Indonesia’s newly merged Environment and Forestry Ministry completed a major step in its restructuring last week with the inauguration of 13 director-generals, with important implications for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s agendas on climate change, land reform and more.
With no trading of allowances since mid-January, businesses regulated by South Korea’s cap-and-trade program have made their dislike of the carbon markets well known. That stand-off will likely end next year, as the first compliance deadline approaches, but analysts warn that a scarce supply of offsets may increase the costs for companies then.
The world is overwhelmed by water stress and scarcity and sustainable water management in many forms is an absolute necessity. The good news is water practitioners are developing innovative solutions to water challenges that will be shared this week during the multi-sector, high level and collaborative World Water Forum.
For the first time ever, India is including forest cover in its tax allocation formula earmarking $6 billion for results-based forest conservation-more than any other nation in the world. This means state government’s portion of tax revenue is partially dependent on how much forestland it has maintained.
The four-year-old government of Myanmar came in with a big promise to boost the economy, in part by ramping up agricultural production. But so far, all it’s ramped up is deforestation – destroying some of the most biodiverse land in the world, and then not even planting the farms it had planned to develop.
In the two years since the implementation of California’s carbon market, the state’s Gross Domestic Product grew 2% while emissions in capped sectors dropped 3.8%. Across the pond, China has taken note. The nation is working closely with the Golden State through a number of partnerships-perhaps the most prominent being between the Air Resources Board and its Chinese counterpart known as the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
The United States and China made headlines last year with their Climate Pact, but significant collaboration had already occurred at the subnational levels. Both California and several of China’s provinces launched emissions trading systems (ETS) in 2013, and they have been working together ever since. Now, a new report highlights the latest accomplishments and partnerships.
While negotiators here in Lima enter their last two days of talks, Indonesia says it will be ready to begin receiving results-based payments for REDD+ by 2016. In a wide-ranging talk delivered late last night, the head of the country’s REDD+ Agency said it had not only finished its reference levels, but had implemented institutional reforms that would make REDD+ a reality.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, five countries have submitted forest data that will be the basis for establishing reference levels. Brazil submitted its reference levels in the summer, and received approval last week.
The new President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, surprised some observers recently when he announced his Cabinet was combining the Ministries of Environment and Forestry into one ministry, to be led by Ms. Siti Nurbaya, a politician with ample experience with regional and central governments.
The giant panda featured in the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) logo gives the organization enduring brand recognition. But these animals are struggling to exist, with only 1,600 currently living in the wild in China, in increasingly smaller swathes of territory thanks to encroaching human activity.
The United States and China made headlines last week when they said they’d limit their greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen cooperation on issues related to climate change and clean energy. Included in the deal is an agreement to use carbon-capture technology to push greenhouse gasses into the ground while generating clean water.
On Monday, the global agribusiness and food production company Bunge released a commitment to source deforestation-free and peat-free palm oil. The commitment, while not perfect, represents progress in pursuit of palm oil that does not contribute to deforestation.
China’s pilot carbon trading markets will likely serve as the basis for a planned national emissions trading system that will become by far the largest in the world. But these experiments have experienced challenges, including ensuring that regulated companies actually comply with the regulations, and key lessons learned from their operation to date should be applied to ensure a national program successfully addresses China’s rising carbon problem.
Indonesia’s federal government has embarked on the most ambitious REDD program of any major forested nation, but it’s not easy to implement such a program in a land of a thousand islands spread across two million square kilometers. Here’s a look back on the early days of REDD in Indonesia and around the world
Tanzania and China experiment with public-private partnerships to minimize water-related risks while Costa Rica models the revolving loan fund for watershed protection. And Ecosystem Marketplace reaches the one month mark before its State of Watershed Investment 2014 report launches.
Australia topped the news last week with the repeal of its carbon tax, South Korean ministers called for a delay in its carbon price, and New Zealand is considering shelving its program later this year. But voluntary buyers aren’t taking a vacation this summer with announcements from Chevrolet, Disney, and others.
In 2007, businessman Todd Lemons had a hunch that anthropologist Birute Galdikas could help him rewrite the rules of conservation finance and save the Seruyan Forest. He followed that hunch to Borneo, where the two embarked on a five-year ordeal that would take them from the swamps of Kalimantan to the pinnacles of Indonesian society.
New guidance from the Center for Biological Diversity aims to integrate biodiversity safeguards into sustainability standards while a study finds REDD+ isn’t delivering the positive outcome for wildlife as originally thought. Also, Ecosystem Marketplace continues to unfold its series on saving Indonesia’s forests and orangutan habitat from palm oil development.
The UN REDD Programme Policy Board approved $35.5 million in readiness funding, including allocations to the national programs of Argentina, Cote d’Ivoire and Mongolia. Meanwhile, the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility accepted Chile and Vietnam into its REDD pipeline, and provisionally accepted Peru.
Japan is home to the original Kyoto Protocol, but last year it slashed its emission-reduction goals and dropped out of the second phase of the Protocol itself. There is, however, a silver lining: the country’s new J-Credit System also came online in 2013, and it provides a streamlined version of the country’s previous voluntary standards. Researcher, Noriko Hase, explains the new system.
When Todd Lemons showed up on Birutė Galdikas’s doorstep in 2007, she had no idea who he was or why he’d come all the way to the island of Borneo on a hunch. They ended up forging a partnership that created the Rimba Raya REDD project, saved the Seruyan Forest, and provided a template for others to follow suit.
China is home to seven emissions trading programs, and that’s forced local companies to contend with emission caps. Opportunities abound for local project developers — yet they may have to wait a while longer for the compliance markets to fully come into effect. Here’s what they can do now, says Climate Bridge’s Senior Project Manager, Wenjie Zhuang.
When world-renowned primatologist Biruté Galdikas learned that palm oil company PT Best was about to destroy Borneo’s Seruyan Forest, she thought all was lost. Then she met ecosystem entrepreneur Todd Lemons and industrialist Rusmin Widjajam. Here’s how they blended cutting-edge finance and old-fashioned moxie to outmaneuver Big Palm Oil and save the forest.
With more than 21,000 MW of installed capacity, India is one of the top five wind markets in the world. And as India’s total wind power potential is estimated at about 80 GW, wind energy production in the country has room to grow and then some. These wind projects can either sell carbon offsets or renewable energy certificates (RECs), but the markets for both offsets and RECs has been challenging.
China’s sub-national pilot carbon trading programs have been proliferating across the country, and these programs have all carved out a role for carbon offsets and would allow them to be traded across borders. Now comes the arduous tasks of building a national registry to facilitate those transactions and of promoting liquidity to reduce volatility.
In an exclusive interview with Ecosystem Marketplace, Heru Prasetyo, who took the helm of Indonesia’s new REDD+ Management Agency in December, talks about Indonesia’s plan to move palm production to degraded land, why REDD+ is the new oil, and everything in between. And in other news, teen activists won’t rest until the Girl Scouts ensure its cookies are deforestation-free.
The California Air Resources Board approves a new offset protocol for coal mine methane. But market participants say there is still more to be done with land-based offsets. The United Nations faces criticism over the administrative budget for the Clean Development Mechanism, while China and Africa look for alternatives to finance certified emissions reduction projects.
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) recently surveyed 23 subnational forest carbon projects in Brazil, Peru, Cameroon, Tanzania, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Their findings? Project proponents are driven to save forests, but a lack of demand and unclear tenure remain their biggest challenges.
Two consumer product giants were met with support from environmental groups but were also pushed to make changes faster when they joined the wave of companies committing to deforestation-free palm oil with support from environmental groups.
The Donuts, Deodorant, Deforestation scorecard is letting consumers know which products are leading to peat forest destruction, and companies are taking note, with Kellogg’s, Mars, Mondolez, Nestlé, and Unilever as well as major suppliers Golden Agri-Resources and Wilmar making commitments to source deforestation-free palm oil.
Unseasonal forest fires in Indonesia are causing respiratory problems and generating carbon emissions. The World Resources Institute uses the new Global Forest Watch tool to find out why and how these fires can be prevented.
Palm oil is found in hundreds of products but it’s virtually unheard of by the average consumer despite its production destroying huge swaths of forest in tropical places like Indonesia and Malaysia. But the Union of Concerned Scientists is trying to help change that by promoting awareness as a key step in achieving deforestation-free palm oil development.
Private conservationists are managing over 26.5 million hectares of threatened forests worldwide in hopes of being paid to keep forest carbon emissions on lockdown. But these projects are in danger as insufficient demand for carbon offsets leaves them in financial limbo. One country – Indonesia – may have a solution, as the government contemplates voluntarily purchasing forestry offsets to catalyze domestic action.
REDD+ is complicated business, even for seasoned forestry professionals. Now CIFOR is organizing a training workshop for Southeast Asian journalists interested in gaining a better understanding of forestry science in general and REDD+ in particular.
Forest restoration has the potential to bring millions of hectares of land back to life—a move that could help protect watersheds and ensure food security. The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the IUCN are hoping their global assessment of landscape restoration projects will spur further action.
High-tech Singapore has been slow to embrace the voluntary carbon markets, but two in-country projects just sold carbon credits to fund massive upgrades to green LED lightbulbs and improved cooling systems. Ecoinvest Services, the offset retailer, is now looking for interested buyers.
Carbon markets are supporting the transition to clean cookstove societies by helping to finance their distribution in parts of the world where traditional stoves infect the local people with health conditions and premature deaths. Clean cookstoves prevent millions of tons of carbon dioxide from being dispersed into the air while providing an efficient and clean cooking method for the locals.
The past month saw movement in the green infrastructure space with an assessment on green infrastructure valuation tools and a $50 million fund slated to implement natural infrastructure upgrades in Chicago. Also this month, two papers from Forest Trends offering thoughts on the social impact assessment of investments in watershed services programs.
Following the landmark use of political risk insurance on a REDD+ project in Cambodia, project developers elsewhere have also tapped into the insurance – most recently on a bamboo reforestation project in Nicaragua. Despite these examples of early mover activity, awareness of political risk coverage and how it can help finance carbon offset projects is still very limited.
This year’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report showed that carbon markets are funneling more and more money into projects that distribute low-carbon cookstoves. Now, a new initiative seeks to propel the adoption of these offset projects even further, with an eye toward contributing to the dissemination of two million improved cookstoves by 2017 in Southeast Asia and West Africa.
An Indonesian entity called Greenomics this month accused the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project of failing to secure usage rights and overstating the amount of forest it had saved. A quick dive into available documents, however, shows it’s Greenomics that failed to do its homework.
A new Forest Trends brief compares and contrasts case studies from two villages in Vietnam to highlight the implications of illegal logging on REDD+ and FLEGT as well as the role of community participation and land tenure agreements in forest governance. Meanwhile the Ecosystem Marketplace Carbon Program gears up for its final round of data collection in preparation for the 2013 State of the Forest Carbon Markets report.
As China rolls out seven domestic pilot emissions trading schemes this year – with the city of Shenzhen’s debuting last month – market actors are wondering how carbon offsets will fit into the picture. Here, we provide a breakdown of the types of offsets eligible for trading, existing supply and potential demand, as well as what’s on the horizon.
Key results from a Forest Trends paper on the government of Vietnam’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and the country’s REDD+ initiatives finds that illegal logging can only be curtailed with policies promoting small scale forest use and management that benefit the local communities.
Five years in the making, the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project has overcome seemingly insurmountable political challenges to become one of the largest-ever REDD projects to see its emission reductions verified under the Verified Carbon Standard by proving that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than two million tons in one year – and may reduce nearly 120 million by the time it finishes.
More than 200 delegates to Katoomba 18 from as far away as Peru, Switzerland, and Ghana will be spending the next three days in China’s troubled Miyun Reservoir. Their aim: to trade experiences, share lessons learned, and make recommendations to project developers at Miyun on designing and implementing effective watershed investments.
China’s eco-compensation programs are among the most comprehensive payments for ecosystem services on the planet, but delegates to the 18th Katoomba Meeting in Beijing say they must reach more people in more segments if they are to deliver lasting environmental benefits.
On the opening day of the 18th Katoomba meeting in Beijing, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Water Resources Specialist, Zhang Qingfeng, offers an update on new trends in Chinese eco-compensation– including early steps towards encouraging private-sector investments in China’s natural infrastructure.