Search “climate change” at most stock agencies and you’d think it’s all happening up in Churchill, Manitoba.
The resounding message from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali next month will be that it’s not all about polar bears. Recent studies show that 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions are from deforestation. That’s more warming than you get from all the worldâ€™s cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships put together.
Most deforestation emissions are from tropical forests and most of those from Indonesia, host country to the UN talks that will map a way forward beyond the Kyoto agreement, which ends in 2012.
So far carbon trading, under Kyoto rules, does not reward conservation of forest carbon. Which means Indonesia, now the world’s third largest carbon emitter (80% of its emissions are from forest destruction) has little capital or economic incentive to reduce its contribution to climate change.
Rainforest nations aim to change that. Newly banded together as the â€œForest-11â€, they put “REDD” (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries) firmly on the agenda for next monthâ€™s meeting. And while the successor to Kyoto is still five years down the road, draft text suggests that “early actions” to protect forests may be retroactively rewarded.
Meanwhile, the World Bank launches a US$300M project (in need of corporate donors!) which help 20 countries tally up forest carbon emissions, then earn cash for carbon that stays locked up in trees and soils. The scheme is seen as a road test for a post-Kyoto forest carbon market.
As an environmental writer and photographer based in Indonesia, as well as a recovering climate researcher, Iâ€™m excited about next monthâ€™s summit. Over the last ten years, Iâ€™ve reported on some 20 million hectares of forest loss in Indonesia. Today is the most hopeful Iâ€™ve felt yet.
My Action Plan and Proposed Coverage
1. Iâ€™m writing and shooting part time at the UN Conference for NGOs.
2. Iâ€™d like to cover the conference for media outlets, with pictures, reporting, writing or a balance of the three. Iâ€™ll consider all angles, but my expertise is in forest issues.
FOR MEDIA ACCREDITATION, I NEED A LETTER OF ASSIGNMENT BY 28 NOVEMBER. Thatâ€™s Wednesday.
3. Climate â€œcelebritiesâ€ will be in attendance: Al Gore gives the keynote address. John Kerry and Barbara Boxer represent the US Senate delegation. Will the Governator drop in at the California cocktail?
4. Iâ€™m gathering up images from my stock collection that illustrate tropical climate change issues, especially in forests. At www.indonesiawild.com, enter quicklink 2076. The only melting ice here is in my foo-foo drink.
2007-11-24 06:14:23 UTC
Nov 24 2007