How Women’s Participation in Customary Forest and Land Governance in the DRC is being restricted
By Larissa Stiem and Torsten Krause, Focali, June 2016
Climate change and its impacts have dominated global environmental politics for more than two decades. Drastically reducing carbon emissions is the most important action to mitigate climate change and fighting deforestation can play a large role in this process. Forests function as important carbon storage when trees take up carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the form of wood. However, deforestation releases the carbon stored in trees and the soil out in the atmosphere. Herein, in 2005 a global mechanism was proposed with the idea to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation (known as the REDD+ mechanism).
20 June 2016
On Dangerous Ground
Global Witness, 20 June 2016
More than three people were killed a week in 2015 defending their land, forests and rivers against destructive industries. For our new report On Dangerous Ground we documented 185 killings across 16 countries – by far the highest annual death toll on record and more than double the number of journalists killed in the same period.
Environmental activist murders set record as 2015 became deadliest year
By Oliver Holmes, The Guardian, 20 June 2016
At least 185 environmental activists were killed last year, the highest annual death toll on record and close to a 60% increase on the previous year, according to a UK-based watchdog.
Global Witness documented lethal attacks across 16 countries. Brazil was worst hit with 50 deaths, many of them killings of campaigners who were trying to combat illegal logging in the Amazon. The Philippines was second with 33.
Colombia had 26 fatal attacks; Peru, 12; Nicaragua, 12; and Democratic Republic of Congo had 11.
China’s plan to cut meat consumption by 50% cheered by climate campaigners
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 20 June 2016
The Chinese government has outlined a plan to reduce its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, in a move that climate campaigners hope will provide major heft in the effort to avoid runaway global warming.
New dietary guidelines drawn up by China’s health ministry recommend that the nation’s 1.3 billion population should consume between 40g to 75g of meat per person each day. The measures, released once every 10 years, are designed to improve public health but could also provide a significant cut to greenhouse gas emissions.
Netherlands Eyes Firmer Carbon Market in Call Welcomed by Canete
By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 20 June 2016
The Dutch presidency of the European Union is seeking political support from member states to enshrine in a carbon market reform a flexibility provision that would enable strengthening the world’s biggest cap-and-trade program.
The plan would pave the way for tightening emission-permit supply and would enable a faster shift to clean technologies, according to Dutch Environment Minister Sharon Dijksma. Prices in the EU Emissions Trading System, where 2013-2020 pollution caps on companies were set before the global financial crisis, fell almost 80 percent in the past eight years as industrial output shrank, aggravating a glut of allowances.
[Zimbabwe] Carbon prices fall, as REDD+ credits lose style
By Jeffrey Gogo, The Herald, 20 June 2016
Buyers around the world spent $278 million to offset 84,1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2015, according to a new report, but the funds eluded Zimbabwe – a country targeting to earn more from keeping its forests standing, than fallen.
According to the “Raising Ambition: State of Voluntary Carbon Markets 2016” report released recently by US firm Ecosystem Marketplace, governments and private sector organisations bought 10 percent more carbon offsets last year than they did in 2014 (77 MtCO2e).
In value terms, buyers spent less though, down 7 percent from $298 million spent the year before.
While the rise in the amount of offsets sold shows some increase in voluntary action to curb climate change, global carbon prices have tumbled 14 percent to an average $3,3 per tonne from a year earlier – and what could be worse, the trend indicates REDD+ credits – the kind Zimbabwe is largely pursuing – are losing style.
Investors are switching more to wind or renewable energy-generated credits, the report says.
Last year they bought 12,7 MtCO2e of wind credits compared to 11 MtCO2e from REDD+, a UN programme that aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
21 June 2016
Policy makers meet to discuss forest conservation and ‘the future of humanity’
By Morgan Erickson-Davis, mongabay.com, 21 June 2016
Last week, some 500 members from governments, corporations, and NGOs from 47 countries convened in Norway to discuss tropical forest conservation at the Oslo REDD Exchange (REDDX). The event concluded with several announcements, including commitments from the Norwegian and German governments to increase their REDD+ funding, as well as the signing of an agreement between the U.S. and Norway pledging bilateral support of tropical forest protection and restoration.
“We must end deforestation, and this will only be possible if all countries are involved,” said Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg during the conference’s opening remarks. “Developing countries should not bear the burden of deforestation alone,” she added.
Q&A: 2016 Global Landscapes Forum (Part 2)
CIFOR Forest News Blog, 21 June 2016
This article is Part 2 of a four-part series of video interviews held on the sidelines of the Global Landscapes Forum 2016 – The Investment Case. The aim of this one-day experts symposium was to accelerate investment in landscapes.
A Q&A with Mark Burrows, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Global Investment Banking at Credit Suisse.
Cars buck downward trend of EU carbon emissions
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 21 June 2016
Road transport has bucked a downward trend in European greenhouse gas emissions, growing by 17% between 1990 and 2014, at the same time that emissions from other sectors fell by almost a quarter.
Cars, vans and lorries reported the biggest absolute increase of any sector in CO2 emissions over the last 25 years, growing by 124 megatonnes (Mt), European Environment Agency (EEA) data published on Tuesday shows…
However, the automobile sector is not alone in swimming against the green tide on emissions reductions. The EEA data shows CO2 pollution from aviation soared by a staggering 82% since 1990, with a 93Mt increase in emissions.
New climate group advises raising cost of carbon credits
By harry McGee, The Irish Times, 21 June 2016
The expert group which advises the Government on climate change has come out in favour of a minimum price for carbon under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
In the first advice to Government since it was established in January, the Climate Change Advisory Council has said the current price for carbon is too low.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme provides a market where a price is put on greenhouse emissions. It relates to fossil-fuel burning energy companies and to heavy industry.
The idea behind the market is that heavy emitters would be obliged to purchase carbon credits. However, the EU recession resulted in the price of carbon falling dramatically.
The current price is 80 per cent lower than in 2008. It has been argued it does not provide sufficient incentive for companies to lower their emissions.
Berta Cáceres’s name was on Honduran military hitlist, says former soldier
By Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, 21 June 2016
Berta Cáceres, the murdered environmental campaigner, appeared on a hitlist distributed to US-trained special forces units of the Honduran military months before her death, a former soldier has claimed.
Lists featuring the names and photographs of dozens of social and environmental activists were given to two elite units, with orders to eliminate each target, according to First Sergeant Rodrigo Cruz, 20.
Cruz’s unit commander, a 24-year-old lieutenant, deserted rather than comply with the order. Cruz – who asked to be identified by a pseudonym for fear of reprisal – followed suit, and fled to a neighbouring country. Several other members of the unit have disappeared and are feared dead.
“If I went home, they’d kill me. Ten of my former colleagues are missing. I’m 100% certain that Berta Cáceres was killed by the army,” Cruz told the Guardian.
[Indonesia] ‘Unfriending’ the environment
The Jakarta Post, 21 June 2016
Enforcement of the law against those committing environmental crimes in this country has proved to fail as a deterrent. A series of trials of corporations held responsible for devastating and widespread forest and land fires last year ended in an anticlimax, sending the worrying message that burning forests is permissible.
The recent acquittal of Frans Katihokang, the operations manager of PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo, a palm oil company operating in the Riau regency of Pelalawan, is just another major blow to the country’s bid to cut the cycle of forest fires that have caused environmental damaging affecting not only millions of Indonesian citizens, but also people in neighboring states.
[USA] California’s signature climate policy is struggling through its awkward teen years
By David Roberts, Vox, 21 June 2016
California is known the world over for its aggressive efforts to tackle climate change, which include, among other things, a statewide cap-and-trade system.
Policy-wise, cap and trade is a modest piece of the puzzle. It’s responsible for less than a third of the carbon cuts driven by state policy — the rest come from an array of regulations, standards, and investments.
Politically, it’s a different story. The cap-and-trade program has boosted California’s reputation as an environmental leader; it is studied by jurisdictions all over the world. Perhaps most importantly, it generates revenue for a variety of domestic projects important to state politicians and voters.
And it is in trouble.
22 June 2016
Taking Climate Action from Paris to the Rainforests
The World Bank, 22 June 2016
Just six months after the landmark agreement for climate change was hammered out in Paris, country pioneers and thought leaders of results-based funding for tropical forest conservation met again in the very same city.
They were taking part in meetings from June 20 to 22 of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, activities commonly referred to as REDD+.
[Indonesia] RI’s outermost islands sinking under palm oil expansion
By Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 22 June 2016
Indonesia’s outer islands that have peatlands are at risk of sinking due to the aggressive expansion of palm oil plantations. This has prompted the government to try and restore the damaged peatland areas on the islands.
The Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), tasked with restoring damaged peatland for the next five years, said the country’s outer islands were on the agency’s list of priority areas to be restored.
In Riau Islands, there are some islands, listed as outer islands, that have peatlands such as Tebing Tinggi, Bengkalis and Rangsang, according to BRG planning and cooperation deputy head Budi Wardhana.
[UK] SFO says Sipp scams on the rise as pension fraud evolves
By Jack Gilbert, New Model Adviser, 22 June 2016
Jane de Lozey knows a thing or two about pension scams.
Originally a solicitor, she made the leap over to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in 2003 and is now the body’s joint head of fraud.
De Lozey has been involved in several high profile pension-related investment cases while at the SFO, including the 2014 conviction of a former IFA, Stuart Stone, found guilty of conspiracy to furnish false information in relation to a £23 million Cambodian biofuel investment scheme Sustainable AgroEnergy, which was invested in via Sipps, and the conviction in 2012 of Graham Pitcher, a director of pension trustee company GP Noble, for conspiracy to defraud in relation to£52 million of pension monies.
23 June 2016
Working with nature: tropical forest regrowth and its potential for mitigating climate change
By Madelon Lohbeck, Partners, 23 June 2016
The Bonn challenge aims to restore 350 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 of which currently almost 100 million hectares has been committed through various initiatives. Restoration is a global priority; not only to restore the productivity of degraded and unproductive land, but also because promoting tree cover will increase carbon uptake from the air into vegetation biomass and soil, contributing to climate change mitigation. The land area designated for restoration is huge and shows global commitment for the cause. But how does one go about restoring such vast areas, and, isn’t that very expensive?
Q&A: 2016 Global Landscapes Forum (Part 3)
CIFOR Forest News Blogs, 23 June 2016
This article is Part 3 of a four-part series of video interviews held on the sidelines of the Global Landscapes Forum 2016 – The Investment Case. The aim of this one-day experts symposium was to accelerate investment in landscapes.
A Q&A with Andrea Ledward, Head of the Climate and Environment Department at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and Board Member at the Green Climate Fund.
Climate Scientists’ Personal Carbon Footprints Come Under Scrutiny
By Lisa Song, Inside Climate News, 23 June 2016
Abigail Swann makes a point of telling students what she’s doing to reduce her own carbon footprint when teaching about potential climate change solutions—such as biking to work or eating less meat.
Swann, an assistant professor of atmospheric science and biology at the University of Washington in Seattle, said the strategy is just common sense, because “it certainly resonates with students when you show … you make decisions in your own life that are consistent” with what she’s teaching.
A study published a week ago in the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change confirms Swann’s instinct and concludes that climate researchers with low carbon footprints are seen as more credible than those who use a lot of energy in their personal and professional lives. Global warming denialists and those who know little about climate science sometimes accuse climate scientists of failing to practice what they preach. They call it hypocrisy, but scientists see it as a way of deflecting from the reality about the climate crisis and what it will take to solve it—cutting fossil-fuel emissions to near zero as fast as possible.
Forest Fires Can Heat Up the Whole Planet
By Laura Parker, National Geographice, 23 June 2016
A monster forest fire that began in early May is still burning in Canada’s vast, isolated north woods. That may seem of little consequence to anyone other than the 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray forced to flee as the blaze swept into the northern Alberta city.
Yet large fires like these matter immensely to the rest of the planet.
Fires so intense that they consume millions of acres of trees and scorch the soil on the forest floor have become the kind of extreme disruptors that are remaking the boreal forest and transforming its role as one of the world’s great protectors against global warming.
Slow Strides In Building The Paris Agreement Rulebook
By Gustavo Silva-Chávez, Ecosystem Marketplace, 23 June 2016
Picking up where climate negotiators left off in Paris last December, the recent UN climate meetings in Bonn ended with slow progress on procedural issues, and as expected, there were no major substantive decisions. Bonn provided a forum for the bodies within the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that deal with the technical and scientific aspects of climate negotiations, and its primary focus was to begin the unglamorous, yet critically important, work of creating the rules that will govern the implementation of the Paris Agreement (PA).
The newly created Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) met for the first time in Bonn, and in the future this body will negotiate key rules on how the PA will be put into practice. During the first few days of the Bonn meeting there was heavy emphasis on countries’ interpretations of the Paris Agreement and on which specific issues each country wanted to focus on at the upcoming Marrakesh climate meeting in November – known as COP22, the next iteration of Paris – as well as which of those issue would require a decision at that point.
The Carbon Chronicle
Ecosystem Marketplace, 23 June 2016
It’s just words on a page so far, but behind them are some hefty promises. Last week’s “Joint Statement from the United States and Norway on Deeper Collaboration on Forests and Climate Change” was chock-full of the buzz words that advocates of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests (REDD+) want to hear. Signed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen at the Norwegian government’s Oslo REDD Exchange, the statement sets the stage for more robust cooperation between the two countries to support efforts to stop the felling of tropical forests, which contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions.
EU Parliamentarians, Ministers Debate Possible ETS Reforms
International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development, 23 June 2016
Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee met this week to consider duelling visions of how best to reform the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). As the world’s first major carbon market and its largest, the EU ETS has been the flagship project of the bloc’s climate response since launching in 2005.
Along with being raised under the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) on Tuesday, the subject was also discussed during a meeting of environment ministers under the Council of the EU held the day prior, particularly in the context of how the bloc can meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord.
Will They Ever Learn About Forest Fires?
TEMPO, 23 June 2016
The trail that acquitted Frans Katihokang, the operations manager of Langgam Inti Hibrindo, was nothing more than a farce. Frans, the suspect in the fire on a 544-hectare land plot in Riau’s Pelalawan Regency, walked scot-free. The judge ruled that the fire was not deliberate and did not cause any environmental damage.
The presiding justice of the Pelalawan panel of judges, I Dewa Gede Budhi Dharma, and member Judge Weni Warlia seemed to have lost their senses and appeared distracted when they read out the verdict. They completely disregarded the prosecution’s demand that Frans serve two years in jail and pay Rp1 billion fine or an additional six months in lieu of the fine.
[South Africa] New emission rules not enough – WWF
By Siseko Njobeni, IOL, 23 June 2016
The National Treasury this week published regulations setting out procedure of how firms could reduce their carbon tax liability by up to 10 percent of their actual emissions.
WWF-SA said the offset regulations “in themselves” were only a component of the broader carbon tax. “As currently structured, the carbon tax provides only a very weak price signal and incentive to reduce (greenhouse gas emissions),” it said.
WWF-SA said the carbon offset component could incentivise activities that might reduce national emissions. “However, the current marginal tax rate of R120 per ton will only provide an incentive for the lowest-cost offsets, which are typically those that provide least additional benefit in terms of employment and reduced externalities.”
[UK] FCA investigates collapsed ethical investment companies
By Jack Gilbert, New Model Adviser, 23 June 2016
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it is investigating the now collapsed Ethical Forestry companies which have left over 3,000 investors uncertain about their investments.
The Ethical Forestry group promoted investments in Costa Rican tree plantations in the Central American company Ethical Forestry SA.
At least 3,300 UK investors are thought to have invested a minimum of £18,000 each into the scheme.
The UK group was split into four companies; Ethical Forestry Limited, Ethical Forestry Holdings, EF Forestry Management Limited, EF Sales and Marketing Limited. In January the firms appointed HJS Solutions as a liquidator.
[USA] Forget cap and trade’s detractors, California’s carbon-pricing works
By Dallas Burtaw (Resources for the Future), The Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2016
California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change keeps on ticking as it was designed to, defying its critics. Cap-and-trade programs are considered to be among the most effective ways to reduce pollution, in particular carbon emissions, from power plants and other sources. These programs first cap pollution at reduced levels but also enable participating emitters to buy and sell allowances, or emissions permits, to achieve the required reductions in the least expensive way possible.
Lately, cap-and-trade detractors have warned that the California program is failing. Their dire assessment is in large measure based on the most recent auction of allowances, in May, in which only 11% of available permits were sold.
24 June 2016
What does Brexit mean for forests?
FERN, 24 June 2016
For many living in the UK but feeling European, the referendum verdict comes as a great shock. Fern staff feel the decision particularly strongly as we have offices both in Brussels and the UK.
The vote split across political parties and the traditional left and right. It brought together those who feel that “foreign influences” hamper their lives, and gave them a common enemy in the EU. Brexit can be seen as a vote against globalisation and the neo-liberal economic model, as well as a vote not to share our wealth with immigrants and refugees. The decision risks inflaming nationalist sentiments and may trigger the break-up of the UK and the EU.
An Uncomfortable Cosiness: The Oslo REDD+ Exchange
The Sheffield Institute for International Development, 24 June 2016
At the closing plenary session of the 2016 Oslo REDD+ Exchange, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen, addressed 500 representatives of various governments, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, indigenous peoples and universities, remarking that this year’s exchange had appeared to him relatively ‘cosy and comfortable’. His aim was to encourage some of the world’s most influential people in environmental policy to move away from the easy and the familiar in facing the challenges of mitigating climate change fairly and responsibility.
Q&A: 2016 Global Landscapes Forum (Part 4)
CIFOR Forest News Blog, 24 June 2016
This article is Part 4 of a four-part series of video interviews held on the sidelines of the Global Landscapes Forum 2016 – The Investment Case. The aim of this one-day experts symposium was to accelerate investment in landscapes.
A Q&A with Ayman Cherkaoui, Advisor to the Environment Minister of Morocco.
EU Carbon Slumps Most Since 2014 as Brexit Sparks Doubts
By Mathew Carr and Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 24 June 2016
Carbon prices in the European Union’s emissions market, the world’s biggest, plunged the most in 27 months as the U.K. vote to leave the 28-nation bloc triggered uncertainty about the future of the cap-and-trade program.
Benchmark permits to discharge carbon dioxide dropped as much as 17 percent after the referendum, in which voters backed “Leave” by 52 percent to 48 percent. The U.K. is the EU’s second-biggest emitter after Germany.
“I can’t believe we jumped off the bridge,” Trevor Sikorski, an analyst in London at Energy Aspects Ltd., said by telephone. “There’s some really big decisions about which policies the U.K keeps and which ones it ditches. There’s a world of uncertainty ahead of us.”
Farming and forestry can’t combine to reduce greenhouse gases – EU commission
By Amy McShane, Irish Farmers Journal, 24 June 2016
Ireland had been pushing for the two to be allowed to offset each other as climate targets are being set for the next 15 years.
The EU climate action commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has said separating forestry and farming would ensure total emissions were cut.
“Our intention is to keep land use and forestry as a separate pillar,” he said. The Commission is expected to propose legislation next month outlining how each country must tackle climate chenge until 2030.
[Indonesia] Java on brink of ecological collapse
By Hans Nicholas Jong and Bambang Muryanto, The Jakarta Post, 24 June 2016
Unruly permit issuance and rapid extractive industry expansion have led to a string of disasters in several parts of Indonesia, particularly in Java, which is on the brink of ecological collapse as most of its forest areas have been converted.
Industrial activities have led to steep forest cover decline in Java, from 15 percent in the early 1990s to 3 percent currently. The deforestation has led to disasters such as flooding and landslides, which have been exacerbated by the recent extreme weather in Indonesia, according to Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) senior researcher Soeryo Adiwibowo.
“On one hand, the size of natural forests and agriculture fields keeps declining. On the other hand, industry, transportation and abandoned fields keep increasing because Java is being converted into an industrial zone even though its ecological burden is already too heavy,” he said.
Forest governance, REDD+ and sustainable development in Kenya
By Jackson Bambo, The Standard, 24 June 2016
REDD+ seeks to provide compensation to governments, communities, companies or individuals in developing tropical countries for actions taken to reduce GHG emissions from the forest sector. Its implementation involves the design and application of appropriate land and forest management practices, including enhanced forest sector governance, to support sustainable management of forest resources. The REDD+ mechanism although focused on forestry it touches on land tenure, land use planning, protected areas and trade The key challenges that may hinder Kenya’s implementation of REDD+ from a legislative perspective include lack of a National Environment Policy to guide the management of the environmental resources. REDD+ implementation will have to be preceded by a strategy.
[Peru] Significant Stories: Building Green Development in Madre de Dios
WWF, 24 June 2016
This Forest and Climate Significant Story captures the process through which community members, regional government officials, civil society members, indigenous groups, and WWF came to work together to lay the foundation for green development in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. They overcame a lack of resources, support, and trust to build new partnerships, and create capacities that range from the technical know-how of mapping deforestation and forest degradation to the ability to incorporate indigenous worldviews and rights in planning for the region’s future.
[UK] Brexit: The reactions
By David Pratt, Solar Power Central, 24 June 2016
The decision taken by just over half of the voting electorate to leave the European Union has sent shockwaves throughout the UK, among both the Leave and Remain camps.The dust will take a while to settle but reactions are likely to be flying in for some time on a day that has rocked the UK political and economic landscape.
While it failed to reach the top table of political debate during the campaign, the impact on renewable energy policy will no doubt be felt throughout the industry, with possible investors and consumers alike facing an uncertain future.
Solar Power Portal has captured a wide range of responses to Brexit throughout the day to the news.
The Brexit effect on UK nuclear
World Nuclear News, 24 June 2016
EDF Energy, NuGeneration and Horizon Nuclear Power have all stressed their commitment to the UK’s nuclear new build program, despite the country’s decision to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, the majority vote in favour of ‘Brexit’ – decided in a national referendum held yesterday – may have implications for investment in new reactors and nuclear research, as well for the UK’s future role in meeting climate change targets, industry participants said.
25 June 2016
Amazon land tenure study wins top award
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 25 June 2016
Two scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Peter Cronkleton and Anne Larson, have received the top award from the journal Society & Natural Resources for a 2015 article on land tenure in the Amazon.
Their paper was judged the most ‘Outstanding Article’ of 2015 for its “innovative and meaningful contribution to the study of society and natural resources and its promise to be influential over time.”
The CIFOR article explored land tenure in a variety of forest communities in Ecuador and Peru – some indigenous, some settler, some with communal land title, some with individual title – and found that these diverse groups shared some surprisingly similar views on land tenure security.
[Fiji] $0.2m for REDD plus
By Monika Singh, Fiji Times, 25 June 2016
Government has reiterated its support for the forestry sector with an allocation of $0.2 million to continue Fiji’s progress in its commitment and readiness to the REDD plus program.
The 2016/2017 National Budget Supplement revealed $2.3m had also been provided by the World Bank to complement the program.
Meanwhile, to encourage value addition, $0.2m has been allocated for the purchase of equipment for the Lakeba Pine Scheme.
An operating grant of $0.6m allocated to the Fiji Pine Trust is expected to support the organisation assist landowners through the establishment of nurseries, raising, nurturing and distribution of pine seedlings, supervision in plantation establishment and monitoring.
[Madagascar] Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying
By Nrimitsu Onishi, New York Times, 25 June 2016
When Julien Andrianiana started selling charcoal 14 years ago, he was just one of a few dealers around. Most households in Toliara, a coastal city in southwestern Madagascar, still used firewood for cooking.
As the city’s population doubled, business became so brisk that he managed to send two of his children to college, “thanks to charcoal.” It quickly became the product of choice in kitchens not only in Toliara, but also in other fast-growing cities across Africa.
Charcoal — cleaner and easier to use than firewood, cheaper and more readily available than gas or electricity — has become one of the biggest engines of Africa’s informal economy. But it has also become one of the greatest threats to its environment.
Hardwood from illegal logging makes its way into UK stores
By James Tapper, The Guardian, 26 June 2016
British shoppers could be unknowingly buying wooden furniture, flooring and even food items that are byproducts of destructive illegal logging in the Amazon, environmental campaigners are warning.
Friends of the Earth is calling on ministers to make companies reveal the source of their products in order to stop the black market trade. Last week human rights watchdog Global Witness revealed that 185 environmental activists were killed in 2015, many of whom had been trying to stop illegal logging in the Amazon. An estimated 80% of Brazilian hardwood is illegally logged.
Vast areas of forest in Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia are cut down by criminal gangs. Multinational companies then use the land for palm-oil production, mining or cattle-grazing, while the wood is sold off, according to Patrick Alley, co-founder of Global Witness.
26 June 2016