Posts Tagged ‘Global Forest Coalition’

Simone Lovera: Update from climate talks on non-market based approaches and ICCAs

Friday, June 7th, 2013

By Simone Lovera, Global Forest Coalition

Dear all,

While the negotiations are still in full flow I decided to send you a first report from the climate talks here in Bonn, Germany. I am copying colleagues from Climate Justice Now! as I know many of them are interested in -alternatives to- REDD as well, and admittedly I still cannot send things from my yahoo, which means I cannot use the latierra list of CJN! people working on land-related issues.

We are few GFC members and even less ICCA Consortium members here (Onel – FPCI, Dilraj – Fecofun, Eric – CED, Susanne – Econexus, our LA IPO focal point Marcial, and Coraine and me from the GFC secretariat) and some 15 – 20 CJN! members, so we are a bit lonely in our fights. But happily CJN! has started to meet every day at 2 pm at the fountain, and I personally felt those meetings were very useful. The Accra Caucus on Forest and Climate Change is active as always as well, and I have tried to join some of the women’s caucus and Indigenous Forum meetings.

The negotiations on REDD+ have mostly been closed and, as far as we understood, nonsensical. The first negotiation texts on safeguard information systems and drivers of forest loss just came out, and they are a scandal of vagaries – a clear symbol of the “Whatever Approach” that is promoted by many countries as the basis for the post-2020 climate regime. Quote of the week is from the chair of the contact group who stated that “the work on drivers of forest loss better take place outside of the work on REDD”, making it clear that, at least according to him, REDD is not about addressing drivers of forest loss (good to know…).
Happily these vague texts were not accepted yet.

More interesting were the discussions on non-market based approaches in general, and the new market mechanism. The new market mechanism was more or less pushed through by Northern countries during the chaos of climate negotiations in 2012. Bolivia took the lead in promoting non-market based approaches as an alternative, using its non-market based proposal for the sustainable management of forests as a joint mitigation and adaptation approach as the main example. While most countries seemed to merely tolerate this initiative in 2012, the (continued) collapse of the carbon markets has triggered a significantly increased interest in these non-market based approaches, as well as a strong skepticism amongst some key blocks of developing countries as far as the new market mechanism is concerned. 
Regarding the new market mechanism, they now ask for a profound evaluation of existing experiences with market mechanism before detailed negotiations on this mechanism take place. At the first negotiation session, the chairperson did an attempt to squarely ignore their position and start with negotiations anyhow, clearly guided by the wish of Northern countries to have a decision on the new market mechanism in place by the next COP in November, so that they can start with pilot projects by 2014. However, we hope the developing countries will stick to their opposition against this plan, as we feel a profound evaluation s clearly needed, to say the least….

The discussion on non-market based approaches started with a long and rather academic introduction by Bolivia, which mentioned community conservation as an example of a non-market based approach. Other countries mentioned key policies like redirecting fossil fuel and agricultural subsidies, tax reform and changing consumption patterns as non-market based approaches, and in a specific meeting on non-market based approaches to forest, the Indigenous Forum made a convincing case for the recognition of Indigenous territories as a non-market based approach. There also was a lot recognition that the non-carbon benefits of forests were important, and that non-market based approaches could play a more suitable role in conserving and enhancing them. It was highlighted by especially AOSIS that non-market based approaches can be particularly valuable in areas where permanence and uncertainty about emission reductions play a role, which is true for most land-based activities. So this discussion could become really interesting, especially as some of the UN agencies seem more and more interested in more integrated non-market based approaches to forests, agriculture and other forms of land-use based mitigation and adaptation as well. There are important opportunities to highlight the need for recognition of territories and areas conserved by Indigenous peoples and local communities in this respect. However, we should be careful, as many agencies still support a complementary role for carbon finance, and the ‘integrated’ landscape approach also serves as a vehicle to introduce agriculture and soil carbons sequestration into carbon markets.

Lastly, I just wanted to report that our side event went very well. Ravi Prabhu of the World Agroforestry Centre gave a great presentation summarizing how they concluded, after 10 year’s of experimenting with payments for environmental services schemes, that they were seldom suitable as a tool to support community-driven forest management and often riddled with conflicts and other negative social impacts. Susanne Gura gave a comprehensive presentation on industrial livestock farming as a driver of forest loss and why it has to be addressed through a holistic approach that takes into account all social, cultural, environmental, nutritional, health and animal welfare aspects. Grace Balawag of Tebtebba gave a strong presentation on the recognition of Indigenous rights to self-determination and indigenous biocultural approaches as a non-market based approach. I ended with presenting our new report on non-market based approaches (, the briefing paper on industrial livestock farming ( and a new report by the Indigenous Peoples Biocultural Climate Change Assessment on non-carbon benefits of forests, which IPCCA asked me to present. The event was very well-attended. The different presentations can be found as of tomorrow on

We disseminated copies of these materials through our exhibition as well: Other GFC, ICCA Consortium and CJN! members are still welcome to use this space for distribution of their materials until Saturday.
I will try to send you another brief report next week, although most negotiations are going ‘under cover’ by now (taking place behind closed doors), so we can only follow them via hear-say.
Best wishes,