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From the Editors

Here in Washington D.C., ‘tis the season of a melting blizzard, (American) football, presidential posturing, and… the Ecosystem Marketplace carbon survey.

Many Carbon Chronicle subscribers already know the drill: organizations active in the carbon market receive a username and password in their inbox, they enter information about 2015 activities in our online survey platform, and a couple of months later we produce the only market-wide, freely available quantitative reports tracking corporate trends in voluntary offsetting and results-based payments for forest conservation.

Last year’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report has been downloaded more than 300,000 times since it’s release in June and the State of Forest Carbon Finance report has reached 100,000 downloads since November – with readers ranging from business and government leaders using the data to inform decisions to students learning about the carbon markets for the first time.

We cannot produce these reports without the thousands of individual data points that make up the whole. If your organization supplied offsets to voluntary buyers in 2015 or developed forestry or land-use offsets for voluntary or compliance markets, access the survey HERE (http://survey.ecosystemmarketplace.com/carbonsurvey2016/) or HERE if you’d like the Spanish version.

Email Kelley Hamrick for a login if your organization does not have one already. And help us spread the word! We aim to reach all active organizations far and wide to get a comprehensive picture of the market. Our deadline for collecting data is February 26th.

A big thank you to the organizations who have already responded in full (what lightning speed!) and chose to be publically listed: BioCarbon Partners, Carbon Tanzania, China Carbon, Clean Air Action Corp, COLBUN S.A., Coop Carbone, Face the Future, Forest Carbon, FutureCamp Climate GmbH, GREEN EVOLUTION SA, Less Emissions Inc., Mindo Cloudforest Foundation, Nexus – Carbon for Development, ONF International – Brazil, Stichting HIVOS, Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise, Taking Root, and UPM Umwelt-Projekt-Management GmbH.

Early respondents will be spared our pesky reminder phone calls. For the rest of you, we look forward to talking soon!

With early Valentine’s love,

The Editors

PS – To financially support our 2016 carbon work, see our Sponsorship Prospectus. A big thank you to The Climate Trust for becoming our first supporter of the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2016 report!

More news about the carbon markets is summarized below, so keep reading!

 
   

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

That’s wild

Project developer Carbon Tanzania and its partners announced a new avoided deforestation project called Endangered Ecosystems – Northern Tanzania at a ceremony attended by US Ambassador Mark Childress. The project is supported by a $12 million grant from the US Agency for International Development and includes a wide range of organizations that are part of the Northern Tanzania Rangeland Association. The project will cover about 480,000 hectares in the Makame Community Wildlife Area, a huge area of habitat for elephants and wild dogs, and home to Massai communities. “I was at COP21 and everyone is asking the same question: scale, scale, scale,” Marc Baker of Carbon Tanzania told Ecosystem Marketplace. “We need to look at landscapes that are thousands of hectares.”

- Read more from The Citizen

POLICY WATCH

Hello from the other side

Nearly two months after the Paris Agreement, government and business leaders are doing a lot of “phoning around” (according to one negotiator) about Article 6. The Agreement leaves open the possibility for decentralized carbon markets even as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change creates a centralized mechanism for transferring emission reductions. In the closing days of the Paris negotiations, some developing countries seemed unaware that if they sold an emission reduction, they were no longer allowed to count it against their own target. “Under Kyoto, they didn’t have to do that, so I can see why some would have been caught off guard,” said Peter Graham, a former Canadian negotiator now working for the World Wildlife Fund.

- Read Ecosystem Marketplace’s series examining the role of carbon markets in the Paris Agreement: Part 1, Part 2

CARBON FINANCE

Crisis line bling

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) convened “crisis talks” last week in Cape Town, South Africa after officials from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and other countries raised serious concerns during a contentious board meeting last November. The GCF aims to distribute $2.5 billion of its $10 billion pot over the course of 2016, meaning it will need to approve between $850 million and $930 million during each of three meetings this year. But there are a mere 29 projects currently in the GCF pipeline, and only one accredited partner has the ability to handle projects valued at more than $250 million. Andrea Ledward of the UK’s Department of International Development called for “a clearer indication of the Fund’s focus and direction.”

- Read more from Climate Home

Good for the digestion

The Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-DEV) recently announced its first emissions reductions purchase agreement to a biodigester project in Tanzania, operated by project developer SimGas. Ci-DEV was launched in late 2011 to support carbon projects in low-income countries through performance-based payments. The SimGas project is the first of 14 in its pipeline, consisting entirely of grouped projects in Africa focused on cookstoves, mini-grids, biogas, solar lanterns and water purification. The fund will pay between $4.3 and $10.8 per tonne, with an average total of $3-15 million per agreement, Carbon Pulse reports.

- Read more from the World Bank's blog

The bilateral fire brigades

Norway recently announced $50 million to support Indonesia’s newly created Peat Restoration Agency, and the US will be issuing a $17 million grant for peatland restoration in the Jambi province of Sumatra. Wildfires last year burned more than two million hectares in Indonesia, causing the country’s daily emissions to exceed that of the US economy. Norway’s money comes with strings attached: Indonesia must implement a comprehensive monitoring system on the status of peatland restoration by December. “We are ready to embark on a results-based support as part of the letter of intent between our two countries,” said Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister.

- Read more from Mongabay

HUMAN DIMENSION

Back from the brink

In late 2008, Mayor Adnan Demachki of Paragominas was about ready to hand in his resignation. At the time, Paragominas was on Brazil’s “black list” of deforestation hotspots, meaning they had lost access to credit and faced an embargo on new land permits. But seeing riots and the torched local offices of IBAMA, Brazil’s “environmental police”, Demachki felt that he had lost public support for making his county Brazil’s first “Green Municipality.” The story of how things turned around just as they were at the brink of falling apart is one that could bear lessons for the present day as consumer giants such as Unilever and Marks & Spencer have promised to source commodities from jurisdictions that slash deforestation.

- Read Part 1 of the series on Ecosystem Marketplace 

Crackdown or shakedown?

Cambodia’s timber exports to Vietnam increased more than 50% from 2014 to 2015, reaching $386 million and involving mostly illegally harvested endangered wood species. So the recent creation of a national committee to curb the illegal wood trade might seem like a welcome move. However, “it appears likely that this latest effort…represents less of a ‘crackdown’ and more of a ‘shakedown’,” writes Kerstin Canby, Director of the Forest Trade and Finance program at Forest Trends, Ecosystem Marketplace’s publisher. She says it might be part of a “turf war” among Cambodia’s logging cartels, who have strong ties to Prime Minister Hun Sen. Cambodia is building a REDD+ program and has received money from FAO, UNDP, and UNEP to prepare its strategy.

- Read more from Ecosystem Marketplace

NEW RESEARCH

Even if you miss…

In 2005, the Rights and Resources Institute (RRI) set a target of doubling forests under indigenous and local community control in low- and middle-income countries within a decade. The figure stood at 21% in 2002 and grew to 31% by the end of 2015 – leading RRI to recognize “significant progress” even as it fell short of its goal. Specifically, countries including India, Indonesia, Peru, Colombia and Liberia have started to implement recognition of community rights at the national scale. If successful, those measures could result in improved land tenure for more than 200 million people. In the meantime, RRI has set a new goal: to ensure at least 50% of the developing world’s forests are formally under community control by 2030.

- Read more from RRI

Secondary but not second-best

A recent study published in Nature looked at biomass resilience across 45 sites in the Neotropics, resulting in a map of Latin America that shows carbon sequestration potential for secondary forests. It found that net carbon uptake of secondary forests was 11 times that of old-growth forests, though old-growth forests have built up vast stores of carbon over the years. While previous studies have suggested that once a certain state of disturbance is reached, tropical forests may collapse, this one demonstrated considerable resilience, dependent on water availability. The recovery map could be used to identify areas where REDD+, assisted by natural regeneration, could be most successful, the authors write.

- Read the study in Nature

Mediocre report card

Though New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has been operational since 2008, it has not “significantly influenced domestic emissions or business decisions,” according to a new report by the Ministry of Environment. The report authors interviewed 22 market participants about their experiences. They found that short-term goals, such as keeping New Zealand in compliance with its first Kyoto Protocol commitment, had been met, but found little evidence of increased investment or business decisions being made around emissions reductions – meaning the ETS has so far fallen short of its long-term goals. The report will serve as a supporting document for New Zealand’s upcoming ETS review.

- Read the Ministry of Environment's report

 

JOBS

Research Assistant – Ecosystem Marketplace

Based in Washington, D.C., the Research Assistant will support Ecosystem Marketplace for six months on a range of activities. Key tasks include outreach for our annual carbon markets survey, support in developing the upcoming State of reports, and writing news for this very newsletter. The position requires an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, attention to detail, and excellent organizational and communication skills. Spanish, Portuguese or Chinese language skills would be a big plus.

- Read more about the position here

Senior Program Officer – The Gold Standard Foundation

Based in Geneva, Switzerland or Freiburg, Germany, The Senior Program Officer will oversee and coordinate the Gold Standard Foundation’s grant-funded programs and projects, including acting as a liaison with the marketing & communications, technical, operations, and business development teams. The successful candidate will understand the Gold Standard’s role and position in environmental markets and have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field, as well as at least five years of experience in program/project management.

- Read more about the position here

President – Climate Action Reserve (CAR)

Based in California (Los Angeles preferred, San Francisco or Sacramento considered), CAR seeks a mission-focused, dynamic, and innovative president who will lead the organization in fulfilling its goals. The position requires deep knowledge of climate change science and policy, a collaborative leadership style, and a passion for advancing market-based solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ten or more years of experience and an advanced degree are required, as is a willingness to travel regularly.

Read more about the position here

Sourcing Associate/Manager – Natural Capital Partners

Based in London or on the East Coast of the United States, the Sourcing Associate/Manager will source supply of environmental instruments, including carbon and renewable energy, and conduct due diligence and impact evaluation of projects. The successful candidate will have a postgraduate degree, a minimum of three years of experience working within the carbon market or impact investing, and strong knowledge of emission reduction project standards, technologies, and policy.

Read more about the position here

Program Manager, Amazon Region – Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund (GCFF)

Based in Braisilia or Sao Paulo, Brazil or Lima, Peru, the Program Manager for the Amazon Region will manage the day-to-day activities and supervise the implementation of projects approved by the Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund. The successful candidate will have five to seven years of related experience in program management, a graduate degree, experience implementing projects financed by international donors, and strong communications skills. GCFF is also hiring a Program Manager for Indonesia and Director of Administration and Financial Management.

- Read more about the positions here

Senior Project Manager – Perspectives

Based in Frieburg, Germany or Alicante, Spain, the Senior Project Manager will work with both public and private sector clients on Perspective’s climate finance, climate policy, and carbon markets consulting work. The successful candidate will have a strong personal interest in innovative carbon market mechanisms, a university-level education (or higher) in a discipline with technical/quantitative skills, and at least five years of experience as a project manager. Candidates must be relatively fluent in German, English, and French.

- Read more about the position here

Project Manager, Rainforest Friendly Cocoa – RSBP

Based in Sierra Leone, the Project Manager will manage the day-to-day strategic and operational implementation of the Rainforest Friendly Cocoa Project, part of the Gola Rainforest REDD+ Programme in Sierra Leone. The successful candidate will have a strong background in development, agriculture, and natural resource management and be practically minded and passionate about conservation. The contract is a two-year fixed term.

- Read more about the position here

   
   

ABOUT THE ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

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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