The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon
In 2007, the forests of Indonesia's Ulu Masen Ecosystem were rapidly disappearing, thanks to encroaching development caused by the country's burgeoning palm oil sector. The problem caught the attention of Governor Irwandi Yusuf of Aceh Province, who saw REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) as a possible solution.
A consulting team hired by Yusuf estimated that an 85% reduction in deforestation in the ecosystem, which spread across 750,000 hectares, would prevent more than three million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere every year.
Yusuf launched what would have become the largest REDD project to date – one designed to slow deforestation in part by jump-starting sustainable palm oil, coffee, and cocoa programs, as detailed in the latest installment of Ecosystem Marketplace's series, Palm Oil vs The Peatland Forest. This would ensure that the activities driving deforestation in Ulu Masen don't just migrate down the road, but are instead transformed into more sustainable practices that continue to meet existing demand without killing the forest. He also implemented a moratorium on illegal logging across the entire province and even began to personally lead raids on loggers' camps to enforce the moratorium and show potential investors that he was serious.
It was a gamble that cost his province millions in the short term, but it also made sense because the Bali climate talks of 2007 were supposed to culminate with the creation of a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. To do that, officials needed to bridge a schism between industrialized nations and developing countries – a bridge built in part on REDD offsets. The World Bank had already created the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and Australia had pledged $100 million to support REDD efforts on Borneo.
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 now 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 $37.5k 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.
Many thanks to EcoPlanet Bamboo and New Forests for their generous sponsorships.
From October 27-December 5, Forest Trends – Ecosystem Marketplace's parent organization – is part of a Crowd-Funding Campaign where donations will be matched. Your gift helps protect endangered ecosystems and contributes to local livelihoods.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.