This Week In Forest Carbon: From Doha With Love
Although the process of developing an international REDD+ framework did not take the steps desired in COP18, REDD+ movement is occurring at the national and regional levels. The first REDD project ever to navigate a VCS REDD methodology is back in business, while other forest carbon projects are sprouting in Nicaragua, South Korea and Malaysia. Meanwhile, Costa Rica secures World Bank-approval for their Carbon Fund scheme.
This article was originally published in the Forest Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.
17 December 2012
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Returning to the news, we present a summary of what happened – or not – related to forest carbon decision-making at COP 18:
While REDD remained ahead of the overall negotiations, it is safe to say that progress toward an international REDD framework was left wanting in Doha. One of the major hurdles that negotiators were not able to overcome was how emission reduction results will be verified, with Norway and Brazil standing on opposite ends of the ring. Norway proposed having third-party verifiers taken from a roster of experts from developed and developing countries, while Brazil preferred continuing to use the International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) process, which is substantially softer on developing countries. The two sides did not manage a compromise, and thus the issue will be tossed to the next Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) meeting taking place in Bonn, Germany in June.
The overarching issue of results-based finance will be discussed at workshops led by two co-chairs, one from a developed country and one from a developing country, appointed by the COP President.
The final Advanced Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) text, the track on which REDD was moving, did, however, recognize the need to talk about “ways to incentivize non-carbon benefits,” like biodiversity preservation, water filtration and the support of forest peoples. Read more about Ecosystem Marketplace’s Doha tracking here!
Looking at the bigger picture ahead, the new market mechanism brought forth at Doha may prove to be REDD-friendly in the long run. While details of the new mechanism were not disseminated, its principles were outlined and referenced private sector participation and project level activities. Rick Saines from Baker & McKenzie sees this preliminary description as "the beginning of a transition away from the pure Kyoto Protocol mechanism to a broadening out of this new mechanism that will be more inclusive and will have the capability to take on new sectoral type approaches, among those REDD+."
At the project level, Doha brought forth the long-awaited news that Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry reversed its decision to sideline half of InfiniteEARTH’s REDD project area for palm oil – a triumph for REDD advocates that makes way for 104 MtCO2e in reductions over thirty years.
Also in the voluntary carbon front, environmental project standards have found new ways to complement each other's work. In Doha, the Gold Standard announced a new alliance with Fairtrade in order to scale up carbon finance for small producers across offset project types. The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) recently also launched a joint approval process with the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance for VCS-CCB certification, designed to lower transaction costs for forestry and land-use projects seeking credit for both emissions reductions and co-benefits. VCS also approved a new soil carbon quantification methodology developed by The Earth Partners that credits emissions reductions and removals from projects that improve soils through land-based agriculture, forestry and other land use projects.
These and other stories from the forest carbon marketplace are summarized below, so keep reading! Note that we are still fundraising for the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report, slated for publication at Carbon Expo 2013 – if we are able to raise sufficient contributions to continue this research. This report – which is freely available thanks exclusively to sponsors’ support –remains a key benchmark for the market. To learn more about sponsoring next year’s report, click here for our prospectus and contact Molly Peters-Stanley for details.
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team
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