Rainforest-for-carbon-credits save Ulu Masen forest from conversion into palm oil plantation

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Image The World Wildlife Fund recently announced a new report that documents deforestation on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.  WWF partnered with Hokkaido University and Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH on the full report, (pdf), which details the impact of converting carbon-rich swampy peatlands into pulpwood and palm oil plantations.

Last month Mongabay.com reported that the first “rainforest-for-carbon-credits” deal in Aceh, Indonesia will protect the 1.9 million acre Ulu Masen forest from conversion into palm oil plantations, potentially generating an estimated $26 million in carbon credits in the first five years.  The Ulu Masen project met the criteria of the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, making it the first such project for reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD) that meets the CCB standards.  Jim Efstathiou, Jr. writes on Bloomberg.com that Ulu Masen’s emissions reductions will equal Mexico’s annual greenhouse-gas output.

World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick kicked off the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) at the Bali Climate Change Conference in December 2007.  FCPF is getting started with a combined initial pledge of US$155 million – seed money to grow a forest carbon market.  It’s estimated by the Bank that Indonesia alone could earn US$400 million to $2 billion a year in a forest carbon market.

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