Methodological and Technological issues in Technology Transfer

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12.5.4 Technology Transfer between Annex I and non-Annex I Countries

Technology transfer between Annex I and non-Annex I countries is going to be crucial for climate mitigation projects, which are going to be funded by investors (including equipment suppliers), bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies, CGIAR institutions, NGOs and foundations, largely based in Annex I countries.

Government Initiated. Governments are going to play a critical role in promoting mitigation projects and the accompanying technology transfer between Annex I and developing countries. Multilateral agencies as well as bilateral development assistance are controlled by the governments. Some of the measures for the multilateral and bilateral agencies are to: i) support funding to forestry-sector mitigation projects and programmes through grants and low interest loans for SFM practices, industrial plantations, Protected Areas, and forest restoration programmes, ii) strengthen forestry certification programmes, iii) set up forestry monitoring and verification programmes in non-Annex I countries, iv) link technology transfer to grants and concessional loans, and v) provide funding for institution and human capacity building and for improving R&D capabilities in non-Annex I countries. The GEF could include forestry mitigation projects in its operational programmes.

Box 12.2 Reduced-Impact Logging: Private Sector Promoted Technology Transfer with a Possibility for Large Scale Adoption

In 1992, a private electricity generating company, New England Electric Power (NEEP) began a pilot project on reduced impact logging in collaboration with a Malaysian quasi-private company, Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd (ICSB) of Sabah. The project, which covers about 4000 hectares, involves using less destructive timber harvesting techniques that reduce collateral emissions from vegetation destruction during logging (Pinard and Putz, 1996; Putz and Pinard, 1993). The main technology transfer from an Annex I country involved training of crews on pre-harvest preparations, appropriate logging techniques, post-harvest site operations, monitoring and verification of the carbon and other benefits. Given the assumptions on baseline emissions, the enhanced sequestration and reduced carbon emissions in this project is estimated at about 65 t/ha over the logging cycle of the coupe, at a cost of about US$4/tC. In 1998, the Sabah State government was incorporating most of the RIL techniques in its proposed new logging regulations to be applied statewide (Makundi et al., 1998).

Private sector. If CDMs would be operationalised and include forestry projects, they would offer potential for facilitating technology transfer in forestry mitigation and adaptation projects. Brokerage institutions could assist developing countries in preparation of proposals and in accessing funds under climate mitigation programmes. These institutions could facilitate agreements between industries in Annex I countries with timber industries and farmers' cooperatives in non-Annex I countries. Timber companies could import technologies and transfer them to farmers, cooperatives and forestry departments, if required. Two private sector driven examples, namely, Reduced-Impact Logging (Malaysia) and the Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Project (Belize) are presented in Boxes 12.2 and 12.3 respectively.

The private sector role in movement of technologies is playing an increasingly prominent role. For example, many European, Japanese, Korean, and US private forest products companies are introducing more efficient sawtimber and plywood mill technologies to Siberia, Southeast Asia, West Africa, and Latin America. Other technologies being widely improved and exported include seedling nursery practices, alternative logging techniques (like reduced impact logging to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Latin America), software for forest management and planning, harvest and processing equipment, operations monitoring systems, and fire management (recently, these technologies were transferred from the EU, Canada, and the US to Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and the Russian Federation).

Box 12.3 The Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Project: Private Sector Participation

In 1995, Wisconsin Energy Corporation and its subsidiary, Wisconsin Electric, headed a partnership with the Nature Conservancy, the programme of Belize, the Utilitree Carbon Company and three other U.S. energy companies to initiate a land-use based project in Belize, Central America. The project is called the Rio Bravo Carbon Sequestration Pilot Project and includes the purchase of about a 5,600-ha parcel of endangered forest land in the northwestern corner of Belize . The second part of the project creates a sustainable forestry management programme on a 48,000 ha area of Rio Bravo for biodiversity, sustainable forest product harvesting and carbon sequestration.

Community initiated. International NGOs could play a role in capacity building among NGOs in developing countries. NGOs could contribute to international verification and monitoring programmes on sustainable logging practices and for monitoring carbon flows in projects. The sourcing of technologies and management practices for tropical countries could be largely from other tropical countries.

Technology transfer with multiple actors. The foregoing section has discussed the role of each actor separately, however, in reality technology transfer mechanisms are often composed of complementary links among several actors. In some cases, a project incubation is done by the government, and then passed on to a community organisation and/or the private sector. In other cases a technology transfer initiated by an NGO or a private company can be adopted by the government. An example of a cross pathway interaction is a demonstration of Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) in 1992 in Sabah, Malaysia (see Case Study 26), funded by a private Annex I company (See Box 12.2).

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