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10 November 2011 | We’re taking a deep breath before diving headfirst into Durban coverage, but keep your eyes on the Forest Carbon Portal and Ecosystemmarketplace.com for on-the-ground reporting from COP17, as well as news and analysis to help navigate the climate talks. Now, onto the news:
The UNFCCC solicited views from parties on the implications of including reforestation of lands with forest in exhaustion as afforestation and reforestation (A/R) Clean Development Mechanism project activities. “Forest in exhaustion” refers to a plantation forest for timber that is nearing its final harvest – its inclusion in the CDM would allow land owners to generate credits by replanting plantation forests. NGO critics of the move say it’s akin to subsidizing industrial forestry.
Some parties favor expanding A/R to include forest in exhaustion, claiming that replanting the land for another harvest cycle is preferable to other probable land use scenarios in terms of reducing emissions.
Biofuels were also under recent scrutiny. A report from the Center for International Forestry examined six biofuel sustainability standards and found little assurance that they were protecting primary forest and coming out ahead with regard to CO2. Another study examining palm oil production found palm oil for use in biofuel may be more carbon intensive than petroleum because of the large amount of plantations situated on GHG emitting peatlands.
The Asia-Pacific Forestry Week is taking place in Beijing, with delegates from the region coming together to discuss issues like governance, forest carbon management, and REDD+ activities in the region. Another event on the horizon, the Rio+20 summit, ran into some scheduling trouble – a conflict with the 60th anniversary of the Queen of England’s ascent to the throne. The conflicting events would mean representatives and leaders from the 54 Commonwealth nations would have to choose between attending a vitally important summit to move away from environmental catastrophe, or go to the Queen’s party.
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