East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group
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October 13, 2008

FROM THE EDITOR

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Welcome to the October 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 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

 

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

EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA KATOOMBA GROUP REGIONAL MEETING BRINGS OVER 200 STAKEHOLDERS TO TACKLE REDD AND PAYMENTS FOR WATERSHED SERVICES

The third annual regional meeting of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group was held in Tanzania from September 16th – 20th, 2008. The meeting brought together over 200 actors interested in markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). About 180 of the participants were from African countries ranging from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the hosts Tanzania. 


This year’s meeting provided participants with an opportunity to discuss

  • REDD readiness strategies, including discussions around stakeholder engagement, pilot demonstration sites, capacity building / training needs; and
  •  Payment for Watershed Services (PWS) particularly challenges around the design and implementation of equitable PWS schemes in Tanzania and the region, and by exploring projects and experience from around the world where PWS agreements are operational.

Key Points from the Meeting


REDD READINESS
Following a wide range of discussions and presentations, the meeting agreed that the following are some of the needs for REDD Readiness in the region:

  • REDD pilot or demonstration activities, especially involving community forestry, are a priority – these can help shape national REDD policies;
  • Clarity in policies around methodology, accounting and how to channel financial flows in order to ensure positive incentives for communities;
  • Clear incentives for the private sector to invest in REDD projects – a ‘nested approach’ involving project level credits and national accounting seems essential;
  • Promoting a REDD multi-sectoral approach which includes other terrestrial carbon options, especially sustainable agriculture (given the role of agriculture in deforestation and poverty implications), agroforestry, savannah land options, ‘biocarbon’. Most of Africa could lose out compared to other regions if its only forestry REDD. It should also be noted that 70% of terrestrial carbon is below ground;
  • Capacity building or training on REDD at all levels, including local government, as well as support for education and research, was repeatedly stressed;
  • Develop a model(s) and clarity on what kind(s) of REDD mechanism(s) would work for the region for discussion at the UNFCCC Poznan meeting in December 2008.
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PAYMENTS FOR WATERSHED SERVICES
Innovative PWS projects being developed in several areas across Africa, representing a variety of approaches were discussed. Equitable PWS in Tanzania; An NGO/Private sector “water-neutral” partnership in South Africa; and water quality market ideas around Sasumuwa Dam in Kenya. Each of them is facing similar issues to what other communities face around the world: such as verification and monitoring; need for science; demand drivers; and so on. As a result, the work of Africa’s Katoomba Group is critical because it can provide an opportunity to share ideas and innovations and develop strategies for addressing capacity issues.


Participants also had the opportunity to visit the CARE/WWF Equitable Payments for Watershed Services (EPWS) project site under development in the Uluguru Mountains of the Eastern Arc.


For more details on the field trip and recommendations from the meeting, please see the summary of proceedings, and presentations at http://www.katoombagroup.org/event_details.php?id=18 or you may contact: aruhweza@forest-trends.org

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FOREST TRENDS AT THE WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS IN BARCELONA

Forest Trends was actively involved in two sessions at the recently ended IUCN World Conservation Forum in Barcelona.


The first one was the TRANSLINKS Nature Wealth and Power Trinity Session on October 7, 2008, which looked at how to balance the Nature, Wealth and Power, particularly as they relate to Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes and other Natural Resource Based Enterprises.  Four case studies from Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar were presented to illustrate opportunities and challenges when attempting to find this delicate balance. Panelists from Translinks Partners; WCS, Forest Trends, EnterpiseVITA, and The Land Tenure Center at the University of Wisconsin responded to the case studies and also highlighted opportunities and challenges from their own experiences.

Key issues coming out of the session include:

  1. Don’t forget the Business Basics: - PES is a market mechanism – yet in most cases project developers forget the business basics. For PES to succeed and attract other players, particularly the private sector, developers must set up good business structures - for verification, certification, contracts, pricing, etc to enable potential buyers t understand what is being sold, and the price and value of the service.
  2. Key Role of Government in Scaling up Programmes: - The discussion on PES is still limited to projects and there is a serious need for this to be scaled up to become national programmes. On this, there was a consensus that Government is a key player and needs to get involved. Projects would continue to play a key role in demonstrating to Government the viability of PES schemes.
  3. Incentives should be well thought out: - The amount and type of incentive to be given needs to be well studied and all trade offs considered. There have been several PES cases where the type of incentive was not adequate and therefore the programs did not succeed.
  4. Governance is a key factor in enabling the success of any PES schemes. All the four case studies showed that they had to set up some kind of governance system through an association or institution or even bylaws to enable their projects to move forward. The issue of PES governance needs to be studied further.
  5. Clarity of Tenure and Relationships between Resource Users: - Wealth always tends to lead the way in designing these PES projects – but they can only succeed if there is clarity of tenure, certainty of access to resources and understanding of the relationships between users of the same resources. Clarity of tenure gives sellers of the service the power to be able to provide the service and be paid for it, which in turn gives them wealth.

TRANLINKS is a partnership of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS, lead organization), Enterprise Works/VITA, Forest Trends, the Earth Institute of Columbia University, and the Land Tenure Center of the University of Wisconsin. It draws on best and partners’ expertise in biodiversity conservation, payments for ecosystem services, sustainable enterprises and livelihoods, and land tenure and resource property rights. For additional information on TRANLINKS and the session visit www.translinks.org or contact Carter Ingram – cingram@wcs.org (Alice Ruhweza, the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group Coordinator represented Forest Trends).


The second session was one Forest Trends’ own Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program Session on October 9, 2008 which took stock of what the BBOP program has achieved so far and sought input from participants on what gaps need to be addressed in the next few years.  Participants highlighted the following key issues for the program to think about.

  1. The need to engage with Governments – National Governments need to be brought into the program. To do this, the BBOP tools need to be simplified considerably so Government can understand them. Training and Capacity Building is also key. Uganda was highlighted as an example of a country that is keen on offsets and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has already put in place a multi-sectoral Task Force on Offsets which will be looking at, among others, how to achieve no-net loss from the growing oil exploration in the Albertine Rift (a biodiversity hotspot) and to develop national best practice guidelines.  NEMA has in the past been able to push developers to do offsite offsets – albeit without the metrics and measurements and tools developed by BBOP. While science is indeed important, participants also felt that we must not try to make this too perfect. We should rather seek to meet the necessary conditions, implement fast and learn from sites.
  2. Security of Offset sites: - Are sites secure after the offset is implemented? What happens if everything is destroyed? – Participants suggested the use of performance bonds and insurance. BBOP should study this further.
  3. Taking offsets to Scale: - There is need to learn from the growing carbon markets  - understand market mechanisms, leakage, erosion of offset value etc.
  4. Need to engage the Donor/Investment Community to Stimulate Offsets: - Large investors and the donor community can stimulate offsets by making them a requirement for all the projects they fund. Need to engage them in these discussions.
  5. Varied Pilots – Pilots focus on mining – need to bring in projects on agriculture and others
  6. Land Use Planning – Most national governments do not have land use plans, which are essential for offset design –can we help? . The Landscape Scale Matrix being used in Australia might be useful as a learning tool. BBOP should study this further.

For more on BBOP and the session, please visit www.forest-trends.org/biodiversityoffsetprogram or and KtenKate@forest-trends.org

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New PES Related News from the Region

UNDERWATER TIMBER HARVEST IN GHANA COULD REDUCE DEFORESTATION, HELP CLIMATE

Source: - REUTERS, 25 August 2008

A plan to salvage timber at the bottom of the world's largest man-made lake has caught the attention of climate change experts. The project, and potentially others like it, aims to cut the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by offsetting traditional above-ground harvesting.

 On 25th August 2008, on the sidelines of a recent UN climate change conference in Accra, forestry officials in Ghana announced that up to 14 million cubic metres of timber lying on the bottom of Lake Volta will be recovered and sold on the market. The wood has been submerged since the building of the Akosombo hydroelectric dam in the 1960s. Ghanaian officials say that the project will reduce the country's levels of above-ground timber harvesting, thus reducing the amount of carbon emissions that come with traditional logging.

Despite these potential carbon offsets, the Volta plan does not qualify for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol, which grants credits only for afforestation and reforestation projects. But some hope that the new treaty that takes effect when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 will reward countries for 'avoided deforestation', not just for planting new trees. Such a treaty could make submerged timber harvesting more lucrative than regular logging.

If the Lake Volta project goes smoothly, experts say other developing countries could engage in similar operations. Robert Bamfo of Ghana's Forestry Commission says there are "five million hectares of salvageable submerged timber in the hydroelectric reservoirs in the tropics with the potential to supplement global demand for timber," Reuters reports.

"There are very similar circumstances in numerous countries around the world including Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Brazil, Surinam, Malaysia and others," Bamfo said. "The potential is there -- they are awaiting to see the outcome of the Ghana project."
 
Despite the additional costs associated with harvesting underwater, officials say that the project could still be a money-maker given current timber prices. Indeed, Bamfo told Reuters that the wood harvested from the bottom of Lake Volta will have a market value of about $4 billion.


The Canadian firm CSR Developments will conduct the logging, which is set to begin in October.

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SOUTH AFRICA UNVEILS STRATEGIC LONG-TERM POLICY TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

South Africa’s government outlined on Monday a plan to halt its growth of greenhouse gas emissions at the latest by 2020-2025 and to adopt various economic and policy measures so that emissions will eventually stabilise and decline.

Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk described SA’s new government plan to mitigate climate change as “progressive, ambitious and far-reaching”. The approach speaks of a scenario in which action taken now will see greenhouse gas emissions peaking by 2020-25, then reaching a plateau for a decade, and finally declining by 2050, with the aim of limiting temperature increases below two degrees, and is reportedly the result of two years of work by Van Schalkwyk’s department. The move is seen as setting the pace for those in the developed world, especially those most reluctant to get on board, such as Kyoto Protocol non-signatories US and Japan, and is expected to garner widespread recognition of goodwill and progress in negotiations.

Van Schalkwyk argues that in the new plan there will be no new coal-fired power stations. The government says that if new coal-fired power stations are to be approved now, the initiators of proposals will need to show willingness to employ new technology, albeit still in development, of carbon capture and storage, which aims to clean up the dirty manufacturing process by capturing emissions and storing them under the earth’s surface to prevent air pollution.

The potential saving to the atmosphere will be calculated in carbon credits, which have a monetary value and can be sold under the system of carbon trading between countries, already in place under the auspices of the Kyoto Protocol. Once again, the Energy Security Master Plan 2007–2025 provides some insight into the issues: “Few other economically viable options are available (because Eskom is dominated by coal) and because of this, it is critical to take climate change issues into account and take advantage of carbon credits that translate into direct financial benefits. Carbon credits will be included in the decision making in all future investment decisions.”

Meanwhile, more reasonable renewable energy options, including eco-friendly wind energy and solar power, are still being “explored”, according to Eskom.

Critics of the plan argue that If South Africa is to seek a major transition from an energy-intensive to a low-carbon economy; she would need to completely replace fossil fuels by 2050, and would have to dramatically alter modern consumption patterns and lifestyles to be more climate-friendly. They go on to argue that contrary to official verbiage; existing policy would not meet promises to curb climate change. Vigilant, sustained monitoring by all sectors now needs to take place, regulation need to be tightened and policies changed. South Africa must be able to locally determine the cost of various options to the climate; the true effect of coal and nuclear power to human health and the environment; and the development implications in terms of jobs and livelihoods. This is the only way South Africa can speak with conviction to the rest of Africa and the world.


For more on this story visit: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/opinion.aspx?ID=BD4A82278

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ANGOLA APPROVES NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR KYOTO IMPLEMENTATION

LUANDA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Angolan government has approved the National Strategy for the Implementation of Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Convention on Climate Changes.


According to the State Gazette, the national strategy aims at establishing the intervention of Angola in legislative, technical and human dominions to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas and technological development of the country. It also aims at carrying out inventories and reports on greenhouse gas in Angola and its impact on the environment and public health.


Other objectives of the plan include development of technical-professional training in areas linked to climate changes, fomenting international cooperation in this field, encouragement and development of actions that involve transference and use of clean technology.


The strategy is based on principles of protection of climate system for the benefit of the present and future generations in accordance with responsibilities and capacities of the country.


For more see http://rss.xinhuanet.com/newsc/english/2008-07/21/content_8706388.htm

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News from Across the Ocean

BRAZIL LAUNCHES THE AMAZON FUND

Source: The Economist print edition; Aug 7th 2008

The Amazon Fund, launched on July 31st by Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leans on an idea that has become accepted wisdom among conservationists: to stop the Amazon rainforest from shrinking, a way must be found to make preserving it more lucrative than slashing and burning it. Norway has already pledged $1billion!. It is not yet clear who will be eligible for grants from the fund, but early indications are that it will give money to projects proposed by NGOs, scientists or by the governments of the states that are home to the forest. They might include supporting traditional rubber tappers and gatherers of Brazil nuts, or carefully managed forestry.

President Lula and his minister for long-term planning, Roberto Mangabeira Unger, insist that this does not represent a giveaway of Brazilian sovereignty, and that foreigners who gave money would have no influence on government policy. Touchiness about the Amazon still runs deep. The generals who ruled Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s had a paranoid fear of an invasion of the Amazon. They built roads through the forest, and subsidised companies and people to colonise it. The army is still touchy on the subject. So, surprisingly, is Brazil’s small (Maoist) Communist Party, which supports Lula but frets about foreign capitalists in the Amazon. However, no matter which way one looks at it, President Lula’s embrace of the idea that the world as a whole has an interest in the Amazon is a sign of his country’s increasing self-confidence.

For the full story, visit
http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11885784

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MALUA WILDLIFE HABITAT CONSERVATION BANK LAUNCHES IN SABAH, MALAYSIA

On August 18th, 2008, New Forests Inc., Equator Environmental, LLC, and the Government of Sabah in Malaysia launched the Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank. Located next to one of the last areas of virgin rainforest in Sabah, the Malua BioBank will use a multimillion-dollar investment to restore and protect 34,000 hectares (80,000 acres) of critical orangutan habitat called the Malua Forest Reserve. The Malua BioBank will generate Biodiversity Conservation Certificates that can be traded or retired. Certificates, offered at US$10, represent 100 square meters of rainforest restoration and protection. The sale of Biodiversity Conservation Certificates will endow a perpetual conservation trust and generate a return on investment to both the Sabah Government and the investors. 


The Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank (Malua BioBank) is a first-of-its-kind business model for rainforest conservation.


For more information about the Malua BioBank or for more information about purchasing Biodiversity Conservation Certificates please visit http://www.maluabiobank.com/contact.html

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Other Related News

'UN REDD' SCHEME TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE BY AVOIDING DEFORESTATION LAUNCHED

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has officially unveiled a new climate change programme “UN-REDD”. The programme, launched on 24 September, allows participating tropical forested developing countries to generate carbon credits by demonstrating their capacity for tree planting and avoiding deforestation. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), felling, slash and burn agriculture and other deforestation effects accounts for close to 20 percent of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere - the second largest source after the energy sector.

If incorporated as a part of the post-2012 successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the UN initiative would eventually allow developed countries to purchase these generated credits which, in turn, would help to create revenue while simultaneously preserving forests and become an integral part of a potential future global carbon market.

Countries participating in the first phase of the program include Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Panama, Bolivia, Paraguay, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea. Some of these countries (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania) have opted for a "quick start" approach that will require early development of national strategies, establishment of systems for monitoring, assessment, reporting and verification of forest cover and carbon stocks, and capacity building.

Norway has donated US$35 million to the initiative to assist in initial capacity building.

For more see www.undp.org/mdtf/UN-REDD/overview.shtml

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VOLUNTARY CARBON MARKET GROWS UP, BUT PROBLEMS REMAIN

Source: Reuters News; 03 October 2008

The voluntary carbon market sold about 65 million tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2007, worth some $330 million, but is still dogged by criticisms that it lacks transparency. The growing voluntary carbon offset market is trying to woo the public and companies with new ways and standards to cut their contribution to climate change, while dispelling continued doubts that such schemes do any real good.

Offsetting companies defend their business models by saying they have introduced new trade bodies and standards, some of which include tracking systems so that buyers know exactly where, how and when the emissions cuts were made.

The industry got a bad press from projects that sold emissions reductions from planting trees -- which absorb carbon dioxide as they grow -- as it was selling emissions cuts now, which may not happen for decades as the trees reach maturity.

One bonus of the voluntary market is that it is cheaper than funding emissions cuts in regulated carbon markets, such as the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) and under the Kyoto Protocol. These are more expensive because the resulting offsets draw extra demand from big corporates, which can use them to comply with greenhouse gas emissions targets under regulated Kyoto and EU caps.

For example, carbon emissions permits accepted under a U.N.-led scheme under the Kyoto Protocol cost around 19 euros ($26.33) per tonne, compared with a $6.3 per tonne for voluntary permits in mid-2008, according to New Carbon Finance. In addition, the regulated, U.N.-run market charges approval fees that smaller and perhaps more socially beneficial projects, notably in Africa, cannot afford -- pushing them into the voluntary market.

For the full story see http://communities.thomsonreuters.com/Carbon/107499

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OVER US$6.1 BILLION PLEDGED TO ASSIST DEVELOPING COUNTRIES MITIGATE AND ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Leading industrialized nations pledged more than US$6.1 billion to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), a pair of international investment instruments designed to provide interim, scaled-up funding to help developing countries in their efforts to mitigate increases in greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. The first proposals to benefit from funding under the CIF are expected to be announced early in 2009. The Climate Investment Funds were created through a consultative process involving a series of multi-stakeholder design meetings and taking account of extensive global climate change consultations held by the World Bank Group over the past nine months. Consultations took place with potential recipients and donors, the United Nations family, other multilateral development banks, civil society organizations, and the private sector.


For more information see the Worldbank's website

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Upcoming Events

CARBON MARKETS AFRICA, TABLE BAY HOTEL, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

17-19 NOVEMBER 2008


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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CONFERENCE ON CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND POLICY, ACCRA, GHANA

JANUARY 28-30, 2008


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
or email: scbafrica2009@ymail.com   for more information.

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Resources & Tools

FOREST TRENDS COMMUNITY PORTAL NOW OPEN!

The Community Portal, a new website designed to increase communities’ knowledge about ecosystem services and how PES markets work, bridging the gap between providers and buyers of ecosystem services, was launched at the beginning of August 2008. An initiative of Forest Trends’ Community and Markets Program, the Community Portal is a multi-media information system that uses language and tools accessible to a broad audience at the community level. Information will be provided in a variety of media, such as downloadable booklets, brochures, newsletters, radio broadcasts, audio interviews and tutorials, among other materials.

Forest Trends' Communities and Markets Program seeks to link communities to environmental markets, working to create the awareness and capacity for communities to participate and benefit from payments and compensation schemes in recognition and retribution of their positive stewardship role of ecosystem services. Access the Community Portal at http://community.ecosystemmarketplace.com/index.php and email Rebecca Vonada (rvonada@forest-trends.org ) with any feedback

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ELDIS KEY ISSUES GUIDE: PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

Produced by: Eldis Environment Resource Guide (2008)
ELDIS’ new key issues page provides an overview of potential benefits and pitfalls, and links to further reading on PES from a range of sources.

Visit online at: http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resourceguides/environment&em=170908⊂=wnew

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PAYMENTS FOR ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN LIJIANG, CHINA - VOICES FROM THE FIELD

By The Natural Capital Project, Stanford


This video was created for The Natural Capital Project to document their payment for ecosystem services project in Lijiang, China. It provides a brief summary and diversified account of different stakeholders in China and their views on PES. A lively and interesting way to get a first hand impression of PES in the field.


To watch the video, visit http://www.veoh.com/videos/v6281099qJbqqw6p

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HARMONIZED WORLD SOIL DATABASE RELEASE BY THE FAO IN JULY 2008

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed a new database to improve knowledge of current and future land productivity, as well as the carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential, of the world’s soils.


Download database at http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/luc07/External-World-soil-database/HTML/index.html

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New Publications

EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE OF CDM PROJECTS: CASE STUDY CHINA

Produced by: Climate Strategies (2008)

This paper analyses a sample of CDM projects in China in terms of the barriers they face and their impact on lead times and CER generation. It also evaluates three key aspects of project design: additionality argumentation, stakeholder participation and expected sustainability benefits. It is found that:


  • small-scale CDM projects in China might be facing more technological and financial barriers than large ones
  • The amount of CERs forecasted changes as projects progress from validation to registration and issuance, due to new standardised baseline information published by China's DNA and to barriers related to the new technologies
  • Over-performance of some projects could be caused by underestimation of the plant load factor in the project design documents
  • Delays in the expected start of the crediting period are also observed, caused by delays in the DNA approval, the CDM registration, the acquisition of governmental permits, the use of new baseline and monitoring methodologies, or difficulties in achieving financial closure
  • Several of the projects do not provide sufficient information on the consultation methods in none of the projects are the contributions to sustainable development described quantitatively
  • Possible negative environmental impacts are a matter of concern for stakeholders in most projects, but are addressed by developers
  • The expectation most commonly expressed by stakeholders is the creation of local employment, which is also the sustainability benefit most commonly offered by CDM projects

The study is available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=39351&em=190908&sub=trade

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COMPANIES' CARBON OFFSET STRATEGIES, PRACTICES DETAILED IN NEW REPORT

A new survey from EcoSecurities and ClimateBiz shows how large, multinational corporations are addressing their carbon footprints from within, and what strategies they're using to offset the emissions they can't avoid.

The study, "Carbon Offsetting Trends Survey 2008 ," sampled 65 companies across industries about their attitudes towards offsets and what steps they're taking to improve their environmental performance.

Among the findings are that only 23 percent of enterprises responding have not yet developed a carbon offset strategy, and that only 4 percent said they would never consider carbon offsets as part of an environmental strategy. When asked what types of offset projects are most desirable, the vast majority -- 96.7 percent -- rated energy efficiency projects as desirable or highly desirable; wind, renewable biomass and agricultural and landfill gas-capture projects also rated above 80 percent in desirability. The project types rated as least desirable were large-scale hydroelectricity, forestry and avoided deforestation projects, and industrial gas destruction projects.

These trends in desirable offset project types suggest that the voluntary market, which is still largely localized in the United States, leans towards easily understood and highly visible projects within the realm of "charismatic carbon” which remains bad news for Africa.

The report is available online at http://www.ecosecurities.com/Standalone/Carbon_Offsetting_Trends_Survey_2008/default.aspx

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NEWSLETTERS

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

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