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E-News Issue 2 April 2008

Global Coordinator's Message

ASB’s climate change dividend

ASB’s immediate past and current Global Coordinators are both economists.  It is therefore of little surprise that we see ASB in terms of investments, assets and dividends.  Past investments have already generated substantial dividends:  dividends measured in terms of contributions to knowledge, enhancement of capacity and skills, and influence over practice, governance and policy

A new global market for ASB outputs has rapidly expanded over the last 18 months: the market for information on how to reduce emissions from deforestation in the tropical forest margins while sustaining livelihoods and key environmental services.  In 2007, the ASB partnership responded to this market with a special policy focus on Avoided Deforestation with Sustainable Benefits.  The recent UNFCCC decision on REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries) serves to further expand this market niche.

At its December 2007 meeting, the ASB Global Steering Group agreed that the ASB Partnership should extend and expand this production line through the aggressive pursuit of two related objectives: 

  1. Evaluate options for addressing climate change in agriculture – forest landscapes in the humid tropics for improving incomes of rural households, strengthening community engagement and maintaining essential environmental services… and
  2. Proactively provide information on those options to influence relevant policy and programme design processes.

ASB’s approach to address these objectives will be to make full use of the existing ASB portfolio of assets – knowledge, tools, databases, partnerships, networks, approaches – and make the marginal investments in collaborative research and communication needed to generate higher and sustained dividends.  We see our investment in the ASB e-newsletter as a way to generate a multiplier effect on those dividends. 


Brent Swallow
ASB Global Coordinator, Nairobi


National-level activities by ASB partners
ASB partners are participating in two important national-level activities.  One is a presentation on biodiversity and REDD that IITA scientist Denis Sonwa made to the National Assembly of Cameroon on April 7th. The presentation and speech (in French) can be downloaded at the links below. Secondly, ICRAF – ASB Indonesia will be hosting a workshop on shifting cultivation and REDD that will be held on April 17-18th in Bogor, Indonesia. The seminar aims to help policy makers, local authorities, NGOs, scientists, and other relevant institutions get an appropriate policy, program, research, planning, and management for Swidden agriculture in Indonesia. For more information please contact Retno Setyowati.

Speech - La biodiversité et la réduction des émissions de CO2 par la déforestation et la dégradation évitées
Biodiversity and the reduction of the Emissions due to deforestation : The case of Cameroon

Next steps for the REDD debate
As scientists and policy-makers prepare for the next round of climate change discussions in Bonn this June, Nature magazine has analyzed in-depth some of the major proposals for mechanisms for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries (REDD).

Source: Save the Trees. Nature. 5 March 2008.

Smoke particles may be major contributor to climate change
Scientists find black carbon, a key component of soot, to be the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide. Black carbon absorbs solar radiation, warming the atmosphere. The researchers calculated this warming effect as 0.9 watts per square metre, second to carbon dioxide's value of 1.66 per square metre. Black carbon comes from sources such as burning grasslands and rainforests, diesel emissions, and cooking fires.

Full story:
Study Fingers Soot as a Major Player in Global Warming. Science. 28 March 2008.
Black carbon climate danger 'underestimated' SciDevNet. 3 April 2008.
Global and Regional Changes due to black carbon. Nature Geoscience. 23 March 2008

Barcodes to stop illegal logging in Liberia
A groundbreaking computerised forest-protection system is up and running to control illegal logging in Liberia. A system has been set up to track all of Liberia's timber, and future forestry concessionaires will be obliged to attach a bar code to each tree they fell so that the amount of wood harvested can be tracked.

Source: Protected by Bars. The Economist. 6 March 2008.

Environment – development tradeoffs a multi-million $ question in Yunnan
In Yunnan, China, rubber plantations and hydroelectric dams are conflicting with conservation and biodiversity initiatives, which plan to expand nature reserves in northwestern Yunnan, reforest degraded land, and fund research on energy and environmental protection.

Source: Showdown Looms Over a Biological Treasure Trove Science. 21 March 2008.

Airborne Bacteria Make It Rain
A study released in Science finds that microbes play a powerful role in producing rain and snow. The findings raise the question of how climate change and human activities will affect bacterial balances in the sky. More immediately, they're a starting point for research on bacterial contributions to cloud formation and precipitation.

Full story: Airborne Bacteria Make It Rain, Researchers Find. Wired. 29 February 2008.
Source: Ubiquity of Biological Ice Nucleators in Snowfall. Science. 29 February 2008.

UN: reversing deforestation in Asia-Pacific is “critical”
The Asia-Pacific region needs to take the lead in mitigating and adapting to the global threat posed by climate change, both in international negotiations and in the application of new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) reports in its latest regional survey.

Source: Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific, 2008. UNESCAP. March 2008.

Funding available for African Climate Change Adaptation Delegates
The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa Research and Capacity Development Programme (CCAA) of IDRC is offering financial assistance for meetings on adaptation to climate change. Institutions may solicit CCAA’s support for Africa attendance to meetings or conferences in order to strengthen their capacity to contribute to climate change adaptation in Africa. The deadline for applications is 15 April 2008.

More information:


Generating carbon finance through avoided deforestation and its potential to create climatic, conservation and human development benefits
J. Ebeling, M. Yasué, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 27 May 2008.
Click for more

The implications of carbon financing for pro-poor community forestry
C. Luttrell, K. Schreckenberg, L. Pe, Overseas Development Institute. December 2007.
Click for more

Reducing Deforestation and Trading Emissions: Economic Implications for the Post-Kyoto Carbon Market
N. Anger and J. Sathaye. ZEW (Centre for European Economic Research). Discussion Paper No. 08-016.
Click for more

Trees and Water: Smallholder Agroforestry on Irrigated Lands in Northern India
R.J. Zomer, D.A. Bossio, A.Trabucco, L. Yuanjie, D.C. Gupta and V.P. Singh
International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Research Report 122. 2007.
Click for more

Global-scale mapping of economic benefits from agricultural lands: Implications for conservation priorities
R. Naidoo and T. Iwamura. Biological Conservation. Nov. 2007.
Click for more
Plus: Global agricultural opportunity cost layer dataset is now online.

Carbon market opportunities for the forestry sector of Africa
SM. Walker, T. Pearson, P. Munishi, and S. Petrova. Winrock International. February 2008.
Click for more


Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, 21-26 April 2008, in Hanoi Vietnam
An opportunity for various stakeholders and forest managers to interact, share perspectives, and collectively seek solutions to some of the most challenging issues facing forests and forestry today. For more information and registration click here

Forest Day Central Africa, 24 April 2008, in Yaoundé, Cameroon
CIFOR is organizing Forest Day to help shape the debate on forests and climate change in Central Africa. Speakers representing a broad range of forest stakeholders will present and discuss prominent forest issues central to the climate change debate. Presentations, discussions and debates will center on forest's role in climate change mitigation, with specific focus on REDD in Central Africa. For more information and registration click here

International Expert Meeting on Addressing Climate Change through Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests, 30 April - 2 May 2008, Yokohama, Japan
The International Tropical Timber Organization is convening an expert meeting to clarify and illustrate the role of ITTO in climate change adaptation and mitigation in relation to tropical forests and to assist members in formulating and implementing an integrated forest-sector response to climate change. For more information and registration click here

International Society for Ecological Economics Biennial Conference, 9-11 August in Nairobi, Kenya
The conference will highlight the vision, methods and policy adjustments needed for ecological economics principles to be applied to the design and management of environmentally and socially sustainable development processes. For more information, click here

Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Changing Climate, 25-28 August in 2008 in Umea, Sweden.
Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Changing Climate with Emphasis on Forest Health: A Review of Science, Policies, and Practices is convened by IUFRO-FAO-SLU. The conference will include a Special Session on “Tropical Forest Management and Climate Change Adaptation” with papers on the biophysical/silvicultural, social, institutional, and economic aspects of tropical forest management (natural and planted stands) in the context of global climate change. More details and instructions for submission of abstracts are found at the Conference webpage: Please submit your abstracts by e-mail to Deadline for submission of abstracts: 20 April 2008.




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