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E-News Issue 17 April 2010

ASB Global Coordinator's Message

learning by doingLearning by doing: practical approaches to REDD-plus

Despite the virtual failure of the Copenhagen UN climate conference to come to a global agreement, the discussion on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD-plus) has continued with force. The current focus appears to be on helping developing countries get ready for REDD-plus technically, politically and institutionally. So how can we most effectively build REDD-plus capacity? ASB strongly believes in learning by doing. Demonstration projects can be the most powerful tool to develop the technical know-how and attract the political buy-in needed to implement a national-level REDD-plus programme. 

Read the full commentary....

News from the ASB Partnership

African scientists get their boots dirty to learn about REDD

Based on the principle that the best way to learn is through practical experience, the World Agroforestry Centre brought a group of scientists to the Rukinga REDD project in southeastern Kenya last week, as part of a science meeting of the Africa Biocarbon Initiative. Read about the field trip and key lessons for REDD-plus implementation.

Scientists gather to discuss how to improve Africa’s participation in global carbon markets 

Scientists from 14 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa gathered for a 3-day workshop to address the role of sustainable agriculture, forestry and agroforestry in the fight against climate change. The workshop focussed on determining research priorities and next steps for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) and agriculture in the region. The workshop was co-hosted by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the World Agroforestry Centre. Read more...

ASB and partners convene REDD workshops in Africa and Asia 

 Workshops for developing countries working to reduce emissions from deforestation and land use change were held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1-3 March 2010, and Hue City, Viet Nam, from 8-10 March 2010. The workshops were hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins (ASB), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The workshops follow previous meetings in 2009 on “REDD at the Copenhagen Climate Talks and Beyond- Bridging the Gap between Negotiations and Actions.” Read the full story.

Climate research in Vietnam receives a boost

“What we need from the World Agroforestry Centre is the scientific basis. Our people need the scientists to work beside them,”  said Mrs Pham Minh Thoa, newly appointed Director General of Vietnam’s Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation, during a visit to the World Agroforestry Centre in March 2010.  Read the full story.

More News and Opinions

Good news for African Forest Carbon initiatives 

After lagging behind Asia and Latin America, Africa can finally boast of its first large-scale forestry project to be registered under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. Meanwhile, Standard Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme and the German Government’s International Climate Initiative, have jointly launched the Africa Carbon Asset Development (ACAD) Facility. Read more...

IFAD Highlights the Challenges for Rural Development Posed by Climate Change

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has released a factsheet titled “Climate Change: a development challenge,” which calls for carbon trading schemes to include mechanisms to compensate the rural poor, and for policy makers to incentivize carbon sequestration and soil and water conservation. The note also outlines IFAD’s efforts to streamline climate change adaptation and mitigation into its programmes. It further describes: a biogas project in China; a World Agroforestry Centre programme for developing mechanisms to Reward the Upland Poor of Asia for Environmental Services (RUPES); an adaptation project in Peru; and partnerships on climate change between IFAD and other international organizations. Download the factsheet. (PDF)

FAO analysis of Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change post-Copenhagen

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has posted an information note on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in the Post-Copenhagen process. The note summarizes progress made during UNFCCC COP15 on inclusion of agriculture in developing countries under a future climate deal. In particular, it details how agriculture has emerged as an important part of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) in developing countries. Read more (PDF).

REDD-NET briefing on REDD-plus after Copenhagen

This summary considers the outcome of the COP15 negotiations, focusing on the status of the REDD-plus provisions and what they may mean in terms of the socio-economic implications of REDD-plus and the effective implementation of activities on the ground. Click to access the briefing (PDF).

REDD-plus facilitator Tony La Viņa suggests ways forward after Copenhagen
The Foundation for Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) shares new perspectives on the way forward after the UN Climate change meeting in Copenhagen from Tony La Viņa,  Dean at the Ateneo School of Government; Lead negotiator, Philippines and Facilitator, REDD+ negotiations in the LCA process. La Viņa identifies five key lessons, including tradeoffs between efficiency and transparency; social accountability; priorities for decisionmakers; and the case for a disaggregated approach to negotiations. Read the full article here.

Publications and Resources

Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 

The world’s net rate of forest loss has slowed markedly in the last decade, with less logging in the Amazon and China planting trees on a grand scale. Yet forests continue to be lost at “an alarming rate” in some countries, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Read more....

Indigenous Lands, Protected Areas, and Slowing Climate Change

Forest protection offers one of the most effective, practical, and immediate strategies to combat climate change. Ricketts TH, Soares-Filho B, da Fonseca GAB, Nepstad D, Pfaff A, et al. (2010) Indigenous Lands, Protected Areas, and Slowing Climate Change. PLoS Biol 8(3): e1000331. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000331

A Global Overview of Readiness for REDD 

The Woods Hole Research Center, as secretariat for the Forum on Readiness for REDD, has published information on readiness activities in developing countries, as a way to highlight potential gaps and synergies and encourage collaboration and partnerships in all facets of readiness efforts. Click to download the report (PDF).

Carbon Finance Possibilities for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Projects in a Smallholder Context 

A new FAO report  report catalogues current funding and financing opportunities  for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) projects in a smallholder context, as well as practical steps for project development, including accounting and validation. Read more...

Preserving the World’s Tropical Forests—A Price on Carbon May Not Do

Palm oil bioenergy production, which is driving deforestation in Indonesia, is likely to remain highly profitable, even in the fact of a price on the carbon emissions from forest clearing.  Martin Persson and Christian Azar (2010) “Preserving the World’s Tropical Forests—A Price on Carbon May Not Do“, Environmental Science and Technology, 2010, 44 (1), pp 210–215, DOI: 10.1021/es902629x.

State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2009 

Companies that rescue and restore forests to earn money by capturing carbon in trees likely expanded their operations in 2009, despite the global recession and regulatory uncertainty, capping three years of accelerating growth, according to the first-ever global survey of emerging markets in forest carbon. Read more...

Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century 

DeFries, Ruth S.; Rudel, Thomas; Uriarte, Maria; Hansen, Matthew. 2010. Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century. Nature Geoscience. 3, 178 – 181 (2010). doi:10.1038/ngeo756

Legal Frameworks for REDD: Design and Implementation at the National Level 

IUCN Environmental Law Centre has completed a comprehensive study on national legal frameworks for REDD in conjunction with partner international and national REDD legal experts. Download: IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper No. 77 (PDF). 

The financial costs of REDD : Evidence from Brazil and Indonesia 

An IUCN  review of empirical data from Brazil and Indonesia suggests that REDD may, in many areas, provide a cost-effective climate mitigation option, with estimated costs lying in a range of US$ 2-10 per ton of CO2e. Read more...

Forests and Climate Change Toolbox 

The Forest and Climate Change Toolbox has been developed by scientists from the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and other ASB collaborators. The objective is to build understanding and technical proficiency on issues of climate change and forests including mitigation, adaptation, carbon accounting and markets, and biofuels. Read more...

Opportunities and Events 

Identification of Agricultural Mitigation Projects in Developing Countries

The FAO wants to 
identify  existing agricultural mitigation projects  in developing countries (including agroforestry).  Read about this research and on submitting information.

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
14-18 April, Washington DC, USA

ASB Scientists will be presenting research related to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, and applying remote sensing for REDD. Read more about the conference...

Forestry Carbon Markets & REDD
10-11, June 2010,
Washington DC, USA

GreenPower’s Forestry Carbon Markets & REDD  Conference will bring  investors together with  regulators and every other link in the REDD value chain to move the market forward and realize the potential of the forestry carbon markets in the USA and beyond.

Tropical biodiversity: surviving the food, energy and climate crisis
19-23 July 2010, Bali, Indonesia  

The 2010 International meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. Read more...

Land Systems, global change and sustainability
17-19 October 2010, Arizona USA

The Global Land Project (GLP) is pleased to announce the GLP 2010 Open Science Meeting. Read more...

Call for submissions - Sustaining Commons: Sustaining our Future
10-14 January 2011, Hyderabad, India 

The 13th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) provides a unique opportunity to resurface the discussion and debate on Commons and bring experience and evidence from across the world to show that Commons are not a relic of the past, but play a strategic role in maintaining ecological health, reducing poverty, and improving collective action. Accepting submissions until April 15. Read more...

News from the ASB Partnership

More news and opinions 
Publications and Resources
Opportunities and Events

Edited by: Vanessa Meadu.

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