Details emerge around closed-door carbon deal in Malaysian Borneo

Details emerge around closed-door carbon deal in Malaysian Borneo

Leaders in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo have begun to share more about a murky arrangement in which the rights to carbon and other ecosystem services from the state’s forests were sold to a foreign company. On Oct. 30, state authorities signed a “nature conservation agreement” with a Singaporean firm, Hoch Standard Pte. Ltd., and involving an Australian management consultancy called Tierra Australia. The deal ostensibly gave Hoch Standard the right to sell credits for carbon and other natural capital, such as clean water, from “over 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres)” of forested land for the next 100-200 years, according to Peter Burgess, Tierra Australia’s CEO. Mongabay learned of the agreement from several anonymously shared documents and first reported its signing on Nov. 9. A micro-hydropower catchment system used by forest communities to generate electricity in Sabah’s Crocker Range. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay. The news arrived in Sabah against the backdrop of the U.N. climate conference held in early November in Glasgow, Scotland. Governments and companies at the conference, known as COP26, announced their intentions to funnel billions of dollars toward ending deforestation, boosting forest restoration, and supporting Indigenous-led land management to offset carbon emissions. Burgess also said his business partner, Stan Golokin, a Sabahan, was at the conference raising funds for the agreement. At the same time, rights organizations and watchdog groups such as Amnesty International cautioned that the development of carbon markets and other climate change mitigation measures must not come…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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