REDD+ implementation was supposed to be “big, quick and cheap”. So far, it is not one big thing, but many smaller efforts designed and implemented by many different donors and agencies, a collection of programmes that are slow to design and implement, and likely to be more expensive than at first expected. Is that all bad? (more…)
by E Kahurani
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) participated in key events held alongside the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. See ICRAF event list here.
At the agriculture and rural development day held under the theme the ‘land sharing or land sparing’ conundrum, Dr. Sara Namirembe of ICRAF was among panelists who discussed the issue and her presentation titled Sustainable development in Africa requires both sparing and sharing in a multifunctional landscapes was based on ASB Partnership’s research on landscape approaches and a case study of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park.
Sara also participated in a round table discussion organized by Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme and Bioversity International. The event sought to highlight successful practical actions that have had an impact at the local level towards food security. (more…)
Connecting the idea of paying developing countries for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions with markets that demand sustainable products could be a step towards a new model of global development while reducing increasing pressures over access to land, says Daniel Nepstad of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute.
The global demand for food is growing faster than supply and has led to a land crisis that puts forests on the frontline of agricultural expansion. The crisis concerns proponents of rural poverty alleviation, food security, forestry, agriculture, water security, and biodiversity alike.
“What’s missing is a shared agenda of change. REDD is an example of how something arises to fix one aspect of the land crisis, while other groups don’t see their agenda addressed. Maybe that’s a mistake we made with REDD, we defined the agenda too narrowly,” said Nepstad in conversation with Center for International Forestry Research scientist Christine Padoch.
The UNFCCC Conference of Parties is developing REDD, a funding mechanism for keeping carbon in forests, as a way to address climate change. In the scheme, developed countries pay developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
For more on this story, please click here.
Over 120 African and Asian government negotiators, land managers, representatives of non-government organizations and climate change scientists are meeting this month at regional workshops in Cameroon and Vietnam to enhance their skills and understanding of the REDD+ implementation process.
The workshops are hosted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins (ASB).
REDD+ after Cancun: moving from negotiation to implementation is the theme of the two-and-a-half day workshops to be held in Douala on May 10 – 12 and Hanoi on May 18 – 20, 2011. They offer a series of expert presentations and in-depth discussions about the REDD+ process.
REDD+ is a climate change mitigation mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It goes beyond reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) to encompass sustainable management of forests, conservation and enhancement of carbon sinks in developing countries.
The 2010 Cancun agreements emphasized the need for nationally driven plans for effective implementation of REDD+. Given the complexity of the rapidly evolving subject, decision makers and key stakeholders need to be well equipped with the knowledge and skills required to formulate national strategies to ensure success of REDD+.
Click here for more on these workshops.
United Nations climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, have reached a deal to curb climate change, including a fund to help developing countries.
Nations endorsed compromise texts drawn up by the Mexican hosts, despite objections from Bolivia.
The draft documents say deeper cuts in carbon emissions are needed, but do not establish a mechanism for achieving the pledges countries have made.
Some countries’ resistance to the Kyoto Protocol had been a stumbling block during the final week of negotiations. However, diplomats were able to find a compromise.
Delegates cheered speeches from governments that had caused the most friction during negotiations – Japan, China, even the US – as one by one they endorsed the draft.
BBC environment correspondent Richard Black said the meeting did not achieve the comprehensive, all-encompassing deal that many activists and governments want. But he said it was being “touted as a platform on which that comprehensive agreement can be built”.
The Green Climate Fund is intended to raise and disburse $100 billion (£64 billion) a year by 2020 to protect poor nations against climate impacts and assist them with low-carbon development. A new Adaptation Committee will support countries as they establish climate protection plans. And parameters for funding developing countries to reduce deforestation are outlined.
Read the rest of the story from the BBC by clicking here.
The world today faces one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: how to feed 9 billion people by 2050, in the face of climate change, economic and financial crises and growing competition for the use of natural resources.
This challenge is even more crucial given that in the past decade, we have not come close to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
Along these lines, the Seventeenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development of May 2009 and the Food and Agriculture Organization Summit on Food Security of November 2009 voiced a clear message: the multiple challenges the world is facing in terms of food insecurity, climate change, degradation of ecosystems, and economic recession require an integrated response and an urgent transition of the world economy towards a sustainable, inclusive and resource efficient path.
Agriculture and food security should be at the heart of sustainable development and poverty eradication efforts, as well as those related to lower carbon, climate resilient growth.
The Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, to be held in Netherlands at The Hague, aims to develop a road map with concrete actions linking agriculture-related investments, policies, and measures with the transition to climate smart growth. The conference is scheduled from October 31- November 5, 2010.
Specifically the conference will:
- Identify what needs to happen for agriculture and related land and water management to deliver on increased productivity, reduced emissions, increased sequestration, environmental sustainability, better livelihoods and food security
- Showcase and share knowledge on replicable good practices in climate resilient, low-emissions agriculture, livestock, fisheries, forestry and watershed management and demonstrate the potential for scaling up
- Use innovative approaches to bring together private and public sector finance for investments in climate smart agricultural systems.
To find out more about this conference, please visit the website: http://www.afcconference.com/
These are selected news items discussing the outcomes of the United Nations climate change conference held at Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009.
Hope and funding for saving forests around the world
In the months leading up to the U.N. sponsored climate talks, there was one thing observers said with confidence: Any final outcome would establish global guidelines for paying poor countries to preserve their tropical forests.
That almost happened. The fact that it didn’t may pose a slight glitch, but is unlikely to halt the proliferation of such projects around the world. The talks did produce concrete short-term financial commitments to fund the effort, with $3.5 billion pledged by Norway, Japan, the United States, Britain, France and Australia. Read more.
Copenhagen was more than the accord
Many are disappointed with COP15’s main output. However, the summit did not only introduce the Copenhagen Accord but also a new kind of dynamics in global climate policy.
The very struggle to reach agreement at Copenhagen (…) demonstrates that climate policy has finally come of age. The negotiations at Copenhagen were so contentious because of the very real impact the proposals will have, not only for the environment, but also on national economies. Read more.
The essentials in Copenhagen
Rather than getting every small detail of a new global climate treaty done in Copenhagen, United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer hopes the conference will reach agreements on four political essentials.
The four essentials are:
- How much are the industrialized countries willing to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases?
- How much are major developing countries such as China and India willing to do to limit the growth of their emissions?
- How is the help needed by developing countries to engage in reducing their emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change going to be financed?
- How is that money going to be managed? Read more here.
For more information on the Copenhagen conference (COP 15), please visit the following websites:
Website of the United Nations Climate Change Conference: http://en.cop15.dk/
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: http://unfccc.int/
Amidst worldwide concern over climate change largely blamed on emissions from fossil fuel, there is an appreciation of the role of trees in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air (carbon sequestration).
Ongoing destruction of forests is, however, reducing the carbon sequestration services of trees and thereby accelerating climate change.
Coffee trees provide income to farmers from the sale of coffee beans but an added benefit is that coffee trees sequester atmospheric carbon. In recent decades, though, farmers have suffered from low coffee prices and have reduced the acreage under coffee.
A number of themes and questions emerged from the Katoomba meeting. The following points are drawn from the various presentations by PES practitioners from Africa and globally
- PES markets are young and it is our responsibility as architects of PES concepts to build a new language and common understanding of PES
- REDD and carbon markets are not silver bullets, although PES is a silver lining. These markets can work together in a matrix
- Large funds for carbon projects (i.e. from Norway) are key but we need to make sure these initiatives and pilot projects work together
- there has been a shift in how we think about development systems moving from conditional aid to contracts and deliverables
- there are many regulatory challenges when working in developing countries and a good framework needs to be in place to facilitate PES mechanisms
- good information and data is still lacking à payments are built on information and markets are built on payments. We need to fill in the gaps and our technological capability to do that is good.
- Education: we need to communicate information and data effectively, to a diverse set of audiences
- Equity: there are challenges regarding equitable distribution of payments i.e. carbon take place at the global level, so how to link this to local settings?
- Partnership: for these markets to work you need partnership between public, private and civil society – you cannot have fair and effective payment mechanisms without all three being involved