Dear Katoomba Members,
Welcome to the September 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator, East and Southern Africa
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
EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA KATOOMBA GROUP REGIONAL MEETING TO TAKE PLACE IN TANZANIA
On September 16th 2008, over 200 actors interested in markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES), including potential buyers, sellers, and intermediaries from Africa and the rest of the world will meet in Tanzania at the 2008 East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group meeting. This year’s Africa Katoomba conference will explore pathways forward for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), as well as markets and payments for watershed services (PWS). The meeting will also offer hands-on capacity building combined with strategy discussions about scaling PES up in the region.
The meeting offers a unique opportunity to further develop:
- REDD readiness strategies including discussions around stakeholder engagement, pilot demonstration sites, capacity building / training needs, and research agendas (to consider potential socio-economic impacts and other issues); and
- Payment for Watershed Services schemes in Tanzania as well as throughout the region, by exploring current projects and experience from around the world where PWS agreements are operational.
To inform the discussions, the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group will present the results from its 2008 regional PES assessment. This assessment is one component of a longer process that aims to chart a course for expanding the number and reach of PES projects throughout East and Southern Africa that will contribute both to conservation and rural economic development.
– For more information go to the meeting website
– or contact Alice Ruhweza
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GLOBAL KATOOMBA MEETING, WASHINGTON, DC JUNE 9-10, 2008
The Global Katoomba Group meeting; Developing an Infrastructure Fund for the Planet was held in Washington, DC on June 9-10, 2008. The meeting explored how ecosystem service payments and markets in carbon, water and biodiversity are quickly becoming a key solution to the urgent environmental problems of climate change, fresh water pollution, biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and destruction of our coastal and marine systems.
Moderated sessions among policy makers, major financial institutions, business leaders, the environmental community and indigenous groups from within the region and around the world discussed the current state of ecosystem markets and their many challenges, and pointed to some creative solutions. These discussions, in addition to breakout sessions, shed some light on bridging the gap between large-scale investment interest and local capacity for projects, the right balance between the marketplace and regulation, the role for land conversion and the ecosystem services in relation to escalating energy and food demand, and the gap between the beneficiaries of these services (often affluent urban dwellers and businesses) and the low-income rural producers.
The final panel session explored how to develop an infrastructure fund for the planet both metaphorically and concretely. How much investment will it take to protect the planet's natural infrastructure - our forests, our coral reefs, sea grasses and mangroves, our rivers and wetlands, our biological diversity? The nascent area of environmental investment has enormous scope, demonstrated by the 65 billion dollar, three-year young carbon market. But today these ecosystem services are dwarfed by capital flows into infrastructure and development, agribusiness and energy projects, all drawing down this natural capital. What are the emerging opportunities and pathways to channel much-needed investment into our natural infrastructure? How do we measure the risk of the low-income communities that will suffer disproportionately from the impacts of climate change? How do we measure the long-term profits of a healthier planet to society?
This meeting was Katoomba's first major public event in Washington, DC. Katoomba's goal is to create an ongoing effort to stimulate and nurture ecosystem market development, and to ensure that capacity is built so these new markets deliver real conservation outcomes and benefits to local communities and developing countries.
– For additional information, including presentations by speakers, please visit the http://www.katoombagroup.org/~katoomba/event_details.php?id=20
– A private workshop on water issues and designing alternative water quality trading mechanisms followed the global meeting. Presentations from this forum can be found at http://www.katoombagroup.org/~katoomba/event_details.php?id=20
– The online water market discussion forum can be viewed at http://www.katoombagroup.org/water/
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New PES Related News from the Region
KENYA ELECTRICITY GENERATING COMPANY ‘S NINE CDM PROJECTS EXPECTED TO RAISE US$ 5 MILLION A YEAR
Africa's electricity producers can raise additional funds for much-needed investment by developing clean energy that allows them to sell emission credits, according to Eddie Njoroge, head of the Union of Producers, Transporters and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa, (also Managing Director of Kenya Electricity Generating Company). Mr. Njoroge told Reuters this was one of the options open to utilities that have to make the necessary investments to meet rising demand.
"There is a realisation that clean energy is the way forward and if you have got clean projects, there is no reason why you cannot claim some credits," he said at a union meeting in Kenya.
"We need to have innovative ways of financing the projects. I think we need to look at listing infrastructure bonds, export credit agencies and leveraging on our balance sheets."
Njoroge said firms like KenGen were turning towards clean energy to raise funds. KenGen, which produces 80 percent of east Africa's biggest economy's electricity needs, has nine clean development mechanism projects which it hopes will raise $5 million a year.
"The projects are all in the process of being assessed by the executive board of the Kyoto protocol," said Njoroge, adding that modes of generating clean energy are cheaper as they do not require diesel power like thermal generation.
Africa needs to spend an estimated $560 billion by 2030 to generate an additional 260,000 megawatts (MW) of power, experts say. Njoroge said African firms have no choice but to find ways of raising the required funds to invest in the projects that are vital to the attainment of economic growth targets.
"The amount required is huge, but what is the option? If we don't have that money, Africa will not develop."
– For more on this story, click here.
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AFRICA PRIVATE SECTOR STARTS TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Source: Reuters: 14 Aug 2008; By Daniel Wallis and Duncan Miriri
With global warming expected to hit Africa hard, some companies in the "forgotten continent" are taking action themselves to fight climate change.
"The environment is not being taken very seriously in most of the emerging markets, because we haven't started feeling the pressure yet," Adan Mohamed, chief executive of Barclays Bank Kenya, told Reuters.
"But it has got to be addressed and it is up to us corporates to lead that."
Poverty in Africa, where nearly three quarters of people rely on agriculture, means it is the part of the world least able to adapt to the severe weather changes expected to be triggered by global warming, experts say. Tens of millions face water and food shortages, they say, as well as impacts ranging for disease to rising seas.
Kenyan firms including national flag carrier Kenya Airways, brewer East African Breweries and others are now actively studying ways to "green" their operations to help lessen the blow. Kenya Airways plants thousands of seedlings on hills under it flight paths, and in Nairobi, diners can eat in the leafy garden of Azalea, a carbon-free restaurant – http://www.carbonzerofederation.com/company/362/AzaleaRestaurant
Even a popular Nairobi radio station, Capital FM, has got in on the trend, raising public awareness by paying $2,000 to an offsetting company to become a carbon free enterprise.
It all points to changing attitudes towards environmental protection in some of the world's poorest counties.
South Africa, the continent's largest economy, now has a handful of CDM projects. Sasol, the world's biggest maker of fuel from coal, is pioneering a plan to sell carbon credits by converting a greenhouse gas into nitrogen and oxygen, also earning it income. Based at two plants in South Africa, the project will convert nitrous oxide and is aimed at cutting emissions equivalent to about 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. One tonne of nitrous oxide has the greenhouse gas impact of 310 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for warming.
Some 90 percent of South Africa's electricity is produced from coal-fired plants. But carbon capture and storage (CCS) equipment is now mandatory for all new power stations. No power plant yet operates anywhere in the world with CCS equipment attached, and only a handful of countries including the United States, Britain, Canada and Norway, have pledged public money to test the technology on a commercial scale.
But there is still a long way to go. Many nations are still focused on the challenges of developing basic energy infrastructure to eliminate the need to run costly generators. The emergence of firms offering conscience-salving carbon offsets seems a long way off.
Desire Kouadio N'Goran, an official at Ivory Coast's Environment Ministry, said his government was encouraging the use of solar energy and more efficient stoves, as well as public transport to cut vehicle emissions.
But Mohamed, the Barclays Kenya chief executive, said times were changing, and that African business had to plan long term. He said his bank only lent to environmentally sustainable projects, but declined to give details.
"People are trading carbon units globally," he said. "There's no reason that can't cross over to emerging markets."
Even as Africa prepares to take advantage of this opportunity, there are other challenges within the system itself. Data from Point Carbon database shows, Developers of hydro projects hoping to get carbon credits under the clean development mechanism (CDM) have to wait a month and a half longer for projects to get registered compared to the average waiting times.
– Read the full story at Rueters
– Read more at PointCarbon
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GHANA HOSTS UNITED NATIONS CLIMATE TALKS
Source: Reuters News ; 25 August 2008, By Alister Doyle,
The United Nations climate talks are taking place in Accra, Ghana. The talks are focusing largely on ways to encourage tropical developing nations to slow the rate of deforestation and debating whether industries such as steel, aluminium or cement should have international benchmarks for efficiency.
The Aug. 21-27 talks are also defining the building blocks of a new U.N. global warming pact meant to be agreed by the end of 2009. The Accra meeting is the third session this year under a plan to agree a broad new climate treaty by the end of 2009 to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which sets greenhouse gas targets for just 37 developed nations.
Accra is not meant to end with any firm agreements.
The talks are said to be making progress.
"The chances that a new U.N. scheme to slow deforestation will go ahead, in my mind, are much higher," Machado told Reuters. He said that there was an "overwhelming consensus" on the importance of the project.
Cash to slow deforestation is widely seen as an incentive to get poor nations to start slowing their rising emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels.
Emily Brickell, forest campaigner with the WWF environmental group, said it might cost between $20 to $30 billion a year to set up a system to safeguard tropical forests, perhaps using a mixture of carbon markets or donor funds.
The talks are also seeking to bridge differences over whether to impose sectoral targets for industries, an idea championed this year by Japan.
Some developing nations, smarting from the collapse of world trade talks last month, fear such benchmarks could be a backdoor way to impose trade barriers on their less efficient producers of metals or cement.
But Japan clearly stated during the talks that it did not favour imposing common international standards. "What I saw and heard in our debates on sectoral actions and approaches was a very fruitful debate," Machado said. "It clarified the issue."
– For more on the talks see http://www.reutersinteractive.com/Carbon/104768
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ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL USAID SUPORTED CBNRM PROGRAMS IN NAMIBIA COMES TO AN END
The Conservancy movement in Namibia has its origins in the CBNRM programs of the 1980’s, when local communities saw the need to preserve and sustainably manage the fast dwindling wildlife in Northwest Namibia. From the humble beginnings of the Community Game Guard system led by local chiefs and NGO’s, it blossomed into the mass communal conservancy wave of today, spurred on by international assistance and the growth of tourism. Critically, the government of Namibia (GON) created the enabling environment for this movement to flourish into a national rural development program by approving in 1996 the Nature Conservation Amendment Act. The amendment of the 1975 Act meant that communal villagers now had the same rights as freehold farmers to use, manage and benefit from wildlife and tourism. This encouraged the creation of partnerships between rural communities, NGOs, the private sector and the Government.
Thus from the initial 4 communal conservancies gazetted in 1998, there were 29 by 2003 (23 percent of communal land), and 50 as of September 2007. In addition, the notable increase in areas under conservation and natural resource management, as well wildlife resources, reflects an important success of the conservancy movement. However, as the conservancies’ wealth has increased, so have the challenges to manage it. Some are already self-sustaining, but others still require technical and financial support before they can become sustainably independent.
USAID invested in Namibia’ CBNRM program through the Living in a Finite Environment (LIFE) Project. In 1993, USAID awarded the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) a 5-year cooperative agreement worth USD 13.7 million to implement LIFE in collaboration with the MET. The latter two added about USD 3 million of matching funds, for a project total of USD 16.8 million. Due to LIFE’s success, it was extended to LIFE 2 (USD 15 million) and finally LIFE Plus (USD 11 million) through June 2008, for a total of 15 years and roughly USD 40 million. The Government of Namibia (GON) and donor partners matched this amount for the duration of the project.
The Namibian CBNRM policy went further than any other Southern Africa country in giving rights over wildlife and tourism directly to communities. That played a significant part in the popularity and success of the program. The road ahead will be interesting as the CBNRM program seeks other sources of funding. It will sure be a test of the sustainability of a number of conservancies.
– For the full report visit http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PDACD872.pdf
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News from Across the Ocean
CHILE TAPS VOLUNTARY MARKET FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECT
Source: Point Carbon.com
Amid a domestic energy crunch, Chile will tap the voluntary market instead of the UN's clean development mechanism (CDM) to generate revenue from carbon credit sales from an energy efficiency project. Sources close to the planned auction of credits, set to take place in September, said approximately 40,000 tonnes a year would be offered over a six-year period for the project to replace 1.5 million incandescent light bulbs in low-income households with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
The Chilean government initially sought last year to register the project under the CDM, expecting to earn $1.4 million from the sale of certified emission reductions (CERs). But with oil prices soaring and natural gas supplies dwindling, Chile opted for a faster, simpler alternative in the voluntary market instead, said Andres Romero, director of Chile's Country Programme for Energy Efficiency (PPEE, after its Spanish acronym), which is organising the light bulb swap.
Chile imports virtually all its petroleum and natural gas and has been badly hit in recent months by soaring crude oil prices and severe cuts in the amount of natural gas provided by neighbouring Argentina, its only supplier.
"The CDM required compliance with conditions that, due to the energy crisis that hit Chile in early 2008, were not viable," Romero told Point Carbon.
The main obstacle for accessing the Kyoto mechanism was that it required installing special metres in participating homes and taking readings before the bulb swap began, then compare them with post-change readings in order to get a precise estimate of credits accrued. The more flexible voluntary market allows the swap to begin before measuring devices were installed. Romero said at this point it is impossible to determine how much money the auction will generate or speculate whether it will be more or less than the original $1.4 million sought under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change system.
"We will soon begin the bid process and it wouldn't be proper to discuss our revenue expectations before it concludes," Romero said.
A source at the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is helping Chile develop the bid, said credits, called voluntary emission reductions (VERs), "can go anywhere from $3 to $30." The winning bidder will be the one offering to pay the PPEE the highest guaranteed price per tonne at the September auction. It will also be required to disburse up front a non-returnable fee of $200,000, the IDB official said.
Romero said the PPEE and the IDB "took pains to implement a high-quality project, so we're confident we will get the best offers" and attract all major market players.
There is no single standard in the fast-growing voluntary market to measure and verify emissions reductions, and bidders will be allowed to make their own decisions on that point. The IDB official said the prospectus "requires that one of a handful of well-recognised standards be picked."
Since the swap was launched in March, the PPEE has handed out 650,000 CFLs, which represent total monthly savings of 5 GWh, or the equivalent of the energy consumption of nearly 40,000 households per month. The cost of handing out free of charge 1.5 million CFLs to 750,000 households and dispose of an equal amount of incandescent bulbs has been estimated at $5 million.
After the program is completed, the PPEE expects a total 138 GWh a year will be saved, equivalent to annual savings of $34.4 million.
CFLs are rarely used in Chile, where according to the latest available figures, for 2004, only 3 per cent of all imported electric bulbs were of the compact, energy efficient kind.
– Read the article in Point Carbon
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THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY SUPPORTS THE NATURE CONSERVANCY TO PRESERVE AND RESTORE BRAZIL'S ATLANTIC FOREST
The Dow Chemical Company has pledged USD $1.5 Million through its charitable foundation to The Nature Conservancy for the reforestation of the highly degraded Brazil Atlantic Frest whose freshwater services are critical to the health and well-being of millions of people in Brazil.
The Conservancy is partnering with the Sao Paulo State Water Supply (SABESP), the Environmental Agency of Sao Paulo (SMA-SP), the Piracia Municipality, and various local partners to restore 865 acres surrounding the Cachoeira reservoir, one of six reservoirs of the Cantareira Water System. The System, which is the primary source of water for nearly nine million people in São Paulo metropolitan area, is part of the Piracicaba-Capivari-Jundiai (PCJ), a major watershed in Brazil. Goals of the reforestation project include sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change, and ultimately selling certified carbon credits to support ongoing reforestation in the Atlantic Forest. The ultimate goal is to join efforts to reforest all the degraded riparian areas and protect the existent forest remnants of the Cantareira system.
More than 80 native species will be planted from October to March from 2008 through 2011, involving local communities through reforestation activities that are expected to also generate alternative sources of income for them. This initiative is part of the Plant a Billion Trees Campaign, launched this year by The Nature Conservancy, to accomplish an ambitious plan to protect and restore 30 million acres of the forest by 2015, with a wide range of partners.
Located in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, the Atlantic Forest encompasses Latin America's largest population centers, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. After years of deforestation to accommodate rapid development, only a fragmented seven percent of the original Atlantic Forest remains today in well preserved conditions, making it one of the most endangered ecosystems on Earth. Yet it harbors one of the greatest repositories of biodiversity on the planet, with more than 20,000 known species of plants alone. According to the New York Botanical Garden, 458 species of trees were identified on a single hectare (about 2.5 acres), in Brazil's northeast coast, which are more tree species than are found on the entire U.S. eastern seaboard. The uniqueness of the area is reflected in high endemism rates across the board for flora and fauna. Half of the Atlantic Forest tree species and three-quarters of its other plants are found nowhere else on Earth. In addition, the Atlantic Forest is the source of drinking water for 70 percent of Brazil's population - more than 130 million people. The most acute risk to the survival of the Atlantic Forest's biodiversity is the very fragmented state of forest remnants and their ecological isolation from one another.
The Cantareira System, located in the headwaters of the PCJ watershed, is one of the largest water supply systems in the world. It produces 33,000 liters-of-water per second that flow from a 563,400 acre area distributed across 12 Brazilian municipalities. Loss of forest cover across the Atlantic Forest has contributed to erosion, the presence of large amounts of suspended sediments and pollutants in rivers and streams from fertilizer, pesticides and other contaminants.
– For more on this story, see CSRWire
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Other Related News
FOURTEEN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO BENEFIT FROM FOREST CARBON PARTNERSHIP FACILITY
Fourteen countries have been selected as the first developing country members of an innovative partnership and international financing mechanism to combat tropical deforestation and climate change. The 14 developing countries include six in Africa (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar); five in Latin America (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Panama); and three in Asia (Nepal, Lao PDR, and Vietnam). They will receive initial funding from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), an innovative approach to financing efforts to combat climate change.
The FCPF aims to reduce deforestation and forest degradation by compensating developing countries for greenhouse gas emission reductions. The partnership, approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on September 25, 2007, became functionally operational on June 25, 2008. The 14 tropical and sub-tropical countries will receive grant support as they build their capacity for REDD and tap into future systems of positive incentives for REDD. The grant money being provided to the first 14 developing countries in the FCPF will help them to prepare for future systems of positive incentives for REDD, in particular by establishing emissions reference levels, adopting REDD strategies, and designing monitoring systems. Developing countries have expressed a strong interest in participating in the FCPF and it is expected that more countries will receive support in the coming months.
Nine industrialized countries will also participate in the partnership .These are Australia, Finland, France (the French Development Agency), Japan, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they have committed to contribute about US$82 million to the FCPF. More contributions from the public and private sector are expected in the coming months.
– For more go to this page
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FIRST FRUIT IN NEGOTIATING CARBON PAYMENTS IN THE PHILLIPINES
The Kalahan Educational Foundation (KEF) has finally signed an agreement with the Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (MUS) Co., Ltd. Through the ICRAF-RUPES Project, KEF (an indigenous community-based led organization) is developing a carbon sequestration project in at least 900 hectares of the Ikalahan Ancestral Domain in Nueva Vizcaya.
Under the agreement, MUS provides consultancy services on issues relating to the creation and acquisition of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and other matters related to the Clean Development Mechanism as well as on the generation of Emission Reductions.
Unlike with the other consulting services, aside from shouldering the upfront costs of CDM registration process, MUS offered an option to purchase the generated CERs and ERs from the project at 8$USD per tonne with payment to be made upon delivery of the CERs 12 months upon the execution of the agreement.
ICRAF-Philippines is actively involved in enhancing the capacity of KEF to negotiate payments for their carbon sequestration and assisting KEF in preparing information and documents necessary for the CDM registration. Currently, the community has started planting indigenous seedlings to the target areas. KEF is also preparing for non-Kyoto market.
Preparation of the project idea note and baseline information of Kalahan carbon project was made possible through the financial assistance of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
– For more information, click here...
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CARBON FUNDS GROW IN 2008 BUT SLOWED BY UNCERTAINTY
Source: Reuters, 21 August 2008
The global carbon fund market, which invests in emissions offset credits from clean energy projects in developing countries, has risen by 63 percent to nearly $13 billion so far in 2008, according to environmental market analysts. Although strong, the carbon fund market's growth was outpaced by the overall carbon emissions market which, according to the World Bank, more than doubled between 2006 and 2007 to $64 billion, Environmental Finance magazine said in its 2008/09 Carbon Funds Directory.
"Looming uncertainty over the shape of the global carbon markets after 2012 (and) the effects of the credit crunch ... are contributing to a slowing down of new capital joining the carbon market," Environmental Finance said in a statement.
The global carbon markets are poised to double in value again to more than $100 billion in 2008, according to market observers.
The number of carbon funds has grown by 33 percent so far in 2008, up from 56 funds managing $7.9 billion in assets in 2007, Environmental Finance said. There are now 80 carbon funds under management globally, including private funds, government-run credit purchase vehicles or buyers' pools. Most buy only the offset credits issued under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to clean-energy projects like wind farms and hydro dams in developing countries. The funds then sell these credits for profit to companies and governments from rich nations that use them to meet emissions targets. Government-run credit purchase vehicles buy offset credits to help meet national greenhouse gas obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
The largest corporate-run carbon funds by capital secured, as identified by Environmental Finance, include Climate Change Capital's Carbon Fund ($1 billion in assets), the Greenhouse Gas-Credit Aggregation Pool (managed by Natsource, $825.8 million in assets), the China Methane Recovery Fund (managed by MTM Capital Partners, $635.3 million in assets) and Trading Emissions' carbon fund ($619.7 million in assets).
The largest non-corporate funds or government-run credit purchase vehicles include the Umbrella Carbon Facility (managed by the World Bank, $1.23 billion in assets), the Norwegian Carbon Tender (managed by the Norwegian government, $800 million in assets) and the Kyoto Mechanism Credit Acquisition Programme (managed by the Japanese government, $761.9 million in assets).
The entire CDM market also doubled to $13 billion in 2007, the World Bank said.
While the global credit crunch is squeezing the availability of the capital required for higher growth in carbon funds, worries surrounding ongoing negotiations to strike a new agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol are also casting uncertainty over the future of the global carbon markets. With the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expiring after 2012, the fate of the CDM is at risk. This is leading to a slowdown in the number of projects being submitted for registration by the UN's climate change secretariat, and this may affect the long-term supply of offset credits relied on by the carbon funds market. As a result, shares in CDM project developers like UK-based EcoSecurities have plummeted in the past year.
Market participants are also watching the upcoming U.S. presidential election, which should shed light on the direction the heaviest-polluting developed nation will take on emissions trading, Environmental Finance said. Both presidential candidates have said they are in favour of introducing so-called cap-and-trade schemes, a prerequisite for the emergence of a national carbon emissions market.
– For more on this story go to www.wbdsd.org
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LANDMARK FLORIDA EVERGLADES DEAL EXPECTED
Source: BBC News
US conservationists are hailing a landmark agreement under which the state of Florida will buy a huge tract of land from a major sugar company. The US Sugar Corp has tentatively agreed to close down and sell the 800sq km of land it owns in the Everglades to Florida for $1.75bn (£890m).
The Everglades is network of swamps and rivers covering 6,000sq km and is one of America's most unusual ecosystems. Conservationists have struggled for years to preserve its waters. Sugar cane production has been one of the industries blamed for its pollution. The US Sugar Corporation is America's largest producer of sugar cane. The deal with Florida would result in the company's closure but return a huge portion of the Everglades to the state. If the deal goes through, it will enable officials to build a network of reservoirs and marshes, a move one conservationist has called the "missing link" in the preservation of the Everglades.
But for the sugar cane industry it is a blow. Cheap imports have led to the closure of dozens of mills and if the deal goes through, almost 2,000 workers will lose their jobs.
For the last eight years the state of Florida has poured billions of dollars into cleaning up the Everglades, but the progress has been slow. It is hoped officials will sign an agreement in September; a move that conservationists say spells a new chapter in the history of the Everglades.
– For more on this story visit the BBC website
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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 the event website
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17-19 NOVEMBER 2008 - CARBON MARKETS AFRICA, TABLE BAY HOTEL, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Carbon Markets Africa looks to build on the success of last year providing delegates up-to-date thinking from an expert panel of speakers and allowing ample time for networking and discussion on areas crucial to CDM and the Voluntary Market in Africa. Expert speakers already confirmed include:
- Johan van den Berg, Chief Executive Officer, CDM Africa Climate Solutions
- Emily Tyler, Senior Associate, Climate Change Division, Genesis-Analytics
- Dean Cooper, Managing Director, Parallax and PACE
- Sebastian von Wolff, Regional Manager Africa, OneCarbon International
- Amit Oza, Emissions Broker, TFS Green
- Leslie Durschinger, Founder and Managing Director, Terra Global
- Robbie Louw, Director, Promethium, South Africa
- Belynda Petrie, Chief Executive Officer, OneWorld Sustainable Investments
Learn from practical case studies by:
- Ciska Terblanche, CDM Specialist, ANGLO AMERICAN
- Rudi Kriste, General Manager Business Development, Omnia Fetilizer
- John Parkin, Deputy Head Plant and Engineering, eThekwini Municipality
- Johan Myburgh, Process Development Manager, Sappi Kraft
– For more information see www.greenpowerconferences.com/carbonmarkets
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28-30 JANUARY - CONFERENCE ON CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND POLICY, ACCRA, GHANA
The Society for Conservation Biology Africa Section announces a conference on conservation science and policy to be held in Accra, Ghana from January 28 30, 2009. The theme of the conference is "From Conservation Science to Policy in Africa."
Starting in September 2008, there will be calls for the submission of abstracts for paper and poster presentations, workshops, and symposia.
Policy issues have become central to conservation biology in Africa, and also attaining the Millennium Development Goal 7, to ensure environmental sustainability [i.e. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources & reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss]. Additionally, conservation in practice offers opportunities for the livelihoods of vast numbers of poor people in landscapes that support an impressive array of biodiversity.
However, the gap between scientists and policymakers has undermined the potential of conservation to support economic growth and development on the African continent, which this meeting will potentially contribute to. These and other issues led to this conference by the Africa Section, Society for Conservation Biology.
– Check the SCB website for updates on the meeting www.conbio.org/Sections/Africa
– You can also email email@example.com for more information.
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Resources & Tools
ACCOUNTING FOR MOSAIC DEFORESTATION- A NEW TOOL FOR REDD
The World Bank has developed a new methodology to estimate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from mosaic deforestation- defined as spread out deforestation on accessible forests as characterized in patchy forested landscapes. This new methodology will allow for more rigorous carbon accounting in humanized landscapes (where most of these patchy landscapes are located) and provides an important tool to support the implementation of stringent REDD standards
– For more details visit http://carbonfinance.org/Router.cfm?Page=DocLib&CatalogID=41513
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NEW WEBSITE ON PAYMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES FROM AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES- PESAL
The Agriculture Development Economics Division of FAO has launched a new website dedicated to Payments for Environmental Services in Agricultural Landscapes (PESAL). It provides an overview of the rationale and potential of payments for environmental services to improve incentives for sustainable natural resource management in agriculture, and offers a synopsis of the process for the design and implementation of such schemes, with pro-poor options inbuilt in each section . The website includes the following:
- About PES - an overview of current PES schemes
- The Role of Agriculture - information on the potential of agriculture to provide ES
- Ecosystem Service Markets - an assessment of the demand for ES from agriculture
- Setting up a PES Scheme - guidelines on how to set up a PES scheme that can potentially also contribute to reducing rural poverty
- Materials - information to facilitate links between practitioners, prospective providers and buyers and capacity-building materials
– The PESAL project was funded by the FAO Netherlands Partnership Programme.
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DATABASE AND MAP OF THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE IN THE WORLDS FRESHWATER SCOSYSTEMS
More than more than 200 leading conservation scientists have created a comprehensive map and database of the diversity of life in the world's freshwater ecosystems. A First for Freshwater!... and it took them over 10 years to do it. Why? Freshwater habitats support more than 100,000 species and provide humans with critical services such as drinking water and fisheries. Yet--until now—there were no data on global freshwater biodiversity synthesized in a way that was useful to conservation. The Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (FEOW) project, a collaboration between WWF and The Nature Conservancy, changes all of that.
– Explore the 426 ecoregions of the map and discover this extensive and easily searchable resource here
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BREAKING THE CLIMATE DEADLOCK - CARBON MARKETS REVIEW
Tony Blair & The Climate Group
5 August 2008
Carbon trading markets emerging in developed countries are unlikely to succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to required targets in their current form, according to a report co-authored by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. The report also says the UN’s project-by-project approach to emissions reductions in developing countries under the CDM is too little and too slow to meet the challenge of curbing emissions growth in these often fast-growing nations.
“The ‘sum of the parts’ of the carbon markets today may not deliver the deep cuts in emissions that are required,” the report states. “Many domestic emissions trading schemes have self-protection features that mean they are not as open or international as the architects of Kyoto had in mind, or as many experts in the field would recommend.” Schemes must be better integrated with globally consistent rules and trading instruments, the authors say. They also recommend new international reduction measures targeting key emitting sectors across developing economies, the so-called sectoral approach, to complement the CDM.
The report also warns that, no matter how successfully emissions trading schemes are implemented and integrated, carbon pricing won’t throw up all the technologies and strategies that will be needed to fight climate change. More targeted measures will be needed to deliver a full sustainable development agenda.
The report’s recommendations make calls for leaders this year to agree on, or strongly signal, long term targets to 2050 and a credible trajectory to achieving them, and by the end of 2009 agree mid-term targets for industrialised countries and the mechanisms to achieve them.
The Review of Carbon Markets is one of a series of 14 briefing papers published under the ‘Breaking the Climate Deadlock’ initiative of Blair’s and NGO, The Climate Group. The papers add more detail to a document put out in advance of the recent G8 summit in Japan where Blair outlined ten core areas of climate change response for progress.
– For the full paper click here...
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HOW TO INCLUDE TERRESTRIAL CARBON IN DEVELOPING NATIONS IN THE OVERALL CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTION
The Terrestial Carbon Group
Avoiding dangerous climate change requires a multifaceted response. Terrestrial carbon (including trees, soil, and peat) is a critical untapped element that could provide up to 25% of that response. Deforestation and the degradation of forests and peatlands in the tropics of developing nations currently cause the vast majority of terrestrial carbon emissions.
The objective of the Terrestrial Carbon Group is for terrestrial carbon to be effectively included in the international response to climate change. This paper provides guiding principles to do so in support of:
(a) ongoing global negotiations on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol; and
(b) emerging national, bi-lateral, and multi-national efforts to maintain and enhance terrestrial carbon. Both market and non-market approaches to terrestrial carbon and climate change are necessary. Within that context, the Terrestrial Carbon Group proposes a system to credibly include terrestrial carbon in developing nations in the international response to climate change using carbon markets. The Terrestrial Carbon Group works with governments, the private sector, civil society and academics around the world. We welcome dialogue and collaboration, and look forward to hearing from you.
To download the full paper and for further details, please visit the website: www.terrestrialcarbon.org The Terrestrial Carbon Group welcomes your comments and suggestions. The paper will also be available in Bahasa Indonesia, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
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REDD BRIEFING PAPER ON POLICY APPROACHES
As consensus on methodological issues related to
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing
Countries (REDD) is growing. On 4 pages, the German Development Institute discusses
and recommends options for both a REDD finance and transfer system.
– To read this paper, click here...
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We invite you to look at the Katoomba Group’s other newsletters.
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