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Archive for June, 2009

With the approval of the readiness plans for Guyana and Panama, the World Bank moves its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility forward despite civil society protests World Bank Information Center, 29 June 2009

bicThe third meeting of the Participants Committee (PC) of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) was held in Montreaux, Switzerland, from 15-18 June 2009. On the agenda for this meeting were readiness plans (R-Plans) from three countries: Guyana, Panama and Indonesia. While there was significant debate within the PC around weaknesses in all three R-plans, the political pressure to move the process forward won the day, with approval of the Guyana and Panama plans, and approval pending for Indonesia.

The TAP reports for Guyana, Panama and Indonesia all noted significant weaknesses in the R-Plans, one of the main complaints being that their analysis of the drivers of deforestation was incomplete and poorly aligned with their proposed strategies. Another big issue is the weak governance of forests in the majority of REDD countries, Guyana and Panama being among those with relatively strong institutional frameworks. Because many of the last remaining areas of forest in the world are home to indigenous peoples who are, in many cases, responsible for their preservation, states must finally recognize the land and natural resource rights of their indigenous peoples. Such recognition must be accompanied by demarcation, land titling and effective protections against encroachment by miners, loggers and settlers. This requires political will at the top level of government, and entails some degree of confrontation with powerful economic interests who are currently profiting from deforestation.

The approval of the R-Plans also places the spotlight on the governments of Guyana, Panama and Indonesia, who, as the first countries to formally begin REDD readiness under the auspices of the World Bank, will be carefully scrutinized. The experiences of these pilot countries will be used to assess whether the FCPF process is capable of facilitating sustained and effective engagement with civil society and indigenous peoples, and of producing high quality plans for reducing deforestation that are credible both nationally and internationally.

Read the World Bank article [html]…

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Counting the cost, forest credits and their effect on carbon markets by Kate Dooley, Forests and the European Union Resource Network (FERN), Avoiding Deforestation and Degradation Briefing Note 6, June 2009

fern cost countingThis 6 page briefing note looks at recent research into the impact of trading forest carbon credits on carbon markets, and the subsequent effect on forests and the climate. It reviews research that is increasingly showing that attributing a price to forest carbon will not be enough to save the forests or protect the climate and may lead to massive land grabs which negatively affect forest peoples. The note concludes that direct policy reform will have the most substantial effect on reducing carbon emissions and that including REDD in carbon markets will either lower the price of carbon, or not raise the funds required to make a significant impact on deforestation rates.

“A lower carbon price will reduce the incentive to invest in low carbon technology, leading to higher emissions and making a peak by 2015 and drastic decline in emissions thereafter out of reach.” – Extract from Counting the cost, forest credits and their effect on carbon markets

Download Counting the cost, forest credits and their effect on carbon markets [pdf]…

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June 2009 Coalition Statement at the Bonn Climate Talks

ClimateTalksA broad coalition of activist groups released a consensus statement at the U.N. climate talks in Bonn Germany stating that a global framework on climate change must immediately halt deforestation and industrial logging of the world’s old-growth forests, while protecting the rights of forest communities and indigenous groups.

“Climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management must be based on different mindsets with full respect for Nature, and not on carbon offset mechanisms. Public funding mechanisms that ensure environmental integrity and equitable distribution of funds must be made established.” – Coalition Statement

The coalition statement calls upon industrialized countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2020 and 95 percent by 2050 as an “absolute minimum” in addition to providing “sufficient financial and technological support to enable developing countries to halt the destruction of forests and other ecosystems.” The targets are well above those laid out by industrialized countries, which generally fall in the 15-30 percent range by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.

Read the Statement at MongaBay [html]…

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