Indigenous People Forum On Climate Change


 As people from different walks of life gathered in Morocco in the bid to committing to climate actions, indigenous people were not left out. It was interesting to know that indigenous people, though form relatively small community (5% of world’s population), cover a greater percentage of the world’s richest biodiversity (80%). I was privy this to incredible information when I attended a session on indigenous people  forum on climate change that I thought worth sharing. As a student of forestry my thirst for knowledge aroused wanting to find out how indigenous people by themselves manage these vast resources without sacrificing the safety of the environment. This was particularly so because our educational training greatly based science and technology is by far totally different from the indigenous systems.Importantly, there could be take-away lessons and knowledge on these two extremes of perspectives on forestry!

Well, indigenous people believe that their approach and systems, based on traditional knowledge and customary laws, in natural resources utilization and management especially forests are geared towards sustainability. A classical example is the indigenous system known as DAHAS – pertaining to the indigenous people of     Indonesia.The concept of Dahas refers to the indigenous integrated natural resources system management which is family or clan-based. This is the kind of concept that the indigenous peoples emphasized on as a forest management system able to conserve forest ecosystems .Dahas, according to the indigenous perspective, has proven reliable as it contributes significantly to maintaining the existing carbon stocks and at the same time reduce carbon emission from forests.

Indigenous people have a strong believe that they have unexploited potent wisdom, knowledge and experience that could be used in both the mitigation of global warming and the adaptation to climate change.

On another session with the indigenous people, I had the opportunity to interact with them. The much-focused observers got to hear about IFSA and our activities. They were impressed with IFSA and encouraged us to carry on with the spirit!


Tackling the Landscapes Approach – GLF 2016

On Wednesday, 16th of November, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) took place in the Kenzi Club in Marrakech. I was filled up with expectations since I had attended GLF in Paris the year before. Last year the event lasted a whole weekend and had 3500 participants. This year the whole event was held on a smaller scale, with 500 participants. While others may have been consternated, I saw it as a huge chance to get even closer to orators and experts.

We were one of the first ones to show up and as we entered the Kenzi Club it became pretty clear that this was going to be awesome. Coming through a huge hall into the garden, a huge field of grass, palm-trees and tables with delicious food on them, opened up. As we were getting our tickets, we became aware of the familiar atmosphere dominating the event. I felt so comfortable. Maybe it was because of Samuel and Dolores, our IFSA COP and GLF delegates who had joined the Youth in Landscapes Initiative, who were helping out at the counter so that every participant would not have to wait too long for the tickets.

With time running by, the area filled up with people and the garden became slowly crowded. The first session started very soon and so we gathered in the main room. Beside the main room event you could choose between three others so that there was a good chance on hitting the interests of every participant. Sometimes I wanted to split myself up so that I could attend more than just one session at once, because many concurrent sessions piqued my interest. When the experts started their presentations and discussions they even went online via livestream. Between Tweeting and Facebooking it sometimes was hard to listen and I even felt a little bit stressed out while the sessions went on. So I really appreciated it that there were little breaks between the sessions so you could recover and catch up with the other delegates.

When we came out of the second session (Blog about this session will come from Bran; it was really awesome – especially because it is a big part of my study) it was already around 12 O’clock so it was lunchtime. And I think it was one of the best lunchtimes I ever had. Fighting myself through all the delegates and experts, some really well-known people under them, I was very hungry and so I was even more delighted to see the awesome food. From fried rice with vegetables over finger food to salad – we got everything. I shouldn’t tell you about the dessert since I would make you only envious when I really told you about the chocolate fountain or the fresh fruits or the sweet pies. As the break was coming to an end, we were fortunate enough to meet with the Australian Minister of the Environment and Energy. This gave us a good chance to talk to him about initiatives underway in Australia, specifically regarding landscape approaches to managing challenges, and take a group picture.

In the afternoon the Youth in Landscapes Initiative—an event designed and implemented in collaboration by IFSA, Global AgroEcology Alliance (GAEA) and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)—organized a youth session where we had to approach the challenges which cause migration and identify solutions to address these. After listening to three different stories from migrated people and their reason for migration they gave us our exercise: within 30 minutes we had to come up with a concept for a solution. The four groups had rather different ideas of how to cope with these problems and a pool of various ideas formed.

After the youth session the Global Landscapes Forum was drawing to a close and it was time for the closing plenary. During the closing plenary, it was announced that Germany would host and fund the secretariat of GLF for the next four years in Bonn. Originally I hoped for the German Minister of Environment to be there but she was unfortunately held up in COP negotiations at that time. After the surprising news of having GLF and its secretariat in Germany we went outside, where meanwhile some well filled bar-tables appeared. Mixing with the experts and getting into conversations was now the motto. And you won’t believe me with whom we had a talk for quiet a long time; Barbara Hendricks Germany’s Minister of Environment, who had concluded her negotiations. It was a great discussion about student involvement in global policy discussions, and she was highly impressed that she had the chance to meet IFSA delegates from all populated continents. Overall, it was a great way to end this fourth GLF and we look forward to visiting next year’s event in Bonn.

Back to the Future

Future Technology for Today Land-Use Change

by Branindityo Nugroho

Wednesday 16 November 2016. Unlike the days before, today is -in a positive way- different. It is because today Global Landscape Forum being held by the cooperation of CIFOR-WorldBank-UNEP. GLF held in Kenzi Club, Marrakech. Global Landscapes Forums, held alongside the UN climate negotiations, create a platform for positioning landscapes in the new international agreements on climate and sustainable development.

In one of the session, the topic is about using technology in managing landscapes. During the session, five new website platforms were introduced. Here it is.


Global Forest

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is an interactive online forest monitoring and alert system designed to empower people everywhere with the information they need to better manage and conserve forest landscapes. Global Forest Watch uses cutting edge technology and science to provide the timeliest and most precise information about the status of forest landscapes worldwide, including near-real-time alerts showing suspected locations of recent tree cover loss. GFW is free and simple to use, enabling anyone to create custom maps, analyze forest trends, subscribe to alerts, or download data for their local area or the entire world. Users can also contribute to GFW by sharing data and stories from the ground via GFW’s crowdsourcing tools, blogs, and discussion groups. Special “apps” provide detailed information for companies that wish to reduce the risk of deforestation in their supply chains, users who want to monitor fires across Southeast Asia, and more. GFW serves a variety of users including governments, the private sector, NGOs, journalists, universities, and the other public sector.

this website can give baseline data of emission from several countries, including the summary, scope and boundaries, emission factors, about the data (how the data collected and sources)


Collect Earth

Collect Earth is a tool that enables data collection through Google Earth. In conjunction with Google Earth, Bing Maps and Google Earth Engine, users can analyze high and very high resolution satellite imagery for a wide variety of purposes, including :

  • Support multi-phase National Forest Inventories
  • Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) assessments
  • Monitoring agricultural land and urban areas
  • Validation of existing maps
  • Collection of spatially explicit socio-economic data
  • Quantifying deforestation, reforestation and desertification

The software made to address specific monitoring resources. It is using sampling approach: systematic, random, random-systematic. User also can do and examine statistical analysis through the website. Collect Earth is an open source, so it is free and developing rapidly.



Planet is a company of data provider, mostly related to environmental and forestry. It has their own satellites, orbiting and continuously taking pictures of the earth. The satellites are collecting a radical new data set with endless, real-world applications. Whether we’re measuring agricultural yields, monitoring natural resources, or aiding first responders after natural disasters, the data is here to lend businesses and humanitarian organizations a helping hand.

The data has a particular time-bound, time-lapsed pictures. The data of satelite images (mostly) of land-use change. e.g. glaciers monitoring, deforestation, renewable energy construction, ice covers, etc. More over it also able to show the base impact of such changes. such as carbon released due to deforestation, energy produced from particular energy plant, etc.

55 satelites in the sky currently orbitting the earth


Trase is powerful new sustainability platform that enables governments, companies, investors, and others to better understand and address the environmental and social impacts linked to their supply chains. Its approach draws on vast sets of production, trade, and customs data, for the first time laying bare the flows of globally-traded commodities from production landscapes to consumer countries at scale. Along the way, it identifies the ports of export and import, and the producers, traders, and transporters involved. These supply chain actors can then be linked back to environmental and social risk factors on the ground, as well as information on the social and governance factors necessary to improve conditions.

The flow available for all comodities, but mostly forestry and agriculture related. The flow started from the places of the plantations, to the company who owned it, then to middle distributor, then the last, to the county who import it. more over, the detailed data of annually products bring imported to particular country from particular sources could be traced. The flow able to identify which company and sources is committed to 0 deforestation. and another more detailed agreement.



CIFOR Atlas is a software and website to ensure company accountability. This tools can distinguish companies, whether they’re doing the business on a degraded area, unproductive area, or even in the natural forest (then cleared later).

It works with comparing the images from satelitte to land usage data on the local government. the images shows the lands usage, then how and when the land changes, then connect it to local data to show which company actually change it. in a good way or another.


Go check them out!

I Want My Wood Certified.

Indonesia’s Sustainable Timber Trade Policy Promotes Climate Change Mitigation

by Branindityo Nugroho

This session took place in Indonesia Pavilion, 15 november 2016. It is quite remarkable as today is the first day of FLEGT being officially used as wood certification. Indonesia marked as the first country to establish this certification cooperation with European Union (EU). And by the time this session is being held, there were already 94 licenses issued, which covering 3 million ton of wood equals 450 million USD!

So what is certification? How could it related to Climate Change?

As we may know, deforestation and forest degradation gives this planet painful carbons. Illegal wood and illegal timber trading is one of the most influencing factor in deforestation and forest degradation. Carbon emitted from forest degradation and deforestation cost 17-20% annual global emission.

We’ll take a closer look from Indonesia. From total CO2 emitted, 47% of indonesia CO2 emission comes from deforestation and forest degradation. In Indonesia, there’s a timber certification at national scope named SVLK (Sistem Verifikasi Legal Kayu). SVLK is a system that ensures that all timber harvested, transported, manufactured, and traded from Indonesia, comes from legal sources, and in full compliance with the indonesia laws.

The certification scope started from the forest resources, then to forest management and planning, then to harvesting and transporting (upstream), then to industry, then to the export process (downstream)

Mr Budi Hermawan, member Kayu Lapis Group (plywood company) added, the company has 1 million total forest area in Indonesia. Mainly produces plywood, furnitures, wood flooring, and glue. Total 80% of the products being exported. One of the biggest market is to EU countries. FLEGT is a certification scheme that agreed and accredited between EU countries and Timber-exporting countries. The certification scope includes traceability, safety working environment, waste management, etc.

Certification is SO important. it is a tool to align economical and ecological benefit and security. the main point of certification is transparancy. it is to ensure that the wood we are selling is an exact wood harvested from the legal area. So as long this positive scheme is used properly, then the more you are using timber products, the more ecological benefit being earned. Now that’s a win-win.

Grounded Soil

Degraded Soil Management as Part of Mitigation Action

by Branindityo Nugroho


This session took place in the Italy Pavilion and it discussed our current and future challenges with extreme weather and the relation to forced displacement. Here is a brief overview of the situation and why we are not particularly ready to overcome this problem.

Poverty –> Illegal economy –> Corruption –> Fanaticism and Terrorism –> Overexploitation –> Migration

…and it causes an even worse feedback loop:

Environmental Stress –> Social Cohesion Collapse and Conflict –> Loss of Mitigation and Adaptation Capability –> Even more Environmental Stress

Add to this climate change and the additional fragility of soil and soil degradation and picture the tragedy we had to defuse. Environmental modifications cause the contraction, loss or displacement of ecosystem services such as:

  1. productivity, and also purification
  2. Bio-sanitary
  3. Local climate regulation services
  4. Empowerment and cultural identity services

Cultural Identity Services encompasses the concept that humans have adapted to the circumstances they’re born in – their immediate environment. So when there is any significant difference in that landscape, which exceeds the human ability to overcome, then the only option left is to move to another place. Upon a move to a new location, it is quite likely that humans will spark new changes and alterations in this new environment. At the end of the day it is a simultaneous, multiplied effect on the whole globe.

And since all of us struggling to keep this planet below that 2 degrees that we agreed, then all of us should be on board, including helping fragile areas and those who live in them.

The cost of recovering one acre of degraded land are various, ranging from 80 USD in semi-degraded fertile area to 22 000 USD for complex coastal biomes.

In most tropic countries where the degradation insecurity nexus is emerging, the cost is around 200 USD. With this approximate number, the recovery of each acre turns into a well-measured-effective-carbon-action.

The recovery of lands -especially if they are given to trained small scale family farmers- lead to:

  • Create effective carbon absorption mechanism
  • Enables local mitigation
  • Defends hydrologic system
  • Protect biodiversity
  • Restore productivity
  • An agricultural surplus that enables manufacturing activities
  • Local family and gender empowerment
  • A stronger civil cohesion and lessened migratory impulse
  • Lifestyles and dignity dimensions that illegitimate fanatics
  • Valorize traditional know how, modernize it, strengthen local identity

So it is important to keep ourselves grounded in managing the land and soil. Moreover it’s a limited core resource for every single living organism in this planet. Be grounded!

Future Visions

Today was our first day at COP22 in Marrakech. After a short orientation phase we dove right into our first session. Luckily today was “education day” so we could gain a lot of knowledge relevant to IFSA’s vision.

Hearing all of the different aspects of environmental protection and restoration you come to think about what more we could do than simply restoring what has been destroyed.

Hereby we came across a very interesting concept from a Malaysian Com15086240_196026457512247_1562512751_npany which currently builds so called “forest cities”. They first took four small sandbanks close to their shore to begin extending and reclaiming them. Then they constructed buildings which perfectly fit in the landscape. While doing so, they transplanted all of the trees to a special wetland area, which is used for filtering water and providing a silt-curtain in the ocean to collect waste from the construction. The new buildings all function in an environmentally friendly way, such as by collecting rain water and housing solar panels. Furthermore, they have rooftop gardens and the frontage of the buildings are covered in green plants.

Now they want to enhance this concept by building a more level system, which has a bottom level parking space, a second level highway under the ground and a street level city. It is so interesting, and yet so crazy – in a good way of course! Their aim is to achieve a green, environmentally friendly city, without any cars.

But as Mr Yu Runze pointed out, ”It’s not about how things work now but about how you want to have things working in the future.”

Hopping from session to session there was not much time for food. While some of us just grabbed some sandwiches on the street, others took the time exploring both the green and blue zones in greater depth – all the while consuming free sweet goods which magically appeared after each session.

We spent the rest of the day examining every countries stands and looking for interesting sessions to take part in. Overwhelmed by the beauty of really amazing water features and 3d-projections, we stumbled across a huge digital world model at the USA office where you could let different scenarios of climate change run. This shows you, awfully directly, what is going to happen if we don’t address climate change.

Tired from a long and exciting first day we left when the sun had already set and enjoyed the super moon from the bus on our way back to Medina.

Meet Week 2 Delegates!

Jesse Mahoney:


Hi IFSA community and beyond!

I’m Jesse Mahoney from Australia, and I’m the IFSA President. I have a Master of Forest Ecosystem Science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and I currently work in the international forest policy space.

UNFCCC COP22 promises to be an exciting event, following on from the successes of Paris last year it gives the world the chance to take stock and operationalise the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Having never been to a UNFCCC event before, I look forward to seeing how it works in practice; while also engaging with the different stakeholders and side events.

I’m hoping to work with other IFSA delegates to provide a youth presence at the event, identify ways to further support education opportunities, provide support for youth initiatives (such as the young session at the Global Landscapes Forum side-event) and support the professional development of youth. I’m excited to be a part of IFSA’s delegation to this event and I look forward to sharing our experiences with the broader IFSA community and beyond through our blog and social media.

Branindityo NugrohoBran.jpg

Hello everybody! My name is Branindityo Nugroho (Bran). I am an Indonesian currently taking a master degree in Goettingen University, Germany. I did my bachelor in Bogor Agriculture University with Protected Areas Management as my thesis topic. But now I’m focusing on Forest Policy for my master thesis. COP is the main event where bunch of institutions with different interest on forest sharing a same table. It would be so great to be able to see how this process is happening. I’m looking forward to witness the high level discussion of our planet’s future.

Lucia Hernandez Huertalucia

My name is Lucia Hernandez Huerta, I am from Tehuacan City in the State of Puebla, Mexico. I am the Delegate of the Latin America Region during the second week of the COP 22. Currently I am in the third year of Natural and Renewable Resources Engineering Bachelor Program in Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (Chapingo Autonomous University).

My expectations for this COP are that today and future generations around the world have access to precise and generated information in this event and thus have a broader overview of the various actions to be carried out against climate change. Rather than just the observers of the process, tomorrow’s generation is the key part in the decision making process, therefore I hope that our position and our voice is taken into account in the various forums and activities.

 Salina Abrahamsalina-glf

Hi everyone! It is my pleasure to represent IFSA at COP 22 this year and work with the delegation as Head of the International Processes Commission. I am in my senior year of my undergrad studying environmental science and resource management as well as economics. I’m from the University of Washington in Seattle but I am currently on a year long exchange at Tilburg University in the Netherlands! I am passionate about sustainable development policy, particularly as it relates to Africa. I am excited to be sharing all the information we learn with you and I encourage you to engage with us as much as possible on here.

Maximilian Schubertfb_img_1479167165204

Hello people! I am Maximilian Schubert and I study Forestry and Environment at Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg for my Bachelor. I am a IFSA member since I started studying and had the great opportunity of being part of the Global Landscapes Forum delegation in Paris last year. It is my pleasure to be now part of the Marrakech delegation and enhancing my international experience.

Taking part in COP22 provides us with different aspects of learning and seeing how international politics work and shows us how much possibilities there are. I expect this event to strengthen the agreements, which have been made in Paris. Also I hope to meet many young engaged people there which share the love for our environment and especially forests.

I am looking forward to keep you updated and give you as much insight in COP22 as possible.



The Melting Arctic

By Charlotte Ross-Harris

While you hear numerous snippets about the warming of the Arctic, it seems so far away and uninhabited, so is easy to forget. It wasn’t until NASA displayed some futuristic images of global atmospheric conditions that the problem became oh so real. The Arctic region is experiencing approximately double the amount of warming than the rest of the planet is. Obviously this leads to melting ice where whole ice sheets will fracture and dump a monster chunk of ice into the ocean, melting rapidly and causing the sea level to rise. Imagery comparing 1979 to 2012 shows that just half the ice in the Arctic now remains. These are large scale changes that are not only impacting upon the Arctic ecosystem, but are heavily influencing the climate of the world. This summer for the first time a large touristic cruise ship passed through the NW Passage (between northern Canada and the Arctic). This is a route that previously would have never been possible to pass but the tour company was so convinced the passage was safe that they attempted it without disruption. The record minimum for snow cover in the northern hemisphere last year ensures that more solar energy is absorbed by the earth instead of being reflected back to space. Therefore, the permafrost (permanently frozen ground) is melting. As well as the ecological impacts, this is causing the buckling of roads and buildings as the ground becomes soft, and the erosion of coastlines. Some coastlines are retreating at up to 20 meters per year in the Arctic. New research is showing too, that the warm temperatures in this region are causing a disruption to atmospheric circulation patterns which is directing more cold winds further south into the northern regions of America and Europe.

It is now understood that soils of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions hold an extremely large portion of the sequestered carbon on earth. As the north heats and the permafrost melts, the stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere.

In reality we do not yet fully understand the repercussions of these events. Sorry for such a grim report, you can check out some really cool satellite images on NASA’s website.

Renewable energy + energy efficiency = faster achievement of NDCs!

By Jen Dawes

[Apologies in advance, this post is a bit long!]

A lot is spoken about how renewable energy (RE) is the future and an integral part of achieving our NDCs…but in a world of increasing energy consumption, is there a missing element which needs to be considered?

As today was Energy Day at COP22 (which I was incredibly excited about!), a lot was discussed on the concept of energy efficiency (EE); a topic not often mentioned in conjunction with RE but is seen as an essential attribute of countries achieving their NDCs. The Energy Showcase Event, presented by the International Renewable Energy Agency, comprised of five panel sessions focusing on increasing energy productivity, and the transformative role of RE.


One particular speaker – Said Mouline, Director-General, Agency for the Development of RE and EE, Morocco – presented his case on how countries can quickly reach their NDCs by simply decreasing emissions and energy bills with EE. He noted that once you have support for technology transfer, financing, and training, along with the necessary institution, regulation, legislation, and capacity building, you can then apply EE to all sectors. However, there should not just be policy for EE; it needs to encompass both EE and RE in partnership.

One example he gave was the transition of farmers using diesel pumps to solar pumps…they were trained in the more efficient method, and worked with local Moroccan banks to finance the change-over. Not only this, but policy was created in 2009 to incorporate RE and EE, and remove subsidies for fossil fuels. This led to an increase in diesel price while solar PV prices decreased – it essentially opened up a whole new space in the energy market. It also provided an economic benefit to the farmers, who are now self-sustaining.

Another speaker – Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director, Mars Incorporated – discussed the case for Mars and how they recently launched the RE100 group; a group of companies who are committed to 100% RE globally across businesses. In just over 1 year, the number of countries involved in RE100 has risen to 83, with expectation this will continue to grow. Mars, alone, has a commitment that by 2040, their facilities across the world will be 100% RE – this includes 140 factories and over 300 offices in more than 40 countries. A couple examples of this was the development of a 200MW wind farm in the UK for their UK operations, and a recently signed contract to do similar activities for their Mexican operations.

One point that really struck me was that Mars is not doing this just for climate science and wanting to avoid the consequences of climate change…they do it to transform business and business transactions as a long-term solution. The Director-General of IRENA, Adnan Amin, added to this by saying that it is not corporate social responsibility – it is not just to look good as corporate citizens but, rather, it’s about transforming business based on the business case of clean energy – this is really where differences will be made.

I have so much to write on this topic but have noticed I’m up to 530 words! Energy Day really inspired me and I’m incredibly grateful that it formed part of COP22 in Week 1. It was also lovely to meet Adnan Amin and briefly chat about RE in Australia. The case for RE and EE proves to be incredibly strong as a long-term solution.

New Energy Realities: Building A Resilient And Low-Carbon Future by Samuel –


Today has been my first experience at COP22 and I’m really excited to join my colleagues: Charlotte, Vicky and Jennifer after scaling over some challenges that delayed me at home. I must admit COP22 holds a lot of interesting but insightful and educative sessions to its participants.

Being fortunate to observe the incredible discussions on the New Energy Realities: Building A Resilient And Low-Carbon Future session gave me the opportunity to be informed on the Global Climate Finance Trends by Abyd Karmali – Managing Director, Climate Finance Bank Merrill Lynch.

According to Mr. Karmali there are efforts and commitments to engender the low-carbon future initiative through

  • Decarbonisation of energy sector at pace
  • Decarbonisation beyond power – technologies that have to be brought to scale to meet global targets.
  • Energy productivity revolution – have to move from 1.3% energy improvement efficiency (year on year) to 3%.
  • Fossil Fuel Optimisation.

However, such initiatives are bottlenecked by some challenges:

  1. 50 – 70% of NDC investment required by NDCs by 2030. Exposure is very low in emerging markets, needed capital and investment flows.
  2. Fossil Fuels aren’t going away. In order for the FF economy to meet 2-degree target will still require 2 trillion per year. Financial institutions get flack for maintaining some financing in fossil fuel economy. But then how do we live with the transition given the need to be prudent in deploying fossil fuels to keep within carbon budget? Food for thought!

Mr. Michael Wilkins, Managing Director of Environment and Climate Risk Research made important contribution to the discussion as he highlighted the possible challenges, that might manifest in the transformation of energy sector, to financial institutions.

These challenges include:

  1. Lack of a coherent financial reporting framework
  2. Challenge for investors, creditors and underwriters to effectively use existing disclosures in their financial decisions.
  3. Regulators struggle to use existing financial disclosures to determine whether financial systems might be vulnerable to climate-related risks.