N4C Weekly Brief: Jan 24-30
Briefing Room 01.02.24
Direct funding of Indigenous peoples can protect global rainforests & the climate [Commentary]
Mongabay, Joe Eisen, Suzanne Pelletier and Tørris Jæger on 24 January
Mongabay carries a commentary from executives of the Rainforest Foundation advocating for governments and donors to increase their direct, flexible, and less bureaucratic grant-making to Indigenous peoples to turn the tide on deforestation. Of the total climate aid provided by international donors between 2011 and 2020, less than 1% of these funds were directed to support Indigenous peoples’ forest conservation. Inside Philanthropy covers the findings of three reports on the state of finance for Indigenous led forest conservation, finding that while commitments and disbursements of funds are growing, they are not yet filling the finance gap that still exists.
Optimism dries up in Amazon as Lula drifts from climate priorities
The Guardian, Jonathon Watts, 25 January
The Guardian dives into the state of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s efforts to end deforestation, and finds mixed results. While deforestation in the Amazon has dropped significantly, on average close to 1 million trees are still being lost. Brazil’s Cerrado biome is experiencing the largest loss of natural vegetation since 2016. Brazil’s Congress has been able to pass legislation that has limited Indigenous rights and claims to their lands to conserve nature, and the military has neglected to support the government’s efforts to remove thousands of illegal gold miners from Yanomami territory. Meanwhile, a new and still greater threat is emerging in the shape of a paved highway through the heart of the western Amazon, opening relatively undisturbed areas of the rainforest to degrading activities. Nusantra Atlas reports that Indonesia is also experiencing increasing deforestation from the palm oil sector following a record 21-year low in 2021.
Firms more likely to set SBTi goals if more offsets allowed: survey
Quantum Commodity Intelligence, 25 January
Quantum Commodity Intelligence covers the results of a new survey of 45 companies conducted by The Climate Board and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative with results showing companies would be more likely to take on science-based climate goals if there was more “flexibility” on the use of carbon credits to help meet those targets. The results were shared with the Science Based Targets initiative, which is writing guidelines for Beyond Value Chain Mitigation that could allow the use of jurisdictional REDD+ credits to help meet corporate climate goals. BusinessGreen carries a commentary that argues carbon offset schemes designed solely around soil carbon sequestration are too simplistic and could result in a wave of ‘junk’ offsets.
The World’s Forests Are Doing Much Better Than We Think [Commentary]
Bloomberg, David Fickling, 28 January
Bloomberg shares a commentary from opinion columnist David Fickling drawing attention to the positive stories around temperate and polar forests which receive less attention than tropical forests. While tropical forests face greater threats of deforestation and store more carbon, other forests have seen a rebound. However, much of this forest cover resurgence is due to plantation forestry for timber, which does result in fewer biodiversity and ecosystem service benefits.
Move to sustainable food systems could bring $10tn benefits a year, study finds
Financial Times, Attracta Mooney, 29 January
Financial Times covers a report from the Food System Economics Commission that finds shifting to a more sustainable global food system will create up to $10 trillion in benefits a year, improve human health, halt a significant level of nature loss and ease the climate crisis. Main elements of the shift to more sustainable food systems in the report include moving away from some monoculture production, ending common practices like ploughing, reforming the use of fertilisers and avoiding nature loss.
SPOTLIGHT – Equator Prize 2024
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) invites nominations for the Equator Prize 2024. Themed ‘Nature for Climate Action,’ this cycle seeks initiatives led by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, providing impactful climate solutions, contributing to nature restoration, and advocating for green economies.
The Equator Prize 2024 will recognize initiatives advancing innovative nature-based solutions aligned with the Global Biodiversity Framework. Winners will be awarded USD 10,000 each and participate in policy dialogues and events in the fall of 2024.
Nominate projects to join the prestigious network with 285 past Equator Prize winners from 89 countries since 2002 by clicking here.
Deadline: February 26th, 2024
INSIGHTS – What was the ‘nature’ of Davos this year?
An underreported theme of World Economic Forum’s 2024 Davos Annual Meeting was driving solutions to support nature. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report – launched as a curtain raiser to Davos every year – cited biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as one of the top three risks over the next decade. See how nature showed up at Davos this year across 5 themes of action, commitments, new tech and data, and more. Photo: World Economic Forum / Boris Baldinger
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Tropical Forest Alliance publishes their latest issue of its interactive online publication Perspectives focused on food systems and the steps that businesses, the finance sector, and governments need to take in tackling land-use change.
Deforestation Free Finance shares a case study on Aviva, highlighting methodologies, findings, and learning points from the company’s journey towards reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.
The Climate Board releases new research showing strong corporate demand for carbon credits to help achieve climate targets, despite key challenges around credibility and standardization. 70% of companies surveyed with Scope 3 emissions goals believe carbon credits could enhance their climate strategies.
World Economic Forum shares insights on how a global economy with economic-environmental balance can tackle both instability and inequality, highlighting the UNDP’s Nature Pledge and Brazil’s Amazon Security Plan.
FAO publishes a first report as part of a multi-year process to develop a roadmap for achieving SDG 2 without breaching the 1.5 °C threshold.
Science Based Targets Network shares five insights from pilot companies representing sectors and supply chains significantly impacting nature about what it’s like to pioneer science-based targets for nature.
Rubicon Carbon releases its response to an article describing systematic over-crediting in cookstove carbon projects, arguing that it highlights the importance of investing in the improvements inherent in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) 2.0.
SEI publishes a paper evaluating the United Kingdom’s recently adopted legislation on deforestation-free supply chains and the European Union’s similar approach based on whether supply chains for key sectors in Brazil were prepared for compliance.
UNEP shares six trending products for nature finance and five nature investing themes to watch in 2024.
Agri Investor opens voting for its Agri Investor Global Awards.
UNEP publishes a report providing an overview of the key methodological and conceptual trends among the private sector assessment and disclosure approaches on nature-related issues. It provides comparative research on seven leading standards, frameworks and systems for assessment and disclosure on nature-related issues.
IATP releases a report on Inflation Reduction Act’s impact on access to Farm Bill conservation programs.
Food System Economics publishes its Global Policy Report summarizing the findings of a four-year investigation by the Food System Economics Commission (FSEC), an independent commission expressly created to assess options for comprehensive food system transformation.
N4C covers new scientific research led by The Nature Conservancy that highlights five principles that outline what and how natural climate solutions must be implemented.
Conservation International shares insights explaining what natural climate solutions are (measurable, restorative) and what they are not (greenwashing).
WCS covers a new paper finding that highly productive marine areas are essential to future conservation efforts that can advance the 30×30 goal.
WRI shares an overview of climate progress under the Biden administration, taking stock of what his administration has accomplished, what is still a work in progress, and what is off track.
WWF publishes a report highlighting four solutions to transform how we produce animal feed to protect people and nature (responsible sourcing, regenerative agriculture, circular ingredients, and feed innovations).
Integrity Global Partners, a global development company co-founded by three mission-aligned women, each with decades of experience in carbon and environmental markets, is spearheading the company’s first crowdfunding equity raise to address the stark underfunding in nature while offering early-stage investors the opportunity to benefit from a booming carbon market and earn healthy returns.
FAIRR releases a report on biodiversity footprints and risk management based on targeted, data-supported insights on ways to interpret datasets to assess companies’ exposure to biodiversity, and their response to these risks and opportunities.
American Forest Foundation explains the Rural Forest Markets Act (RFMA), which is bipartisan legislation that would help rural landowners access new economic opportunities and equip them to improve the health and value of their forests, all while fighting climate change.
N4C is compiling an index of NBS case studies, together with an interactive map, to highlight action on the ground. Each week, we will be choosing a case study to present, to help give concrete examples of work being done to bring NBS theory into practice.
Soddo Forestry Project
WHERE: MOUNT DAMOTA, ETHIOPIA
TYPE OF NCS SOLUTION: PROTECT
The overexploitation of forest resources in Ethiopia has left less than 3% of its native forests remaining. Mount Damota, south of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, was highly degraded due to overexploitation of forest resources. This project uses Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) to regrow vegetation from existing stumps and root stock, providing faster and more sustainable growth than replanting trees in nurseries. This has enabled the restoration of 503 hectares of degraded native forests.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 746 MtCO2e/yr
The emissions that could be sequestered annually by 2050 if Brazil meets its potential for reforestation. See more details on the potential for natural climate solutions in N4C’s naturebase
Brazil’s Indigenous peoples have come under systemic attacks for five centuries, a crisis that worsened from 2019 to 2022 under the government of Jair Bolsonaro. These hostilities were encapsulated in the Emmy-winning documentary The Territory (O Território), which unveiled the challenges one Indigenous land and its population faced from land grabbers from 2018 to 2021. Today, the situation in the region has improved, experts say, adding that although threats still exist, the territory has become safer and deforestation has dropped thanks to increasing visibility, local action, and a change in the federal government.
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The Soddo Forestry Project (Ethiopia) uses Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) to regrow vegetation from existing stumps and root stock, providing faster and more sustainable growth than replanting trees in nurseries. This has enabled the restoration of 503 hectares of degraded native forests.