News & Articles: Geographic Latin America

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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?


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.


This Week In Water: Yorkshire Water Accounts for NatCap Impacts

Natural capital accounting receives another boost as a UK water utility becomes the first of its kind to develop an environmental profit & loss account. Payments for ecosystem services (PES) received a boost as well, with passage of Peru’s PES law establishing a framework for compensation regarding ecosystem services.


This Week In Forest Carbon News…

FIFA has pledged to offset direct carbon emissions from the World Cup just as Brazil became the first country to submit its national data on emissions reductions achieved by avoided deforestation—the first step in allowing large-scale REDD funding to flow. In other news, China’s carbon markets are inching into forestry, with one afforestation project awaiting validation.


Biof­lica: Futbol Shines Light On Brazil’s Forests

As fútbol fans tune in for the World Cup, host country Brazil’s emissions have also been in the spotlight. The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) pledged to offset all direct emissions from the event, while local companies and foreign visitors alike have been encouraged to offset their impact. Local project developer, Mariama Vendramini of Biofílica, says this represents one of several initiatives that has helped increase domestic interest in forestry offsets.


Peruvian Congress Passes Historic Ecosystem Services Law

Six years in the making, Peru’s new Ecosystem Services Law passed on Thursday, providing a comprehensive legal framework for the sticky issue of payments for ecosystem services (PES). It is one of the most advanced pieces of legislation of its type, but had been stuck in committee for five years. Here is the latest from Lima.


US Federal Government Throws Its Weight Behind REDD

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) made a big splash in the carbon markets last week with the announcement that it will partially guarantee investments made by the Althelia Climate Fund for up to $133.8 million. But as agency officials made clear at the Carbon Expo conference in Germany, it’s no newcomer to the REDD space, having actively supported the development of projects in Colombia for years.


EcoPlanet Bamboo: Thinking Long-Term

EcoPlanet Bamboo yesterday announced that its Nicaragua bamboo projects successfully verified their first carbon offsets. These projects are expected to reduce 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e) over their 20-year lifetime. This milestone came after a patient process of navigating the voluntary carbon markets and – as Troy Wiseman explains in the interview below – is part of the company’s truly long-term vision for triple bottom line profitability.


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 Forest Carbon News…

Payments for reduced deforestation in Acre, Brazil have finally started to flow, four years after the state first passed its payment for ecosystem services law. In corporate news, major clothing brands H&M, Zara and Stella McCartney announced that they will find alternatives to fabrics sourced from endangered forests within three years. Personal products company Johnson & Johnson released a new palm oil sourcing policy to protect people and forests – a bold move considering the complexity of the company’s palm supply chain.


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…

Katoomba XX kicks off on Earth Day in Lima, Peru, and just in time – new UN Food and Agricultural Organization data shows that emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have nearly doubled over the past half century. At the ninth meeting of the Carbon Fund, efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation did, however, make some headway, with Nepal’s, Ghana’s, Mexico’s, and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s REDD+ proposals approved. This unlocks a potential $50 million to $70 million in financing for each country.


Uniting People And Ecosystem Resilience For Food Security In Latin America on Earth Day

This week’s Katoomba Meeting in Lima aims to complement year-end climate talks there by focusing on how climate policy fits into the larger “landscape approach” that incorporates people, farming, forests, and water. EcoAgriculture Partners looked at more than 100 initiatives in Latin America to find out what works and what doesn’t, with surprising results.


This Earth Day, Let’s Focus On Results Instead Of Rhetoric

Chief Tashka Yawanawa, the leader of an indigenous tribe living in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, spoke at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship about his struggle to maintain his peoples’ traditional way of life that evolved into a fight to save the world’s forests. 


Peruvian Ecosystem Services Law In Limbo On Eve Of Earth Day Katoomba Meeting In Lima

Peruvians have spent the last six years developing a comprehensive legal framework for the sticky issue of payments for ecosystem services (PES). The current bill is one of the most advanced pieces of legislation of its type, but it’s been stuck in committee for five years, and will remain so as the 20th Katoomba Meeting kicks off next week in Lima on Earth Day.


Buying Hope And Time For Coral Reef

Between now and August, we’ll be examining the economic benefits of coral reefs and financing mechanisms designed to help preserve them. Here’s a look at the other side of that equation: what it costs to maintain them, and the challenge of meeting that cost through conventional means.


Brazil Sees Promise, But Need For New Funding Source For REDD

Cosmetics giant Natura and a few other forward-thinking companies in Brazil have taken the leap into the voluntary carbon market to offset their greenhouse gas emissions, but the number and size of transactions is still small. There is plenty of room for more voluntary transactions in Brazil, experts say, particularly if a finance mechanism currently being developed can sustain REDD initiatives until a new international climate agreement takes hold in 2020.


Donors Delivering On Pledges In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

Latin America leads the world in  REDD activity – and in public-sector peldges to ramp it up. New research shows that those pledges are, in fact, being kept, and in ways that are beginning to deliver verifiable results. Here’s a look at findings from the Forest Trends REDDx initiative.


REDD Bonds For Brazil And The World

REDD finance is one of many pay-for-performance mechanisms designed to jump-start climate-safe agriculture across the developing world, but it’s emerging slowly and uncertainly. REDD+ Bonds, however, can help states and other sub-national jurisdictions harness tomorrow’s funding today. Here’s how.


Amazon States In Brazil Push For Benefit-Sharing On National REDD+ Strategy

Brazil aims to slash its greenhouse gas emissions 38% by 2020, with more than half of those reductions coming from an 80% reduction in Amazon deforestation. That makes REDD finance more important than ever – and bureaucratic deadlock more damaging. Amazon states say the whole process can be smoothed by splitting revenues and responsibilities 80/20 between the states and Brasilia.


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.    


This Week In Water: Landscapes Thinking In Action

Ecosystem Marketplace is taking an up-close look at the landscapes approach to nature and conservation starting with two Katoomba Meetings this spring, which will help prompt  cross-sector collaboration. Meanwhile, EM monitors landscapes thinking activities in Yorkshire, England and the US. 


Valorando Naturaleza Live Streamed Launch From Bogota

A group of experts convened to address issues surrounding the upcoming climate conference in Peru at the Bogotá Regional Exchange hosted by Valorando Naturaleza and the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon. The Exchange took place February 27th and 28th.


Latin American Katoomba Meetings Aim To Turbocharge Climate Talks

This is the 20th year that climate negotiators meeting under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are meeting to try and end global warming, and Peru will host this year’s talks. As a run-up, it’s also hosting the 20th Katoomba Meeting in April – one of two Katoombas taking place in Latin America this year. Here’s a preview of these two meetings and how we’ll be covering them.


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.


COP President Aims To Plug
Knowledge Holes In Amazon Nations

The Amazon region faces growing threats to its water, energy, food and health as climate change accelerates, and Peru is one of the nations that’s proven most adept at meeting that challenge. The country’s Environment Minister, who is also presiding over this year’s UN climate talks, says his country still has plenty of learning to do – and recommended a bit of homework.


Costa Rica Aims For Carbon Neutrality With Payments For Ecosystem Services

Costa Rica’s great experiment with payments for ecosystem services helped restore millions of hectares of forest and shaped the nation into a laboratory for climate mitigation mechanisms. Costa Rica is now establishing a domestic carbon market with plans to link it to international markets in the future-all as part of its plan to become carbon neutral by 2021. 


Opinion: The Value of Ecosystem Services Valuations

It’s a fact that human life relies on the natural world but figuring out how to measure this dependency is difficult. Tundi Agardy, a marine conservation expert and the director of Forest Trends’ Marine Ecosystem Services Program, discusses her views on the benefits and dangers of ecosystem services valuations. 


Why Is Amazon Deforestation Climbing?

The rise in deforestation in the Amazon over the past year threatens to reverse progress made in the region that has been the largest single contribution to curbing climate change. The news and information source, Mongabay, offers some solutions saying the recent increase has to do with a lack of incentives flowing to farmers.   


Monterrey, Mexico Uses Fund Mechanism For Clean Water and Storm Protection

Typhoon Haiyan recently provided a devastating reminder of the destructive power of hurricanes – a destructive power that the people of Monterrey, Mexico know all too well. That’s why they are building an investments in watershed services program designed to shield them from the worst forms of natural disaster destruction and also put a little water in the bank for dry days.


Indigenous Leaders Stand Up For Active Role In REDD

Indigenous people have long been among the world’s most responsible land stewards, and they are well-positioned to gain from programs that harness carbon payments to save endangered rainforest. Leaders in Warsaw argue, however, that such programs will only work if they incorporate indigenous values and realities.


Indigenous Leaders Say Stronger Land Rights Helped Slow Deforestation

Indigenous people have always been among the most responsible stewards of forestland, and new research backs that up. A report released today at the Oslo REDD Exchange 2013, an international conference in Norway, identifies a clear correlation between indigenous land tenure and healthy forests.


Julio Tresierra: Transforming Lives With Investments In Watershed Services

A Peruvian sociologist dedicated to poverty alleviation has helped implement a version of payments for watershed services projects in impoverished nations like Guatemala, Peru and Indonesia with the help of WWF. The initiatives have led to a host of benefits for the local populations and ecosystems and now have the Chinese government as well as other nations interested in the model. 


This Week In Forest Carbon: Reading Into REDD+ Acceptance

The Governor’s Climate & Forests Task Force (GCF) just gained three new members from Peru. But while membership may improve REDD+ development in the South, it does not mean it will be easy finding a buyer in the North. There are growing doubts that California, a GCF member, will accept REDD+ credits into its cap-and-trade program. A bill introduced in the California legislature earlier this year that sought to ban international offsets indicates reservations about REDD remain.


Three Peruvian States Join Global Subnational Carbon Cooperative

Three Peruvian states last week joined the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force (GCF). This means that the collaboration of states and provinces aiming to curb deforestation and reduce carbon emissions is now active within 20% of the world’s tropical forests. Also last week, the GCF elected the governor of Acre, Brazil, as their new chair.


This Week In Forest Carbon: Going Local

The Peru Carbon Fund (PCF) developed a Peru-specific forest carbon standard this past year to create a homegrown alternative to international standards. Likewise, Costa Rica officially launched its own nation-wide voluntary domestic carbon market earlier this September. In Brazil, the recent REDD+ transaction between Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura Cosméticos and the Paiter-Suruí also marks the first sale of carbon offsets from an indigenous tribe.


Almir Surui: Perseverance Under Pressure

Brazil’s Paiter-Surui and cosmetics giant Natura made history last month when Natura bought the first-ever indigenous REDD carbon offsets from this once-isolated people.  That transaction capped six years of development on the part of the Surui, but the events that led to it have been brewing for decades. Here’s how persistence, persuasion, and positive thinking paid off for Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui and the planet.


Disney To Expand
Voluntary Carbon Offset Buying

Already a major player in the voluntary carbon market, the Walt Disney Company is planning to expand its offset purchasing program to cover indirect emissions related to its operations. Disney has pledged to continue supporting new offset projects, particularly in the forestry sector, and has used the funds generated from its double-digit internal carbon prices to pay above-average prices for the credits.


The Peru Carbon Fund:
A Peruvian Standard For Peruvian Forests

The Peru Carbon Fund’s new PCF Standard aims to generate something it calls “Carbon Capture Certificates” for people who plant native trees on previously deforested land. It’s a novel approach that allows for landowners to reforest and harvest while accessing carbon payments.


This Week In Forest Carbon: A Beautiful Arrangement

Latin America’s largest cosmetics company recently purchased 120,000 tons of carbon offsets from a REDD project in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest that is led by an indigenous tribe. This transaction marks the first sale of forest carbon offsets developed by indigenous people and can be used as a template for other indigenous peoples as well as companies looking to meet their Corporate Social Responsibility requirements.


Brazilian Cosmetics Giant Buys
First Indigenous REDD Credits

The Paiter Suruí people of the Amazon announced today that cosmetics giant Natura Cosméticos has purchased 120,000 tons of carbon offsets that the Suruí developed by saving endangered rainforest. It’s the first sale of forest-carbon credits developed by indigenous people, and one that provides a template for indigenous people across the Amazon.


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. 


Colombia Takes Lead
In Latin American Biodiversity Offsetting

As Latin America’s economic prospects brighten, so does its concerns over how economic health will impact the environment. Several countries have begun to explore biodiversity offsetting, but Colombia is the first to implement rules and regulations specifically designed to support biodiversity offsetting. Here’s how they’re doing it.


Peruvians Aim For Regional
Cohesion On Biodiversity Offsets

The governments of Peru, Colombia, and Chile are all facing unprecedented levels of development, much of it in environmentally sensitive and valuable areas. This week, they will be meeting with the private sector and environmentalists to hammer out an agreement on biodiversity offsetting.


Disney Helps Dreams Come
True In Peru’s Alto Mayo Forest

With the help of a $3.5 million donation from Disney, Conservation International has been able to develop a REDD+ project in the dwindling Alto Mayo Protected Forest in Peru. The project has generated 3 million tons of emissions reductions so far, and delivered a host of benefits for the local populations.


Peru Will Look For Global Commitment
On Climate Change During COP 20

It has recently been determined that the 20th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC will take place in Lima, Peru with Peru aiming for a global agreement on mitigating the impact of climate change as well as advancing adaptation strategies based on environmental compensation and natural infrastructure that will aid developing countries struggling with the effects of climate change. 


Replicating Policy That Works:
PES In Mexico

Since environmental services’ emergence as a concept in 1997, there have been many efforts to internalize the idea and transform theory into practice. Here, we look at the concept’s evolution into public policy in Mexico where academic literature plays a role in environmental issues and developing countries’ need for the right tools is realized. 


Indigenous People Call For
REDD+ Safeguards In
California’s Carbon Market

The REDD Offset Working Group or ROW is the group tasked with finding best practices to incorporating REDD+ into California’s emerging carbon market. This week, the group held its second of three workshops. The event heard from Indigenous leaders and policy experts on safeguards and the importance of stakeholder engagement.


Experts Look Ahead to California REDD

Support for allowing international offset credits based on REDD+ in California’s cap-and-trade program predates the program’s launch. Months after the state’s carbon mitigation program became fully operational, the REDD+ Offset Working Group presents its draft recommendations for the inclusion of REDD+ credits in the Golden State’s program – here we unpack the domestic and international importance that state endorsement carries.