News & Articles: Geographic Asia

Featured Article

Forest Footprint aims to Reward Companies that Save Trees

The Carbon Disclosure Project has arguably reduced greenhouse gas emissions by creating an incentive for companies to examine and disclose their carbon footprints – an act that often leads them to realize how easy and economical reductions can be. Can the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project do the same for deforestation?

China’s Big Plans For Forests And Climate Change

China’s national climate action plan will drive down emissions in part by ramping up the country’s already massive tree-planting programs. But scientists are still haggling over how ambitious to call the land-use target. China released the plan this week.

Standoff Continues In South Korea’s New Carbon Markets

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.

Global Forum To Highlight Solutions To Water Shortages, Stress And Scarcity

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.

This Week In Forest Carbon: Tax Revenue Builds Big PES Scheme In India

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.

Myanmar Kills Forests To Plant Farms, Then Forgets To Farm

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.

This Week In V-Carbon: Taking Stock of California’s Progress

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).

California Moves With Chinese Provinces On Climate

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.

Indonesia Vows: We Will Be Ready For Results-Based REDD Payments By End Of 2016

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.

Carbon Conservation: From Giant Pandas to Swiss Grocer

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.

Bunge Jumps into Deforestation-Free Palm Oil with a Splash

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 Grand Carbon Trading Experiment Experiences Highs And Lows

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.

2007: The Year Indonesia Went REDD (Sort Of)

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

This Week In Water: New Loan Fund For Conservation

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.

This Week In V-Carbon News…

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.

Wrestling With Orangutans: The Genesis Of The Rimba-Raya REDD Project

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.

Biodiversity Backers Continue Push For Convergence In June

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 Third Way? Explaining Japan’s New Standard

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.

Todd Lemons: Ecosystem Entrepreneur

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.

Climate Bridge: Bridging The Gap Between Carbon Markets

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.

CLP Group: Indian Wind Market Experiences Turbulence

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 Lets Carbon Programs Blossom, But Will They Take Root?

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.

This Week In Forest Carbon News…

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.

This Week In V-Carbon News…

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.

CIFOR Says Tenure And Funding Still Dog REDD

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.

This Week In Forest Carbon News…

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.

Indonesian Fires Bring More Haze to Southeast Asia

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: From Plantation To Peanut Butter

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.    

Indonesian Government May Buy Carbon Offsets from Domestic Forest Conservation

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.

Keys To Launching Successful Forest Landscape Restoration

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.

Singapore Taps Voluntary Carbon Market With Energy-Efficient Projects

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. 

How Carbon Markets Save Lives And Slash Pollution

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.

This Week In Water: A Good Month For Green Infrastructure

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.

How Forest Carbon Projects
Protect Themselves From Political Risk

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. 

Cookstoves Program Aims To
Spread Devices Across Africa And Asia

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.

This Week in Forest Carbon: Lessons From Vietnam

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.

China’s Carbon Emissions
Traders Await Offset Demand

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.

Small Scale Illegal Logging In Vietnam:
Implications for FLEGT And REDD+

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. 

Perseverance Pays Off For
Massive Indonesian REDD Project

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.

China Aims For Scale, Scope, And Reach
In Payments For Ecosystem Services

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.


Can Katoomba 18 Help
The Miyun Reservoir?

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.