As the 2nd week of negotiations begins at UNFCCC in Bali, many questions remain surrounding efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries (REDD) in a post-2012 international climate regime. Negotiators have failed to agree on REDD issues, frustrating an essential component to save the world’s tropical forests and combat climate change.

There are three key issues that must be resolved as delegates work out the details of any REDD agreement:

  • Parties must define a timeframe for deciding on reference emissions scenarios. Without these deadlines, REDD may never move forward.
  • Negotiators should clarify whether REDD will function through a market mechanism or a fund for tropical forest nations. A market mechanism which relies on a cap-and-trade system is a

Every year, the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) hosts its conference at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on new and important ideas in natural resource management in the Tropics. In 2008 (February 28-March 1) we will host a conference focused on the potential impacts of bioenergy and avoided deforestation on tropical landscapes.

We will be accepting abstracts for the papers until December 31, 2007. Abstracts can be sent to Please see attachment for the official Call for Papers ( Feel free to distribute to colleagues and other organizations that you feel might be interested in contributing…

After handing out a towering stack of press releases on the Tropical Forest Group’s REDD update, I ran into Mr. Rezaul Kabir, the Under Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, at the conference compound map. After admitting that we were both rather lost, I asked him his thoughts and hopes for the conference so far. Mr. Rezaul Kabir’s thoughts:

- that working toward climate change solutions “is not only the wirk of the most affected nations (such as Bangladesh). Success depends on a willingness to share (the weight) of the damage suffered from climate change”

- “for the sake of humanity, we must work to together to take a global stance”

- he stated that the US and other developed nations must remember that they are not…

My experience at COP so far has been phenomenal. The heat, which at first seemed unbearable, is a reminder of how far away from New Haven we are. I have been attending several different kinds of events – including official “contact group” meetings as well as side events which include presentations by NGO’s, IGO’s, and the private sector on both case studies on projects and new approaches to addressing climate change, especially post 2012.

The issues that I am more interested in are climate change and development as well as reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). A couple days ago, I attended forest day as well, which was put on by the CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research). There is a lot of talk…

Yesterday evening Yale students met with members of the Indonesian Delegation to discuss their perspective on climate change governance and hear first hand of the impacts of climate change on their country.

Our discussion opened with the delegates telling a somber tale of the affects of El Nino, an ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is likely increasing in intensity and frequency due to global warming. The 1997 El Nino caused severe forest fires in Indonesia. El Ninos, in general, have significant consequences for two groups of Indonesians: farmers and fishermen. Farmers, especially those in Java, face water scarcity in the dry season and flooding in the wet season. Recently, these agricultural areas have been hit with cyclones, a phenomenon new to Indonesia. El Nino also increases the height of ocean waves…

The number of Clean Development Mechanism projects registered has expanded rapidly this year, with close to 3,000 projects currently in the pipeline. However, there are growing concerns regarding the additionality requirement for projects, both that it is somewhat ineffective in its current form and that it effectively excludes the type of small-scale projects that reap the best development dividends.

Yesterday’s meeting in Bali featured a side conference on carbon finance. A session titled “Additionality: never-ending story or workable solutions” provided a remarkably frank discussion of the shortcomings of the current additionality test for CDM projects and potential ways to reform the system. Participants acknowledged that the current CDM additionality test has some substantive problems. Lex de Jonge from the CDM Executive Board discussed how barrier analysis alone is not…

The Conference of the Parties 13 is in full force – and Yale certainly is on the scene. Attending plenaries and side events aplenty, informal sessions on actual discussions on the text, interviewing delegates and helping spread awareness on the important role of deforestation in fighting climate change…there is much going on and much to be done. Today, December 7, members of the Yale delegation are currently at the IPCC briefing of its fourth report, especially the Synthesis Report released last month (Nov 16th) – a very climate policy-relevant assessment. Dr. Pachuri states that this report looks at the observed evidence of climate change, the causes and drivers of change, and an assessment of impacts, especially long term impacts, comparing action versus inaction.

The Yale delegation is also today…

Over twenty Yale F&ES students and three faculty are attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Bali, December 3-14, 2007.

Official UNFCC website: