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Ecosystem Marketplace, Marketplace Mitigation Mail

November 25, 2011

From the Editors

The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon

We’ve gotten our immunizations and packed our tape recorders and notepads - The Ecosystem Marketplace team will be in Durban covering the conference and themyriad side events to bring our readers timely news and analysis. Check our homepage, blog and calendar daily for updates on the negotiations. Now, to the news:

The Climate Action Reserve released a version of their "Mexico Forest Protocol" for public comment. The protocol was developed to encompass a number of project types - IFM, A/R, REDD - and is aligned with Mexico’s emerging REDD program and California’s soon-to-launch cap-and-trade program.

Across the Pacific pond, In China two methodologies to measure carbon from A/R projects using bamboo were announced. One was developed under the Panda Standard while the other was developed by the China Green Carbon Fund, and is expected to be adopted by projects across South East Asia.

And two names generally lauded for their work on forest conservation were under fire this week: The World Wildlife Fund has been tied to the eviction of communities in Tanzania’s Rufiji Delta because of its support of REDD+ projects in the region’s mangroves. Two assistant professors at Furman Universities have written a paper saying that the WWF-supported REDD projects stand to displace local communities and deny them their traditional livelihoods.

Over in Indonesia, the governor of Aceh province, known for his support of REDD and forest conservation, and a member of the Governors' Climate and Forest Taskforce, has been accused of violating the national moratorium on forest concessions, allegedly delivering a concession to a palm oil company.

Europe has decided to continue to disallow forest carbon credits from entering the EU ETS, citing difficulties in providing proper oversight. While the EU was trying to narrow which projects were eligible under the ETS, New Zealand’s Climate Change minister stated that New Zealand may be narrowing the scope of the country’s ETS, which is set to expand beyond coverage of the forestry sector over the next 3 years. A recent review of the ETS recommended a slowdown in the expansion of the program - advice the current government says it will follow if reelected this year.

As always, read on for all the headlines and more in this, the latest edition of Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News Brief

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—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

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


International Policy

No Forests for You!

The European Commission has published new comments on eligibility of Certified Emissions Reductions for phase III of the EU ETS, which commences in 2012. In addition to the announced ban of industrial gas credits, the EU will continue to disallow the use of forestry credits, including credits from REDD+. The Commission also announced that if a commitment above the current 20% reduction target came into effect they would revisit the eligibility of certain credit types and credits from new market mechanisms. From 2012 on, the EU ETS will also only accept credits from Least Developed Countries. Read more about the EU ETS' Phase III here

Project Development

Tree Bonanza in Western Australia

Prompted by the recent passage of Australia’s Clean Energy Act, domestic utility Origin Energy will exercise $30 million worth of options under a 2009 deal with project developer Carbon Conscious that will ultimately deliver $190 million worth of credits from tree plantings. Under the deal, Carbon Conscious will plant 10 million native Mallee eucalyptus trees. However, the announcement didn’t have a positive effect on Carbon Conscious’ share price, which fell five cents. Read about the deal here

National Strategy & Capacity

Ban Ki Moon opens new UN office in Indonesia

UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon was in Indonesia to mark the opening of the UN Office for Coordination of REDD+ for Indonesia (UNICROD). While he noted the positives of REDD+ - a “triple win for the people of Kalimantan, for Indonesia's sustainable development, and for helping to mitigate climate change” - he also stated that REDD+ should be seen as complimentary to emissions cuts, not a replacement. The country continues to be at the leading edge of national REDD programs, and the UN, along with other multilaterals, NGOs, and bilateral commitments appear to be committed to the success of REDD. Read a press release from the UN here and read Mr. Ban’s comment here

Tasmania counts its carbon

The government of Australian state Tasmania has contracted CO2 Australia limited, a forest carbon project developer, to undertake a study of the carbon stocks of forests under government jurisdiction. The study is taking place in light of a the passage of Australia’s recent carbon tax law, which could see private land owners and governments receive funds from forest carbon projects under the Carbon Farming Initiative - a program that seeks to reduce emissions from land use and agriculture. About 1.5 million hectares are under reserve by the Tasmanian government, which has allocated $250,000 for the study in 2011-12. Read more about CO2s upcoming study here.

When good governors (allegedly) go bad

An Indonesian environmental group is alleging a breach of the country’s forest moratorium, saying that the governor of Aceh province granted concessions to a palm oil company on the site of a peat forest - an explicit violation of the rules set out in the moratorium. The environmental group, WAHLI, admits that given the governor’s history of strong environmental advocacy their may be extenuating circumstances that would make the governor not fully culpable. If convicted the governor faces a five year prison sentence. Read more about the allegations here.

Finance & Economics

NZ ETS continues to face off against cheap CERs

New Zealand continues to see low trading volumes despite some gains in the price of NZUs. The price of CERs coming from Europe has remained low (hovering around €6.85), and are forecast to remain low into the future. When combined with the reluctance of those generating and holding credits to sell, the premium for NZUs has increased, with Nigel Brunel of OM Financial saying “We now see this premium as a permanent feature.” A review of the country’s ETS released in September recommended a slow down of the expansion of the program, which is set to include additional sectors in the next 3 years. Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said the centre-right government would follow those recommendations if re-elected in the election at the end of the month. Read about New Zealand's ETS woes here

Methodology & Standards Watch

Bamboo could be carbon bumper crop

“The Bamboo Carbon Sequestration Afforestation Methodology”, developed by the China Green Climate Fund, Zhejiang University of Agriculture and Forestry and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan, was presented at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, being held in Beijing at the beginning of the month, and will presented at COP17 next week. Another afforestation methodology, “Forestation of degraded land using species including bamboo”, for use under China’s Panda standard is open for comment until December 20. The methodologies are the first allowing for the quantification of carbon sequestration in bamboo sinks, which are currently not eligible in other carbon schemes. Read more about the China Green Climate Fund’s methodology here, and access and submit comments on the Panda Standard’s methodology here.

A forward looking forest protocol in Mexico

The Climate Action Reserve has released a draft of the Mexico Forest Protocol, which is open for public comment until January 20. The protocol was developed to be aligned with Mexico’s national REDD+ strategy, as well as California’s cap-and-trade program, which will allow credits from international forest carbon projects. Under the protocol a number of project design types will be eligible: avoided deforestation, improved forest management, reforestation, agroforestry, and urban forestry. Access the protocol and submit comments here.

Human Dimension

WWF linked to forest community evictions

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is concerned that evictions of communities in Tanzania’s Rufiji Delta by the government will be associated with the organization, hindering future efforts for WWF-sponsored REDD+ programs in the region. The communities were displaced by the torching of rice farm huts and coconut trees by a government initiative, the Mangrove Management Project, although a recent report from two Furman University professors has linked the evictions to a 2009 WWF pilot project involving three villages that restored 70 hectares of mangroves in the delta and continuing REDD activities. The WWF is promoting REDD+ projects that would restore and protect mangroves, while the report says that those activities are destroying the livelihoods of the Warufiji communities who live in the region. Read more about the evictions, and who may be responsible, here.

Publications & Tools

Please list your strengths and weaknesses

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) has released its annual fiscal report for 2011. The report also highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the FCPF to date. Among the reported strengths are the establishment of a common readiness framework and the engagement of community and indigenous stakeholders. The weaknesses include slow pace of financial commitments and disbursements and the creation of unrealistic expectations as to the scale and timing of REDD+ benefits. You can read about and access the report here.


Forest Day 5

The Center for International Forestry Research will host their 5th Forest Day on Sunday, December 4 in Durban. One part networking event, one part knowledge sharing forum, the Forest Day is a must for anyone attending COP17. Register for the event here.


Interested in getting a new perspective on forestry and adding to your skills and knowledge? The World Forest Institute is offering a 6-12 month fellowship. Find this an other opportunities at the Forest Carbon Portal’s Jobs Board here.


The Forest Carbon Portal provides relevant daily news, a bi-weekly news brief, feature articles, a calendar of events, a searchable member directory, a jobs board, a library of tools and resources. The Portal also includes the Forest Carbon Project Inventory, an international database of projects including those in the pipeline. Projects are described with consistent 'nutrition labels' and allow viewers to contact project developers.


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