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REDD in the news: 27 March to 2 April 2017

REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.


Tell Burger King to get deforestation out of its supply chain!
Rainforest Rescue, March 2017
Burger King refuses to answer questions about its suppliers despite overwhelming evidence that the cattle for its beef are fed with soy stemming from forest destruction. Tell the fast-food giant to get deforestation out of its supply chain and to protect the habitat of jaguars and monkeys.

27 March 2017

[Brazil] The Amazon Reef is a fascinating puzzle. Here’s what we know so far
Greenpeace, 27 March 2017
Let’s find out what makes this place so special — and how we can get the oil companies to leave it in peace.
1. It’s in one of the most beautiful regions on Earth
Ok, let’s get our bearings. The River Amazon meets the Atlantic Ocean in northern Brazil, in the state of Amapá. It’s a pretty nice neighbourhood.

[India] Sharp rise in forest fires as summer advances in Odisha
By Satyasundar Barik, The Hindu, 27 March 2017
Despite the Odisha government having a standard operating procedure to prevent forest fires that cause massive ecological and economic losses, there has been no let up in such incidents in the State.
Satellite imageries have recorded 1,607 forest fires in different jungles of Odisha during March. The number of forest fires has surged 57% compared with 1,018 noticed during the corresponding period last year.

[Nigeria] Realities of logging, land grabbing in Cross River
By Chinedum Uwaegbulam, The Guardian, 27 March 2017
Cross River set up one of the world’s protected forest reserve, raised a high standard for conservation, but Governor Ben Ayade still draws environmentalists’ ire for his stance on converting part of the area under the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD) scheme for a 260-kilometre Superhighway project.
Ecologically minded critics view Ayade’s many ‘ green’ initiatives as a superficial steps – not the sort of bold actions they say is needed to combat global climate change. They believe the government should support small-scale farmers to assert their communal land rights to farm lands rather than the promotion of transnational corporations in land grabbing.
What concerns people most are the mounting fears among governments that the gains already achieved through the REDD programme may be wiped out through the State Government’s intrusion, unguarded utterances and politics associated with the Super Highway project.

[Nigeria] Cross River State REDD+ Safeguards Principles & Criteria: Assisting the design of REDD+ policies and measures
By Alana Williamson, UN-REDD Programme, 27 March 2017
The Nigeria National Safeguards Working Group is pleased to release the: Cross River State REDD+ Safeguards Principles & Criteria: Assisting the design of REDD+ policies and measures.
The primary purpose of this tool is to inform the design of REDD+ policies and measures (PaMs), with opportunities for immediate application in the CRS REDD+ Strategy and the National REDD+ Framework Strategy development processes. It is intended that the P&C should be applied during PaMs design as a checklist, or screening tool, to ensure safeguards considerations are mainstreamed into REDD+ actions. This will help to ensure that they yield carbon and non-carbon benefits, as well as present low-risk options for reducing GHG emissions.

28 March 2017

New study provides a blueprint for engaging indigenous peoples in REDD+ forest monitoring
By Mike Gaworecki, Mongabay, 28 March 2017
During the UN climate talks in December 2015 that would ultimately produce the Paris Climate Agreement, indigenous leaders from Africa, Asia and Latin America presented a fairly simple proposition: give indigenous communities rights to their ancestral forests and end the criminalization of their efforts to protect those forests, and negotiators would have a powerful but affordable climate solution to work with.
There is an abundance of research to support this claim. It’s been estimated that as much as 10 percent of total global carbon emissions are due to deforestation. And according to an analysis by the World Resources Institute, by securing indigenous land rights in Bolivia, Brazil, and Colombia alone, we could avoid the release of up to 59 megatons of carbon emissions every year — the equivalent of taking 9 to 12 million passenger vehicles off the road.

More than putting a price tag on the planet
By Suzanna Dayne, CIFOR Forest News, 28 March 2017
How do we calculate the worth of nature? What carries the highest value: the habitat of an endangered species, a local community’s traditional landscape, or a nation’s income from, say, timber exports?
Questions like these are what a team of researchers from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partner institutions grappled with in their latest study.
The study makes the case for a ‘new school’ of ecosystem valuation practice that allows for the weighing of multiple values in making land-use decisions.

China Set to Displace North America With Carbon Capture Projects
Bloomberg, 28 March 2017
China is expected to displace North America and take the lead in the next wave of carbon capture and storage projects after its first large-scale endeavor with the technology advanced.
Construction on the Yanchang Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project will begin after a final investment decision was taken to go ahead with the demonstration site, according to the Global CCS Institute, a non-profit organization that has provided technical and advisory support for the initiative.
The project was undertaken as a part of China’s 2015 deal with the U.S. to combat climate change. When complete, it will be able to capture 410,000 metric tons of carbon a year. It’s one of eight large-scale CCS projects — in varying stages of evaluation and subject to approval — that China is considering, according to Tony Zhang, senior adviser at the institute.

Just three EU countries step up to the plate for Paris climate deal – ranking
Transport & Environment, 28 March 2017
Only three countries in Europe are on the right track to deliver on the Paris climate agreement, a new ranking published today reveals. The EU Climate Leader Board looks at the position of each European government towards the EU’s largest climate law, the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). Sweden tops the list, followed by Germany and France. At the other end Poland, Italy, Spain and Czech Republic push to weaken the Commission proposal, countering Europe’s efforts to comply with the Paris agreement.

[Papua New Guinea] REDD+ Strategy validation workshop on this week
By Quintina Naime, Loop PNG, 28 March 2017
A validation workshop on the National REDD+ Strategy will get underway this week in Port Moresby, hosted by the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA).
REDD+ stands for countries’ efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
The workshop, scheduled on Wednesday, March 29, will highlight the National Forest Monitoring System Action Plan, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory and Forest Reference Level for REDD+ in PNG.

[Thailand] Chiang Rai governor holds urgent hotspot meeting
The Nation, 28 March 2017
Chiang Rai governor Boonsong Techamanisatit met with administrative officials and executives from local bodies on Tuesday to get details on the forest fires raging in their jurisdictions.
The move followed the northern province implementing a 60-day ban on outdoor burning up until April 17.
Nineteen hotspots were reported in the province.
After the meeting, a memorandum of understanding between Boonsong and other officials that calls for better hotspot prevention measures.
He said authorities would continue to implement strict measures in a bid to prevent fires because such an approach worked.

29 March 2017

Doughnut Economics is published next week. Here’s why you should be excited
By Duncan Green, Oxfam, 29 March 2017
Kate Raworth’s book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist is published next Thursday. I loved it , and I’ll review it properly then, but here are three excerpts to whet your appetite…

REDD+ in Myanmar
By Shelley Thakral, CIFOR Forest News, 29 March 2017
As decision makers in Myanmar move to draft a REDD+ country strategy, a workshop was held in the capital, Naypyidaw, to gather insights from 13 developing countries already implementing the scheme.
The purpose of the workshop was to provide a platform for experts, government representatives and development practitioners, among others, to share insights on the opportunities and obstacles encountered in implementing REDD+ worldwide. Hosted by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partners, the event included an in-depth presentation of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+ (GCS REDD+), which focuses on benefit-sharing mechanisms and the ‘three Es’ of efficiency, effectiveness and equity.

Slow carbon credit sales hinder Zimbabwe forest protection
By Andrew Mambondiyani, Reuters, 29 March 2017
One of the world’s largest forest conservation projects has managed to curb deforestation in northern Zimbabwe, but the slow sale of carbon credits – on which the project depends – threatens its expansion, its organisers said.
Some 785,000 hectares of prime forest in Mashonaland West province have been preserved since the Kariba REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)project began in 2011.
Villagers make money from the sale of carbon credits they earn by not cutting down the trees, said Charles Ndondo, whose company Carbon Green Africa spearheaded the project.

30 March 2017

One number to rule them all
By Peter Holmgren, CIFOR Forest News, 30 March 2017
Deforestation is one of our key concerns in land use and forestry. Huge political and financial resources are directed toward reducing forest loss and balancing the multiple benefits derived from the world’s landscapes. Given the massive attention that deforestation attracts, it is surprising how difficult it can be to answer the seemingly simple question: How many million hectares are deforested every year?
Today I am invited to join an online expert panel organized by the Guardian, titled Forests soak up greenhouse gases, so how do we ensure their protection?. The stated objective of the session is “to discuss the resources needed to fight deforestation”. I think it is great to connect and contribute using modern communication technology instead of traveling to conferences, so I happily accepted.

Indigenous peoples in Colombia play crucial role in the fight against climate change
By Bart Crezee, Mongabay, 30 March 2017
Elizabeth Apolinar enjoys her job as a lawyer in the bustling center of Bogotá these days. But now and then she misses the traditional life she used to lead deep in the heart of the Colombian jungle.
Apolinar is originally from a community called the Sikuani. The Sikuani people are a pueblo indigena, an indigenous people, one of about 100 indigenous ethnic groups in Colombia. These groups are represented by Apolinar’s employer: La Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC), or the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.

[Nigeria] W’Bank Chief Commends Superhighway Project as Ayade Seeks Implementation Programme
By Bassey Inyang, This Day, 30 March 2017
Practice Manager for Environment at the World Bank Office, Washington DC, Dr. Benoit Bosquest, has commended the decision of the Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade, to reroute the proposed 260km Bakassi-Katsina-Ala superhighway.
Bosquest who particularly praised Ayade for initiating the multibillion dollar project, said his response to concerns raised by stakeholders was an absolute demonstration of maturity and responsiveness on the part of the governor.
In the same vein, former presidential adviser, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has described the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change by President Muhammadu Buhari as a step in the proper direction.

31 March 2017

Forest fragmentation may be releasing much more carbon than we think
By Morgan Erickson-Davis, Mongabay, 31 March 2017
The earth’s forests have been broken into around 50 million fragments, the edges of which add up to a length that would make it a third of the way to the sun and which increase annual tropical deforestation carbon emissions by 31 percent. This, according to a new study published recently in Nature Communications that reveals forest fragmentation may be much more destructive than previously thought.
A few hundred years ago, most large tropical forests stood vast and largely undisturbed. But since then, agriculture and extractive industries have moved in, whittling away forests to make room for cattle pasture and soy fields, palm oil plantations and acacia concessions.

Three decades of tenure reform in Indonesia
By Catriona Croft-cusworth, CIFOR Forest News, 31 March 2017
A recent handover of customary land rights in Indonesia is the product of a decades-long drive led by local communities, with a long way yet to go, researchers say.
A new infobrief from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) traces more than three decades of tenure reform in Indonesia, finding a key role for local leaders in the ongoing struggle for recognition of management rights over land and forests.
“Local leadership is very important to secure rights, and to achieve effective forest tenure reform,” says Mani Ram Banjade, the lead author on the paper.

[Indonesia] From the haze to sustainability
By Simon Tay and Chen Chen Lee, Jakarta Post, 31 March 2017
Southeast Asia’s skies over the last twelve months have mostly been free of haze pollution. This is a relief for the warming planet as forest fires, particularly on peatlands, typically release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and cause acrid smog.
Efforts by the Jokowi administration in Indonesia to tackle the fires at source are one reason for the improvement. Wetter weather conditions have also played a major part in the good results. But the weather is changing, and not all for the better.
This year, experts predict the conditions will be drier than normal and fear that the extreme dry weather phenomenon called El Niño will return as early as July. Concerns arise, therefore, that severe fires will break out across plantation and forestry concessions across Indonesia, causing a return of the haze.

1 April 2017

Palm oil plantations displace more than orang-utans/14909652004435
By James Norman, The Saturday Paper, 1 April 2017
In Indonesia early last month, Australian trade minister Steve Ciobo made the Australian government’s position on palm oil exports crystal clear. Addressing a group of 120 regional business leaders, Ciobo said there were “no barriers on palm oil” exports from Indonesia.
When pressed on the impacts of palm oil on Indonesian forests he added: “In terms of palm oil, Indonesia obviously produces palm oil and they’ve got domestic laws that they have in place in relation to that, and there’s also of course a global movement where people will look at sustainability.” Ciobo said his sole focus was on removing tariff and non-tariff measures that were a hindrance to trade and investment.

2 April 2017

‘Sapphire rush’ threatens rainforests of Madagascar
Associated Press, 2 April 2017
A “sapphire rush” has brought tens of thousands of people into the remote rainforests of eastern Madagascar, disfiguring a protected environmental area and prompting calls for military intervention.
More high-quality sapphires have been found in the biodiverse area known as Corridor Ankeniheny-Zahamena in the past six months than were found in the entire country over the past 20 years, according to Vincent Pardieu, a French gemologist who has been visiting mines there for more than a decade.
“I can tell you this is big,” Pardieu said. Gem trade shows around the world now have “nice, big, super-clean sapphires” from the region. “It’s the most important discovery in Madagascar for the past 20 or 30 years.”

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