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Archive for November, 2008

Cutting corners: how the FCPF is failing forests and peoples Kate Dooley, Tom Griffiths, Helen Leake, Saskia Ozinga, FERN, November 2008

cutting cornersIn December 2007 the World Bank launched its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to act as a ‘catalyst’ to promote public and private investment in ‘REDD’ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and to support demonstration pilot projects for developing and implementing national REDD strategies. To access the funds gathered by the Facility countries had to submit Readiness Project Idea Notes (R-PINs).

This FERN-FPP report analyses nine of the first 25 R-PINs1 approved to try to assess the extent to which the Facility is fulfilling some key social commitments set out in its Charter, and to determine whether or not it is addressing some of the main concerns raised by indigenous peoples and
civil society organizations relating to REDD, including governance, human rights, land tenure, and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

“Overall, this review finds the process to date has been rushed, implicitly directed towards a market based REDD and dominated by centralized government, with little to no consultation with indigenous peoples, local communities or civil society organizations. The poor quality of some R-PINs that have been approved suggests that the Bank’s carbon finance unit is keen to get the Facility up and running as quickly as possible, and this accelerated approach has meant that approval of R-PINs has been rushed and corners have been cut. Furthermore, the review finds that the FCPF is not meeting some of the key social commitments it has made.” – Extract from Cutting Corners

The report concludes that both the process and the proposals adopted do not respect the Bank’s own guidelines. The report also includes an annex which details the World Bank funded REDD process.

Download Cutting Corners [pdf]… Also available in French and Spanish.

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From green ideals to REDD money Richard Wainwright, Saskia Ozinga, Kate Dooley and Iola Leal, FERN Avoiding Deforestation and Degradation – Briefing Note 2, November 2008

redd moneyThis FERN briefing note outlines both the history of Avoided Deforestation and Degradation discussions and schemes to protect forest carbon resources, and explains the basic differences between the different country proposals on the table for Reduced Emissions of Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) – covering COMIFAC (Congo Basin countries), India, Norway, and Tuvalu.

“Norway’s submission calls for the involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities in REDD decision-making processes and rewards them for the forests they protect. It also suggests independent monitoring of accounting methodologies for tradeable carbon credits, though this is criticised as cumbersome by those advocating a market-based approach.” – Extract from From green ideals to REDD money

More details on the different country proposals and references to original documents are available in the FERN background report ‘An overview of selected REDD proposals.’

Download From green ideals to REDD money [pdf]…

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Financing Flows and Needs to Implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument On All Types of Forests: A study prepared for the Advisory Group on Finance of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests with the support of the Program on Forests (PROFOR) of the World Bank, October 2008

UN Forum on Forests

Written by Markku Simula, this background paper was prepared for the Advisory Group on Finance of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, in advance of the meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Finance of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), which will be held from 10-14 November 2008, in Vienna, Austria. The paper maps the needs and available sources and mechanisms for funding, taking into account recent developments, including in the climate change regime.

According to the paper, avoiding deforestation would be among the lowest cost mitigation options to avoid increasing CO2 emissions and possibly also increasing carbon sinks. At the same time, other benefits like biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation could also be
enhanced. Through carbon revenue, prospects for the economic viability of SFM in developing
countries are expected to substantially improve as at least part of the ecosystem services that
forests provide could be remunerated.

“REDD compensation as a win-win instrument is being increasingly supported by practically all stakeholders for a variety of reasons. For tropical country governments REDD can represent an opening of a new source of financing for national priorities; for donor countries it can be a low cost option for carbon offsets; for environmental NGOs REDD can generate additional resources for biodiversity conservation; for the rural poor badly needed income and financial support to community development as well as a means to improve their forest tenure rights; for the private sector REDD can be an additional source of funding to make SFM financially viable; for political elites yet another opportunity of income; for multilateral development banks REDD can open up new ways of doing business in the context of maintenance of global public goods; and for intergovernmental organizations it offers a new area of intervention in technical assistance and a new funding source.” — Markku Simula, extract from Financing Flows and Needs to Implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument On All Types of Forests

The report notes that meeting such a broad range of varied interests in REDD schemes will be difficult and several issues need clarification: (i) uncertainty about co-benefits, (ii) risk for violating the rights of indigenous and other local populations, (iii) possible impact on land prices, (iv) equity in distribution of REDD payments, (v) governance arrangements of REDD schemes, (vi) slowness of necessary national-level policy and legal reform processes, (vii) stakeholder participation, (viii) limited access to REDD financing by only forest-rich countries, (ix) possible exclusion of countries which have already addressed deforestation, (x) possible exclusion of drylands and other low carbon intensity forest lands, (xi) definitions and methodologies for treatment of land degradation and restoration of deforested areas, (xii) measures to address underlying causes for deforestation and forest degradation, (xiii) lack of proper understanding on the role of timber harvesting in carbon stock management, (xiv) the level of REDD application (national, sub-national or project), (xv) use of a market mechanism or a fund mechanism, (xvi) possible flooding of the carbon offset markets with REDD credits, (xvii) transaction costs, etc.

Download the Financing Flows and Needs to Implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument On All Types of Forests paper [pdf]…

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‘If You Saw It with My Eyes’: Collaborative Research and Assistance with Central American Forest Steward Communities Peter Leigh Taylor, Peter Cronkleton, Deborah Barry, Samantha Stone-Jovicich, Marianne Schmink – CIFOR, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, University of Florida, Gainsville, Florida, October 2008

If you saw it reportCommunities are making unprecedented gains worldwide in forest resource access and management rights. A new conservation actor, the forest steward community, is emerging in Central America as an effective collaborator in forest conservation. How best to support and strengthen this community-based conservation actor while minimizing external dependency? This paper discusses an experience with innovative participatory research in Guatemala and Nicaragua that aimed to strengthen community capabilities in natural resource management.

The Grassroots Assistance Project trained community members to document and critically reflect upon local experience with forest management and external assistance. Together with regional context studies undertaken by professional researchers, these local ‘autosystematization’ studies made possible comprehensive documentation of the multiple dimensions of communities’ resource management, identification of their strengths and vulnerabilities and discussion of future strategies. Their endeavours also reveal an emerging alternative ‘accompaniment’ approach to technical assistance, which promotes a high level of partnership between communities and external institutions, in contrast to traditional assistance, which often creates dependency.

Important lessons learned through the project include:

  • Rather than necessarily representing driving forces behind deforestation and
    biodiversity loss, local communities can be effective stewards of the forest while simultaneously pursuing sustainable livelihood strategies. Effective partnerships are necessary between external interests and local communities promoting conservation, especially given the social, political and economic realities underlying conservation in regions like the Petén and Siuna.
  • Local communities are capable of being full partners in generating information and contributing knowledge about development and conservation, and can contribute valuable perspectives through their analysis of their own situation. They need to develop their own accounts and analyses of their experiences with forest access and resource management as a step toward becoming more effective negotiators with powerful external interests.

Download the ‘If You Saw It with My Eyes’: Collaborative Research and Assistance with Central American Forest Steward Communities report [pdf]…

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