fredag 19. juni 2009

Se bilder fra jubileumskonserten på Rockefeller

Regnskogfondet fyller 20 år! Og feiret det i går på Rockefeller med gode artister, spennende gjester og et herlig publikum. Fotograf: Espen Wæhle.

Hovedøen Social Club startet og avsluttet konserten med deres dansbare salsaversjoner av norske klassikere.

Davi Kopenawa Yanomami hilste til Sofieprisvinner Marina Silva og Regnskogfondets daglige leder Lars Løvold og takket for samarbeidet med å kjempe for yanomamienes sak i Brasil.

- I think I'm the only artist in the world talking in English and singing in Norwegian? sa Odd Nordstoga til publikum i går. Han kunne også presentere en premiere for anledningen: Bugge Wesseltoft kom opp på scenen og akkompagnerte på piano på siste låta.

Susanne Sundfør hadde reist fra Vestlandet for å spille. Hun har vært engasjert i regnskogssaken lenge, og spilte en spesialkomponert låt til Regnskogfondet for anledningen.

Petter Nome var kveldens vert og intervjuer her Lars Løvold, ikledd hovedpryden fra Kongo-gjestene.

Dansegruppen Frikar sto for kveldens energiutblåsning med prosjektet "The Snuff Grinders" som blander halling med capoeira og breakdance.

Torsdag morgen stilte prosjektrådgiver for Amazonas, Torkjell Leira, i dress på NRK-nyhetene og snakket om regnskog og klima. Samme kveld firte han seg ned fra taket som en del av danseshowet til Frikar.

Adolphine Muley fra DR Kongo holdt appell og overrakte Løvold en hodepynt hjemmefra.

Ingrid Olava ga publikum en eksklusiv opplevelse: En versjon av hennes Jokke-cover "Her kommer vintern" som hun ellers aldri spiller live.

Bugge Wesseltoft vakte stor begeistring i går, både blant norske regnskogsentusiaster og våre utenlandske samarbeidspartnere.

onsdag 17. juni 2009

Rainforests and Climate Change: Making Sustainable Development Possible

The Rainforest Foundation Norway is host to an international conference on rainforest and climate change in Oslo today. 

Marina Silva, Senator from Brazil, Angela Cropper, UNEP Deputy Executive Director and United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Senior Scientist Daniel C. Nepstad, the Moore Foundation are some of the prominent speakers at the conference. 

Click here for the program.

Inaugural Session-Welcome Address

Trudie Styler, Co-Founder of The Rainforest Foundation

Trudie reflected on the beginnings of The Rainforest Foundation 20 years ago. It all started with a trip to the Amazon in Brazil and seeing first-hand the devastation taking place in the forest and the impact on those dwelling in the forest.

Click here for Trudie's opening statement.

Lars Løvold, Director, Rainforest Foundation Norway, welcomed participants to the conference and outlined the 3 main issues that would be taken up: the role of forests as forests (in a climate change perspective), the role of the people of the forests as it pertains to climate, and the economics of standing forests or in other words, how much it would cost to make the trees stand.

Lars questioned the present development model asking if forests need to fall in order to spur development?

55 indigenous and civil society organizations are represented at the conference along with leading world experts and decision makers working on the issue of rainforests and climate.

The conference coincides with the Rainforest Foundation's 20th anniversary.

Inaugural Session-Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation: A new role for the UN 

Angela Cropper, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program.

Angela outlined the financial and environmental benefits of REDD, a package of challenges and opportunities she described as aiming to address the convergence between forest preservation and climate change. She went on to outline the mechanisms behind the UN-REDD Programme, and her hopes for Copenhagen.

According to Angela, the financial flows for greenhouse gas emission reductions from REDD could reach up to US$30 billion a year. She went on to say that this significant North-South flow of resources could reward a meaningful reduction of carbon emissions and could also support new, pro-poor development, help conserve biodiversity and secure vital ecosystem services. Further, maintaining forest ecosystems can contribute to increased resilience to climate change.

Norway's international climate and forest initiative: Goals and ambitions 
Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment

Minister Solheim started his presentation saying that the rainforests of the world must be sustained and preserved. He cited 3 main reasons for conserving the rainforests: emission reductions, the need to preserve the diversity of species in the rainforests, and for those living in and dependent on the rainforests.

Solheim described Norway's role as trying to bring together the world community to work on the issue of rainforests and climate change. UN-REDD includes the UN system and World Bank in a single coherent structure, but this initiative must be led by the rainforest countries, he said.

Solheim went on to describe the 3 phases to this programme:
Phase 1: Establishment of pilot programmes and capacity building (present phase).
Phase 2: To establish in all main rainforest nations a REDD strategy specific to the country and context.
Phase 3: The establishment of a global market system.

Solheim outlined the main needs for the moment including transparency in the devising of REDD strategies, results must be measurable and verifiable, the need to embark upon a global system to fund national REDD strategies (to be taken up in Copenhagen and improved afterwards), and the need for funding from the developed nations of the world to make this work.

He concluded by underscoring the importance of indigenous people as important forest managers and the need for their rights to be recognized. Solheim pledged the support of Norway in empowering these groups and in embarking upon a system of payment for eco system services in the context of rainforests.

Session 2:
The role of forests (in a climate change perspective)

Forests in the balance: forests as providers of ecosystem services vs. emissions from deforestation and forest degradation 

Daniel Nepstad, Chief Program Officer, The Environmental Conservation Programs, Moore Foundation, USA

In his presentation, Daniel described some the ecological services provided by forests (with a focus on tropical forests) and went on to evaluate the potential of one service provided by forests—carbon storage—to create large new incentives for forest conservation. The central question he asks is if the value of the carbon in trees is enough to carry a forest conservation agenda?

Daniel described the relationship between forest degradation and climate change in a series of compelling charts and diagrams (see below).

Forests, points out Daniel, are far more than processors of carbon and water and energy. They sustain myriad forms of plants and animals who, themselves, sustain life on the planet. He gave the example of the forests of Costa Rica that contribute significantly (in financial terms) to the local coffee industry by pollinating coffee trees. This is an “ecosystem service” that no one pays for, and that is lost as forests are converted to crop fields and pastures.

Daniel sees REDD as one of the most exciting conservation initiatives in recent times in providings a means of intervening, drastically lowering carbon emissions and buying humanity time to "fix" global warming?

Daniel concluded by saying that REDD is not a panacea, but it is probably the biggest near-term opportunity that we have.

For a more complete summary of Daniel's presentation, click here.

Session 2:
 Frances Seymour on Forests in the new climate agreement: What would be the ideal solution? 

Frances Seymour, Director General, Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia

Frances' talk focused on the 5 "E"s involved in coming up with the "ideal" solution for forests in the new climate agreement: effectiveness, emissions, efficiency, equitable and expectations.

Effectiveness: Most current emissions are from a few countries, in a few ecosystems (Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia).

Emissions must be reduced in these places first.

Efficient: Limit credits for reductions to real reductions. The determination of reference levels should minimize the scope for political manipulation. Minimize money and time on approaches that do not work.

Equitable: fair; protects the poor and vulnerable. North South equity. North must cut emissions and transfer money to south for compensation for preserving forests.

Expectations must be appropriately set. There is no one size fits all model when it comes to REDD implementation. There will be different models, paces, and changing reference levels.

The best agreement is one that recognizes there is no ideal solution and that respects indigenous rights.

Frances concluded by saying that there cannot be business as usual in emissions or in development aid anymore. There is a need to move to results based, performance based incentives that need to be spelled out in an agreement.

Click here for more background information on Frances and her work.

Session 3:
 Respecting local rights, rewarding local communities

Indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities' rights according to international law and their implications for international climate policies.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chair, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and Executive Director, Tebtebba, the Philippines

Victoria spoke of climate change, justice, equity and human rights and the mismanagement of the past and future. She underscored the injustice of allowing the poor and indigenous peoples to bear the brunt of climate change problems they did not create.

Victoria spoke of climate change and the direct threats it poses to a wide range of universally recognized fundamental rights--including the right to life, food, water, health, education.

Her presentation included a survey of instruments of international human rights law and indigenous peoples rights declarations and treaties related to the climate issue and the implications for international climate change policies

She called for a stop to the criminalizing of indigenous peoples and forest peoples' protests, and advocated the setting up of conflict resolution and mediation processes and the strengthening of redress mechanisms.

Victoria concluded by saying that REDD has to be an integral part of a holistic carbon, green development pathway that is underpinned by human rights and the rights of Mother Earth.

Click here for more information about Victoria and her work.

Session 3: 
Sandra Moniaga on Protecting whose forest? REDD and the ongoing contested land claims

Sandra Moniaga, Head of Learning Center, Association for Community and Ecologically-based Law Reform (HuMa), Indonesia

Sandra began by explaining the title of her presentation stating that in Indonesia, the forest is claimed by many parties.

Her presentation included a general overview of latent "forestry" and "indigenous peoples" issues in Indonesia and a summary of recent REDD-related developments in Indonesia.

Sandra explained the problem of definitions, for example, the difference between an "ecological" forest vs. a "political" forest; "natural" forest degradation vs. "political" forest reduction.

According to Sandra, REDD is being developed in more than 20 sites in Indonesia. Most of these in areas inhabited by indigenous people, who have not been consulted.

Can REDD be part of the solution?

According to Sandra, several latent problems need to be addressed before REDD can be effective. Laws have to be changed to take into account human rights and indigenous and tribal peoples rights. Serious efforts need to be made to bring about conflict resolution around land and resource tenure conflict. And, participation cannot take place without an understanding of the technical terms, etc.

Statement by partners of Rainforest Foundation

Kenn Mondiai, Chairman, Eco-Forestry Forum, Papua New Guinea read out the text of The Oslo Statement on rainforests, communities and climate change.

The document was prepared by 55 network partners of the Rainforest Foundation who have gathered in Oslo over the last few days to discuss the issue of climate justice.

Click here to read the document.

Session 4: The economics of standing forests:
Can climate related financing schemes become the basis for new, low carbon development models in forest-

Fighting deforestation, stimulating development and strengthening the rights of forest peoples in the Amazon: How to combine multiple agendas in practical politics.

Marina Silva, Senator, Brazilian Senate, and Minister of the Environment 2003 - May 2008, Brazil

Marina spoke of her personal experience in government and in civil society working on issues of the environment and of the rights of forest peoples. According to her, there is no incompatibility between protecting the forests and the local communities, and development. In fact, she sees the forests as being fundamental for development to take place.

Marina spoke of the need for changes, complex and sometimes paradoxical changes in order to deal with the crisis. She called for a new form of production and consumption that goes beyond technology, and the need to rethink our way of life and how we are.

Marina went on to say that the time has come to undo the damage of the past and to recognize the forest peoples and other local communities for the good they have done for the planet. She spoke of the need to rethink public policy, citing examples from her time in the Ministry of the Environment in Brazil.

According to Marina, development must be sustainable and include political, social, aesthetic and ethical concerns. Mentalities must change and we must think beyond just economic value when we are constituting our identities. She called for an ethical, sustainable world vision where technical solutions are transformed into real solutions.

Along with a vision, Marina explained, laws, structures and processes would be needed for real change to take place. Structures need to be flexible so that contributions from various stakeholders can be taken on board. Processes need to be democratic and transparent.

Marina concluded that the lessons learned from Brazil are that a strong agenda and command and control policies are important, but more important is to change the development model to one that takes into account environmental concerns.

Read Marina Silva's presentation here (Portuguese)

Session 4: Arild Angelsen on What will it cost?

What will it cost? Paying for avoided emissions, paying for ecosystem services or paying to pollute? Costs and consequences of alternative models for maintaining forests and forest carbon.

Arild Angelsen, Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Arild looked at the issue of forests and climate from the perspective of an economist. He outlined 3 types of costs associated with this: landowners costs (opportunity costs), government costs (budget costs), and international payment for REDD.

Among the questions examined were the following: who should be compensated? for what? (emission reductions, forest conservation), how should business as usual be defined? who owns the REDD rent? Who owns the carbon (a political question)? How to organize a system of differentiated pay?

Arild concluded with an interesting analogy, he compared forest carbon to a new cash crop for countries. A cash crop that required assistance to start production (define the project), assistance to produce the product, and that would receive payment for results.

Angelsen Rfn Redd Costs

Session 4: Lovold on The new willingness to pay

The new willingness to pay: Climate change as a catalyst for implementing a truly sustainable development model in forest-rich developing countries.

Lars Løvold, Director, Rainforest Foundation Norway

Lars started his presentation by saying that lessons from the past point to unsustainability and that most countries that follow traditional development paths, end up losing most of their native forests. In other words, "normal" development, undermines the life support systems of the Earth-undermines ecosystem services.

He then asked the question, how much must we pay to change this logic, to keep the trees standing? And challenged the dominant answer so far that has been to pay for lost income, or, paying for the lost oportunity to make money.

Lars listed several problematic issues with the opportunity cost approach including who to pay? Should one only pay those with the capacity to deforest. This rewards the villains but not the guardians and creates a perverse incentive, you must destroy in order to be paid not to destroy.

Lars proposed an alternative system, what he termed a new, Green development approach. A system that maintains life support systems-climate, biodiversity, and provides social and economic benefits and opportunities to those who maintain the system. In this system, the standing forest becomes the source for social development (health, education), income at all levels, as opposed to the current paradigm where the plundered forest equals money.

A vital element of the new model includes entrusting the forest to the people who are attached to the forest-recognizing forest peoples' rights.

Lars concluded by saying that for the new system to work, you need the participation of all stakeolders in the planning and implementation of national REDD plans, legal reform and law enforcement, and the abolishment of the right to destroy without paying.

Session 5: Wrap-up and conclusions by panelists

The panelists were asked two questions: What is to you, the single most important lesson learned from this conference? And secondly: what would be your main message to the nations meeting in Copenhagen in December. Here are their answers:

Daniel Nepstad:
Today is a brilliant example of that the approach to REDD programs need to be politically viable. We need to emphasize as much the monitoring, measurement, reporting, and verification of social performance as we do of carbon performance. What we see in the Amazon today is the development of state level REDD programs and those are very much determined by the political reality. Can you move your zoning program into the world of law? That is entirely a political process. Some of the cost estimates for REDD begin to melt away when it becomes more a question of what is political viable to put into place. If you can institute a REDD program that channel tremendous benefits to forest peoples, and that is not compensating the drivers of deforestation – if you can pull that off as government there should be funds flowing into your government, if you do the opposite, there has to be a mechanism preventing that going forward.

The main message for Copenhagen is that REDD is never going to be perfect, nor is any international mechanism. It is possible though to build in mechanisms that ensures that people with rightful claims on resources and land will not be pried away from those resources. We can not oversubscribe REDD, there has to be a certain amount of space so that countries can develop REDD programs that are responsive to their own realities, but very sensitive to and strengthening ancestral and traditional claims on natural resources.

Marina Silva:
Concerning what I have learnt here, for me it was very interesting to verify – and I think someone managed to say that in one sentence – that we cannot think of forests as a mere carbon stock, but that we must think of them in terms of the sum total of their important contributions to protecting ecosystems, biodiversity, water etc. Thus, the lesson learnt is that we cannot once more make the same mistake of seeing things only as an opportunity in an economic or monetary sense; it is possible to have a value which is not necessarily monetarized, and this should also count – even though the monetary value is important.

Another message, which I believe is important for Copenhagen, is the question of commitment – intergenerational commitment. And in order to have intergenerational commitment, it is fundamentally important that we think about changing the development model so that it includes development at all levels, making use of all necessary means, including using REDD as a way of guaranteeing, or stimulating, this change in developing countries. It is very difficult for developed countries to change their energy system from fossil to renewable, but it is also very difficult for developing countries to change their development model. But this investment needs to be done, and part of the work that needs to be done in order to merit support has already been done by local populations, by traditional populations. So we need to see how we can account for, how we can give value to, the destruction that wasn’t done. We speak of avoided deforestation, but there is also a destruction which did not happen, and these populations are worthy – because of their history of non-destruction and worthy because of their continued non-destruction. And it is more or less this that I wanted to say.

As for Copenhagen, we need to leave from there with commitments to reducing our high emissions, and for all countries, including developing countries, to reduce their expectations for future emissions. Brazil may grow x, x, x percent, but this growth cannot be to the detriment of forests, cannot be to the detriment of our biodiversity.

Sandra Moniaga:
I sense the strong feeling of the importance of indigenous peoples and local communities in guarding the forest. I do acknowledge that there are communities involved in cutting down the trees, but mainly that is for survival, because there is no alternatives, but it should not stop them from being perceived as the guardian of the forest. I am sure that if their rights are secured and they receive all the benefits, they will manage sustainably.

My message for Copenhagen: there is no doubt that we have to respect and recognize the rights of indigenous peoples and other local communities – but importantly also to include them at all levels in the process. We also have to ensure the availability of all necessary conditionalities, for example the recognition of their land tenure, their land rights, but also the diversity of resource management systems. In the instance of Indonesia, but also other countries, good governance is important.. What is also needed is to have clear and creative ways in providing the rewards to the local people. Copenhagen should be a momentum, supporting a change of the development paradigm. I’d rather have no REDD if the basic conditionalities are not there.

Victoria Tauli-Corpus:
This is the last opportunity for the world to reform the forest governance and to ensure that the governance system really protects the forest as well as the rights of the stewards of the forest including indigenous peoples.

The message I have for Copenhagen is that the industrialized countries should make deep cuts in their emissions and provide adequate financial contributions to the developing countries, so that they will be able to pursue a green low carbon economy. And further: regard that contribution as something they are owing to the world, not because they are kind. They have already occupied the largest atmospheric space today. It is time for them to give the poorest and most countries and peoples a chance to live lives of dignity and wellbeing.

Arild Angelsen:
The single most important issue, to cite a well-known persons these days: “Yes, we can” – and we have a lot of experience to build on for doing that.

I have a message to three forms of decision-makers: the first one is to the decision makers in the rich countries, including my own – and that is that Norway and other countries will have no credibility if we do not clean up in our own backyard. And whatever we do to pay for REDD through offsets or funds should be in addition to what we are doing ourselves.
For the policy- or decision-makers in developing countries: a lot of what we talked about today is not about receiving a check from the rich countries, but is primarily about your responsibility in terms of governance and political reforms.
To the NGOs and the Civil Society I would say that you should be willing to take some risks to avoid the much larger climate risk. One cannot afford to be ideological. Have a pragmatic approach when it comes to markets. A market is not intrinsically good or bad. It can be amazingly effective to give right signals to people, to give incentives to mobilizing funds. But you are also very likely to get a lot of carbon cowboys/cowgirls that are in the market just to take money and have no concern whatsoever about the environment. So we need to have the safeguards and regulate the market. There are also a couple of dilemmas that you should face. Focusing on the problems of REDD, it can fire back on what you have as a solution or what you think is good – be careful on that. There is also the question of overloading the mechanism. Keep things sensibly simple – that is the challenge we all face to achieve what we want. So, take some risks in order to avoid the even bigger risk!

Frances Seymor:
We need more discussion on the potential and appropriate role of international agreements, international institutions and agreements in leveraging fundamental reforms at the national level and below. We have experienced using money and conditionality to try to leverage fundamental reform – and it was called structural adjustment. So I really think that we have to pause and think about what are realistic expectations, to think about how to translate Lars’s inspiring vision into the political realities that we face between political and national and below. It is a fundamental and fraught debate that we really need time to have.

I will call upon all parties to make the leap of faith to reach an agreement, so that we can get started and learn. But I would underline that good proposals need to be underpinned by good procedures. So I would urge negotiators to pay special attention to building in mechanisms for managing the trade-offs, managing the risks and enabling mid-course corrections as we proceed on that learning process.

Kenn Mondiai:
The main lesson that I learned, is that my brothers and sisters that are here with us from the tropical countries, the Rainforest Foundation and all the other partners that have been supporting us in the work that we are doing in our own countries – is going in the right direction.
In Copenhagen there should not be any distinction between people coming from developed or developing countries. If we are going to be serious in addressing the global climate question, we should look at the issues in the context of the survival of the human race.

Lars Løvold:
The main lesson learnt from the conference: to be honest, it was actually Dan’s tree experiment reducing rainfall by a third and after three years the big trees started dying. We all know that we actually depend on having the Amazon there. It is very easy to see the future dramatic consequences of the sort of the marginal situation of the survival of the Amazon forest; we know that is being cut up.

As for REDD and decision-makers: make REDD function so that will be in harmony with the principles of participation and transparency and in a way which is in accordance with international obligations already assumed: Which means to respect biodiversity and people’s individual and collective rights.

Adriana Ramos blogger fra Holmsbu

Adriana Ramos i Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), Regnskogfondets største samarbeidspartner i Brasil, blogger her fra dag 2 av partnerseminaret i Holmsbu:

Adriana Ramos blog:
In this second day of the event two main issues are linked in the discussion: Indigenous peoples rights and climate change.

In the first session we could see from the presentations done by Lily La Torre, from Peru, Roger Muchuba, from RDC and Mark Bujang, from Malaysia that ensuring indigenous peoples rights to their territories is a key issue that is still to be achieved.

There are however some mechanisms that can be used to support peoples efforts. The ILO 169 Convention and the UN Declaration on rights of indigenous peoples are good examples that were mentioned in the meeting.

Pressure from economic interest
The presentations made more clear that economic interestes are pressuring indigenous peoples territories and livelihoods. This makes it necessary to increase peoples knowledge about how to use international legal instruments.

The discussion regarding indigenous peoples rights is also a key issue in the Climate change convention negotiations, showed by the panelists in the second session of the day.

This event is a great opportunity to exchange experiences and different points of view. Based on this we can try to build strategies to deal with these challenges.

Adriana Ramos
Instituto Socioambiental - ISA

tirsdag 16. juni 2009

Flere bilder fra Holmsbu

Fotos: Espen Wæhle.

Her er alle deltakerne på Holmsbu!

Regnskogvoktere fra hele verden er samlet i Holmsbu. - Aldri har mulighetene vært større for å bevare verdens gjenværende regnskoger, sa daglig leder Lars Løvold ved åpningen av jubileumsuken for Regnskogfondet.

Dag 2 på Regnskogfondets partnerseminar i Holmsbu er i gang. Første taler er advokaten Lily La Torre fra Peru. Hun snakker om urfolk og internasjonale menneskerettigheter. Les intervju med Lily og flere av gjestene på Regnskogfondets nye hjemmesider her.

mandag 15. juni 2009

Dag 1 på Holmsbu snart ferdig

Regnskogfondets partnerseminar på Holmsbu er nå i full gang. Gjestene fra verdens største regnskogsland har ankommet. Temaer i dag har blant annet vært utveksling av erfaringer fra arbeid i Kongo, Indonesia og Peru.

Følg med på Regnskogfondets nye hjemmesider for intervjuer med deltakere og annet nytt.