[climatematters] FW: RAINFOREST: Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay

  • From: Leslie Coelho <lesliecoelho@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "climatematters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <climatematters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2007 21:17:57 +0100

I hope you find the following as interesting as I did

> From: GlenBarry@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> To: lesliecoelho@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
> Subject: RAINFOREST: Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay> Date: Sat, 23 
> Jun 2007 17:01:38 -0500> > ***********************************************> 
> RAINFOREST CONSERVATION NEWS TODAY> Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay> 
> ***********************************************> Rainforest Portal a project 
> of Ecological Internet, Inc.> > http://www.rainforestportal.org/ -- 
> Rainforest Portal> http://www.rainforestportal/news/ -- Rainforest Newsfeed > 
> > June 23, 2007> OVERVIEW & COMMENTARY by Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological 
> Internet> > The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has become the latest > 
> tropical rainforest rich, yet materially poor, nation to embrace > payments 
> for "avoided deforestation". The DRC joins Ecuador and > Papua New Guinea 
> (PNG) in making substantive offers to the > international community to 
> protect (note, not conserve or > sustainabiy manage, but preserve intact) 
> large areas of primary > rainforests in exchange for payments which may 
> include carbon > market credits, development grants and/or debt relief.> > A 
> workable solution to tropical rainforest destruction and > diminishment is 
> within reach, and protecting the world's last > large ancient primary forests 
> is also a relatively easy way to > dramatically and quickly cut back on 
> carbon emissions (~25% of > which are from land conversion including 
> deforestation and > diminishment). Whether this opportunity to fully protect 
> the > world's remaining ancient and holy primary forest temples -- > 
> critically essential for planetary operation and human well-> being -- is 
> seized upon depends upon the details of course. The > main potential 
> obstacles I see in poorly designed payments for > maintaining ancient forests 
> as carbon sinks includes primarily a > concern that there will be allowances 
> for "well managed" > forestry in these carbon sinks. Any industrial 
> development, from > certified forestry to hydroelectric dams to utility lines 
> would > need to be absolutely banned. Essentially this would require > 
> shutting down the industrial scaled ancient primary forest > logging 
> business; and what of the World Bank's, WWF's and > Greenpeace's desire to 
> see more certified logging? > > The world has paid trillions of dollars to 
> fight the threat of > terrorism, my other main concern is that the world's 
> leaders are > so ecologically challenged that they do not see what a deal it 
> > is to pay a few billion a year to a country to keep their > terrestrial 
> ecosystem component of the Earth's biosphere intact. > The rich nations can 
> easily afford to pay for avoided > deforestation; their wisdom, political 
> will and sense of urgency > is what is in question. Other concerns include 
> distribution of > the proceeds, ensuring that local peoples forgoing 
> industrial > rainforest development are compensated along with meeting the > 
> need for government revenues. And a strict requirement that > local people's 
> are consulted and allowed to continue their > traditional small scale 
> activities. Apparently the World Bank is > working on a test fund of limited 
> means to pay countries to > maintain their forests for climate benefits 
> primarily. It is > crucial that conservationists are wary of those like the 
> Bank > and large environmental groups with other agendas, in this case > 
> accessing raw materials for the global economy and serving as > apologists 
> for the timber mafia.> > Simply, humanity must establish such global 
> ecological reserves > to survive. And for the first time the ones with the 
> rainforests > agree that for the right price, they will keep their forests > 
> standing. Let's take them up on the offer!> g.b.> > To comment:> 
> http://www.rainforestportal.org/issues/2007/06/making_global_rainforest_reser.asp>
>  > *******************************> RELAYED TEXT STARTS HERE:> > ITEM #1> 
> Title: Congo to cancel logging deals to protect forests > Source: Copyright 
> 2007, Reuters > Date: June 22, 2007> Byline: Joe Bavier> > Congo is ready to 
> cancel more than half its timber contracts to > protect the world’s second 
> biggest tropical forest but it wants > more aid from foreign governments to 
> help do so, the environment > minister said.> > Democratic Republic of Congo 
> is carrying out a World Bank-> sponsored review of 156 logging deals, most of 
> them issued > during the vast country’s 1998-2003 civil war and a subsequent 
> > three-year transitional government.> > Congo issued a five-year moratorium 
> on new logging contracts in > 2002 in an effort to stem rampant deforestation 
> aggravated by > the conflict. That measure went largely unheeded and 
> companies > continued to sign new deals.> > Around three million hectares 
> (7.4 million acres) of illegal > concessions have already been cancelled by 
> Congo’s new > government, which took office this year after historic post-war 
> > elections in 2006.> > ‘We have between 24 and 25 million hectares still 
> held by > individuals and companies. I would say that I am capable of > 
> cancelling another 12 to 15 million hectares of contracts. > That’s the 
> minimum,’ Environment Minister Didace Pembe told > Reuters.> > ‘Anyone who 
> doesn’t conform to the criteria, those that signed > logging contracts during 
> the moratorium and are unable to > justify how, we are going to cancel their 
> contracts,’ he said.> > ‘All those who have forestry concessions but don’t 
> pay their > taxes, we are going to cancel them,’ he said in an interview > 
> late on Thursday, without citing any companies or individuals.> > Amongst the 
> biggest timber firms operating in Congo are a > subsidiary of Germany’s 
> Danzer Group, Siforco, and Portuguese-> owned Sodefor, a unit of holding 
> company NST. Together with a > third company, Safbois, they account for over 
> two-thirds of the > country’s capacity, researchers say.> > G8 initiative> 
> Congo hopes to receive up to $6 billion a year under an > international 
> conservation scheme which would provide financial > incentives to preserve 
> the forests in the future, the minister > said.> > At the G8 summit in 
> Germany this month, leaders from the world’s > eight richest countries 
> proposed a Forest Carbon Initiative to > give developing countries financial 
> incentives to combat global > warming.> > Cutting and burning tropical 
> forests contributes 20 percent of > the overall carbon emissions that are 
> accelerating climate > change.> > Logging and land clearing for agriculture 
> are eating away at the > ecosystems of the Congo Basin forest, which are 
> being degraded > at the rate of more than 800,000 hectares every year.> > The 
> initiative would create a fund to compensate developing > nations like Congo, 
> with the world’s second largest tropical > forest after the Amazon, for not 
> granting logging concessions.> > ‘When we see the benefits this forest brings 
> ... to the entire > planet, it is about time the major world powers think 
> about > compensation for everything this forest does,’ Pembe said.> > Fair 
> compensation, he believes, could inject around $6 billion > dollars a year 
> into Congo’s coffers -- a massive windfall for a > country with a total 
> proposed 2007 budget of just over $2 > billion.> > ‘That will be an enormous 
> way for us to pull ourselves up,’ > Pembe said. ‘You risk pushing us to 
> destroy our forests because > we need money. They say we are the second lung, 
> but that second > lung has to be taken care of.’> > > ITEM #2> Title: Ecuador 
> Launches Campaign to Keep Oil Underground > Source: Copyright 2007, Reuters > 
> Date: June 7, 2007> Byline: Alonso Soto> > Ecuador offered on Tuesday to drop 
> plans to develop the > country's biggest oilfield if wealthy nations pay it 
> to > safeguard pristine land near the proposed drill site. > > Leftist 
> President Rafael Correa hopes developed countries and > environmental groups 
> will pay the poor South American nation > about US$350 million annually to 
> leave the oil in the ground and > reduce carbon dioxide emissions to slow 
> global warming. > > "We are willing to do this sacrifice, but for not free," 
> Correa > said. "This is an insignificant figure compared to what is spent > 
> on the Iraq war." > > He said Ecuador would create a trust fund for 
> donations. The > government would also accept pardons of bilateral and > 
> multilateral lenders debt as payment. > > Correa, an ally who has followed 
> the nationalist wave led by > Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, says Ecuador 
> will give donors > until next year to make offers. Otherwise it will develop 
> the > oilfield, which could generate thousands of job in South > America's 
> fifth-largest oil producer. > > The US$350 million Ecuador is seeking is 
> about half of the > annual revenues it believes it would make from the 
> Ishpingo-> Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oilfield, which the government says > 
> holds reserves of more than 1 billion barrels. > > Part of the ITT oilfield 
> is inside the 2,427-acre (982-hectare) > Yasuni National Park, where Amazon 
> isolated indigenous groups > live alongside rare jaguars and river dolphins. 
> > > "We are asking the world to save life," Energy Minister Alberto > Acosta 
> said in a recent interview with Reuters. > > Acosta said exploiting the 
> fields' entire reserve would only > provide 12 days of global oil 
> consumption. > > He has said Ecuador would sign an international treaty to 
> assure > foreign nations it will keep its part of the deal. > > "This is a 
> sacrifice and we are asking the world to stop > consuming fuel for only 12 
> days, which is what will be extracted > from the ITT," Acosta said. > > Roger 
> Tissot, an analyst with consultancy PFC Energy, said > Ecuador faces an 
> uphill battle to assure the international > community it will keep its word. 
> > > "It is a crazy idea, but it doesn't mean its wrong," Tissot > said. "The 
> challenge for the idea is the credibility of the > Ecuadorean government 
> given its track record on keeping > contractual agreements." > > Ecuador is 
> battling several international suits for breaching > contracts with foreign 
> companies, including US-based Occidental > Petroleum whose assets were seized 
> after the government > terminated its contract in 2006.> > > ITEM #3> Title: 
> Rainforest conservation could yield more cash than > logging in PNG > Source: 
> Copyright 2006, Mongabay.com > Date: November 6, 2006> > Papua New Guinea 
> (PNG) could earn hundreds of millions of > dollars for cutting its rainforest 
> destruction if a carbon > carbon-trading initiative it proposed last year 
> makes headway > this week at U.N. climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya. > > Each 
> year PNG loses about 250,000 hectares of primary forest > according to the 
> U.N. This forest clearance releases some 20-50 > megatons of carbon dioxide, 
> a potent greenhouse gas, to the > atmosphere. Under a carbon finance deal, 
> mitigating these > emissions could be potentially worth anywhere from $80 
> million > to a billion dollars to industrialized countries. > > The way it 
> would work is though the adoption of an "avoided > deforestation" strategy to 
> addressing cliamte change. By > reducing deforestation that would otherwise 
> occur in developing > countries, industrialized countries could effectively 
> "offset" > emissions limits set under international agreements like the > 
> Kyoto Protocol. Money from industrialized countries would flow > into forest 
> conservation fund that PNG could drawn upon > depending on its success in 
> reducing its deforestation rate. The > strategy could help fight climate 
> change at a low cost while, at > the same time improving living standards for 
> some of the world's > poorest people, safeguarding biodiversity, and 
> preserving other > ecosystem services. > > The forest industry currently 
> contributes about 5 percent, or > $200 million, to PNG's economy and employs 
> only around 10,000 > people, according to the Papua New Guinea Forest 
> Industries > Association. A carbon finance deal could be worth considerably > 
> more.> > > ITEM #4> Title: World Bank Targets Forest Preservation-Climate 
> Link > Source: Copyright 2007, Wall Street Journal > Date: June 11, 2007> > 
> The global effort to stem climate change could soon include > paying 
> countries in the tropical belt to not cut down their rain > forests, 
> beginning with a World Bank pilot project.> > The World Bank is planning to 
> start a $250 million investment > fund to reward countries such as Indonesia, 
> Brazil and Congo for > "avoided deforestation."> > • Pilot Project: The World 
> Bank got G-8 support for a $250 > million investment fund to reward countries 
> for not cutting down > their rain forests.> > • Why Save Trees? Deforestation 
> accounts for some 20% of global > carbon emissions, mainly from fires set in 
> forests to clear > land.> > • What to Expect: Companies and governments 
> aren't likely to put > much money into the fund unless they sense that saving 
> trees > will qualify as a means of generating emission "credits" on the > 
> international carbon market.> > Until now, efforts under the Kyoto Protocol, 
> the international > agreement to cut greenhouse gases that contribute to 
> global > warming, have centered on reducing emissions from industries.> > The 
> Group of Eight leading nations, after meeting last week in > Germany, 
> concluded that stopping deforestation could provide a > "significant and 
> cost-effective contribution toward mitigating > greenhouse-gas emissions" and 
> encouraged the development of the > World Bank's project.> > Deforestation 
> accounts for some 20% of global carbon emissions, > mainly from fires set in 
> forests to clear land. It is the major > cause of greenhouse gases in some 
> developing nations such as > Indonesia. The World Bank says forested areas 
> equivalent to the > size of Portugal are being cleared each year.> > 
> Environmental organizations have long sought to stem logging > because of its 
> impact, but, until now, tackling the problem has > largely been overlooked by 
> governments seeking to reduce global > warming.> > The prospect of addressing 
> global warming by preserving trees is > alluring. Amid intensifying 
> global-warming regulations, it could > give developed countries -- and 
> companies based there -- a cheap > way to offset their obligation to curb 
> their own energy-related > emissions at home. On the flip side, it could 
> provide a source > of foreign investment for developing countries, which 
> don't face > emission caps. But whether the World Bank's fund will draw much 
> > investment is unclear. Under the Kyoto Protocol, saving existing > trees 
> doesn't qualify as a means of generating emission > "credits" on the 
> international carbon market.> > Several years ago, many companies invested in 
> projects to > protect existing forests, thinking they would get cheap carbon 
> > credits for their efforts, but then saw their investments wasted > when 
> global regulators decided not to allow avoided > deforestation as a source of 
> emission credits.> > Today, companies and governments aren't likely to put 
> much money > into the fund unless they sense that prohibition is likely to be 
> > lifted. Benoit Bosquet, a senior natural-resources management > specialist 
> at the World Bank who is leading efforts to develop > the pilot project, said 
> policy makers in developed nations have > realized they can't ignore the 
> effect of deforestation on > climate change. "It is the first time there's 
> such high-level > recognition of the need to include [compensation] for 
> avoided > deforestation," he said.> > Many details of the project remain to 
> be ironed out. The World > Bank hopes Group of Eight nations will supply most 
> of the $250 > million, Mr. Bosquet said.> > The bank will work with 
> governments, local communities and > nongovernmental organizations to set 
> guidelines on how to > monitor projects and make sure money will be channeled 
> only to > those that strictly protect forested areas. To qualify, > 
> governments also will have to sign up to nationwide-action plans > combating 
> issues such as illegal logging.> > If the World Bank's approach is to work 
> and be adopted more > widely as a weapon in fighting global warming, it will 
> take > involvement of private companies and the emerging carbon-trading > 
> system. Under Kyoto rules, companies that exceed caps on > emissions of 
> greenhouse gases can buy carbon credits directly > from other firms that are 
> short of their caps and use them to > reduce their levels below legal limits. 
> Or credits can be bought > on a number of emerging exchanges. Companies also 
> are allowed to > invest in projects in poorer countries that reduce 
> emissions, > including reforestation projects, which create carbon credits.> 
> > The omission of avoided deforestation from the treaty was the > result of 
> concerns about the environmental effectiveness of the > process -- 
> particularly since it would be difficult to enforce > agreements by 
> developing nations. Some environmentalists fear > nations might sign up to 
> secure one area, shifting deforestation > elsewhere, but bringing no net 
> gain. Mr. Bosquet said the World > Bank's project is an attempt to overcome 
> these concerns as > nations debate whether to overhaul Kyoto, which runs out 
> in > 2012.> > A number of recent studies have helped reduce concerns that > 
> focusing on deforestation will shift the debate away from > finding more 
> efficient ways to use energy. The Stern Review on > the Economics of Climate 
> Change, commissioned by the British > government, last year highlighted the 
> urgent need to bring > deforestation into efforts to fight global warming. In 
> March, a > report by the World Bank and Britain's Department for > 
> International Development found that Indonesia was the world's > 
> third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the U.S. and > China. That 
> conclusion -- Indonesia's economy is relatively > small -- stems from rampant 
> deforestation caused by forest fires > that sometimes envelop much of 
> Southeast Asia in haze, emitting > huge amounts of carbon dioxide.> > 
> Developing countries are becoming more strident in demanding > compensation 
> for protecting their primary forests. The Coalition > for Rainforest Nations, 
> a group led by Papua New Guinea and > Costa Rica, tabled a proposal demanding 
> payment for preserving > forests at the United Nation's annual meeting on 
> climate change > in Kenya in November. It remains unclear whether private > 
> investors will be interested in participating in the World > Bank's project, 
> given that Kyoto doesn't yet sanction avoided > deforestation. "I don't think 
> the big banks are going to invest > without clarity they are going to get 
> returns on the risk," Mr. > Bosquet said.> > Without wider private-sector 
> participation, countries could be > tempted to turn land over to palm-oil or 
> other high-value > agricultural use, rather than to generate carbon credits 
> that > can be sold, he added.> > ---> You are subscribed to 
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  • » [climatematters] FW: RAINFOREST: Making Global Rainforest Preserves Pay