Deforestation Threatens Critical Ecosystems Across Africa

Campaign Will Help Reforest Kilimanjaro Region

Ecosystems around the world are under assault like never before. The collapse of any ecosystem impacts life around the world–especially when the ecosystem is an anchor in Africa’s greenbelt.

Tanzania wildlife conservation

The greater Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania and Kenya is one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Millions of people and several endangered species depend on the snows of Kilimanjaro for survival. If these ecosystems collapse, it will have a ripple effect across Africa and around the world.

“Save Kilimanjaro” isn’t about a mountain. It’s about life. It’s about hope for our children and grandchildren. It’s a chance for us to push back against the insanity and devastation that’s chipping away at our world.

deforestation Tanzania and Kenya

 

Stakeholders across East Africa have innovative and comprehensive plans that can defend the greater Kilimanjaro region. They plan to save wildlife, capture carbon and reduce deforestation on a massive scale. This investment will benefit the entire planet, while preserving a world treasure. We can all make a difference.

Our first project will help the Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania defend the greater Kilimanjaro ecosystem with more than 10 million new seedlings, community engagement, wildlife conservation strategies and more. They will educate local stakeholders about sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife management.

Africa climate change solutions

The Foundation will start three large greenhouses and nurseries to produce the seedlings over the next three years. Hundreds of local stakeholders will help plant and care for the trees. 

The Rombo District Council and the Rongai Forest Plantation Authority have donated several acres for the nurseries. The Moshi Municipal Council offered a third nursery for urban reforestation. (Two nurseries border Kilimanjaro National Park.)

Unlike past reforestation efforts in the region, we will focus on local needs and long-term sustainability. The seedlings are indigenous species that can help restore and protect the integrity of the ecosystem, while helping rural communities thrive as stewards of the land.

reforest Tanzania

We will plant trees for sustainable timber, rainfall management, groundwater conservation, food, wildlife habitat and other regional needs. We will include an urban forestry program that will help “street kids” generate food and income. The urban canopy can help capture pollutants and water runoff, while making the cities more resilient and energy efficient.

Tanzania has already lost more than half of its elephants to poachers over the past decade. Other large mammals are on the same path. They could be wiped out entirely in just five or six years. Adding to the crisis, there has been loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as a result of fragmentation and loss of critical ecosystem linkages and over-exploitation of the natural habitats. This loss of habitat brings humans and wildlife into more and more conflict over food, water and space–which means more bloodshed.

lion conservation Africa

Conservationists are demanding more efforts to protect endangered species now. In a letter published July 27, 2016 in the journal BioScience, 43 wildlife conservationists warn that elephants, lions, rhinos, gorillas and many other species will become extinct without urgent intervention, which must include habitat conservation, community engagement and more.

“We will soon be writing obituaries for species as they vanish from the planet,” said authors from Wildlife Conservation Society, Zoological Society of London, Panthera and many others. Extinction is a slippery slope.

We need sponsors, donors, volunteers and in-kind donations. Please Help Save Kilimanjaro and beyond https://www.gofundme.com/SaveKilimanjaro

Asante’ sana.

deforestation and climate change

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

UPS Foundation Awards $2.5 Million To Support Global Reforestry

Global Forestry Initiative Celebrates Fourth Year

The UPS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of UPS®, awarded nearly $2.5 million to nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. The UPS Foundation’s largest environmental grant recipient is The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization that works globally to protect ecologically important lands and bodies of water.

Launched in 2011, UPS’s Global Forestry Initiative goal is to help plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and rural areas and critical forests around the world. UPS’s ongoing contribution to The Nature Conservancy continues to support the program for reforestation in the U.S., Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti and China. Through this effort, The Nature Conservancy will be directly responsible for planting 700,000 trees in at-risk or eroded ecosystems. The grant will also be used to support the Responsible Asia Forest Trade Dialogues program with the EU and to support the Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Initiative, which promotes urban forestry.

reforestation and carbon capture

The company also announced that it has surpassed the company’s 2014 tree planting goals, planting more than 1.7 million trees this grant cycle. Since 2012, The UPS Foundation and UPS employees have planted more than 3 million trees across 47 countries to support the environment.

The UPS Foundation has four philanthropic pillars which are funded in local communities throughout the year. UPS’s global programs are funded quarterly and in 2013, over 4,300 nonprofit and NGO organizations worldwide received funding. The philanthropic pillars are Community Safety, Diversity, Environment and Volunteerism.

“At UPS, we believe volunteers are at the heart of all efforts at building community resiliency and they are critical to help sustain our environment,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. “Through volunteer service hours committed by UPS employees as well as our environmental grants program, The UPS Foundation is dedicated to delivering time and resources to enhance environmental stewardship, especially in support of carbon reduction, environmental research, education and conservation.”

deforestation and climate change

In addition to The Nature Conservancy, nine other organizations are recipients of The UPS Foundation’s 2014 environmental grants. They include:

Student Conservation Association Inc. (SCA) for the SCA National Conservation Internship program for college students interested in careers in environmental stewardship;

World Business Council for Sustainable Development to support the organization’s annual conference by providing organizational support around sustainable development programs;

World Resources Institute toward sustainability research to support of The Greenhouse Gas Protocol and Reducing Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Systems;

World Wildlife Fund to build local capacity for tropical rainforest restoration and reforestation in Africa, Asia and Latin American through 10 Education for Global Reforestation grants;

DonorsChoose.org for environmental education classroom projects submitted by public school teachers in rural communities;

Earth Day Network to help the Trees for Communities project plant 380,000 trees in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania as well as throughout the Boreal Forest in Canada, Russia and Norway;

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., for 30 community planting tree grants and five post-recovery tree planting grants;

National Arbor Day Foundation for reforestation projects in the U.S. and the Boreal Forest in Canada; and

National Park Foundation toward continued backing of the reforestation of reclaimed mining land which supports the UPS Global Forestry Initiative at the new Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Penn., honoring the heroes of Sept. 11.

Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/news/14/10/4910998/the-ups-foundation-awards-nearly-2-5m-in-environmental-grants#ixzz3GBKSgNEG

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Carbon Credits Aimed At Saving Kenya’s Ecosystems

Editor’s Note: Cheers to WildlifeWorks and its partners. The emerging success story discussed below further validates the model developed by Sacred Seedlings. The only difference is that we can leverage this model on a scale that includes the reforestation and conservation of 1.27 billion acres just in Tanzania. We have similar projects ready to go across East Africa. It’s much more than a carbon capture program. It will defend entire ecosystems that support more than 100 million people and several endangered species.

Fighting Global Warming, While Defending Ecosystems

The three-week-old carcass in Kenya’s East Tsavo National Park is hardly identifiable as an elephant anymore. Gone are the hallmark tusks and expressive trunk; the elephant’s entire face has been hacked off. The perpetrators used a machine gun, said Eric Sagwe, who leads a private anti-poaching patrol in the park, pointing to bullet-scarred trees and the remains of two more elephants nearby.

elephant conservation Tanzania

“For 30 years, this elephant was taken care of,” he said. “Then someone comes and kills it in just a few minutes. I’m very sad to see this.”

The words on Sagwe’s uniform, Wildlife Works, are an abbreviation for Wildlife Works Carbon, Inc., a company based in the Kasigau area of southern Kenya, where hundreds of elephants still roam.

Sagwe is one of the company’s 140 “wildlife rangers.” He hopes the ranger ranks will continue to grow, but that will depend on whether his employer can sell enough carbon credits on the international market to sustain the Kasigau Corridor Carbon Project, as it’s known.

reforestation and climate change

The concept of carbon emissions trading, involving carbon “credits” as an economic incentive, was laid out in the UN’s Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that came into force in 2005 to help mitigate climate change.

Under the protocol, caps were placed on the greenhouse gas emissions industrialized countries were permitted to emit. Those that exceeded their limit, however, could buy “credits” from other member nations whose emissions fell below their target levels.

The concept was extended to private companies (and even individuals), which could earn credits for reducing their carbon emissions by engaging in sustainable practices such as using solar power instead of coal or gas or protecting trees. Carbon emitters could buy those credits on a voluntary carbon exchange market to offset their own pollution.

Carbon Capture and Carbon Credits

Kenya is one of 53 nations partnering with the UN’s REDD program (short for Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), and Wildlife Works’s Kasigau project is the country’s pilot carbon offset initiative.

The Wildlife Works rangers monitor more than 500,000 acres of wooded land in the Kasigau Corridor—a stretch between Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks containing more than 110,000 inhabitants—to prevent illegal tree-cutting and keep elephant poachers at bay.

lion conservation Africa

David Antonioli, head of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the organization that sets rules and procedures and awards carbon credits, said those involved in the Kasigau project “are really pioneers. Not until this project came on board did anyone have any good examples [to] point to and say, Here’s how it works.”

Villagers hired by Wildlife Works count trees in the corridor, and the total amount of carbon stored in them is then calculated. Although the company self-reports this information, VCS carries out field audits (through another company, Environmental Services, Inc.) before issuing credits.

Thus far, the project has been assessed as worth more than 1.2 million carbon credits, known as Verified Emission Reductions (VERs), each year over the past five. During that time Wildlife Works claims that deforestation has been reduced to nil.

The company sells its carbon credits through the Markit Registry to corporate customers and banks, including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Barclays, Allianz, and BNP. According to Wildlife Works VP, Rob Dodson, the total annual revenue from these transactions has ranged between $3.5 million and $7 million.

In addition to the rangers, Wild Works’s nearly 400 employees include horticulturalists, carpenters, seamstresses, mechanics, and teachers. A third of the carbon credit revenue goes to staff salaries and other operating costs. Another third goes to community landowners to compensate them for not exploiting Kisagau’s natural resources for profit.

Solar power in rural Kenya

Community Benefits

The final third is split between investors and so-called carbon committees to be used for projects that benefit area communities. The committees determine what projects to undertake, prioritizing them by need and feasibility.

“So many people have problems with water, so water projects—water tanks, water pipelines—always come first,” said Paschal Kizaka, a local chief and committee board member. “Now people do not have to walk for miles to carry drinking water back to their homes.

Education is another major focus. More than 2,500 students have received carbon-funded scholarships for secondary and university schooling, and some communities have used their funds to build schools and equip classrooms with desks and learning materials.

“The children were learning outside,” said Ngare Duncan, who heads one committee. “And some children had to walk to school over eight kilometers that was infested by wildlife.”

Some money is used for training women to make eco-responsible household materials, such as natural soap.

Africa drought and wildlife conservation

“The real value of [Kisagau] is it shows what can be done to fight climate change and eradicate poverty, as well as stop poaching,” said Tim Christopherson of the United Nations Environment Programme, noting that the factors here were “just right” for success.

“[Wildlife Works] has been in that area for years, so they know the local community, and they trust each other.” Because Kisagau is a dry region that lacks the natural abundance of, for instance, the Congolese or Amazon rain forests, where people tap the resource base for profit, most village communities have opted in.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to Wildlife Works’s profitability—and, for that matter, its very survival—is the future of the voluntary carbon market.

With the expiration in 2012 of key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, and the inability of national governments to come to an agreement on acceptable levels for greenhouse gas emissions, demand for carbon credits has fallen.

And, Christopherson pointed out, despite Kasigau’s worthy accomplishments, the project is a small-scale effort at limiting greenhouse gases—”peanuts,” as he put it.

“We need to figure this out on a global level,” he said. “There’s a limit to how much we can use exchanges to offset emissions. If industrial emissions aren’t capped, it doesn’t matter if you were to protect even all of the Amazon.”

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140705-kenya-elephant-poaching-carbon-credits-world-science/

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

U.S. Carbon Offset Price Hits Record High

Price Of Carbon Pollution Going Up

Carbon permits for the Northeast’s carbon market traded as high as $5.10 a ton on Monday, an all time high, following the release of federal rules that will allow states to use markets to meet new emissions targets.

The market’s benchmark December 2014 contract traded for $5.10 a ton on the IntercontinentalExchange on Monday before retreating to $5 a ton later in the day, brokers said. The market’s spot contract for June delivery also traded for $5 a ton.

climate change and deforestation

On Monday, the Obama administration released regulations calling for the power sector to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels. Under the rules, states can use cap-and-trade programs such as the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to achieve the goals.

“The market had a knee-jerk reaction to the rules this morning,” one broker said about Monday’s trading.

The release of the rules had less of an impact on California‘s carbon market where the market’s benchmark contract traded for $11.90 a metric tonne, a broker said, the same price that it settled at on Friday.

The rules, issued by Environmental Protection Agency, are expected to create an additional incentive for states to join existing cap and trade programs such as RGGI and California markets.

Despite having implemented a variety of carbon cutting measures, California could have trouble complying with the rule since it is based on the “emissions intensity” of the power it produces, not just its overall carbon emissions.

reforestation and carbon capture

In 2012, California‘s emissions intensity was 8 percent higher than it was in 2005 due to the shutdown of a large, carbon-free nuclear power plant in Southern California. The state has had to rely on natural gas-fired plants to fill the gap, which pushed California‘s emissions intensity up in recent years, counter to the national trend, said Ashley Lawson, a Point Carbon analyst at Thomson Reuters.

Washington state must make the biggest relative reductions to meet the 2030 target, according to the regulations, followed by ArizonaSouth Carolina and Oregon.

States that rely heavily on coal for electricity, including MontanaWest Virginia and North Dakota, actually have some of the least stringent targets because they are deemed to have less of an ability to transition away from coal toward lower emitting natural gas or carbon-free renewables.

The governors of Washington and Oregon earlier this year said they would move toward pricing carbon emissions, possibly by linking to California‘s carbon market.

On Monday, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, which oversees the California market, said she believes the state will exceed its federal targets

“We look forward to working with other states, including Oregon and Washington, in a regional approach to take action to cut carbon pollution and promote the cleanest sources of energy,” said Nichols.

Source: http://www.marinelink.com/news/northeast-alltime-carbon370310.aspx

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Forest Conservation Project In Kenya Generates Funding

REDD+ Scheme Grows Money On Trees 

Luxembourg-based Althelia Climate Fund has invested $10 million in a Kenyan project that is part of a United Nations scheme to take a market-based approach to curbing destruction of forests in developing nations. The move is the latest sign of growing private sector investment into projects underlying the U.N.’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

The 30-year project will protect 200,000 hectares of forest in Kenya, generating 1 million carbon credits annually that can be sold to companies looking to voluntarily offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

Deforestation accounts for almost a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, blamed by scientists for causing dangerous climate change. Deforestation also impairs the planet’s ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.

Althelia was set up last June with backing from a number of funding agencies, including the European Investment Bank, Dutch development bank FMO and development finance company Finnfund. The Taita Hills project, developed and managed by California-based Wildlife Works, is the fund’s first investment.

Source: http://www.trust.org/item/20140219120831-ep0f3/?source=shtw

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Clinton Foundation Supporting Reforestation

Trees Planted To Offset Carbon, Generate Income

In addition to market-driven agricultural efforts, the Clinton-Hunter Development Initiative (CHDI) works with the government of Rwanda and other NGOs to reverse deforestation through a large-scale carbon-offset program. CHDI has worked with the Rwandan government to help communities plant 2.5 million fruit and forest tree seedlings in 40 new nurseries. These seedlings will help reforestation by improving erosion control, fruit production, and nitrogen fixing.

reforestation and forest conservation

CDI established the Trees of Hope Project in the Dowa and Neno districts of Malawi to reverse deforestation, mitigate the harmful effects of climate change, and bolster a self-sustaining marketplace by making tree farming profitable and attractive for smallholder farmers. The Trees of Hope project coordinates community-led efforts in climate change mitigation and has assisted in establishing over 400 profitable and ecologically viable community nurseries. In the current season, community nurseries in the region grew 630,000 seedlings.

Since the inception of the program, more than 2.6 million trees have been planted by more than 2,500 smallholder farmers. This has resulted in a carbon offset of over 200,000 tons of C02.

Farmers earn credits for the amount of carbon they offset, which are sold for additional revenue.

Source: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/our-work/clinton-development-initiative/programs/reforestation#sthash.NNF1L67H.dpuf

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon

Carbon Tax, Offsets Expected By Industry

More than two dozen of the nation’s biggest corporations, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that the government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to minimize climate change.

The development is a striking departure from conservative orthodoxy and a reflection of growing divisions between the Republican Party and its business supporters.

air pollution and global warming

A new report by the environmental data company CDP has found that at least 29 companies, some with close ties to Republicans, including ExxonMobil, Walmart and American Electric Power, are incorporating a price on carbon into their long-term financial plans.

Both supporters and opponents of action to fight global warming say the development is significant because businesses that chart a financial course to make money in a carbon-constrained future could be more inclined to support policies that address climate change.

But unlike the five big oil companies—ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, BP and Shell, all major contributors to the Republican party — Koch Industries, a conglomerate that has played a major role in pushing Republicans away from action on climate change, is ramping up an already-aggressive campaign against climate policy — specifically against any tax or price on carbon. Owned by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the company includes oil refiners and the paper-goods company Georgia-Pacific.

The divide, between conservative groups that are fighting against government regulation and oil companies that are planning for it as a practical business decision, echoes a deeper rift in the party, as business-friendly establishment Republicans clash with the Tea (me) Party. Tom Carnac, North American president of CDP, said that the five big oil companies seemed to have determined that a carbon price was an inevitable part of their financial future.

deforestation and global warming

“It’s climate change as a line item,” Mr. Carnac said. “They’re looking at it from a rational perspective, making a profit. It drives internal decision-making.”

Companies do not know what form a future carbon price would take. Congress could one day vote to directly tax emissions. President Obama is moving forward with plans to regulate carbon pollution from coal plants, with or without action from Congress — and states could carry out those regulations by taxing carbon polluters. At climate change talks at the United Nations, State Department negotiators have pledged that the United States will cut its carbon emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.

Mr. Carnac said: “Companies see that the trend is inevitable. What you see here is a hardening of that understanding.”

Other companies that are incorporating a carbon price into their strategic planning include Microsoft, General Electric, Walt Disney, ConAgra Foods, Wells Fargo, DuPont, Duke Energy, Google and Delta Air Lines.

During the 2012 election, every Republican presidential candidate but one, Jon Huntsman, questioned or denied the science of climate change and rejected policies to deal with global warming. Opponents of carbon-pricing policies consider them an energy tax that will hurt business and consumers.

reforestation and climate change

Mainstream economists have long agreed that putting a price on carbon pollution is the most effective way to fight global warming. The idea is fairly simple: if industry must pay to spew the carbon pollution that scientists say is the chief cause of global warming, the costs will be passed on to consumers in higher prices for gasoline and electricity. Those high prices are expected to drive the market away from fossil fuels like oil and coal, and toward low-carbon renewable sources of energy.

Past efforts to enact a carbon price in Washington have failed largely because powerful fossil-fuel groups financed campaigns against lawmakers who supported a carbon tax.

In 1994, dozens of Democratic lawmakers lost their jobs after Al Gore, who was vice president at the time, urged them to vote for a climate change bill that would have effectively taxed carbon pollution. In 2009, President Obama urged House Democrats to vote for a cap-and-trade bill that would have required companies whose carbon-dioxide emissions exceeded set levels to buy emissions rights from those who emitted less. The next year, Tea Party groups spent millions to successfully unseat members who voted for the bill.

But ExxonMobil, which last year was ranked by the Fortune 500 as the nation’s most profitable company, is representative of Big Oil’s slow evolution on climate change policy. A decade ago, the company was known for contributing to research organizations that questioned the science of climate change. In 2010, ExxonMobil purchased a company that produces natural gas, which creates less carbon pollution than oil or coal.

ExxonMobil is now the nation’s biggest natural gas producer, meaning that it will stand to profit in a future in which a price is placed on carbon emissions. Coal, which produces twice the carbon pollution of natural gas, would be a loser. Today, ExxonMobil openly acknowledges that carbon pollution from fossil fuels contributes to climate change.

“Ultimately, we think the government will take action through a myriad of policies that will raise the prices and reduce demand” of carbon-polluting fossil fuels, said Alan Jeffers, an ExxonMobil spokesman.

Internally, ExxonMobil now plans its financial future with the expectation that eventually carbon pollution will be priced at about $60 a ton, which Mr. Jeffers acknowledged was at odds with some of the company’s Republican friends.

“We’re going to say and do what’s in the best interest of our shareholders,” he said. “We won’t always be on the same page.”

It remains unlikely that any climate policy will move in today’s deadlocked Congress, but if Congress does take up climate change legislation in the future, Mr. Jeffers said ExxonMobil would support a carbon tax if it was paired with an equal cut elsewhere in the tax code — the same policy that Mr. Gore has endorsed. “ExxonMobil and many other large companies understand that climate change poses a direct economic threat to their businesses,” said Dan Weiss, director for climate policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group with close ties to the Obama administration. “They need to convince their political allies to act before it’s too late.”

Koch Industries maintains ties to the Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity, which last year campaigned against Republicans who acknowledged the science of climate change. The company also contributes money to the American Energy Alliance, a Washington-based advocacy group that campaigns against lawmakers that it claims support a carbon price. This year, the American Energy Alliance says it has spent about $1.2 million in ads and campaign activities attacking candidates who it says support a carbon price.

Robert Murphy, senior economist at the American Energy Alliance, said his group was not concerned that it had taken a different position from the major oil companies. “We’re not taking marching orders from Big Oil,” he said.

In fact, Koch has a longtime resentment of the biggest oil companies. Koch’s founder, Fred Koch, the father of Charles and David, invented a chemical process to more efficiently refine oil but was blocked from bringing it to the market by John D. Rockefeller, the owner of Standard Oil — the company that was later broken up to make some of the major oil companies of today, including ExxonMobil.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/business/energy-environment/large-companies-prepared-to-pay-price-on-carbon.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20131205&_r=0

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Demand Growing For Forest Carbon Offsets

Carbon Capture Technology Unproven, Risky

Carbon finance is supporting the management of forests spanning 26.5 million hectares worldwide after businesses in 2012 invested a near-record $216 million into projects that plant trees, avoid deforestation, improve forest management, and support low-carbon agriculture.

These projects, a key defense against the ecological and socio-economic impacts of climate change, were financed by the sale of 28 million tons of carbon offsets, according to the 2013 State of the Forest Carbon Markets report released by non-profit researchers Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace this week in London.

deforestation and climate change

Representing 162 projects in 58 countries, the report tracks forest carbon management over a land area larger than Ecuador. While market size grew 9% in 2012, the global average price for forestry offsets was $7.8/tonne – down from $9.2/tonne in 2011, but still higher than prices paid by voluntary buyers across all offset project types (average $5.9/tonne).

Multinational corporations driven by responsible business ethics and a desire to show leadership on climate change bought two out of every three forestry offsets sold. The top buyer sectors – energy, agriculture/forestry, and transportation – depend on forests’ ecosystem services (e.g., clean water) for their business, and some view forest carbon investments as a kind of insurance against direct exposure to climate risks.

Overall, this year’s report findings illustrate growing corporate interest in incentive payments to protect forests as a climate response, despite political and economic challenges to carbon price mechanisms more broadly.

“Private businesses increasingly recognize the numerous climate risks to their security of supply and producer livelihoods,” says Forest Trends President and CEO Michael Jenkins. “This report demonstrates what industry first-movers already know, that financing forests’ conservation and sustainable management is not just about license to do business, or image. It can directly benefit companies’ infrastructure, suppliers, and bottom lines.”

Industries in California and Australia also sought forest carbon offsets to prepare for domestic carbon regulations. While California’s compliance cap-and-trade market began this year, the future of Australia’s carbon market is uncertain, with new leadership pledging to ax the country’s carbon tax.

palm oil plantation deforestation

Projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (“REDD”) saw heightened demand in 2012, as private companies like The Walt Disney Company and clothing brand PUMA invested millions to support REDD projects in developing countries. A total of 8.6 million REDD offsets were transacted, tying with tree-planting activities as 2012’s most popular project types. Projects that improve forest management climbed in popularity, while carbon finance for sustainable agriculture remained muted. Yet, the private sector and negotiators are increasingly attentive to agricultural carbon projects’ strong business case and benefits to avoided deforestation.

“In most regions, unsustainable smallholder or commercial agriculture is a primary driver of deforestation that projects in our survey are trying to address,” says report co-author and Ecosystem Marketplace Associate Director Molly Peters-Stanley. “So it’s no surprise that land-use experts, donors, and communities themselves are pushing climate-smart agriculture and its symbiotic ties to forest protection to the front of the climate agenda.”

Offset buyers strongly supported forest projects that deliver benefits beyond carbon sequestration, such as alternative local livelihoods and habitat protection for threatened species. Projects reporting community-held land tenure covered 13.7 million hectares and were valued at more than $70 million, representing a particular interest in projects that benefit smallholders. Projects that actively monitored their social and environmental gains were behind 61% of offsets sold. Likewise, the market’s most popular third-party project standard, the Verified Carbon Standard, was rarely utilized without dual certification to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.

reforest Tanzania

Even with strong growth in forestry offset demand in 2012, forest project developers reported 30 million tonnes that remained unsold at year’s end. Though developers predict strong market growth, their projects’ emissions reductions are expected to outstrip historical offset demand, with developers expecting to reduce another 1.4 billion tonnes of emissions over the next five years. Most of these reductions will come from REDD projects.

As market participants admit, finding a home for these offsets will ultimately hinge on regulation. United Nations member states will convene in Warsaw next week to continue negotiating a post-Kyoto Protocol international climate agreement, which has previously stumbled on the topic of monitoring of REDD activities. Some observers believe that overcoming this hurdle is key to progressing toward a new agreement in 2015.

The State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2013 is publicly and freely available thanks to support from the report’s Premium Sponsors: Face the Future, the Program on Forests (PROFOR), the World Bank BioCarbon Fund, and New Forests; Sponsors: Althelia Ecosphere and Baker & McKenzie; and additional support from the UK Forestry Commission’s Woodland Carbon Code – all of which enable Ecosystem Marketplace to explore developments on the frontier of ecosystem service finance.

For a copy of the report, please visit: www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/reports/forestcarbon2013

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative

Rainforest Conservation Funded By Norway

The world’s tropical forests are home to millions of human beings and more than half of the world’s known plant and animal species. They are also an enormous carbon sink.

Through its international Climate and Forest Initiative, the Norwegian government aims at supporting efforts to slow, halt and eventually reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+).

Destruction of forests threatens millions, many of whom are the planet’s most vulnerable people, those who depend on forests for their subsistence. It is also a key factor behind the current biodiversity crisis.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

Furthermore, deforestation and forest degradation cause huge emissions of greenhouse gases, accounting for approximately 17 % of annual man-made carbon emissions.

In spite of these facts, deforestation continues at an alarming rate. According to estimates made by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 13 million hectares of forests were lost every year in the years 2000-2010.

The drivers of deforestation are many and vary among countries and regions, but there is one common denominator: it is currently more profitable, at least in the short term, to convert a forest to other uses than to leave it as a natural ecosystem. At the same time, we are becoming increasingly aware of the enormous value of natural ecosystems for our economy and welfare. Still, deforestation continues.

Since its inception in April 2008, the Climate and Forest Initiative has established a series of partnerships with key forest countries and contributed to significant advances in the development of a REDD+ mechanism under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

deforestation and climate change

A REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC could change the economic logic in favor of the global climate and forests. Such a regime must provide results-based, predictable and adequate funding streams for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.The Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative has the following key objectives:

  1. To contribute to the inclusion of “REDD+” – reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from forests in developing countries
  2. To contribute to early actions for measurable emission reductions from deforestation and forest degradation
  3. To promote the conservation of primary forests, due to their particular importance as carbon stores and for their biological diversity

reforestation and carbon capture

As an overarching goal, all these efforts should promote sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. REDD+ is not simply an issue of improved forest management, it is a fundamental development choice. The climate change mitigation potential of REDD+ will never be realized unless it offers a more attractive and viable development option than the destructive uses of the forests.To achieve its objectives, Norway is pursuing four main tracks:

  1. Playing an active role in the international negotiations under the UNFCCC, seeking both to identify innovative solutions and to help create consensus around those solutions.
  2. Entering into large-scale partnerships with key forest countries to demonstrate that real action on a national level is possible and to encourage large scale emission reductions even before a REDD+ mechanism is agreed upon under the UNFCCC.
  3. Contributing to the design and establishment of an integrated architecture of multilateral REDD initiatives to help ensure broad and early progress on REDD+.
  4. Financing NGOs, research institutes and civil society organizations to provide analyses, pilot projects and demonstrations supporting the REDD+ negotiations and learning through field experiences.

Rainforest Conservation News via http://www.norad.no/en/thematic-areas/climate-change-and-the-environment/norways-international-climate-and-forest-initiativ

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Reforestation Can Help Save Kilimanjaro Ecosystem

Colorado Company Helping Reforest East Africa

Just as Colorado is reeling from the most devastating flood in state history, a Denver-based company is finalizing plans to combat climate change from a location around the globe.

Deforestation is responsible for about 20 percent of the rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Therefore, reforestation is a critical part of the solution to many of our most pressing sustainability challenges. Sacred Seedlings, a division of Earth Tones, Inc. has formed a partnership with the Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania to plant millions of trees over the next four years in the Kilimanjaro District. Two plots of land have been donated to the cause by the local forest district.

deforestation Tanzania and Kenya

“The Foundation approached us and asked if we could help save the country’s vanishing wildlife,” said Gary Chandler, co-founder of Sacred Seedlings. “We asked if they could support a reforestation program to generate jobs, save wildlife habitat and help combat climate change.”

The Foundation seized upon the idea and started developing the scope of work. Once funded, locals will build three nurseries and greenhouses to maximize the production time for the seedlings. After about four months, the seedlings will be planted permanently in a variety of settings, including the forest and urban settings alike.

Tanzania is ground zero in the war on wildlife. More than 10,000 elephants were slaughtered there for ivory just last year. Only about 70,000 elephants remain today. Without a variety of interventions, extinction of the African elephant, rhinoceros, lions and other endangered species is probable within just a few years. Economic development with clean and green jobs is one way to help take the pressure off of these animals, while helping the local people earn a living. Of course, trees absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide–one of the leading greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change and extreme weather.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

“We’re tracking down sponsors, grants and donors to help make this program possible,” Chandler said. “This will be the first of several reforestation programs around the world. Hopefully, we can launch several across Colorado and the America’s very soon.”

“The project will incorporate several species of trees that are indigenous to the area,” said Tumaini Mosha, project director for Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania. “Crop-bearing trees such as coffee, cocoa and palm also will be grown and planted in urban areas to block buildings from the weather and to grow food. That way people won’t cut them down for firewood.”

lion conservation Africa

Sacred Seedlings is looking for new forest conservation and reforestation projects around the world. It also seeks volunteers, donors, sponsors and grant opportunities.

reforestation and climate change

For more information, visit http://sacredseedlings.com/reforestation-climate-change-solution/

reforestation and climate change solution

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com