Storyline

August 2006: South East Asian haze

August 2006: South East Asian haze image

From August to October 2006, South East Asia was blanketed by a pall of thick, smoky haze. The pollution originated mainly in the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan and Jambi, where local farmers attempt to clear their land of rainforest by burning it.

The fires can burn for months because the forests grow in ancient peat beds; the peat smoulders underground, releasing carbon into the atmosphere.

In the wealthier neighbouring nations of Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, there was outrage as locals choked, airports were closed, and industry stalled.

October 2006: The Stern Review

October 2006: The Stern Review image

On October 30, respected economist Sir Nicholas Stern delivered his 700-page report, ‘The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’, commissioned by the British government.

Exploring the effects of climate change and global warming on the world’s economy, the report concluded that 1% of global gross domestic product (GDP) per annum must be invested in mitigating climate change. Failure to do so could risk global GDP being up to 20% lower than it otherwise might be, representing the widest-ranging market failure ever seen.

Nobel prize-winning economist James Mirrlees stated of the review, "The Stern report shows us, with utmost clarity, while allowing fully for all the uncertainties, what global warming is going to mean; and what can and should be done to reduce it. It provides numbers for the economic impact, and for the necessary economic policies. It deserves the widest circulation.”

November 2006: Lone Droscher Nielsen

November 2006: Lone Droscher Nielsen image

As fires raged in Kalimantan, orangutan conservationist Lone Droscher Nielsen and her team worked around the clock rescuing injured and orphaned primates displaced by the fires.

About 5,000 of the endangered animals have been displaced by the fires, and Lone’s facilities are stretched to the limit, housing 600 orangutans in need of rehabilitation.

December 2006: Dorjee Sun

December 2006: Dorjee Sun image

In suburban Sydney, CEO of Carbon Conservation Dorjee Sun was tracking the situation in Indonesia, sparked by his concern for the imminent demise of the orangutan.

Dorjee was a collaborator on Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors website and his interest was sparked by the challenge of finding a long-term solution to the plight of the orangutans. Using the funds from his dotcom successes and his background in business, law and marketing, Dorjee began to develop a plan to stop further destruction of tropical rainforests.

January 2007: Peatlands under threat

January 2007: Peatlands under threat image

In January 2007, a report on peatlands by Marcel Silvius of Wetlands International gained international attention. This report revealed that peatlands are the most efficient terrestrial ecosystems in storing carbon, and while covering only 3% of the world's landmass, the peat contains as much carbon as all terrestrial biomass, twice as much as all global forest biomass, and about the same as in the atmosphere.

Clearing, draining and setting fire to peatlands emits more than 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year - equivalent to 11% of global emissions from fossil fuels. For the first time, peatland degradation was definitively linked to climate change.

February 2007: The last stand

February  2007: The last stand image

“The Last Stand of the Orangutan - State of Emergency: illegal logging, fire and palm oil in Indonesia's national parks”, was released in February 2007 by the United Nations Environment Program as a ‘rapid response assessment’.

Estimates suggest there are between 45,000 and 69,000 Bornean and no more than 7,300 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild. This is very close to the minimum threshold of animals it takes to maintain a breeding population… the orangutan is on the edge of extinction, with no end to habitat destruction in sight.

February 2007: Palm oil implicated

February 2007: Palm oil implicated image

By February, awareness of Indonesian deforestation and its impact on climate change began to snowball, as did the understanding that the cultivation of palm oil is a major motivator for the land clearing.

Borneo Orangutan Survival and Friends of the Earth both released major reports on the role of palm oil in orangutan habitat destruction. [See reports: ‘BOS palm oil report’ and ‘FOE Greasy Palms Summary’]. Palm Oil Action Groups in the UK and Australia began to mobilise awareness campaigns.

February 2007: Farmer Achmadi

February 2007: Farmer Achmadi image

In Jambi, Sumatra, Achmadi the farmer completed the initial stages of his harvest of the fruit from his crop of oil palms. The yield is high and he has started to look for a new plot of land to expand his plantation. He’s concerned about his financial needs, and his ability to support his wife and daughter.

February 2007: Meet Professor Prinn

February 2007: Meet Professor Prinn image

In Sydney, Dorjee Sun has an important meeting with an atmospheric scientist called Professor Ron Prinn, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Prinn is the director of the Center for Global Change Science and Co-Director of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

He leads the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), in which the rates of change of the concentrations of the trace gases involved in the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion have been measured continuously over the globe for the past two decades.

This meeting was a crucial step forward in Dorjee’s securing the expert support that could bring his plan closer to reality.

March 2007: Stern visits Jakarta

March 2007: Stern visits Jakarta image

On the 23rd of March Sir Nicholas Stern arrived in Jakarta, where he addressed government ministers and members of parliament on the economic impacts of climate change, specifically in the context of Indonesia’s situation. By this time, his report had already galvanised a number of governments to take urgent action in mitigating global warming.

In his Lateline interview with the ABC’s Tony Jones, Sir Nicholas discussed his position.

March 2007: Patrick Anderson

March 2007: Patrick Anderson image

At the time of Stern’s visit, Dorjee also visited Jakarta, where he met Patrick Anderson, a strategic advisor to WALHI (The Indonesian Forum for the Environment) and other conservation groups.

The two agreed that while carbon trading and ‘avoided deforestation’ could be a coup for conservation in Indonesia, careful measures would have to be taken to ensure that profits reached local farmers and indigenous people, rather than being siphoned off through corruption or bureaucracy.

Avoiding deforestation schemes and their role in REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing nations) are major concerns for WALHI.

March 2007: Lone’s orphans

March 2007: Lone’s orphans image

Lone’s rehabilitation centre in Kalimantan became increasingly overcrowded and she was facing a crisis. Her own living room was filled with orphaned babies because there was no room for round-the-clock supervision at the centre.

At this time, her friend and former employee Hardi Baktiantoro went on his first mission to gather evidence of the continuing deforestation by the palm oil corporations, travelling far upriver to a plantation owned by PT Makin Corporation.

April 2007: Governors sign up

April 2007: Governors sign up image

In Bali, Dorjee Sun obtained the support of three provincial governors, who subsequently signed an agreement giving him the rights to trade the carbon credits represented by their forests.

Governors Yusuf Irwandi (Aceh), Barnabas Suebu (Papua), and Abraham Atururi (Papua Barat) all preside over huge tracts of forest which, without the alternative of Dorjee’s scheme, might otherwise be sold off in ‘concessions’ to palm oil corporations or agribusiness concerns.

April 2007: Governor Irwandi

April 2007: Governor Irwandi image

Dorjee’s proposal was of particular interest to Aceh’s Governor Irwandi, a proud Acehnese citizen with a passion for the preservation of his province’s native state.

In April, he demonstrated his dedication to developing ecologically sustainable industries and preventing illegal logging by taking a New York Times reporter on one of his ‘spot raids’ on illegal logging camps in the highlands.



April 2007: Jambi developments

April 2007: Jambi developments image

In Jambi, Achmadi completed the purchase of his new land and cut down the saleable timber in preparation for clearing with fire once the debris was sufficiently dried out.

May 2007: No time to waste

May 2007: No time to waste image

In May, Dorjee followed up his meeting with the governors by travelling to Papua for further discussions with Governor Barnabas Suebu, AKA “Governor ‘Bas”.

Upon his return to Sydney, Dorjee met with his lawyers – international experts on carbon finance to arrange the paperwork necessary to start selling the carbon credits. The lawyers explained that the process and drafting would take time. For Dorjee, any delay was a source of frustration: when 300 football fields of forest is cleared every hour, there’s no time to waste.

July 2007: Connecting with WALHI

July 2007: Connecting with WALHI image

Achmadi’s brother-in-law, Hari, came into contact with WALHI through his own work with a social justice NGO in Jambi City.

WALHI produces public information leaflets about the destructive impact of illegal forest burning - an education campaign designed to discourage farmers from unsustainable practices. In July, Hari took one of these leaflets to show to Achmadi, who discussed it with his family.

July 2007: Governor Zulkifli Nurdin

July 2007: Governor Zulkifli Nurdin image

In Jambi City, Patrick Anderson, (strategic advisor to WALHI), visited Zulkifli Nurdin, governor of Jambi. The governor had spoken out against burning and deforestation in various international publications including Antara News Agency and Down to Earth Magazine

Patrick was keen to discuss the practical steps the governor was taking to stop the burning in Jambi.

July 2007: The Orang Rimba

July 2007: The Orang Rimba image

The staff at the Jambi branch of WALHI were working closely with indigenous communities living in the forest. In July, they travelled to a remote forest beyond Pauh (in the Sarolangun Regency) to visit the Orang Rimba people.

The Orang Rimba do not have much contact with the outside world, but were willing to talk to WALHI about their concerns. The chief explained how his community is being marginalised by encroaching plantations and modernisation.

Inside Indonesia: Orang Rimba

July 2007: Achmadi meets WALHI

July 2007: Achmadi meets WALHI image

After studying the leaflet brought to him by Hari, Achmadi visited the Jambi City branch of WALHI to talk to them about the impact of him burning his land.

July 2007: Ruined habitats

July 2007: Ruined habitats image

At Nyaru Menteng, the center is suffering from financial difficulties as Lone struggles to rehabilitate all of her injured and orphaned charges. She is desperate for a long-term solution.

August 2007: The burning season

August 2007: The burning season image

After letting it dry for a few months, Achmadi was ready to burn the forest remnants on his new plot of land. With the help of men from his village (and a little enchantment by the local wizard), the ceremonial incineration was carried out.

The group torched the underbrush and gnarled trunks using handmade bamboo torches filled with kerosene. The air was filled with smoke and particles, and the shouts of the assembled community. Similar fires were being lit all over Indonesia.

September 2007: Irwandi’s road trip

September 2007: Irwandi’s road trip image

In September, Aceh’s Governor Irwandi embarked on a five-city tour of the United States, where he connected with politicians, investors, NGOs and philanthropists with the intention of maintaining stable and sustainable foreign investment in his province.

A great deal of foreign aid flooded into Aceh following the 2004 tsunami; Governor Irwandi was keen to thank his benefactors and ensure the donations were used wisely. On the east coast, Governor Irwandi met with George Soros, the Goldman Sachs Foundation and Human Rights Watch in New York (among others), and travelled to Washington DC to meet sympathetic Senators on Capitol Hill and the President of the World Bank.

September 2007: Dorjee joins Irwandi

September 2007: Dorjee joins Irwandi image

In the USA, Dorjee joined his ally, Irwandi, on the investment roadshow. They met with Starbucks in Seattle, where Dorjee pitched his avoided deforestation scheme to the chairman himself, Howard Schultz. Starbucks obtains a huge amount of raw coffee from Sumatra, and the Acehnese delegation hoped the coffee giant might be able to help save the forest.

Dorjee also visited eBay in San Jose. The wealthy Internet powerhouse owns PayPal, Skype and other successful businesses. Dorjee wanted to investigate their potential support for and involvement in an online carbon trading network.

In New York City, Dorjee met with Paul Wolfowitz – an unexpected ally in avoided deforestation. Wolfowitz - the former US Deputy Secretary of Defence and World Bank President - was US ambassador to Indonesia from 1986 to 1989 where he learned the language and immersed himself in the culture. His connections could prove to be very useful to Dorjee.

September 2007: Achmadi meets the governor

September 2007: Achmadi meets the governor image

When Patrick Anderson from WALHI met Jambi’s Governor Zul, he mentioned the plight of thesmall-scale farmer,Achmadi. Upon hearing that he wanted to change his methods but lacked an alternative to burning, Governor Zul asked if he could meet with Achmadi.

Later, the opportunity arose and Achmadi and Hari had dinner with Governor Zul at his official residence. Alternative crops and more sustainable farming methods were discussed, and Achmadi was invited to join a trial project using new practices.

October 2007: Dinner with Professor Prinn

October 2007: Dinner with Professor Prinn image

In Sydney, Dorjee Sun had dinner with atmospheric scientist Professor Ron Prinn, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dorjee had met Professor Prinn before, and because the professor leads the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), Dorjee is seeking Prinn's expert scientific support to advance his plan for a massive carbon trading scheme involving Indonesia's beautiful forests.

Professor Prinn: “The way we can solve this problem…is basically to put a price on the emissions of greenhouse gases. You have to pay to emit.”

October 2007

October 2007 image

In Kalimantan, logging is underway on a massive scale. The plantations’ grasp is spreading further into the forest. Hardi Baktiantoro undertakes another risky investigative exploration.

Hardi: “Forest clearing for palm oil is worse than illegal logging… The destruction is massive. If you stop the company you can save the orangutans.”

November 2007: Almost burned out

November 2007: Almost burned out image

At home in Sydney, Dorjee was sleep-deprived, stressed and exhausted from his months of travelling and pitching his scheme. He was up to his eyes in preparation for his all-important trip to Bali for the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting, where crucial decisions were to be made regarding the inclusion of REDD in the next version of the Kyoto Protocol.

In the midst of this, Dorjee was presented with an opportunity to meet the decision-makers at a huge investment bank, Merrill Lynch at their HQ in London. They had their own carbon trading department, and they were interested in his project…

November 2007: Preparing for release

November 2007: Preparing for release image

When the orangutans have been successfully rehabilitated, Lone releases them into protected forest areas far from human settlements. The process is delicate and logistically complicated, and requires considerable preparation.

After being medically checked and carefully caged, Lone’s former ‘patients’ were flown to a remote area, and returned to the wild. For a short time the orangutans were fed and supervised to ensure that they became habituated to their natural environment; then, they were able to return to the forest… their real home.

November 2007: Stuck in the mud

November 2007: Stuck in the mud image

Outside Jambi, Achmadi eagerly awaited the delivery of his new seedlings from Governor Zul’s trial sustainability scheme. As requested by the Governor, Achmadi had joined forces with friends and family who owned land nearby in order to create a cohesive bloc where the trials could take place.

The whole point of the scheme was to stop the burning. Alas, the support provided by the Governor’s office fell spectacularly short of what was required – they ended up supplying Achmadi with a tiny woodchipper and a truckload of rubber tree saplings, which got bogged on the road to his farm. In Jambi, things were not moving forward at all.

December 2007: The climax in Bali

December 2007: The climax in Bali image

From December 3 to 14 in Nusa Dua, Bali, the United Nations held their Framework Convention on Climate Change (aka COP:13), where the structure of the Kyoto Protocol and its post-2012 successor were discussed. The objective of the Protocol is the reduction of climate-change inducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conference brought together over 10,000 participants from 180 nations.

December 2007: REDD to be Green

December 2007: REDD to be Green image

The hot topic at the convention was REDD: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries.

From Dorjee’s point of view, acceptance of REDD, (and consequently the application of avoided deforestation as a carbon offsetting mechanism), was a crucial issue. This would create the market infrastructure necessary for the involvement of investment banks… so for Dorjee's project, much was riding on the outcome of the conference.

December 2007: Green Governors’ Gala

December 2007: Green Governors’ Gala image

At the Green Governors’ Gala, Dorjee brought together his Indonesian allies – Governors Irwandi and Bas with their Green counterpart from the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Governor Eduardo Braga.

At a special twilight event, the three Governors signed a joint treaty promising to protect their forests and explore Avoided Deforestation solutions.

December 2007: Aceh Green

December 2007: Aceh Green image

In another coup for the forests, Governor Irwandi and Dorjee launched Aceh Green, which will monitor Acehnese forest areas, manage public awareness campaigns, and develop sustainable income sources for local people.

Aceh Green will protect 1.9 million acres of forest, home to endangered species including the Sumatran elephant, the clouded leopard, the Sumatran tiger, and the Sumatran orangutan.

December 2007: Saving the orangutans

December 2007: Saving the orangutans image

After presenting his secretly filmed evidence of injured and displaced orangutans at COP:13, Hardi obtained his meeting with the Kalimantan governor, and had the opportunity to make the case for his endangered animal friends.

During the Bali Conference, the President of Indonesia launched the Indonesian Government’s orangutan protection program, with Australian environment minister Peter Garrett and Terri Irwin as guest speakers.

December 2007: Kevin Rudd’s coup

December 2007: Kevin Rudd’s coup image

For signing the Kyoto Protocol as his first act as Prime Minister, the new Australia leader Kevin Rudd received prolonged applause from the world’s assembled representatives. Now, the only nation which had failed to join the Protocol was the USA.

Elsewhere at COP:13, Sir Nicholas Stern gave his assessment of the targets needed to avert climate catastrophe, and Al Gore stridently criticised his own country for lack of action and poor leadership.

December 2007: World leaders agree

December 2007: World leaders agree image

In the closing hours of COP:13, the representatives reached an impasse, with the USA obstructing progress and getting booed by the plenary hall. The developing countries went on the offensive, pleading with the USA to show leadership or “get out of the way”.

The pressure on the two US delegates was enormous; eventually they capitulated and agreed to support the ‘Bali Roadmap’ – which outlined what would be discussed in developing the agreement which would replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. The room erupted in cheers. The world had agreed on one thing; a singularly important, historic moment.

December 2007: Everyone sees REDD

December 2007: Everyone sees REDD image

With the Bali Roadmap approved with such drama, the vote for REDD was almost an anti-climax, and accepted unanimously. Dorjee now had the missing piece of the equation that could push his deal through. This has profound implications for the topical forests of the world and gives the orangutans renewed hope of survival.

April 2008: Dorjee signs deal with Merrill Lynch

April 2008: Dorjee signs deal with Merrill Lynch image

Only six months after their initial meeting in London, Dorjee Sun met Abyd Karmali, Merrill Lynch Global Head of Carbon Emissions, at the Merrill Lynch offices in Sydney to sign the contract for the world's first avoided deforestation project. The proposal will save the 1.9 million-acre Ulu Masen forest in Indonesia’s Aceh province and the many indigenous creatures that rely on the forest. Through the sale of carbon credits to companies and individuals seeking to offset harmful emissions, the preservation of the Ulu Masen forest is forecast to avoid 100 million tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years, which may be the equivalent of 50 million flights from Sydney to London.The deal has been widely applauded for its innovative qualities and contribution to sustainable development. It was short listed for the Financial Times Sustainable Banking Deal of the Year Award and won Environmental Finance's Carbon Finance Deal of the Year Award.

July 2008: Draft Garnaut Report released

July 2008: Draft Garnaut Report released image

The Garnaut Climate Change Review released its draft report on Friday, 4 July 2008. The Garnaut Climate Change Review is an independent study by Professor Ross Garnaut, which was commissioned by Australia's Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. The Review was established on 30 April 2007.

The Review will examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy, and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity.

The Review's Final Report is due on 30 September 2008. A number of forums have been held around Australia to engage the public on various issues relating to the Review. Download a copy of the draft report from the Garnaut Review web page.

September 2008: Wall Street turbulence

September 2008: Wall Street turbulence image

Following the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States, stock markets in several major markets (including the United Kingdom and Australia) experience significant losses. Merrill Lynch almost collapses, but is rescued by the Bank of America. The Burning Season's producer/director/writer Cathy Henkel travelled to New York in the midst of the global financial crisis and filmed some exclusive reports for The Burning Season web site, which you can watch by clicking on the following links:
Dorjee Sun provides update on Aceh Project
Dorjee Sun discusses making money from the environment
Abyd Karmali discusses the impact of the Wall Street turbulence on the Aceh Project

November 2008: Governor's Global Climate Change Summit

November 2008: Governor's Global Climate Change Summit image

The Governors' Global Climate Summit, hosted by none other than the Governor to end all Governors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, was held in Los Angeles in November 2008.

The GGCS brings together governors from climate-sensitive states worldwide, with the aim of discussing the outlook for a comprehensive global agreement on climate solutions that prevents the world passing the “tipping point” (as described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The GGCS also plans to conclude a cooperative Summit Declaration on climate solutions, which is basically an agreement between all the governors to implement meaningful strategies to prevent climate change.
An MOU was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger and several governors from Indonesia and Brazil including Governor Irwandi of Aceh at the end of the summit
Segments of the Summit are available for online viewing at www.uctv.tv/climate

April 2009: New species named after Dorjee

April 2009: New species named after Dorjee image

A newly discovered species of chameleon from Tanzania was named after Dorjee Sun, CEO of Carbon Conservation, an outfit which seeks to make rainforest conservation profitable through a carbon market mechanism known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). The name was bestowed during a benefit on 20 April 2009 for the African Rainforest Conservancy, a group that is working to conserve and restore African rainforests. Read more...

April 2009: US EPA formally declares carbon dioxide toxic

April 2009: US EPA formally declares carbon dioxide toxic image

The New York Times reported that the United States Environmental Protection Agency had formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that endanger public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that will lead to the regulation of the gases for the first time in the US. The EPA told the NY Times that the science supporting the proposed endangerment finding was “compelling and overwhelming.” The ruling initiates a 60-day comment period before any proposals for regulations governing emissions of heat-trapping gases are published.

The EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, also told the NY Times: “This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low-carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation.”

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New York Times</a> reporter on one of his âspot raidsâ on illegal logging camps in the highlands.</p><b> <br> <br> </b> <a name="April 2007: Jambi developments"></a> <h2>April 2007: Jambi developments</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t15]" title="Irwandi's raid"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="86" alt="April 2007: Jambi developments image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In Jambi, Achmadi completed the purchase of his new land and cut down the saleable timber in preparation for clearing with fire once the debris was sufficiently dried out. </p> <a name="May 2007: No time to waste"></a> <h2>May 2007: No time to waste</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t16]" title="Clearing trees"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="May 2007: No time to waste image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In May, Dorjee followed up his meeting with the governors by travelling to Papua for further discussions with Governor Barnabas Suebu, AKA âGovernor âBasâ.<br> <br> Upon his return to Sydney, Dorjee met with his lawyers â international experts on carbon finance to arrange the paperwork necessary to start selling the carbon credits. The lawyers explained that the process and drafting would take time. For Dorjee, any delay was a source of frustration: when 300 football fields of forest is cleared every hour, thereâs no time to waste. </p> <a name="July 2007: Connecting with WALHI"></a> <h2>July 2007: Connecting with WALHI</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t17]" title="Governor 'Bas"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="173" alt="July 2007: Connecting with WALHI image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>Achmadiâs brother-in-law, Hari, came into contact with WALHI through his own work with a social justice NGO in Jambi City. </p> <p>WALHI produces public information leaflets about the destructive impact of illegal forest burning - an education campaign designed to discourage farmers from unsustainable practices. In July, Hari took one of these leaflets to show to Achmadi, who discussed it with his family.<br> </p> <a name="July 2007: Governor Zulkifli Nurdin"></a> <h2>July 2007: Governor Zulkifli Nurdin</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t18]" title="Hari"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="July 2007: Governor Zulkifli Nurdin image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In Jambi City, Patrick Anderson, (strategic advisor to WALHI), visited Zulkifli Nurdin, governor of Jambi. The governor had spoken out against burning and deforestation in various international publications including <a href=_http__/www.antara.co.id/en/print/index5562.html?id=1182794438">Antara News Agency</a> and <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html to Earth Magazine</a></p> <p>Patrick was keen to discuss the practical steps the governor was taking to stop the burning in Jambi.</p> <a name="July 2007: The Orang Rimba"></a> <h2>July 2007: The Orang Rimba</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t19]" title="Governor Zul & Patrick"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="195" alt="July 2007: The Orang Rimba image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>The staff at the Jambi branch of WALHI were working closely with indigenous communities living in the forest. In July, they travelled to a remote forest beyond Pauh (in the Sarolangun Regency) to visit the Orang Rimba people. </p> <p>The Orang Rimba do not have much contact with the outside world, but were willing to talk to WALHI about their concerns. The chief explained how his community is being marginalised by encroaching plantations and modernisation. </p> <p><a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html Indonesia: Orang Rimba</a></p> <a name="July 2007: Achmadi meets WALHI"></a> <h2>July 2007: Achmadi meets WALHI</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t20]" title="Ezther meets the locals"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="July 2007: Achmadi meets WALHI image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>After studying the leaflet brought to him by Hari, Achmadi visited the Jambi City branch of WALHI to talk to them about the impact of him burning his land.</p> <a name="July 2007: Ruined habitats"></a> <h2>July 2007: Ruined habitats</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t21]" title="Achmadi in Jambi"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="196" alt="July 2007: Ruined habitats image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>At Nyaru Menteng, the center is suffering from financial difficulties as Lone struggles to rehabilitate all of her injured and orphaned charges. She is desperate for a long-term solution. </p> <a name="August 2007: The burning season"></a> <h2>August 2007: The burning season</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t22]" title="Orphan baby"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="August 2007: The burning season image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>After letting it dry for a few months, Achmadi was ready to burn the forest remnants on his new plot of land. With the help of men from his village (and a little enchantment by the local wizard), the ceremonial incineration was carried out. <br> <br> The group torched the underbrush and gnarled trunks using handmade bamboo torches filled with kerosene. The air was filled with smoke and particles, and the shouts of the assembled community. <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html fires were being lit all over Indonesia</a>.<br> <br> </p> <a name="September 2007: Irwandiâs road trip"></a> <h2>September 2007: Irwandiâs road trip</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t23]" title="Burning season"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="September 2007: Irwandiâs road trip image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In September, Acehâs Governor Irwandi embarked on a five-city tour of the United States, where he connected with politicians, investors, NGOs and philanthropists with the intention of maintaining stable and sustainable foreign investment in his province. </p> <p>A great deal of foreign aid flooded into Aceh following the 2004 tsunami; Governor Irwandi was keen to thank his benefactors and ensure the donations were used wisely. On the east coast, Governor Irwandi met with George Soros, the Goldman Sachs Foundation and Human Rights Watch in New York (among others), and travelled to Washington DC to meet sympathetic Senators on Capitol Hill and the President of the World Bank.</p> <a name="September 2007: Dorjee joins Irwandi"></a> <h2>September 2007: Dorjee joins Irwandi</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t24]" title="Aceh Delegation in DC"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="September 2007: Dorjee joins Irwandi image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In the USA, Dorjee joined his ally, Irwandi, on the investment roadshow. They met with Starbucks in Seattle, where Dorjee pitched his avoided deforestation scheme to the chairman himself, Howard Schultz. Starbucks obtains a huge amount of raw coffee from Sumatra, and the Acehnese delegation hoped the coffee giant might be able to help save the forest.</p> <p>Dorjee also visited eBay in San Jose. The wealthy Internet powerhouse owns PayPal, Skype and other successful businesses. Dorjee wanted to investigate their potential support for and involvement in an online carbon trading network.</p> <p>In New York City, Dorjee met with Paul Wolfowitz â an unexpected ally in avoided deforestation. Wolfowitz - the former US Deputy Secretary of Defence and World Bank President - was US ambassador to Indonesia from 1986 to 1989 where he learned the language and immersed himself in the culture. His connections could prove to be very useful to Dorjee.</p> <a name="September 2007: Achmadi meets the governor"></a> <h2>September 2007: Achmadi meets the governor</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t25]" title="Dorjee in Central Park"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="September 2007: Achmadi meets the governor image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>When Patrick Anderson from WALHI met Jambiâs Governor Zul, he mentioned the plight of thesmall-scale farmer,Achmadi. Upon hearing that he wanted to change his methods but lacked an alternative to burning, Governor Zul asked if he could meet with Achmadi. </p> <p>Later, the opportunity arose and Achmadi and Hari had dinner with Governor Zul at his official residence. Alternative crops and more sustainable farming methods were discussed, and Achmadi was invited to join a trial project using new practices. </p> <a name="October 2007: Dinner with Professor Prinn"></a> <h2>October 2007: Dinner with Professor Prinn</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t26]" title="Meeting Governor Zul"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="October 2007: Dinner with Professor Prinn image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In Sydney, Dorjee Sun had dinner with atmospheric scientist Professor Ron Prinn, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dorjee had met Professor Prinn before, and because the professor leads the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), Dorjee is seeking Prinn's expert scientific support to advance his plan for a massive carbon trading scheme involving Indonesia's beautiful forests. </p> <p>Professor Prinn: âThe way we can solve this problemâ¦is basically to put a price on the emissions of greenhouse gases. You have to pay to emit.â </p> <a name="October 2007"></a> <h2>October 2007</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t27]" title="Beautiful forests"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="87" alt="October 2007 image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In Kalimantan, logging is underway on a massive scale. The plantationsâ grasp is spreading further into the forest. Hardi Baktiantoro undertakes another risky investigative exploration. </p> <p>Hardi: âForest clearing for palm oil is worse than illegal logging⦠The destruction is massive. If you stop the company you can save the orangutans.â</p> <a name="November 2007: Almost burned out"></a> <h2>November 2007: Almost burned out</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t28]" title="Hardi Baktiantoro"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="130" alt="November 2007: Almost burned out image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>At home in Sydney, Dorjee was sleep-deprived, stressed and exhausted from his months of travelling and pitching his scheme. He was up to his eyes in preparation for his all-important trip to Bali for the United Nationsâ Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting, where crucial decisions were to be made regarding the inclusion of REDD in the next version of the Kyoto Protocol.</p> <p>In the midst of this, Dorjee was presented with an opportunity to meet the decision-makers at a huge investment bank, Merrill Lynch at their HQ in London. They had their own carbon trading department, and they were interested in his projectâ¦</p> <a name="November 2007: Preparing for release"></a> <h2>November 2007: Preparing for release</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t29]" title="Merrill Lynch Logo"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="173" alt="November 2007: Preparing for release image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>When the orangutans have been successfully rehabilitated, Lone releases them into protected forest areas far from human settlements. The process is delicate and logistically complicated, and requires considerable preparation. </p> <p>After being medically checked and carefully caged, Loneâs former âpatientsâ were flown to a remote area, and returned to the wild. For a short time the orangutans were fed and supervised to ensure that they became habituated to their natural environment; then, they were able to return to the forest⦠their real home.</p> <a name="November 2007: Stuck in the mud"></a> <h2>November 2007: Stuck in the mud</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t30]" title="Release me"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="173" alt="November 2007: Stuck in the mud image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>Outside Jambi, Achmadi eagerly awaited the delivery of his new seedlings from Governor Zulâs trial sustainability scheme. As requested by the Governor, Achmadi had joined forces with friends and family who owned land nearby in order to create a cohesive bloc where the trials could take place. </p> <p>The whole point of the scheme was to stop the burning. Alas, the support provided by the Governorâs office fell spectacularly short of what was required â they ended up supplying Achmadi with a tiny woodchipper and a truckload of rubber tree saplings, which got bogged on the road to his farm. In Jambi, things were not moving forward at all.</p> <a name="December 2007: The climax in Bali"></a> <h2>December 2007: The climax in Bali</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t31]" title="Achmadi's future...?"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="102" alt="December 2007: The climax in Bali image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p> From December 3 to 14 in Nusa Dua, Bali, the United Nations held their <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html Convention on Climate Change</a> (aka COP:13), where the structure of the Kyoto Protocol and its post-2012 successor were discussed. The objective of the Protocol is the reduction of climate-change inducing greenhouse gas emissions. The conference brought together over 10,000 participants from 180 nations.</p> <a name="December 2007: REDD to be Green"></a> <h2>December 2007: REDD to be Green</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t32]" title="Aussie PM at UNFCCC"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="195" alt="December 2007: REDD to be Green image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>The hot topic at the convention was REDD: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing countries. </p> <p>From Dorjeeâs point of view, acceptance of REDD, (and consequently the application of avoided deforestation as a carbon offsetting mechanism), was a crucial issue. This would create the market infrastructure necessary for the involvement of investment banks⦠so for Dorjee's project, much was riding on the outcome of the conference. </p> <a name="December 2007: Green Governorsâ Gala"></a> <h2>December 2007: Green Governorsâ Gala</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t33]" title="Earth needs REDD!"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="December 2007: Green Governorsâ Gala image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>At the Green Governorsâ Gala, Dorjee brought together his Indonesian allies â Governors Irwandi and Bas with their Green counterpart from the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Governor Eduardo Braga. </p> <p>At a special twilight event, the three Governors signed a joint treaty promising to protect their forests and explore Avoided Deforestation solutions.</p> <a name="December 2007: Aceh Green"></a> <h2>December 2007: Aceh Green</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t34]" title="Green Governors' Gala"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="173" alt="December 2007: Aceh Green image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In another coup for the forests, Governor Irwandi and Dorjee launched <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html Green</a>, which will monitor Acehnese forest areas, manage public awareness campaigns, and develop sustainable income sources for local people. </p> <p>Aceh Green will protect 1.9 million acres of forest, home to endangered species including the Sumatran elephant, the clouded leopard, the Sumatran tiger, and the Sumatran orangutan.</p> <a name="December 2007: Saving the orangutans"></a> <h2>December 2007: Saving the orangutans</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t35]" title="Aceh Green"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="December 2007: Saving the orangutans image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>After presenting his secretly filmed evidence of injured and displaced orangutans at COP:13, Hardi obtained his meeting with the Kalimantan governor, and had the opportunity to make the case for his endangered animal friends. </p> <p>During the Bali Conference, the President of Indonesia launched the Indonesian Governmentâs orangutan protection program, with Australian environment minister Peter Garrett and Terri Irwin as guest speakers.</p> <a name="December 2007: Kevin Ruddâs coup"></a> <h2>December 2007: Kevin Ruddâs coup</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t36]" title="Peter and Terri"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="December 2007: Kevin Ruddâs coup image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>For signing the Kyoto Protocol as his first act as Prime Minister, the new Australia leader Kevin Rudd received prolonged applause from the worldâs assembled representatives. Now, the only nation which had failed to join the Protocol was the USA.</p> <p>Elsewhere at COP:13, Sir Nicholas Stern gave his assessment of the targets needed to avert climate catastrophe, and Al Gore stridently criticised his own country for lack of action and poor leadership.</p> <a name="December 2007: World leaders agree"></a> <h2>December 2007: World leaders agree</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t37]" title="Kevin Rudd & Nick Stern"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="December 2007: World leaders agree image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>In the closing hours of COP:13, the representatives reached an impasse, with the USA obstructing progress and getting booed by the plenary hall. The developing countries went on the offensive, pleading with the USA to show leadership or âget out of the wayâ. </p> <p>The pressure on the two US delegates was enormous; eventually they capitulated and agreed to support the âBali Roadmapâ â which outlined what would be discussed in developing the agreement which would replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2012. The room erupted in cheers. The world had agreed on one thing; a singularly important, historic moment. </p> <a name="December 2007: Everyone sees REDD"></a> <h2>December 2007: Everyone sees REDD</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t38]" title=""><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="217" alt="December 2007: Everyone sees REDD image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>With the Bali Roadmap approved with such drama, the vote for REDD was almost an anti-climax, and accepted unanimously. Dorjee now had the missing piece of the equation that could push his deal through. This has profound implications for the topical forests of the world and gives the orangutans renewed hope of survival.</p> <a name="April 2008: Dorjee signs deal with Merrill Lynch"></a> <h2>April 2008: Dorjee signs deal with Merrill Lynch</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t39]" title="Hopeful Orangutan"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="98" alt="April 2008: Dorjee signs deal with Merrill Lynch image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p> Only six months after their initial meeting in London, Dorjee Sun met Abyd Karmali, Merrill Lynch Global Head of Carbon Emissions, at the Merrill Lynch offices in Sydney to sign the contract for the world's first avoided deforestation project. The proposal will save the 1.9 million-acre Ulu Masen forest in Indonesiaâs Aceh province and the many indigenous creatures that rely on the forest. Through the sale of carbon credits to companies and individuals seeking to offset harmful emissions, the preservation of the Ulu Masen forest is forecast to avoid 100 million tons of carbon dioxide over 30 years, which may be the equivalent of 50 million flights from Sydney to London.The deal has been widely applauded for its innovative qualities and contribution to sustainable development. It was short listed for the Financial Times Sustainable Banking Deal of the Year Award and won Environmental Finance's Carbon Finance Deal of the Year Award. </p> <a name="July 2008: Draft Garnaut Report released"></a> <h2>July 2008: Draft Garnaut Report released</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t40]" title="Abyd Karmali and Dorjee Sun"><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="113" alt="July 2008: Draft Garnaut Report released image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p> The Garnaut Climate Change Review released its draft report on Friday, 4 July 2008. The Garnaut Climate Change Review is an independent study by Professor Ross Garnaut, which was commissioned by Australia's Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. The Review was established on 30 April 2007. <br> <br> The Review will examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy, and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve the prospects for sustainable prosperity.<br> <br> The Review's Final Report is due on 30 September 2008. A number of forums have been held around Australia to engage the public on various issues relating to the Review. Download a copy of the draft report from the Garnaut Review<a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html target="_top" title="Draft Report"> web page</a>.</p> <a name="September 2008: Wall Street turbulence"></a> <h2>September 2008: Wall Street turbulence</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t41]" title=""><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="74" alt="September 2008: Wall Street turbulence image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>Following the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States, stock markets in several major markets (including the United Kingdom and Australia) experience significant losses. Merrill Lynch almost collapses, but is rescued by the Bank of America. The Burning Season's producer/director/writer Cathy Henkel travelled to New York in the midst of the global financial crisis and filmed some exclusive reports for The Burning Season web site, which you can watch by clicking on the following links:<br> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html Sun provides update on Aceh Project</a><br> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html Sun discusses making money from the environment</a><br> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html Karmali discusses the impact of the Wall Street turbulence on the Aceh Project</a></p> <a name="November 2008: Governor's Global Climate Change Summit"></a> <h2>November 2008: Governor's Global Climate Change Summit</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t42]" title=""><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="29" alt="November 2008: Governor's Global Climate Change Summit image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p> The Governors' Global Climate Summit, hosted by none other than the Governor to end all Governors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, was held in Los Angeles in November 2008. </p> <p> The GGCS brings together governors from climate-sensitive states worldwide, with the aim of discussing the outlook for a comprehensive global agreement on climate solutions that prevents the world passing the âtipping pointâ (as described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  The GGCS also plans to conclude a cooperative Summit Declaration on climate solutions, which is basically an agreement between all the governors to implement meaningful strategies to prevent climate change.  <br> An MOU was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger and several governors from Indonesia and Brazil including Governor Irwandi of Aceh at the end of the summit<br> Segments of the Summit are available for online viewing at <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html <a name="April 2009: New species named after Dorjee"></a> <h2>April 2009: New species named after Dorjee</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t43]" title=""><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="87" alt="April 2009: New species named after Dorjee image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>A newly discovered species of chameleon from Tanzania was named after Dorjee Sun, CEO of Carbon Conservation, an outfit which seeks to make rainforest conservation profitable through a carbon market mechanism known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). The name was bestowed during a benefit on 20 April 2009 for the African Rainforest Conservancy, a group that is working to conserve and restore African rainforests. <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html more...</a></p> <a name="April 2009: US EPA formally declares carbon dioxide toxic"></a> <h2>April 2009: US EPA formally declares carbon dioxide toxic</h2> <a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html rel="shadowbox[t44]" title=""><img src=../extras/not-found/p/5.html width="130" height="20" alt="April 2009: US EPA formally declares carbon dioxide toxic image" class="text-image" title="Click to enlarge image..."></a> <p>The New York Times reported that the United States Environmental Protection Agency had formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that endanger public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that will lead to the regulation of the gases for the first time in the US. The EPA told the NY Times that the science supporting the proposed endangerment finding was âcompelling and overwhelming.â The ruling initiates a 60-day comment period before any proposals for regulations governing emissions of heat-trapping gases are published.</p> <p>The EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, also told the NY Times: âThis finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obamaâs call for a low-carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation.â</p> <p><a href=../extras/not-found/p/5.html?_r=2&th&emc=th">Read the full story</a>.</p> </div>">

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