Recent Articles & Features

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Tropical forest carbon assessment: integrating satellite and airborne mapping approaches

September 7, 2009

The author presents an integrated satellite–airborne mapping approach that supports high-resolution carbon stock assessment and monitoring in tropical forest regions....

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Trade-offs and synergies between carbon storage and livelihood benefits from forest commons

September 4, 2009

Forests provide multiple benefits at local to global scales. These include the global public good of carbon sequestration and local and national level contributions to livelihoods for more than half a billion users. Forest commons are a particularly important class of forests generating these multiple benefits....

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Yasuni's Means Won't Achieve its Ends

August 27, 2009

 The government of Ecuador has offered to avoid drilling for oil in the biodiversity-rich Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) concession of its Yasuni National Park in exchange for a carbon payment equal to just half the income the country would earn if it fired up the drills. Practitioners say it's an intriguing idea – but one that misses the mark.

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Methodologies Tame Forest Carbon Jungle

August 18, 2009

As forests convert carbon dioxide in the air to carbon stored in woods, leaves and roots, a range of organizations are, in turn, working to convert forests into carbon offsets. The 'exchange rate' of this conversion is determined by specific standards' methodologies — technical, but critical, tools shaping the rules of the game.

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Bonn Talks Close With Clarity on Land Use

August 14, 2009

The Bonn climate talks haven't achieved the kind of progress that generates headlines, but they have come up with an extremely clear summary of all proposals related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) as well as movement towards a consensus on how to account for other land-use issues. Unfortunately, that consensus will...

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Breaking News: REDD Non-Paper Released

August 13, 2009

UNFCCC REDD Facilitator Tony La Vina has posted the new REDD negotiating text....

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Special Report: Carbon Payments and Ghana's Cocoa Sector

August 12, 2009

Cocoa is one of Ghana's most important exports, but current farming techniques wreak havoc on both soil and surrounding forests. This is not only unsustainable for cocoa, but also contributes to global warming and biodiversity loss. EM examines efforts to promote sustainable cocoa farming by tapping into the global carbon markets.   Third in the...

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Blog Update: New REDD Text Thursday!

August 12, 2009

With just four weeks of negotiating time scheduled before the year-end Climate Conference in Copenhagen, negotiators are scrambling to trim the 300-page negotiating text for a post-Kyoto accord down to a more manageable 80. Tony La Vina, who is overseeing the portion of negotiations dealing with reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD),...

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Bonn 'Informals' Dedicate New REDD+ Subgroup

August 10, 2009

Deforestation accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and agriculture accounts for another 18%. Improving land-use practices could thus be one of the quickest and easiest ways to slow global warming – if the world can agree on ways of measuring and paying for these improvements. That's a central theme of informal talks this week in Bonn, Germany.

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Pondering Ecuador's Yasuni Proposal

August 7, 2009

The government of Ecuador raised intriguing questions about Payments for Ecosystem Services a few years back when it offered to avoid drilling for oil in exchange for a carbon payment equal to just half the income the country would earn if it fired up the rigs at then-prevailing prices. EM checks in on this intriguing proposal and invites you to share your views.

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Technology Update

August 6, 2009

The use of remote sensing technology will be instrumental in effectively measuring and monitoring changes in emissions from land use and forestry. The following is an update of the latest remote sensing technologies that can be used to track and monitor terrestrial carbon today.  ...

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Interactive Online Course on REDD Now Available

August 5, 2009

A new online course that provides an introduction to climate change and REDD is now free and available to the public at www.conservationtraining.org....

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Ecuador’s Yasuni ITT Initiative Promotes Sustainable Development through Avoided Fossil Fuel Production and Presents a New Development Paradigm

August 5, 2009

It was recently confirmed that Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, is home to large deposits of heavy crude oil, potentially totaling roughly 846 million barrels. If developed, the oil could provide an economic windfall for the small South American country; at the same time, the ecological loss and...

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The UNFCCC REDD Web Platform Requests Information Sharing on Costs of Implementing REDD Methodologies and Monitoring Systems

August 3, 2009

The UNFCCC recently released a technical paper on the cost of implementing methodologies and monitoring systems related to estimates on greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, the assessment of carbon stocks and greenhouse gas emissions from changes in forest cover, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

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Can Carbon Sequestration be 'Leased'?

July 28, 2009

If you plant trees to earn carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol, you'll earn temporary Certified Emission Reduction (tCER) certificates, which expire after a few years to reflect the perceived fragility of carbon captured in plants. They've proven unpopular with buyers, and sell for a fraction of the price of normal CERs. The United States, however, may...

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Press Release: Forestry and Finance Experts Establish Finite Carbon to Facilitate U.S. Landowners’ Participation in Carbon Offset Markets

July 24, 2009

Forestry and finance experts with unique forest carbon project experience and knowledge of forest carbon markets have formed Finite Carbon, a company that provides a single-source, end-to-end solution, including the necessary capital, for landowners to create and monetize carbon offsets....

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Green Resources is First to Achieve Validation for Tree-Planting Under VCS

July 22, 2009

Norwegian forestry and carbon offset group Green Resources last week became the first carbon offset project developer to register a reforestation project under the Voluntary Carbon Standard's guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry, and land use. This week, a second project was also verified – and plenty of others are sure to follow.

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Must we Make a Choice Between Helping the Poor and Preserving the Environment?

July 22, 2009

Schemes that promote payments for ecosystem services (PES) should, in theory, reduce poverty while preserving the environment by rewarding the rural poor for acting as guardians of the ecosystem. Most PES schemes even list poverty reduction as an explicit goal; but will too much emphasis on helping the poor detract from the environmental benefits? Ecosystem...

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¿Es necesario elegir entre la lucha contra la pobreza y la conservación del medio ambiente?

July 20, 2009

Los esquemas que promueven el pago por servicios ambientales (PSA) deberían, en teoría, reducir la pobreza mientras que conservan el medio ambiente recompensando a las comunidades marginadas por actuar como guardianes del ecosistema.  La mayoría de los esquemas de PSA inclusive mencionan la reducción de la pobreza como un...

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UNFCCC Secretariat Publishes Quick Guide to REDD

July 20, 2009

  The UNFCCC Secretariat has added a webpage to its website titled “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries: Approaches to Stimulate Action: A Quick Guide to the Agenda Item Under the UNFCCC.”  ...

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