REDD+ Biodiversity Safeguards: Options for Developing National Approaches

Presently, over 20 Asian countries are engaged in REDD+ readiness activities. Each of these countries is committed to promoting and supporting the ‘Cancun safeguards’ for REDD+ activities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in addition to delivering on national interpretations of the ‘Aichi Targets’ for the Strategic Plan (2011-2020) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Applying and adapting existing multilateral safeguards frameworks to national REDD+ strategies and action plans is one clear and tangible national response to international biodiversity safeguard commitments. This has been the focus of post-Cancun activity on safeguards for national governments and their development partners.

 
This brief explores how a national safeguard approach can be developed that will meet the International policy commitments yet remain consistent with national policy frameworks. It further discusses how SNV together with UNEP-WCMC is exploring a national safeguard approach for Vietnam.

Read more about the brief here.

Lessons Learned from Community Forestry & REDD+ in Brazil

In the new publication REDD+ and Community Forestry: Lessons Learned from an Exchange of Brazilian Experiences with Africa, experts describe the lessons learned from an initiative by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to share Brazilian experiences with African countries. The initiative was undertaken by World Bank staff with funding from the Global Environment Facility and coordinated by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, with technical support from the Office National des Foríªts International.

 
The new publication brings together information, analyses, and conclusions on issues relevant to the design and implementation of national REDD+ strategies. It aims to foster a discussion on the role of community forest management as a strategic option to promote REDD+ goals, and, conversely, on ways that REDD+ can incentivize community management of forests.
 
The report’s main conclusions include:
  • REDD+ initiatives need to be integrated with sectoral and cross-sectoral policies, including forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, and environmental policies.
  • Support for long-term capacity building and financing are key elements for the success of REDD+ initiatives.
  • Community-based forest management plays a very important role in reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
  • Forests should managed through participatory processes that empower indigenous peoples and local populations in decision making.
  • Measurement, reporting and verification are key elements of REDD+ initiatives, and South-South cooperation plays an important role in increasing their efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Cooperation and exchange of experiences with Brazil could provide important support for REDD+ development in Africa.

Read more here

Global Climate Leadership Review 2012

Australia does not act on climate change in isolation. The Climate Institute’s Global Climate Leadership Review 2012 positions Australian climate policy in a global context. It aims to elaborate on the implications of global climate diplomacy and domestic actions for Australia.

 
The overarching theme of this flagship project is leadership. The Global Climate Leadership Review identifies which nations are currently leading the low carbon economy, who is leading the international negotiations and provides an annual case study of where Australia can show leadership.
 
Access the report here.

Governments Worldwide Embrace Voluntary Carbon Offset Market: Report

With the future of an international climate agreement still in flux, governments worldwide are turning to markets for voluntary carbon offsetting to engage private sector climate actors – and to inform or provide the tools that could shape tomorrow’s regulated carbon markets.

At least 21 such government programs are currently underway, and nine of these have emerged in the last four years, according to this study by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace. The report provides case studies of the 13 most advanced programs in Bringing it Home: Taking Stock of Government Engagement with the Voluntary Carbon Market.

Turning Point: What future for forest peoples and resources in the emerging world order?

 Worldwide, the use and management of natural resources and systems of trade and  governance have been in flux for years. Yet 2011 may well be remembered as the year of  definitive turning points: it was a year when the shift in global political and economic  

power to emerging economies became clear; it was a year when the conventional economic  paradigm recognized the increasing scarcity of natural resources; and it was a year when  it became clear that national and global development requires respect for local people  and their resources.
Access the publication here.

David Suzuki Foundation reports the Ontario Greenbelt contributes $2.6 billion to local economy

(Toronto) September 9, 2008
– A new report released today by the David Suzuki Foundation with support from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has found that Ontario’s Greenbelt contributes $2.6 billion worth of non-market ecological services to the province each year, an average value of $3,487 per hectare.

“This is an incredible figure,” said Dr. David Suzuki, co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. “It’s a good reminder to decision-makers that if we don’t protect our greenspaces, we’ll end up paying a higher price in the future, not just with our health and the planet’s health, but economically as well. Ontario’s Greenbelt is a world-leading example of how to grow our communities in a balanced way.”

The report, Ontario’s Wealth, Canada’s Future: Appreciating the Value of the Greenbelt’s Eco-Services, quantifies the value of the ecosystem services such as water filtration, flood control, climate stabilization (i.e. carbon storage), waste treatment, wildlife habitat, and clean air.

“This report celebrates the Ontario government’s foresight to protect the Greenbelt and inspires us to embrace its growth,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “The Greenbelt distinguishes Ontario, and Canada, as an environmental innovator.”

“It’s less expensive to preserve the natural environment and the benefits it provide us, than to replace it with a man-made infrastructure. The highest economic value the environment affords us is when it is left undisturbed,” said report author Sara Wilson of Natural Capital Research & Consulting.

Covering more than 1.8 million acres, the Greenbelt was established to safeguard key environmentally sensitive land, watersheds, and farmlands that provide essential ecosystem services and quality of life for this densely populated area of Canada. This protected region includes green space, farmland, communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, including habitat for more than one-third of Ontario’s species at risk.

Ontario’s Wealth, Canada’s Future can be downloaded from www.davidsuzuki.org/publications and www.ourgreenbelt.ca.

-END-

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created to help foster our Greenbelt’s living countryside by nurturing and supporting activities that preserve its environmental and agricultural integrity.

The David Suzuki Foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that conserve nature and help achieve sustainability within a generation.

Media contact:
Sara Wilson, Principal
Natural Capital Research & Consulting
Cell: (604) 865-1911, sarajwilson -at- dccnet.com

Burkhard Mausberg, President
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Tel: (416) 960-0001 ext. 300, bmausberg -at- ourgreenbelt.ca

Rachel Plotkin, Biodiversity Policy Analyst
David Suzuki Foundation
Cell: 613-796-7999, rplotkin -at- davidsuzuki.org

Hidden wealth revealed in Ontario's Greenbelt: The Lake Simcoe Watershed

Toronto, June 26, 2008
– The ecological benefits provided by the Lake Simcoe ecosystem, a vital part of the world’s largest and most diverse Greenbelt, are estimated at close to $1 billion a year, according to a study released today. Lake Simcoe Basin’s Natural Capital: The Value of the Watershed’s Ecosystem Services, examines the goods and services provided by the watershed’s ecosystem. These include carbon storage, water quality, supply and filtration, flood control, waste treatment and clean air—all of which are top-of-mind concerns for Ontarians.

Other activities relying on the health of this watershed are tourism and recreation, clean drinking water and local agriculture, including the Holland Marsh. At a minimum, the total value of these services to Ontario is $975 million annually; over $2,780.00 for each of the 350,000 plus residents in the area. “If the integrity of the watershed is not protected, what’s at stake is the additional cost of replacing the free benefits of these natural features,” said Mike Walters of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

The study follows hot on the heels of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act (Bill 99/2008) introduced by the provincial government on June 17. Currently, parts of the Lake Simcoe shoreline and watershed are located inside the provincially designated Greenbelt. The Greenbelt Act and Plan in concert with the proposed Lake Simcoe Protection Act and Plan provide mutually reinforcing support: together they can help protect the entire watershed.

The analysis, undertaken by consultant, Sara Wilson, supported by the David Suzuki Foundation and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority with funding from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, found that services provided by the watershed’s forests and wetlands are the most highly valued assets with an estimated annual worth of $319 and $435 million respectively.

“By articulating environmental services in dollars and cents we begin to level the playing field between the economy and the environment, comparing “apples to apples” in order to make educated and balanced decisions,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We all know nature is “good” but how much do we think it is “worth”?

Healthy growth means protecting key natural features given the value of the services they provide. The benefits of integrating the value of nature into decision-making are clear: sustainable urban growth, balanced communities and increased health and quality of life for Ontarians.

“There is an increasing sense of urgency around valuing ecosystem goods and services,” said Rachel Plotkin of the David Suzuki Foundation. “This study is an important contribution to measuring the value of these services. This information can be used to improve land use and growth management decisions.”

Ontario’s Greenbelt is putting its natural capital into action, leading to better, safer, more renewable ways to grow, power, eat, work and live. It is 1.8 million acres of protected land that wraps around the Golden Horseshoe and runs north to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. It encompasses the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park, some 7,000 farms and hundreds of rural towns and villages. The Greenbelt is vital to the quality of life of Ontarians.

– 30 –

Click here for an online copy of the report, Lake Simcoe Basin’s Natural Capital: The Value of the Watershed’s Ecosystem Services which includes an Executive Summary. It is also available online at www.davidsuzuki.org and www.lsrca.on.ca.

To request a hardcopy please contact the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.

For further information please contact:

Burkhard Mausberg, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation at (416) 960-0001, email: bmausberg -at- ourgreenbelt.ca.

Rachel Plotkin, David Suzuki Foundation at (613) 594-9026, email: rplotkin -at- davidsuzuki.org.

Mike Walters, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority at (905) 895-1281 ext. 234, email: mike.walters -at- lsrca.on.ca.

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority's mission is to provide leadership in the restoration and protection of the environmental health and quality of Lake Simcoe and its watershed with our Community, Municipal and other Government partners.

Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation has worked to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. Focusing on four program areas – oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and the Nature Challenge – the Foundation uses science and education to promote solutions that conserve nature and help achieve sustainability within a generation.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation began its work in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to promote and sustain our Greenbelt as a beneficial, valuable, and permanent feature, enhancing the quality of life for all residents of Ontario.

Chico Mendes Law – PES in Brazil

In Brazil, rubber tappers are subsidized to promote the preservation of biodiversity in the Amazon basin. The subsidy is intended to discourage alternative industries, such as logging and cattle ranching, which threaten the sustainability of the rainforest.

Sasumua Water Treatment Plant – Kenya

The Sasumua Water Treatment Plant is an
innovate payment for ecosystem services
project still in development, which seeks to
provide water quality services by paying
upstream farmers and pastoralists to change
their cultivation practices. Though not yet fully
operational, the Sasumua case highlights many
strengths of PES, as well as many of the
factors strongly influencing its success.

The Kunene Region Torra Conservancy

The Torra Conservancy, a community initiated conservation and
rural economic development project, was established in 1998 to
protect the local ecosystem and encourage development of
income-generating activities for the local community.

Watamu Turle Watch Nest Protection Programme

The Nest Protection Programme in Watamu Beach, Kenya
was established in 1997. The program was created in
response to the decimation of the reproductive capacity of the
local turtle population, due primarily to turtle egg poaching
from the Watamu nesting site. It was estimated that prior to
the implementation of the program, 100% of all turtle eggs
were harvested annually. This case study looks at the ways that social and environmental problems are addressed through this program.

Working for Water: PES in South Africa

In South Africa, Working for Water provides one of the
longest-standing and most successful examples of
payments for ecosystem services (PES). Initiated in
1995 just one year after the end of apartheid, the
program organizes poor South Africans in local
communities to eradicate invasive alien plants (IAPs)
through country’s Department of Water Affairs and
Forestry.

Conservation Concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

In Guatemala, Conservation International and the
Guatemalan NGO ProPeten tried to negotiate a
conservation concession with local communities in
the Maya Biosphere. According to the terms of the
agreement, the communities would forgo their logging
rights in exchange for annual lease payments.
Although no agreement was ever established, this
experience still offers valuable insight into
conservation concessions.

Brazil: Redistributing federal taxes for stewardship of protected areas

“ICMS ecolí³gico” is a tax-revenue
proportioning scheme in Brazil designed to
effectively protect land for the purpose of
improving water quality and biodiversity.
The project seeks to compensate counties and municipalities for their active stewardship in abstaining from unsustainable exploitation of protected areas. Historically, local communities had been reluctant to set aside these lands or effectively comply with restrictions on their use because it limited possibilities for revenue generation and economic growth.

Sustainable Resource Management in Malawi

The Lake Chilwa Wetland Project in Malawi attempts to prevent the overexploitation of Lake Chilwa’s
natural wealth and biodiversity. The project
developed community groups and institutions to sustainably manage the resources. As markets already existed locally for the lake’s natural products, the purpose was to insure the continuation of the resource extraction while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem.

Best Practices in Sustainable Finance

” 'Best Practices in Sustainable Finance' looks at 11 best practice institutions that are
internationally or nationally renowned for their social and environmental leadership. It also
profiles best practice initiatives of an additional 10 financial institutions to provide further information on the breadth and scope of sustainable finance as it is currently practiced."

Kala Oya River Basin: Where small irrigation tanks are not really small

This case study describes an exercise that was undertaken in the Kala Oya Basin of Sri Lanka to assess the livelihood and biodiversity values of traditional tank systems. The Kala Oya Basin has been identified by the government as the pilot river basin to plan and implement integrated river basin management approaches in Sri Lanka. By articulating tank values, the study had a particular focus on integrating downstream wetland values into upstream land use and water allocation decisions, and showing that upper catchment conservation and water allocation to traditional tank systems can yield high, and quantifiable, economic returns.

Livelihoods and CBNRM in Namibia: the findings of the WILD project.

This report presents the key findings of the Namibian Wildlife Integration for Livelihood Diversification (WILD) Project, which ran from September 2000 until October 2003. More generally, it analyses the livelihood implications of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programmes undertaken in Namibia over the last 10 years. It looks in detail at the communal area conservancies in Kunene and Caprivi Regions. As institutional structures, these conservancies also offer strong fora for development decision-making and action.

The CBNRM programme “promoted wildlife and tourism as land uses in communal areas and demonstrated the economic value of these resources to the national economy. The incomes generated through tourism (both consumptive and non-consumptive) for conservancies have been significant. In 2003, it was estimated that approximately N$14.5 million was generated by the conservancies. Approximately half of this income was earned by individual households in the form of wages from employment in the tourism sector. In a number of cases the collective revenues are being used for conservancy running costs and four conservancies Programme currently operating with little or no financial support from NACSO. In addition, six conservancies have formally distributed financial benefits to their members.

Tradable recharge rights in Coleambally Irrigation Area

This case study gives useful insights regarding the factors to consider when establishing a trading system. Members of the Australian CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems project review the scientific and social information and processes necessary to develop a cap and trade system that will give incentives to increase groundwater recharge, including: how to define, measure and allocate spatially variable irrigator recharge responsibilities, what institutional and organizational infrastructure must be developed including property right instruments as well as monitoring and policing, what trading and compliance considerations must be incorporated.

Watershed-Based Permitting Case Study: Permitting Approach Clean Water Services

Clean Water Services is a regional government agency within the state of Oregon that manages sewer lines, stormwater systems and wastewater treatment plants. They hold numerous permits for pollutant discharges to the Tualatin River where a TMDL has been completed. The case study walks through the steps of stakeholder outreach, watershed assessment, permitting and regulatory requirements, and development of water quality trading and other tools for their combined discharges to the river.

Rahr Malting Company, Watershed Based Permitting

This short update states that Rahr Malting Company successfully created phosphorous reductions through nonpoint source pollution reductions. The company exceeded its permit of 150 pounds of CBOD reductions per day by completing four trades resulting in 204 pounds of reductions per day.

Environmental Service 'Payments': Experiences, Constraints and Potential in The Philippines

This case study "reviews the form of incentives or rewards that have been provided to upland communities in a number of sites under different management leadership in the Philippines. It also discusses what the upland farmers have to do in return for these rewards. The goal of such a review is to evaluate what elements are present in these communities that will support an environmental reward system and in the process, assess the potential of the case study sites for inclusion in RUPES."