Visiting Professor Jae-Hyup Lee, from Seoul National University Law School in Korea, spoke to a packed room of faculty, students, and alumni on January 20 at a joint colloquia presented by the Environmental Law Program and the Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Program. Professor Lee focused on the private and governmental efforts in Northeast Asia, and Mongolia in particular, to collaborate on joint reforestation projects as part of the global effort to combat climate change.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), as defined in the Kyoto Protocol, is a mechanism that allows an industrialized country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment to earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits by implementing an emission-reduction project in a developing country. Only afforestation and reforestation qualify as A/R CDM projects. REDD initiatives, on the other hand, offer credit for the active preservation of existing forests.
Professor Lee’s personal and professional insights into the practical, legal, and political challenges of implementing afforestation and reforestation Clean Development Mechanism projects (under the Kyoto Protocol) in Mongolia provided a vivid picture for his audience of the difficult on-the-ground obstacles that need to be overcome in moving ahead with international agreements on climate change. Professor Lee taught comparative environmental law with a focus on Asia at WSRSL for J-term and will be here through the Spring 2011 Semester on sabbatical.