East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group
Having trouble reading this email? Click Here to view the posted version.
August 18, 2009


Dear Katoomba Members and Partners,

Welcome to the August 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. Resources & Tools

6. New Publications

ESA Katoomba News


The Katoomba Group will hold its first ever meeting in West Africa in Accra Ghana on October 6-7th. Over the past 15 years, West Africa has lost 1.4 million hectares (26%) of its ‘old growth’ forest, leaving only about 1.5% of the area under primary forest cover.  The failure of more traditional policies, projects and strategies to slow down the degradation of the nation’s natural resources has strengthened the interest in mechanisms such as payments for ecosystems services (PES) and environmental markets.  This is particularly relevant in areas of biodiversity conservation, carbon markets and avoided deforestation (REDD), sustainable agroforestry and marine and coastal ecosystems.

Katoomba XV explores the potentials and pitfalls of PES and REDD in stemming this including detailed analyses of:

  • o    The policy, legal and governance framework for PES
  • o    Biodiversity offsets from industrial natural resource extraction, and conservation banking as a potential biodiversity offset mechanism
  • o    PES mechanisms for compensating marine and coastal ecosystem services
  • o    Opportunities for measuring and recompensing the hydrological benefits of forests
  • o    Progress and challenges in the development of national REDD programs, including how to achieve “pro-poor REDD”
  • o    Tree crops as well as cocoa and carbon finance with a view to promoting sustainable agroforestry systems, particularly shaded cocoa and coffee systems
  • o    The role of soil carbon in promoting sustainable agriculture and poverty reduction
  • o    Analysis of the PES potential of mangroves and wetlands

  – For more information visit


New PES Related News from the Region


The United Republic of Tanzania has released a portfolio of 11 CDM project concepts in many of which are still seeking investment. The project concepts have been developed under the Capacity Development for the Clean Development Mechanism (CD4CDM), with financial support of the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation and technical support from the UNEP Risoe Center.  Projects include : Substitution of Coal by Biomass Residues in Cement Manufacturing; Biogas Capture in Sisal Waste to Generate Electricity; Small and large scale forest Plantation Projects (LULUCF); Bio-latrine Methane gas Capture and Energy Generation; Fuel Switching from the Use of HFO to Natural gas; Biomass Co-generation and Landfill gas Recovery and Power Generation

  – The PINs can be downloaded at:



Following on its LULUCF projects in Gorongosa and the Zambezi Delta, Envirotrade has commenced work on its 3rd project in Mozambique; The Quirimbas Carbon Livelihoods Programme (QCLP) located in the Quirimbas National Park. The project encompasses an area of approximately 7,506 square kilometres, 5,984 on the continent and 1,522 being ocean, intertidal, and island habitats. The National Park was recently formed as an initiative of the 40 villages in the Park and the Mozambique government supported by WWF. The park is the largest marine protected area in Africa, the first to be declared in post-independence Mozambique, and significantly, the first park in Africa to be created at the request of local inhabitants. The marine part of the Park includes the 11 southernmost islands of the Quirimba Archipelago, of which four (Ibo, Matemo, Quisiwe, and Quirimba) have a long history of permanent human occupation. A managed elephant corridor will in time connect this part of the park to the Niassa Reserve to the north.

The project will generate verifiable carbon emission reductions using the Plan Vivo methodology and Envirotrade markets the offsets to buyers who wish to invest in poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation in Mozambique. Project activities are aimed at developing sustainable land use practices with the targeted communities to provide socio-economic benefits (transform livelihoods) and protect and restore forest resources in the national park. This will involve the restoration of degraded areas in the park that were previously cultivated and are now abandoned or areas that have been illegally logged, an extensive agroforestry programme to stabilise shifting agriculture and assist farmers, the production and marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and sustainable community timber utilisation in designated areas.

The project will also build institutional capacity in communities including the establishment of trust funds to channel funds from the sale of carbon offsets to individual farmers participating in the project and communities who contribute to forest rehabilitation, management and fire control. These community structures will be supported by institutional and administrative capacity to enable the Plan Vivo methodology to be implemented and ensure that carbon assets are maintained in a credible registry that promotes transparency, accountability and confidence in both producers and purchasers of offsets.

  – For details on the project visit
  – Or contact



An Africa-based project developer ,The Anglo African Energy Group (AAEG), formerly Zen Carbon, is looking to sell credits to US voluntary carbon offset buyers that are generated from avoided deforestation projects in tropical-forested areas of the Congo basin. The company, based in Lomé, Togo, is seeking to generate 400 million credits in the next six to nine months from projects located in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Gabon and Angola. The company hopes to verify the African forestry projects to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Project Design standards, Social Carbon standard, and the Voluntary Carbon Standard.The company is also seeking to register the credits with the Markit Environmental Registry, formerly known as TZ1.

The estimated carbon dioxide emissions that can be avoided from preventing deforestation in Congo’s tropical forests alone amount to 2.5 billion tonnes, says AAEG. AAEG is hopeful the US will account for a large portion of demand for future REDD credits from African forests because proposed US climate legislation contains several provisions addressing tropical deforestation. The recently passed House climate bill, known as Waxman-Markey, allows emitters to use credits from deforestation projects in developing countries. The bill, which would allow companies to use one billion domestic and one billion international offsets for compliance, would allow anti-deforestation projects to generate carbon credits and set aside allowances to encourage the reduction of an additional 720 million tonnes from avoided deforestation by 2020.

AAEG is initially marketing them to US financial institutions. They also expect the US government could be a potential buyer if it sets up a strategic reserve fund as outlined in Waxman-Markey.. Eventually, AAEG aims to develop a standard specifically for avoided deforestation projects in central and western African countries. AAEG' is also looking to develop a Senegal-based exchange where the forestry offsets can be traded

  – For more details on this story visit



A reforestation project on the Plateau of Bateke in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the first project in the country to benefit from global trade in emission reductions under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)—a market-based approach that allows countries which have ratified the Kyoto Protocol to purchase carbon credits from each other, reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to slow global warming.. 

By reforesting 4,200 hectares of degraded land, the Ibi Bateke Carbon Sink Plantation Project will trap an estimated 2.4 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 30 years, generating emission reductions that will be sold to finance the expansion of the project as well as health, education and agro-forestry activities in the local community, some 150 kilometers from the capital of Kinshasa.  The World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund will purchase 500,000 tons of emission reductions (so-called carbon credits) to be generated by the project until 2017 from a private company called NOVACEL, founded and headed by locals from Bateke. The objective of the initiative is to lead the local population and farmers to stop the destruction of the natural forests and to concentrate on planting managed forests. The degraded lands will be transformed into a managed forest of acacia, eucalyptus and indigenous species that will sequester CO2 and contribute to the supply of fuelwood for Kinshasa.

”As DRC starts preparing for a future international mechanism to compensate tropical nations that reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), this project illustrates concretely how carbon finance can support both the environment and generate revenues to local communities,” says Marie Françoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for DRC, who signed the Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA) with NOVACEL at the World Bank office in Kinshasa.

The Bank’s BioCarbon Fund has had a pivotal role in enabling NOVACEL to obtain loans from private firms (Suez and Umicore) to finance upfront investments. Also, it has attracted the participation of another carbon buyer, Orbeo, a subsidiary of the French conglomerate Société Generale and Rhodia, which is buying a similar amount of credits.
The Ibi Project is also receiving support of the Ministry of Environment of Conservation of Nature. Since DRC ratified the Kyoto Protocol in February 2005, the government has been making an effort to comply with the commitments of the Protocol by supporting projects that will generate carbon credits, especially afforestation and reforestation projects.

With this mind, a technical capacity building event on monitoring methodologies for carbon projects aimed at project developers of BioCarbon Fund projects in Francophone Africa is scheduled to take place at the Ibi station in November 2009, with the support of the Fund

  – For more details on this story visit


News from Across the Ocean


While the UN, World Bank and NGOs work away at creating a new international carbon payments mechanism to save the world’s remaining rainforests, Ecuador has been trying a variation on the theme – carbon bonds. The bonds would be issued over a government guarantee that oil won’t be extracted from the Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon and its forest and biodiversity preserved.

The project would deliver a total of 407 million tonnes of emissions reduction savings, primarily from the avoided extraction and burning of 850 million barrels of oil under the reserve, and the protection of forest. There would also be significant benefits in biodiversity conservation and protecting the way of life of two indigenous groups living traditionally in the forest. Working in a similar way to tradable carbon offset credits generated in return for emission reductions, the Ecuadorian government envisages issuing Yasuni Guarantee Certificates linked to the price of offset credits on the European carbon market.

The bond sales would take place over a ten-year period with revenue being earmarked for investment in sustainable energy to ween the country of fossil fuels. Revenue from bond sales would offset the royalties foregone to oil companies in locking up the reserve permanently. If the oil reserve were to be exploited at some future date, the bonds would be cancelled and the government would be legally bound to return the proceeds, plus interest.

Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, has called on developed countries – governments and companies – to commit to buy the bonds, saying if the international community doesn’t come to the party the debt-strapped country will have no choice but to allow the oil field to be developed.

Correa first proposed the Yasuni-ITT Initiative two years ago but the fall in the price of carbon has meant initial estimates of $11 billion in revenue have been progressively scaled down. As of July 2009, the government said it was now looking for $3 billion.

The US-based World Resources Institute has welcomed the concept in principle but expressed concern over carbon leakage. That is, should emission reductions be recognised in this plan when, in the short term at least, the demand for the oil from the field is likely to be just filled from supply elsewhere. This would mean no real emission savings.

The German government is considering a contribution of $25 million but it, along with other prospective investors, has concerns over whether the Ecuadorian government might allow some drilling if it could only sell some of the bonds. The WRI says the proposal is significant and acceptable only if no exploration takes place in the Yasuni-ITT fields.
Encouraged by the German interest, Ecuador is now seeking a group of initial backers to demonstrate global interest in the proposal, Remi Moncel, from the WRI’s climate and energy programme, told Carbon Positive.

  – For more details on this story visit



Four forest-preservation projects in Indonesia backed by Australia's Macquarie Group and conservation group Fauna and Flora International (FFI) aim to yield about 13 million carbon credits a year. Combined, the potential stream of offsets represents what is believed to be the largest number of forest carbon credits of any project development team in Indonesia, which has about 20 forest-carbon projects under development.

The projects, three in West Kalimantan on Borneo island and one in Papua province, aim to preserve or rehabilitate about 400,000 hectares (1 million acres) of forest, with large areas under threat of conversion to palm oil plantations. Negotiating with palm oil firms to prevent forest clearance is a key part of the complex cluster of projects. In return, the palm oil firms would earn a share of the revenue from the sale of carbon offsets, with each offset representing a tonne of carbon dioxide.

Two of the projects focused on preserving about 90,000 ha of degraded carbon-rich peat swamp forest in Kupuas Hulu in West Kalimantan. The first of these projects covered 46,000 ha. Preserving this area would save 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 a year over a 10-year period. The second site covered up to 44,000 ha but was owned by a number of palm oil firms and the final size of the area preserved was dependent upon negotiations with palm oil firms that own the forest concessions in the area. The project team was hoping to sign individual contracts with the oil palm companies to form a carbon pool to share the carbon credit revenue. The companies involved Sinar Mas and First Borneo Group and annual emissions savings were estimated at 2.5 million tonnes. The third site in West Kalimantan, in the Sungai Putri peat swamp, was also degraded forest and totalled 60,000 ha. Preserving this area would save about 3 million tonnes a year based on a 10-year scenario.The licences and project design documents are expected to be completed by the end of 2009 with the first voluntary market carbon credits likely to be issued in 2010.

The largest project covers 250,000 ha in Papua province in remote eastern Indonesia, with about 100,000 ha under threat of oil palm conversion and the remainder subjected to unsustainable logging and illegal logging. This project could yield about 5 million carbon offsets a year if this area was preserved but negotiations on revenue sharing with local communities were expected to take time.

FFI is also developing a separate project in West Kalimantan to preserve a cluster of community forests. These customary traditional forests are usually less than 10,000 ha and to meet the transaction costs the best way is to group the forests as a carbon pool. The grouping could total between 30,000 and 50,000 ha and annual CO2 savings would range between 280,000 and 500,000 tonnes.

  – For more details on this story visit


Other Related News


Rich countries have pledged nearly $600 million to UN and World Bank funds that will help developing nations to prepare and put in place plans to cut emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). The main multi-donor funds – UN-REDD and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and Forest Investment Program – could fund projects in some 40 countries. However, for many countries the preparation of a national REDD programme is proving to be more challenging – and taking longer – than initially thought. Initial expectations for REDD “have been somehow unrealistic,” said Jussi Viitanen, a forest sector adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland, which participates in the World Bank’s FCPF.“UN-Redd and FCPF planned to have national level results in 12-18 months time. But in reality participating countries have very limited capacity,” he said, referring to a lack of professional training and institutional support. A credible REDD programme needs sound methodologies for monitoring, assessing and reporting results. Also, it needs both public and private participation to overcome difficult political issues, such as land-use rights and who reaps the benefits of REDD initiatives, Viitanen said.

Indigenous groups have slammed draft readiness plans in Guyana, Indonesia and Panama for ignoring the rights of forest dwellers and failing to include their views in early consultations. “The (readiness) plan is found to have serious gaps and fails to propose how indigenous peoples’ rights will be fully respected in any future REDD strategy,” the Forest Peoples Programme said in an April 2009 report.This report was in reaction to Guyana’s readiness plan presented to the World Bank’s FCPF a month earlier.

While some of those challenges remain, governments in developing countries are likely to benefit from a combination of support coming from the UN and World Bank carbon forestry programmes as well as bilateral agreements.“As there are may be several phases of REDD readiness, many initial activities can be undertaken that are likely to be useful, regardless of the outcome in Copenhagen,” said a spokeswoman for the UN-REDD programme. She cited the development of national forest inventories, which include carbon and timber data, as one example.

  – For more details on this story visit



Africa can boost global efforts to curb emissions through the absorption of greenhouse gases by developing its farming sector, the U.S. secretary of agriculture said on Tuesday. U.S. firms unable to stay within greenhouse-gas thresholds at home might well want to invest in such projects to offset their emissions, Tom Vilsack added during a visit to Kenya. "With proper techniques and proper management, you (Africa), can help the world better balance its greenhouse gas emissions," Vilsack told Reuters in Nairobi, where he was attending an Afro-US trade meeting. He said this is thanks to plants and trees that have the capacity to absorb emissions. "With productive agriculture to absorb carbon, you have a tremendous opportunity to assist in greenhouse gases through what you grow," Vilsack said. He said the law in the United States now allows firms to offset emissions through investments in green projects. "Those American companies that cannot meet their thresholds could do so by investing both domestically and internationally in projects that absorb carbon," he said. "This could be an opportunity for Africa in particular." Obama's efforts to green the economy also include a plan to rid the United States of fossil-fuel dependence and create million of jobs in the process.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of fuel being produced from crops. We are seeing crops being used as substitute to plastics," said Vilsack. Companies in Africa have also been moving steadily towards opportunities presented by carbon trading. Kenya's Mumias Sugar  and electricity generator KenGen are some of the firms hoping to profit from the sale of carbon credits.

  – For more details on this story visit



Two more international agencies have thrown their support behind the Nairobi Framework initiative aimed at assisting developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, to improve their level of participation in the clean development mechanism. UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and UNITAR, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, both recently accepted invitations to join the framework, with founding partners UNDP, UNEP, World Bank Group, African Development Bank, and UNFCCC. There are more than 1650 CDM projects to date in 55 countries.

A growing but still very small number of those projects are in Africa -- 30 projects, or 1.8% of all registered projects. Parties to the Kyoto Protocol have identified improvement of regional distribution as a priority concern for CDM. Launched by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Kenya in December 2006, the Nairobi Framework partnership is a sign of the UN family's firm commitment to address the need for improved regional distribution of CDM project activities. The new partners will allow for the scaling up and enhancement of existing activities under the framework, which have focused principally on raising the capacity of countries to take productive part in the CDM.

The Nairobi Framework was initiated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Bank Group, African Development Bank, and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the specific target of helping developing countries, especially those in sub-Sahara Africa, to improve their level of participation in the CDM.

  – For more details on this story visit



The European Union could provide up to 2.5 billion euros ($3.55 billion) a year to help poor nations protect tropical forests, an EU executive said in a recent report to ministers meeting in Sweden..  The European Commission report, which was seen by Reuters. proposed taking some of the funds to protect forests from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, which makes industry pay for permits to emit CO2. Poor nations will need substantial funding to cut their own emissions and to adapt to the worst effects of climate change "If 5 percent of the auctioning revenue was used to contribute to global efforts to combat deforestation, 1.5 billion euros to 2.5 billion could be raised in 2020," the report said. 

Overall, the EU expects to be contributing about 30 billion euros annually by the same date to help poor nations adapt with measures such as developing drought-resistant crops or finding new water sources.  Those funds would help meet total funding needs of about $100 billion a year by 2020. Once funding is raised, the world faces challenges coordinating and delivering it to poor countries, the Commission report said.  "Undeveloped and fragmented governance has been identified as one of the challenges in delivering support," it said. "Existing mechanisms of delivery, including channels of aid delivery should be efficiently used and, if need be, strengthened before creating new mechanisms."

  – For more details on the story visit



By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace

The Bonn climate talks did not achieved the kind of progress that generates headlines, but they have come up with an extremely clear summary of all proposals related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) as well as movement towards a consensus on how to account for other land-use issues. Delegates agreed that, long-term, accounting of land-use emissions should be done on a land basis (which measures the total emissions and sinks on a given area of land) instead of an activity basis (which measures only emissions and sinks from certain land-use activities) because land-based accounting more accurately reflects the land's true impact on the environment. Many developed nation delegates, however, argued that they could not achieve accurate accounting by 2013 – a contention that was itself contested by delegates from poorer countries, who say that developed countries have been accounting for land-use emissions on a land basis since 2005 

  – To read more on this story visit


Resources & Tools


USAID and the Wildlife Conservation Society recently published the final version of their REDD Project Development Guide,. The primer covers key aspects of REDD project development  including:
- Pre-conditions for REDD

- Project design and development

- Revenue disbursal agreements and mechanisms

- Validation

- Verification

  – Available online at



WWF's One in Five Challenge calculates how much carbon your business  saves by reducing your business flights, and helps businesses to understand how important flying is to your overall carbon footprint. It is useful in reporting carbon savings, not only to investors, but also to government as pressure grows on companies to report on their emissions. Becoming a member of the One in Five Challenge entitles businesses to:

•    a toolkit to help you plan and implement a greener business travel policy
•    support from travel planning experts to understand and control the extent of your business flying and track progress in achieving the One in Five Challenge
•    information to help your company choose appropriate alternatives
•    help to improve staff compliance with business travel policy
•    help with quantifying cost and carbon savings to communicate to investors and others
•    opportunities to attend videoconferencing demonstrations
•    an annual workshop to help companies implement the One in Five Challenge
•    One in Five Challenge branding for internal and external communications associated with CSR and business travel, including a specially designed WWF logo for award winners
•    acknowledgement of your company’s membership in WWF-UK communications plus extra recognition for those achieving the One in Five Challenge

  – Available online at


New Publications


by Valentina Bosetti, Ruben Lubowski, Alexander Golub, Anil Markandya 

This paper analyzes the effects of linking Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) to a global market for greenhouse gas emission reductions.  The paper supplements a global climate-energy-economy model with alternative cost estimates for reducing deforestation emissions in order to examine a global program for stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at 550 ppmv of CO2 equivalent. The finds show that introducing REDD reduces global forestry emissions through 2050 by 20-22% in the Brazil-only case and by 64-88% in the global REDD scenarios. At the same time, REDD lowers the total costs of the climate policy by an estimated 10-25% depending on which tropical countries participate and whether the “banking” of excess credits for use in future periods is allowed. As a result, REDD could enable additional reductions of at least 20 ppmv of CO2-equivalent concentrations with no added costs compared to an energy-sector only policy. The cost savings from REDD are magnified if banking is allowed and there is a need to increase the stringency of global climate policy in the future in response, for example, to new scientific information. Results also indicate that REDD decreases carbon prices in 2050 by 8-23% with banking and 11-26% without banking. While developing regions, particularly Latin America, gain the value of REDD opportunities, the decrease in the carbon price keeps the value of international carbon market flows relatively stable despite an increase in volumes transacted. The paper also estimates that REDD generally reduces the total portfolio of investments and research and development of new energy technologies by 1-10%. However, due to impacts on the relative prices of different fossil fuels, REDD has a slight positive estimated effect on investments in coal-related technologies (IGCC and CCS) as well as, in some cases, non-electric energy R&D. This research confirms that integrating REDD into global carbon markets can provide powerful incentives for the preservation of tropical forests while lowering the costs of global climate change protection and providing valuable policy flexibility

  – Available online at



The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), has released two new papers on adaptation to climate change in Africa, with a focus on poor farmers. The first paper, “Economywide Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa” analyzes two possible climate change adaptation options for the region. The first doubles the irrigated area in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2050 but keeps total crop area constant; and the second scenario increases both rainfed and irrigated crop yields by 25% for all Sub-Saharan African countries. The efficacy of the two scenarios as adaptation measures to cope with climate change is discussed.
The second paper is titled “Soil and Water Conservation Technologies: A Buffer against Production Risk in the Face of Climate Change?” It investigates the impact of different soil and water conservation technologies on the variance of crop production in Ethiopia to determine the risks of the different technologies for different regions and rainfall zones.

  – Available online at



Australian Government - Bureau of Rural Sciences - James Walcott, Sarah Bruce, John Sims

This review looks at factors that may influence organic soil carbon and issues facing its inclusion in a carbon trading scheme in the future. Findings include:-
* Traditional methods of directly measuring organic soil carbon are generally slow and expensive. To quantify organic soil carbon in
units suitable for carbon trading, new techniques would be required to determine the amount of carbon and how it changes across a landscape.
* The net benefits of carbon sequestration in soils may not be as large as first expected (e.g. due to decomposition) and some processes
that increase carbon sequestration may have adverse environmental effects, particularly on biodiversity and ecosystems.
* Potential participants in soil carbon trading are likely to require more information on the likely increases in organic soil carbon
including the impacts of climate variability and climate change, the effects on associated greenhouse gases and the likely responses of land managers to incentives.

  – Available online at




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