News & Articles: Geographic Latin America

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Mexico Aims For Inclusivity With New Carbon Norm, But Does It Bring Rigor?

Forest communities can theoretically benefit from carbon finance, but existing standards cost a fortune to implement. This week, Mexico aims to rectify that with a new Carbon Norm designed to create standardized forest-based carbon offsets for projects that plant trees and manage forests. Here’s a look at what the NMX aims to achieve – and the challenges it faces.

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Seven Questions, Seven Answers: How Can Brazil Achieve Zero Net Deforestation

Brazil has reduced its annual greenhouse gas emissions more than the entire European Union has – largely by reducing deforestation a staggering 76%. With less than five months to go before year-end talks in Paris, a new policy brief says that Brazil can achieve “zero net deforestation” by 2020 with international help – or risk backsliding without it.

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Seedlings And Children: Taking Care Of Our Common Future

The Paiter-Surui indigenous group in the Amazon rainforest was nearly wiped out from years of disease and deforestation. But now, with help from the IKEA Foundation and nonprofit Forest Trends (publisher of Ecosystem Marketplace), the Surui and Yawanawa tribes are thriving again under sustainable economies that allow them to maintain their centuries-old culture.

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This Week In Water: A Brazil Matrix And Supply Chain Risk

This month, Ecosystem Marketplace publisher Forest Trends launched an interactive map and database tracking and categorizing over 2,000 payments for ecosystem services in Brazil called the Brazilian Matrix of Ecosystem Services. In other news, a diverse national water quality trading network released a program-building guide.

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This Week In Biodiversity: Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Teeters Between Cooperation And Conflict

Greater sage-grouses living in the US West received good news with Colorado announcing new voluntary conservation measures and the Bureau of Land Management rolling out landscape-level protection strategies. However, a new funding bill in the Senate aims to block a listing decison for another year. And on a separate note, Brazil passed a law granting easier access to Amazonia’s natural resources.

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Brazilian Ecosystem Services Matrix Brings Transparency To Environmental Finance

Brazil is not only a hotbed of ecosystem services, it’s also testing grounds for the market-like payments for ecosystem services approach to conserve and manage these natural services. And now, a new initiative launching this week provides a comprehensive way to track, understand and scale these programs using an interactive mapping and database system.

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Jurisdictional REDD: Long Deferred, Soon Delivered

Forest-carbon projects are now conserving as much forested land as you’ll find in all of Malaysia. It’s a stunning achievement, but one that needs to get big fast if we’re to make a dent in global greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, jurisdictions like the Brazilian state of Acre are developing "jurisdictional REDD" programs to do just that.

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Choco Darien: What Forest Carbon Can (And Cannot) Achieve

Colombia’s civil war had the perverse effect of protecting the forests in and around the Tolo River, but peace brought loggers and cattlemen, while poverty drove desperate forest people to begin chopping trees. Here’s how they used REDD to fight deforestation and build the foundation for a more sustainable future.

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Lima To Invest $110 Million in Green Infrastructure And Climate Adaptation

The city of Lima made headlines around the world when it announced it was funneling some of its water fees into a program to restore pre-Incan structures that capture excess rainwater in the rainy season and redirect into the mountain, so that it’s available in the dry season. That program, however, is just a small part of a massive green infrastructure program that could serve as a model for cities around the world.

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This Week In Forest Carbon: REDD Gets Sweeter

The Tambopata REDD, based in Peru, aims to pair carbon finance with sustainable cocoa production with help from a $7 million investment by Althelia Climate Fund. Rather than rely on carbon finance long term, the project is designed to use offset sales as the start-up capital to set up the sustainable cocoa production – which over time will become the main revenue stream for farmers.

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Where Chocolate Meets Carbon: One Peruvian Project Finds The Sweet Spot

The Althelia Climate Fund’s $7 million investment in the Madre de Dios region of Peru aims to support 1,100 farmers on sustainable cocoa production and protect a biodiverse national reserve. It’s a marriage of avoided deforestation and sustainable commodity production that is projected to pay off in more ways than one.

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Mexico Becomes First Developing Country To Post Climate Action Plan

Mexico on Friday became the first developing country to upload its proposed national climate action plan, known as its "Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution" (INDC) to the United Nations web site. The draft proposal foresees emissions peaking by 2026, and it comes on the heels of Norway’s submission on Thursday. The United States is expected to submit its proposal this week.

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The Tolo River Community Project: The Importance Of Inclusion

Four years ago, the Tolo River People of Colombia voted to use carbon finance to save their forest. That decision, however, came after three years of debate, and it presaged an even longer process of development and implementation. Here’s how the Tolo River people built their REDD project and prepared to sell offsets.

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Jurisdictional REDD: Getting To Scale

Forest-carbon projects are now conserving as much forested land as you’ll find in all of Malaysia. It’s a stunning achievement, but one that needs to get big fast if we’re to make a dent in global greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, jurisdictions like the Brazilian state of Acre are developing "jurisdictional REDD" programs to do just that.

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What Do A Seed And A Website Have To Do With Stopping Climate Change?

Sustainably produced forest products have the potential to mitigate climate change, preserve biodiversity and enhance local livelihoods. But their value is underappreciated. Now, an online network called CanopyBridge, which brings together the sustainable sellers with interested buyers, is bringing these products to global markets.

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Coalition Of 600 Defends Paiter-Surui, Questions Reporting Of Critics

The Amazon Working Group, a grassroots network of 600 associations representing smallholder farms, fishermen, rubber-tappers, and indigenous people, on Friday became the latest association of forest people to criticize Brazil’s powerful Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), which it accuses of fomenting division among indigenous people to undermine projects it disagrees with, including Surui REDD.

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Surui Outline Management of Carbon Funds for Community Projects

One year after money began flowing from the Surui Forest Carbon Project, the association that administers the project says funds have been used to support 20 different activities in support of climate and community goals, from fish farms to marketing of locally-produced handicrafts.

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This Week In Water: The Water Stewards At The Bottom Of The Pyramid

The main objective of microfinance is to alleviate poverty which is why the socio-economic benefits of payments for ecosystem services projects imply the potential of collaboration between the two sectors. And speaking of poverty alleviation, Bolivia has developed a conservation mechanism it says helps the poor while hurting the deforester

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Putting A Price On Nature Can Benefit The Poor If Done Right

Although payments for ecosystem service programs have social aspects that can benefit the poor, all too often local communities are ignored. But Bolivia may offer a solution with a holistic approach-known as the Bolivian mechanism-that can balance environmental protection with poverty reduction. However, the trade-off between social and ecological goals isn’t eliminated entirely with this approach.

Seen from above, indigenous territories in the Arc of Deforestation appear as islands of emerald in seas of gray-green degradation. It's as stark an illustration as you'll find of the vital role that indigenous people play as guardians of the rainforest, but it's a role that takes its toll on the people themselves. The Sete de Setembro territory is in the center, with Igarape Lourdes to the northwest and the Zoro territory to the northeast.

Indigenous People Explore Many Shades Of REDD

Indigenous people have long been the most effective guardians of the rainforest, but confronted with growing global pressures to clear their lands, how will they find the resources needed to protect their forests and thrive? In this series, we will explore the new emerging mechanism known as “Indigenous REDD” and see how it draws on and contrasts with forest-carbon projects that exist to date.

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This Week In Forest Carbon: Lima Call For Action Undergoes Surgery

The Lima Call for Action set a procedure for countries to submit their contributions to fighting climate change, but the guidance on how to include land-use is thin so far. In other news, private investors have committed $365 million to restore 20 million hectares in Latin America and the Caribbean, a REDD+ pilot in Tanzania is stalling as it waits on a second phase of investment and an airplane laser-beamed an Alaskan forest to measure its carbon.

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COP Boss Pushes Simplified, Less Prescriptive Text In Bid To Move Climate Talks Forward

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal whittled 50 pages of text down to seven on Thursday, removing all options he deemed overly prescriptive, and he did so twice: once in the morning and once at night. The first time, someone accidentally posted his proposal on the UNFCCC web site. The second time, it went up officially

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Indigenous People Call For Scaled Up REDD As Study Highlights Precarious State Of Territorial Forests

Most indigenous people have resisted the temptation to chop their forests for gain leaving them short of development largesse, but also in the lurch when it comes to financing programs aimed at saving forests that are clearly in danger. Now a new peer-reviewed paper says more than half the land under indigenous protection is, in fact, endangered and indigenous leaders say REDD finance can help them avert disaster.

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Thursday in Lima: Indigenous Life Plans And REDD Finance, Bringing It Together

Indigenous people have moved from the fringes to the center of climate talks in Lima, but how do indigenous “life plans and climate fit together? That’s the focus of a Thursday side event in Lima. Streamed live, the event will focus on the work of a small but influential consortium of NGOs and indigenous organizations moving REDD forward.

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Flood Disaster in the Amazon: A Fight Against Climate Change Gets Personal

On the eve of climate talks in Lima, unprecedented torrential rains have pushed rivers to historic levels in the Amazon Ranforest, driving indigenous people from their homes to higher land. Among those impacted are the Yawanaw¡ of Brazil, who have been at the forefront of seeking innovative solutions to combat climate change.

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On Eve of Climate Talks in Lima, Assassinations of Indigenous Leaders Loom Large

The murder of four indigenous leaders in September thrust deforestation into the limelight ahead of year-end climate talks, which are set to begin in less than two weeks in Lima. The daughter of one of those leaders the 57th “Defender of the Environment murdered in Peru since 2002 was honored yesterday with the Alexander Soros Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Environmental and Human Rights Activism.

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Carbon, Cookstoves, And Kids

Bringing clean cookstoves to Honduras, a country where more than half of rural households struggle with extreme poverty, was no easy task. Proyecto Mirador’s founders initially relied on the generosity of friends and family to build the cookstoves program, but tapped into the carbon markets to take it to the next level.

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Food Without Forests? Don’t Count On It

Deforestation has recently been the talk of the United Nations climate change negotiations because of its potential to release huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. But a recent study shows that even without this effect, clearing tropical forests will have important implications for temperature and rainfall and how deforestation occurs (or doesn’t) matters a lot for the future of agriculture on this planet.

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Countering Illegal And Unsustainable Activities With REDD+ In Panama

The UN-REDD program recently launched a series of videos exploring REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) in Panama, Ecuador and Paraguay. In Panama, the situation of poverty and unsustainable development and agriculture could be greatly improved with REDD activities, UN-REDD says

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Role Of Carbon Markets Still Evolving In Run-Up To Peru Climate Talks

Less than three months ahead of the next round of international climate negotiations, it is still unclear what the potential role of the carbon markets is going to look like in a future agreement or even if carbon markets will be mentioned in the document. But if there is a role for markets, it will be built on the individual climate plans the countries bring to the table.

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Fifteen Years Of Warnings Were Ignored Before Recent Ash¡ninka Assassinations

Last week’s assassination of Peruvian indigenous leader Edwin Chota and three other indigenous leaders took much of the world by surprise, but Ash¡ninka leaders and human rights campaigners active along the Peru/Brazil border had been warning of the danger that illegal loggers posed since 1999.

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This Week In Forest Carbon News…

Thirteen governors from rainforest states signed the Rio Branco Declaration, a commitment to cut deforestation 80% by 2020, if funding for avoided deforestation (REDD) materializes. Brazil, the country receiving the most performance-based payments from climate funder Norway, has successfully prevented the clearing of 6.2 million hectares of forest between 2007 and 2013, but many other countries are on the edge of deforesting… or not. The Indonesian government, for instance, has commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions but also plans to clear 14 million hectares of degraded forest by 2020. Other countries, such as Ghana and South Korea, recently made strides forward in their REDD readiness processes.

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This Week In Forest Carbon News…

Ecosystem Marketplace’s carbon team is in the final stages of data collection for the upcoming forest carbon markets report. Meanwhile, a local Colombian community attempts to use the REDD mechanism (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) to preserve its rainforest.

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Stunning High-Resolution Map reveals Secrets Of Peru’s Forests

A colorful map of Peru’s landscape has been drawn from research assessing the nation’s aboveground carbon stock. The map portrays carbon density with different colors allowing viewers to see the diversity of Peru’s land in a whole new way and also see the value in preserving its ecosystems.

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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.

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Does Brazilian Deforestation Drive Drought In The United States?

California regulators overseeing the state’s cap-and-trade program now have one more reason to recognize offsets generated by saving endangered rainforest in Latin America. On Monday, they learned that the destruction of trees in the Amazon rainforest will probably slash rainfall in the United States, depriving drought-choked California of even more drinking water.