@greenpowerconferences.com___________________________________

24TH APRIL 2008
FOREST DAY: SHAPING THE DEBATE ON FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN CENTRAL AFRICA
 PALAIS DE CONGRÈS, YAOUNDÉ, CAMEROON.

 The Central African Congo Basin, the second largest forest area in the world, will play a crucial role in the success of any climate change policy. Proposed new climate initiatives raise questions about the impact and role of these initiatives in the region.   CIFOR is organizing Forest Day – to help shape the debate on forests and climate change in Central Africa. .
 
Speakers representing a broad range of forest stakeholders will present and discuss prominent forest issues central to the climate change debate. There will be scientists, local and international NGOs, university lecturers, policymakers, communities, experts and others interested in the subject.
 
Presentations, discussions and debates will focus on:
 
- Forest’s role in climate change mitigation
- REDD and mitigating climate change in Central Africa
- REDD, markets and governance
- Forests and climate change in Central Africa
- Financing mechanisms
- Estimating carbon stock
- Pilot projects and their technical, monitoring and data-related challenges
- The carbon market and the forestry sector
- REDD and rural poverty
- Interactions between REDD and other forest management approaches
 
For more information about the event, contact Janneke Romijn by email at ForestDay-Cameroon@cgiar.org  or telephone (237) 2222 74 49 / (237) 2222 74 51. Fax: (237) 2222 74 50.
 http://www.cifor.cgiar.org/Regions/CAfrica/Events/FDCentralAfrica/cameroon_program.htm
___________________________________
 
2ND MAY, 2008
UNEP FI WEST AFRICA ROUNDTABLE - Sustainable Finance: Opportunities and Challenges
 LAGOS, NIGERIA

Organised by UNEP FI's African Task Force (ATF), this West African Roundtable on "Sustainable Finance: Opportunities and Challenges" is kindly supported by Citigroup and will welcome over 50 financial sector, government and NGO delegates from the region. Roundtable discussions will focus on concepts of sustainable finance and enable delegates to deepen their understanding of actions the finance sector can take.

The results of a UNEP FI study on the barriers and drivers to commercial microfinance in Africa will be released, along with reports and case studies on innovative financing and risk mitigation mechanisms for sustainable small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It is hoped discussions will provide a fruitful platform for financial institutions in West Africa so they can embrace their role in sustainable development.

For further information, please visit: http://www.unepfi.org/regional_activities/africa/index.html___________________________________

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___________________________________

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

<<BACK TO TOP

RESOURCES AND TOOLS

"YOUR GUIDE TO CARBON MARKETS: A CDM MANUAL"

This manual published by the UNFCCC is for participants in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The hope is that the manual will help speed up the process of awarding credits for projects worldwide as well as the ultimate issuing of credits.

Visit the UNFCCC website to download the manual – www.unfccc.int
Read the Point Carbon article at http://tinyurl.com/2qt5mv______________________________

TWO NEW BROCHURES FROM THE KATOOMBA GROUP "AN INTRODUCTION TO PAYMENT FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES" AND, "GETTING STARTED WITH PAYMENT FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES"            

The "Introduction to PES" brochure is a helpful streamlined brochure introducing the concept of PES, providing information on available PES resources, and linking the reader to people and organizations working with ecosystem services.

The "Getting Started" brochure introduces the full-length Getting Started publication (Getting Started: An Introductory Primer to Assessing and Developing PES Deals) by taking the reader through the basic steps of the Getting Started primer, and outlining the information the primer covers in a condensed, easily manageable brochure.  Both brochures are a great introduction for anyone interested in getting
started with PES!

Brochures are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese at www.katoombagroup.org______________________________

CONSERVATION ECONOMY BACKGROUNDER
by the Katoomba Group & the Ecosystem Marketplace

Need a refresher course on environmental services or confused by all the terminology? Check out the Conservation Economy Backgrounder, which  provides an introduction to ecosystem services and PES, and includes an  extensive glossary of the terminology used in this field. 

The backgrounder is available in both English and Spanish (pdf) at www.katoombagroup.org______________________________

ENVIRONMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT WEBSITE:
Supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The Environment for Development initiative (EfD) is a program focused on supporting poverty alleviation and sustainable development, through increased use of environmental economics in policy making processes. It supports centers at universities and policy research institutes in Central America, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania in partnership with the Environmental Economics Unit at University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Resources for the Future in Washington DC, USA.

Information about EFD main activities, research, publications, policy advice, and training is available on the website - www.efdinitiative.org.
To receive copies of publications send an email to info@efdinitiative.org

<<BACK TO TOP

NEW PUBLICATIONS

PRO-POOR PES POLICY BRIEF
A  Joint collaboration between RECOFTC and RUPES program, funded by SNV with additional
support from Ford Foundation, IFAD, SDA, Sida, and the Norwegian Embassy

This policy brief discusses PES and considerations related to (1) the enabling conditions to implement a PES mechanism and (2) how the mechanism can be pro-poor. PES−an incentive-based approach that responds to demands for more direct, flexible, and voluntary conservation approaches−has raised interest in its potential to meet development objectives. Before considering how PES can be pro-poor, the brief discusses at least three prerequisites for implementing an effective PES mechanism. These include supportive intermediary organizations and supportive national conditions, such as policies that
promote secure property rights, market exchange, and environmental conservation. The brief then goes on to survey some potential opportunities for pro-poor PES, and discusses constraints for the poor's participation and possible negative side-effects of PES programs on the poor.

Recommendations are made for practitioners and governments on how to address such concerns. These include strengthening local institutions and conducting simple and rigorous monitoring methods in order to reduce transaction costs and using land tenure as rewards to include poor people with insecure property rights and ensure their continued access to resources. Finally, the brief concludes by emphasizing the important role of government in promoting pro-poor PES
mechanisms.

The case studies and lessons are summarized from Insight: Notes from the Field, Issue 2, and outcomes from the Global Event for Payment/Reward for Environmental Services.

____________________________

DOING GOOD: BUSINESS AND THE SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE
A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit sponsored by A.T. Kearney, Bank of America, ExxonMobil, Orange, Jones Lang LaSalle, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP and SunGard.

Being a good corporate citizen has never been so challenging. Companies have long been under public scrutiny for practices ranging from recruitment to workplace safety, from attitudes to overseas
investment to environmental pollution. The emergence of climate change as a mainstream political issue, however, has served to drive home the breadth of ethical issues with which firms must now grapple. The business-and societal-implications of how companies address these are so far reaching that a new area of management practice has come into being to manage them, known by many as corporate sustainability.

To investigate this, and to assess the impact of sustainability on business today, the Economist Intelligence Unit drew on a wide-ranging survey of over 1,200 executives worldwide, along with numerous in-depth interviews with leaders of businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as other sustainability experts. 

The report is available to download now, free of charge from: http://www.eiu.com/sponsor/sustainability

<<BACK TO TOP

ANNOUNCEMENTS

African Forest Research Network (AFORNET) - Junior and Senior Scientists Fellowship Programs
Application deadline: March 31 and September 30 yearly

The JSF program supports research in forest science and related areas. The grants are open to promising African scientists affiliated to training and research institutions in Africa who have shown the potential to undertake creative and innovative research in forestry in Africa, whether individually or as a team. Potential applicants include:

  • Active researchers in forestry science and related areas;
  • post-doctoral or graduate researchers, including post graduate students registered abroad, but intending to undertake field research in Africa; and
  • graduates intending to undertake research for a higher professional qualification. Applicants to the Junior Scientists’ Fellowship Program should not be over 40 years at the time of application.

AFORNET is also inviting African tree and forest scientists to submit multi-disciplinary and transnational research proposals that fall under one of the following thematic areas:

  • Woodland, Natural Forests and Biodiversity Conservation;
  • Community-Based Forestry;
  • Reforestation and Rehabilitation of Degraded and Arid Lands;
  • Socio-Economics and Policy Issues; and
  • Non-Timber Forest Products and Lesser Known Timber.

Grants are open to teams of senior scientists who are willing to undertake collaborative and transnational research in Africa. There is no age limit for the applicants to the Senior Scientists’ Fellowship Program. For more information on the two programs, visit AFORNET website at: http://www.afornet.org/grants.asp

<<BACK TO TOP___________________________________

NEWSLETTERS

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

<<BACK TO TOP

www.katoombagroup.org