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Ecosystem Marketplace, Marketplace eNewsletter

December 20, 2012    

From the Editors

As 2012 draws to a close and the UN’s climate talks in Doha has wrapped up, Ecosystem Marketplace reflects on its coverage of COP 18 that left negotiators with frustrated feelings over the cumbersome UN process and without an expected roadmap to global binding emissions-reduction targets by 2015. 

The UN Conference did extend the Kyoto Protocol to 2020 without fixing any of its flaws. Right now, the protocol only covers 15% of global emissions. Funding strategies for the Green Climate Fund were supposed to be decided on but decisions were pushed off until next year’s talks in Warsaw. The Fund is scheduled to scale up in 2013 if it is to deliver $100 billion per year in climate aid by 2020. 

The REDD space didn’t see as much movement as many would have liked. While REDD talks are ahead of overall negotiations, negotiators couldn’t agree on how to verify emissions reductions. Norway pushed for third-party verifiers that includes experts from developed and developing countries while Brazil argued for continuation of the International Consultations and Analysis (ICA) process, which is substantially softer on developing countries. REDD negotiators did agree on the need to talk about “ways to incentivize non-carbon benefits,” such as water filtration, biodiversity preservation and the support of indigenous peoples. These agreed on aspects can be found in the Final LCA Text. 

A landscape-based mechanism, which is more comprehensive than REDD but also harder to quantify, has been generating a lot of attention.

Coverage from Doha brought some good news too. Brazil reported its lowest deforestation levels ever and spoke on long-term plans to keep the rates low. Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC) as well, announced slashing deforestation. In a side event, representatives from these three countries as well as The Nature Conservancy and Norway discussed the methods and benefits of using REDD+ as a mechanism for future deforestation reductions.

The DRC also introduced its National REDD+ Strategy at the climate talks. Ecosystem Marketplace covers the DRC’s main source of funding, the Congo Basin Forest Fund, and their REDD project in the turbulent North Kivu province, at length. 

In Indonesia’s case, approval of the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve REDD Project in Central Kalimantan will certainly contribute to lower deforestation levels. Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry announced their approval in Doha, one year after the Ministry announced they gave half of the project’s territory to a palm oil company. Rimba Raya will be Indonesia’s first REDD project as well as the world’s first on deep peat. It will also preserve orangutan habitat the size of Singapore. 

Also announced at Doha was the joint-initiative between ethical label Fairtrade and carbon offset standard, the Gold Standard, that aims to bring carbon income to small farmers practicing sustainable agriculture.  The initiative will allow small producers in developing countries to tap into carbon finance as another source of income while also presenting an opportunity to scale up emissions reductions for the Gold Standard.


Indigenous peoples spoke out in favor of the “Indigenous REDD” program although they were unsure if carbon markets were the best way to access funding. The discussions called for a more holistic ecosystem-oriented approach. 

Ecosystem Marketplace covered Doha from day 1 on November 27. Here’s a look at our complete reporting from the conference as well as what some other organizations had to say about COP 18.

Thank you!

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

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Deforestation Solutions

Brazil Says It Slowed Deforestation; Challenges Others To Follow Suit

Deforestation in Brazil has slowed to its slowest rate since measurements began, according to the Brazilian delegation to the UN’s 18th Climate Change Conference in Doha. The discussion focused on Brazil’s long-term plans to maintain these low deforestation rates as well as how this accomplishment will impact climate negotiations at the conference. 

“We have to be sure of sustainable development that takes into consideration the environment and economic and social dimensions,” says Andre Correa do Lago, Brazil’s chief negotiator at the COP.

  – Read the Full Article

Indigenous Leaders Embrace REDD, With Or Without Carbon Markets

More than a dozen indigenous leaders from across the Amazon endorsed efforts to save endangered rainforest using financial mechanisms that reward good land stewardship and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). However, they were unsure if funding through the carbon markets was the best approach. The “Indigenous REDD” program hopes to save four million hectares of endangered rainforest. It was spearheaded by the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin, (COICA) which coordinates nine national indigenous organizations across the Amazon.  

  – Read the Full Article

Congo Basin Forest Fund Steps Up For REDD+ Piloting In DRC

It’s in the turbulent area around Goma that WWF Belgium is launching the Geographically Integrated EcoMakala REDD+ Pilot Project, which aims to protect forestland in part by providing clean cook stoves and planting a buffer of fast-growing trees so that locals can harvest them for charcoal (or “makala” in the local dialect) instead of chopping down the forest.

It’s an innovative project testing new methods and, if successful, it could be replicated across Africa. Until those methods are tested and refined, however, private-sector investors are reticent about putting money on the line. That’s where the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) comes in. 

  – Read the Full Article

Powerful Forest Friends Deliver Indonesian Approval of Landmark REDD Project

The Rimba Raya REDD Project is on again – one year after being put on ice when Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry promised half the project’s territory to a palm oil company. That decision has now been reversed, and the project is set to preserve an orangutan habitat the size of Singapore, generating millions of dollars in carbon income for local communities along the way. Developed by carbon project developer InfiniteEARTH, Rimba Raya will preserve 80,000 hectares of rainforest.

“Rimba Raya represents the hope and future of an entire species,” says Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, the founder of the Orangutan Foundation International. “Once the Minister signs the decree, Rimba Raya will be one of the most important orangutan conservation projects in the world.” 

  – Read the Full Article

REDD+ Sidelined In Dispute Over Verification

The once-promising REDD text has passed from the scientific negotiating track to the long-term action track with key provisions unresolved after Norway vetoed a last-minute compromise that Papua New Guinea had brokered between Brazil and the United States. At issue is the amount of verification that recipients of REDD finance will be subject to. As a result of this disagreement, the text on third-party verification will be bracketed signaling it is still in dispute and could mean an agreement on REDD is pushed back another year.

  – Read the Full Article

REDD Text Limps Out Of Doha –Healthy, Homeless, And Broke

The REDD negotiating text has now officially been passed to high-level negotiators, with new provisions for recognizing non-carbon benefits but no agreement on how to verify emission-reductions, nowhere near anything resembling agreement on finance, and no place to call home. The critical issue of results-based finance will be picked up at workshops headed by two co-chairs-one from the developed world and one from the developing world. 

  – Read the Full Article

REDD Inches Through Doha Gateway As National, Regional Solutions Ascend

Climate talks wrapped up here Saturday with the irrelevant Kyoto Protocol extended to 2020 and little faith in the ability of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to deliver a global solution to the climate-change challenge in time to avert disaster. 

Several negotiators, speaking on condition of anonymity, said countries were beginning to view the UNFCCC as a framework that can provide guidance for national and regional programs rather than as a foundation upon which a global solution can be built. 

  – Read the Full Article

From REDD To Landscape Thinking: How To Proceed

From a scientific perspective, Forest Day 6 thus offered an excellent opportunity to explore the role of landscapes in the functioning of the Earth System, and to discuss why resilient, well-functioning landscapes are so important, not just for the global environment, but also for livelihoods and a whole range of other benefits.

CIFOR covers COP 18's groundwork for an integrated approach to landscape that would connect the different sectors, like forest and agriculture, although the way forward was hardly made clear.

  – Read the Full Article

“Come out of the forest” to save the trees

Forestry experts have called for a new approach to managing land and tackling climate change challenging the ongoing debate that forests have to be sacrificed for the sake of rural development and food security. “Climate change needs to be dealt with across sector boundaries," says Peter Holmgren of CIFOR. "Forests and forestry must be looked at through the lenses of agriculture, food security and broader sustainable development. It is time for forestry to come out of the forest and contribute more broadly.”

More coverage from CIFOR that examines the integrated landscape approach to feed Earth's growing population while also protecting the forests.

  – Read the Full Article


Ecosystem Markets Around the World

Doha climate talks: review of the major issues at COP 18

The countries now meeting in Doha are scheduled to finalize a second round of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to cut greenhouse gases, and to wrap up the Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) negotiating track, which was launched in Bali in 2007 and led many countries to make voluntary emission reduction pledges but fell short of a comprehensive binding agreement. 

EDF covers the main issues of Doha from the local up to the international level.

  – Read the Full Article

7 Things You Need to Know About the UN Climate Talks in Qatar

(CI) Conservation International's senior director of climate policy, Rebecca Chacko, discusses key issues and goals of COP 18.

  – Read the Full Article

Gold Standard and Fairtrade Broaden Market Access for Small Producers

Small producers are finding new momentum at the Doha climate talks, where the Gold Standard signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last Friday that pulls Fairtrade principles into Gold Standard carbon projects across all project types, whether energy or land-based. The initiative will allow farmers in developing countries to tap into carbon finance as another source of income while also presenting an opportunity to scale up emissions reductions for the Gold Standard.  

  – Read the Full Article


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