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E-News Issue 13 May 2009

Africa’s Biocarbon is key to mitigating climate change and benefiting millions of smallholder farmers

At COP 15 in Copenhagen, nations are expected to agree on a post-Kyoto climate regime that is likely to include REDD-Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. However, REDD alone is unlikely to succeed without taking a whole landscape approach.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) offers a great opportunity for Africa to contribute to climate change mitigation and help millions of smallholder farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), supported by the World Agroforestry Centre, is promoting the Africa Biocarbon Initiative, a whole-landscape approach for carbon management in African landscapes. To promote this perspective, the World Agroforestry Centre has released two new policy briefs.

The Case for investing in Africa's BiocarbonPolicy Brief 4 - The Case for Investing in Africa’s Biocarbon Potential
lays out the technical case for taking a whole-landscape approach to reducing emissions and increasing carbon stocks. The brief makes recommendations for African ministers, international climate change negotiators, international carbon markets and developed countries to take steps towards reducing emissions and increasing carbon stocks in agricultural landscapes.

Policy Brief 5 - Africa’s Biocarbon Interests - Perspectives for a new climate change deal
calls on the international climate change community, and African negotiators in particular, to urgently consider the significant potential of African countries to contribute to and benefit from land-based climate change mitigation efforts. It outlines specific next steps for the upcoming climate change negotiations in Bonn in June 2009 and Copenhagen in December 2009, and outlines a vision for a post-2012 climate change agreement that includes agricultural landscapes and benefits Africa.


REDD and Agriculture in the draft negotiating text for new climate change agreement

The Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) has released draft negotiating text which aims to provide a starting point for the negotiations at the sixth session of the group in June in Bonn. The text reflects ideas and proposals by Parties, based on the most recent submissions from Parties received up to 5 May 2009. The draft text includes a number of proposals related to reducing emissions and increasing carbon stocks in agriculture. Click here to read a summary of these proposals

The UNFCCC has also  posted draft negotiating texts based on proposals from the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further commitments for Annex I Parties, which has some implications for  REDD and reduced emissions from agriculture in a future climate regime.  Click to read our summary.

Ecosystem Marketplace tracks Trees on the way to Copenhagen

The Katoomba Group’s Ecosystem Marketplace has posted a guide to the best coverage of the REDD debate so far, on the road to the Copenhagen climate change conference this December. The summary covers topics such as Financing, LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry), Indigenous Rights, and links to good sources for up-to-date information.  Read more...

Kenyan villagers to test out UN-ICRAF carbon benefits project

Villagers in western Kenya are the latest participants in a project carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Agroforestry Centre and  its partners to calculate how much carbon can be stored in trees and soils when the land is managed in sustainable, climate-friendly ways. Read more...

Summary of proposed US Climate Change bill, with reference to Avoided Deforestation
In the United States, policymakers are considering the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, a draft comprehensive energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction bill, put forward by Chairmen Markey and Waxman. The World Resources Institute has released a summary of the key points in the Waxman-Markey Discussion Draft. Click to read the key points relating to forestry and reducing emissions from deforestation in the tropics


Tenure in REDD - Start point or Afterthought?
A new publication by Lorenzo Cotula and James Mayers of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) focusses on the importance of land tenure to the design of REDD mechanisms. Read more...

Opportunities and Events

Hiring: Climate Change Scientist - World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
The World Agroforestry Centre seeks to recruit a world-class scientist to conduct research contributing to its Global Research Project (GRP) on Climate Change. Responsibilities include contributing to a tool box for carbon sequestration project design and guidelines for REDD/AFoLU that will benefit small farmers and local communities. Read more

Hiring: Research Scientist, Global Research Project Leader - World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is recruiting an experienced research scientist to lead its work on policies, institutions and incentives for enhancing the multi-functionality of rural landscapes in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The position is based at ICRAF’S headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Read more

Forest Governance, Tenure and Enterprise: Opportunities for Livelihoods and Wealth in Central and West Africa Yaoundé, Cameroon May 25-29 Read more...

The Need to Include Agriculture and Land Use in Climate Change agreements - IFPRI Panel Discussion Washington DC, 28 May 2009 Read more

Towards a rights-based agenda in international forestry? Berkeley, California 29 May 2009  Read more...

World Congress of Agroforestry Nairobi, Kenya 23-28 August 2009 Read more...

2009 World Forestry Congress Buenos Aires, Argentina 18-25 October 2009 Read more...


Andrew Mitchell, founder and director of the Global Canopy Programme:
I believe the credit crunch, climate change, and consumer appetites are creating a crucial tipping point in this historical debate, which will determine how the world’s political process deals with the erosion one of the greatest natural capital assets on Earth.
Source: BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | In search of rainforests’ El Dorado.
Opportunities and Events
Edited by: Vanessa Meadu.
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