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October 30, 2008 New InitiativesUpcoming and Recent ConveningsNew PublicationsGeneral Announcements

NEW! State and Practice of the Forest Carbon Markets at the UN Conference of Parties – Poznań, Poland

Join Ecosystem Marketplace and the Katoomba Group us at our side event on Forest Day 2 of COP 14. Here we will present trends in the forest carbon markets and key lessons from the Katoomba Ecosystem Service Incubator’s forest carbon projects in Latin America and Africa.  Click here for more information.

 

Dear Friends,

While we have lots of exciting developments to report from Forest Trends these seem somehow overshadowed in light of other current global challenges.  The crumbling financial sector here in the U.S. and around the globe could very easily mean that there will be much less financial resources to tackle the problems of climate change, water pollution and biodiversity loss not to mention poverty alleviation.  Or it might point to a dramatic shift in the finance community that begins to recognize the inherent and long term returns of investing in our natural infrastructure, our forests, our coral reefs, and bringing people out of poverty.  

A very critical junction will be the presidential elections here in the U.S.  This next month, I am hopeful that we choose to reverse the course of the last 8 years to reengage the rest of the world as a partner in multilateral dialogue and action to address the global issues that threaten us and our planet.  

Despite these other global challenges, Forest Trends remains encouraged with the growing attention to the environment.  We remain committed to helping fulfill the promise of ecosystem service market opportunities to benefit communities and deliver real conservation outcomes around the world with initiatives like our new Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator in East and Southern Africa, our Chesapeake Fund to address increasing water quality crises around the globe, and new market drivers via Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program activities.  Read about all these and more in our updates below.

I would also like to highlight the availability of a tool we’ve dubbed The Matrix, a poster-sized chart and accompanying set of market profiles that represents a comprehensive analysis of major ecosystem service markets from carbon to water and biodiversity.  Ecosystem service payments and markets are emerging, changing rapidly, and spread out across geographies and institutions.  It can be challenging to get a clear sense of the big picture of these markets: What are the major markets? How big are they? Who's involved? Where are they heading?  With Ecosystem Marketplace’s The Matrix, our effort is to help practitioners visualize and analyze this often unclear landscape.  The Matrix will be updated annually to represent the most current view of the ever-changing landscape of payments for ecosystem services.  

Also, Ecosystem Marketplace continues to cover all manner of ecosystem market issues in its V-Carbon News, Mitigation Mail, and W.E.T. News (Water/Environment/Trading) newsletters.  Sign up here to receive the latest news on these developing markets.

Best wishes,


Michael Jenkins, President


New Initiatives

Chesapeake Fund

Forest Trends has launched the Chesapeake Fund, a regional water quality initiative that is creating a model for reducing nitrogen and other nutrient pollution and “dead zones” worldwide. The UN’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment labeled oxygen-deficient dead zones a greater threat to humanity than global warming.  Found in the Gulf of Mexico, the mouth of the Yangtze River basin, Europe’s Black Sea, and in a total of 150 areas worldwide, dead zones are areas where an excess of nutrient runoff from agriculture makes life for most creatures impossible, with huge economic impacts to fisheries, tourism, recreation, etc.  

The Chesapeake Fund, designed to stimulate innovative market-based approaches to water quality markets, is a collaborative partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, World Resources Institute, and partners at the University of Maryland.  Led by our recent hire Dan Nees (see bio below), the Fund will establish a voluntary nitrogen offset market that invests private dollars in on-the-ground pollution reduction projects. We believe that if the viability of this market-based tool can be successfully demonstrated in a large, multi-state watershed like the Chesapeake Bay, then its adoption by other regions throughout the world will be rapid.  

The Fund was launched at a two-day private meeting following the global Katoomba meeting in Washington, DC in June 2008, with government and state agencies, financial institutions, research institutions, and non-profit organizations.  Key participants in that private Katoomba meeting have since become members of the Chesapeake Fund Advisory Board, an entity created to help guide the further development of the Fund.  Our plans are to initiate the first projects by early 2009, taking steps towards investing in on-the-ground nitrogen reduction projects to improve water quality in the Bay.  For more information, contact Dan Nees (dnees at forest-trends.org).

 

Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator for East and Southern Africa

The Katoomba Group has teamed up with the Uganda Carbon Bureau to build an ‘Incubator’ that will develop payments for ecosystem services for small scale, community and indigenous projects that have had difficulty accessing payments for ecosystem services.  Small scale producers are often in remote locations with no access to information about environmental markets and no support from local institutions.  Tenure and user rights are either non-existent or fuzzy.  Yet these rural producers of ecosystem services should be the beneficiaries of these emerging payments so we are focusing the Katoomba Incubator to facilitate technical, financial and market assistance in East and Southern Africa.

A similar Incubator has been active in Latin America for almost two years.  The expansion of the Incubator model to the African region begins with an identification of carbon projects in Uganda and Tanzania, facilitating the local projects’ entry to a global market and serving as a prototype for similar projects across Africa.  The Incubator has already seen a positive response in Africa: when introduced at the recent regional Katoomba meeting in Tanzania, the Incubator drew inquiries and requests for expansion from Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, and Ethiopia.  For more information, contact Sara Namirembe (snamirembe at forest-trends.org).

 

New Suite of Forest Carbon Activities

Leading up to the UN Climate Negotiations in Poznan, Poland this December, Ecosystem Marketplace has begun work on a suite of projects concerning the growing—and still contentious— forest carbon markets.  Research is underway for the first State of the Forest Carbon Markets report, modeled after our annual State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report, both of which are scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2009.  Building on this research, we will be launching a dynamic, searchable database and map of all forest carbon projects currently generating credits around the globe.  The database will reside on a new informational website—temporarily known as the Forest Carbon Portal—that we hope will become the “one-stop shop” for information on the emerging forest carbon markets, both voluntary and regulated. Together, these elements will inform, connect, and mobilize stakeholders (from climate negotiators to investors to community-focused NGOs) on the latest forest carbon market opportunities, challenges, methodologies, readiness efforts, and policy.  For more information, contact Allison Shapiro (ashapiro at forest-trends.org).

 



Convenings

A REDD Clinic: Designing activities to mitigate climate change – Turrialba, Costa Rica

On October 27th, Forest Trends and multiple partners are joining forces to provide a five-day clinic focused on “REDD”, a new forest conservation initiative.  The loss of forests accounts for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is designed to reduce the threat of tropical deforestation in developing countries.  Brought forward at the recent Kyoto Conference of Parties meeting in Bali, REDD was formally added to a list of mitigation activities to achieve carbon emissions reduction targets.  To help communities in developing countries benefit from REDD, Forest Trends and the Katoomba Group are partnering with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Education Center (CATIE), the World Bank, the German Association for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) on the joint international course: Designing REDD Activities to Mitigate Climate Change. The five-day workshop will be held at CATIE in Turrialba, Costa Rica from October 27-31.

The clinic will address the science of climate change mitigation through forests, analyze policy approaches to REDD currently discussed by the international community, and present recently developed methodologies, validation and verification standards and voluntary REDD initiatives. Case studies will be presented for national and project based activities, and the participants will benefit from interactive discussion with international experts.  Click here for more information about the course, or contact Zenia Salinas (zsalinas at catie.ac.cr).

 

State and Practice of the Forest Carbon Markets at the UN Conference of Parties – Poznań, Poland

The Ecosystem Marketplace and the Katoomba Group will host a side panel on Forest Day at the world’s premier gathering of experts and decision-makers in the climate change field – the UN Conference of Parties, December 6th, 2008.  We will present trends in the forest carbon markets and the preliminary structure of the online Forest Carbon Portal.  We will also present findings from our first annual State of the Forest Carbon Markets report, including quantitative data and qualitative analysis of the regulated and voluntary markets for forest carbon around the world.  After preliminary findings are presented, a panel of experts, including project developers, standards organizations, and buyers will share their own insights into the current state of the market for forest-based offsets. Experiences and key lessons will be showcased from the Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator’s forest carbon projects in Latin America and Africa.  For more information, contact Kate Hamilton (khamilton at forest-trends.org).

 

Business and Biodiversity Offset Program: What Has it Achieved and Where is it Headed at IUCN World Conservation Congress – Barcelona, Spain (October 9, 2008)

The Business and Biodiversity Offset Program (BBOP) hosted a workshop—to a standing-room-only crowd—at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. The workshop engaged participants in an interactive panel discussion on the potential opportunities and risks of biodiversity offsets; presented an overview of the status of BBOP’s methodology toolkit, to be published in early 2009; discussed lessons learned to date; and solicited feedback on the future direction of the program. For more information, please contact Patrick Maguire (pmaguire at forest-trends.org).

 

A Meeting of the East & Southern Africa Katoomba Group: Taking Stock and Charting a Way Forward for Payments for Ecosystem Services in Africa – Tanzania (September 16-20, 2008)

The third annual regional meeting of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group was held last month in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania.  The Tanzania meeting was convened to move payments for ecosystem services (PES) forward, tapping into the rising demand [from REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and Payments for Watershed Services (PWS)].  The meeting brought together over 200 stakeholders interested in PES markets, including participants from African countries ranging from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, and the host Tanzanians.

This Katoomba meeting focused discussions on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) readiness strategies and payments for watershed services (PWS).   Participants had an opportunity to discuss REDD stakeholder engagement, pilot demonstration sites, capacity building, and training needs.  In the watershed arena, the meeting highlighted examples of PWS from around the world and focused discussion on solutions for the challenges of design and implementation of equitable PWS schemes in Tanzania and the region.  Participants were also introduced to the Katoomba Group Ecosystem Services Incubator.  The Kenyan participants lobbied to host the next meeting in Nairobi.  Click here for more information and links to presentations from the meeting.

 

Workshop on Forest Trade and Market Reforms in the Mekong Region Held at RECOFTC – Bangkok, Thailand (August 21-22, 2008)

Rising worldwide demand for forest products has heavily impacted natural resources and the communities who depend on them in the Mekong region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). Forest harvesting and associated trade is often illegal and derived from unsustainable sources, despite efforts of better forest governance and trade regulation. Forest Trends, RECOFTC and the Verifor Project hosted the workshop “Forest Trade and Market Reforms in the Mekong Region: Creating a Network to Support Sustainability, Legality and Pro-Poor Outcomes,” in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop catalyzed a network of national experts and research institutions seeking to gain a better understanding of the dynamic relations currently governing forest trade and industry in the Mekong region. The long-term objective of this network is to develop projects that improve local capacity to better evaluate key timber wood flows and forest governance issues, and promote a two-tiered coalition to advocate for improved policy and market reforms in the Mekong region. For more information on the workshop agenda and proceedings or the network project, please visit www.forest-trends.org or contact Jordan Sauer (jsauer at forest-trends.org).

 

Avina Foundation/Forest Trends workshop – Ciudad del Saber, Panamα (July 28-30, 2008)

The Tropical America Katoomba Group and Forest Trends supported the third Avina Foundation workshop in Ciudad del Saber, Panamá. The meeting brought together participants from Central America and the “Southern Cone” (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay) to focus on opportunities and challenges in developing ecosystem services markets in Central America. Organized in collaboration with the Avina Foundation and CIDES, the three-day event featured national and international experts to discuss evolution and trends in the ecosystem services markets and sources of financing, local participation and the role of institutions and legal governance in the development of markets for carbon, water, biodiversity, and marine resources.
 
This workshop was the third in a series of ecosystem services focused workshops in Latin America commissioned by the Avina Foundation.  A public session held on the first day provided an overview of international developments in ecosystem services and markets and focused on their importance throughout Latin America.  The closed sessions aimed to identify and lend support in the design and progress of ecosystem service related activities and initiatives of the Central American participants.  Click here for more information and links to presentations from the workshops.

 

Global Katoomba Meeting XII – Washington DC, USA (June 9-10, 2008)

The Global Katoomba Group meeting “Developing an Infrastructure Fund for the Planet” was held in Washington, DC.  The event brought together policy makers, major financial institutions, business leaders, the environmental community and local indigenous groups from around the world to discuss the current scope and potential of ecosystem markets to address environmental problems.  Panel discussions provided an overview of the state of affairs of ecosystem services and developments in the U.S. and international carbon markets.  Breakout sessions were held specifically focused on markets for carbon, water, and biodiversity.  Prominent keynote speakers included John Holdren of the Woods Hole Research Center, Brazilian governor Blairo Maggi of Mato Grosso, Kathy Sierra of the World Bank, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, and Steve McCormick of the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.  Click here for more information and links to presentations from the workshops.

 


New Publications

Mapping Ecosystem Markets: the Matrix

Forest Trends

Over the last decade, there has been a diverse array of efforts around the globe to value and pay for ecosystem services.  Some of these efforts are already channeling billions of dollars into projects and others are less developed, which makes it difficult to get a clear sense of the big picture of these markets.  ‘The Matrix’ is an effort to provide that big picture quite literally in a poster-sized spreadsheet of major ecosystem service markets, with accompanying market profiles.  The Matrix summarizes information that we have collected on Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs around the world including their key characteristics (size, environmental impact, community impact, market participants, etc).  It is hoped that The Matrix will be updated at least every year and will help guide the many different stakeholders through this rapidly changing landscape. Both documents may be viewed here.  

Ecosystem Marketplace Series on Water Quality Trading

Ecosystem Marketplace

Over the summer, Ecosystem Marketplace stepped up its editorial coverage with in-depth coverage of water quality trading.  A series of articles on water quality trading featured eight stories covering the basics of water quality trading, criticism and evolution of regulatory and voluntary trading in the U.S., and case studies from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Uganda.  

Amendment to the U.S. Lacey Act: Implications for Chinese Forest Products Exporters

R. Juge Gregg and Amelia Porges

Many of China's wood product exports are manufactured from raw wood materials that have been harvested in countries where illegal harvesting and other legal violations covered by the Lacey Act are well-documented.  This creates a risk that manufacturers, exporters and retailers of goods made in China with suspect timber could face forfeiture, penalties and even imprisonment under the newly-amended U.S. law.  This briefing aims to provide concise legal information for companies trading in Chinese forest products.  Click here to download the report.

Special Issue of Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM)

Vol. 1, No. 4: June - August 2008
Tundi Agardy, Ph.D., editor

Forest Trends’ Marine Ecosystem Services Program has worked to assess the feasibility of integrating water quality markets that begin with freshwater/watersheds and extend to the coastal zone, with a focus on the Chesapeake watershed, and has published a special issue of MEAM (Marine Ecosystems and Management) on the subject.  Click here to access the issue.



Announcements
 

New Faces at Forest Trends this Summer

Dan Nees joined Forest Trends in August 2008 as the director of Forest Trends’ Chesapeake Fund project, which is a new effort to establish water quality markets throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.  Dan came to Forest Trends from the World Resources Institute (WRI), where he directed water quality programs.  Prior to WRI, Dan was the director of University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center for six years.  During that time, Dan assisted communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and Mid-Atlantic region in their efforts to implement and finance environmental and sustainable development initiatives.  His work has focused on developing and building coalitions of diverse interests groups and directing them towards common financing and implementation goals.  Dan holds a B.A. in Economics, a Master of Environmental Policy, and a Master of Business Administrationfrom the University of Maryland, College Park.


Sara Namirembe joined the Forest Trends team as the coordinator of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group’s Incubator initiative.  Sara has extensive experience in facilitating collaborative/participatory natural resource management and conservation with organizations like EMPAFORM Uganda (Strengthening and Empowering Civil Society for Participatory Forest Management in East Africa), NatureUganda, and Environmental Alert.   Prior to joining the Katoomba Group, Sara served for eight years in the academic community as a lecturer and department head of the Faculty of Foresty and Nature Conservation at the University of Makerere.  She holds a B.S. in Forestry from Makerere University; a Master’s in Forestry and Environmental Management from the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton; and a Ph.D. in Forestry and Agricultural Sciences from the University of Wales, Bangor.


Phil Covell joined Forest Trends’ Business Development Facility, bringing over 20 years of experience in the development and financing of environmental enterprises in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  He has been a Budget Manager at the US Peace Corps, a founding Director of fund manager Triodos PV Partners, Executive Director of Enersol Associates, Inc., and Chief Financial Officer of Soluz, Inc.  He holds a Bachelors of International Studies from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT, and an MBA from the University of California, Davis.


Suzan Dobbertin joined the administrative team at Forest Trends in July 2008. Prior to joining Forest Trends, Susan’s experience with wildlife management and invasive species include internships and biological technician positions with the Central Pine Barrens Commission and the Nature Conservancy; Fire Island National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the SCA. She studied conservation biology at Warren Wilson College and graduated with honors in 2005 with a BS in Biology and Environmental Studies.


Becca Madsen recently joined Forest Trends as the Biodiversity Program Manager of Ecosystem Marketplace.  Prior to joining Ecosystem Marketplace, she was a Presidential Management Fellow with the US Forest Service, informing mitigation banking business proposals while on loan to Environmental Banc & Exchange, and analyzing demand for water quality trading. Becca completed a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, where she was selected as a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow. Before attending graduate school, she served as a small business volunteer with the Peace Corps in Mali and worked on water quality and land conservation issues in city government in Texas.


Aboubakar Mama Sambo joined Forest Trends team this summer as a Senior Accountant.  He has ten years of accounting and financial management experience supporting international development programs, working in both the governmental and non-profit sectors.  Prior to joining Forest Trends, Abou worked as Manager of International Accounting with the National Cooperative Business Association where he helped build and strengthen the overseas field offices  and home capacity in accounting, financial control and budgeting, and project financial management over the last 3 years. He has a masters degree in Finance/Accounting from the National University of Benin, and speaks English, French, Fon, Goun, Dendi, Mina, and Yoruba.