Forest Carbon News - October 16, 2014

 

 
 
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October 16, 2014    

From the Editors

The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon

Tag – you're in! Guatemala, Indonesia and Peru were selected for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility's (FCPF) Carbon Fund pipeline last week, unlocking up to $650,000 per country to develop an emissions reductions program. 

 

The Carbon Fund holds a total of $465 million that could be paid to developing countries that reduce deforestation against a national baseline (REDD+). Eight other countries – Chile, Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mexico, Nepal, the Republic of Congo and Vietnam – were already in the pipeline.

 

Buyers in the Carbon Fund have expressed their willingness to pay $5/tCO2e, but the final price will depend on the Emission Reductions Payment Agreements (ERPAs) negotiated with each country. Peru's maximum contract volume is 6.4 million tonnes of emissions reductions (MtCO2e) while Guatemala may be paid for up to 21 MtCO2e, according to resolutions from the Carbon Fund meeting.

 

Indonesia's maximum, however, is yet to be determined. The FCPF provisionally included the country in the pipeline but asked Indonesian officials to work out some issues before moving forward, including explaining how it will develop a consolidated reference level and how emissions from peat will be included. Indonesia's 'One Map' initiative attempts to address the problem of inconsistent data on deforestation rates. 

 

Indonesia's program would draw on grants from the FCPF and other organizations to get off the ground. But an interim financing plan (called 'FREDDI') under the national REDD+ agency aims to act as a "fund of fund" for readiness, and would also be used to voluntarily purchase offsets certified to private carbon standards. Officials estimate that phase two of the program would cover institution building, part of its operational costs and a programmatic fund at an estimated cost of $150 million. Funding for the program in phase three is projected at about $800 million on a pay-for-performance basis. 

 

The FCPF also discussed whether to extend its funds beyond the current 2020 end date. Its Facility Management Team recommended the Carbon Fund's term  be extended to at least December 2025, or December 2027 if any more countries are added to the pipeline. This will allow for some wiggle room on timing, especially in light of the recent announcement by Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom (UK) to fund up to 20 large-scale REDD programs

 

Ecosystem Marketplace's State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2014 report will have much more information about the FCPF and other financial mechanisms that countries are looking to tap to support their REDD+ initiatives.  And we're mining lots of interesting new information this year, including a closer look at buyer motivations and activities, and robust data on the co-benefits of forest carbon programs, from employment to endangered species protection. 

 

We're $50k away from being able to publish this year's report in a few weeks' time. Can we count on your support? Please take a look at this sponsorship prospectus for more information, and contact Molly Peters-Stanley (Director of Ecosystem Marketplace) or Allie Goldstein (Forest Carbon Associate) with any interest. We'd be happy to discuss sponsorship opportunities with you in more detail.

 

More stories from the forest carbon market are summarized below, so keep reading.

 

—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team

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


News

ANNOUNCEMENT

Blue carbon is the new green

As mangroves, marshes, and tidal wetlands around the world face threats of sea level rise and development, many communities are in a race against time to save the critical ecosystems that protect the coast. On Sunday, November 2, Restore America's Estuaries is hosting a workshop in Washington, D.C. to explore how the voluntary carbon market can direct financing to "blue carbon" waterscapes. The sessions will cover carbon accounting, applying offset methodologies, and linkages to coastal management and restoration. Sign up here.

 

NATIONAL STRATEGY

Piloting a new approach

In 2010, Vietnam became the first country in Asia to implement a nation-wide policy on payments for forest environmental services (PFES) that requires users of these services to make payments to suppliers of these services. Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – responsible for implementing PFES – is currently developing a framework to capture payments for the forest's hydrological services provided to the aquaculture sector and is linking payments for forest carbon sequestration services to the United Nations-led REDD+ program, which is moving into the pilot phase. 

 

Great Scot!

A total of 201 projects were registered under the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) – a voluntary standard initiated for woodland creation projects in the UK in July 2011 – as of September 30. These registered projects cover 15,389 hectares of woodland and are projected to sequester 5.7 MtCO2e. Eighty-nine projects estimated to sequester 1.5 MtCO2e have been validated under the WCC, representing an increase of 2% in projected carbon sequestration since the previous quarter and a 55% rise since September 2013. Scotland leads the way with 47 validated projects covering 2,276 hectares expected to sequester more than 1 MtCO2e. 

 

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

Surfing the Panama Canal

Nearly 900,000 hectares of Panama's forest were cleared between 1992 and 2008 for development or converted into pastureland. Despite increased development and growth in the agricultural sector, almost half of Panama's rural population live in poverty and rely on unsustainable practices such as slash-and-burn farming for their livelihoods. On top of the threats of smallholder agriculture and expanding development, climate change and illegal logging activities pose a risk to the forests. However, REDD initiatives such as reforestation and coffee planting have brought real change. In a video, the UN-REDD programme highlighted the Panama Canal Authority's program, which enables sustainable farming. 

 

SUSTAINABLE COMMODITIES

Navigating the ecolabel jungle

Paper giant Domtar recently surpassed a milestone by selling its five millionth ton of certified paper. But its Forest Stewardship Council-certified products – which account for more than 20% of its total paper sales – do not attract a higher price than its standard fare. Procurement officers – who spend a whopping $10.1 trillion each year on everything from toilet paper to automobiles – still face pressure to deliver cost savings rather than reward businesses that manage natural resources more sustainably, pay fair wages or minimize pollution. Procurement officers must also navigate the often-confusing "ecolabel jungle" when making purchasing decisions, but the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council aims to help them better understand and reduce the social and environmental impacts of their purchasing. 

 

Till the cows come home

Forest loss in Brazil increased 29% in the last two years in large part due to the clearing of forests for beef production. But these deforestation rates could be reversed if cattle ranchers receive the right financial incentives to switch to sustainable pasture management and if companies and governments adopt the right policy frameworks. Ranchers complain that they receive no price premium for adopting a deforestation-free operation. REDD+ would provide compensation to ranchers who protect the forest, but it has not yet been implemented at sufficient scale to have significant impact, according to a new study by economics modelling firm Datu Research, for the Environmental Defense Fund. 

 

Taking two steps back

Some countries such as India are imperiling efforts to sustainably produce commodities by planning huge palm oil expansions that will put forests at risk. Since the early 1990s, India's palm oil imports have skyrocketed from about 100,000 metric tons to more than 8.8 million metric tons in 2014. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certification scheme was established in 2004 to combat forest loss caused by oil palm cultivation. But it has not been implemented in the state of Mizoram, India, where the government has earmarked 101,000 hectares of land for oil palm cultivation.

 

FINANCE & ECONOMICS

10 is the luckiest number

The African Development Bank will invest 10 million euros in the Moringa Private Equity Fund to finance agroforestry projects in Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America. The fund will invest in projects that combine plantation forestry (producing biomass, fuel wood or timber) with agricultural elements. The investment is aligned with the bank's 10-year strategy and climate change action plan, which invests in projects that reduce the continent's vulnerability to climate change. This new commitment increases the bank's investment in Moringa to almost 70 million euros. 

 

Working the carbon campaign trail

The American Forest Foundation (AFF) has launched a 5-year, $10 million campaign to reach out to private forest owners and encourage them to manage forests for enhanced carbon sequestration. "Currently, private forests offset more than 10% of U.S. annual carbon emissions, the equivalent of emissions from 171 coal plants, and they can do even more," said Tom Martin, president of the nonprofit conservation organization. The campaign will support a series of natural resource-related actions being implemented by federal agencies as part of President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan. 

 

HUMAN DIMENSION

 A forest for everyone

As a boy, Tashka Yawanawá watched as his people were nearly annihilated by rubber tappers and missionaries bent on exterminating Yawanawá spirituality and culture. Now, as the leader of the Yawanawá in Acre, Brazil, he is working to advance a new model of sustainability that allows the Yawanawá to protect their home – the rainforest – and engage on equitable footing with the outside world. "[The rainforest is] for every human being," he said. "When you walk in the rainforest you feel peace and harmony." But his work has been challenged by the Brazilian government's reluctance to recognize the rights of indigenous people, he told attendees of TEDGlobal 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, where he was the only indigenous speaker. 

 

PUBLICATIONS

CCFP is a household name 

China's Conversion of Cropland to Forests Program (CCFP) is the world's largest afforestation-based Payments for Ecosystem Services program, having retired and afforested more than 24 million hectares involving 32 million rural households. The CCFP was launched in 1999 to stem soil erosion and flooding following catastrophic flooding events in the Yangtze and Yellow River basins. A survey of 2,808 rural households participating in the CCFP found that households with more available labor and experience managing trees report higher tree survival rates. Households that receive continued compensation and were consulted prior to program implementation also account for more living trees, according to a new report by the Center for International Forestry Research. 

 

JOBS

Blue Carbon Manager, Madagascar – Blue Ventures

Based in Ambanja, Madagascar, the Blue Carbon Manager will support Blue Ventures' pioneering blue carbon projects along the west coast of Madagascar. The project aims to develop carbon finance and other payments for ecosystem services mechanisms using the new VCS Wetland Restoration and Conservation project category and integrate blue carbon into Madagascar's national REDD+ activities. The successful candidate will have a master's degree in a relevant field, experience in the development of forest carbon projects for VCS validation, and good knowledge of REDD+ policy. Fluency in English is required; proficiency in French would be a plus.

Read more about the position here

 

Junior Analyst, Finance Programme – Global Canopy Programme (GCP)

Based in Oxford, United Kingdom, the Junior Analyst will provide research and analysis for GCP's Unlocking Forest Finance project, focusing on the states of Mato Grosso and Acre in the Brazilian Amazon and the province of San Martin in Peru. Project outputs include financial models and ecosystem service models. The successful candidate will be fluent in Spanish and/or Portuguese; have working knowledge of REDD+, forest carbon markets, capital markets, sustainable land use and land use economics; and have an undergraduate degree or equivalent in environmental economics, land-use or another relevant field.

Read more about the position here

 

Forestry, Agriculture and Climate Change Expert – South Pole Carbon

Based in Medellin, Colombia or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Forestry, Agriculture and Climate Change Expert will support South Pole Carbon's forestry project department in technical work and marketing and sales for forest carbon offsets or forest footprints. The successful candidate will have a university degree in economics, engineering, environmental science or another relevant field; two years of work experience in project development or consulting; excellent command of Spanish and English (French, German or Portuguese are an advantage); and strong analytical skills. Knowledge of statistical software and Geographic Information Systems are a plus.

Read more about the position here

 

Senior Project Analyst, Forestry – The Climate Trust

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Project Analyst for Forestry will evaluate GHG emission reductions projects and work with project owners to gather the necessary information to monitor and verify emissions. The position also requires tracking and advising The Climate Trust on forest carbon policy and market-related developments. Applicants should have a strong working knowledge of forestry compliance and voluntary carbon market standards and protocols, demonstrated proficiency in one or more of the models used in quantifying forestry carbon offset projects, and good Excel, database, and quantitative skills. The position will require some travel.

Read more about the position here

 

Writer – International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Reporting Services 

Based in New York City, New York, IISD is seeking to add new freelance writers to its Earth Negotiations Bulletin team. Applicants should be enrolled in or about to begin a Ph.D. program (or hold a Ph.D. already) and have at least five years of experience working, lobbying or negotiating in the United Nations (UN) system. This is a part-time position, but candidates must be available for at least four assignments per year. Fluency in English and conversation skills in one other UN language (French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese or Russian) are required.

Read more about the position here

 

Program Associate, Wallace Pasture Project – Winrock International

Based in Arlington, Virginia or Little Rock, Arkansas, the Program Associate will support the Wallace Center's Pasture Project that aims to increase the sustainably-managed acreage of the grass-fed beef market to improve water quality, soil quality, wildlife habitat and GHG sequestration. The successful candidate will have a bachelor's degree in agriculture, rural development or agriculture economics and at least two years of related experience (master's degree preferred). Experience providing direct technical assistance to farmers or working in the Upper Midwest is a plus.

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

Carbone Boréal
Carbone Boreal

The Carbone Boréal project in Quebéc, Canada plants trees on degraded woodlands and unproductive agricultural lands, across 300 hectares. Led by researchers at the Universite du Québec Chicoutimi, the project area also contains long-term research plots used to study carbon sequestration. The plantations are verified under ISO 14064 carbon standards and have also earned Forest Stewardship Council certification. The project employs three people, and tree species are selected with future climate change impacts in mind. Individuals can purchase offsets from the project at CAD $28 per tonne, or CAD $4 per tree.

 

View the project on the Forest Carbon Portal

 

 
 

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