This Week In Forest Carbon: Firsts Around The World

A string of unprecedented projects took center stage in this edition, starting with Asia’s first community-based mosaic REDD+ project to receive dual validation from VCS and CCBA in Cambodia. The Peruvian Amazon also saw its first dual validation, facilitated by VCS and CCB Gold. Africa did not stay behind as a project in Ethiopia was awarded the first temporary CERs in the continent through the CDM.

A string of unprecedented projects took center stage in this edition, starting with Asia’s first community-based mosaic REDD+ project to receive dual validation from VCS and CCBA in Cambodia. The Peruvian Amazon also saw its first dual validation, facilitated by VCS and CCB Gold. Africa did not stay behind as a project in Ethiopia was awarded the first temporary CERs in the continent through the CDM.

This article was originally published in the Forest Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.

23 October 2012 | Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace is pleased to announce that on November 1, 2012, we will launch the most recent edition of the annual State of the Forest Carbon Markets report. The report, which details our latest findings on the state of forest carbon projects’ structure, standards, and finance, will be freely available on both the Ecosystem Marketplace and Forest Carbon Portal websites on and after this date.

We will also launch our findings at events celebrating the report’s release! RSVP to one of the events below to learn first-hand the results of our research that takes a look back at forest carbon offset transactions in 2011 – in the context of today’s market trends, presented by a panel of report authors and reputable market experts.

Our North American launch event will be hosted by Baker & McKenzie at their Washington DC offices, and our European launch event will be jointly hosted by Face the Future and Climate Change Capital. We hope you will be able to join Ecosystem Marketplace and hosts for an in-depth look at our findings.


North America: Europe:
Washington DC offices of Baker & McKenzie: 815 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20006

Time and Date:
November 1st, 2012 – 4:30-6:00 PM EDT
Panel presentation, followed by reception

via email to [email protected] or call +1 202 835 1661. RSVP no later than COB Tuesday, October 30th to secure your seat.

London offices of Climate Change Capital: 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2AQ

Time and Date:
November 13th, 2012 – 4:30-6:00 PM GMT; Panel presentation, followed by reception

via email to [email protected] or call +1 202 298 3009. RSVP no later than COB November 9th to secure your seat.

Please provide full contact information including full name, company, title, address, and telephone number. If you would like to bring a guest, please also include their details.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the organizations that enable us to make this report and our ongoing research available at no cost to readers worldwide. This year’s report received support from our Premium Sponsor, the Code REDD Campaign; sponsors Face the Future, Kinship Conservation Fellows, the Law Offices of Baker & McKenzie and the UK Forestry Commission, and additional support from Conservation International and Astrium Services.


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—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at [email protected].



Project Development  

Cambodian communities: certification champs

Implemented by the Forestry Administration of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Pact, Terra Global Capital, Children’s Development Association and the communities of the Oddar Meanchey province, the Oddar Meanchey REDD+ project in Cambodia has become the first community-based mosaic REDD+ project in Asia to receive dual validation from VCS and CCB. The project also stands as the first VCS REDD+ project in which the  host country government  is a project proponent. The project, which aims to address drivers of deforestation while improving livelihoods, spans 13 Community Forestry Groups, nearly 8,000 households and 65,000 ha. The project is receiving financial support from the Clinton Foundation, UNDP, Terra Global and Pact, and expects to receive VCS and CCB verification by the end 2012.  



Peru goes for the gold

The Madre de Dios Amazon REDD Project in Peru has become the first REDD project in the  Peruvian Amazon  to receive dual validation from VCS and CCB Gold. The 100,000 ha project has also been verified by VCS and is expected to produce approximately 9.46 million carbon credits in the span of 10 years. To provide a guarantee of the quality of the credits being generated, the project is being managed following FSC Certification, and the project itself is registered in the Markit Environmental Registry Platform for transparency. The project is being developed by Greenoxx and receiving support from international NGOs including WWF, CESVI, ProNaturaleza and Aider.  



Offset plus partners

A new partnership between ClimateCare and the Woodland Trust will aim to assist UK companies in generating quality Corporate Social Responsibility programs that include both domestic and international climate change initiatives. The partnership will allow companies to offset their carbon emissions by buying “Offset-PLUS”, a product that merges offsetting approaches through VERs and a contribution to the Woodland Trust.  Contributions to the Woodland Trust will be used to fund projects that create new woodland in the UK and meet the UK Government-supported Woodland Carbon Code requirements.



Ethiopia gets credit for its temporary credits

Last week, the Humbo Assisted Natural Regeneration project, managed by World Vision Ethiopia in conjunction with the Government of Ethiopia and World Vision Australia, was awarded  Africa’s first temporary CERs  (tCERs) through the CDM – totaling 73,000. The project is the first of its kind in Ethiopia using farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) techniques to generate carbon credits, targeting both mitigation and adaptation goals. The World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund purchased the credits, the proceeds from which are being reinvested in productive, community-driven activities like beekeeping, livestock husbandry, and the construction of a flour mill and grain storage facility.



Wanganui wants to wait

After making harvesting profits in the millions from 1066 forested ha in the last 15 years, the New Zealand district of Wanganui is considering the possibility of selling their previously registered carbon credits in New Zealand’s ETS. The first allocation of credits was received in October 2011; however, no credits have been sold given the  price drop  the market has been experiencing. The Wanganui District Council, which holds 97% of the forestry holdings, has established they will consider selling their credits if prices increase to around USD$12.



National Strategy & Capacity  

To block or not to block

In response to allegations that low New Zealand prices – driven partly by low international carbon credit prices – are leading to a decrease in forestry plantations in NZ, Infometrics consultant Adolf Stroombergen comments that the low prices are likely not the main factor discouraging farmers from establishing plantations. In a letter to the Prime Minister, a group of forestry executives asked for a block on the sale of  international carbon credits  in New Zealand, blaming the sale of these cheaper credits for low new plantation numbers, which have gone from approximately 90,000 ha in the mid-1990s to around 0 ha in 2008. Stroombergen agrees the block of international carbon credits could help plantation figures, but questions its agreement with the principle of an international carbon market.



Not REDD-y

Despite being one of the pioneering REDD countries, Vietnam may not be sufficiently prepared to implement the scheme yet, according to experts present at a recent workshop on a UN-REDD project.  Vietnam’s UN-REDD programme  figure head Nguyen Truc Bong Son cited several reasons for this conclusion, including the lack of engagement of local authorities and local expertise. An official from the Vietnam Administration of Forestry also cited the poor quality of awareness raising activities, which may complement additional comments regarding the confusion of REDD objectives in policy and the uncertainty of the international REDD agenda. Engagement of the private sector was also cited as an area that needs to be improved.



Norway’s pro-REDD budget

Norway’s draft budget shows that the country is planning on increasing its carbon tax on the oil industry by $35.30/tonne next year, nearly doubling the rate. The proposed budget also includes an $8.76/tonne tax on emissions from the fishing sector, a $1.75 billion fund to promote reductions in GHG and renewable energy, an allocation of $525 million to support developing countries protect tropical forests and an allotment of $110 million to buy emissions credits. Norway has been a global leader in setting  high emissions reductions goals  for itself and providing funds to lower emissions in other areas, particularly developing countries, as well.



Kalimantan’s palm oil epidemic

According to a recent publication from Stanford and Yale in Nature Climate Change, palm-oil plantations are increasingly  encroaching  on forested areas in Kalimantan, leaving the Indonesian island more vulnerable to droughts, fires and floods and emitting more carbon. The study shows a 35-fold increase in palm oil conversion across Kalimantan between 1990 and 2010, covering more than 12,000 m2. Of the land converted, 90% was forested land and almost half was tropical forest. The study estimates a palm oil plantation area of more than 36,000 m2 when all current palm oil leases are fulfilled and more than 558 MtCO2 by 2020, which is equivalent to more than all of Canada’s fossil fuel emissions.



Finance & Economics

Germany: On the fast track with no REDD light

A recent report by the Berlin-based nonprofit Climate Analytics highlights Germany’s strengths and weaknesses during the two-year Fast-Start Finance implementation period. The study finds that even though Germany surpassed its overall FSF commitment, it failed to meet its  internal goals  in terms of REDD+ and adaptation financing. For REDD+, the target was set at roughly $453 million; however, less than 246 million were actually allocated. Climate Analytics analyst Marion Vieweg-Mersmann partly attributes the low level of funding allotment to the lack of clarity in assessing different financial sources and forms, such as grants and loans. Vieweg-Mersmann also mentions Germany struggled identifying effective ways to distribute both REDD+ and adaptation funds.



A REDD How-to

As private funding in REDD+ lags behind the amount needed to significantly reduce deforestation and forest degradation, CINCS’s Steve Shonts highlights points that could be improved upon in order to attract private sector  investors. Shonts stresses that the leading concern among investors in the lack of clarity on the potential payoffs and an established return on investments prior to making the investment. To help lessen these concerns, Shonts suggests producing a more standardized definition of a forest carbon offset and accounting principles, including financial structures and valuations that use GIS. All of these components should be part of a unified database that could also help investors compare projects, according to Shonts.



Methodology & Standards Watch  

JNR leaves the VCS nest  

Last week, VCS publicly released the heavily anticipated  first framework  for jurisdiction-wide REDD activities. The JNR requirements provide a comprehensive framework for accounting and crediting emissions reductions and removals from state, provincial, and national REDD+ policies and programs as well as individual REDD+ projects. The same day, VCS released the first requirements for crediting restoration and conservation activities across wetland ecosystems under the new VCS Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) project category, as well as updates to several Version 3 program documents. A  webinar  describing program updates will be held on October 25 at 11am EST.


Human Dimension

Two sides of the same REDD coin

With California’s upcoming cap-and-trade program and potential plans to allow REDD credits in the scheme, indigenous communities from Latin America that are against REDD+ are voicing their  opinions  this week in California – led by NGO Friends of the Earth – as they meet amongst themselves and with the state’s Air Resources Board. However, indigenous groups and NGOs in favor of the initiative along with those that have not decided where they stand are also voicing their opinions through  blogs, letters and other media outlets to clarify there are two sides to this debate. Read more on this Ecosystem Marketplace exclusive at the Forest Carbon Portal  here.




ACR opens the grass for discussion

ACR will be holding an open comment period for its Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands to Crop Production methodology until COB  November 16, 2012. The methodology estimates the avoided emissions when the conversion to crop production is prevented by using one of two Avoided Planned Conversion baseline scenarios: with an identified and unidentified conversion agent. The methodology was developed by Ducks Unlimited, TNC, The Climate Trust, EDF, and Terra Global Capital LLC.




Forest Carbon Specialist, Cambodia – Fauna & Flora International

Based in Phnom Penh, the specialist will provide technical specialist inputs to a suite of community carbon pool and REDD+ feasibility study projects in Cambodia and the wider region. Candidates should have an MSc or equivalent in a relevant field, with 4+ years’ experience in the field of climate change or related sector. Read more about the position  here.


Facilitator, Global Comparative Study on REDD+ – CIFOR  

Based in Bogor, Indonesia, the Facilitator will serve as a manager, facilitator and resource person for the Global Comparative Study on REDD+, this could include attending donor meetings, contributing to research proposals and engaging with a variety of partners and stakeholders. The candidate should have a master’s degree in a relevant discipline with 8 years’ experience, preferably in an international working environment. Read more about the position  here.  


3 Positions, US – Terra Global Capital, LLC

Based in Washington, DC, the  Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist  will monitor the program progress in terms of compliance of results, indicators and advice on programmatic adjustments. Candidates should have a master’s degree (PhD preferred) in environmental policy, environmental science, international relations, international development, agricultural development or economic development with 10+ years’ experience in monitoring and evaluation with a USAID project in environmental, natural resource or agricultural development. Based in San Francisco, the  AFOLU Carbon Project Reporting Specialist  will develop carbon feasibility reports, carbon project design documents and monitoring reports. Candidates should have a Bachelors of Science with 5+ years’ experience in applied natural sciences, such as forestry and ecology. Also based in San Francisco, the  AFOLU Carbon Development and Project Finance Specialist  will develop project leads, scope of work and proposals for AFOLU carbon development work. Candidates should have 5+ years’ education and/or work experience in the AFOLU sector and 3+ years’ work experience in a corporate setting.


Manager, Forest and Landscape Restoration – IUCN

Based in Washington, DC, the Manager will be responsible for the timely and quality delivery of the initiative’s key deliverables and outputs, and intellectual and strategic leadership to achieve the Bonn Challenge. Candidates should have a master’s degree in forestry, natural resources management, biodiversity conservation or other relevant discipline with 10+ years’ experience in developing, managing and implementing multi-stakeholder projects with defined objectives, deliverables, monitoring and evaluation of results, including a minimum of 4 years of experience working in Africa, Asia or Latin America. Read more about this position  here.  


Program Officer – TFT  

Based in Vietnam, the Program Officer will develop and implement strategies and work plans for advancing the production and availability of responsibly produced products from Vietnam. Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry, natural resource management, agriculture, economics, business, international development or a related field with 2+ years’ experience in project management, monitoring and evaluation, research or other relevant field. Read more about the position  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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