REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
Cooperative Approaches for REDD+: Linking Articles 5 and 6 of the Paris Agreement
By Peter Graham, Climate Advisers, May 2018
The 194 signatories to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change ensured that it highlighted the importance of forests in reaching the 2° goal and encouraged each other to take action through the framework they had agreed to in 2013 – the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ (WFR). While many countries have included some consideration of the forest sector in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), we have not yet seen REDD+ implementation and support integrated into national plans at the scale necessary to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement.
7 May 2018
Taking stock of carbon in mangroves
By Nabiha Shahab, CIFOR Forests News, 7 May 2018
As scientists are increasingly exploring the high carbon stocks contained in mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows – known as ‘blue carbon’ – alarm bells sounding for these ecosystems’ rapid destruction have never been louder.
“Indonesia has the highest mangrove cover on earth, but Indonesia is experiencing the highest mangrove deforestation rate in the world. This is very sad,” said Virni Budi Arifanti, researcher at Indonesia’s Forestry and Environment Research, Development and Innovation Agency (FOERDIA) and panelist in the “Mangroves and Blue Carbon” discussion forum at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Manufacturing Goes Carbon Negative
By RP Siegel, strategy+business, 7 May 2018
In 1996, the carpet tiles produced by Interface Inc. — the world’s largest modular carpet manufacturer — had an estimated carbon footprint of 37 pounds of CO2 per square yard. That’s equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide released by burning a little less than two gallons of gasoline. Today, Interface has developed a carpet tile prototype, called Proof Positive, that can be produced while removing 3.7 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere with each square yard produced. And because Interface utilizes a closed-loop recycling program, through which it works with regional recyclers to collect old carpets and reprocess them into new ones, the carbon it removes could remain out of the atmosphere for generations.
Colombia’s supreme court orders government to stop Amazon deforestation
By Esteban Montaño, Mongabay, 7 May 2018
The consequences of today’s destruction of nature will mainly affect future generations. This is the premise behind the Colombian supreme court’s recent historic environmental decision: to accept the ideas presented by a group of Colombian children and other young people who say that the deforestation of the Amazon puts their livelihood at risk. They have demanded that the Colombian government take steps to stop the destruction.
Indonesia’s Social Forestry Program
By Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Dikanaya Tarahita, Asia Sentinel, 7 May 2018
In a combined bid to improve the lives of slash-and-burn farmers and to keep forests sustainable, the Indonesian government is several months into its Perhutanan Sosial (Social Forestry) program, put in place last September by President Joko Widodo. The program offers farmers the opportunity to use designated forest plots legally for up to 35 years. The government is also offering institutional and business support.
[New Zealand] Woman pleads guilty to defrauding Far North Māori trust of nearly $1 million
BusinessDay, 7 May 2018
A woman has pleaded guilty to defrauding a Māori trust of nearly $1 million.
Margaret Dixon, 59, pleaded guilty to three representative charges of theft by person in special relationship in the Auckland District Court.
The charges were brought by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to her role as a trustee for the Parengarenga 3G Trust.
The trust manages Parengarenga 3G, a 511.8ha forestry block of Maori land located in the Tai Tokerau district in the Far North. There are hundreds of beneficial owners of the land.
[USA] How to Make Millions While Saving a Forest
By Jake Bullinger, Outside, 7 May 2018
The Sealaska Corporation is a for-profit company collectively owned by some 23,000 Native Alaskans from the Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian tribes. Since its creation in the 1970s, the company has made much of its money by logging in Alaska’s southeast islands. But beginning this year, that equation will flip: Sealaska stands to earn millions by leaving trees alone.
8 May 2018
Extra climate talks scheduled amid Bonn stalemate
By Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home, 8 May 2018
The UN will hold an extra round of climate talks in Bangkok in September after lacklustre progress this fortnight.
Long-rumoured talks in the Thai capital were confirmed by UN officials on Tuesday night, according to several sources, including Poland’s climate envoy Tomasz Chruszczow.
Countries have spent the past nine days in Bonn, Germany, negotiating the rules that will govern the Paris Agreement, with a decision due in December in Katowice. But dealmakers have become bogged down in technical detail.
Bonn morning brief: No negotiating text this week
By Karl Mathiesen and Megan Darby, Climate Home, 8 May 2018
Before delegates arrived in Bonn for interim climate talks, expectations were raised they could produce a ‘negotiating text’ for the rulebook of the Paris Agreement.
That text would form the basis for talks in December in Poland.
One week ago, this was seen as optimistic but plausible. “It was unlikely, but it could have been done,” said one negotiator.
With three days of talks to go, such an outcome is now impossible, UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa said on Monday afternoon.
Justice glitches and technical fixes in conservation projects
By Gloria Pallares, CIFOR Forests News, 8 May 2018
In the last decade, ambitious global initiatives have been launched to address climate change and development – the Paris Agreement and the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) are two. However, projects borne from these programs have often been met with suspicion and protest on the ground.
Our desire to see the world is killing it – here’s what you can do to help
By Oliver Smith and Gavin Haines, The Telegraph, 8 May 2018
The world has never been so inundated with tourists. A record 1.3bn foreign trips were made by holidaymakers in 2017 – up seven per cent on the previous year.
Much has been made of the impact mass tourism is having on local populations. The residents of Venice, Barcelona and Dubrovnik have been particularly vocal about the growing number of overseas visitors. They say tourists are spoiling the character of their cities, raising house prices and driving locals out.
9 May 2018
UN Permanent Forum spotlights Indigenous Peoples’ contributions to global goals
By Jamie Kalliongis, Rights and Resources, 9 May 2018
“There is a direct link between respecting collective rights to lands, territories, and resources and the solutions we need to solve the problems of climate change, biodiversity erosion, and cultural erosion,” UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz said last month at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Mixed forests: Ecologically and economically superior
Technical University of Munich press release, 9 May 2018
Mixed forests are more productive than monocultures. This is true on all five continents, and particularly in regions with high precipitation. These findings from an international overview study, in which the Technical University of Munich (TUM) participated, are highly relevant for forest science and forest management on a global scale.
Development banks ‘not aligned’ with Paris Agreement goals: report
By Soila Apparicio, Climate Home, 9 May 2018
Multilateral development banks (MDBs) are falling short of pledges to climate-proof their investment portfolios, according to a report by think-tank E3G.
Six leading MDBs were assessed on the progress they had made in aligning their financial flows with the Paris Agreement goals, which they committed to in December 2017.
A radical way to cut emissions – ration everyone’s flights
By Sonia Sodha, The Guardian, 9 May 2018
Maybe it’s just because I’m back from a bank holiday weekend in north Wales that was filled with glorious Mediterranean-style sunshine. But reading about a new study that says global tourism now accounts for 8% of carbon emissions, three times more than was previously thought made me think– surely we can do better?
[India] Second national forestry research plan to focus on tackling climate change
Times of India, 9 May 2018
The second national forestry research plan (NFRP) will focus on tackling climate change. S C Gairola, director general of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), said the plan is scheduled to be released this year.
Speaking at a two-day national conference on ‘Towards Resilient Ecosystems: The Role of Forestry Research’ that began in the city on Tuesday, Gairola said the plan would focus on action than being generic.
Pakistan vows forest-based actions against climate change
The International News, 9 May 2018
Pakistan was strongly committed towards promoting such forest-based actions that shall address the challenges of climate change, water scarcity and land degradation, a government minister said.
“Forests in Pakistan play an important role in protection and enhancement of ecological, economic and social functions,” said Mushahidullah Khan, minister for climate change, at a discussion titled “Forest-based solutions for accelerating achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)” during the 13th Session of United Nations Forum on Forests in New York.
Secret UK push to weaken EU climate laws ‘completely mad’
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 9 May 2018
A secret UK push to weaken key EU climate laws before Brexit risks scotching the bloc’s Paris commitments, MEPs say.
The EU has committed to a 20% cut in its energy use by 2020 to be achieved by two directives, covering energy efficiency and buildings.
But leaked documents seen by the Guardian show that Britain is pushing for its 2014-2020 timeline to be stretched backwards four years to count “early actions” taken that comply with the efficiency directive.
[Vietnam] Soc Trang invests in sustainable coastal forestry
Vietnam Net Bridge, 9 May 2018
The Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang will carry out an action programme for sustainable forest management in its two coastal districts under the project “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation” (REDD+).
The areas will include Vinh Chau Town, Tran De District and Cu Lao Dung District.
At a meeting between the province’s People’s Committee and International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) delegation held on Tuesday, vice chairman of the People’s Committee Le Van Hieu said the province was one of the areas in the country most affected by climate change.
10 May 2018
Climate Talks Stall as $100 Billion Still Out of Sight
By Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, 10 May 2018
Two weeks of climate talks organized by the United Nations finished with developing countries demanding more clarity from their richer counterparts on when a promised package of $100 billion in finance will materialize.
Envoys from almost 200 nations are leaving Bonn, Germany, on Thursday without producing a draft negotiating text for ministers to discuss at the end of the year. Instead, they planned another round of negotiations in Bangkok before their annual conference in Poland in December.
Deforestation-free supply chains: 4 trends to watch
By Chris Meyer, EDF, 10 May 2018
Hundreds of companies have committed to eliminating deforestation from their supply chains by 2020, but the political landscape and market conditions are shifting as the deadline draws nearer. Here are four emerging trends that these companies – as well as the governments and civil society organizations engaging with them to zero out deforestation – should be taking into consideration as 2020 fast approaches.
The Nature Conservancy and XL Catlin Collaborate to Bring Blue Carbon Credits to Market
XL Catlin press release, 10 May 2018
TNC and XL Catlin announced today a project to develop “Blue Carbon Resilience Credits”. These will, for the first time, value the combined carbon sequestration and resilience benefits provided by coastal wetland ecosystems. Support provided by XL Catlin will allow TNC to explore the development of a system of credits assigning a market value to the resilience services provided by these ecosystems, which are historically undervalued. The hope behind this initiative is that, for the first time, insurance firms and other businesses will be able to offset their carbon footprint while simultaneously better understanding the contribution they are making to reducing coastal hazards in the world’s most vulnerable coastal areas.
The Role of Art in Addressing Climate Change
By Ahmed Kabil, The Long Now, 10 May 2018
“Sounds super depressing,” she texted. “That’s why I haven’t gone. Sort of went full ostrich.”
That was my friend’s response when I asked her if she had attended Després de la fi del món (After the End of the World), the exhibition on the present and future of climate change at the Center of Contemporary Culture in Barcelona (CCCB).
Coastal forest conservation in Kenya adds up
By Andrew Bilski, CIFOR Landscape News, 10 May 2018
Enlist the help of hundreds of community volunteers, hire one project coordinator and two security guards, then sell carbon credits.
The result: 117 hectares of protected mangrove forest on the south coast of Kenya, which provides a natural barrier against flooding from the Indian Ocean, creates both a nursery habitat for fish and water purification, and generates annual income for two villages to make vital improvements to infrastructure and social programs.
[Mexico] Yucatan strengthens ties with California
Yucatan Times, 10 May 2018
Among the bilateral agreements reached between Yucatan’s Ministries of Urban Development and Environment, and the Departments of Energy and Climate Change of California, stands out the exploration of mechanisms to finance projects aimed towards the preservation of the Mayan Jungle through the carbon market of California.
11 May 2018
Bonn climate talks: key outcomes from the May 2018 UN climate conference
Carbon Brief, 11 May 2018
Over the past two weeks, more than 3,000 diplomats and observers have been in Bonn, Germany, to discuss how to bring the Paris Agreement on climate change to life when it enters force in 2020.
Each year, the Bonn “intersessional” falls midway between the annual conferences of parties (COPs), held in November or December, where ministers arrive to hammer out political disagreements.
Should we blame livestock for climate change?
By Ian Scoones, Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience, 11 May 2018
Livestock are essential to rural economies and livelihoods across the world. But are these animals contributing to planetary destruction through greenhouse gas emissions? Estimates suggest that 14.5% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions are from livestock, and nearly all of this is from grazing ruminants. But what to do about it? This is a big debate, and one that much good science is focused on.
Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian – United Nations – Candidacy of Michel Wachenheim for the position of president of the ICAO Council
France Diplomatie, 11 May 2018
The 44 member states of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) will meet in Paris on March 14 and 15 to appoint their common candidate for the position of president of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, in preparation for the election slated to take place in November 2019 at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal.
IBM, Global Citizen Seek Blockchain Solutions for Humanitarian Aid
By Stan Higgins, Coindesk, 11 May 2018
IBM and Global Citizen are issuing a challenge to the world’s developers: use blockchain to revolutionize how donations are made to humanitarian causes.
The tech giant and the anti-poverty campaign movement are partnering on “Challenge Accepted,” inspired by the United Nations’ Envision 2030 initiative, which aims to improve the lives of impoverished and at-risk people.
TRD wins New York Press Club award
The Real Deal, 11 May 2018
The Real Deal won an award from the New York Press Club for best crime reporting in the magazine category for senior reporter Konrad Putzier’s coverage of Bar Works, the organization announced this week.
Editorial director Hiten Samtani and managing web editor James Kleimann shared the award with Putzier. In January 2017, TRD uncovered that a British accused fraudster using an assumed name was secretly running the New York-based co-working startup Bar Works, whose investment offerings were similar to past alleged Ponzi schemes. Putzier’s subsequent articles traced the victims’ efforts to recover their money, and showed how Bar Works was part of a broader rise of online real estate investment fraud.
Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests
By Abraham Baffoe (ProForest), World Economic Forum, 11 May 2018
Africa’s tropical forests teem with biodiversity, support at least 100 million people and play a vital role in combating climate change. But they are under threat from agricultural commodity production. Urgent cooperation is needed to remove deforestation from commodity supply chains. Proforest’s Abraham Baffoe explains why.
[India] ‘Research is on to create climate-smart, hardy trees’
Times of India, 11 May 2018
Mohit Gera assumed charge as the director of the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB) in Coimbatore in February. An Indian Forest Service officer of 1987 batch, he has served as additional principal chief conservator of forests in Jammu and Kashmir and as a professor at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehra Dun. Gera spoke to Vishnu Swaroop on the outcomes of the recent national conference ‘Towards Resilient Ecosystems: The Role of Forestry Research’, where experts from across the country met to discuss the role of forestry research in tackling climate change.
12 May 2018
13 May 2018