Entries for December 2007
Wetlands International played a very active role in trying to influence the outcomes of the Bali Climate Conference (UN-FCCC COP 13). Our organisation was present with a professional team from various offices. This has led to some successes.
A report of UNDP showed that Malaysia's carbon emissions grew by 221 percent from 1990 to 2004, the largest growth in emissions among the top 30 emitters. Malaysia is ranked 26th on a global league table of emitters. Studies by Wetlands International and its partners have indicated that emissions from degraded peatlands alone in Malaysia are remarkably high, around 100 million tonnes annually.
Click here for the presentation about the Global Peatland Fund with background information.
Results from the first comprehensive global assessment on the links between peatland degradation and climate change presented today show that clearance, drainage and fires in peatlands emit more than 3 billion tones of carbon dioxide every year, equivalent to 10% of global emissions from fossil fuels. Protection and restoration of peatlands are among the most cost- effective options for climate change mitigation.
Indonesia takes, with 2000 million tonnes CO2 emissions per year from degraded peat, the largest share of the global peat emissions; it is a huge problem, but also very concentrated, involving around 13 million hectares. The cost-effectiveness of restoring these degraded areas is very high. Emissions in many of these peatlands are around hundred tonnes per hectare per year.
The Kyoto rules for accounting emissions make a rigid distinction between fossil and non-fossil fuels. Non-fossil fuels are assumed to have by definition zero greenhouse gas emissions. This assumption ignores that there are other emissions than fossil fuel emissions that add to the greenhouse gas balance in the atmosphere. Thus, these Kyoto accounting rules provide a huge incentive for the use of biomass in Annex 1 countries.
In his role as the Honorary President of Wetlands International, Raymond C. Offenheiser will support the organisation as a whole by representing them and providing advice and guidance on key policy and strategic issues. In particular, he will guide the organisation’s partnership approach with the development sector in its work connecting wetlands and livelihoods in developing countries. Mr. Offenheiser will participate as an observer in the organisations’ governance structures and play a role in representing the wider Wetlands international family of staff, members and partners.