East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group
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October 21, 2009

FROM THE EDITOR

Dear Katoomba Members,
 
Greetings and welcome to the October 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 payments for ecosystem services (PES) 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


 Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ESAKatoomba



 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. ESA Katoomba News

2. New PES Related News from the Region

3. News from Across the Ocean

4. Other Related News

5. Upcoming Events

6. Resources & Tools

7. New Publications

ESA Katoomba News

KATOOMBA IN GHANA

The Fifteenth Katoomba Meeting took place in Accra, Ghana, from October 6th to 10th, 2009. Participants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Democratic Republic of Congo, were joined by others from the rest of Africa, Europe, North America and South America to discuss and share experiences on a wide range of issues including Soil carbon, specifically looking at ways that African farmers could earn income by adopting agricultural techniques that capture carbon in the soil; Carbon and Cocoa: looking at the interrelationship between cocoa farming, deforestation, and carbon sequestration; and the REDD Readiness process.

  – Presentations from the meeting are available on the Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace

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New PES Related News from the Region

UGANDA REGISTERS FIRST FORESTRY PROJECT IN AFRICA UNDER CDM

The Nile Basin Reforestation Project in Uganda is a ground-breaking project being implemented by Uganda's National Forestry Authority (NFA) in association with local community organizations. The growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, in exchange for revenues from the World Bank BioCarbon Fund paid to NFA and the communities. The Ugandan project is one of only eight reforestation projects world-wide that have been approved to date, seven of which were registered this year. The project will generate about 500 jobs during planting and 200 jobs during ongoing management of the forest

The project will establish a plantation of pine and mixed native species in the Rwoho Central Forest Reserve, grasslands that were degraded due to deforestation and erosion. This project is an example of sustainable forest management in a country that currently only has a few thousand hectares left of timber plantations. The expansion of wood resources in Uganda is crucial for the country to meet a growing demand of wood and to reduce the pressure on the remaining native forests in the country. This is the first of five small scale projects developed through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), where each will be registered separately and the total size of the plantation will ultimately reach 2,137 hectares.

The announcement of this first forestry project in Africa coincided with an important meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bangkok. This is the penultimate negotiating session before Copenhagen in December where governments hope to agree on an ambitious and effective international climate change deal. Forest issues are a key part of the talks. Until now, only reforestation and afforestation have been part of the CDM. Negotiators are currently discussing not only the streamlining of CDM rules, which have been a challenge to implement, but also whether it should include more land use activities such as the restoration of wetlands, agriculture and REDD. If this is achieved, poor rural communities, especially in Africa, will be able to implement more land use and forestry projects and benefit from carbon revenues from sustainable development.

  – For more details on the story visit

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UCHINDILE-MAPANDA REFORESTATION PROJECT IN TANZANIA IS THE FIRST VCS AFOLU VALIDATED FORESTRY PROJECT IN AFRICA

The Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project is the first Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) project in Africa to be validated and registered, providing a guarantee of quality, credibility and permanence to the use of forestry in the carbon markets. The validation, which was carried out by TüV Süd. enables the reforestation project to combine an approved CDM methodology providing technical integrity, with a VCS buffer which addresses the risk of non-permanence and gives an essential guarantee of delivery. This approach means the project has:
•    Created a reserve of 40 per cent of the total number of carbon credits available to cover any non-delivery;
•    Made ex-post forestry carbon credits available for sales based on confirmed verification, when the independent third party DOE confirms how many tonnes have actually been sequestered;
•    Set aside 39 per cent of the project area for the conservation of local wildlife and indigenous species.

In addition, the project received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation in 2008 and expects validation from the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) shortly.

The Uchindile-Mapanda reforestation project, which is managed by Green Resources, takes degraded grassland and converts it into sustainably harvested forests which sequester carbon emissions from the atmosphere and generate carbon credits. The development of a sustainable operation in a community reliant on subsistence farming is said to have given important economic benefits to the local area. Ten per cent of the carbon credit revenues are committed to investment in the community including the building of school classrooms, teachers’ houses, dispensaries and roads. 200 local people are employed at the forests and more than 200km in roads have been built. In addition, wood lots have been created throughout the area for local villagers to run and maintain themselves. The forests of eucalyptus and pine will be sustainably harvested and the wood will go to the local Sao Hill sawmill, also owned by Green Resources, for the manufacture of transmission poles, doors and other wood products.


The CarbonNeutral Company has secured exclusive access to the carbon credits .

  – For more details on the story visit

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CONGO BASIN FOREST FUND AWARDS GRANT TO SOIL CARBON INITIATIVE

An initiative using soil carbon enrichment techniques to boost agricultural yields, alleviate poverty, and protect endangered forests in Central Africa was selected as one of six projects to win funding under the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF).
The scientific committee of the CBFF awarded Belgium's Biochar Fund and its Congolese partner ADAPEL €300,000 to implement its biochar concept in 10 villages in the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The approach improves the fertility of soils through the introduction of "biochar" — charcoal produced from the burning of agricultural residues and waste biomass under reduced oxygen conditions — thereby increasing crop yields and reducing the need to clear forest for slash-and-burn agriculture. The Biochar Fund says the scheme will help address lack of access to clean, renewable energy among poor rural communities while simultaneously cutting emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The Biochar Fund says the project was selected by the CBFF for scoring high on its selection criteria which are: (1) reducing the rate of deforestation in the Congo Basin, (2) alleviating poverty and improving livelihoods of the poorest forest communities, (3) strengthening the capacity of local partners (in this case grassroots farmer organizations in Congo), (4) improving humanity's knowledge of the forest ecosystem and the factors leading to its alteration (in this case the study of tropical soil dynamics and farming systems which put pressures on the forests), and (5) the presentation of a highly innovative and creative conservation concept.

The venture hopes to eventually capitalize on the emerging market for carbon credits to generate additional income for communities, which rank among the poorest in the world and suffer from chronic food insecurity. "The carbon market would provide an incentive to utilize waste biomass and re-growing resources to establish a carbon sink and the means to invest into long-term soil fertility and the recuperation of previously degraded land."

  – For more details on the story visit

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News from Across the Ocean

INDONESIA LAUNCHES CLIMATE CHANGE TRUST FUND

The Government of Indonesia had developed the Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF) with the goal to advance investment towards our country’s low-carbon growth strategy and greater resilience to the negative climate change impacts. 
 The Indonesia Climate Change Trust Fund (ICCTF) launched on 14 September 2009, is designed to assist the Government in addressing Indonesia’s emerging and immediate needs with respect to climate change, which are currently being formulated in the 20 Years Indonesian Climate Change Sectoral Roadmap (20-ICCSR). More specifically, three priority areas for the ICCTF are: The energy sector, including renewable energies and energy efficiency as well as the sustainable management of forest and peat land on the mitigation side, and reducing the vulnerability of agriculture, water and coastal zones on the adaptation side 
 



The ICCTF will not only pool and coordinate grant funding from development partners and other contributors, but also try to catalyze investment and other sources of funds, in order to bridge the gap between financial needs and national budget capacities. Countries that already pledged funds for the ICCTF are the UK, Netherlands, Australia, Norway and Sweden.


  – For more details on the fund visit

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Other Related News

AFRICAN EXPERTS REFINING POSITION FOR COPENHAGEN

The Second Technical Meeting of the African high-level expert panel and negotiators on climate change has opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a view to updating the African common negotiating position for Copenhagen. The meeting is organized by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the African Union, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).


Participants will discuss their expectations for an inclusive, fair and effective outcome that prioritizes both adaptation and mitigation, and recognizes Africa’s urgent need for support for adaptation in the context of Africa’s need for development. The outcomes of the meeting will be presented at the second extraordinary meeting of AMCEN on climate change, scheduled for the eve of the high-level segment of the Copenhagen conference.


The “African process for combating climate change” aims to support efforts by AMCEN to implement the continent’s process to achieve a common negotiating position on a comprehensive international climate change regime beyond 2012; provide a platform to deliberate and agree on a shared vision and common position for Africa to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development; engage with the international community in finding solutions to the challenges posed by climate change; and develop a comprehensive framework of African climate change programmes and its associated sub regional climate change programmes.

  – For more information visit

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SOUTH AFRICA'S STANDARD BANK CLOSE TO LAUNCHING A $230 MILLION FORESTRY CARBON FUND

(Reuters) South Africa's Standard Bank is close to launching a A$250 million ($230 million) forestry fund in Australia, aimed at selling carbon offsets to companies, in what is believed to be the largest fund of its kind so far. It will focus on companies that will need to meet emissions reduction targets under carbon trading laws awaiting approval by the Australian Senate, said Singapore-based William Pazos, global head of origination and finance at Standard Bank. "The fund is targeted at compliance buyers that don't want to get involved in management of forests but are really interested in the underlying credits that are going to be generated by the forests," Pazos told Reuters. The fund is still in the planning stages but is expected to be formally launched in the next few weeks, he added. The fund will cover the planting and management of 50,000 ha (125,000 acres). Perth-based agribusiness investment firm Rewards Group Ltd would plant and manage the forests, Pazos said.

  – For more details on the story visit

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THE INTERNATIONAL SMALL GROUP AND TREE PLANTING PROGRAM (TIST), WHICH OPERATES IN INDIA AND AFRICA RECEIVES CDM VALIDATION

Farmers in India and Africa have planted more than 7 million trees as a part of the Clean Air Action  Corporation’s (CAAC) international award winning environmental initiative TIST (The International Small  Group and Tree Planting Program).

TIST has now received validation under the United Nations international  treaty for global climate change program known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for their  forestry project in Tamil Nadu, India. TIST’s stated goal is to address environmental change and poverty by providing men and women in developing  countries with new sources of income from their trees, by connecting them to the global carbon market.  TIST provides an infrastructure for training on topics such as nursery development, tree planting,  Conservation Farming, fuel-efficient stoves, nutrition and preventative health education. TIST empowers  the farmers to take action to change their lives, communities and the world..


TIST has developed an  award-winning monitoring system to track the farmers’ progress and results. Using hand-held computers and  GPS, highly trained farmers visit each tree grove and record the location, number, size, and species of  live trees. The data, including pictures, is uploaded onto a central database using cell phones or  Internet, and can be viewed by the public at www.tist. org.




TIST currently works in India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Today there are over 50,000 farmers in the  program, over 7 million trees in the ground, and 6,000 more being planted each day.

TIST plans to expand to a number of new countries over the next five years to respond to the requests of  farmers and governments to help reverse the damage of deforestation.

  – For more details on the story visit

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UN AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR RECOGNIZING LARGE MAMMALS’ ROLE IN FORESTS IN CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS

Large mammals, such as gorillas and elephants, are keystone species in African rainforests and should be included in the upcoming climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, according to UN Ambassador for the Year of the Gorilla Ian Redmond. Redmond has just returned from a fact-finding mission across eight African gorilla range States, and his insights highlight the need for a comprehensive approach to conserve rain forests and gorillas in the Congo Basin.


Gorillas are second to elephants in the number of seeds they disperse each day in African forests. The survival of forests requires the protection of the animals in them as well as the trees. In the long term, deforestation is as much a consequence of over-hunting as of cutting trees for charcoal or timber. Supporting existing national action plans to halt deforestation of gorilla habitat is one of the major objectives of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Agreement on the Conservation of Gorilla and their Habitat during the Year of the Gorilla campaign.

  – For more details on the story visit

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AFRICAN LEADERS DEFINE A GREEN PACT FOR AFRICA AT FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The World Forum on Sustainable Development, which convened from 9-11 October 2009, in Ouagadougou, under the theme “Climate Change: What Opportunities for Sustainable Development?”brought together Heads of State and key African leaders and experts on climate change to discuss climate change impacts and the opportunities available for sustainable development in the region. In the Forum’s final declaration on the new Green Pact for Africa, officials underscored the need for compensation for the natural disasters caused by climate change and called for relaxing the procedures and softening of conditions for African countries to access the resources under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The Forum emphasized the value-added of African perspectives and ideas to the success of the Copenhagen negotiations, as well as the developed countries’ commitments to reduce carbon emissions and provide financial support to developing countries to adapt and mitigate climate change. Overall, the Green Pact for Africa will be based on the need to: mainstream climate change adaptation strategies into development and poverty reduction plans; use renewable energy sources as a catalyst for development; develop low-carbon-emission technologies for stimulating economic growth and creating jobs; implement new projects that can attract investment and innovative sources of financing; and create governance mechanisms that give Africans a meaningful say in decision-making processes

  – For more details on the story visit

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EUROPEAN AND AFRICAN LEADERS DISCUSS COPENHAGEN AGENDA

In the framework of the Africa-European Union (EU) dialogue, African and EU leaders addressed the “climate change agenda” during the 13th Ministerial Meeting of African and EU Troikas, which convened in Addis Ababa on 14 October 2009.

Ministers agreed on the urgency in addressing African priorities in Copenhagen, such as adaptation, mitigation, technology development and transfer, financing, capacity building, and addressing deforestation as well as land degradation and coastal area erosion. On adaptation, they recognized the need for long-term coordinated actions based on solidarity, as well as on common but differentiated responsibility for mobilizing support. They further underscored the importance of “fast-start pre-2013” financing for capacity building and integration of climate change in national development planning. Ministers also noted that implementation of adaptation should be flexible, participatory and integrated in development cooperation. They emphasized the need to initiate cooperation to promote wider use of the Clean Development Mechanism in Africa. Finally, ministers stressed the need to enhance women and youth’s participation in climate change activities and decision-making.

  – For more details on the story visit

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Upcoming Events

CLIMATE TECHNOLOGY AND CARBON MARKET WORKSHOP; GABARONE, BOTSWANA, 4TH - 5TH, NOVEMBER, 2009

Botswana Innovation Hub and Lund University with assistance from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) are organising a workshop in Botswana to promote research-, public- and business development partnerships in the field of climate technologies and the carbon markets. Topics will include: Mitigation: The impact effectiveness of different Climate Change Technologies; Botswana mitigation strategies and projects ; Financing for Carbon projects (by Karan Capoor, World Bank); The Africa Carbon Access Development Facility (by UNEP Risoe) and CDM and VER projects in the pipeline

  – For more information on the workshop visit
  – For more on Botswana Innovation Hub visit

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KICK STARTING AFRICA'S CARBON MARKETS CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA:  10—11, NOVEMBER 2009

The 3rd Annual Carbon Markets Africa will showcase the current CDM business opportunities in Africa and will look to establish Africa’s path to generating a robust and sizeable carbon market.  The event will create a platform for CDM project hosts to interact with the key players in the carbon markets value chain to deliver a progressive plan of action for a potentially substantial carbon market. 

  – For more details on the event visit

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15TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF TROPICAL FORESTERS, FEBRUARY 11-13, 2010, YALE UNIVERSITY.

In Spring 2010 (February 11-13), the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will bring together practitioners and researchers from government, academia, communities, and environmental and development organizations to explore the relationship between tropical forests and climate change. Following soon after the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, this symposium will elaborate on the decisions that have consequences for tropical forests. The discussion will be driven by questions such as:

  • *How will climate change impact tropical forest biodiversity, ecology, ecosystem services, and the communities, cultures, and economies  that rely on them?
  • *What tropical forest management practices could help mitigate the  effects of climate change?
  • *Which strategies can governments, communities, and other organizations implement in order to adapt to the effects of climate change?
ABSTRACTS ARE DUE ON NOVEMBER 30TH, 2009

  – For more information and to submit an abstract visit

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Resources & Tools

CARBON METHODOLOGIES AND STANDARDS POSTED FOR COMMENT


REDD+ SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS – DRAFT VERSION

A draft version of the REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards is now available. These standards are being developed for use by governments, NGOs, financing agencies and other stakeholders to design and implement REDD and other forest carbon programs that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and generate significant social and biodiversity co-benefits.  They are being designed to work for the new global REDD+ regime expected to emerge out of ongoing climate change negotiations, that is for government-led programs implemented at national or state/provincial/regional level and for all forms of fund-based or market-based financing. 
 
The standards are being developed through an inclusive process engaging governments, non-governmental organizations and other civil society organizations, Indigenous Peoples organizations, international policy and research institutions and the private sector.  The standards development is being overseen by a Standards Committee representing a balance of interested parties and facilitated by the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) and CARE International. Comments on the standards are invited until 30 November 2009 which is the end of the first 60-day public comment period.

Please submit your comments at http://www.climate-standards.org/REDD+/

NEW VERSION OF SOCIALCARBON® STANDARD FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION!
 
The SOCIALCARBON Standard has launched the fourth version of its standards to strengthen co-benefits of carbon offset projects. SOCIALCARBON is a methodology tool box of indicators that points at degrees of sustainability correlated to six resources: social, human, financial, natural, biodiversity and carbon, which are periodically monitored and verified.


Comments should be submitted by email to cecilia@socialcarbon.org

VOLUNTARY CARBON STANDARD METHODOLOGIES AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT
 
The following methodologies are being assessed under the Voluntary Carbon Standard double approval process, and as part of this process have been posted on the VCS website for a 30-day public comment period:
 

  • o    Quantification Methodology for Underbalanced Drilling with Natural Gas and Formation Gas Recovery, Encana Corporation: http://www.v-c-s.org/methodology_qmfudwngafgr.html
  • o    Improved Forest Management through Extension of Rotation Age, Ecotrust: http://www.v-c-s.org/methodology_eifmm.html
  • o    Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Land Management (SALM), BioCarbon Fund, World Bank: http://www.v-c-s.org/methodology_salm.html
  • o    Revisions to Approved Baseline and Monitoring Methodology AM0047 and Tool to Calculate the Emission Factor for a Petroleum Distribution Center, Carbon Solutions Group LLC: http://www.v-c-s.org/methodology_am0047.html
  • o    Baseline and Monitoring Methodology for the Reduction of Jet Engine Emissions through the Use of Engine Washing Technology, Pratt and Whitney:  http://www.v-c-s.org/methodology_jewbmm.html

 
Comments on the methodologies should be emailed to secretariat@v-c-s.org. The full list of methodology elements available for public comment is available at http://www.v-c-s.org/public_comment.html.
 


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New Publications

“IMPLEMENTING CDM PROJECTS: A GUIDEBOOK TO HOST COUNTRY LEGAL ISSUES”

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Baker & McKenzie are pleased to announce Implementing CDM Projects: A Guidebook to Host Country Legal Issues.  The publication primarily targets project developers and climate policymakers in developing countries, but it is of equal interest to carbon investors. In particular, the Guidebook:
o    provides examples of domestic laws that specifically deal with the implementation of CDM projects;
o    illustrates ways in which domestic legal regimes can hinder or facilitate CDM projects, for example, the impact of property, taxation, and financial     services laws and regulations on the ownership and transfer of carbon credits;
o    shows how domestic environmental and permitting laws affect the local and international approval of CDM projects, as well as their operations;
o    highlights how various domestic legal issues and risks are mitigated under prevailing contractual structures for CERs.

  – The publication is available free of charge at

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SOIL CARBON IN AFRICA: POTENTIALS AND PITFALLS

The Ecosystem Marketplace; Forest Carbon Portal


Imagine a world where African farmers raise their standard of living by shifting towards sustainable agriculture that mitigates climate change – while cashing in on this shift via ecosystem service payments. If you can't imagine it, drop in on the real deal: in the Kiambu District of Central Kenya, where a groundbreaking pilot project is testing new financing mechanisms that capture carbon in soil.

  – To read the full article visit

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PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN EAST & SOUTHERN AFRICA

In the Environment and Poverty Times, No. 6
By Alice Ruhweza


This article calls for more Government involvement in order to scale up PES in East and Southern Africa.

  – To read the full article visit

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NEWSLETTERS

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

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