REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
25 December 2017
Deforestation Hampers Sale of Indigenous Carbon Credits in Brazil
By Felipe Corona, Agencia EFE, 25 December 2017
Illegal mining, forest fires and deforestation, which continue even on Christmas Day, threatened Monday the pioneering indigenous project for the sale of carbon credits in Brazil.
The initiative began in 2013 in several villages of the Surui people in the Amazon forests, and was the first to take advantage of the international emission standards.
Julio Surui, one of the village elders in Nabecob Abalakiba – in the rural area of the Cacoal municipality in the northern state of Rondonia – said that the project could not be very successful due to obstacles.
[Nigeria] Ondo government advocate tree planting to halt climate change
By Olywaseun Akingboye, The Guardian (Nigeria), 25 December 2017
To further reduce the effect of climate, Ondo State government has urged all residents to cultivate the habit of planting trees in their homes.The Commissioner for Natural Resources, Alhaji Rasheed Badmus, stated this while declaring open the training workshop on “National Forest Inventory Techniques and Data Collection” in Akure.
The five-day training workshop was jointly organized by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) towards ensuring an end to deforestation.
[USA] California lost 27 million trees in the last year, including many in Tahoe Basin
By Claire Cudahy, Tahoe Daily Tribune, 25 December 2017
In the last year, 27 million trees have died across California due to drought and bark beetles, bringing the total number over the last 10 years to an unprecedented 129 million on 8.9 million acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
“It is apparent from our survey flights this year that California’s trees have not yet recovered from the drought, and remain vulnerable to [bark] beetle attacks and increased wildfire threat,” said Randy Moore, regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest region, in a Dec. 11 press release.
26 December 2017
[UK] Six weirdest investment schemes of 2017
By Faye Lipson, Which?, 26 December 2017
At Which?, we’re often approached for advice about bizarre, comical and sometimes downright dubious investment schemes promoted to members of the public.
Our Money Helpline fields more than a thousand calls each year from people concerned about their investment options, while our team of investigative journalists discovers the truth behind the extravagant claims made about some rather exotic – and unregulated – products.
[UK] Boiler Room Scammers Guilty Of £1.4m Fraud
By Lisa Smith, iExpats, 26 December 2017
Scammers raised £1.4 million from hundreds of unwary investors by claiming worthless shares in a health care company would generate stellar returns.
The gang tricked investors out of their cash by promising that their health care company would make huge profits mainly from expanding across Dubai.
But the reality was they were liars making extravagant claims about the investment opportunity that they knew was untrue.
27 December 2017
Saving Forests Area The Size Of India By Concerted Action
Modern Ghana, 27 December 2017
An area of forest the size of India will be lost by 2050 unless carbon pricing and anti-deforestation policies are put in place.
That is the primary finding of a new study carried out by researchers from the Center for Global Development (CGD), Washington, DC, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published today in Environmental Research Letters, available to the Ghana News Agency said.
They analysed detailed satellite-based maps of annual forest loss between 2001-2012, along with information on topography, accessibility, protected status and potential agricultural revenue to project future emissions from deforestation in a business-as-usual scenario.
Brazil ushers in sweeping biofuel reforms
Argus, 27 December 2017
Brazil’s president Michel Temer signed new biofuels legislation aimed at expanding the use of ethanol and biodiesel while helping the country reach its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
Temer vetoed six items of the bill that reached his desk after passing the lower house and the senate overwhelmingly in the past month.
Scrapped from the law is a provision that would have required the government to set mandatory targets for GHG emissions reductions through the use of biofuels that would weigh the positive benefit on air quality, health and fuel security. The original version also said that the targets should include the positive impact of biofuels on logistics and fuel transport infrastructure, trade balance, job creation, income and investment.
[Cambodia] Oddar Meanchey carbon scheme used by Virgin ‘does not work’
By Yesenia Amaro, Phnom Penh Post, 27 December 2017
Claims the military is involved in systematically clearing forest in Oddar Meanchey province in an area meant to be protected by a carbon credit scheme involving Virgin Atlantic have prompted the UK-based airline to launch an investigation into the program.
Virgin Atlantic uses carbon credits from the United Nations-backed REDD+ program in Oddar Meanchey to help offset emissions from its flights.
According to conservation expert Suwanna Gauntlett, the crediting scheme in Oddar Meanchey – Cambodia’s first REDD+ project – has been highly problematic since it first began in 2008, but the latest claims of widespread issues were made public in a report last month by a UK-based environmental organisation, Fern, which used the project as a case study.
Chainsaws imperil an old-growth mangrove stronghold in southern Myanmar
By Benhamin Graham, Mongabay, 27 December 2017
When viewed from the bow of a boat, the shoreline near the city of Myeik in southern Myanmar is all green. In every direction, low-slung mangroves blanket the horizon, their trunks submerged under several feet of water at high tide. The trees anchor a sprawling landscape that supports village life and a booming fishing industry up and down the shoreline of Tanintharyi, Myanmar’s southernmost state. But in many places, what appears green and lush from a distance disguises a landscape in peril.
28 December 2017
Charcoal remains could accelerate CO2 emissions after forest fires
Hokkaido University, 28 December 2017
Charcoal remains after a forest fire help decompose fine roots in the soil, potentially accelerating CO2 emissions in boreal forests.
Boreal forests are a huge carbon sink. The fine roots, not only the leaves, stems and branches of trees, largely contribute to carbon accumulation. The Russian Far East has had an increasing number of forest fires, many of which are believed to be caused by global warming and human activities. Burning trees in forest fires naturally cause the emission of CO2, but little is known about the extent to which fire-derived charcoal influences ecosystem processes, such as soil organic matter decomposition.
[USA] Southern California is (still) on fire. Now it has the largest blaze in state history.
By Umair Irfan, Vox, 28 December 2017
Firefighters are finally gaining ground against the single largest wildfire in California history that has been burning through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties this month.
Spanning nearly 282,000 acres, which is about 1.6 times the size of New York City, the massive Thomas Fire is 91 percent contained as of Wednesday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Almost 900 firefighters joined the battle, bringing 116 fire engines, 26 helicopters, and 19 bulldozers to bear against a blaze that has been burning since December 4.
29 December 2017
Indonesia unveils plan to halve forest fires by 2019
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 29 December 2017
The Indonesian government has unveiled an ambitious plan to nearly halve the number of fire hotspots in the country by 2019, in part through the restoration of degraded peat forests.
The fires are an annual occurrence, linked to the clearing of forests for logging and monoculture plantations. In recent years the problem has been exacerbated by the draining of peat swamps, which leaves them highly combustible.