This Week in Forest Carbon: The Good and the Bad

22 August 2011

While the Central Kalimantan Governor gained some valuable credibility among environmentalists this month after rejecting an offer from a Russian rail investor that would have contributed to forest destruction across the province, the bigger story you’ll want to keep you eye on in Indonesia revolves around the inability for the Ministry of Forestry to contribute to the country’s national REDD+ aspirations.

A new news report shows the Ministry of Forestry is still bristling against a move to conservation and REDD+, favoring the concession model instead, which has been a long-time cash cow and source of corruption. After leading a project developer and a host of investors through bureaucratic hoops for years, with the flick of a pen the Ministry has now hobbled the pioneering Rimba Raya project, handing much of the project area over to a palm oil developer and leaving the project developers sitting with little hope to keep the project alive. Despite the national-level commitments to forest conservation and REDD+ over recent years, this move targeting the country’s first project making clear progress toward third-party certification in the voluntary market sends a clear and unfortunate signal to potential investors in REDD+ that Indonesia remains a very risky place to do business.

Things are not all doom and gloom on the project front, however. The Democratic Republic of the Congo signed it’s first ever contract for a forest conservation concession, paving the way for ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates to develop a REDD project on 300,000 hectares in the country’s forest.

Back in the US, California’s cap-and-trade regulation looks set to be finalized by its October 28 deadline. The Air Resources Board has just closed it’s last commenting period on the draft cap-and-trade regulation, eliciting comments from many of the big names in the carbon markets and several companies with a lot at stake.

And as we reported in the last newsletter, we’re happy to say the State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011 report is still on track for a release in late September, so stay tuned! In the meantime, read on below for all the headlines and more in this, the latest edition of Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon News Brief.
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team


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