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Ecosystem Services in the New York City Watershed

Nine years ago, New York City launched a revolutionary project to protect its drinking water by protecting the ecosystem services of its watershed. Ecosystem Marketplace checks up on the most famous ecosystem services project in the world.

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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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Playing It SAFE: Integrating Energy Into Humanitarian Initiatives

Aid agencies have always given priority to helping people meet their “basic needs” of food, water, shelter and clothing, but one crucial element is often missing from the list: energy. Needed for cooking, lighting, heating, and power, it’s finally starting to get the attention it deserves within the humanitarian community.

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Cookstove Distribution Soars; Carbon Finance Now Top Funding Source

The latest results from a global initiative to track the clean stove and fuels market found an all-time high of 14.3 million improved cookstoves distributed in 2013, a 75% jump from the previous year. And in good news for carbon developers pricing remains strong, with the overall price rising a modest 5% to $10.4 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent.

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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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Biodiversity And REDD: How They Fit Together

Never before have we known as much about the synergies between forest carbon and biodiversity as we do now, but that knowledge has been hidden beneath layers of impenetrable gobbledygook. A new sourcebook aims to fix that by scraping away the jargon and connecting dots previously visible only to experts. More importantly, it succeeds.

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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

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Ghost Of Milton Friedman Materializes In Chicago, Endorses A Price On Carbon

Climate scientists agree that we’re changing the climate in dangerous ways, and economists say we can slow the mess with a price on carbon. Last week, the University of Chicago resurrected its most famous economist to find out what he’d do, and the result is a fascinating, informative, and even entertaining dialectic on the economics of pollution and the art of communicating with ideologues

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Fixing Water By Fixing Land: What Works And What Doesn’t

All around the world, from Lima to Dar es Salaam, cities are looking to keep their water flowing by nurturing the watersheds that feed their rivers and streams. Now The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Law Institute have taken stock of what works and what doesn’t. Here’s a look at their latest guidance on watershed restoration.

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Virginia’s Nutrient Trading Program Aims To Clean Up The Chesapeake Bay

Today, multiple federal agencies recognized Virginia’s nutrient trading program as a natural, cost-efficient and effective approach to improving water quality in the heavily polluted Chesapeake Bay watershed. Federal recognition of the program also indicates potential for more involvement in environmental markets at the national level.

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UK Kicks Off Climate Week With £144 Million For Forests

One day before United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon launches an unofficial Climate Summit in New York, the United Kingdom has pledged £144 million ($235 million) to promote healthy forests. The funding will be split between two programs one receiving £60 million (US$97 million) and one receiving £84 million ($137 million).

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After The March, Time To Get Serious On Forest Carbon

The Peoples’ Climate March brought 400,000 people into the streets of New York City on September 21, calling for (among other climate-related demands) an end to tropical deforestation and protection for forest communities. More than 150 partners responded with the heavily funded NY Declaration on Forests, which aims to end deforestation by 2030 and restore 350 million hectares of forests and croplands.

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Amazon Leader Tashka Yawanaw¡ to Highlight Indigenous Issues At TED Talks

6 October 2014 | As a boy, Tashka Yawanaw¡ watched as the culture of his people was nearly wiped out by outsiders. Now, he is the chief of those people, the Yawanaw¡, of the Acre region of Brazil, and Tuesday he will be a speaker at one of the largest conferences in the world, TEDGlobal 2014. […]

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Reason for Climate Change Optimism As Forest Strategy Is Validated

Results from a recent report made it official that indigenous peoples act as good land stewards and vital players in reducing deforestation and combating climate change. Financial mechanisms like REDD can aid indigenous peoples in preserving their land and mitigating climate change.

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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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California Wildfires Kill More Than Trees, And That May Help Us Prevent Them In The Future

One year ago this month, the infamous Rim Fire started burning in northern California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It raged for two full months and destroyed hundreds of homes and ecosystem services. Then something peculiar happened: the fire slowed when it hit the more naturally-managed Yosemite forest, offering one more key to help us manage our forests in a changing climate.

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Study Says Carbon Finance Saves Forests By Promoting Indigenous Rights

Forest carbon critics often contend that REDD finance will disenfranchise indigenous communities, but now the World Resources Institute and Rights and Resources International have published a new study saying the opposite may be true. Instead of threatening forest communities, REDD appears to be supporting them.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Will Governments Embrace Carbon Finance For Clean Cookstoves?

Clean cookstoves can save millions of lives around the world, and voluntary carbon markets have become a key source of finance. Ecosystem Marketplace and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves are now gearing up to collect data for the Alliance’s annual Results Report, and the focus now shifts to compliance markets.

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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.

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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.

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California Hunting Agriculture, Forestry Emissions Reductions

California has adopted bold greenhouse gas reduction goals, and state regulators see emission reductions from carbon offset projects, including from agriculture and forestry projects, as a vital factor in achieving these goals. But bringing more of these types of projects into the state’s regulated carbon market is challenging because of the high costs involved.

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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. 

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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.

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California Issues First Forestry Compliance Offsets

The Yurok Indian tribe became the first organization to cross the finish line in getting forestry compliance offsets approved by California’s cap-and-trade program. And the first issuance was a big one, with the tribe receiving 836,619 offsets for an improved forest management project on tribal lands.

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Event Marks World’s First Interstate Water Quality Trading Project

The Ohio River Basin Trading Project is the world’s only interstate water quality trading program and on  March 11, the Electric Power Research Institute, which created the initiative, will host an event to showcase the project’s first water nutrient credits. 

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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.   

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Althelia Climate Fund Dives Headfirst Into Kenya Project With Wildlife Works

The Althelia Climate Fund last month made its long-awaited first investment in REDD+: a $10 million commitment to support REDD+ in Kenya’s Taita Hills, adjacent to the historic Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project. Mike Korchinsky, CEO and founder of project developer Wildlife Works, tells Gloria Gonzalez how the deal came together and how this project differs from its previous efforts.

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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.

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This Week In Forest Carbon News…

A sustainable agriculture project in the Nyanza and Western Provinces in Kenya became the first to market offsets from carbon sequestered in soils, with financing flowing to smallholders. But elsewhere in Kenya, in the Embobut forest, the Sengwer people are being evicted from their homes.

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What Stories Will Impact
People And The Planet In 2014?

The coming year could be a good one for the environment, with China cleaning its air, palm olil moving towards sustainability, and the world at large finally starting to get a handle on climate change. These are some of the more optimistic projections from the World Resources Institute (WRI) as it identifies what it believes will be the top stories of 2014.

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Kenyans Earn First Ever Carbon Credits From Sustainable Farming

A sustainable agriculture project in Kenya reached a milestone last week by becoming the first of its kind to earn carbon credits under the Verified Carbon Standard. Not only did the methodology used store carbon but results also showed an increase in crop yields signifying sustainable agricultural practices makes smart business sense.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.