GCF Member Spotlight 

Amazonas, Brazil 

By IDESAM and CECLIMA

The State of Amazonas is one of the nine states that make up the Brazilian Amazon, and it has the highest amount of its forest cover still standing, at around 97%. With so much at stake, the state was one of the pioneers in establishing state-wide public policies related to issues such as climate change and the design of positive incentives for forest conservation. In 2007, Amazonas established its State Policy on Climate Change (PEMC) (law 3.135/2007) and a complementary law 53/2007, which establishes the State System for Protected Areas (SEUC). Another strategy adopted by the Amazonas State Government was the creation of a public-private foundation, the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) that has the objective of managing the Bolsa Floresta Program (PBF) which is a payment for ecosystem services program in 15 State Protected Areas. The PBF aims to reward and improve the quality of life in traditional communities for their contribution in maintaining the environmental services provided by the forests, reducing deforestation and valuing the standing forests. It is composed of four components:

Bolsa Floresta Income – Aims to provide incentives for sustainable production

Bolsa Floresta Social – Aims to invest in health, education, transportation and communication

Bolsa Floresta Association – Aims to strengthen associations and social control of the program

Bolsa Floresta Family – Aims to reward the involvement of families in the reduction of deforestation

One important result of the establishment of FAS is the development of the Juma Reserve REDD Project, the first REDD project to be validated under a voluntary standard in Brazil (the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB Standards)). The goal of the project is to manage a Sustainable Development Reserve, as well as implement activities outlined in the Protected Area Management Plan to curb the deforestation in the state. These policies combined seek to avoid emissions of around 3.6 million tons of CO2 through 2016, projected under a business as usual scenario, from activities such as land grabbing, illegal logging and deforestation for the establishment of soy and cattle. The project is led by FAS, and the Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas (Idesam) was the technical coordinator of the Project Design Document development and validation process under the CCB Standards.

In March 2009, the State created the Amazonas State Forum on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Environmental Services and Energy (law decree 28.390/2009), with the objective to raise awareness in Amazonas about the discussion and decision making regarding global climate change. This Forum is composed of 3 working groups: (i) Land Use, Forests and Environmental Services, (ii) Energy and, (iii) Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change.

In 2010, faced with demands presented by the State Forum, the State of Amazonas initiated the participative Working Group process of designing and drafting the “Amazonas State Policy on Environmental Services,” which aims to structure economic and operational mechanisms to evaluate (and provide financial incentives to stakeholders for the activities that conserve) the natural resources of Amazonas. The process of designing this law involves the participation of several institutions. The Working Group contained diverse members, both governmental and non-governmental institutions, who were coordinated by Idesam with the assistance of legal consultant Ludovino Lopes Advogados, whose role was to translate the demands and expectations of the Working Group members into a legal format. The state officially released the proposed law in March 2011 for review and online public comment with in person comment sessions starting in July, in 5 municipalities and in Manaus, the state capital. The sessions will be conducted by Ceclima, the technical body of the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development of Amazonas (SDS-AM).

Latex from a rubber tree being harvested. Rubber tapping is a sustainable rainforest industry that supports many in the Amazon rainforest

In This Issue

Recently cut and burned rainforest turned into a cattle ranch in the Brazilian Amazon, where cattle ranching is one of the biggest drivers of deforestation.
FAS coordinator, Edvaldo Correa, speaks during a Bolsa Floresta Program workshop at the Juma Reserve. Photo: FAS

GCF Task Updates 

Task 3 Knowledge Database 

The GCF state and province database entries are making steady progress, and Wall Street On Demand has been putting the final touches on the visual and database designs. With the assistance of the Country Coordinators and members, the GCF is currently creating state summaries, developing the national overview pages, and collecting source documents to back up all of the information provided in the database (including maps, project design documents, project finance documents, and laws and policies). The GCF Secretariat expects the first version of the database to be ready for state and province internal review in August. The database will be publicly available upon member approval at or shortly after the GCF Annual Meeting in September in Central Kalimantan.

REDD Developments 

Update: California-Acre-Chiapas REDD Offset Working Group 

By Tony Brunello

The REDD Offset Working Group (ROW) was established in February 2011 as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in November 2010 between the Governors of California, Chiapas and Acre, as part of a collaborative effort to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). The ROW includes technical experts and participants from NGOs, registries, and other institutions, in addition to observers from the MOU state governments. The ROW has biweekly conference calls and has met in-person twice this year with the next meeting scheduled for July in San Francisco.

The process is expected to last one year and the final ROW deliverable is a user-friendly report that outlines options and recommendations Acre, Chiapas and California can consider in their state rule-making processes. The group is developing its recommendations to be broadly applicable to all REDD programs. Throughout the year, the ROW is examining two-central questions, with input from stakeholders and through an open process: (1) what legal and institutional mechanisms are required to enable California to recognize international REDD-based emissions offsets for compliance purposes; and (2) what are the key policy and technical elements a sectoral REDD program should achieve in order for their REDD-based offsets to be recognized by a compliance program like California. The ROW will ask the GCF to provide comments on early versions of the draft recommendations.

REDD Offset Working Group at the meeting in May in San Francisco, CA.

Work Continues on California's Cap-and-Trade Program During AB 32 Lawsuit 

In June 2009, a group of environmental justice organizations sued the California Air Resources Board (ARB) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to overturn the landmark California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Their primary argument against the cap-and-trade provisions of the law was that ARB failed to conduct a legally adequate analysis of alternative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as a carbon tax.

In May 2011, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith dismissed many of the groups’ claims, but agreed that ARB had failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap-and-trade. He ordered ARB to stop work on the cap-and-trade program, but shortly after his decision, ARB filed an appeal and secured a temporary stay of his order from the 1st Appellate District. Work on the cap-and-trade program is continuing pending the appeal.

Although ARB disagrees with the plaintiffs' arguments and the lower court’s decision, the Board nonetheless completed and released a revised analysis of the alternatives on 13 June 2011 that it asserts fully addresses the concerns of both the organizations and the Superior Court judge. The revised analysis confirms that cap-and-trade is the best, most environmentally-sound approach for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

While the ultimate outcome of the appeal is unknown, many legal experts predict that the state will prevail and that the lawsuit will not delay start of the market in January 2012.

Several blogs are closely following the lawsuit, including the UCLA and Berkeley Law Schools blogroll and the Stoel Rives LLP California Environmental Law blog. The GCF Secretariat will circulate relevant updates as available.

Indonesia Signs 2-Year Moratorium on Forest Conversion Permits 

On 20 May 2011, Indonesian President Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a long-awaited Presidential Decree implementing a two-year moratorium on new permits for the conversion of primary forests and peatlands. The moratorium is part of the $1 billion Indonesia-Norway partnership agreement on REDD. Some organizations have criticized the moratorium for containing too many exemptions and possible loopholes, not covering secondary forests, and being difficult to enforce. However, many view the moratorium as a positive first step in reducing emissions from deforestation and improving forest governance and enforcement in Indonesia. For more details, a full analysis of the moratorium is available courtesy of Daemeter Consulting.

Orangutan mother and child in Borneo. Loss of habitat due to deforestation is a threat to orangutans in Indonesia.

UNFCCC Climate Change Conference 

06-16 June 2011, Bonn, Germany

Difficult Negotiations Continue on Climate Change and REDD+—Some Preliminary Progress on Subnational Reference Levels

The UNFCCC continues its work on REDD+ as part of the follow up from the Cancun Agreements. John-O Niles of the Tropical Forest Group, a technical advisor to the GCF, followed the talks, specifically those on subnational REDD+, and provided the following update at the midway point in the negotiations.

During the talks, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) is developing modalities for national and subnational reference levels and forest monitoring systems, guidance on safeguards, and modalities for measuring, reporting and verification of REDD+. These talks were called for by Annex 2 of the Cancun Agreements. The Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA) was also debating the overall post-2012 climate regime and had just started to touch on REDD specifically (as well as related topics such as market and non-market mechanisms, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, and a registry). Papua New Guinea, one of the first movers on REDD, continued to advance its idea that there should be an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that would embrace REDD.

Most of the first week was very slow and disappointing, with Bolivia blocking the adoption of the SBSTA agenda, continually raising the fact that it did not agree to the Cancun Agreements. On June 9th, Bolivia finally agreed to let the SBSTA agenda be adopted (and actual work begin) after it received assurances that it would be able to state in the report that it had objected. A contact group was established chaired by the REDD negotiator from Canada. These contact groups are closed to the public, but word was that there was a spirit of working together to actually develop good recommendations that could be adopted by COP-17 in Durban, South Africa. Although SBSTA has not yet made any decisions, indications are that it will suggest that countries should begin submitting reference levels and other information for review by experts. One influential delegate suggested that the decision would allow countries to submit national or subnational (or potentially both) reference levels that could be reviewed, which would be an important development if adopted. The same delegate explained that there would probably not be a "global review" of reference levels, but rather it would be done on a rolling basis. This raises the question about whether globally, the reference levels would be consistent and logical, but it seemed that this was politically necessary as some countries will be able to propose their reference levels much sooner than others.

In the side events and corridors outside the formal negotiations, there was considerable discussion about what it all means. There is a prevailing sense that with the future of the Kyoto Protocol very much in doubt and the slow pace of talks for something different under the UNFCCC, there will be a worrisome gap in global climate policy starting in 2013. But if SBSTA can suggest modalities for national and subnational REDD+ reference levels to be reviewed, this could create some international legitimacy or backbone for REDD+ finance and support. There was a growing consensus that Fast Track finance for REDD+ is difficult to track, in part due to the gap between when funds get announced, when they are allocated to specific programs, and when funding actually begins. Most major bi-lateral and multi-lateral REDD funds have yet to actually spend or report on substantial REDD funds "hitting the ground." The GCF will continue to follow and report on UN developments in the lead in to COP-17.

GCF News 

GCF Workshop 

9-11 June, Pontianak, West Kalimantan

This month, GCF Coordinator in Indonesia (Kemitraan) and GCF member West Kalimantan hosted a GCF Workshop in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, focused on completing the GCF database and mapping out progress in identifying needs to link provincial REDD activities with national efforts and direction (see Workshop Agenda).

The first day of the workshop GCF members identified general needs by theme/topic to help their province reach their REDD goals. The second day went into more detail of the needs identified the day before through exercises of ranking the needs with lists noted under each need. Finally the provinces focused on the REDD-related work that has been done to date by starting the templates that will be used to feed the GCF Knowledge Database (Task 3).

GCF stakeholder and REDD Offset Working Group (ROW) facilitator Tony Brunello attended the workshop to communicate recent events in California and the ROW. Brunello also met with the U.S. State Department in Jakarta to promote the GCF and encourage investment in GCF states and provinces.

GCF Workshop attendees on a field visit along the western coast in West Kalimantan.

GCF Annual Meeting: Registration Open 

20-22 September, Luwansa Hotel, Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan

The GCF’s Annual Meeting is open and free of charge to stakeholders and GCF representatives. The meeting will include: a high-level session attended by ministers, governors, environment secretaries, and other governmental and inter-governmental organization representatives; key updates from the member states and provinces and on major GCF developments including the GCF REDD+ Knowledge Database and the GCF Fund; and facilitated breakout sessions on high priority topics including alignment of national and subnational REDD policies and environmental and social safeguards, which will result in concrete action items for the GCF moving forward. A provisional agenda will be posted as soon as finalized.

Registration for the meeting is now open and is required for all who want to attend. All registrations must be received by 1 August 2011. To register and reserve your place, click here. General information, the agenda, and background documents for the annual meeting will be posted here as they become available. Please contact the GCF Secretariat with questions about the meeting or registration.

 

Upcoming Events 

Oslo REDD Exchange 2011 

23-24 June 2011, Oslo, Norway

Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise: Experiences and Opportunities for Asia in a changing Context 

11-15 July 2011, Lombok, Indonesia

Second Regional Forum for People and Forests 

08-10 August 2011, Bangkok, Thailand

The Role of Commodity Roundtables & Avoided Forest Conversion in Subnational REDD+ 

07-09 September 2011, California, USA

Funding is available for participation in this workshop. GCF members as well as other interested stakeholders are encouraged to contact Nathalie Walker for more information about the funding and the meeting in general.

GCF Annual Meeting 

20-22 September 2011 in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Fifth Latin American Forestry Congress 

18-21 October 2011, Lima, Peru

Governance for Forests, Nature and People 

24 October - 4 November 2011, Bogor, Indonesia

COP 17 

28 November - 9 December 2011, Durban, South Africa

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