REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
5 June 2017
Bangladesh: Investigate vicious mob violence against Indigenous Peoples
Amnesty International, 5 June 2017
Bangladeshi authorities must bring to justice those responsible for a vicious mob attack on Indigenous Peoples in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), which left hundreds of homes torched and at least one person dead. Amnesty International is also deeply concerned about reports that soldiers used excessive force against peaceful protesters who have called for justice.
Borneo Could Lose 75 Percent of Its Forest by 2020: WWF
Jakarta Globe, 5 June 2017
On World Environment Day (05/06), World Wildlife Fund Indonesia and Malaysia released an executive summary of an upcoming publication titled “The Environmental Status of Borneo 2016,” predicting that Borneo could lose 75 percent of its forest by 2020 due to the alarming level of deforestation on the island.
Borneo is home to a diverse range of plants and animal species, with rich resources that sustain the livelihood of 11 million people — including 1 million indigenous people — from Brunei, the Indonesian province of Kalimantan, and Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Only 71 percent of the 74 million hectares of Boreno’s forest was left in 2005, and only 55 percent was left in 2015.
Projections indicate that if the deforestation continues at this rate, a further 6 million hectares of forest will be destroyed by 2020, leaving less than a third left by 2020.
[Indonesia] Helicopter drops 40 tons of water to extinguish Riau fires
ANATARA News, 5 June 2017
Riau Provinces forest and land fire task force has deployed an MI-8 helicopter to drop 40 tons of water to extinguish forest fires in Kampar District, spokesperson of the Roesmin Nurjadin airbase Maj. Sus Rizwar stated.
“We conducted water bombing 10 times on several hotspots on Sunday,” Rizwar revealed in the provinces capital city, Pekanbaru.
Fires in some major hotspots were successfully extinguished after three hours of water bombing operations.
The air forces Super Puma helicopter had earlier detected fire at the first hotspot on Sunday afternoon, the spokesperson added.
[USA] California: A ‘beacon of light’ on the environment
By Michael Garry, r744.com, 5 June 2017
“These are dark days for environmental protection in this country,” said Glenn Gallagher, air pollution specialist with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), at the ATMOsphere America 2017 conference today in San Diego, Calif. “However, California will remain a beacon of light and we will stay the course to protect the environment.”
Gallagher spoke at the Regulations and Standards Panel with representatives of the California Energy Commission, the International Electrochemical Commission, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) and EOS Climate.
California, which has long set the pace for environmental action nationally, passed California Senate Bill 1383 last year that requires a 40% reduction in annual HFC emissions below 2013 levels by 2030. To achieve that goal, CARB has adopted a Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy this year with four proposed measures to reduce HFCs.
6 June 2017
ICAO, IATA: Aviation emissions accord still on track
By Aaron Karp, Air Transport World, 6 June 2017
ICAO and IATA officials are moving quickly to spread the message that the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement does not derail the aviation emissions agreement adopted by ICAO last year.
“We should dispel any concerns that any recent developments on the Paris agreement will negatively impact our shared planning for effective and globally aligned aviation emissions mitigation,” ICAO Council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said during an address to delegates at the IATA AGM in Cancun.
Public Declaration Against the Chilean Forestry Model
The Campaign to STOP GE Trees, 6 June 2017
The organizations, networks and social movements of the Chilean and Mapuche peoples declare to the public the following:
During the week when World Environment Day is celebrated, to which we want to give it a special relevance, given the large number of socio-environmental conflicts that currently threaten the territory, natural assets and quality of life of our communities.
During this week, the IUFRO Meeting will take place in the VIII Region, a space for forestry research sponsored by the economic groups in the sector. This meeting has the approval of corrupt politicians from the government, the Intendancy, university authorities and large foresters, who are looking for Deepen and expand their criminal business through the development of transgenic monocultures.
China CO2 market launch set for November at earliest: government researcher
Reuters, 6 June 2017
China will launch its nationwide carbon emissions trading system by November at the “very earliest”, a government researcher said on Tuesday.
As part of pledges made to help secure a global climate change pact in Paris in 2015, China said it would complete the launch of the nationwide emissions trading platform this year.
The country has already launched seven pilot regional carbon exchanges that force firms to buy permits to cover their emissions. It is planning to create an integrated national trading system covering as many as 10,000 enterprises in sectors like steel, power generation and papermaking this year.
Resistance and Risk in the Peruvian Amazon
By Andrew E. Miller, Amazon Watch, 6 June 2017
The dusty dirt road to Santa Clara de Uchunya, in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon, offers a vision of what the world’s largest rainforest might become. Mile after mile, you pass cattle pastures and oil palm plantations on what used to be virgin rainforest. Driving in, you are almost run off the road by hulking dump trucks full of clumps of the African oil palm tree, to be processed into palm oil. Approaching the community, you observe vast areas recently bulldozed flat, leaving nothing but dirt with tracks of heavy machinery. From the perspective of the Shipibo indigenous people, native to this region, this portends a dystopian future.
7 June 2017
Indonesia’s plantation lobby challenges environmental law
By Basten Gokkon and Lusia Arumingtyas, Mongabay, 7 June 2017
Palm oil and paper lobby groups have asked Indonesia’s highest court to strike down rules holding plantation firms strictly liable for fires that occur on their land.
The groups have also asked the Constitutional Court to eliminate a regulation letting small farmers practice slash-and-burn techniques, the cheapest land-clearing method and a mainstay of indigenous cultures in the Muslim-majority archipelago nation.
The judicial review, filed last month by the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI) and the Indonesian Association of Forestry Concessionaires (APHI), has prompted a backlash from critics who say it threatens the environment and indigenous peoples’ rights.
8 June 2017
No, palm oil is not responsible for 40% of global deforestation
Phys.org, 8 July 2017
A little over a month ago, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry sought to extend a moratorium on issuing new licenses for using forest and peatland in the country for two years.
Indonesia faces a massive ecological issue as its forests are rapidly disappearing and palm oil has been blamed for it. Indeed, the palm oil industry symbolises tensions between the urgent need to preserve natural spaces and the necessary support for economic development in the global South.
Palm is an exceptional oleaginous crop with an unequalled oil yield per hectare. It produces an abundant and inexpensive multi-purpose oil, which is sought by both the agro-food and biofuels industries.
Activists block logging in Poland’s ancient forest
Phys.org, 8 June 2017
Activists chained themselves to logging equipment in Poland’s ancient Bialowieza forest on Thursday to stop authorities from felling trees in the UNESCO World Heritage site that is Europe’s last primeval woodland.
“We’ll stay till the end, as long as it takes,” said Warsaw environmentalist Piotr Dankowski, one of two young activists who chained themselves to the equipment to prevent it from leaving the car park in the eastern village of Czerlonka where it had been stationed overnight.
They were backed by around a dozen activists from Greenpeace and fellow environmental group Dzika Polska (Wild Poland), who held up banners that read “Stop logging” and “Save Bialowieza Forest”.
[USA] ‘Coal is dead’ and oil faces ‘peak demand,’ says world’s largest investment group
By Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, 8 June 2017
“Coal is dead,” Jim Barry, the global head of BlackRock’s infrastructure investment group, explained in a recent interview.
BlackRock, the world’s largest investment group, with $5 trillion in assets — more than the world’s largest banks — has begun to bet on clean energy. Why? “The thing that has changed fundamentally the whole picture is that renewables have gotten so cheap,” said Barry.
No, the world’s coal plants are not going to all down shut tomorrow, Barry noted to The Australian Financial Review (subscription required). “But anyone who’s looking to take beyond a 10-year view on coal is gambling very significantly.”
[Zambia] World Bank funds East agro forestry farmers
Zambia Daily Mail, 8 June 2017
Some smallholder farmers in Eastern Province practising agro forestry besides cultivation of crops are expected to earn about US$3 million from the World Bank bio-carbon fund.
This positive development follows the validation of 130,000 carbon credits as a result of the trees’ contribution to lessen greenhouse gas emissions.
The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) is promoting and implementing a Landscape Management Project (CLMP) Carbon project initiative in nine chiefdoms in five districts in Eastern Province.
The COMACO carbon initiative has so far produced a total of 265,578 emission reduction (carbon credits), with the World Bank bio-carbon fund having offered US$4 million per emission reduction under the emission Reduction Purchase Agreement signed in April, 2015 and approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Authority.
9 June 2017
Peru: Indigenous women can protect the Amazon forest – if only their rights are respected
By Léa Surugue, International Business Times, 9 June 2017
In the depths of the lush, dense tropical forest that covers vast swathes of Peru, indigenous women are fighting for their rights and for the fate of their lands.
But poor legal protection at a national level means women have often been unable to take meaningful decisions within their communities regarding the management and conservation of forests.
As climate change intensifies, coupled with the threat of logging and mining activities, Peru’s indigenous women are losing valuable opportunities to protect the green areas that are so central to their livelihood – and to the future of the planet.
For generations, the abundant tropical vegetation has provided them with shelter, and has been the privileged place they turned to for food and medicine.
[USA] “Do you believe?” is the wrong question to ask public officials about climate change
By David Roberts, Vox, 9 June 2017
President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement has sparked an unprecedented surge of interest in climate change, putting more mainstream media attention on the subject than I’ve ever seen. (A pretty low bar, admittedly.)
One thing it has revealed is that most White House reporters lack the background knowledge to go more than an inch deep. The one thing about climate change that they seem to know, and feel confident about, is that it’s real — it’s really happening. So that’s what they’ve seized on, asking Trump officials about it again and again.
The administration isn’t helping by dodging and weaving, though it may be a necessity when speaking for a volatile, thoughtless manchild. Jennifer Dlouhy and Christopher Flavelle have a great account of the serial dodges in Bloomberg: “Trump’s Climate View Is Closely Held Secret at Leaky White House.”
10 June 2017
11 June 2017