Insights from South East Asian Civil Society Workshop held in Bangkok (Newsletter #17)

The CDM Watch team organised the first Civil Society Workshop on Carbon Markets in South East Asia between 12-14 October with our Network member Focus on the Global South. The three-day event provided a forum for civil society to discuss the problems of the CDM, how they could be addressed and what the role of civil society in this process should be.

Over 50 civil society representatives from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines made the journey to Bangkok for this Civil Society Workshop, despite continued risks of flooding in the capital. Participants shared their views on the CDM, on specific CDM projects and discussed their experience in engaging with CDM actors. Many were highly critical of the CDM, pointing out that the mechanism has failed to reduce global emissions and that many projects implemented under the scheme have little or no benefit for the local populations – or even cause harm. Discussions on how to address these problems resulted in a call for the creation of a stronger role for civil society in the CDM validation and implementation process, the setting up of grievance mechanisms, and in particular, the need for effective public scrutiny throughout project implementation.

Joining the critical audience, a panel of CDM market participants provided their views on the issues raised. The panel pointed out that the CDM will certainly play a role in the future. They also acknowledged that rules in place were not strong enough to address the expressed concerns and that there was a need for more dialogue between civil society organisations (CSOs) and other CDM actors. There were many suggestions for improvements by the panel, for example, Puttipar Rotkittikhun from the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management (the Thai Designated National Authority) said that she will explore the opportunity to include a CSO representative in the DNA Board. Patrick Buergi from Southpole Carbon pointed out that many problems could be easily resolved if project monitoring included sustainability parameters. Bo Riisgaard Pedersen from the Danish Energy Agency shared his views as an investor and credit buyer and explained the difficulties small projects face. He also acknowledged the need for multi stakeholder dialogue to improve the current system.

Participants concluded that there is a clear need for more information about the CDM and its functioning at grassroots level, to avoid negative impacts from projects. They agreed that in addition to the monitoring of project-impacts at implementation phase, accessible grievance procedures need to be put in place. These would allow local communities to effectively convey problems to CDM decision makers at all project stages. For more information, see http://www.cdminsea.org/.

The CDM Watch team organised the first Civil Society Workshop on Carbon Markets in South East Asia between 12-14 October with our Network member Focus on the Global South. The three-day event provided a forum for civil society to discuss the problems of the CDM, how they could be addressed and what the role of civil society in this process should be.

Over 50 civil society representatives from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines made the journey to Bangkok for this Civil Society Workshop, despite continued risks of flooding in the capital. Participants shared their views on the CDM, on specific CDM projects and discussed their experience in engaging with CDM actors. Many were highly critical of the CDM, pointing out that the mechanism has failed to reduce global emissions and that many projects implemented under the scheme have little or no benefit for the local populations – or even cause harm. Discussions on how to address these problems resulted in a call for the creation of a stronger role for civil society in the CDM validation and implementation process, the setting up of grievance mechanisms, and in particular, the need for effective public scrutiny throughout project implementation.

Joining the critical audience, a panel of CDM market participants provided their views on the issues raised. The panel pointed out that the CDM will certainly play a role in the future. They also acknowledged that rules in place were not strong enough to address the expressed concerns and that there was a need for more dialogue between civil society organisations (CSOs) and other CDM actors. There were many suggestions for improvements by the panel, for example, Puttipar Rotkittikhun from the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management (the Thai Designated National Authority) said that she will explore the opportunity to include a CSO representative in the DNA Board. Patrick Buergi from Southpole Carbon pointed out that many problems could be easily resolved if project monitoring included sustainability parameters. Bo Riisgaard Pedersen from the Danish Energy Agency shared his views as an investor and credit buyer and explained the difficulties small projects face. He also acknowledged the need for multi stakeholder dialogue to improve the current system.

Participants concluded that there is a clear need for more information about the CDM and its functioning at grassroots level, to avoid negative impacts from projects. They agreed that in addition to the monitoring of project-impacts at implementation phase, accessible grievance procedures need to be put in place. These would allow local communities to effectively convey problems to CDM decision makers at all project stages. For more information, see http://www.cdminsea.org/.