Private sector members of “ Japan Public-Private Platform for REDD+” have already implemented a diverse range of initiatives worldwide. How can the private sector involve in REDD+? Below are a few of the projects unique to REDD+ that go beyond mere forest conservation.
This is an ongoing project where NEC, MRI and other Japanese members of the consortium have been cooperating and making progress with the local government and nature conservation organizations in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Through activities of conserving expansive natural forest habitats where orangutans protected and rehabilitated in conservation facilities are released, information communication technology (ICT) is utilized to conduct analyses of reduction of greenhouse gas emission and to accumulate know-how of efficient operations via mobile communications terminals while also investigating potential for further application of such technology.
In the fiscal years of 2013 and 2014, this initiative was adopted as feasibility study of JCM (Joint Crediting Mechanism) by the Ministry of the Environment. It was originally started as reforestation projects with the local authorities and organizations as part of CSR activities of the NEC Group in around 2006, but later developed into a much-anticipated REDD+ initiative for sustainable forest conservation, which expanded the possibilities of the project. MRI, which possesses impressive achievements and expertise in REDD+ methodology development and satellite image analysis technology, participated in this project and developed a new REDD+ methodology supported by the Ministry of the Environment. This new methodology employs definitive high-resolution satellite images that enables land cover classification with high precision. Currently, these member organizations are also looking into establishing a business model of higher feasibility.
“There are many aspects of REDD+ promotion where ICT, our company’s strength, can be effectively utilized. Besides the hardware for the project, we are also trying to come up with, for example, a business model that can extend to such service areas as analysis of big data obtained from satellite images and eco-tours that could point out the characteristics of orangutan forests.” (NEC representative)
While supporting forest conservation activities, these organizations also continue to consult local keypersons in order to find new safeguards with a higher feasibility. Through the acquisition of emission reduction credits supported by JCM projects, business opportunities will only continue to expand.
This is an initiative by Conservation International Japan (CI Japan) in Prey Long, a region located on the west bank of the Mekong River in central Cambodia.
Prey Long is in the largest tropical lowland evergreen forest on the Indochinese Peninsula. Here numerous rivers flow through both evergreen and deciduous forest. It is a precious land where many types of wild animals live, including critically endangered species and the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake are important sources of water. The communities living in this region collect natural resin and other forest resources as materials for building their homes and as an important source of income. The forest thus forms the basis of life for the people here, with physical, economic, cultural, spiritual and many other significances to them.
However, with no legal framework for protecting the forest of this crucial region, large-scale timber harvesting have become a formidable threat. Conversion to agricultural land and deforestation by residents as well as illegal loggers are also continued.
The initiatives by CI promote forest conservation in the Prey Long region and strengthened surveillance by the Cambodian Forestry Administration of illegal activities. Additionally, in order to protect the forest, cooperation with the communities who live here is indispensable, and there are currently plans to adopt a method called “Conservation Agreement” so that communities themselves can become involved in the wellbeing of their forests. There are also steps made to establish a framework for providing benefits to the communities, such as agricultural technology support and conservation activities.
Since 2011, CI has through REDD+ feasibility surveys surveyed the critical situation that has occurred in the forests of this region and the potential of the business model using REDD+. It can be said to be an initiative that has maximized on its strengths as an international environment NGO in government proposals on climate change and wildlife diversity, etc., and forming partnerships with businesses. Through the continuation of CI’s activities, investigation into a way for JCM between Japan and Cambodia is deepening.
This project is an initiative in Vietnam’s Dien Bien Province, where through the “Dien Bien REDD+ Pilot Project” implemented by JICA, the “Provincial REDD+ Action Plan (PRAP),” which is the first of its kind in Vietnam, was drawn up.
From 2013, three private companies and organization (Sumitomo, Asukul and Yanmar) began a partnership with SUSFORM-NOW. As a REDD+ empirical study, they carried out livelihood improvement activities for reducing excessive slash-and-burn farming , and forest patrols and reforestation activities by rangers and residents , while at the same time providing support to bolstering local capacities necessary in REDD+ implementation, such as forest monitoring systems.
In fiscal year 2015, these three private-sector companies and organization began a program for coffee farming instruction. This initiative instructed in the plantation and processing of coffee, which has a higher crop yield than slash-and-burn agriculture, and aimed to both improve the livelihoods of local communities and conserve forests. When high-quality beans are harvested, rather than shipping through a regular logistics channel, they are able to be sold to coffee shops in Hanoi that provide the technology instructors, directly with a higher price than market average.
In addition to cultivation and processing technology, increasing sales route channels, can contribute to local communities in further broadening their own chances of success in the coffee business. The initiative is a very unique approach to the private sector in seeking out local potential with business perspective and provide support.