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CDM Watch Newsletter #2 April 2011

CDM Watch Newsletter #2 April 2011

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Published by: International Rivers on Apr 15, 2011
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Scrutinizing Carbon Offsets
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CDM Watch News for Civil Society andPolicy Makers #2 April 2011
As the CDM Executive Board is meetingin Bangkok from 11-15 April 2011 for theirsecond meeting this year, we are takingthe opportunity to bring another per-spective into the discussions: the views
of civil society on specic CDM projects
and wider policy developments.
This edition of the CDM Watch Newsletter contains three eye witness reports. Allthree of them reveal shocking shortcomings of the CDM which need to be addressed
on the very project level but also on a much more generic policy level in order to avoid
that any of the problems replicate in the future.
The rst project we are looking at is a biogas project in Honduras that is linked to seri
-ous human rights violations. If registered under the CDM, EDF trading would receivecarbon credits with the authorization of the UK government for emission reductions
obtained despite killings related to land disputes over the project site and closelylinked to the project developers.The second project we are examining is a large hydro power project in Western Panama.
The validation has recommended registration despite massive local resistance against
the project. A dedicated Panamanian human rights activist gives a rsthand account of 
his experience with how the application of the Barro Blanco is handled in reality.
Thirdly, we look again at a biogas project, the rst registered project in Tanzania. Sofar, CDM biogas projects have been praised as the most sustainable projects im
plemented under the CDM. But both the Aguan as well as the Mtoni project tell a
different story.On the basis of the input we receive from our CDM Watch Network from the ground,we have formulated input to international policy developments. In this newsletter
you will also nd a brief summary of our submissions responding to the following
calls for public input 1) means for direct communication between the CDM ExecutiveBoard and relevant stakeholder groups; 2) CDM appeals procedure; 3) the issue of materiality in the CDM; and 4) the inclusion of reforestation of lands with forest in
exhaustion as A/R CDM project activities.
Finally we are giving some insight into lessons learnt in two fruitful workshops whichwe organized in Mesoamerica in February 2011 to empower local communities.
Happy reading.PS: please note that we are recruiting!
Newsletter #2 / April 2011
Scrutinizing Carbon Offsets
2 of 18 
Table of contents
1. Human Rights Violations in Honduras linked toAguan Biogas Project continue
Two months on from our rst report
about the Aguan biogas project
in Honduras
which is currently seeking registration under the CDM, human rights violationscontinue.
See a
video documentary(9.45 minutes) of March 2011 giving a good but shocking
overview about how the current situation in Honduras is linked to the protests in theAguan valley and the CDM project in question – please note that the video contains
disturbing images.
Also a second CDM application by the same project participants - Exportadora del
Atlantico and EDF Trading, authorised by the UK government - is awaiting validation.
Both projects would, if approved, generate around 23,000 and 25,500 CERs annually,equaling to about €276,000 and €306,000 respectively for the two projects.The company behind the project, Grupo Dinant subsidiary Exportadora del Atlantico,is implicated in assassinations and other serious human rights abuses in Honduras
and there are grave concerns that additional funding through the CDM could be usedto pay for more armed paramilitaries.
Project 3197 : Aguan biogas recovery from Palm Oil Mill Efuent (POME) ponds and biogas utilisa
tion - Exportadora del Atlántico, Aguan/Honduras http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/DB/TUEV-SU
Scrutinizing Carbon Offsets
The applications were authorised by the UK government and would allow the energy
company EDF Trading to buy carbon offsets from Grupo Dinant in respect of biogas
capture at two palm oil mills.A recent report
by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Hondurasconrms that 23 people have been killed between January 2010 and February 2011 inland conicts involving Grupo Dinant. The violence and assassinations have invol
ved paramilitaries armed by Grupo Dinant‘s owner, Miguel Facussee, some of whomare reported tobe hired death squads responsible for large numbers of murders in
Colombia, as well as the military and police. If CDM funding is granted, this will
generate moreprots for a company likely to spend them on more paramilitaries and
more oppression of peasant communities, many of which are trying to reclaim land towhich they are legally entitled.
See a recent report by Giorgio Trucchi(translation V.C.) published on 26 March 2011.
The massacre must not be supported by the CDM
Current CDM rules rely on the CDM host country government to assess whether a
project contributes to sustainable development. This places the assessment of susta
-inable development in the hands of governments that would like to see more invest-
ment in their respective countries. As a consequence, no CDM project has ever beenrejected on the basis that it did not contribute to sustainable development.Allegations of serious human rights abuses related to CDM project applications inHonduras and Panama have caused an outcry amongst civil society organisations and
widespread dismay that human rights are not being taken seriously under the CDM.This issue clearly needs to be addressed at the next climate change conference in
Durban, South Africa (COP-17). However, in the meantime the CDM Executive Boardmust re-assess their mandate and nd ways of preventing projects that are linked toany sort of violations of international laws from acquiring eligibility under the CDM. Astringent requirement for DOEs to check conformity with international human rightslaw when validating the project would be an option. Another more efcient optionwould be to link remedies to the monitoring periods of a given project. The detection
of non-conformities, e.g. incidents that involve human rights violations should lead
to the project being stripped of CDM eligibility or at the very least lead to the suspen
-sion of issuance. This would only be a logical move given that responsible investor
would not be interested in buying carbon credits from projects that do not comply
with minimum international standards.
Perspectives GmbH which initially drafted the PDD has already publicly distanceditself from the project. Civil society representatives are now calling on other Parties
involved to follow this example and to take a stand against human rights abuses in
Honduras, especially in the context of the CDM.
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