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REDD in the news: 30 April – 6 May 2018

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

Approaches to REDD+ Nesting : Lessons Learned from Country Experiences
By Donna Lee, Pablo Llopis, Rob Waterworth, Geoff Roberts, and Tim Pearson, World Bank, April 2018
Mitigation of greenhouse gases in the land sector is complex and has a unique set of challenges. The most significant challenges arise from the geographically diffuse nature of the emissions sources (compared to, for example, point-based energy sources of emissions), the vast array of potential management responses, the ongoing effects of past actions, the interaction of human and natural processes, and the strong influences of policy and markets. These factors result in a large number and diversity of actors involved, temporal variability in emissions sources and volumes, and higher uncertainty associated with the processes generating the emission reductions.

30 April 2018

UN-REDD side event at UNFF13 – Mobilizing finance for forests and REDD+: the key role of national forest and REDD+ finance strategies
By Sonia González, UN-REDD Programme, 30 April 2018
The UN-REDD Programme, the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) will hold a side event on mobilizing finance for forests and REDD+ at the 13th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York. The event will take place in Conference Room 4 (UNHQ) on May 9, 2018, from 13.15 to 14.30.
There is a need for developing integrated financial strategies for REDD+ and sustainable forest management (SFM) if we are to address the drivers behind the annual loss of more than 7 million hectares of tropical forests. Despite increased levels of funding available for REDD+ and SFM from different international financial mechanisms, significant challenges remain for accessing, blending, and deploying finance for REDD+ and SFM.

Bonn Climate Change Talks: Climate Justice Speeches
Demand Climate Justice, 30 April 2018
As the name would suggest, the United Nations climate change negotiations are a conversation that takes place between States. But as members of global civil society we are given the minimal opportunity of a minute or two to share our views from the back of a plenary hall. It’s not much, but as you can see below, our groups do their best to take advantage of it.

Biggest Wall Street Bank CEO Condemned Trump’s Paris Agreement Pullout—He’s Still Financing Fossil Fuels
By Patrick McCully, Alternet, 30 April 2018
Wall Street’s biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase, just posted record earnings. Its quarterly profit surged 35 percent to an all-time high. CEO Jamie Dimon’s take-home pay soared to a stunning $141 million. But while Chase’s shareholders and top executives make hay, the climate is reeling from increasing emissions from burning fossil fuels—a trend that Mr. Dimon seems happy to finance.

Bicycle projects can earn saleable carbon credits
By Priyanka Shrestha, Energy Live News, 30 April 2018
Projects that increase the use of bicycles over fossil-fuel burning vehicles can now earn carbon credits.
The Board that oversees the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) approved a new methodology for calculating the volume of emission reductions achieved through projects that establish bicycle lanes, parking and bike-sharing programmes.

Is land speculation helping destroy Brazil’s “birthplace of waters”?
By Jeff Conant, FoE US, 30 April 2018
An interview with Fabio Pitta of the Brazilian Network for Social Justice and Human Rights
If you’re like most U.S. Americans, when you think about Brazil, you might picture the beaches of Rio de Janeiro or the mighty Amazon River or World Cup soccer. If you pay attention to environmental issues, then you’ll be aware of Brazil as a country facing massive deforestation for cattle, soy, and other industrial crops. And if you give any attention to Latin American politics, you know that Brazil suffered a right-wing coup in 2016 with repercussions that deepened violence, corruption, and instability. But you may not be aware of the deepening destruction of what has been called “a magnificent global treasure,” “a mighty ecological treasure trove,” and, next to the Amazon, “Brazil’s other wonderland”: a vast mosaic of wetlands, grasslands, scrublands, and seasonally dry forests in the heart of Brazil, known as the Cerrado.

India’s forests are under threat
By Sreetama Gupta Bhaya and Rajita Kurup, Al Jazeera, 30 April 2018
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, we are losing 130,000 square km of forest cover every day.
Another study by the Center for Global Development shows that if the loss of vegetation continues unabated at this rate, forests covering an area nearly the size of India will be destroyed by 2050.
This rapid loss of natural forest across the world is increasingly concerning.

Large parts of India dotted with fires: Nasa images
By Jayshree Nandi, Times of India, 30 April 2018
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) images of the past ten days show large parts of India are dotted with fires, stretching across Uttar Pradesh (UP), Madhya Pradesh (MP), Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and even some southern states. In sweltering summer, these fires are intensifying heat and causing black carbon (a component of soot with high global warming effect) pollution.

Fiji forest fires putting farming, tourism at risk – NGO
RNZ, 30 April 2018
An NGO says uncontrolled fires are putting Fiji’s farming and tourism sectors at risk in the country’s west.
Nature Fiji’s Robin Yarrow said forest loss due to the fires during dry season left topsoil exposed to torrential rain during this year’s cyclone season.

1 May 2018

Boost planned for global climate treaty
By Paul Brown, Climate News Network, 1 May 2018
The global climate treaty, the Paris Agreement, already ratified by a huge majority of the world’s governments, is for the next 10 days in intensive care.
That doesn’t mean it’s in danger of expiring, but that it needs a hefty boost so that the countries which signed up to it in 2015 will make commitments that will give it teeth.

Participatory monitoring key to restoration success
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forest News, 1 May 2018
150 million hectares of degraded land – an area the size of Alaska.
That’s what governments around the world have pledged to restore by 2020 under the Bonn Challenge. But if those forests are to survive longer than a year or two, local communities must be involved in monitoring them on an ongoing basis, scientists say.

Liberia: Forestry Development Agency to Conduct First National Forest Infantry
By Lennart Dodoo, Front Page Africa, 1 May 2018
Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director P. Mike Doryen has announced the conduct of the first national forest i in Liberia.
The infantry, according to FDA, is intended to get a complete data on Liberia forest reserves, including sizes, wildlife and total values.
“For the first time in the history, yesterday we dedicated two parks and now we are going to conduct the National Forest Infantry to know exactly what we have here as a forest. And to inform us on decision to make in the future,” Mr. Doryen said.

Clouds on the horizon: The legal status of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism
By Annie Petsonk, EDF, 1 May 2018
In sunny springtime Bonn at the climate talks, discussions are intensifying about the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
The CDM was established in 1997 by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The Protocol set caps on the carbon pollution of more than 30 industrialized countries for the years 2008-2012, and the caps were amended to extend them to 2020.

2 May 2018

Bonn, Explained
Demand Climate Justice, 2 May 2018
Around the world, gathering storms and rising floodwaters predicted by so-called alarmists in previous decades have materialised into a fully-blown climate crisis. 2017 was the third hottest year on record. 2016 was the hottest and 2015 before that. 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have happened since 2000. Large tracts of the world’s oceans are being suffocated, and according to the World Bank’s conservative estimates, hundreds of millions of people are at risk of being displaced in the coming decades.

For REDD+ payment, countries need framework, then investment
By Nabiha Shahab, CIFOR Forests News, 2 May 2018
“When you talk about protection of forests, you have to remember that it not only benefits the country itself, it benefits everybody in the world. That’s important to remember when we talk about results-based payments.”
This payment mechanism – here raised by Martijn Wilder AM, head of Baker McKenzie’s Global Environmental Markets and Climate Change practice – is one of the crucial components REDD+, rewarding countries for successfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

IRENA: Nations set to fall short against global energy goals
By Madeleine Cuff, BusinessGreen, 2 May 2018
At the start of 2018 global consultancy PwC warned companies are only paying “lip service” to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the set of global targets unanimously agreed by the United Nations in September 2015.
Now fresh fears have emerged that nations are also not doing enough to deliver on the global development agenda set out by the goals, with a new paper released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) warning countries are falling short on almost every aspect of the UN’s energy goal, SDG 7.

Emission-free aviation is technically feasible – DLR Researcher
By Sören Amelang, Clean Energy Wire, 2 May 2018
Josef Kallo, director of the Institute for Energy Conversion and Storage at Ulm University and coordinator of the Research Group Energy Systems Integration at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), says electric flight is not just a distant vision. He sees hybrid electric motors in combination with fuel cell technology as a promising place to start. But the sky’s the limit as far as future development goes – this is just the beginning. The main obstacle to more rapid progress in electric flying is comparatively cheap kerosene.

Initiative 20×20 urges better climate fund access, private finance for land restoration
By Julie Mollins, Landscape News, 2 May 2018
National forest restoration and conservation projects need more financing to aid transformation to a low carbon economy in Latin America and the Caribbean, agreed eight government ministers attending a conference in Lima, Peru last week.

Growing Movement Builds Unity to Defend Indigenous Brazil
By Christian Poirier, Amazon Watch, 2 May 2018
Last week, thousands of Brazil’s native peoples converged on the country’s capital to demonstrate the power, unity, and resolve of the National Indigenous Movement as it faces an unprecedented and brutal assault on indigenous rights and territories. Four intense days of activities and protest marked this year’s Acampamento Terra Livre (“Free Land Camp”), which was among the largest gatherings in the mobilization’s fifteen-year history.

Survival and restoration of China’s native forests imperiled by proliferating tree plantations
Princeton University press release, 2 May 2018
China’s reforestation efforts have led to an increase in tree cover by 32 percent but the increase mostly comes from people turning former croplands into tree plantations with only one type of tree, which is of little value to wildlife. Likewise, native forests actually decreased by 6 percent because people continued to clear native forests to make way for tree plantations.

[Liberia] The promise of palm oil sows anger and doubt
By Gaurav Madan, The Ecologist, 2 May 2018
For many residents of Sinoe County, Liberia, the experiences of Golden Veroleum (GVL) – a palm oil company that arrived in 2010 – have been disappointing and detrimental to their way of life.
Communities say their land was taken without their consent in many instances. These communities remain on the frontline of a development model that puts people’s wellbeing in the hands of private companies and foreign investors.

Special drones and a crypto-currency: Mangrove restoration goes high-tech
By Katrin Schregenberger, Frontier Myanmar, 2 May 2018
In what may be a first for Myanmar, a drone was used in a reforestation project to plant mangroves at the Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park near Chaung Tha beach in Ayeyarwady Region on February 10.
The specially designed drone, which fired seedpods into the soil at high speed, took only an hour of flight time to plant more than 2,000 mangroves in an area covering about 1.25 acres (0.5 hectares). It would take a worker a day to plant that many seeds.

3 May 2018

How can we communicate all that nature does for us?
By Julia P G Jones, Eco-Business, 3 May 2018
As a conservation professor I believe people need to understand why protecting nature matters to them personally. Appealing to human self-interest has generated support for conservation in Switzerland, for example, where the government protects forests partly because they help prevent landslides and avalanches, or among communities in Botswana which conserve wildlife partly because of the value of trophy hunting. But this understanding risks being obscured by unhelpful arguments over terminology.

[Cambodia] Six charged over forest camps
By Phak Seangly, Phnom Penh Post, 3 May 2018
Mondulkiri Provincial Court prosecutors have charged six villagers for creating 10 camps within the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, the same site where Walt Disney Company purchased $2.6 million in carbon credits in 2016.
The six villagers, from nearby provinces, were found in the forest by patrolling rangers and villagers on Saturday and produced before the court on Wednesday, where the prosecutor provisionally charged them with measuring protected land with the intention to clear it, said Kong Puthira, REDD+ project officer at Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary.

China-backed Sumatran dam threatens the rarest ape in the world
By Bill Laurence, The Conversation, 3 May 2018
The plan to build a massive hydropower dam in Sumatra as part of China’s immense Belt and Road Initiative threatens the habitat of the rarest ape in the world, which has only 800 remaining members.
This is merely the beginning of an avalanche of environmental crises and broader social and economic risks that will be provoked by the BRI scheme.

What’s next for the Indonesia’s stalled indigenous rights bill?
By Cory Rogers, Mongabay, 3 May 2018
Fresh momentum on a long-delayed indigenous rights bill hit a snag last week when the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs, tasked by President Joko Widodo with leading a review of the draft legislation, rejected its basic rationale – that indigenous Indonesians need a law on their rights.
“The passage of an indigenous rights bill is not yet a concrete necessity,” concluded home minister Tjahjo Kumolo in a letter to the State Secretariat.

[Indonesia] In pictures: Massive deforestation linked to major consumer brands
By Angela Glienicke, Greenpeace, 3 May 2018
A new investigation by Greenpeace International reveals that a palm oil supplier to Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever is destroying rainforests in Papua, Indonesia. Satellite analysis suggests that around 4,000ha of rainforest were cleared in PT Megakarya Jaya Raya concession between May 2015 and April 2017 — an area almost half the size of Paris. These photos taken in March and April 2018 show massive deforestation in PT MJR, a palm oil concession controlled by the Hayel Saeed Anam Group (HSA), including in an area zoned for protection by the Indonesian government in response to the devastating forest fires in 2015. Development is prohibited in these areas.

[Indonesia] Global Forest Watch GLAD Alerts Help Protect Sumatra’s Leuser Rainforest Ecosystem
By Elizabeth Bourgault, WRI, 3 May 2018
Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem, on Sumatra’s northern end, is the world’s third-largest rainforest after South America’s Amazon and Africa’s Congo. Spread across 6.5 million acres (over 2.6 million hectares), the Leuser rainforest and surrounding ecosystem is the last place on Earth where rhinos, elephants, tigers, sun bears and orangutans live in the wild.
Located in the Indonesian province of Aceh, which was the focus of international recovery efforts after the devastating 2004 tsunami, the Leuser Ecosystem has more recently been in the global spotlight as it faces a different environmental challenge.

4 May 2018

When nature harms itself: Five scary climate feedback loops
By Irene Banos Ruiz, DW, 4 May 2018
The thing about climate change is, the worse it gets – the worse it gets. Feedback loops accelerate the warming process. Now, scientists looking at lakes have found yet another alarming vicious circle to add to the list.
Lakes make a tiny fraction of the world’s water, but they’re home to lots of plants and animals. They’re often situated in the midst of still more biodiversity, in the form of forest. At least, they used to be.
Lately, forests have been vanishing, while aquatic plants continue to thrive. Due to this change, the lakes of the northern hemisphere could almost double their methane emissions over the next 50 years, new research has shown. Why? Climate change.

New study shows “double counting” of emissions reductions a bigger risk than previously thought
By Gabriela Leslie, EDF, 4 May 2018
Delegates and advisors meeting in Bonn, Germany are hard at work hammering out the fine print for the Paris Agreement Rulebook, and a particular focus has been placed on deciding how Articles 4 and 6 will play out as the agreement comes into force.
These two articles are important because they outline rules to ensure environmental integrity in emissions reductions, particularly when nations are cooperating with others to cut emissions together, likely through international trading.

[Australia] Indigenous group launches nation’s first private carbon trading fund
By Cole Latimer, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 May 2018
An indigenous group has launched a carbon fund that will support social and cultural causes, calling it a “boutique restaurant” alternative to the government’s cheaper “McDonald’s” offsets.
The Reducing Carbon Building Communities fund (RCBC), backed by the Aboriginal Carbon Fund, has been established to build connections between groups looking to become carbon neutral or offset their carbon output while also providing broader social benefits.

5 May 2018

[New Zealand] Horizons proposes mega forestry programme for Whanganui
By Laurel Stowell, New Zealand Herald, 5 May 2018
The Horizons Regional Council is proposing to plant 30 million trees in the region over the next 10 years, in a huge escalation of its Sustainable Land Use Initiative.
The Horizons Regional Afforestation Initiative was aired at Horizons’ full council meeting on April 24, councillor David Cotton said. He chairs its catchment operations committee which oversees the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI).

[Pakistan] Tree plantation stressed for temperature decline
The Nation, 5 May 2018
Federal Forest Inspector General Dr Syed Nasir Mahmood said that about 6 to 10 degree centigrade temperature can be reduced in Karachi by planting trees following the international concept of urban forestry.
He expressed these views at the 45th public awareness seminar on “Recent Advances in Ecosystem Development” held at the Professor Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi. Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi and Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) jointly organised the seminar.

6 May 2018

FAO moves to end deforestation in Nigeria
By Caleb Onwe, New Telegraph, 6 May 2018
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has disclosed its plans to commence field data collection for forest inventory, aimed at addressing deforestation and other environmental issues in the country.
FAO disclosed this during a sensitisation workshop it organised at Lafia, Nasarawa State, for high level state Forest Directors and local government authorities, relevant civil society organisations, to create awareness on national forest inventory.

[UK] New curbs on pension scams are too late to stop a crime explosion: How tricksters will STILL find new victims – like this man cheated out of £50k
By Laura Shannon, Mail on Sunday, 6 May 2018
After a long wait, a blanket ban on pension cold-calling is expected to come into force next month.
It will form part of the Government’s plans to fight scams that have wiped an estimated £1billion from people’s retirement savings.
The ban extends to unsolicited contact via text and email – but comes too late for victims who have already lost huge sums of money in an explosion of fraud cases.

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  1. Large parts of India dotted with fires: NASA: The Harbinger of Life i.e., River System in India is under dire threat.By 2050 the river ecosystem will be vanished. Beware of policies of the developers!

  2. Another large-scale pension scam- Privilege Wealth (Payday loan investment scam) which Brett Jolly is behind is so similar to this.