Forest Carbon News - February 3, 2015

 

 
 
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  Ecosystem Marketplace, Marketplace Mitigation Mail

February 3, 2015    

From the Editors

The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon

Now that you've watched the New England Patriots defeat the Seattle Seahawks in a thriller of a Super Bowl – and the tears stop flowing in the Emerald City over that inexplicable last play call –  it's nearly time to move on to something slightly less heart rate-raising: Ecosystem Marketplace's annual carbon markets survey. 

 

We know filling out our survey may not be as entertaining as placing bets on Katy Perry's halftime hair color. But the survey is the crucial source of information for Ecosystem Marketplace's much-lauded State of the Forest Carbon Markets report. The EM team will soon circulate the survey to project developers to seek information on 2014 transactions. You may remember that in last year's report , Ecosystem Marketplace found that buyers have surpassed the $1 billion threshold for forest-based emissions reductions – an impressive number to be sure, but one that falls far short of what experts say is needed to thwart the deforestation contributing to our changing climate.

 

Aside from our traditional State of report, Ecosystem Marketplace is excited to convey our plans to produce new research exploring the "beyond carbon" benefits of forest carbon projects – impacts such as job creation, land tenure reform, endangered species protection, climate change adaptation, and watershed protection. We'll assess the demand for these co-benefits and document emerging efforts to verify and track them over time.

 

And as Ecosystem Marketplace looks towards our 10th birthday in 2015, we're launching "Gen A" – our secret code name for the next generation of our initiative. Since 2010, our specialized web portals – EcosystemMarketplace.com, ForestCarbonPortal.com, and reddx.forest-trends.org (tracking expenditures to avoid deforestation) – have been viewed by over 1 million unique users. Gen A will bring it all together. We imagine a new, GIS-based decision support tool that overlays our data on forests, cookstoves, biodiversity and water markets in a way that will allow project developers and funders to query investable opportunities.

 

But this critical, thought-provoking work will only be possible with the financial support of our loyal and eager audiences. Sponsors benefit from exposure – logo placement on reports that are downloaded tens of thousands of times and shout-outs in this news brief – as well as further insight into our findings through tailored briefings. And that's not to mention influence: Ecosystem Marketplace's reports have been cited in the development of emerging carbon pricing programs from South Africa to South Korea, and supporting our research is a good opportunity to influence these discussions.

 

If you would like to learn more about potential sponsorship opportunities, contact Gloria Gonzalez at ggonzalez@ecosystemmarketplace.com. A full sponsorship prospectus detailing our 2015 projects is available here.

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

If you have comments or would like to submit news stories, write to us at general@forestcarbonportal.com.


News

ANNOUNCEMENTS

GreenBiz Forum – 10% Discount

GreenBiz Forum (Feb. 17-19 in Phoenix, AZ) brings together an unprecedented partnership between GreenBiz Group, The Sustainability Consortium and Arizona State University to give attendees an unparalleled in-depth look at the key challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business today. Framed by GreenBiz's State of Green Business report, the high-wattage stage presentations, workshops and networking opportunities make GreenBiz Forum an unforgettable event. Save 10% with our discount code GBF15EM here.

 
Climate Leadership Conference – 20% Discount

The Climate Leadership Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from February 23rd to 25th. The conference convenes leaders from diverse sectors to explore market transformation and share energy and climate solutions. On the agenda are: a roundtable on transparency in carbon accounting hosted by The Climate Registry; a discussion of California cap and trade hosted by the Environmental Defense Fund; a breakout session on best practices in corporate carbon reduction strategies; and much more. Want 20% off your registration? Use discount code CLC-Ecosystem-20% when you register here.


NATIONAL STRATEGY & CAPACITY BUILDING

REDD+ loves company  

Nigeria's Nasarawa State could be chosen to participate in the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests (UN-REDD) Programme, which would allow the state to access funding for REDD+ projects. Nigeria's Cross River state is the only state in the country already participating in the program, but two more states could be welcomed and seven states have applied. REDD+ is seen as a gateway to allowing countries to access climate funds. Nigeria could use the financial support as it ranks in the top 10 list of deforesters worldwide and lost more than half of its primary forests between 2000 and 2005. 

 

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

Koalas heart carbon offsets

Plans to create a 315,000-hectare koala national park in New South Wales could achieve multiple benefits, including protecting koalas  and reducing taxpayer subsidies to the logging industry that amount to about $8-15 million per year. But the Australian Forest Products Association believes such a move would result in the loss of 3,000 timber industry jobs. A recent report commissioned by Australia's federal government found that ending logging just in forests northeast of Melbourne would save about 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions this year, generate $30 million in carbon offset revenues and achieve 5% of the emission reductions needed to meet Australia's 2020 reduction targets.

 

Down in the round valley

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued 540,828 offsets to the Round Valley Indian Tribe's Improved Forest Management project. The project area, which is overseen by the Forest Carbon Partners investment fund managed by developer New Forests, covers about 5,700 acres in Mendocino County, California. This latest issuance brings the number of offsets issued to forest carbon projects by the California ARB to more than 8.5 million. 

 

SUSTAINABLE COMMODITIES

If it ain't broke...

Brazil's Soy Moratorium, a private agreement among big companies such as McDonald's and Wal-Mart to stop using soy grown on cleared forestland, has proven crucial in reducing deforestation rates in the Amazon over the past eight years. Before the moratorium, 30% of soy expansion occurred through deforestation, but since the moratorium took effect only about 1% of new soy expansion came at the expense of forests, said Holly Gibbs, a professor of environmental studies and geography at the University of Wisconsin­-Madison. There was a discussion about ending the moratorium in 2014, but the study found that soy farmers were more likely to violate government policy than the private sector moratorium.

 

The bad apple gets less rotten

Wilmar, one of the world's largest palm-oil suppliers, made a zero deforestation pledge in December 2013 after intense pressure from NGOs such as Greenpeace, which has repeatedly accused the company of destroying forests and prime habitats for tigers and other animals. In service of its pledge, Wilmar has unveiled an online dashboard that maps the company's supply chain, including the locations of its refineries and supplier mills, to improve tracking of the company's palm oil sourcing. Palm oil companies have shied away from such public disclosures in the past, but environmentalists have been demanding more sourcing transparency and Wilmar is the first to step up in this way.

 

FINANCE & ECONOMICS

Another shot in the latte

 

The Moringa Fund, an investment vehicle for agroforestry projects with high environmental and social benefits, has invested in Cafetalera Nicafrance, a Nicaraguan agroforestry company specializing in the production of high quality shade-grown coffee and timber for high-end applications. The long-term investment will establish 1,700 hectares of agroforestry-based coffee on small and medium-scale farms. The project will store an estimated 127,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide and create up to 6,000 permanent and seasonal jobs. The program will build a coffee cluster producing around 5,000 tonnes of specialty coffee per year for high-end roasters in Europe, the US and Asia.

 

The climate slackers

While consumer goods companies have responded to demands that they drive deforestation out of their supply chains, financial institutions have mostly remained on the sidelines. "The financial sector in general is significantly lagging the agricultural and consumer companies in addressing deforestation," says Glenn Hurowitz, Managing Director of Climate Advisers. The lack of initiative is a concern because irresponsible financial actors could be funding activities that undermine the progress made by others, he says. Banking giant BNP Paribas is the exception. It launched a policy in 2010 banning financing for any company involved in converting UNESCO World Heritage sites or high-conservation value forests into plantations. 

 

HUMAN DIMENSION

They got the eye of the tiger 

Local residents of the Bukit Barisan mountains in Southern Sumatra have been lobbying the government to enshrine their right to protect their forestlands – home to Sumatran tigers, primates, deer, porcupine and wild boar – into regulation. In December 2013, the Forestry Department designated 1,336 hectares of the Korong Salisikan and Kuliek river watershed as community forest. The residents quickly established regular patrols to prevent outsiders from illegally logging these forests. Their sustainable forest management efforts attracted the attention of Heru Prasetyo, head of Indonesia's now disbanded REDD+ agency, who observed that taking care of the forests is an ancient community practice and recognizing the wisdom of local residents will be crucial for forest conservation efforts across the country. 

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

A view from the forest floor

Teaching basic field ecology techniques to Amazonian indigenous groups has revealed carbon storage capacity sometimes 40% higher than satellite estimates. That's not too surprising, given that any on-the-ground measurements will reveal more detailed findings than something taken from space making wide estimates for swaths of land. The real takeaway from the project is the training given to indigenous people. The science team had to first explain what carbon is and then teach about measuring survey plots. The results could influence how indigenous people manage their forests and engage in carbon offset programs.

 

Under the sea

A diver off the coast of England accidently made a fascinating discovery: an underwater forest. Scientists believe these hidden tree trunks and branches are what's left of an ancient forest that stretched from Great Britain to Continental Europe, but disappeared when ice caps melted and sea levels rose nearly 400 feet. The diver, Dawn Watson, thinks she may have found oak trees knocked down by material from a glacier that have formed a natural reef that is now home to animal and plant life. "You certainly don't expect to go out for a quick dive and find a forest," she told the Daily Mail newspaper.

 

Slowpokes

Land use changes and the aging of forests may be slowing down carbon accumulation levels in the Southeastern United States, according to a study by Forest Service Southern Research Station published in the journal Scientific Reports. Land use choices that either reduce the rate of afforestation or increase the rate of deforestation are key factors in future forest carbon accumulation, while the aging of forests also played a significant role as growth rates are typically lower for older forests. The impact of land use decisions is particularly noteworthy in the region because 89% of forested land is privately owned and land use policies must provide incentives for maintaining the forests. 

 

PUBLICATIONS

Experience is the hardest teacher... 

A review of eight subnational programs found that these efforts could become transformational models of forest-friendly development, with the appropriate investment and support, according to a report called "Early Lessons from Jurisdictional REDD+ and Low Emissions Development Programs." But these initiatives are often impeded by slow progress at the national level. Results-based finance could help build political will for jurisdictional efforts and such approaches are being tested by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility's Carbon Fund and Norway and Germany. However, the report offered a top 10 list of things not to do, including investing most funding into REDD+ planning and readiness or looking to REDD+ payments or corporate supply chains as the sole solution to the problem. 

 

Water, water, nowhere

California is experiencing a "striking" decline of large trees as the state suffers through one of the most severe droughts ever recorded, while the prevalence of small trees is increasing mainly due to fire suppression efforts and human exploitation of forests, according to a study called "Twentieth-century shifts in forest structure in California: Denser forests, smaller trees." "Our findings suggest that understanding the dynamics of water availability and drought stress is important to understanding changes in forests," says lead author Patrick McIntyre of the University of California, Berkeley. California lost 959,141 hectares of tree cover between 2001 and 2012, meaning nearly 10% of its total forest cover has vanished since 2000, according to Global Forest Watch data. 

 

JOBS

Project Manager - Proforest

Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Project Manager will take an executive role in the management and delivery of Proforest's consultancy services in Southeast Asia. The position involves business development and coordination of the agriculture and forestry commodities service areas, and managing a range of projects related to sourcing and supply chain management. The position requires an advanced degree in agriculture, forestry or another relevant discipline, five years of relevant work experience (at least two of which are in Southeast Asia), and fluency in English as well as a relevant second language (Bahasa Indonesia/Malaysia or Mandarin).

Read more about the position here

 

Remote Sensing and AFOLU Development Specialist – Terra Global Capital

Based in San Francisco, California, the Remote Sensing and Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) Specialist will join the Carbon Analytics Team that supports the Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and technical aspects of carbon accounting at project and program scales. The successful candidate will have a minimum of five years of experience in the environment sector of GIS and remote sensing, be proficient in a scripting language (preferably Python), and have experience working in an international environment, specifically in developing countries.

Read more about the position here

 

REDD+ Senior Specialist of Legal and Law Enforcement - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Based in Indonesia (and open only to Indonesian nationals), the REDD+ Senior Specialist will develop coordination on handling environmental crimes in Riau, Central Kalimantan and South Sumatra, supporting a conflict resolution team in five national parks. The position requires a bachelor's degree in law, social science or another related subject; at least six years of experience, including advocacy or conflict resolution work; and fluency in both English and Bahasa Indonesia.

Read more about the position here

 

Consultancy, Mozambique REDD+ – International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Based in Mozambique, the Consultant will lead the mid-term review of a REDD+ project implemented at the subnational level in the provinces of Manica, Sofala and Zambézia in Mozambique. The position requires a postgraduate degree in forestry or natural resource management; a good understanding of REDD+ mechanisms and Norwegian support of REDD+; and experience conducting evaluations elsewhere. The consultancy runs between February and April 2015 and at least one of two consultants must be able to communicate in Portuguese.

Read more about the position here

 

International Climate Policy Specialist  Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Based in Incheon City, Korea, the International Climate Policy Specialist will lead efforts for GCF engagement with multilateral climate processes and international climate finance bodies. The position includes assisting in the overall preparation for Board meetings and representing GCF at events. The ideal candidate will have at least seven years of relevant work experience and an in-depth knowledge of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process. Fluency in English is required; the ability to read and communicate in another major language (French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic) is desired.

Read more about the position here

 

Palm Oil Campaigner  Greenpeace

Based in San Francisco, California or Washington, D.C., the palm oil Campaigner will focus on palm oil as a driver of deforestation in Southeast Asia, with an emphasis on Indonesia. The position involves designing and implementing corporate campaigns to reform the practices of the palm oil industry and working within the framework of the larger international strategies to achieve zero deforestation. The successful candidate will have at least five years of experience with corporate or environmental campaigning, the ability to work collaboratively with teams, and be passionate about forest protection and reforming global agribusiness.

Read more about the position here

 
 

ABOUT THE FOREST CARBON PORTAL

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.

 

ABOUT THE ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE

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 info@ecosystemmarketplace.com. 

 
 

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FEATURED PROJECT

CO2OL Tropical Mix
CO2OL Tropical Mix

The CO2OL Tropical Mix project based in Panama was recently verified 209,000 tonnes of emissions reductions under the Gold Standard. Covering 860 hectares, the project is reforesting degraded pastureland with a mix of mostly native species. It has so far employed 150 people and also provides erosion control and improves water quality. In addition to the Gold Standard, CO2OL Tropical Mix is also developed under the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standards and has achieved Forest Stewardship Council land area certification.

Read more about the project on the Forest Carbon Portal

 

 
 
 
 

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