May 2008

FROM THE EDITOR
Dear Katoomba Members,

Welcome to the May 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 also report on other development issues that could impact on PES.

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 KATOOMBA GROUP, UNEP & FOREST TRENDS TO LAUNCH PRIMER ON “GETTING STARTED WITH PES” IN BONN

The Katoomba Group, UNEP and Forest Trends will launch a primer on “Getting Started with Payments for Ecosystem Services” at a side event to take place on May 20th, 2008 during the meeting of the conference of parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, Germany.

The primer forms part of the activities implemented within the Global Strategy for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Follow-Up, and offers a starting point from which to assess the potential for PES in specific communities around the world. It also provides pointers for designing and planning PES transactions. Community-benefit driven, or “pro-poor” PES, is the main focus of this piece. Specifically, it describes:

  • the opportunities and risks of PES schemes for rural community residents in order to enable accurate feasibility assessments for applying these new market-based mechanisms,
  • steps to developing PES projects, and
  • resources for additional reference and reading.

By issuing this primer, the Katoomba Group, UNEP and Forest Trends seek to increase the number of organizations and communities exploring PES and, where appropriate, applying PES to further their goals for conservation, restoration, and sustainable ecosystem management.

For more information on the event or to get copies of the primer, please contact aruhweza@forest-trends.org or Renate.Fleiner@unep.org

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NEW PES-RELATED INFORMATION FROM COUNTRIES IN THE REGION

NORWAY GIVES TANZANIA $100 MILLION TO CUT DEFORESTATION AND REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS

The Kingdom of Norway will give Tanzania $100 million over five years to cut deforestation in the East African country and try to reduce carbon emissions blamed for climate change, according to a deal signed on 21st April, 2008. Norway, the world's number five oil exporter, plans to make its economy "carbon neutral" by 2030, partly by buying emissions quotas abroad to offset its own greenhouse gas production. As part of the agreement with Tanzania, Norway will support research, education and the development of pilot areas for reducing deforestation. Norway will also help develop ways to measure the amount of carbon captured by forests. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said the agreement would make Tanzania an example for other countries of incorporating forests into fighting climate change. His office estimated that emissions of greenhouse gases from Tanzanian deforestation -- at around 100 million tonnes a year -- were roughly twice as much as Norway's annual emissions. In terms of forest destruction, Tanzania was surpassed only by Sudan and Zambia, it said.

For more on this story visit http://www.africanews.com/site/list_messages/17657

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ANGOLA, PORTUGAL SIGN MOU ON DEVELOPING CDM PROJECTS

Portugal and Angola signed a memorandum of understanding on 24th April, 2008 to co-operate on combating climate change, including promises to build emission reduction projects in the African state.

The memorandum comprises activities in this field, through the identification of opportunities to carry out project activities by the public and private sectors of both countries, as a valid strategy to foment sustainable development in Angola and facilitate Portugal in the accomplishment of its international commitment in the ambit of the Kyoto Protocol.

Therefore, the development and implementation of activities and projects will be encouraged, as well as make available information to facilitate the closeness between private and public agents of both countries.

For more visit http://www.pointcarbon.com/Home/News/All%20news/CDM%20&%20JI/Host%20countries/article27971-875.html

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BOTSWANA’S KALAHARI DESERT SANDS - AN IMPORTANT, FORGOTTEN STOREHOUSE OF CARBON DIOXIDE

According to ScienceDaily (April 4, 2008), the sands of the Kalahari Desert are an important and forgotten storehouse of carbon dioxide taken from the world's atmosphere.

Sands like those in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana are full of cyanobacteria. These drought resistant bacteria can fix atmospheric carbon dioxide, and together they add significant quantities of organic matter to the nutrient deficient sands.

"…. Millions of poor semi-subsistence pastoral farmers rely on the soils of the Kalahari to provide nutrients for grazing. The carbon produced by the cyanobacteria is a major contributor to the fertility of the soil and it is essential we understand how their metabolism is affected by environmental conditions", says Dr Andrew Thomas of Manchester Metropolitan University.

"We discovered that even after light rainfall, the gains and losses of carbon dioxide through the sands of the Kalahari Desert were similar in size to those reported for more organic rich grassland soils. Despite being short lived, these raised pulses of activity are a significant and previously unreported contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide" continued Dr Thomas.

Even small changes in the carbon balance of desert soils will also be important locally, where soil organic matter underpins fragile ecosystems currently supporting millions of poor pastoral farmers.

"Global climate change models have forgotten them. There have been very few actual field studies of this carbon exchange through world soils and little information on how they respond to temperature and moisture changes. This is particularly true for deserts. Here the bacteria have to be able to cope with long periods without rain and extreme temperatures, so they lie dormant in the desert soil only springing to life when there is enough moisture"

The study calls for more work to be done in this area.

For the full story and results of the study visit http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080401200451.htm

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AFRICAN ACTIVISTS CALL FOR RICH COUNTRIES TO GIVE 1% OF THEIR GDP TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE

African activists, at a climate change meeting in Bangkok on April 3rd  , called for major polluters to commit one per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to fight the effects of climate change. More than 160 countries are taking part in the negotiations aimed at laying the groundwork for a deal covering the period after 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol's obligations to slash emissions run out.

The bloody Darfur conflict in Southern Sudan has been termed the world's first war triggered by climate change yet few of the internationally funded projects to curb gas emissions have gone to Africa. Participants at the meeting argued that nations such as China have benefited under the Kyoto Protocol while Africa has been ignored. For example, of the total 979 projects which have been registered, 611 have been in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China, and only 25 have been in Africa, according to figures of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

 Participants said the one percent GDP contributed by rich countries should be part of a special African fund for "adaptation" -- or measures to cope with the effects of climate change.

The Bali conference agreed to set up a global adaptation fund for climate change, managed by the World Bank and backed by a levy on CDM projects. Critics, however, have voiced concerns that the fund is grossly underfunded and that its legitimacy is undermined by other initiatives from rich countries.

For more on this story visit http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080403/sc_afp/unclimatewarmingafrica_080403075043

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THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CORPORATION INVESTS UP TO $20 MILLION IN SUPPORT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION IN AFRICA

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, will invest up to $20 million in a South Africa-based fund that will in turn invest in technologies and businesses designed to reduce climate-changing gases, the group said on Tuesday. The IFC will invest in the Evolution One Fund, a private equity fund, which will be managed by Inspired Evolution Investment Management, a South Africa-based company. The fund will invest in companies located primarily in Southern African Development Community countries. It will target climate change sectors such as renewable energy and related sectors, including water and waste management, recycling, natural products, and green buildings. IFC will work with and co-invest alongside the Consensus Business Group, a London-based investment advisor on environmental funds, on this initiative

For more on this story visit http://ifcln001.worldbank.org/ifcext/pressroom/ifcpressroom.nsf/PressRelease?openform&F064E6CB81B89C29852574250064E45B

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OTHER RELATED NEWS

BRAZIL’S GOVERNMENT TO PAY AMAZON RESIDENTS FOR 'ECO-SERVICES'

Brazil's government is to pay residents of the Amazon money and credits for their "eco-services" in helping to preserve the vast forested area sometimes called the "lungs of the Earth" for its role its converting carbon dioxide. Environment Minister Marina Silva has presented the measure as a priority and said "keeping the forest going is an important environmental service" for the entire planet.

Under the scheme, farmers, ranchers and woodsman who use small-scale traditional techniques in the Amazon will be rewarded with public funds, special credits and a market that will pay more for environmentally sustainable products.

The initiative's goal is to reinforce methods seen as doing less damage than the large-scale mechanical and chemical methods of big commercial businesses. The compensation should help rural workers making a subsistence living off the land while providing a disincentive for profitable "destructive activities" such as cultivating soya, clearing land for cattle and illegal logging, said Raul do Vale, coordinator of the Socioenvironmental Institute, a non-governmental organization.

One Amazon farmer who has signed on to a pilot project for sustainable development involving 4,000 families, Angelino Moreira, hailed the logic behind the new scheme. "If I do like the others, cut down trees, burn the land and use herbicides, I will have great harvests. But when you respect the trees and don't use chemicals, production falls dramatically -- this is why it has to be compensated, so we can get by," he said.

Although newly employed, the idea of paying for sustainable practices is not new. Rural workers throughout Latin America have long called for such compensation. They also want the concept drafted into the UN convention on climate change. "The leaders of the communities in Latin America's forested areas want a consensus on the economic compensation for environmental services that they give to the planet by helping conserve millions of hectares of native woodland in the tropics," they said in a statement.

In Brazil, the issue is taking on big proportions because of the size of the area in question. The Brazilian state of Amazonas recently created a "forest fund" and Brazil is studying other countries' models, including in Costa Rica where taxes on water and fuel are paid to forest landowners.

In the past three years, Brazil has managed to curtail deforestation by 59 percent. But that success has faltered in recent months by renewed stripping of the Amazon, especially by those making illegal cattle ranches and soya plantations. The deforestation is estimated to cause 75 percent of Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions. The country is the fourth biggest emitter of the gases in the world.

For more on this story see http://www.insnet.org/ins_headlines.rxml?id=9330&photo=

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DOLE FOOD COMPANY, INC. ANNOUNCES EARTH DAY AGREEMENT TO OFFSET CARBON EMISSIONS FROM TRANSPORT OF BANANAS AND PINEAPPLES IN COSTA RICA

On April 22nd, 2008, Dole Food Company, Inc. announced that its operating division in Costa Rica, Standard Fruit Company de Costa Rica S.A., will purchase carbon offsets from the Costa Rican Government's program in amounts equal to the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the inland transport of Dole produced bananas and pineapples.

This ground-breaking announcement marks the first time that a private company has committed to offset its emissions from the transport of its finished products within Costa Rica. The announcement is part of a broader agreement Dole signed last August with the Government of Costa Rica's Ministry of the Environment and Energy and the National Strategy for Climate Change to produce a carbon neutral supply chain for bananas and pineapples. Costa Rica is seeking to become carbon neutral by 2021.

Under the accord, the National Forestry Financing Fund ("Fonafifo") will offer Dole carbon credits from government-certified forestry projects that will annually sequester an equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere as that emitted by fossil fuel use in road and rail transportation. In essence, the Dole products will be "carbon neutral" with regards to transportation from company-owned packing plants to the ports of export in Costa Rica.

The carbon credit approach is one of many strategies that Dole is employing to neutralize the carbon footprint resulting from the growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution of the company's bananas and pineapples in Costa Rica. Reforestation programs are occurring and thousands of trees are being planted on Dole plantations in Costa Rica, including local farms and neighboring communities.

For the full story visit http://www.csrwire.com/News/11794.html

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OTHER RELATED NEWS

UN APPROVES THOUSANDTH KYOTO CLEAN ENERGY PROJECT

On 14 April 2008, The Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM) registered its 1000th project, an energy efficiency project in Andhra Pradesh, India, expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 34,000 tonnes annually.

.The 1,000 registered projects are expected to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 49 countries by more than 200 million tonnes annually.

CDM projects have so far generated more than 135 million certified emission reductions (CERs). The mechanism is anticipated, as of today, to generate more than 2.7 billion CERs in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

India and China are home to more than half of all registered projects. There are increasing calls and efforts to ensure more projects from Africa get registered; in particular the Nairobi Framework, a multi-agency initiative launched by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to increase CDM activities in lesser developed countries, especially in Africa

For more on this story see http://www.wbcsd.org/plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?type=DocDet&ObjectId=Mjk1Njc

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PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM BUYS RIGHTS TO ECOSYSTEM SERVICES OF GUYANA RAINFOREST – HIGHLIGHTING INCREASING INVESTOR INTEREST

A private equity firm Canopy Capital has purchased the rights to environmental services generated by a 371,000-hectare rainforest reserve in Guyana. The agreement is precedent-setting in that a financial firm is betting that the services generated by a living rainforest — including rainfall generation, climate regulation, biodiversity maintenance and water storage — will eventually see compensation in international markets.

In exchange for funding a "significant" part of the costs of maintaining Iwokrama rainforest reserve in Guyana, the agreement grants Canopy Capital the right to 16 percent profit from proceeds generated from environmental services payments. 80 percent of the income generated would go to local communities while the Global Canopy Programme, an alliance of 29 scientific institutions in 19 countries, would receive four percent.

The deal, between the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Canopy Capital, was announced at the Biodiversity and Finance Conference in New York, United States on March 27th. It aims to attract private investment to rainforest conservation by placing a market value on the benefits of Guyana's rainforest ecosystem and the services Iworkama provides in maintaining it. The aim is to make the organisation financially independent and support its ongoing research.

"For the first time investors will pay for the ecosystem services produced by a rainforest, including rainfall generation, climate regulation, biodiversity maintenance and water storage-utilities with global significance, which are vanishing as forests fall," Iwokrama states in a press release.

Iwokrama, a rainforest management organisation, overseas a one million-acre area of rainforest in Guyana in the heart of the Guiana Shield, one of four rainforest systems left in the world. Funds secured from the deal will allow Iworkama to continue managing the area, and support the livelihood of the 7,000 people living in and around the forest.

While the environmental services market is presently limited to voluntary markets, investor interest is growing. Last December, Merrill Lynch invested $9 million in rainforest conservation in Sumatra, expecting to eventually profit from the sales of carbon credits. Meanwhile in November, New Forests, a Sydney-based investment outfit, established a wildlife conservation banking scheme in Malaysia. The firm expects annual returns for selling "biodiversity credits" to developers to be in the 15-25 percent range. Canopy Capital hopes to do the same, while at the same time developing a market for the utility value of living rainforests.
While most investors are currently eyeing forests solely for their carbon value, Murray-Philipson, a Director at Merril Lynch believes they are overlooking more important services — especially rainfall generation

Looking at only the value of rainforest for ensuring the flow of water to Brazil's dams, which provide the country with 70 percent of its electricity, Murray-Philipson calculates that environmental services are worth a minimum of $20 per hectare in Guyana. Factoring in carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services would significantly boost the value, he says Murray-Philipson believes that an "equitable and just" system based on the insurance market will eventually emerge as a vehicle for paying for environmental services provided by living ecosystems like rainforests.

The deal comes in the wake of calls for the successor to the Kyoto Protocol to reward countries that conserve their forests.

For more in this story see http://www.scidev.net/en/news/forest-investment-deal-boosts-guyana-conservation.html

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BRITISH GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES CODE OF PRACTICE TO GUIDE CONSUMERS TOWARDS HUGH QUALITY OFFSETS

The British Government has launched a Code of Practice with the purpose of guiding consumers towards determined high quality offsets. The aim is to provide clear, transparent information on both their provenance and their prices.

The Code of Practice initially covers only Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) that are compliant with the Kyoto Protocol, but Defra said non- Kyoto credits could potentially be included under the code. Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said, "We recognize that credits from the unregulated market may be innovative and of a very high standard.  So we're leaving the Offsetting Code open to high-quality voluntary offsetting products, provided the industry can provide a similar level of assurance about the standard of the credits."  

For more on this story see http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2008/080219a.htm

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NEW STERN REPORT SPELLS OUT LONG-TERM CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION PROPOSAL
Source: Environmental Finance; May 1, 2008

Climate change economist Nicholas Stern has called on developed countries to accept binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 80-90% below 1990 levels by 2050, with developing countries adopting targets by 2020. Speaking at the launch of his new report, Key elements of a global deal on climate change, he said that “we’re in a hurry to get a global deal”. The successor to the Kyoto Protocol is due to be agreed at international talks in Copenhagen in December 2009.

With the projected increase in the world’s population from 6 to 9 billion, emissions must fall from an average of 7 tonnes per capita (t/capita) today to around 2 t/capita in 2050. Most developed countries emit 10-12 t/capita, but developing countries are not immune, with China and India already emitting 5 t/capita and nearly 2 t/capita, respectively. Secondly, the historic improvement in carbon efficiency per unit of GDP is 1% per year; this needs to increase to 6-7% per year if we are to meet climate change goals; according to the report.

Mr. Stern said the world should “harness the power of markets”, but that it is not yet time for a global emission cap-and-trade system. Developed countries must take the lead, demonstrating low-carbon growth and transferring technologies to developing countries via the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. This should be transformed as far as possible from the current time-consuming project-based system with its high transaction costs into a wholesale system with standardised criteria, to allow for much greater financial flows into developing countries, he added.

Developing countries, which will make up nearly 90% of the world’s population in 2050, must plan for emission reductions and be ready to accept binding targets by 2020, says the report. Those with strong emissions growth, such as China and India, should be willing to accept sectoral, or even national, targets before that.

The report also states that deforestation should be fully integrated into the carbon market in the medium- to long-term, to incentivise private sector involvement. Before that, there must be international support for institutions and governance structures to address root causes of deforestation, as well as $15 billion per year funding, the majority of which is likely to come from governments initially.

Climate change adaptation should be integrated into overall development spending and, according to the report, “well-informed private enterprise and investment has the potential to drive the bulk of adaptation in many countries”. Public funds should be used to catalyse private involvement, and to invest where private money is insufficient.

For more on this story visit http://www.environmental-finance.com/onlinews/0501ste.html

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SUPERMARKET TRIES CARBON LABELS

 

Supermarket chain Tesco has announced that a range of its own-brand products will carry labels showing the size of the goods' carbon footprints. Tesco said it would label 20 items, including light bulbs and potatoes, during a two-year trial of the scheme, which is operated by the Carbon Trust. The products will carry labels displaying the items' carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Shoppers will be able to see how much carbon is emitted over the life of a product - from manufacture to disposal. The store said it was introducing the labels in response to consumer demand.

The Carbon Trust's scheme, launched in March 2007, is being developed in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the British Standards Institute. In order for products to carry the carbon reduction label, companies have to undertake a comprehensive carbon audit of the supply chains, and commit to further CO2 reductions over a two-year period.

For more on this story visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7371033.stm

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UNITED STATES PAYS $900 MILLION TO RECOVER ENDANGERED WILD SALMON

The US Government recently announced it had come to terms with four Indian tribes, agreeing to pay some $900 million to spur the recovery of endangered wild salmon runs across the Pacific Northwest. In return for the money, the tribes agreed to back off from a long-running lawsuit faulting dam operations for the decline of the region’s once-mighty salmon, and also promised not to join the growing chorus of voices calling for breaching the region’s dams.

The deal ends years of legal wrangling over the issue between the Bush administration and the Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama and Colville tribes. Federal officials consider the agreement a model for how to balance tribal and commercial fishing rights, protection for endangered salmon and hydro-electric energy demands. But environmentalists think the only way to restore the region’s dwindling salmon runs is by breaching the dams now preventing the fish from reaching their upstream spawning grounds.

For more on this story see http://www.insnet.org/ins_headlines.rxml?id=9654&photo=

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ROCKEFELLER BACKS ‘SOCIAL’ STOCK MARKET

The Rockefeller Foundation is backing a feasibility study of a “social stock exchange” where ethical investors can trade shares in worthy enterprises could be set up. The exchange would aim to combine profitable trading with social or environmental missions. Clean technologies, healthcare, first world development projects and help for disadvantaged communities would be included in the exchange.

It is hoped that the exchange could provide a handy investment forum for a new class of wealthy philanthropists that is unhappy with the old binary system of making money with one hand and giving it away with the other.”

 A web portal will also be launched allowing ethical investors to identify social enterprises they are interested in backing.
For more on this story visit http://www.insnet.org/ins_headlines.rxml?id=9616&photo=

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UPCOMING EVENTS

MAY 20, 2008

KATOOMBA GROUP/UNEP JOINT EVENT TO LAUNCH THE PRIMER ON GETTING STARTED WITH PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES - MAY 20TH, 2008, BONN, GERMANY

For details see http://www.cbd.int/register/side-events/view.aspx?id=1437______________________________________

JUNE 9-10, 2008

2008 GLOBAL KATOOMBA MEETING
DEVELOPING AN INFRASTRUCTUREFUND FOR THE PLANET
The Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, Washington, DC

MEETING TOPICS:

  • Report on the current state of U.S. and global ecosystem markets
  • What is next for the already $30 Billion carbon markets
  • How water quality trading markets are helping address the world's growing water crisis
  • The emergence of biodiversity markets and how they can be optimized for superior results
  • How to bridge the gap between current challenges and future economic and environmental solutions
  • Create an infrastructure fund for the planet that will invest in our vital natural services

For more information visit www.katoombagroup.org/chesapeake or contact mjenkins@forest-trends.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.

CONFERENCE THEMES

I. ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS AND SERVICES
1.1- Equity and valuation issues in payment for ecosystem services
1.2- Biophysical dimensions (e.g., biodiversity, nitrogen cycle)
1.3- Qualitative dimensions of ecosystem services valuation
1.4- Bridging micro and macro perspectives
1.5- Markets for ecosystem services: theoretical and implementation dimensions

II. CLIMATE CHANGE
2.1- Climate mitigation strategies
2.2- Adaptation to climate change
2.3- Compensation for reduced deforestation

III. ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS FOR DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
3.1- Macroeconomic issues and the environment
3.2- Sustainable trade regimes
3.3- Ecological economics challenges and policies for Africa

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______________________________________

5 - 14 OCTOBER 2008

THE IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS; BARCELONA, SPAIN

 More than 8,000 leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and social organizations will discuss debate and decide solutions for the world’s most pressing environment and development issues. The Congress starts with the four-day Forum run by IUCN members and partners discussing cutting edge ideas, thinking and practice. The Forum leads into the four-day IUCN Members’ Assembly, a unique global environmental parliament of governments and NGOs. For more visit
http://cms.iucn.org/news/events/congress/congress_about/index.cfm______________________________________

WALKING FOR CONSERVATION, 2008

Project African Wilderness (PAW), a conservation charity based in Malawi and the UK, is inviting anyone with a passion for conservation and sense of adventure to take part in a challenging once-in-a-lifetime trek in Malawi in October 2008. PAW is working to save Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve in Southern Malawi, a unique piece of Africa’s natural wilderness. The walk will cover 15km a day for five days during one of the hottest times of the year. For more information visit www.projectafricanwilderness.org or Email: Gaynor@projectafricanwilderness.org

RESOURCES AND TOOLS

 THE GOLD STANDARD VER REGISTRY

The registry also will serve as the Gold Standard's Clean Development Mechanism/Joint Implementation (CDM/JI) project database. The Gold Standard VER Registry will manage the full lifecycle of a carbon credit, including creation, serialization, transfers, and retirement.
Visit the Gold Standard VER registry: at http://goldstandard.apx.com/

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GOOGLE/AQUAVERDE NEW BROWSER

A new browser from the partnership of Aquaverde and Google, using it results
in trees being planted:

Try it out at www.ecoogler.com

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NEW PUBLICATIONS

REDUCING DEFORESTATION AND TRADING EMISSIONS: ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS FOR THE POST-KYOTO CARBON MARKET
By Niels Anger and Jayant Sathaye (Centre for European Economic Research, 2008).

This paper quantitatively assesses the economic implications of crediting carbon abatement from reduced deforestation for the emissions market in 2020 by linking a numerical equilibrium model of the global carbon market with a dynamic partial equilibrium model of the forestry sector. The authors find that integrating avoided deforestation in international emissions trading considerably decreases the costs of post-Kyoto climate policy - even when accounting for conventional abatement options of developing countries under the CDM. At the same time, tropical rainforest regions receive substantial net revenues from exporting carbon-offset credits to the industrialized world. Moreover, reduced deforestation can increase environmental effectiveness by enabling industrialized countries to tighten
their carbon constraints without increasing mitigation costs. Regarding uncertainties of this future carbon abatement option, the paper finds both forestry transaction costs and deforestation baselines to play an important role for the post-Kyoto carbon market.

Available online at ftp://ftp.zew.de/pub/zew-docs/dp/dp08016.---------------

DEVELOPING INCENTIVES AND ECONOMIC MECHANISMS FOR IN SITU BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES
Paper in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment: 2007

The main focus of this paper by Unai Pascual and Charles Perrings,  is agrobiodiversity and its effects on agricultural production within agricultural landscapes. The paper focuses on the fundamental causes of agrobiodiversity loss by exploring the institutional and economic environment that mediates farmers’ decentralized decisions. Reasoning that farmers do not invest in agrobiodiversity due to a lack of incentives offered by markets and other institutions, the authors discuss the institutional issues involved in establishing market-like mechanisms for agrobiodiversity conservation.

For more information see: http://www.biodiversityeconomics.org/applications/library_documents/lib_document.rm?document_id=1132§ion_id=20---------------

REDUCING DEFORESTATION 'LUCRATIVE' FOR FOREST NATIONS
By Johannes Ebeling and Maï Yasué

 Financial incentives for cutting carbon emissions could earn developing countries up to US$13 billion in carbon credits per year — but there are several issues for policymakers to tackle first, says a new study. The study, published in the latest issue Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, analyses the best ways to reward developing countries that manage to reduce their carbon emissions from deforestation.

Authors Johannes Ebeling and Maï Yasué estimated the carbon credits that could be generated by reducing emissions from deforestation (or 'RED'), based on annual deforestation data from 1990–2005. They found that a ten per cent global reduction could generate a 'carbon finance' of up to about US$13 billion per year. They suggest that the funding issues faced by forest conservation might be addressed by linking RED efforts with the international carbon market, responsible for transactions worth US$33.3 billion in 2006.

Available online at http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/kq13503333tqvk62/fulltext.pdf (PDF 178 kb) ---------------
 
BLACK CARBON CLIMATE DANGER 'UNDERESTIMATED'
Published in Nature Geoscience 1, 221 (2008)

Black carbon, a key component of soot, plays a much larger role in global warming than previously estimated, scientists have found. They cite black carbon as the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.

"We've got one more thing to worry about," says Veerabhadran Ramanathan, professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the US-based University of California at San Diego and co-author of the study. "We thought it was mainly carbon dioxide emissions [contributing to global warming]. Now we know that there is another major culprit. Our finding adds to the complexity of the issue."

Black carbon is produced from the incomplete combustion of wood, biomass such as crop residues and fossil fuels. Ramanathan, together with Greg Carmichael at the University of Iowa, United States, combined satellite data with aircraft and surface observations to paint a global picture of the warming effects of black carbon emissions.

Ramanathan is undertaking a study in India to look at the cost-effectiveness of biogas plants and encouraging the use of solar cookers instead of burning biomass in villages.

He is currently working with the Chicago Climate Exchange Commission to provide the villagers with carbon credits to sustain these new cooking methods.

A report building on Ramanathan's and Carmichael's analysis, assessing the impact of atmospheric brown clouds — formed from the mixing of black carbon with other aerosols — on China and India will be released by the UN later this year.
Available online at www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n4/full/ngeo156.html---------------

CAN CROPS BE CLIMATE-PROOFED?
Authors: Padma, T.
Produced by: SciDev.Net (2008)

Among the most worrying aspects of climate change is its effects on the world's food supply. This article explores the urgent need to put climate change at the heart of agricultural research programmes to ensure the adaptation of major crops to a changing climate. The author argues that, while the previous focus of crop scientists was on the improvement of yields, with successive International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports warning that increased flooding and drought will shift crop systems, "climate-proofing" of crops has become crucial.

The article concludes by noting that water availability holds the key to addressing this crisis. It argues that scientists need to go beyond coarse global models to develop specific river-basin and farm-scale models of how climate change will affect river water availability and lake levels and thus impact on crop levels.  Although a tentative start towards "climate-proofing" crops has been made, it predicts that the road ahead is long.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=35925

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL FOR RESEARCHERS - KATAVI NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA

Tanzania's Katavi National Park, with a size of 4,471 sq km, is the third largest park in the country. Located on the western side towards Lake Tanganyika, the park is endowed with high densities and diversity of herbivores, carnivores, birdlife as well as insects. Unexplored and wild, Katavi has a mosaic of habitats which enable it to accommodate one of the highest mammalian biomasses among East African protected areas. Unfortunately, the absence of research studies on park resources and ecological processes hinders science-based management decisions.

The current park management is therefore calling for interested researchers to work in Katavi and help inform the long-term management of this jewel in the Tanzanian protected areas system. A number of research priorities have been identified. For more information and documentation, please contact Dr. Titus Mlengeya, wildvet_tanzania@yahoo.com, www.tanzaniaparks.com

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