Friday, August 28, 2009

Good article on Copenhagen (100 things...)

This article has lots of good tidbits for anyone planning to go to Copenhagen or just following the talks.

In the article you'll find some good policy links (to good critical coverage of the politics behind the scenes) and absurdities (it is OK for women to swim topless in pools in Copenhagen, there is no plan yet to deal with a swine flu outbreak at the talks). Perhaps most frightening....? #19 according to the list says there will only be about one hour of sunlight per day during the talks.

TFG will be sending a COP15 delegation of about 25 people, mostly volunteer scientists and policy advocates. At latest count, our team will be coming from 8 countries, speaking probably 15 languages.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nigerian illegal logging task force gets serious

This is one of the most interesting tropical forest stories of our times. Cross River State is finally getting very (some say, too) serious about stopping illegal logging. The Tropical Forest Group is working with local organizations to bring more stable international support to their heroic efforts to curtail illegal logging in one of Africa's most important forests.

Radio sparring on tropical forest carbon credits

I had a fun but tough radio interview with Green Patriot Radio about the concept of can and trade legislation as well as the particulars of REDD credits. The link is in the title and the interview is about 2/3 the way through the program.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brazilian researcher calls global deforestation "grossly overestimated"

Solid numbers for tropical deforestation are notoriously hard to come by. The director of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research in the article (hyperlinked in title) speaks of deforestation rates (and thus carbon emissions) much lower than prevailing estimates. While he may be right, deforestation numbers may be lower, there is usually more to statements from Brazil on deforestation than meet they eye. This could be part of a strategy by Brazil to frame the debate on REDD in Copenhagen. One should also remember that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authoritative international body on climate change science, believes that approximately 17.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from land use change in the tropics. So for a leading Brazilian researcher to be quoted as saying,

"I'm not in favor of conspiracy theories," Camara (the Director of the Institute) told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday. "But I should only state that the two people who like these figures are developed nations, who would like to overstress the contribution of developing nations to global carbon, and of course environmentalists." probably a good reason to be skeptical.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

India calls for forests as key Copenhagen plank

Could this be the start of a new trend to have forestry play a front and center role in the next phase of Kyoto? This represents an interesting turning point - India which does not stand to gain much from "avoided emissions" (it has very little deforestation) has been clamoring to open REDD up to more types of forestry credits. If other nations latch on to forests as something that can be highlighted in the post 2012 phase, we could see some interesting breakthroughs in coming months where forestry actually helps foster an overall deal.

The text of the article is in the title link...