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REDD in the news: 24-30 August 2015

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, forests and climate. The links are organised by date (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.


24 August 2015

Act now, or tropical forests will be a sorry sight in 2100
By Simon Lewis, The Ecologist, 24 August 2015
By the end of the century, the world’s remaining tropical forests will be left in a fragmented, simplified, and degraded state. No patch will remain untouched – most remnants will be overrun by species that disperse well, which often means ‘weedy’ plants like fast-growing pioneer trees and small rodents that thrive in disturbed areas. Most of the rest will be ‘the living dead’ – tiny remnant populations of plants and animals hanging on with no future. There is no cast-iron law that dictates this scenario – but it appears likely unless we see a series of major policy changes. What could unfold? In research published in the journal Science, colleagues and I outline an all too common chain of events.

The Future of Forests: Emissions from Tropical Deforestation with and without a Carbon Price, 2016–2050
By Jonah Busch and Jens Engelmann, Center For Global Development, 24 August 2015
An area of tropical forest the size of India will be deforested in the next 35 years, burning through more than one-sixth of the remaining carbon that can be emitted if global warming is to be kept below 2 degrees Celsius (the “planetary carbon budget”), but many of these emissions could be cheaply avoided by putting a price on carbon. We project the future of tropical deforestation from 2016-2050 with and without carbon pricing policies, based on 18 million observations of historical forest loss spanning 101 tropical countries. Our spatial projections of future deforestation incorporate topography, accessibility, protected status, potential agricultural revenue, and a robust observed inverted-U-shaped trajectory of forest cover loss with respect to remaining forest cover.

Three-quarters of JI offsets unlikely to have led to GHG cuts -study
By Ben Garside, Carbon Pulse, 24 August 2015
Almost 75% of the carbon credits issued under the UN’s Joint Implementation (JI) scheme may not represent actual emission reductions, potentially increasing global emissions by some 600 million tonnes compared to if countries had met their CO2-cut targets domestically, according to a study published by the Stockholm Environment Institute on Monday. The study, one of the first in-depth reviews of the controversial and opaque JI market, casts a long shadow over the cheap Russian and Ukrainian Emissions Reduction Units (ERUs) that the EU allowed its companies to use to offset a big chunk of their obligations under the bloc’s ETS. The findings put into question some mainly eastern European countries’ efforts to ensure the carbon-cutting projects within their borders were additional compared to business as usual.

Carbon-credit scheme linked to increased greenhouse-gas production
By Richard Hodson, Nature News & Comment, 24 August 2015
Factories in Russia increased their production of industrial waste products and then claimed millions of carbon credits for destroying them after an international trading scheme went into effect. Evidence published1 in Nature Climate Change reveals that several Russian chemical plants increased production of highly potent greenhouse-gas waste to “unprecedented levels” after they could reap financial benefits from their disposal. Carbon credits grant nations the right to emit gases that contribute to global warming. They are traded internationally on carbon markets such as the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, and their monetary value is determined by how much buyers are willing to pay for them.

Kyoto protocol’s carbon credit scheme ‘increased emissions by 600m tonnes’
By Arthur Nelsen, The Guardian, 24 August 2015
A key carbon offsetting scheme was so open to abuse that three quarters of its allowances lacked environmental integrity, a new report says. UN officials confirm the findings by the Stockholm Environment Institute that around 600m tonnes of carbon were wrongly emitted as a result, under the UNFCCC’s Joint Implementation (JI) scheme. An estimated 80% of JI projects were of low environmental quality, according to the paper, parts of which were published on Monday in Nature Climate Change. “Many of them didn’t observe the requirements of JI on ‘additionality’ as they would probably have happened anyway, and I would even doubt the physical existence of some of these projects,” said Vladyslav Zhezherin, one of the report’s authors. “I would say that many of them were fake.” A senior UN official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Guardian that the new report was “thoroughly researched and probably correct.”

Honduras: The Impunity and Legacy of Miguel Facussé
By Greg McCain, Upside Down World, 24 August 2015
November 15th 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of the massacre at El Tumbador, the African Palm plantation on Laguna Guaimoreto in Trujillo, Colon. Paramilitary private guards and members of the military ambushed the five, along with several other campesinos from the community, in the early morning hours as they attempted to enter their property. Francisco was among those severely wounded as bullets tore through his face and body. He is left with constant pain that makes it next to impossible for him to work plus the fact that the land he was entitled to cultivate was stolen from him. November 15 also marks five years of impunity for the Dinant Corporation whose President, Miguel Facussé Barjum, ordered his private security guards and State security forces to open fire on the campesinos and kill as many as possible. Dinant is a Honduran company that grows African Palm and processes the oil in addition to harvesting other crops.

[New Zealand] Climate change policy a failure, says professor
Radio New Zealand News, 24 August 2015
A forestry professor says the agriculture sector should be required to participate fully in the Emissions Trading Scheme to make it more effective. The sector has reporting obligations under the scheme but is not required to trade carbon credits. The Environmental Protection Authority has just released a facts and figures report on the scheme which Professor Euan Mason of Canterbury University said showed New Zealand’s climate change policy was a failure. Professor Mason said New Zealand was the subject of international criticism for its response to climate change and was now the fifth highest emitter of green house gases per capita. He said agriculture accounts for half of this country’s emissions and farmers could trade credits through forestry.

Pakistan unveils first national forest policy without provincial government support
Eco-Business, 24 August 2015
In July, Pakistan unveiled its first national forest policy, which sets out plans for mass tree planting, curbing deforestation and promoting conservation. The policy has, however, been formulated without consulting provincial governments, the private sector or local communities. Experts say the federal government cannot implement the policy until provincial governments agree to allocate funds from their annual budgets to revive forests. Forestry has become a provincial subject since Pakistan’s federal Ministry of Environment was devolved to provincial authorities under the 18th constitutional amendment back in 2010. The federal government is now powerless to implement the policy without local government support.

[Zambia] ‘Forest industry can boost development’
Zambia Daily Mail, 24 August 2015
Zambia has adequate researched data to develop initiatives for coming up with strategies and visions to lead the forest and wood sector to sustainable development. But it is like the folders containing such valuable information are locked up in archives, and there is nothing to show that these works have been done. Sustainable development is growth that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. African countries like Zambia can truly address various challenges affecting them such as poverty only if they embrace sustainable development in its true sense. Sustainable development is therefore, the only ‘vehicle’ that Zambia needs to push its growth agenda forward.

25 August 2015

Carbon Trading Harms Climate, Says Europe Study
By Wilson Dizard, Al Jazeera America, 25 August 2015
A United Nations-backed carbon-trading scheme in Europe, originally meant to combat global warming, has instead resulted in the release of more than half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, according to a new report. The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) report released Monday found significant problems with the efficacy of carbon offsets. The researchers found issues with 75 percent of 872 million offsets, and point to a lack of oversight as the main problem. “We know what rules are needed and then we need the political will to implement them,” Anja Kollmuss, one of the authors of the study, told Al Jazeera. “And so far this has been lacking.” The Joint Implementation (JI) carbon-trading scheme, established under the Kyoto Protocol, may have “seriously undermined global climate action,” researchers said.

Starbucks and palm oil, wake up and smell the coffee
By Hanna Thomas, The Guardian, 25 August 2015
Two years after Starbucks stated publicly that it was committed to using 100% RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified sustainable palm oil in products such as its raspberry chocolate chip scone and Mallorca sweet bread by 2015, customers are in the dark. Has or hasn’t the coffee giant eliminated conflict palm oil from its supply chain? Starbucks’ public commitment, made in 2013, followed a shareholder resolution requesting the board of directors adopt and implement a comprehensive sustainable palm oil policy. Yet there has been no direct reporting of its progress – if any – and no information available on the RSPO website. There is therefore no way for the public to know if Starbucks is on track.

Can REDD+ shift the tide against elite capture of forest benefits? Probably not
By Esther Mwangi, Isla Duporge and Krister Andersson, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 25 August 2015
With COP21 set to take place in Paris in December, and the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol, it is time to take stock of what has been learned from REDD so far. Benefit sharing is one aspect of REDD that receives a lot of attention. It’s increasingly recognized that equitable distribution of benefits from projects is vital for REDD success. However, REDD still faces considerable risks in terms of unintentionally worsening current inequality. In preparation for COP21, it is necessary to review the success of REDD benefit sharing and see what areas need increased attention in future project design. The lack of evidence from projects where participants are rewarded for performance means that there are few empirical lessons to draw from at this stage in REDD development. Criticism has been levied at REDD for unintentionally exacerbating existent inequalities…

[Australia] Indigenous fire methods could slash global emissions: UN report
By Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 August 2015
Ancient Indigenous Australian bush-burning could be used around the world to radically cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to United Nations research, which also challenges Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s refusal to embrace the purchase of international carbon credits. Mr Abbott has previously said buying overseas offsets sends money “offshore into dodgy carbon farms in Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan”. The government this month delayed considering the measure until 2017 or later, saying it would rather make cuts domestically. This is despite doubts over whether the government’s Direct Action plan will be enough to meet Australia’s global climate commitments, and calls from business and green groups that say international credits offer a cheaper way to cut emissions.

26 August 2015

Tutu, Klein and Chomsky call for mass climate action ahead of Paris conference
By Emma Howard, The Guardian, 26 August 2015
Desmond Tutu, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of high-profile figures who will issue a mass call to action on Thursday ahead of the UN’s crunch climate change conference in Paris in December. They call for mass mobilisation on the scale of the slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements to trigger “a great historical shift”. Their statement, published in the book Stop Climate Crimes, reads: “We are at a crossroads. We do not want to be compelled to survive in a world that has been made barely liveable for us … slavery and apartheid did not end because states decided to abolish them. Mass mobilisations left political leaders no other choice.” Bill McKibben, founder of environmental movement, which has launched the project with the anti-globalisation organisation Attac France, described the move as a “good first step” towards Paris.

Here’s How Much of the World’s Forests Could Vanish by 2050
By Rob Verger, VICE News, 26 August 2015
A new report about deforestation and climate change contains a dire warning: If the world continues along its business-as-usual path, an amount of tropical forest nearly equal to the size of India could be lost between 2016 and 2050. The study, from the nonprofit research organization Center for Global Development, predicts that as much as 2,890,000 square kilometers — or over a million square miles — of tropical forest could be lost to deforestation due to land being cleared for industrial agriculture. The researchers based their report on NASA satellite data and a subsequent study published in the journal Science. They estimate that a large amount of tropical forest — about 373,000 square miles — was destroyed between 2001 and 2012 in 101 countries. Jonah Busch, a coauthor on the report, said they found a pattern to the destruction. “Deforestation doesn’t proceed in a straight line with the same amount year after year.”

Why restoring degraded land is crucial to the climate
By Simone Quatrini and Harald Heubaum, RTCC, 26 August 2015
Land is a fundamental natural resource, providing food and livelihoods for billions of people around the world. Soil and land also play a key role in addressing economic inequality, maintaining biodiversity and combating global climate change. Whether it is forests, grasslands, savannahs or deserts – terrestrial ecosystems are a key to building a more sustainable future. Yet, land is under threat. Land degradation – the reduction in the quality and productive capacity of land and soil due to extreme weather conditions and human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and invasive mining – has quickly become one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Worldwide, two billion hectares of land are currently degraded – an area larger than South America. Of this, 500 million hectares are abandoned agricultural land.

Human rights groups face global crackdown ‘not seen in a generation’
By Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 26 August 2015
Human rights organisations and campaign groups are facing their biggest crackdown in a generation as a wave of countries pass restrictive laws and curtail activity. Almost half the world’s states have implemented controls that affect tens of thousands of organisations across the globe. Over the past three years, more than 60 countries have passed or drafted laws that curtail the activity of non-governmental and civil society organisations. Ninety-six countries have taken steps to inhibit NGOs from operating at full capacity, in what the Carnegie Endowment calls a “viral-like spread of new laws” under which international aid groups and their local partners are vilified, harassed, closed down and sometimes expelled.

As momentum builds for December climate talks in Paris, Ban looks ahead to ‘bold’ outcome
United Nations News Centre, 26 August 2015
Commending France’s “exemplary leadership” on efforts to tackle climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today affirmed that the international community is now at a stage where the final elements of the new climate agreement are being negotiated. “The climate conference in Paris later this year is at the very top of the international agenda. I expect a bold and meaningful outcome at the Conference of Parties…in December,” stated the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his remarks to the French diplomatic corps, which has been meeting this week in Paris. “I was especially glad to be invited to attend your gathering this year because of the historic efforts that are under way to chart a new development path for the human family,” Mr. Ban continued, adding that the climate negotiations cap a “transformational” year for human progress.

[Indonesia] Political economy of fire and haze: Moving to long-term solutions
By Herry Purnomo, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 26 August 2015
Under President Joko Widodo, the Government of Indonesia has committed to reducing – or even zeroing – fire incidences in Indonesia. And although some improvements have been made, fire and haze continue. This year, the country is facing El Niño, which will cause drier weather and increase the occurrence of fire and haze. Solutions are needed, because current actions mostly deal with fighting fires and are not systematically harnessing the politics and economy of fires. Reviewing fire policy and laws (what works and does not work), mapping actors and their networks and economies, providing clear and transparent spatial maps, and engaging with key policy makers and practitioners are key for reducing fire and haze.

Has Liberia found the way to share its forest plenty with the poor?
By Max Bankole Jarrett, The Guardian, 26 August 2015
A recent $150m (£96m) forest protection deal between Liberia and Norway signalled a bold new direction in forest management – to shift Liberia’s forest economy from a model of extraction to one of protection, and to make forest communities the beneficiaries. The first payment from Norway is now due. As Grain, Fish, Money showed, the history of the forest sector warns us to be vigilant. Liberia has an area of forest the size of Denmark, which for years was a cash cow for a handful of people. As the UN security council has highlighted, during the country’s 14 years of civil war the illicit sale of Liberian timber on international markets was a major source of funding for the warring factions, including that of former president Charles Taylor. When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took office in 2006, she promised a new era in forest management.

27 August 2015

Carbon Pricing Can Help Save Forests––and the Climate––Analysis Says
By Phil McKenna, InsideClimate News, 27 August 2015
Deforestation will cost the Earth an India-sized patch of forest by mid-century––a crippling blow to the climate––but carbon pricing could halve the loss, according to a new study. A comprehensive new analysis of satellite imagery and land use practices across 101 countries shows that one-seventh of the world’s tropical forests will be lost over the next 35 years, an area equal to roughly one-third of the United States. Such a tremendous loss of forests and the burning of the carbon they contain would hasten global warming significantly. The loss, however, could be cut nearly in half by placing a price on carbon that pays landowners to keep their forests intact. “Stopping deforestation won’t on its own stop climate change,” said the study’s lead author, Jonah Busch, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development.

What’s On the Table at Bonn Climate Talks?
By David Waskow, World Resources Institute, 27 August 2015
We’re now entering the final, significant stages of negotiations leading up to the major climate summit in Paris in December known as COP21, where countries will reach a new international climate agreement. There are now two week-long negotiating sessions remaining before Paris; the first takes place next week in Bonn, Germany. What issues will negotiators face and what needs to happen at the Bonn meeting? Fortunately, recent developments – both in the negotiating process and politically – can help to generate forward movement. The co-chairs of the negotiating process for the Paris agreement produced a document laying out a possible structure for the negotiating text, which they have called a tool to facilitate negotiations. This new document, circulated in July, cuts through much of the clutter and creates a more coherent structure and options for the text than had been on the table.

Baseline data on forest loss and associated uncertainty: advances in national forest monitoring
EnvironmentalResearchWeb, 27 August 2015
Johanne Pelletier and Scott Goetz assess efforts to improve Peru’s national forest monitoring system, as required by REDD+. Countries participating in climate change mitigation via the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation mechanism are required to establish national forest monitoring systems. The design of national forest monitoring system includes provision of transparent, consistent and accurate estimates of emissions and removals from forests, while also taking into account national circumstances and capabilities. One key component of these systems lies in satellite remote sensing approaches and techniques to determine baseline data on forest loss against which future rates of change can be evaluated. Advances in approaches meeting these criteria for measuring, reporting and verification purposes are therefore of tremendous interest.

A novel approach to reducing deforestation: linking supply chains and REDD in “Zero Deforestation Zones”
By Chris Meyer, EDF Talks Global Climate, 27 August 2015
Two tropical forest conservation efforts have gained momentum in recent years: zero deforestation commitments from the private sector and the policy framework Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). Both efforts are necessary, but not sufficient in themselves to eliminate global deforestation. In a recently published paper in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, we find that linking REDD+ and zero deforestation commitments offers a more efficient and effective solution to stop deforestation, which we call Zero Deforestation Zones (ZDZ). Deforestation, which is responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gases, is primarily caused by conversion for the production of four commodities in Brazil and Indonesia: beef, soy, palm, and timber products.

[USA] President Obama’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ Moment
By Elijah Zarlin, Medium, 27 August 2015
The tragic irony of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” moment on Iraq is what comes to mind as President Obama prepares for his trip to Alaska. There, he will discuss his administration’s climate legacy against a backdrop of melting glaciers, in the very place where he just gave Shell approval to drill into the vast carbon bomb of oil that lies beneath the Arctic ocean floor. Scientists have been clear: Drilling for Arctic oil is a bright line that cannot be crossed. And not because it would be impossible to clean up the oil spill that is 75% likely, or Shell’s string of Arctic drilling accidents in 2012, or however you feel about polar bears. (Though for the record, those were sufficient reasons for Hillary Clinton to oppose Arctic drilling.)

28 August 2015

Australia nowhere near meeting inadequate emission target -study
By Stian Reklev, Carbon Pulse, 28 August 2015
Australia’s GHG emissions are set to rise steeply over the next 15 years, and the government must find a way to cut a further 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 between now and 2030 if it is to meet its UN climate pledge, analysts at Climate Action Tracker said. Earlier this month, the Australian government pledged to cut GHG emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030, a target Environment Minister Greg Hunt said put Australia on top in terms of improved per capita emissions. But a new report from analysts Climate Action Tracker had a different conclusion than the Australian government. It said Australia’s target was inadequate and that global temperatures would rise 3-4C if all countries put in similar efforts as Australia. It also said Australia would get nowhere near meeting the target unless it introduces a host of new policies, estimating that its 2030 emissions would stand 27% above 2005 levels by 2030 without new measures.

EUAs post 1.1% weekly drop, as buyers’ return seen offsetting heftier sales
By Mike Szabo, Carbon Pulse, 28 August 2015
EU Allowance prices ended higher on Friday as firmer German power prices helped support, but the gains weren’t enough to push the benchmark carbon contract into the black for the week. The Dec-15 EUA futures trading on ICE Futures Europe settled up 7 cents at €8.12, marking a 1.1% weekly decline. “This was a risk-off week,” one trader said, citing falls in wider energy and equity markets worldwide. Financial markets experienced a rollercoaster week due to concerns over China’s economy and the attempts by the government there to stabilise collapsing stock prices. That volatility carried over to energy markets, with crude oil on track to notch a 10% weekly gain.

[Fiji] REDD Plus Policy enables financial benefits
FBC News, 28 August 2015
The Fiji Policy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (Fiji REDD Plus Policy) has benefited Fiji financially. The policy was endorsed by cabinet in December 2010 after a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process that began with its first drafting in September 2009. Speaking in Parliament Fisheries and Forests Minister Osea Naiqamu says countries with forests are benefitting financially simply by keeping their forests standing under the REDD Plus mechanism. “In 2012 the Forestry Department embarked on a project for the implementation of the activities under the Fiji REDD Plus Policy. The main objective of the project is to ensure Fiji participates under REDD financing mechanism by end of 2015. By 2014 the World Bank had approved a grant of $US3.7m to fund the Fiji readiness activities for 4 years from 2015 to 2018. The purpose of the fund is to get prepared to participate in carbon trading from 2019 onwards.”

[USA] A Coal-Mining Environmentalist? Virginia Executive Says He Can Be Both
By Naveena Sadasivam, InsideClimate News, 28 August 2015
A conservationist in Virginia has put himself in the peculiar position of selling coal. Tom Clarke, the president of a healthcare company who considers himself an environmentalist, announced earlier this month that his nonprofit, the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund (VCLF), will acquire assets from Patriot Coal Corp., one of several coal companies that recently filed for bankruptcy. As part of the deal, Clarke will assume control of two operational coal mines in West Virginia and 153 mining permits. The nonprofit will form a new affiliate called ERP Compliant Fuels and commit $109 million for pension and health benefit obligations and assume $400 million in liabilities. Clarke said one of the mines will be closed and the other will continue producing coal.

29 August 2015

[Indonesia] Govt opposes zero-deforestation pledge by palm oil firms
By Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 29 August 2015
In stark contrast to Indonesia’s commitment to reduce rampant deforestation, the government has surprisingly become a vocal opponent of a “zero deforestation” pledge signed by the four biggest palm oil companies in Indonesia. The Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister said on Friday that the pledge would jeopardize the country’s palm oil industry, currently the biggest in the world, as it puts restrictions on small farmers. “Oil palm plantations are the livelihoods of many of our people. The most effective driver of economic growth is through oil palm plantations,” the office’s deputy for food and agriculture coordination Musdhalifah Machmud said on Friday. As the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil, Indonesia relies on demand for the commodity, which generates almost US$20 billion a year for the country and employs millions, drive growth and development.

30 August 2015

[Guyana] Trotman to meet logging companies on lag in value-added processing
Stabroek News, 30 August 2015
Despite being pressed to do so, logging companies are not moving with alacrity to set-up valued-added processing facilities and Minister of Governance Raphael Trotman plans to meet with several in the coming weeks. Trotman last month said that should controversial Chinese company Baishanlin and equally contentious Indian company Vaitarna not produce value-added products by the end of the year, their contracts could be terminated. On Friday, he told Stabroek News that work on the 2015 budget had taken priority but now that it has been passed, work can resume on the scrutinising of forestry companies. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Guyana] Govt. poised to begin review of “sweetheart” land deals made by PPP
Kaieteur News, 30 August 2015
The A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) government is set to review a number of “sweetheart deals” that have been entered into during the People’s Progressive Party/Civic tenure in government. The new government has a “suspicion” that vast lands were handed to friends of the PPP for “almost pennies.” The Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and the Junior Minister of Communities with direct responsibility for Housing, Keith Scott told Kaieteur News that the review will begin “very soon.” Scott had said that he was meaning to begin the review but was caught up with preparing for Budget and subsequently got caught up in Budget debates and deliberations. Minister Scott promised, “as soon as the Budget is completed I will definitely look at it.”

[Guyana] BaiShanLin misused US$70M from Chinese bank for wood processing plant
Kaieteur News, 30 August 2015
Four years ago, Chinese-owned logging company, BaiShanLin International Forest Development Inc., reportedly received almost US$70M in financing from China’s Development Bank (CDB) to build a wood processing plant off Linden, in Region 10. This year, the plant is still to take shape and it appears now that the company is in deep financial problems. In the meantime, the showpiece exhibition centre at Providence, East Bank Demerara, is at a standstill for several months now. The nearby housing development is also on hold with no major activities seen. But while all of this is happening, Baishanlin has been aggressively competing in the local market using its trucks to fetch logs for operators and barges to transport stones and other commodities for hardware suppliers to bolster its apparently dwindling revenues.


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