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Posts Tagged ‘Forest Trends Association’

New Forest Trends Report Finds Increasing Commitments to REDD+

January 21, 2015 by

Forest Trends has released its latest report, Tracking REDD+ Finance-2009-2012 – Finance Flows in Seven REDD+ Countries. This first-ever REDDX report for 2009-2012 tracked US$1.2 billion in REDD+ commitments and US$378 million in disbursements in seven tropical forest countries: Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The overall trend in REDD+ investments is a positive one, as donor countries have continued to make financial commitments in the seven REDDX pilot countries from 2009 through 2012.

Key findings include:

  • Increasing commitments to REDD+: Between 2009 and the end of 2012, total REDD+ finance commitments increased steadily to US$1.2 billion.
  • Large gap between commitments and disbursements for REDD+: In the seven pilot REDDX countries, large commitments by donors for REDD+ were often followed by long delays before initial disbursement of funds. Of the US$1.2 billion tracked by REDDX in seven countries, less than a third (US$378.3 million) had been disbursed by the end of 2012.
  • Multilateral sources of funds are beginning to overshadow the bilateral donors and private foundations that had supplied early REDD+ finance: Approximately 78% of all REDD+ finance was committed by bilateral government donors, with the governments of Norway and Germany responsible for over 91% of these commitments.
  • The role of domestic contributions by REDD+ countries increasingly recognized: The extent to which national governments are themselves supporting activities for REDD+ has not been comprehensively quantified, yet domestic financing is increasingly being recognized as an important piece of the REDD+ finance landscape.
  • Low level of private sector financing: Our findings show that the private sector is still not making large-scale REDD+ investments. Data from the voluntary carbon market indicates that the private sector spent US $379 million in carbon offsets in 54 countries during 2013 while the seven REDDX countries only tracked around US $1.2 million. REDDX tracks funding and activities associated with national level REDD+ development. For private sector projects that are not linked with jurisdictional REDD+ programs, please refer to Ecosystem Marketplace state of the voluntary carbon market report 2014.

This report and other information can be found on the REDDX website at:, as well as


New Report: Illegal Land Clearing for Commercial Agriculture Responsible for Half of Tropical Deforestation

September 22, 2014 by

Exports from Illegal Conversion Worth US$61 Billion and Responsible for 25 Percent of Tropical Deforestation; Brazil’s and Indonesia’s Illegal Land Clearance Highest in the World 

A comprehensive new analysis released earlier this month says that nearly half (49%) of all recent tropical deforestation is the result of illegal clearing for commercial agriculture. The study also finds that around half of this illegal destruction was driven by overseas demand for agricultural commodities including palm oil, beef, soy, and wood products. In addition to devastating impacts on forest-dependent people and biodiversity, the illegal conversion of tropical forests for commercial agriculture is estimated to produce 1.47 gigatonnes of carbon each year—equivalent to 25% of the EU’s annual fossil fuel-based emissions.

“We’ve known that the production of agricultural commodities is a principal driving force behind deforestation, but this is the first report to show the outsize role that illegal activities play in the production of hundreds of food and household products consumed worldwide,” said Michael Jenkins, President and CEO of Forest Trends, a Washington-based NGO that published the report. “Increased agricultural production will be necessary for food security and to meet the demand of the emerging global middle class. However, the world must also wake up to the scale of how much of this agricultural production is taking place on land that has been illegally cleared. Urgent action is needed to help countries where these agricultural products are being grown, both for governments to enforce their own laws and regulations, and for businesses aiming to produce commodities legally and sustainably.”

According to the study, Consumer Goods and Deforestation: An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Illegality in Forest Conversion for Agriculture, 90% of the deforestation in Brazil from 2000 to 2012 was illegal, primarily due to the failure to conserve a percentage of natural forests in large-scale cattle and soy plantations, as required by Brazilian law. (Much of this occurred prior to 2004, when the Brazilian government took steps to successfully reduce deforestation.) And in the forests of Indonesia, 80% of deforestation was illegal—mostly for large-scale plantations producing palm oil and timber, 75% of which is exported.

While other countries also experience high levels of illegal deforestation, Brazil and Indonesia produce the highest level of agricultural commodities destined for global markets, many of which wind up in cosmetics or household goods (palm oil), animal feed (soy), and packaging (wood products). Read the rest:


Amazonian People First to Earn Carbon Credits after Proving They Saved Endangered Rainforest

June 5, 2013 by

A press release from Forest Trends, which was picked up by the Wall Street Journal online: 

Four years ago, the indigenous Paiter Suruí of the Brazilian Amazon voted to shift the basis of their economic livelihoods away from logging and other activities that require bulldozing the forest towards activities that conserve it. To make up for lost income, they sought to earn credit for the carbon captured in trees under a mechanism known as REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, plus sustainable forest management).

Last week, an independent audit confirmed they had become the first indigenous people in the world to generate REDD+ credits under the rigorous criteria of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), which requires detailed validation and verification procedures. Their success can now be replicated by other indigenous people, who have long been among the most effective stewards of the land and play a key role on the front lines of combatting climate change.

“REDD+ is a mechanism that unites our values and those of the non-indigenous capitalist world,” says Chief Almir Suruí, who conceived the project in 2007. “This is our contribution to forest preservation, but projects like this can only be achieved by people with a medium- to long-term perspective.” read more


Forest Trends Launches New REDD+ Finance Tracking Website

April 24, 2013 by

We’re proud to share with you Forest Trends’ new REDD+ finance tracking site,, which we supported.

REDD stands for “reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” and refers to a global push, coordinated in part by the UN climate change process, to address tropical deforestation as a way to reduce carbon emissions.

To help provide information that will allow governments and other REDD+ stakeholders to better assess where REDD+ finance is flowing (and where it isn’t), will provide analysis of financial flows targeted at REDD+ activitiess. The website initially covers data from Ecuador, Brazil, Ghana, and Vietnam, and is slated to expand its coverage to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Tanzania, and Colombia.

More than $7.3 billion has been pledged to support REDD+ activities in the run up to 2015, with US$4.3 billion to be spent in the period between 2010 and 2012. Yet, despite high level multilateral and bilateral or government financial commitments, information is limited on exactly how much of this money is flowing to the national level, the types of REDD+ activities supported in this Fast Start period, and the organizations managing and implementing these activities.

“REDDX” is short for Forest Trends’ REDD+ Expenditures Tracking Initiative.


Washington Post Highlights Part of Amazon Corridors Project

March 29, 2013 by

The Washington Post just did an article about the Surui, the first indigenous tribe in the Amazon and globally to earn carbon credits under internationally recognized standards for capturing carbon in trees. Forest Trends and the Amazon Conservation Team were quoted as experts. Here’s an excerpt:

“As a small boy in the early ’80s, Almir Surui hunted monkeys with a bow and arrow, wore a loincloth and struggled with Brazil’s official language, Portuguese.

At 38, he is the tech-savvy, ­university-educated chief of the Paiter Surui, or “the real people,” of this western corner of Brazil.

He can still handle a bow. But Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui says his weapon of choice is technology: Android phones to monitor illegal logging, hand-held Global Positioning System devices to map territory and Google Earth Outreach to show the world what a well-managed forest looks like.

Wielding the tools of the 21st century, the 1,300-member tribe has delved into a complex scheme in which governments or companies pay for forest preservation, contributing to a system that, if fully realized, would help end large-scale deforestation. By determining how much carbon is prevented from being released if the trees on Surui lands are left standing, the tribe hopes to sell carbon credits internationally to offset greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries.”

Read the rest:


How easy (or hard) is it to use REDD? Forest Trends Shares One Story from Ghana

December 10, 2012 by

As part of our REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) Finance Tracking initiative, Forest Trends is documenting stories that demonstrate some of the problems with the way REDD finance is being distributed (or not).  A new story shows the difficulties one Ghanaian businessman, John Addaquay, faced when trying to use REDD to stop the cutting of trees.  It shows how frustrating it can be trying to use REDD funds to do good. An excerpt:

“Addaquay was invited to a REDD+ workshop that the Forestry Commission was holding at its headquarters in Accra. This workshop, he learned, was paid for by the “REDD Readiness Fund”, which is one of two funding mechanisms that had been set up by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The Readiness Fund had also paid for Ghana’s REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), a 60-page blueprint for building governance institutions in Ghana.

The workshop was part of the FCPF’s efforts to help the country implement the R-PP, and it’s there that he learned about the complexities of REDD+ and the challenges of measuring, verifying, and validating carbon sequestration. He also realized that his project provided exactly the kind of “learning by doing” opportunity that the Forestry Commission was looking to support.

As he moved further into the process, however, he found that such interest doesn’t always translate into funding. International donors like the World Bank and various national entities like the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), for example, each come with their own specific mandates, philosophies, and sets of restrictions that aren’t always designed to support pilot projects like his.

But even before he could even begin to contemplate international support, he had to face a more existential dilemma: his project as conceived was just too small for anyone to take seriously.”

Read the rest:


New Forest Code Law Passed, and Other Brazilian Amazon Deforestation News

December 9, 2011 by

It’s been a major week in the world of Amazon deforestation news—the Brazilian Senate passed the new Forest Code Law, and the Brazilian government released preliminary data showing that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon for the year ended July 2011 fell to the lowest level since annual record-keeping began in 1988. Here’s a great summary:

The BBC will air Aliança da Terra on their “Horizons” show today through Sunday. The times can be found on their site: (Aliança da Terra is a Skoll grantee that encourages farmers and ranchers in the Amazon rainforest to practice sustainable forest management).   read more


What’s New in the Amazon

November 30, 2011 by

Today, the Skoll Foundation is sponsoring a side event on the Surui Forest Carbon Project at the Climate Change Convention in South Africa. The hosts are Instituto de Conservação e Desenvolvimento Sustentável do Amazonas (IDESAM), Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), Kaninde, Forest Trends, Funbio and Metareila. Learn more about the Surui project above.

Surui Forest Carbon Project is the first indigenous Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) project in Brazil. Led by the Surui people, the project aims to curb deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about REDD+ here:


New Skoll Awards Announced

April 1, 2010 by

The Skoll Foundation has just announced five new recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.  Forest Trends, Imazon, and Telapak work on protecting forests and natural ecosystems in the Amazon, Indonesia and beyond.   One Acre Fund tackles subsistence farming in Africa through an integrated value-chain approach – inputs, training, and marketing – while Tostan uses human rights as a hook for driving community-based social change, including the abandonment of female genital cutting.  You can read more about these great organizations in our press release.  These five, along with Civic Ventures and Peace Dividend Trust, two award winners announced earlier, will all receive their awards (which include a $765,000 grant) at a ceremony at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford on April 15, 2010.


Skoll Foundation Announces New Investments in Leading Global Innovators

March 31, 2010 by

PALO ALTO, Calif.—March 31, 2010—The Skoll Foundation announced today its most recent investments in social entrepreneurs driving large scale change on critical issues around the globe. Recipients of the 2010 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship include three organizations – Forest Trends, Imazon and Telapak – working to tackle climate change through innovative efforts to preserve tropical forests in the Amazon, Indonesia and beyond.  Also receiving the Skoll Award are One Acre Fund, which provides an integrated approach to empowering rural farmers in Africa, and Tostan, which has developed an innovative method to leverage human rights as a framework for community development. read more


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