Amazon REDD+ scheme side-steps land rights to reward small forest producers

first_imgArticle published by hayat To safeguard the almost 90 percent of its land still covered with forest, the small Brazilian state of Acre implemented a carbon credit scheme that assigns monetary value to stored carbon in the standing trees and rewards local “ecosystem service providers” for their role protecting it.Acre’s System of Incentives for Environmental Services (SISA) rewards sustainable harvesting of rubber, nuts and other commodities from the forests. Crucially, it doesn’t make land tenure a prerequisite to qualify for incentives such as subsidies and agricultural supplies.But a new study criticizes the program for giving state officials the power to determine what counts as “green labor.” The program already promotes intensive agricultural practices and artificial fishponds, and experts warn more damaging practices may be permitted under the control of new state officials.There’s also no definitive evidence that the program works to conserve forests, with the rate of deforestation in Acre holding relatively steady since SISA came into effect. A state-run carbon credit scheme that aims to reduce deforestation also generates financial and social benefits for some poor rural communities by side-stepping the red tape of land tenure rights often required by such schemes, according a recent anthropological study published in The Journal of Peasant Studies.Despite widespread deforestation in the Amazon, the small state of Acre in western Brazil is still close to 90 percent forested. To protect the remaining 164,000 square kilometers (63,300 square miles) of standing forest, the state’s System of Incentives for Environmental Services (SISA) offers rewards to local communities to pursue livelihoods that don’t degrade the forest, financed by monetizing the carbon stored within it.Maron Greenleaf, an anthropologist at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, interviewed residents, government officials and local stakeholders such as the Indigenous Missionary Council Missionary Council (CIMI), the Federal University of Acre, and the agroforestry group PESACRE, to find out how SISA is working on the ground. She describes how poorer rural people are not excluded from the carbon credit scheme because of their lack of formal land rights, but warns there are also risks to the approach, which gives state officials power to define what activities are incentivized.Evidence of mechanized logging in Feijó, Acre. Image by Maron Greenleaf.Monetizing carbon captureFirst approved by state legislature in 2010, SISA is part of REDD+, a voluntary program negotiated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) that aims to generate market incentives for protecting carbon-rich forests in developing nations while having a positive socioeconomic effect on surrounding communities.Often, “the only way that people can earn money from the forest is by felling it for timber and/or clearing it to create space for agriculture, cattle, or other land uses,” Greenleaf said. REDD+ programs attempt to redress this imbalance, by “seek[ing] to give monetary value to forests’ carbon sequestering ‘service,’ so that the standing forest too has value that reflects — to some extent and in monetary terms — its climatic value,” she said.The German development bank KFW has purchased 25 million euros ($28 million) of carbon credits, valuing Acre’s forests by their absorbed carbon dioxide, in exchange for a 16.5 percent reduction in the state’s forestry-related greenhouse gas emissions between 2011 and 2015.SISA differs from more traditional carbon-offsetting models, where land ownership forms the basis for distributing the financial benefits of forest protection. Instead, it rewards those individuals who have directly worked on the land in a way that is classed as beneficial. SISA describes rural producers of sustainable crops and forest products (such as legumes, Brazil nuts or rubber), and who avoid harmful activities like controlled burning, as “ecosystem service providers” and offers incentives such as free services, agricultural supplies, and subsidies for their continued labor. The program promotes activities such as sustainable cattle ranching and fish farming on previously cleared land.Cattle gathered outside a school in Feijó, Acre. Cattle ranching is the primary driver of deforestation in the state and across Brazil. Image by Maron Greenleaf.A similar state-run REDD+ scheme in neighboring Amazonas state, called Bolsa Floresta (PBF), has been running since 2007. However, SISA was the first scheme to be applied at the state level, rather than to a limited number of specified conservation units. PBF offers a small payment to residents who produce sustainable forest commodities such as cacao, açaí berries and arapaima fish, or practice agroforestry or lake management, in exchange for a commitment to zero deforestation and participation in environmental educational programs.Greenleaf credits what she calls SISA’s “green labor” approach for side-stepping complex land rights issues that are common in rural Brazil and other countries with carbon-rich forests, and sharing some of the value of tropical forests’ stored carbon with some of the rural people who live in and around them, rather than wealthy landowners and foreign investors.By giving market value to the carbon sequestered by standing forests, carbon-offsetting schemes run the risk of promoting violent land grabbing over forested land, sustaining inequality, and rewarding only the wealthiest. For instance, a 2018 study found that REDD+ schemes in Brazil have tended to increase residents’ insecurity over land tenure. But implemented in the right way, offsetting schemes can also act as a form of state welfare, redistributing wealth based on environmental goals, Greenleaf says.Among her interviewees were 30 rural acreanos — small-scale farmers, ranchers, hunters, and forest collectors of mixed heritage. This is a group that has historically often been unable to obtain formal land rights, but many of them said they have been able to benefit from the SISA scheme through their contribution of green labor.A Brazil nut tree left standing in an otherwise mostly deforested field in Feijó, Acre. Image by Maron Greenleaf.Land rights complexities“REDD+ and related carbon-trading based schemes have the potential to be major game-changers with regards to halting global deforestation,” said Tom Martin, a terrestrial biodiversity and carbon specialist at the international conservation research organization Operation Wallacea. And yet globally, “REDD+ schemes … haven’t taken off nearly as quickly as people hoped,” he said, citing disorganized governments, unstable carbon markets, and complex land tenure systems.In many heavily forested tropical countries, where carbon-offsetting schemes have the most potential benefit, land rights in rural areas are unclear, overlapping or fiercely contested, interwoven with complex indigenous rights issues. Such complexities can create uncertainty over how a proposed REDD+ project might be successfully implemented, making potential investors nervous and stalling carbon-credit schemes before they even get started, Martin said.Bypassing land tenure as a means to allocate the rewards of carbon credit schemes has clear benefits, but it has also been criticized because it avoids the difficult process of securing land rights for rural and indigenous people who would benefit from land tenure in other ways. However, efforts to formalize rural land tenure have historically tended to favor the wealthy elites. For example, Terra Legal a national program to grant land titles to smallholder families in Amazonas state has issued fewer titles than planned and tended to favor existing landowners and agribusiness. Any attempt to redistribute land in a more equitable way would be a long and uphill battle. Instead, initiatives like SISA could act as a stepping stone, Greenleaf suggests: “SISA benefits might be enlisted in that struggle as evidence of government recognition of rural people’s rights to land.”While the scheme is having clear benefits for local communities, the effect of SISA’s incentives on deforestation is more difficult to make out. The rate of deforestation in Acre remained relatively constant from 2010 to 2015 — the period during which SISA’s credit scheme came into effect — at between 220 and 310 square kilometers (85 and 120 square miles) per year, according to data from the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research’s (INPE) PRODES monitoring program. However Maron points out that many of the policies financed by SISA predated the program, making its true impact on deforestation hard to discern.SISA has also been criticized for giving state officials greater power in determining what counts as green labor, leaving rural communities at the mercy of political whims. SISA has already made a few controversial decisions, such as categorizing intensive agricultural practices and artificial fishponds as ecosystem services. Martin said this is a common problem. “While REDD+ schemes are inherently supposed to yield social and biodiversity benefits as well as carbon sequestration,” he said, the primary focus on carbon stocks means that “the benefits to biodiversity can sometimes lag behind in project managers’ hierarchies of concern.”The sun sets over a forest in Feijó, Acre. Image by Maron Greenleaf.Greenleaf warns that the shifting political mood in Brazil is already affecting people’s behavior. The estimated rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 50 percent between August and October last year as the presidential elections approached and victory for pro-agribusiness candidate Jair Bolsonaro became more likely. Since Bolsonaro’s win, deforestation across the Amazon has begun to rise alarmingly, and Acre has been no exception. The state saw an increase in the rate of tree loss in 2018.New state officials were brought in with the new government at the start of this year, which could spell change for the administration of the SISA program. For example, SISA already supports agricultural intensification as a means to spare the remaining forest, which could be stretched to include industrialized agribusiness.As a state-run program, the importance of SISA payments to rural communities is likely to increase. “These schemes are … poised to become more important with state protection in Brazil likely to be heavily withdrawn due to the new right-wing Bolsonaro administration,” Martin said.Just as other environmental initiatives are under threat of funding cuts, SISA may be on course to receive a huge boost to funding. If California state administrators vote in favor of admitting REDD+ carbon credits, a 2010 memorandum of understanding, combined with high international regard for the program, puts Acre in line as the most likely supplier of those credits.With inclusion criteria that could change at the whim of state officials, SISA may not offer the security to rural producers that it promises. However, “SISA … could also show Bolsonaro and other like-minded officials that it is not just cleared forest that has monetary value,” Greenleaf said.Banner image of Planet satellite imagery showing a mosaic of deforestation and rainforest in São Judas Tadeu, Xapuri, in the state of Acre, Brazil, in August 2018, courtesy of Planet.Citations:Greenleaf, M. (2019). The value of the untenured forest: Land rights, green labor, and forest carbon in the Brazilian Amazon. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-20. doi:10.1080/03066150.2019.1579197Sunderlin, W. D., Sassi, C. D., Sills, E. O., Duchelle, A. E., Larson, A. M., Resosudarmo, I. A., . . . Huynh, T. B. (2018). Creating an appropriate tenure foundation for REDD+: The record to date and prospects for the future. World Development, 106, 376-392. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.01.010 Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Sequestration, Climate Change And Conservation, Community-based Conservation, Conservation Finance, Conservation Solutions, Controversial, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forest Carbon, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Innovation In Tropical Forest Conservation, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Communities, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation last_img read more

Dual-threat QB’s to clash on Friday when St. Bernard’s takes on East Nicolaus

first_imgIt’ll be a battle of the dual-threat quarterbacks when St. Bernard’s takes on East Nicolaus with a state championship berth on the line.St. Bernard’s (10-3) quarterback Will Omey and the man under center for East Nicolaus (12-1), Gavin McAuliff, led their teams to section championships on the strength of their arms and the might of their legs.Friday at River Valley High in Yuba City the two seniors with over 80 total touchdowns between them will duke it out in the NorCal region Division 6-AA …last_img read more

BRICS Summit: all eyes on Durban

first_img26 March 2013All eyes will be on Durban on Tuesday as the much-anticipated 5th BRICS Summit gets under way at the city’s International Convention Centre.The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China will join South African President Jacob Zuma in hammering out far-reaching finance issues for the bloc, the possible formation of a new development bank targeting BRICS and other emerging markets.Security has been tightened around the Convention Centre, with 3 000 law enforcement officers deployed in Durban for the duration of the event.More than 5 000 delegates are expected to attend the summit, which South Africa is hosting for the first time since joining the group of influential emerging economies in 2010.Observers have said the summit will give South Africa the opportunity to flex its diplomatic muscle and seal its position within the grouping.Other issues on the agenda include the role of BRICS as a partner in helping the continent in its infrastructure development and industrialisation drive. At the 2011 BRICS summit in Sanya, China, the leaders pledged their commitment to Africa’s industrialisation.There will also be the launch of a BRICS Business Council to promote increased trade within the bloc.At a briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, President Zuma said the country’s BRICS membership fitted well with its National Development Plan (NDP), a policy blueprint for creating jobs and tackling poverty and inequality through development.The two-day summit is expected to inject more than R100-million into Durban’s economy.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

4R Nutrient Stewardship Program continues expanding reach

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Nutrient Stewardship Council, the governing body of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, is pleased to announce that more than 1 million acres in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) are now under the guidance of nutrient service providers that have earned certification through its program.The voluntary certification program is a regionally concentrated effort by the agriculture industry to significantly reduce and prevent applied nutrients from running off fields, which has contributed to algal blooms in Lake Erie.Twenty-five nutrient service providers — advisers to farmers for soil, nutrient and crop management – have achieved certified status through the program since its inception in March 2014. These certified facilities provide nutrient recommendations or nutrient application services to 4,350 farmer customers covering 1.8 million acres, with 1.2 million of these acres located in the WLEB watershed. Over 20% of total farming acres in the WLEB are now supported by certified nutrient service providers through the program.“The one-million acre milestone is significant because it represents a change in attitudes throughout the basin,” said Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, chairwoman of the Nutrient Stewardship Council and Western Lake Erie Basin project director for The Nature Conservancy. “Social scientists would say that 20% is often the ‘tipping point’ at which change is embraced. It is no longer just the innovators becoming 4R certified, it is becoming the status quo.”The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program was created to encourage agricultural retailers, nutrient service providers and other certified professionals to adopt proven best practices through the 4Rs. The 4R concept, developed by the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Fertilizer Canada and The Fertilizer Institute, refers to using the Right source of nutrients at the Right rate and Right time in the Right place.The program provides science-based information to grow crops, while considering individual farms’ needs.  The certification program’s auditable requirements were developed by the 4R Certification Program Advisory Committee, consisting of a broad representation of agribusinesses, farmers, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and private industries. Nutrient service providers are audited by trained, third-party auditors on the program’s 41 requirements.“Becoming certified requires an investment of time and money from fertilizer retailers (nutrient service providers), which makes the speedy adoption of the program all that more impressive,” Vollmer-Sanders said. “It’s a serious commitment from the agricultural community to ensure that fertilizer is used to grow crops, and not algae.”The fertilizer industry’s 4R Research Fund, accumulated through private and public funding sources, is providing the means to evaluate specific impacts of the adoption of 4R standards and the certification program on crop productivity and profitability, water quality, and perceptions of farmers, nutrient service providers and residents in the WLEB.“The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is central to long-term reduction of algae bloom issues in Lake Erie, and it will take a blend of approaches to reach reduction goals,” said Chris Jahn, president of The Fertilizer Institute. “The program provides a common framework for all who provide agricultural services and farm in the Western Lake Erie Basin. TFI’s strong support of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program is evidence of our willingness to collaborate with other stakeholders in pursuit of a common goal.”With initial and ongoing financial support from commodity groups, fertilizer companies and  environmental and research foundations, including The Mosaic Company Foundation, the certification program has grown in reach and effectiveness throughout the past two years.“At Mosaic, we support and promote the 4R Nutrient Stewardship framework to help farmers achieve the benefits of fertilizer while reducing nutrient loss to the environment,” said Rick McLellan, board member of The Mosaic Company Foundation and senior vice president — commercial for The Mosaic Company. “We are proud to partner with the Nutrient Stewardship Council, and we look forward to ongoing collaboration that builds on this significant certification milestone.”last_img read more

HEITEC: subrack elements enable cost-effective, easier designs

first_img Continue Reading Previous Infineon: fully integrated SVID and PVID enabled voltage regulatorNext Panasonic: stand-alone Wi-Fi module in fully shielded case At embedded world 2018, HEITEC will present current system solutions for various application areas that illustrate the process “from the idea to the product” in addition to new products in its subrack program.A number of new designs within the subrack portfolio will be presented, which are enabling new design possibilities: HeiCool ECO is a 1U plug-in cooling fan solution with a high energy saving potential for various installation options such as 19″ mounting or insertion into a cabinet or firm integration into a subrack. Despite this modularity, the individual parts are compatible with the HeiCool line and extend the range of performance. AC voltage 230V is covered by default, but this is easily convertible if required. HeiCool ECO can be used very well as a retrofit option or for applications without own ventilation.Two new HeiPac DinRail 3U cap rail solutions – HeiPac DinRail ECO is a cost-efficient, robust bent part, HeiPac DinRail PRO a HeiPac Vario subrack which both are offered with a pre-assembled cap rail – simplify the mounting of DIN rail devices.Using a selection of exhibits from the areas of medical technology, industrial automation, test & measurement as well as communication, the company will additionally demonstrate its expertise in realizing precise modules and systems of different development degrees. These exactly correspond to the customers’ specifications and consist of differently large shares of software, mechanics, electronics, standard and tailor-made elements as well as different levels of design, manufacturing and services.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules last_img read more

India vs England: Dhoni’s knock reminded Gavaskar of his infamous 36 not out

first_imgFormer India captain MS Dhoni was booed at Lord’s during the second ODI against England as he played an innings of 37 from 59 balls.India were behind the asking rate when Dhoni walked into bat but he struggled to score quickly as India succumbed to a 86-run loss. The crowd wasn’t happy with Dhoni’s slowish knock and they made their displeasure clear as the wicketkeeper-batsman’s dismissal was applauded.Talking about Dhoni’s innings, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Times of India that the innings reminded of his infamous 36 not out against England at the same venue.”Dhoni’s struggle was understandable because when confronted with an impossible situation, the options get limited and the mind becomes negative. Dhoni’s struggle reminded me of my most infamous innings at the same venue,” Gavaskar wrote.India vs England 3rd ODI: Middle-order woes remain as India look for series winGavaskar was talking about the inaugural match of the 1975 world Cup, when he scored an unbeaten 36 off 174 balls chasing a target of 335. India lost the match by 202 runs.The former cricketer also added that India’s defeat in the second ODI highlighted their dependability on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah as England posted a total 322 at Lord’s.”Without Bhuvaneshwar and Bumrah, the final overs are generally a free for all for the opposition batsmen and David Willey played some bold strokes to take England to 322 when they should have been restricted to under 300,” Gavaskar said.Virat Kohli needs to work out the MS Dhoni conundrumadvertisementDespite all the criticism, captain Virat Kohli had defended his teammate Dhoni after the match.”This thing comes up again and again when he is not able to play the way he does. It is very unfortunate that people just jump to conclusions very quickly. When he does well people call him best finisher ever. And when things don’t go well people pounce on him. We all have bad days in cricket. Today was I think a bad day for everyone, not just for him alone. And just as a batting unit we could not click,” Kohli said.India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar also came out in support of Dhoni on the eve of the series decider. “With the combination we are playing, we do not have the depth at numbers 8, 9 or 10 (the lower order), and when you lose couple of wickets, it becomes really difficult to bat with that sort of freedom. Due credit to the England bowlers, they didn’t allow us to score any boundaries in that period and that was the reason the run rate kept climbing up,” Bangar said.With the three-match ODI series level 1-1, India will take on England on Tuesday at Headingley on Tuesday.last_img read more