Friday, December 14, 2007

COP 13 Daily Blog, Friday 14 December 2007


It’s the last official day here at the UNFCCC Bali climate change conference, and the fate of the worlds tropical forests hang in the balance. The negotiations are continuing and all hopes of a timely decision at COP 13 are right out. The COP was scheduled for 1pm, it was tabled until 3pm, then 4pm and just now again at the 6pm Plenary; now it is in complete limbo with all realistic expectations of decisions not happening until sometime on Saturday morning. Nonetheless, things actually seem to be going well for the REDD negotiations and TFG’s initial expectations look like they will be wildly surpassed.

Some of the best news today was that we received unofficial word that the President of Indonesia had some sort of a meeting with ten of his governors and instructed them that they should watch closely what is happening in the forestry sector and take a cue from what is happening, especially in the province of Ache. This is great news because it confirms that Indonesia is serious about tackling deforestation issues before the UNFCCC process is even under way and that Ache will be a lead demonstration area.

Further on the REDD issue, Kevin Conrad of Papua New Guinea provided some very positive insight to where the process stands this afternoon at the Global Canopy Programme ( press conference. It appears as if the REDD text is fairly well finalized despite the fact that the pace is glacial, “We are progressing about one sentence a day,” but REDD has been agreed on as “an element of the future!” What was still being discussed is how REDD will relates to the SBSTA decision that was blocked on Wed by the US. However, Conrad stated further that “they (US) have bent over backwards to set us free!” So although there is work to be done, “it looks like that we will get most of what we require.” That means, pilot projects, market mechanisms and perhaps even early crediting.

On a lighter note, the last of the TFG Frisbees were distributed to the highest level delegates that we could find. Our ultimate hand-off was to Harlan Watson, Chief US negotiator! Other recipients were Kevin Conrad (PNG), Greg Pickering (Australia), Kapil Sibal (India) and Peter Furmhoff (UCS). Look to our website in the coming days for more photos of these delegates with their discs emblazoned with the TFG logo!

So for the final decision of the COP and REDD, stay tuned, because it “ain’t over yet,” and I think it will be Saturday before the results are known!

Bali Walp, singing off…

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