East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group
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July 17, 2009


Dear Katoomba Members and Partners,

Welcome to the July 2009 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

Yours sincerely

Alice Ruhweza
Coordinator, East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group



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


On June 5-7 2009, The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group joined legislators from Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda at the Earth University in Guacimo, Costa Rica to consider how the Costa Rican system of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) could be applied in other countries in order to save the world’s rainforests. Legislators from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil Ecuador, Guyana, India, Mexico, Panama, Peru, as well as Costa Rica also attended the gathering.
The 18 legislators –– heard expert presentations about the Costa Rican system and also other successful systems from around the world including experiences from East and Southern Africa which were presented by the Katoomba Group.
Costa Rica was congratulated in developing a successful system of payments for ecosystem services. The legislators were impressed that forested area in the country has increased from a low-point of 29 percent in the 1980s to over 50 percent now – and recognized that this has brought benefits not just to the country but to the whole world. Costa Rica was also congratulated for continuing to develop the system of payment for ecosystem services. While there still appears to be considerable demand from citizens wanting to join the system, legislators have not considered their job to be complete. In particular the participants at the hearing were impressed by the efforts of Costa Rican legislators to involve women and indigenous groups in the scheme.
Participants recognized that each country possesses a unique set of circumstances and that financial incentives for forest conservation will take different forms in different countries.. There was a recognition that the amounts paid for ecosystem services have to be worked out according to circumstances in the locality. In some countries some recipients will be totally dependent on payments for their livelihoods. In other localities this won’t be the case.
 In order to move forward, the participants agreed the following objectives:
    * Cross-party groups in parliament could be effective in promoting financial incentives for rainforest protection. Cross-party support means that there would be no drastic changes to the scheme in case of turnover after elections. The legislators felt that such cross-party groups should be supported in other forested countries where they were already in existence and be formed where they were not. These cross-party groups, and interested individual legislators, should form a global network of parliamentarians from tropical forest nations working together on strengthening forest incentives. The e-Parliament will seek funding to play a secretariat role for such a network.
    * National parliaments in tropical forest nations should initiate an expert review of options for strengthening financial incentives for forest conservation in their own country. An expert group should be instructed to examine examples of best practice, such as the approaches being taken in Costa Rica, India and elsewhere, and to investigate possible revenue sources.
    * Legislators in the developing world can and must establish the financial incentives and initiate schemes in their own countries but there needs to be a close partnership with legislators in the developed world – who can help supply additional funding to schemes once the schemes have been established. The legislators expressed particular interest in rainforest bonds as proposed by Britain’s Prince Charles, as well as in the current negotiations on a system for Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).
Several of the legislators expressed their commitment to taking action along these lines in their home parliaments

  – For more on the hearing visit


New PES Related News from the Region


Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and San Francisco-based Wildlife Works Carbon, LLC recently announced the initiation of Kenya’s first Carbon Offset project designed to take advantage of the emerging global carbon markets covering Reduced Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation (REDD).  The project aims to protect the 80,000-acre Rukinga forest reserve in southeastern Kenya. The project will create a wildlife corridor that links two of Kenya's largest protected areas — Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The area had previously been under threat from overgrazing, poaching and deforestation. The project will be funded by sales of carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market. The credits will be certified under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). The project is funding construction of new schools, free health programs, and organic farming and agroforestry initiatives for local communities.

Mike Korchinsky, Founder and President of Wildlife Works, says forest conservation is a compelling way for consumers to reduce their carbon footprint. "Wildlife Works calls this Consumer Powered Conservation," added Colin Wiel, co-Founder of Wildlife Works Carbon.

According to Alfred Gichu, a Chief Forest Officer from KFS, the National Focal Point for REDD Projects: "KFS welcomes the entrance of Wildlife Works Carbon into the market, to assist KFS and Kenya's rural landowners in managing the technical complexity of the global carbon market,

The Kenya Forest Service, as the national REDD focal point, is currently spearheading a local multi-stakeholder effort to among other things develop a national strategy for implementation of REDD activities in the country. This will be done in close liaison with the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, which is mandated to coordinate climate change activities in the country. The Ministry has been very active in enlisting support from the private sector towards climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

  – For details on the project and more on this story visit



Ambitious plans to grow 24 million trees to soak up carbon dioxide and restore the rainforest have got underway in Ghana.  The first million seedlings are being planted in a pilot scheme in an area that has been heavily logged in recent years.  The trees are all tropical hardwoods, mostly indigenous, and it is believed this project could eventually become the largest of its kind. It comes amid mounting concern about the impact of deforestation on climate change - a major theme at this December's UN conference in Copenhagen. Ghana has lost an estimated four-fifths of its rainforest in the past 50 years and tropical deforestation globally is estimated to contribute nearly one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions.

ArborCarb, a British firm, is behind the reforestation project. It hopes that by growing the trees, and locking up the carbon inside them, it will be able to sell carbon credits. Director Mike Packer is optimistic that the scheme is being launched at the right time and could, over its lifetime, soak up more than nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide.  He told the BBC: "There is a huge market of individuals and companies who will pay for this project to be implemented by buying the carbon credits.  They need those carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions."Forestry offset schemes have attracted criticism because the precise amount of carbon absorption is difficult to verify. But Mr Packer said the plantations would be independently audited every year and that the plan would take account of the carbon cost of the plantation work and of trees dying naturally.  Critics have also warned that forestry schemes can exclude local people or even deny them the chance to grow food.  Mr Packer said that ArborCarb would not seek to own any land but would work with local landowners and farmers and offer them a share of the carbon credits.

ArborCarb's plans involve plantations in several different areas of Ghana.  The pilot scheme, near the border with Ivory Coast, was set up with one of the country's largest timber companies, John Bitar. The company's owner, Ghassan Bitar, said attitudes to forests - and their sustainability - were shifting.  "During the days of my father they were not aware - there were lots of forests around.  Now that the population is encroaching and there is deforestation because of various reasons - agriculture, lumbering and whatever - people are aware and want to change." Suddenly the fate of some of the remotest forests is moving up the international agenda.

However in the run-up to the Copenhagen conference, environmental groups are raising objections to the developed world using forestry to reduce emissions. ForestWatch Ghana, a coalition of more than 30 non-governmental organisations, criticises the basic principle of carbon offsetting.  According to the coalition's co-ordinator, Kingsley Bekoe Ansah, "it feels fundamentally wrong.

"The developed world has had the benefits of industrialisation and now wants to shift the burden of responsibility onto the poor communities," he said. Mr Ansah also said that involving the markets in carbon-reduction projects could "lead to massive land grabs and further entrench poverty".

"Since the markets are volatile and unstable, the prices of carbon would be affected by events in the larger business world and this is not good for developing countries and their rural communities," he added.

  – For more on this story visit



Africa’s Biocarbon is key to mitigating climate change and benefiting millions of smallholder farmers, and agricultural landscapes can play a major role in reducing emissions from land use change in Africa, while providing income to farmers. This was the message that Dr. Peter Akong Minang of ICRAF-ASB shared with legislators from across Africa at the Pan-African Parliamentary Conference on Climate Change from 25-27 June 2009. Dr. Minang was invited to give perspectives on the Africa Biocarbon Initiative, which promotes a broad AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses) perspective for emissions reduction and carbon storage. The meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon, included MPs from Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Niger, Mali, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ghana, representing the full spectrum of forested and semi-arid countries that stand to benefit from a REDD+ deal.

The meeting aimed to help the parliamentarians prepare their contributions to the United Nations framework agreement on climate change to take place in December in Copenhagen. Dr. Minang’s presentation, “Africa post-2012 Climate Change Negotiations: Some Policy Perspectives” focused on seven key messages.

   1. Africa should support a REDD Plus Mechanism in Copenhagen
   2. Africa should support progressive extension of REDD Plus to include Agriculture, Agroforestry and Trees in the Landscape
   3. Africa should advocate for further Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Reforms
   4. Africa should advocate for voluntary Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for Sub-Saharan Africa
   5. Africa should continue advocating for appropriate combinations of funds and markets in the post 2012 financial mechanisms
   6. Africa must maintain adaptation as top priority and promote actions that contribute to both adaptation and mitigation
   7. African countries must improve the numbers, quality of delegations and strengthen climate change negotiation strategies.

The Parliamentarians were interested in how REDD would fit into real-world local circumstances such as fuelwood driving deforestation. Others wanted to understand why Africa had not benefited from the Clean Development Mechanism. MPs also wondered why semi-arid countries such as Mali, should support a REDD deal. Minang responded that by supporting REDD, it would open the door to a broader framework that includes agriculture. “Without a REDD deal there is no option for anything else,” he emphasized

The resolutions of this meeting were presented by the Cameroon at the African Union meeting in Libya. The Parliamentarians have agreed to hold a future meeting in Nairobi to further discuss climate change.

  – For more on this and other stories visit



In the ESA KG March 2009 newsletter, we reprinted an article published in the UK Sunday Times from January this year which was critical of Envirotrade and its operations at its flagship LULUCF project at Gorongosa in Mozambique. Envirotrade has contacted us and clarified the issues raised in that article. We are, therefore, sharing their response with our readers below:

The original grant money to commence operations at Gorongosa in Mozambique was awarded to the University of Edinburgh, and Envirotrade jointly undertook the operations with the University. The grant was for a 5 year period and the EU required a final report to be submitted by the University before it would make the last installment of the grant, and that report was submitted in December of 2008. A team from the EU will be visiting the project at the end of July 2009 to undertake a final inspection. However, the end of the EU funding period has not meant the end of the road for the carbon project, as Envirotrade's goal is to make the project self-sustainable from carbon offset revenues. The project has also created new streams of income for the community from agriculture, carpentry and non-timber forest products

Regarding the sale of carbon offsets, Operations Director Philip Powell also explained: "All our offsets are certified through the Plan Vivo system, and the information is in the public domain. There is full transparency regarding this. We have now also added a detailed listing of all offset sales from our various projects on our website to make this even more publicly accessible." While Envirotrade's model is to return a full two-thirds of all revenues from carbon offset sales to the project operations and community on the ground, to date the N'hambita project has received 100% and more besides owing to the contractual payments Envirotrade pays the farmers from offsets which have yet to be sold. So far these payments exceed US $1m in value, and have brought significant benefits to the local community.

  – For more information about Envirotrade and its projects visit


News from Across the Ocean


Indonesia's forestry ministry has released what are believed to be the world's first set of revenue sharing rules governing forest carbon projects, a ministry official said on Friday. The profit-sharing rules will help clear up important questions over Indonesia's release in May of the world's first set of formal regulations on a U.N.-backed scheme called reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, or REDD. The rules in May governed who could carry out a REDD project and in which type of forest. The revenue sharing rules were expected to take up to six months and heavily involve the Finance Ministry. Under the revenue sharing rules -- which can be read in Bahasa Indonesia at http://www.dephut.go.id/files/P36_09.pdf -- between 10 and 50 percent of the profits from REDD projects will be taken by the Indonesian government, depending on the type of forest. Of that portion, 20 percent will go to the provincial government, 40 percent to the regency government and 40 percent to the central government in Jakarta. Between 20 and 70 percent will go to local communities.

  – For more on this story visit



The United States and Indonesia have signed an agreement to cut Indonesia's debt payments by around $30 million in exchange for saving forests on Sumatra island, the U.S. embassy in Jakarta said on Tuesday. Indonesia has rich bio-diversity and is home to endangered species such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers, but it also has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, mainly due to land clearance for farming and plantations.  Under the scheme, Indonesia will place debt repayments into a trust over eight years instead of repaying the U.S. government, the U.S. embassy said in a statement. The trust will then issue grants for restoration and protection efforts covering about 7.4 million hectares (18.29 million acres) of forest in Sumatra, including the Way Kambas National Park which is known for its elephants' sanctuary. The U.S.-based Conservation International and the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI) are also involved in the project and will donate $2 million, the embassy said.
The Indonesian scheme is the largest of its kind under the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act.Washington has struck similar deals with countries such as Bangladesh, Colombia, Panama and the Philippines.

  – For more on this story visit


Other Related News


COMESA is setting up a fund to finance carbon reduction programmes and other climatic change related initiatives.  Dr Sindiso Ngwenya,COMESA secretary-general, told a business council meeting at the Comesa 13th Summit of Heads of States and Government held on June 5th, 2009,  that the funds would be accessed through a yet to be created division to be run by the PTA Bank. While he noted the regional block could lay foundation for low carbon economy that creates jobs, the challenge was whether the region had the capacity to transform its economies in an environmentally sustainable and carbon friendly mode.  "The carbon market is anticipated to be the new trillion dollar economy of our century," said Dr Ngwenya.

"Africa must have a stake. It is only with proactive private sector that Africa will be able to positively harness the tide of climate change. To facilitate private sector interventions, we as secretariat are in the process of setting up a unit hosted by the PTA Bank to design a carbon facility through which funding and other support climate programmes can be accessed." Dr Ngwenya called for involvement from both Government and the private sector to avert cost that would arise from climatic changes.

  – For more on this story visit



Africa reached a historic milestone at the Africa High-level Panel on Climate Change and the Special Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), held in Nairobi in June 2009, during which African environment ministers unequivocally called for a new and equitable climate change regime that responds to the needs and priorities of the continent.
The Nairobi Declaration, adopted at the Special Session, boldly and ambitiously advocates “the expansion of eligible categories to benefit from carbon credits and other international incentives in the post-2012 agreed outcome, to include sustainable land use, agriculture and forest management, so as to promote agricultural productivity in a way that improves resilience and adaptation to climate change”. Enthusiastically received across Africa, the Declaration calls for market-based mechanisms for crediting Reduced Emissions from Avoided Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), which means including all types of forest on the continent, in particular degraded forestlands. These mechanisms will need to be adapted to Africa and linked to the full range of Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU). Moreover, the Declaration advocates a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change impacts through increased finance, technology, capacity development and integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures into national development frameworks.

  – The full declaration is available online at



Ecobank in collaboration with the World Bank /IFD are putting together synergy in exploring the opportunities there are in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects evaluation and carbon financing structure aimed at ensuring a low carbon economy.  A three day workshop held recently in Accra, co hosted by Ecobank, brought together participants from both the private and public sectors including banks, insurance companies and other civil society organizations both locally and regionally to harness sufficient information and ammunition to guide their involvement to fully participate and capitalize on opportunities available in Carbon Markets. Participants explored strategies for strengthening the capacity of financial institutions in carbon finance and to provide information on how to overcome constraints associated with investing in CDM projects.

Group CEO Mr. Anold Ekpe in a message read on his behalf noted that Africa has a huge potential for tradable emission reduction initiative thus investments in CDM projects in Africa will offer a solution to the double jeopardy of poverty and changing climate patterns which undermines the efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  He said while investment in technology will improve energy efficiency, the United Nations has projected the Africa's CDM market to generate US$1billion by 2012.
He said he added that the workshop was consistence with the bank's dual mandate to build a world class African Bank and contribute to the socioeconomic and financial development of Africa while delivering superior shareholder returns and investing in capacity building in Africa.

  – For more on this story visit


Upcoming Events


13-16 October 2009, Cape Town, South Africa
Second DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference,

Biodiversity and society- Understanding connections, adapting to change,

DIVERSITAS is pleased to announce its Second Open Science Conference: Biodiversity and society: Understanding connections, adapting to change. The conference is dedicated to biodiversity science and its connections to policy, and is meant to provide in-depth overviews of a broad range of topics in biodiversity research and initiate biodiversity research projects around the world. The symposia of the conference, which may have different formats (series of presentations, panel discussions, short workshops, etc.) will address one of the following broad themes: Strengthening biodiversity science; Supporting the science – policy interface; Focus on African issues

  – For more information and to register see:



22-23 OCTOBER, 2009


This is UNEP FI first-ever Global Roundtable in the African continent,.Amid the global financial and economic crisis, the Cape Town Roundtable has become even more timely and relevant as the financial sector reassesses traditional thinking and practices, and explores the best way towards achieving sustainable financial markets and economies. Moreover, 2009 is a critical year for the world with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December that will produce a new global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On the road to Copenhagen, the Cape Town Roundtable will help frame discussions on international climate policy that will have resounding impacts on the financial sector and international carbon markets.

UNEP FI invites you to join its vibrant global network of signatories and partner organisations across the banking, insurance and investment communities to discuss the latest developments and emerging issues on finance and sustainability during these challenging and changing times.

With UNEP FI always on the cutting-edge of sustainable finance, the Cape Town Roundtable will offer interactive panel sessions, in-depth debates, and expert training on:

    * Responsible investment
    * Sustainable banking
    * Low-carbon economy
    * Financing renewables
    * Sustainable insurance
    * Transparency, reporting and accountability
    * Responsible property investment
    * Microfinance
    * Finance and water
    * Valuing natural capital
    * Financing for sustainable development

  – For more information visit


Resources & Tools


The REALU Architecture project will link knowledge with action by taking a whole landscape approach to reducing emissions. Its main activities will be to 1) providing analyses of the cross-sectoral linkages between actors and institutions in the tropical forest margins, based on long term engagement in Asia, Africa and Latin America; 2) organizing multi-stakeholder events to explore implications for the design of an effective regime in the post-2012 context; and 3) building the scientific and political basis for change through communicating and networking activities. The project which received 6.9 million NOK (approx $1.1 M USD), and will be implemented by ASB partners including ICRAF, IFPRI, CIAT, IITA, the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, and national level research institutes in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and research partners in Norway

  – For more information visit



The UNFCCC Secretariat has added a webpage to its website titled “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries: Approaches to Stimulate Action: A Quick Guide to the Agenda Item Under the UNFCCC.”
The webpage includes a list of UNFCCC sessions relevant to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD) and associated meeting documents and links. The events are listed in a table and organized chronologically. The table uses the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC held in Montreal, Canada, in 2005, as its starting point, given that the REDD agenda item was first introduced then.

  – For the guide visit



Forest Trends’ Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) has published -- biodiversity offset principles, interim guidance (handbooks on biodiversity offset design, cost-benefit analysis and implementation), and  resource papers and case studies -- on their website.

  – To access the resources visit



This ASB initiative will deliver workshops in African and Asian countries, to help national level stakeholders and negotiators negotiate effectively and build strong positions that take into account the opportunities and risks of different REDD scenarios. The ASB Partnership will help ensure that the training is informed by a whole-landscape approach to reducing emissions and increasing carbon stocks. The initiative which received 5 Million NOK (approx $780,000 USD), will be implemented with the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

  – For more information visit



The AfricaAdapt network, which is funded by the joint UK Department for International Development (DFID)/International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Climate Change Adaptation in Africa Programme has launched a new Knowledge Sharing Innovation Fund promoting new ways of sharing knowledge that can help address this problem.The Knowledge Sharing Innovation Fund will offer grants of up to US$10.000 to projects that seek to overcome barriers to share knowledge with ’hard to reach’ or marginalised African communities. These barriers may be related to language, access to information and marginalisation due to gender or disability. Theatre performances, songs, radio broadcasts, visual arts, videos and comics are just a few ideas about how they could be overcome. The key is to ensure these groups can learn and share.Ensuring that vulnerable communities are active in the exchange of African knowledge, best practices and know-how on climate change adaptation is a high priority for AfricaAdapt. These communities are the most directly threatened by climactic impacts, however they also have a wealth of experience in adapting to past changes that could benefit other communities. African researchers, local and civil society organisations, cooperatives and community networks are encouraged to submit their ideas. The first round of submissions opens until 1 August 2009. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by 15 October.

  – For more information visit


New Publications


Edited by Ricardo Bayon, Amanda Hawn and Katherine Hamilton

The Guide draws together all the key information on international voluntary carbon markets with commentary from leading practitioners and business people. It covers all aspects of voluntary carbon markets around the world: what they are, how they work and, most critically, their business potential to help slow climate change.

  – Available online at



Authors: Ebeling,J.; Fehse,J.
Produced by: EcoSecurities (2009)

This report explores whether there is a business case for high-biodiversity REDD projects and schemes and how such a business case could be created or promoted. It was commissioned by the Secretariat of the CBD as part of its efforts to support Parties efforts to address reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.  From the analysis, it is clear that significant potential exists to link the biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation agendas with current and forthcoming REDD markets and schemes. However, the current business case seems often limited to niche markets and voluntary initiatives.The report however, discusses a range of approaches given below, which could be developed to create a business case for high-biodiversity REDD. For example:

- Voluntary markets do provide a strong commercial incentive to invest in and buy credits from projects with specific biodiversity and social benefit. This is because of the reputational and CSR benefits for corporate buyers that are associated with being perceived as promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Voluntary markets are however of relatively small size.
- Minimum standards or safeguards could be integrated in an international REDD agreement to limit eligible activities at least to those that prevent negative biodiversity impacts. This could be coupled with reporting and monitoring requirements, and voluntary national-level biodiversity quality standards.
- Non-carbon benefits of forest conservation could be rewarded through broader payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes.
- Developed countries could adopt ambitious emission targets to create strong demand for carbon credits and at the same time allow the use of REDD credits towards meeting these targets.
- Host countries need to acquire the capacity and create the governance framework to both implement national-level REDD policies and to enable and to promote sub-national and non-governmental REDD activities. This includes reducing corruption and inefficiencies in the forestry and land-use sectors and creating the institutional capacity to create effective incentives on the ground.

The report concludes that fundamentally, creating a strong business case for REDD will be the best and most certain way of creating a business case for high-biodiversity REDD.

  – Available online at




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