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Ecosystem Marketplace, Marketplace Mitigation Mail

July 22, 2010    

From the Editors

The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon

Well, the World Cup is over, so we can all get back to work now…  All joking aside (kind of), and as a matter of fact, it has continued to be outside the United States where all the forest carbon action seems to be happening.  As far as the U.S. is concerned, there has been some renewed chatter about climate legislation (à la oil spill) around the proverbial water cooler, but still just that: chatter.  


Moving forward a bit more quickly, the organizers of the first official REDD+ Interim Partnership meeting in Brasilia, Brazil made a shaky first step by failing to honor some of the promises made in Oslo.  That is, after meetings in Paris and Oslo laid plain the need for transparency and civil society and indigenous participation, the Partnership seems to have developed a bit of amnesia since its first meeting in Paris.  With one week lead time, an invite was sent out to a small number of civil society organizations told to select among themselves a 24 person delegation from among the global constituency.  In response, angry civil society groups fired off letters to the chairs of the Interim Partnership expressing tremendous disappointment regarding the rhetoric from the previous meeting that now rings hollow.


While international policy on REDD+ is laid down in Brasilia, domestic forest policy is under heavy debate in the National Congress.  The famous Brazilian Forestry Code has been put up for review, and possibly aggressive revision.  The proposed amendments passed an initial vote and will next be voted on by the Congress.  Key among the proposed changes is the dramatic reduction of the conservation set-aside requirements for rural forest owners.


Meanwhile, outside Brazil, other rainforest nations also moved their forest plans ahead this month.  Ecosystem Marketplace’s Molly Peters-Stanley covers the Colombian effort to lay the framework for a national voluntary carbon market.  And then Colombia’s neighbor to the south, Perú, officially started its National Forest Conservation Program for Climate Change Mitigation, which is looking to protect some 54 million hectares of forest.  


Lastly, as you may have noticed, this newsletter is getting to you a little earlier than usual.  With the recent uptick in forest carbon news, we’re striving to keep this newsletter comprehensive but also brief.  This is our first move towards a twice-monthly newsletter to keep the newsletter shorter and more timely, but we’re open to your feedback if you would prefer to have a longer newsletter summarizing the full month’s news still just once a month.  Let us know what you think and which you would prefer by contacting us at general@forestcarbonportal.com.  We look forward to hearing back from you!

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at general@forestcarbonportal.com.


International Policy

Coming through on Promised Climate Finance

The High-Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing held its second meeting in New York last week.  During the meeting, the Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) agreed to join the Advisory Group, which you can read about here.  At the close of the two-day meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded the Group of its mission to identify and secure promised financing from and since Copenhagen, and that he expects the Group’s report by October, 2010, in time for the COP 16 meeting in Cancún.  Go to Climate-L here to read more about the meeting.

Interim REDD+ Partnership Repeats Paris Blunder

Back during the run-up to the formation of the new Interim REDD+ Partnership, the official government coordinators took a lot of heat for failing to include civil society (CSO) and indigenous peoples (IP) organizations in the formative talks in Paris.  As we’ve covered in previous newsletters, the Partnership appeared to recognize that deficit and promising commitments were made and the proceedings were more inclusive of these groups when the Partnership was officially formed in late May in Oslo.  The short memory of the Partnership was on full display this month when a seemingly random assortment of groups were notified that they were expected to collectively nominate a delegation of 24 representatives from their global constituencies to attend less than one week before the first official meeting was scheduled to begin in Brasilia.

The backlash came swiftly from WWF in addition to another letter signed on to by 39 NGOs and one from the Climate Action Network (representing 500 member organizations) demanding a more meaningful effort at consultation.  And when was the last time you saw REDD-Monitor and Environmental Defense Fund on the same side of an issue?  Follow the reaction with a re-posting of the letters mentioned above on REDD-Monitor here and see EDF’s take here.

European Union to stem imports of illegal timber

The EU Parliament approved a provisional ban on imports of illegally-procured timber.  The legislation includes closing loopholes that enabled the import and sale of timber that had been illegally logged, and now requires EU companies to demonstrate adequate due diligence of timber legality.  The legislation still has yet to be officially adopted, as the European Council still has to approve.  Read about the legislation from The Guardian here, Bloomberg Businessweek here, and the New York Times here.

Clearing Away Smoke to Find Mirrors

Indonesia drafted rules for the two-year ban on clearing forests and peatlands, however confusion still remains as to how they will function as contradictions are still apparent.  Some of the fuzziness in the rules, which take form through a series of presidential decrees, is spelled out in a Carbon Positive article here.  Reuters AlertNet sheds a bit more light with a brief Q&A here

Read a series of editorials featured in The Jakarta Post and The Jakarta Globe for different perspectives on the moratorium, it’s anticipated efficacy, and who it will benefit here , here, and here

Indonesia Ups the Ante for REDD+ on Peatlands

The Indonesian government proposed a five-year moratorium on concessions for peatlands, up from the two years originally agreed upon with Norway in the recently signed billion-dollar REDD+ agreement.  The new policy is slated to review all concessions made on peatland, even existing ones.  Now we’ll have to see if this adds clarity or more confusion to this seemingly evolving agreement.  Read about the proposed legislation in The Jakarta Post here and The Jakarta Globe here.

Not Just Cutting Carbon, but Clear-cutting It

New industrial forest concessions to fell 10 million cubic meters of trees were issued in Indonesia, and the government says that they are still in line with the climate agreement with Norway.  The Forest Ministry Director says these concessions have nothing to do with the Letter of Intent between Indonesia and Norway; Greenpeace Indonesia says the moratorium has essentially been broken.  Read more from The Jakarta Post here

US Policy

The Value of Southern Forests?  What’re They Worth to You?

Two reports were recently released regarding the future of forests in the United States southeast, particularly with respects to how to different economic, social, and environmental pressures will ultimately factor in to the decision-making process of policy-makers and land owners.  The reports from the U.S. Forest Service and World Resources Institute both anticipate significant forest loss over the coming years unless economic and policy incentives are implemented to give forests a more favorable chance for survival.  Click here to read more from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.  See the full reports from WRI here and from the Forest Service here.

If You Build the Incentives, Will They Come?

Two researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder recently published a study of “how the potential for carbon storage based on factors such as soil and vegetation type overlapped with various types of land ownership,” focusing on the state of Colorado.  The authors conclude technical know-how and incentives must be combined with a robust implementation and communication strategy in order to overcome conflicting economic and non-monetary drivers.  Read coverage of the study from EnvironmentalResearchWeb here.  Access the full article for free from the journal Environmental Research Letters here

National Strategy & Capacity Development 

Colombia to Sow the Seeds for Voluntary Emissions Reductions

In the first of an upcoming series of articles on emerging market schemes around the world, Ecosystem Marketplace’s Molly Peters-Stanley shines a light on Colombia’s plan to leverage new loans from the Global Environmental Fund and the InterAmerican Development Bank to establish a market framework for voluntary emissions reductions.  First up: forests.  Check out the Ecosystem Marketplace article here.

Peru Harnesses Forests in New National Climate Program

Earlier this month Peru debuted a new National Forest Conservation Program for Climate Change Mitigation (el Programa Nacional de Conservación de Bosques para la Mitigación del Cambio Climático).  Set to protect 54 million hectares of public, private, and communal Peruvian forests, the program was launched with a €10M boost from Germany and US$40M from Japan.  Read more on this ambitious new program from the Peruvian El Comercio in Spanish here, and a brief snippet from Cool Earth in English here.  Also, stay tuned for more coverage from Ecosystem Marketplace on the new program.

Thinning the Brazilian Forestry Code

The landmark 1965 Forestry Code in Brazil is taking fire, as a group of Brazilian legislators are quickly moving to get key parts of the landmark legislation changed, potentially enabling a renewed boom in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.  Read The Guardian’s explanation of the national politics underpinning the amendments here.  Following up after the amendments passed a first vote, WWF issued a statement outlining the possible devastating results of the proposed legislation  here, and Mongabay followed up with more analysis of what this vote means moving forward here.

…Save for the Soy

Brazilian soy farmers, on the other hand, decided to extend a moratorium on deforestation from 2006, which was initially established in response to major clients like McDonalds and Carrefour citing concern of the deforestation driven by soy production.  Read more about the moratorium from Mongabay here.

Forests Early Winners in Burgeoning New Zealand ETS

In the opening few weeks of the nascent emissions trading scheme (ETS) in New Zealand, forest credits seem to be making some headway.  Read coverage from Carbon Offsets Daily about a couple different forestry owners cashing in here.  And read more from The National Business Review how forestry credits could be part of the solution to help alleviate some of the demand that is currently outpacing a scant supply of carbon credits here.

Forest Carbon Finance and Economics

Moving Beyond Offset Accounting to Standards for Finance and Insurance

A recent webinar hosted by 2degrees took an in-depth look at how the implementation of finance and insurance standards could benefit the US forest carbon market and what the adaptation of those standards could mean for risk management for projects and investors.  We’ve broken the hour-long discussion down into twelve brief segments for easier access.  Check out the webinar video on the Forest Carbon Portal here.  And read a recent article from webinar participants Gabriel Thoumi and Augustus Kent discussing the role of finance and insurance standards in the emerging Senate climate bill here.

Seeing the Big Picture for Payments for Ecosystem Services

This month in the journal Nature, Ecosystem Marketplace’s founding Director Ricardo Bayon (now with EKO Asset Management Partners) and Forest Trends’ head Michael Jenkins explain their vision for putting an economic value on the services nature provides both to overcome the fact that they are largely unrecognized (and treated as valueless) in markets and to help support the sustainability of the human and natural providers of these services.  Calling on governments to put in place regulatory and voluntary economic instruments, Bayon and Jenkins argue for a connected program for development and conservation.  Access the article here.  (Subscription or pay)

Banking on China’s Forests

The World Bank has approved loans of $100M to China for forestry projects in five provinces.  The money is to be used for the Integrated Forestry Development Project to increase diversified forest cover and improve forest resource management.  Read more about the offer from Bernama here or a press release from the World Bank here.

Another Norwegian Forest Deal, this Time in Tanzania

Norway signed up the Wildlife Conservation Society this month to help Tanzania prepare for international climate change protocols regarding forests.  The four-year project to reduce deforestation, plant forests, and improve forest management is worth nearly $1.3B.  Read more about it from Tanzania’s The Citizen here.

Nigeria and UN Partner on REDD

The Nigerian federal government and United Nations Development Programme partnered together to form the National Technical Committee on REDD.  Nigeria intends to achieve short-term results while simultaneously developing a comprehensive national strategy for REDD+.  Read more about the newly established committee and its proposed role from AllAfrica.com here and The Daily Independent here.

Methodology & Standards Watch

FSC Moves Beyond Regional Standards

The Forest Stewardship Council announced that it revised its Forest Management Standards, synthesizing nine regional standards in the contiguous U.S. into one in order to simplify and improve efficiency in the management and auditing processes.  Read more about the changes here from Environmental Leader.  Access the new US standard from the FSC here.

Formalizing Consent

At the sixth Participants Committee meeting of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) held in Guyana in late June, officials from the World Bank reaffirmed the importance of free, prior and informed consent regarding forest protection schemes, while indigenous leaders expressed disbelief that the standard would be upheld by the Guyana government.  Read about the meeting here from Stabroek News.  Read about the reaction of Amerindian Peoples Association President Tony James here.

ACR Calls for Comments for IFM Protocol

The American Carbon Registry is encouraging public comment on a new improved forest management methodology.  The public comment period ends next Tuesday, July 27, 2010.  Read more about the methodology here, and submit your comments to publiccomment@americancarbonregistry.org.

CAR says Biochar will have to wait, yarrr!

No pirates here, actually; just some good ol’ fashion protocol development.  The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) released an Issue Paper this month saying that, while feasible, more time is necessary to develop a biochar carbon offset protocol due to a series of complicating issues including many possible baseline scenarios, project permutations, and lifecycle GHG balances, in addition to the usual suspects of additionality, leakage, and secondary emissions.  Read the Issue Paper here.

Human Dimension

REDD+ in Tooth and Claw   

Concerns of cheating the system by rich nations through REDD+, which is intended to benefit poor and developing forest nations, caused NGOs to cry foul and for a complete re-think of the UN scheme.  Argued by some as the best way to stop logging and mitigate climate change, an article in the Observer available here pointed to documents indicating plans looking to abuse REDD, leading to corruption and more logging.  Read more as reported by Stabroek News here.

Borneo’s Indigenous Issue List of Demands

Following a three-day Borneo Forests Conference, attendees issued the Krokong Decalartion, calling upon the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia to review existing rules and regulations that undermine the rights of Borneo’s indigenous peoples, ensure their participation in decision-making processes, and confirm the governments’ respective commitments to UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Read more about the Declaration here.

Not in My Backyard

The Alliance of Archipelagic Indigenous People (AMAN) has declared it will refuse to cooperate with a planned carbon credit scheme unless land tenure issues are resolved, guaranteeing their rights to livelihoods in the forests.  AMAN says that indigenous people already live “small-scale REDD” life styles, and question why they must be forced from their lands.  Read more about AMAN’s stand from The Jakarta Post here.

“Tarzan agitator” a Modern-Day Amazonian Zorro?

The Peruvian government ordered the expulsion of a British missionary who has helped indigenous peoples fight against oil, gas, and mining companies.  Paul McAuley has wide support and admiration from indigenous peoples and NGOs for the work he has done, and said he would seek to fight the battle legally, despite some offers of hiding him and even marriage.  Click here for Mr. McAuley’s story in The Guardian.

Dr. Thomas Diagnoses Carbon Markets

In another installment of a recent series focused on carbon markets, Dr. Clive Thomas discusses the concern and sentiment felt by many that REDD is really just a large scam, and a scheme looking to make money rather than solving the global climate issues.  Thomas points to the need for safeguards, as well as concerns of similar problems eventually occurring in the carbon markets as recently happened in the financial markets; however, he points out that the results of a carbon market failure could be more severe than that of the financial markets for several reasons, among them being that “nature does not do bailouts.”  Read the full article in Stabroek News here.

Making an Impact with Land-Based Carbon Projects

A new manual for Social Impact Assessment has been published by Forest Trends.  Composed by Michael Richards of Forest Trends and Steve Panfil of the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (the creators of the CCB Standard), the manual is designed to be used by project proponents seeking to be certified under CCB or other multiple-benefit carbon standards.  Access the manual here.

Project Development

Taking Matters into Their Own Hands

Writing for Ecosystem Marketplace, Cristiane Prizibisczki takes a close look at indigenous tribes in Brazil getting more involved in REDD projects, and in the process taking “free, prior and informed consent” from the conceptual to operational, in turn providing a model for the world.  Click here for the article on the Forest Carbon Portal.

Forests Taking Over Farms?

In a bit of a role reversal, in Australia forestry projects are suspected of proposing to take over farm land.  The Australian Macquarie Group has been linked to speculations over forestry plantations tied to agricultural land and linked to carbon credit programs.  For more about the speculations and associated concerns, read more from The Sydney Morning Herald here.


The Forestry Department of Brunei announced plans to possibly build the tiny southeast Asian country’s first mangrove center, likely to be on Selirong Island, as a part of the country’s efforts to boost its research efforts, as well as its endeavor into carbon trading.  Read more about these exciting steps here from BruDirect.com.

Getting to the Roots of Poverty through Forestry

A story this month from The Ecologist introduces readers to Arbolivia, a group running a community-based forestry project seeking to give Bolivian farmers the incentives to keep trees standing.  With farmers agreeing to plant at least one hectare of their land with hardwood trees in exchange for 50% of the timber revenue accrued at the end of the 25-30 year maturity cycle, the farmers look at participating in this project as a sort of pension or an inheritance for their children.  Read more on Arbolivia from The Ecologist here.  See the project listing in the Forest Carbon Portal Project Inventory here.

Transforming Local Livelihoods and Lifestyles with Conservation

Starting in 1987 the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in the central Mexican state of Querétaro has transformed an area relying on subsistence farming to an eco-tourism project which also produces carbon credits (from reforestation of degraded forests).  Read more about the history and progress of this project from The Guardian here.  See the listing of the project in the Forest Carbon Portal Project Inventory here.

Science & Technology Review

Big Green Lungs

Two major international studies are set to change the way scientists look at the relationship between the Earth’s climate and its carbon cycle.  One looks at Earth’s Gross Primary Production, or GPP, or the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by terrestrial plants each year – that is to say, the amount of carbon absorbed by the breaths inhaled.  The second study looks at short-term controls over ecosystem respiration, akin to ecosystem’s exhaling.  For a summary of the studies, click here for an article from PhysOrg.com.  Access the abstracts from Science for the GPP article here and the respiration article here.

Catching the Amazonian Deforestation Mafia

In a large investigative operation over 90 Brazilian political officials, business owners, and landowners were identified in a major illegal logging scheme this month.  The scheme was difficult to detect because it was so enmeshed in the “bureaucratic machinations for environmental permits.”  The catch was even more difficult by intentionally-falsified inventory documents.  For an in-depth explanation of this enormous scheme, from Mongabay, click here.  The nature of illegal deforestation has changed over the years, as has implementation, regulation and enforcement of Brazil's environmental policy.  Click here for an article that describes those changes, as well as how an evolution, and the adoption, of technology played a role in that, and in Operation Jurupari to help make the historic amount of arrests.

Tree + Box = Water Savings

The “Waterboxx” is a seemingly simple mechanism intended to collect condensation and rainwater to help plants grow in a water-stressed environment.  Developed by Dutch businessman Pieter Hoff, the hope is to help facilitate the growth of much-needed trees and plants in the fight against climate change.  Check out an article in The New York Times here on Mr. Hoff’s invention, how it works, and some long-term hopes for the device.

Making (Remote) Sense of REDD Baselines

In a new focus paper, Clark Labs explains how to apply their IDRISI GIS and Image Processing software to model baselines for REDD+ projects.  Find out more from Clark Labs here.

Publications & Tools

The following publications and tools are a sampling of those that are available and posted daily to the Forest Carbon Portal.  Find more resources at our resource page here.

Pulse of the Voluntary Carbon Markets

The State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2010 report from Ecosystem Marketplace was officially released!  The newest, and fourth, iteration of the SVCM report, titled “Building Bridges,” found that 2009 was a tumultuous year for voluntary carbon markets but a year in which the US emerged as the leader in both credits bought and sold and in which the forest sector proved particularly resilient.  Read more about the report and listen to a podcast of the DC launch from Ecosystem Marketplace here.

Coping with Climate Change

The World Bank released a book analyzing the effects of climate change on indigenous peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean, on whom the consequences of climate change and climatic variability are often most extreme.  The book looks specifically at the social implications of these phenomena and ways these communities can improve their resiliency and adaptability.  Access the full book for free from the World Bank website here.

Building a Nest for REDD

Arguing that the success of REDD+ depends not only on national level activities but also through smaller-scale channels, The Nature Conservancy released “A Nested Approach to REDD+” in which it argues that smaller-scale activities should “nest” within larger national programs.  See coverage of the report from Carbon Positive click here.  Access the full report from The Nature Conservancy here (PDF)

Farms There, Forests There

In a follow-up to their report about climate legislation that includes reducing tropical deforestation benefiting US agriculture ("Farms Here, Forests There"), which became somewhat controversial (as mentioned here by Mongabay before the abovementioned vote in Brazil occurred), Avoided Deforestation Partners released further research in which they point out that reducing deforestation in the Amazon will also “substantially increase gross revenue for Brazil.”  Click here for more on the two reports.

Pulp Non-Fiction

Greenpeace released a report titled “How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet” in which it points a finger at several U.S. companies – from Walmart to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) – as drivers of deforestation because they use products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a part of the Sinar Mas group, which extracts resources from Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands to make its products.  For a synopsis of the report by Greenpeace click here and here (PDF) for the report itself.

“Get me my rolodex”

The Greenpeace report got a fair amount of press coverage, too.  Really.  It was everywhere.  To check out just a few of the many, you can read about the report on Mongabay here, from AFP here, Reuters UK here, CNN here, Time Magazine here, The New York Times here, and International Business Times here.

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that deforestation is going on here!”

Walmart did not stay quiet and fired back at Greenpeace for its inclusion in the report.  Walmart was “surprised” that Greenpeace would mention it because the two organizations are already working together on ridding deforestation from the retailer’s supply chain, and that it is working on phasing out APP products in China.  In another response to the report, but one Greenpeace was more hoping for, supermarket giant Carrefour and major conglomerate Kraft Foods have both announced intentions to shift sourcing away from Sinar Mas/APP.  Read about Walmart’s response here on Mongabay, and here for more on Carrefour’s dropping APP as a supplier from The Epoch Times or here about Carrefour’s and Kraft’s big decisions from The Jakarta Globe.


Click here to access the Forest Carbon Portal's Calendar of Events. Click here to view or submit your own job announcements on the Forest Carbon Portal's Jobs Board.

Experts to Convene on Linking Biodiversity and REDD

Looking forward in preparation for its Global Expert Workshop on Biodiversity Benefits of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (or GEWBBREDDDC for short), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (or shorter acronym-ed, CBD) has invited nominations of two country-designated technical experts to participate in the workshop.  To read more about what CBD is looking for in nominees for GEWBBREDDDC click here for more from Climate-L.



The Forest Carbon Portal provides relevant daily news, a newsletter, articles, a calendar of events, the "Carbon Connections" discussion forum, a profile directory, a jobs board, a toolbox of resources ranging from methodologies to policy briefs, and market analysis on land-based carbon sequestration projects from forest to farm. All Forest Carbon Portal community members can comment on articles and upload their own projects, resources, events and job opportunities, although user permissions and rights vary according to involvement. The Portal also includes the Forest Carbon Project Inventory, a searchable database and map of projects selling land-based carbon credits across the globe and those in the pipeline. Users can search for projects by country, as well as by a variety of criteria such as project type, standard, registry and size. Projects are described in consistent 'nutrition labels' which supply as much information as can be maintained in a consistent structure. Operational projects must either be third-party verified or have sold credits to be eligible for listing.



Ecosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program are funded by a series of international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private sector organizations. For more information on donating to Ecosystem Marketplace, please contact info@ecosystemmarketplace.com. 


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