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Katoomba XV: Integrated Solutions: Water, Biodiversity, and Terrestrial Carbon in West Africa

Accra, Ghana

The Katoomba Group is an international network working to promote and improve capacity related to markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES). The mission of the Katoomba Group is threefold: to identify and respond to gaps in PES theory and practice; share intelligence about new developments related to PES markets; and address key PES challenges, such as mobilization of private sector buyers and enabling progress on legal, policy and institutional frameworks.

Although there have been three Katoomba Group meetings in Africa – Uganda (2005), South Africa (2006) and Tanzania (2008) – this will be the first in West Africa.í‚  It is timely in that PES interest in the region is fast increasing while the region’s forests are under immense threat. In the past 15 years West Africa has lost 1.4 million hectares or 26 percent of primary –’old growth’ forest, leaving about 1.5% of the area under primary forest cover, and the rate of deforestation has significantly increased since the 1990s. Alternative solutions to traditional approaches are therefore urgently needed.
Thus Ghana, Liberia and Cameroon have initial funding from the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to submit national “Readiness Plans” (R-Plans) for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD); there are some emerging private sector initiatives to develop –’forest carbon’ credits; and a “biodiversity offset” project in Ghana, in which a mining company is aiming to offset its environmental and social footprint, is at the planning stage. These early developments are encouraging, but there is an enormous need for information and capacity building in order to develop these new opportunities. The main themes of this Katoomba Meeting are as follows:

The Meeting will focus on key challenges for the planning and development of national REDD strategies. These include, for example:

  • understanding what REDD might mean in different national contexts
  • how to create economic incentives for local stakeholders;
  • how to combine –’sub-national’ REDD projects with national level accounting;
  • the challenge of –’pro-poor REDD’ including benefit sharing mechanisms;
  • development of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems.

This meeting is also timely in terms of helping country representatives fine tune their positions on REDD issues prior to the watershed meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen in December 2009, at which it is hoped there will be a political agreement on the basic architecture of REDD in a post-Kyoto regime.

Most attention, as regards climate change mitigation, has so far has been on forests. But there is increasing impetus to discuss soil carbon as part of a “Beyond REDD” package at Copenhagen. The storage or sequestration of carbon through soil conserving agricultural practices could also have major poverty reduction benefits for Africa. Among ideas being floated is an –’African Food Security Carbon Fund’ based on soil carbon. At this meeting world experts will discuss the potential and challenges of soil carbon for Africa. Another very important agricultural area is tree crops. For example, cocoa farming is a key driver of deforestation in Ghana, but presents an opportunity for using carbon finance to promote a sustainable agroforestry system – the potential and challenges for realizing this opportunity will also be a key discussion point for the meeting.
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The continuing erosion of West Africa’s forests is putting pressure on the region’s rich biodiversity. Home to more than a quarter of Africa’s mammals, including lowland gorillas and chimpanzees, and more than 1,800 endemic species of plants, West Africa has been named one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots by Conservation International (CI).í‚  While 17 percent of the region’s forests is technically under some form of protection, CI notes that only 3 percent of the area is conserved for biodiversity purposes. This means there is a great urgency to develop PES experiences and capacity in the region. In this meeting we will particularly explore the potential for biodiversity offsets and conservation banking, drawing on regional and international experience.

Another key area is marine and coastal ecosystem services.í‚  Most countries in the region share the Guinea coast, and there is an urgent need to incentivize the protection of wetlands and mangrove systems (such as the Amanzuri wetlands in Ghana and the Marshall wetlands in Liberia). These ecosystems buffer storm surges, provide critical habitats, harbor significant carbon stocks, and play a major role in the formation and export of –’dissolved organic matter’ to the ocean. Also, in southwest Ghana, the planned exploitation of off-shore oil reserves threatens the richest biodiversity (terrestrial and aquatic) pool in the country, not to mention the significant carbon and tourism values. This meeting will discuss the potential and challenges to developing PES options for marine and coastal ecosystem services.

Based on discussions of these themes, key outcomes of this Katoomba Meeting will include:

  • Guidance for negotiating teams and civil society going to Copenhagen;
  • Discussion of REDD options for Central Africa and agreement on key issues for a proposed Katoomba Group meeting in the Congo Region in 2010;
  • Increased collaboration among Katoomba Group members on critical ecosystem challenges in West Africa;
  • Refining the agenda of the Katoomba Group and the –’Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator’ in the region over the next five years.


The meeting will be held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on No. 1 Bypass Rd., located inside 30 acres of lush lawns and gardens in the heart of Accra, right near the Ghana International Trade Fair Center. For more information on the hotel see
Tel: +233 21 771700/ 771666/ 24 4342621-4

The easiest way to get to La Palm Royal Beach Hotel from the Kotoka International Airport (ACC), which is about 8km away, is by taxi. The estimated cost for this trip is approximately US $8.00 through the Airport Metered Taxis. If you choose, there are other transportation services available. If you are staying at the La Palm, there is an airport shuttle available for your use. For more information see  

There is no registration fee. The conference is free of charge. If you have not registered for the conference yet, please do so as soon as possible as space is limited.

All participants are expected to cover their own airfare, ground transport costs (where applicable), and accommodation expenses.
The Katoomba Group will pay for lunch during the conference days on 6th and 7th  October.

Participants are responsible for obtaining their own visas. The Visa cost is about US$50.  All visitors to Ghana are required to have a VISA unless you are a citizen of an ECOWAS country. If you absolutely cannot obtain a VISA on your own, please contact either Fiona Mulligan ( or Christina Swan ( to direct you further. Please allow at least 3-4 weeks for VISA processing. For more information on obtaining a VISA, please contact your local Ghanaian Embassy or see

You will be required to show a valid certificate of immunization against Yellow Fever.
For all other health related concerns and requirements, please see

A limited block of rooms has been reserved at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel at a specially negotiated rate of US$ 160. If you need a hotel room, please contact Barbara Kamassah (  immediately as the rooms are being allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
Other hotels in the area include:
Holiday Inn Accra Airport
tel: (021) 780 494; website:
Golden Tulip Accra
tel: (021) 213 161; website:
Airport View Hotel
tel: (021) 769 594; website:

Please plan to arrive on the 5th and depart on the 8th of October.


Rainforest Alliance


Katoomba XV: Day One

Keynote Addresses

Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director, Environment Protection Agency, Ghana (Coming Soon)

Dr. Omari Boamah, Deputy Minister of Environment, Technology and Science, Ghana

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Michael Jenkins, President & CEO, Forest Trends & the Katoomba Group

(Coming Soon)

Dr. Julius Okputu, Commissioner for the Environment, Cross River State, Nigeria

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Keynote Presentations:
NOTE: Due to a power outage, this session begins in the middle of the presentation by Sachin Kapila, Group Biodiversity Adviser to Shell International. We have secured backup audio from the beginning of this presentation, and will post it shortly.

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Moderator: Mohammad Rafiq, Senior Vice President, Rainforest Alliance

“A Private Sector Perspective on Emerging Environmental Markets”, delivered by Sachin Kapila, Group Biodiversity Advisor, Shell International Limited (Note: due to technical difficulties, the beginning of this presentation will be added later)

This presentation begins with a business case for biodiversity, water and carbon PES, as well as the need for private-sector finance to supplement public funding. Then it moves into an emphasis on the need to scale up as quickly as possible (especially as regards climate change mitigation), which will require both increased partnerships with the private sector and regulation (as a major driver of PES markets, as in the ‘cap and trade’ approach). The presenter also notes that the value of markets for ‘sustainable commodities’ is projected to reach $60 billion by 2010.

PDF Forests, Climate and Carbon“, delivered by Mariano Cenamo, Executive Director, IDESAM, Brazil

This presentation provides an overview of forests and carbon finance, focusing particularly on the potential of REDD to mitigate climate change while pointing out that some deforestation for development is inevitable. The presenter highlights South-South cooperation to surmount this tricky relationship, as well as the need to change from an exchange of technology for deforestation (as in the case of bulldozer-linked deforestation chains developed in the Amazon and currently in use in Northern Ghana) to technology (and policies) for conservation. He also emphasizes that forests should not only be valued for their carbon.

PDFExploring the Potential for ‘Cocoa Carbon’ in Ghana“, delivered by Ken Norris, Director, Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, University of Reading

This presentation explores the ‘win-win’ potential of higher shade cocoa systems – which can ensure the sustainability of cocoa production more than unshaded cocoa, which is higher-yielding but also shorter-lived, and leaves the soil mined of its nutrients. Shade cocoa might also mitigate climate change by capturing carbon in trees and can generate significant co-benefits, because since cocoa is a small/poor farmer’s crop in Ghana.

REDD: Evolving Architecture and First Steps in West and Central Africa

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Moderator: Victor Agyeman, Director, Forestry Research Institute, Ghana

PDFThe Status of REDD Readiness in Africa“, delivered by Andre Aquino, BioCarbon Fund and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, World Bank and Josep Gari, Technical Adviser for Natural Resources and Ecosystems, UNDP Africa

This presentation examines the current status of REDD Readiness initiatives in the region, especially the development of Readiness Preparation Plans (R-PPs) for the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Key points include the need for an integrated and cross-sectoral land-use planning approach; that the key challenges are governance, trust and technical capacity; and the need for broader participation in REDD Readiness, including a prominent role for civil society. DRC was presented as a success story in terms of its institutional framework for REDD: the DRC REDD Coordination body is supported by an Inter-Institutional Committee, a REDD Working Group of Civil Society, and a Scientific Council. A key distinction was also made between what should happen at the national level for deforestation to be reduced, e.g., tenure and governance reforms, and the challenge of attracting sufficient carbon finance (implying the need for private sector participation and ‘sub-national’ activities which generate carbon credits).

“National REDD Architecture Options”, delivered by Lucio Pedroni, Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Decisions

This presentation examines the main REDD ‘architectural’ options (a ‘national’, ‘sub-national’ and ‘hybrid’ approach). Much of this presentation focuses on whether/how ‘sub-national’ REDD activities (or projects) can be included in national REDD-plus programs. The case is made for the hybrid or ‘nested approach’ (sub-national activities within a national accounting system), and a step-by-step approach for developing it is presented, including inter alia the clarification of carbon rights, development of clear approval procedures, a national carbon registry, development of a national monitoring system, etc.

PDFREDD and PES Perspectives in Central Africa“, delivered by Alain Karsenty, Economist, Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique por le Developpement (CIRAD), France

One of the most-discussed presentations of the event, it examines the challenges of REDD in Central Africa and broader REDD issues. The presenter questions the likely effectiveness of REDD in terms of the additionality of many REDD actions, difficulties in establishing baselines, transaction costs, geographical and ‘economic’ leakage, and the danger of perverse incentives in a ‘baseline and credit’ REDD system. He raises the concern that the opportunity cost approach of REDD will not be sustainable without viable livelihood alternatives, and that it could perpetuate poverty, as well as paying people for the opportunity costs of legal compliance. He examines food demand as the key driver of forest degradation, and says that the priority for environmental and social objectives should be investment in agricultural efficiency, land reform, land use planning, and governance – all supported by a ‘PES plus’ approach that goes beyond compensation of opportunity costs, e.g., helping community forestry become more competitive with alternative land uses. He called this a ‘double green revolution.’

Beyond REDD: Capturing the Full Range of Terrestrial Carbon Options

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Moderator: Jacob Olander, Director, Katoomba Incubator, Forest Trends

PDFTerrestrial Carbon: Lessons from FPAN’s African Project“, delivered by Bernard Mercer, Chief Executive, Forests Philanthropy Action Network (FPAN)

The presenter argues there is little evidence of reduced emissions from land-use options, and questions some of the assumptions behind McKinsey’s cost abatement curve. But he also says we are underestimating the effect of terrestrial carbon stocks, and expresses high hopes for secondary forest regrowth. He believes we need to focus more on carbon effectiveness and less on co-benefits – leaving better-funded policies and initiatives to tackle rural poverty.

PDFThe Potential for an Agricultural Carbon Facility for Africa“, delivered by Michael Coren, Forestry and Carbon Markets Specialist, Climate Focus

This presentation focuses on the win-win potential of an Agricultural Carbon Facility for Africa, but also points out key problems – such as the high risks that small farmers face when changing farming practices. The presenter describes how ‘carbon-friendly agriculture’ needs to be based on building ecosystem resilience, and that carbon finance can be layered onto sustainable land management. He also predicts that soil carbon is likely to be part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and will be included under Nationally-Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), so that support can be both market- and fund-based; it may also be merged with REDD plus in the future – but not at Copenhagen.

PDFBiochar – Prospects for Africa“, delivered by Edward Yeboah, Soil Research Institute, Ghana and Phil Covell, Business Analyst, Forest Trends

This presentation examines the potential of biochar for reducing emissions (especially of methane and nitrous oxide) as well as its impact on soil fertility, including the capacity to retain nitrates from inorganic fertilizers. The key constraint appears to be a sustainable foodstock with low or zero opportunity costs. There is also a need to develop carbon methodologies for biochar.

“The Africa BioCarbon Initiative”, delivered by Peter Minang, Global Coordinator for the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership (ASB), World Agroforestry Centre

Katoomba XV: Day Two

Summary of Day One and Welcome Address

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Tunde Morakinyo, Principal Consultant, ERM

Paying for Biodiversity – Emerging Opportunities

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Moderator: Mr. Nick Westcott, British High Commissioner to Ghana

PDFBiodiversity Offsets and Conservation Banking: A Tool for West Africa“, presented by Kerry ten Kate, Director Business and Biodiversity Offset Program (BBOP), Forest Trends and Amrei Von Hase, Science Coordinator, BBOP, Forest Trends

This presentation describes the key principles developed by Forest Trends’ Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP) and its partners, discusses its achievements, and sets out some priority work areas, including in West Africa. It then addresses the specific mechanism of conservation banking and markets for biodiversity credits, drawing particularly on examples from the US and Australia.

PDFHydroelectricity and Biodiversity Offsetting – A Case from Sierra Leone“, presented by Abdulai Barrie, Environmental Consultant, Bumbuna Hydro Electric Project, Sierra Leone

This presentation examines a case study of a biodiversity offset project in Sierra Leone. The Bumbuna Hydro-electric project is undertaking compensatory conservation to offset the construction of a major dam. The presentation focused on financing, institutional and social issues. As well as support from the World Bank and African Development Bank, a key financing mechanism will be a 3% electricity tariff to be used for community development and environmental management.

PDFLinkages between Biodiversity and REDD: The Makira Forest Protected Area, Madagascar“, presented y Christopher Holmes, Technical Director Madagascar Country Program, Wildlife Conservation Society

This presentation describes the Makira Forest Protected Area Project in Madagascar, highlighting linkages between biodiversity and REDD as well as the roles of local communities and government. The Makira Project has negotiated apparently equitable benefit sharing arrangements with the government of Madagascar.

PDF Payments for Marine and Hydrological Services

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Moderator: Professor Chris Gordon, Africa Wetlands Centre, University of Ghana

PDFWater, Weather and West Africa’s Forests“, presented by Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science, University of Oxford School of Geography and the Environment

This presentation reveals the critical importance of the region’s forests for rainfall and temperature (the cooling effect); for example, it shows how forests help cloud formation, and provides data showing that Kumasi (in the heart of Ghana’s high forest zone) has experienced a 20-30% decline in rainfall since the 1950s. The presenter makes the case for payments for forest’s rainfall services.

The presentation is followed by a rather chilling discussion of what life could be like in Ghana with a possible rise of 6-7 degrees Celsius by 2060, assuming continuation of ‘business as usual’.

“PES for Mangroves and Wetlands”, presented by Gordon Ajonina, Mangrove & Wetlands Management Expert, National Programme Coordinator, Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society (CWCS)

This presentation examines issues around PES in mangroves and wetlands, pointing out the major co-benefits at stake, and that they have been generally neglected in carbon finance discussions. Also few African countries have wetland policies. It specifically examines the Douala-Edea Mangrove and Marine Park in Cameroon as a case study – mangrove loss is being reduced via collaborative work with wood cutters and fish smokers.

PDFPES and Market Mechanisms for Conserving Coastal Ecosystem Services” presented by Winnie Lau, Program Manager MARES Program, Forest Trends

This presentation points out the historical tendency for natural resource planners to undervalue coastal and marine ecosystems, which support a disproportionately large portion of the world’s population, especially the poor, and are increasingly under threat. Marine PES face unique challenges compared to terrestrial PES, such as the open access nature of marine resources and their vulnerability to land-based sources of pollution and other upstream degradation drivers. Key needs include creating synergies between communities and government – this will require institution building in particular.

The ensuing discussion includes the disturbing prediction that coral reefs will die out in 30 years assuming atmospheric carbon dioxide hits 450 parts per million – it is currently about 390 parts per million (some 500 million people also depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods). This is not just due to climate change: a range of stressors, including over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction need tackling. A recurring theme of the Meeting was that PES actions are only partial solutions – a holistic and multi-pronged approach combining policy and project level actions is essential.

Day-Two Breakout Groups

PDF Pro-Poor REDD – How Can We Do It?

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Facilitator: Phil Franks, Coordinator, CARE Poverty, Environment, and Climate Change Network, CARE International

The report-back of the pro-poor REDD group emphasized the importance of improving our understanding of how the poor will be affected; that the main pro-poor benefits are likely to be from changes in the natural resources’ policy and governance framework, including tenure, rather than direct carbon payments; and that the challenges include better organization, information and platforms for policy advocacy.

PDFRegional Challenges and Opportunities for Pro-poor REDD,” presented by Kyeretwie Opoku, Civic Response and Forest Watch Ghana

PDFLegal and Institutional Aspects of Pro-Poor REDD,” presented by Kederick Johnson, Acting Managing Director, Forestry Development Authority, Liberia

PDFPotential Pro-Poor Benefit Sharing Mechanisms“, presented by Mark Ellis-Jones, Programme Coordinator, Equity and Efficiency in Payments for Ecosystem Services, CARE International

REDD/Carbon Measurement, Monitoring, Reporting & Verification (MRV)

The MRV breakout group reported that, in general, good guidance is available on carbon measurement, for example, from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). There is still some way to go in terms of cost-effective measurement of forest degradation (the second D of REDD) – a key challenge is to more precisely define ‘degradation’. The Brazilian Juma project presentation revealed that sub-national projects need national baselines.

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Facilitator: Joerg Seifert-Granzin, Senior Advisor Climate Change and Environmental Services, Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN), Bolivia

“Developing a Carbon Map for Ghana”, presented by Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science, University of Oxford School of Geography and the Environment

“The Challenge of Accounting for Forest Degradation”, presented by Johannes Eberling, Independent Consultant, Madagascar

“Lessons from the Juma Project, Brazil”, presented by Mariano Cenamo, Executive Director, IDESAM

PDF Tree Crops: Linking REDD with Farmers and Tree Planting

The cocoa carbon group reported on the need for more field research, but that a survey of 800 cocoa growing households by the Sustainable Tree Crops Program (STCP) should help. It reported that Kuapa Kokoo, the largest cocoa cooperative in the world with 68,000 farmers, is emphasizing farmer education and has a well-established benefit sharing scheme. The importance of profitability from carbon finance options was underlined – at present, declining profitability of cocoa means that few children of cocoa farmers want to continue in cocoa farming.

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Facilitator: Frank Hicks,Vice President Investment Opportunities, BioLogical Capital

“Cocoa Carbon – Potential and Challenges in West Africa”

Speaker, Sustainable Tree Crops Program, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (name to be announced)

PDFCocoa Farmer Perspectives“, presented by Paul C.K. Buah, President, Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union and Nicholas Adjei-Gyan, Research and Development Officer, Kuapa Kokoo Ltd.

PDFCocoa Buyer Perspectives on the Ghana Cocoa Carbon Initiative“, presented by Tony Lass, MBE, Sourcing Advisor for Cadbury, plc.

Day Two Closing Panel and Plenary

What Is the Future of PES in West Africa

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Katoomba XV: Private Meeting (8 October)

Charcoal and Energy Options

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Moderator: Raphael Yeboah, Executive Director, Forestry Services Division, Forestry Commission, Government of Ghana

PDFEast African Experience with Sustainable Charcoal and Carbon Finance“, delivered by Will Garrett, Senior Consultant, Camco, Kenya

This presentation examines the charcoal experience from East Africa, with a concentration on projects in Tanzania and Kenya. The main REDD potential is in a potential tripling in the charcoal recovery rate via improved kilns, and secondly by switching from unsustainable to sustainable ‘feedstock’ mainly through woodlots. The presenter emphasizes the need for a holistic approach to charcoal, including working towards a more enabling policy framework (e.g., development of regulations in Kenya in 2008), forming charcoal associations, promoting certified charcoal production (although there is no price premium at present), and looking at alternative ways of meeting the mainly urban demand for charcoal.

PDFCommunity-Based Regulation of Charcoal in Ghana’s Transition Zone“, delivered by Victor Mombu, Program Director, NCRC Ghana and James Ohement, Katoomba Group Incubator West Africa

This presentation highlights progress in identifying a potential charcoal project to be supported by the Katoomba Incubator. NCRC has been establishing agreements with local authorities to regulate the charcoal trade in one of the main production areas in Ghana’s transition zone. A REDD strategy would aim to establish sustainable charcoal production practices, including local regulation of production, use of woodlots and/or sustainable woodland management, and improved kilns. The ensuing discussion revealed some challenges for REDD based charcoal, including the need for a fuel switching carbon methodology when the baseline is unsustainable charcoal production, and effective MRV.

“Renewable Energy Options in Liberia”, delivered by Joel Strickland, President, Buchanan Renewables

Toward an Integrated Landscape Approach to Land-Use-Based Emissions Reduction and Sequestration

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Moderator: Odigha Odigha, Chairman, Cross Rivers State Forestry Commission, Nigeria

PDFPolicy and Financial Mechanisms for Scaling up Climate Action in Agricultural Landscapes“, delivered by Musah Abu-Juam, Forestry Commission, Ghana

This presentation examines integrated land use in the context of transboundary conservation projects in the region, including the multi-donor TerrAfrica sustainable land management (SLM) project in northern Ghana and Burkino Faso

“Monitoring and Measuring Carbon at the Landscape Scale”, delivered by Peter Minang, global Coordinator for the Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn Partnership (ASB) of the World Forestry Center and Kieth Shepherd, Senior Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre

PDFInstitutional Challenges for Engaging Smallholder Farmers and Pastoralists in Landscape-scale Carbon Initiatives“, delivered by Sara Scherr, President & CEO, Ecoagriculture Partners

This presentation focuses on the policy and institutional issues for ‘landscape carbon’. The presenter emphasizes the need for economies of scale, focusing on carbon-rich landscapes, and building on current institutions (e.g., micro-finance groups); the benefits of increasing productivity against the ‘compensating opportunity costs’ approach; the potential for bundling with agricultural certification; community training, etc.

The ensuing discussion included the great potential of such innovations as mobile (phone) finance and live Google maps which can be used by communities. Rainforest Alliance also mentioned the potential to build on their group-based agricultural certification work, and (again) the key role of the private sector in view of its interest in the sustainability of the supply chain, e.g.., for coffee, cocoa, etc.

Oil and PES

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Moderator: Woeli Kwala Kemeur, Chief Director, Ministry of Energy

PDFPotential marine and Coastal PES Options in the Context of Ghana’s West Coast Conservation Initiative“, delivered by Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, Executive Director, Wildlife Division, Ghana and Winnie Lau, Program Manager, MARES Program, Forest Trends

This presentation emphasizes that the West Coast of Ghana contains some of the most important coastal and marine biodiversity in the country. But the newly discovered oil presents a high threat of habitat destruction/degradation due to the economic and political pressures to develop this resource quickly rather than sustainably. It was argued that market-based mechanisms, such as biodiversity offsets and other PES, can be tools for sustainable development, but need to be promoted and crafted in a way that avoids ‘greenwashing’ the oil extraction.

PDFLessons from Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Experience“, delivered by Odigha Odigha, Chairman, Cross Rivers State Forestry Commission, Nigeria

This presentation offers a cautionary tale from Nigeria. It begins with a detailed summary of the damage inflicted on the people and places of the Niger Delta by 50 years of poorly-managed oil exploration, and progressed into an analysis of how something so apparently good went so bad. The presenter urges Ghanaians to avoid the same fate by recognizing the long- and short-term value of all of the country’s natural resources, and argued that oil companies should be held accountable for damage inflicted on fisheries, farms, and tourist destinations. He proposes PES as one means of delivering this accountability – but only when mitigation is a weak option, and only if local stakeholders have been involved and educated early.

PDFRegional and Local Stakeholder Perspectives“, presented by Peter Anderson, speaking for Hon. Samia Nkrumah, Member of Parliament, Jomoro Constituency

This presentation picks up the thread by outlining efforts to make local stakeholders in Ghana’s Jomoro district aware of the options open to them. The presenter begins by explaining that the bulk of Ghana’s recently-discovered oil reserves lie in Jomoro and the government there has been conducting public hearings to help local stakeholders understand the impact of oil on their livelihoods and the options open to them. He then outlines several government proposals to bring local stakeholders into the decision-making process – and the challenges facing them. He criticizes a recent environmental impact assessment as being intentionally obtuse, overly technical, and clearly designed to bamboozle underpaid district assembly members. He closes with an appeal to local NGOs to spread awareness among disempowered stakeholders.

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Steve Zwick is Managing Editor of Ecosystem Marketplace. He can be reached at szwick(at)



Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation