Activities and ProjectsSeptember 21st - International Day Against Tree Plantations Life as Commerce - Certification Project Plantation & Pulp mill awareness campaign Southern Africa agrofuels info network Plantation licencing advisory committee
Some Timberwatch activities and projects, such as the monitoring of political governance and industry behaviour are ongoing, while others, such as our research projects and workshops, are linked to specific events or target dates. Raising community awareness is an over-arching objective which requires sustained effort and the committed involvement of members, supporters and partners.
Our newest project is supported by the Siemenpuu Foundation in Finland, and involves a study that will focus on tree plantation carbon sinks in Tanzania, in particular a project of Norwegian-owned company, Green Resources Ltd, at Idete in southern Tanzania. The company plans to obtain 400 000 CDM carbon credits through the planting of nearly 6500 hectares of alien gum and pine plantations, and to sell them to the Norwegian government for use as offsets against carbon emissions in Norway.
The project has begun with the production of a preliminary report to be completed in time for the Climate Change meetings taking place in Copenhagen from 7th - 18th December 2009. During 2010 there will be further research, including field work in the vicinity of the plantation project at Idete. This will lead to a comprehensive report that will also examine the implications of broader issues such as the carbon market, global timber consumption trends, and possible alternative approaches to climate change. Our aim is to publish the full report in time for the next UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) COP (Conference of Parties) to be held in November 2010.
The preliminary report by Blessing Karumbidza and Wally Menne can be accessed HERE.
Timberwatch serves as the NGO focal point in Africa for the Global Forest Coalition (GFC), and has co-operated with GFC in the production of locally relevant research reports. The latest report "Life as Commerce - Certification in South Africa" launched in November 2008, can be downloaded HERE.
GFC's Strategic Approach
Timberwatch has had a long and fruitful association with the World Rainforest Movement (WRM), an organisation that has been a supportive partner of Timberwatch since June 1998 when a Timberwatch member participated at the first International Plantations Campaign meeting in Montivideo, Uruguay, where the WRM is based.
In 2005 WRM published an important report A Study of the Social and Economic Impacts of Industrial Tree Plantations in the KwaZulu - Natal Province of South Africa by Blessing Karumbidza, and this was followed by Swaziland: The myth of sustainable timber plantations by Wally Menne and Ricardo Carrere in March 2007.
WRM focusses on documenting the negative impacts of monoculture tree plantations, and using the accumulated information to produce user friendly educational material in a number of languages. See the recent WRM briefing Timber Plantations in Southern Africa
Eastern Cape Workshop on Plantations and Pulp Mills
On Saturday 14th February 2009 a workshop was held in East London with assistance from the WESSA Border-Kei Region office who also provided the meeting venue. Participants came from across the Eastern Cape, representing local and national government entities, industry, NGOs, and local communities.
The workshop generated much interest in issues around the topics discussed (see notice below), and some participants expressed an interest in becoming members of Timberwatch and in holding follow-up meetings in the future with a view to establishing a local Timberwatch group.
This workshop was a part of a campaign supported by the Grassroots Foundation in Germany, to increase awareness of the impacts of pulp mills and plantations in South Africa.
For more information about the Plantations and Pulp Mills awareness campaign go HERE
To download the slideshow presentations made at the workshop in pdf format, and to see the full workshop report click HERE
In this section:
September 21st - International Day Against Tree Plantations
Life as Commerce - Certification Project
Plantation & Pulp mill awareness campaign
Southern Africa agrofuels info network
Plantation licencing advisory committee