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News in brief - November 2015

15 November 2015

As the Paris climate summit nears, climate NGOs and indigenous groups are demanding that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) global reporting standards for extractive industries include a requirement that fossil fuel companies are transparent about the future viability of their oil, coal and gas projects. The EITI Board, which includes representatives from EU Member States, the European Commission, and major oil and mining corporations, can no longer turn a blind eye to the risks that the exploitation of fossil fuels poses to the planet and resource-dependent communities in a warming world, the NGOs said. Fern’s partners in Central and West Africa are working to ensure that oil and mining do not put forests and local livelihoods in danger and that natural resource wealth trickles down to communities.

NGOs have welcomed news that donors have refused to give funding to Cameroon under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)’s Carbon Fund. Guyana also failed to secure funding. The FCPF Carbon Fund is designed to pilot performance-based payments for REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) activities and policies in a handful of countries, although it is not yet decided which countries will ultimately receive the payments. At the Carbon Fund’s 13th meeting in Brussels in October, FCPF members, including the EU, found Cameroon’s submission (called an Emission Reductions Program Idea Note, or ERPIN) particularly weak. This echoed a joint analysis by national and international NGOs, which highlighted that the ERPIN was prepared without participation of communities or other stakeholders, and that it did not address the main drivers of deforestation in Cameroon. Cameroon was invited to submit a revised ERPIN at the next Carbon Fund meeting. It is unclear if sufficient funds will be available to admit another country into the pipeline.

By exempting some of Indonesia’s most significant timber-processing companies from audits to verify the legality of their activities, a new regulation from Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade threatens the country’s efforts to eliminate illegal timber from its supply chains. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has objected to the regulation, which presents significant potential for large-scale laundering of illegal or uncertified wood. The new regulation risks undermining Indonesia’s current efforts toward becoming the first country in the world to issue FLEGT licenses, which will provide fast-track approval for legal timber products destined for the EU. “The Trade Minister Regulation introduces structural inconsistencies in Indonesia’s long-term efforts to improve forest governance,” said Zainuri Hasyim, coordinator of JPIK, Indonesia’s independent forest-monitoring network.

Some of this newsletter has been produced with funding from the European Union. This content is the sole responsibility of Fern and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the EU.

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 FERN works to achieve environmental and social justice with a focus on forests and forest peoples' rights in the policies and practices of the European Union.

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