This Week in Forest Carbon: What do you think?

Ecosystem Marketplace is looking for your input as we compile data of this year’s State of the Forest Carbon Markets and State of Voluntary Carbon Markets.  This weeks Forest Carbon News will give you the details and, of course, provide a collection of the latest news from the world of Forest Carbon – including a call for concessions in Indonesia, a court case challenging California’s AB32 and the recent timeout for the EU ETS.

NOTE: This article has been reprinted from Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon newsletter. You can receive this summary of global news and views from the world of Forest Carbon automatically in your inbox by clicking here.

4 February 2011 | Ecosystem Marketplace is pleased to announce an open call for organizations to contribute data to the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2011 and State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011 reports.

In 2010, Ecosystem Marketplace published the first-ever State of the Forest Carbon Markets report, giving the first deep insights and fundamental market data for this rapidly growing and historically significant sector.   Over the past four years, Ecosystem Marketplace and Bloomberg New Energy Finance have produced the annual State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report – the only market-wide, freely available quantitative report on the voluntary carbon markets.

Both of these reports were quickly adopted as benchmarks in the carbon markets and are cited throughout the year by major news outlets, private- and public-sector decision makers, and other market players and observers.  

This year, we are combining and streamlining the survey efforts for these two landmark publications to collect 2010 market data for both reports.

If your organization supplied offsets to the voluntary market in 2010, we invite you to contribute data on the nature of these transactions. If your organization has developed forest carbon projects in either voluntary or compliance markets, we also invite you to participate.  

Sharing your data can benefit your organization at several levels:

  • Exposure: Organizations that share 2010 volume data can choose to be listed in the back of the final report (with weblink) as well as Ecosystem Marketplace and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s online directories/catalogs. Each forest project also has the opportunity to be featured with a profile on the Forest Carbon Portal’s international Project Inventory.

  • Credibility: Following the report’s publication, data providers can elect to receive an electronic “seal of transparency” logo to display on their website or other communication materials for one year.

  • Effectiveness: Sharing your data ensures this report adequately represents the voluntary and forest carbon marketplaces, providing critical transparency and bolstering the validity and functioning of the markets in which you participate.

  • Experience: Through our survey, obtain a useful benchmark of your organization’s performance and growth in the voluntary carbon markets – and see how it measures up in the final report.

While names of eligible organizations will be (optionally) listed, all other information remains confidential. Company-specific data that is not currently publicly available (including prices and volumes) will only be reported at an aggregate, regional level or with permission. Individual names and contact information will not be published or given out to third parties without prior permission.

The survey deadline for both reports is February 14, 2011 – please complete the online form by this date. A PDF copy of the survey is available for download from the survey landing page to help you collect and prepare all relevant information before completing the survey online.

Access the surveys HERE. We appreciate your assistance and look forward to working with you.

If you have any queries about confidentiality, content, or forest carbon report sponsorship contact David Diaz (202-298-3006). For questions regarding the forest report, including voluntary carbon report sponsorship please contact Molly Peters-Stanley (202-298-3005).

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

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


International policy

Another EU-ETS Timeout

Last week, the European Commission suspended spot trading of emissions permits on the EU-ETS until at least February 7. A recent electronic heist of $38 million in credits shows what happens when 27 state registries are slow to update IT security measures to protect carbon permit ownership. Read the initial coverage of the suspension from news from the New York Times here and WSJ’s report on the continued closure here. Read Ecosystem Marketplace’s Steve Zwick’s article uncovering how the heist was carried out and who will take the financial hit here.

CBD sees conservation promise in REDD

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has asked for submissions of views and ideas on REDD safeguards and to identify indicators that could assess the contribution of REDD+ in achieving the aims of the CBD. The CBD made integrating biodiversity objectives with other climate-change objectives a goal at the COP10 summit in Nagoya last year. Read about the announcement here.

Let’s Get Together

The FAO and the Coalition of Rainforest Nations have signed an agreement to work together in building capacity in developing forest nations. The creation of national inventory systems, as well as monitoring, reporting and verification systems, are a necessary component of REDD and REDD+ implementation. Read more about the agreement from the FAO’s website here.


US Policy

Judge dREDD

A judge in San Francisco has issued a proposed ruling that may place the implementation of California’s cap-and-trade plan – reaffirmed by popular vote this past November – in jeopardy because the regulatory agency charged with approving the policy may have moved forward before a full review of alternatives required by law had been completed. Read more about the tentative ruling from the Legal Planet Environmental Law and Policy Blog here.


Project Development

Many Rivers to Cross

REDD initiatives across Nigeria are on the rise. While the Cross Rivers state project has received most of the attention so far, four other parks are also now being assessed by two Nigerian NGOs. Protected areas are planned for the Omo-Oluwa-Shasha and Kurmi Forests, with the Canadian International Development Agency and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation footing the bill. Read more from Nigeria’s Daily Independent about Cross Rivers here, and about the expanding portfolio of REDD projects here.

National strategy and capacity

Last Call for Forest Concessions?

Greenomics, an Indonesian forest watchdog, has reported that on December 31 the Indonesian Minister of Forestry issued a decree giving 44 companies logging licenses. Opening up nearly 3 million hectares of forest for development–1 million from natural forests–the deal seems to directly undercut the $1 billion REDD agreement Indonesia entered with Norway in which a two-year ban on forest concessions was supposed to start on Jan 1, 2011. See coverage of the midnight deal inked by the Forest Minister from Mongabay here.

Is Ecuador Left with “Drill, Baby, Drill?”

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has been hoping for $3.6 billion to hold off on drilling beneath the Yasuní­ Biosphere Reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In exchange for not digging up about 850 million barrels of crude oil, Correa issued a call for funds last year, but the pledges aren’t exactly rolling in. Read about the struggling effort to keep oil underneath the reserve in Nature here.

Carbon Markets Gaining in China’s Provinces

As China’s central government looks to implement regional plans to meet carbon intensity targets, several provincial governments with heavy industry are lobbying Beijing for approval to create emissions trading schemes to help their provinces meet reduction targets. They are joined by other provinces looking to capitalize on emissions trading by providing carbon credits. Read more about provincial efforts for an ETS and speculation about Beijing’s reaction in Reuters here.

Controversial Plan to Privatize England’s Forests

Proposing the sale of 150-year leases – mostly to commercial growers – over state-owned land, the UK Forestry Commission added fuel to a fiery controversy, when an impact assessment(PDF) it produced with DEFRA concluded that the government would actually lose £20M over 20 years due to the policy. Arguing private sector and conservation forestry might be more efficient than the Commission, which manages and regulates the nation’s forests, PM David Cameron is struggling to convince other lawmakers the plan is a winner. Read more about the tangled forest policy from the Guardian here.

Vietnam’s Forests: A Growing Success?

Unlike in many other parts of the world, forest cover in Vietnam has been trending upward over the past several years. Norway recently pledged $100 million in aid to help develop forest conservation in Vietnam and the government is working to build a successful program in order to attract more investment. Vietnamese forest stakeholders met last week to discuss plans for how the country can maintain its momentum. Read more about Vietnam’s efforts from Viet Nam News here.

An Outstretched Hand from Asia Pulp & Paper?

With the International Year of Forests coming into full swing, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has started a broad PR campaign preaching the benefits of plantation forestry. However, not everybody is joining the congregation. Does plantation development for pulp and paper among the rainforests of the world really alleviate poverty or environmental degradation? Read what Mongabay’s Rhett Butler has to say about the question regarding the Indonesian example here.


Methodology and Standards Watch

VCS to Change Name to… VCS

Starting March 11 the Voluntary Carbon Standard will reinvent itself as the Verified Carbon Standard. Intended by the Board to “emphasize… trust in VCS quality assurance,” the name change will have no impact on the VCS program or credits that have already been issued, but we’re thinking the removal of the word “voluntary” signals grander ambitions for the use of the standard moving forward. Read about the name change from VCS here(PDF).

Publication and Tools

Move Over, Year of the Rabbit

The UN’s International Year of Forests is already kicking into gear, with the FAO releasing the State of the World’s Forests 2011 report.” href=””>State of the World’s Forests 2011 report. The report stresses that sustainable forestry can contribute to, and actually promote, a “greener economy”, and goes to lengths to assert the necessity of taking into account local concerns when pursuing REDD programs. And while REDD is drawing positive attention and funding to the role of forests in climate change mitigation, governments need to be aware of the role of forests regardless of potential opportunities from REDD. Read the press release and pick up the report here.

REDD Reality Check

Scientists presenting the new International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ report at the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests last week urged a shift away from “top-down” forest conservation policies. The assessment concludes current programs ignore the interests of indigenous populations and have encouraged “land-grabbing” by governments and profit-seekers. In contrast, the report praised the global crackdown on illegal logging. View the press release. View the press release here, and download the full report here(PDF). Read coverage from AFP here.

Carbon Management Review

Carbon Management has published a review for ecologists, land managers and policy makers covering forest sector carbon management, measurement and verification, as well as policy related to climate change mitigation and the adaptation of forests. The review focuses on measurement of carbon sequestration of ecosystems at the international, regional and local scale and the necessity of accounting for bioenergy emissions. Access the report here.


Are you looking for a job as a fund manager for AFOLU investments or working with the European Forest Institute as a financial officer in Finland? Our friends out at The Climate Trust in Portland Oregon are also looking for a new Program Manager to oversee some of their offset purchases. Learn about these and other job opportunities at Forest Carbon Portal’s Jobs page, where you can also post your own job listings


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 [email protected].

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