Aceh, Papua, Amazonas governors sign carbon-for-forests pact
December 8, 2007
The Governors, Irwandi Yusuf (Aceh, Indonesia), Barnabas Suebu (Papua, Indonesia), and Eduardo Braga (Amazonas, Brazil), agreed to the declaration's action plan which calls for compensation for reduced greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and protection of standing forests. Deforestation and forest degradation account for roughly 20 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, but steps to reduce forest loss will help mitigate climate change. The UK government's 2005 Stern Review said that forest protection could be one of the most cost-effective ways to address climate change.
The announcement was made Saturday as part of 'Forest Day' at the UN climate change conference in Bali and follows a proclamation Friday to impose a moratorium on all logging in their provinces until forests are assessed for their carbon value.
"The world needs more forests to store carbon," said Irwandi Yusuf, governor of the Indonesian province Aceh on the island of Sumatra. "Aceh can give you these forests."
The Forests Now Declaration, launched by the Global Canopy Program in September 2007, has been signed by over 200 NGOs, business leaders, scientists, politicians, and conservationists. In October, Nobel Peace Laureate and Goodwill Ambassador for the Congo Basin Forest Ecosystem, Wangari Maathai, endorsed the Declaration, while just prior to the Bali conference Costa Rica's President and Nobel Prize winner, Oscar Arias Sanchez, along with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, signed the Declaration.
"This is a declaration of hope" said Andrew Mitchell, Director of the Global Canopy Program, which sponsors the Declaration. "Halting deforestation is an opportunity to score a big win against climate change. These forests support the livelihoods of 1.4 billion of the world's poorest people, and offer services critical to humanity's survival, such as rainfall generation and maintaining half of all life on Earth - benefits we all need but do not yet pay for."
The declaration calls on governments to: ensure that carbon credits for reduced emissions from deforestation and the protection of standing forests are included in all national and international carbon markets; simplify and expand carbon market rules, including the Clean Development Mechanism, to encourage reforestation, afforestation and sustainable forest management; include tropical forest and land use carbon credits in the European Union Trading Scheme, while maintaining strong incentives to reduce industrial emissions; encourage early action and new market mechanisms that recognize the value of carbon stocks and forest ecosystem services, and support appropriate voluntary carbon market standards; provide assistance for developing nations to build capacity to fully participate in the carbon markets, and to evaluate the ecosystem services their forests provide; and incentivize the sustainable use of degraded land and ecosystems, and remove incentives that encourage forest destruction.
Forests Now Declaration
Rainforest logging moratorium established in Indonesian provinces, Amazonas state
(12/07/2007) Governors from the Brazilian state of Amazonas and the Indonesian provinces of Aceh, Papua and West Papua signed a historic agreement to protect threatened rainforests. The pact, which imposes a logging moratorium in their states and provinces, was signed in Bali, Indonesia, where more than 10,000 policymakers and scientists are meeting to discuss measures to reign in greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
U.S. to cut funding for rainforest conservation during Bali climate talks
(12/06/2007) While delegates meet in Bali to discuss a post-Kyoto framework on climate change, it appears likely that the U.S. Treasury Department will cut funding for the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA), the largest pool of U.S. government money exclusively for helping developing countries conserve threatened tropical forests, according to the Tropical Forest Group, a forest policy group based in Santa Barbara.
Merrill Lynch announces carbon credits-for-forest conservation partnership
(12/06/2007) Merrill Lynch is working with Carbon Conservation, an ecosystem services firms, to explore opportunities in avoided deforestation and integrated sustainable land management. The partnership was announced Thursday in Bali, Indonesia, where more than 10,000 policymakers, scientists, and activists are meeting to discuss a post-Kyoto framework on limiting climate change.