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REDD in the news: 1-7 October 2018

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

1 October 2018

IPCC: Climate scientists consider ‘life changing’ report
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 1 October 2018
Leading scientists are meeting in South Korea this week to see if global temperatures can be kept from rising by more than 1.5C this century.
The world has already passed one degree of warming as carbon emissions have ballooned since the 1850s.
Many low-lying countries say they may disappear under the sea if the 1.5C limit is breached.

Bioenergy: A solution to three problems?
By Gabrielle Lipton, CIFOR Forests News, 1 October 2018
Indonesia’s riddle of how to balance environmental responsibility with its rapid development – and the energy and manpower needed to keep up the pace – only seems to raise more conundrums therein.
This ‘food-energy-environment trilemma,’ as Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Senior Scientist Himlal Baral describes it, is the focus of a research project he’s leading that launched in 2015. The answer is a puzzle of components, but the piece he and his team are examining is bionenergy: energy derived from living organisms, such as trees and herbaceous plants.

Invasive plants can boost blue carbon storage
Smithsonian press release, 1 October 2018
When invasive species enter the picture, things are rarely black and white. A new paper has revealed that some plant invaders could help fight climate change by making it easier for ecosystems to store “blue carbon”—the carbon stored in coastal environments like salt marshes, mangroves and seagrasses. But other invaders, most notably animals, can do the exact opposite.
“We were aware of the effects of invasions on other facets of these habitats, but this was the first time we really delved into blue carbon storage,” said Ian Davidson, a marine invasions biologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and lead author of the new study. While blue carbon has become a buzz word in climate change circles, it has not appeared in many conversations about invasive species, especially in the marine realm.

Climeworks has opened a third plant capturing carbon dioxide from the air
By Akshat Rathi, Quartz, 1 October 2018
In an upcoming report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is likely to emphasize the need for a slew of techniques to not just cut emissions, but also suck carbon dioxide from the air. Climeworks, a Swiss startup, today (Oct. 1) opened its third such plant in the world.
Every projection of the warming planet that looks to avoid catastrophic climate change says that we need to cut emissions to zero. But because we’ve been delaying action, the IPCC’s projections are being forced to include “negative emissions” to ensure global average temperatures don’t rise beyond 2°C—a goal set under the Paris climate agreement.

How community mapping can inform better policy decisions in the Congo Basin
Rainforest Foundation UK, 1 October 2018
How do you decide the location and boundaries for a new nature reserve? How will new palm oil plantations impact nearby forest dwellers? How can local forest communities best secure their land and improve their livelihoods sustainably?
To answer these types of questions, which are especially important in rainforests such as Africa’s Congo Basin, we need reliable maps and other information that reflect the realities of local people on the ground.
Too often, in the absence of such information, human rights are overlooked and eroded. This has long been the case in the Congo Basin, as big projects – from logging concessions to industrial-scale plantations to conservation areas – are created in a top-down manner without consideration for their impact on already powerless communities.

[Kenya] Armed with award-winning app, Sengwer fights forced evictions
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 1 October 2018
Kenya’s Sengwer people will have hi-tech help fighting forced evictions in their forested homeland – an app that will share a $1 million prize announced on Monday by a US philanthropic organisation.
Dubbed “This Is My Backyard” (TIMBY), the app was created in Kenya and is being customised with the Sengwer in mind, although it is being used in 25 more countries and works in 11 languages, the developers said.
TIMBY was among five winners of a global competition that awards ideas that address urgent community challenges, according to the Minneapolis-based GHR Foundation, which runs the yearly contest. The winners will share the cash prize.

Purus-Madeira: journey to the Amazon’s newest deforestation frontier
By Gustavo Faleiros and Marcio Isensee e Sá, Mongabay, 1 October 2018
When we arrived in Realidade, in Amazonas state in the Madeira basin, we were received with immediate suspicion. Our first stop was at the sawmill of Adilson Balbinotti, an agitated man in his 50’s. As we parked our pickup truck, he ducked his head in the passenger window and spotted our cameras, GPS units and mobiles, which displayed maps noting the most recent deforestation alerts.
We explained that we were journalists, and he quickly assured us he had no problem speaking with us about his business. “Everything we do here is legal,” he guaranteed.

US wants dilutions, alterations and deletions in UN climate change report
By Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 1 October 2018
The United States has asked for more than a hundred dilutions, alterations and deletions in a report of the United Nation’s Inter-governmental panel of scientists on climate change (IPCC). The report, to be released on October 7, explains what it would take the global community to keep the rise in global average temperatures below 1.5 degree Celsius and the consequences of not doing so for the planet. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

2 October 2018

Secondary forests have short lifespans
Missouri Botanical Garden press release, 2 October 2018
Secondary forests, or forests that have regrown after agriculture use, only last an average of 20 years, according to a recently released scientific paper.
The finding presents a major problem for large-scale restoration policy, which often focuses on commitments to restore a certain number of hectares by a given year. But the benefits of restoration depend on those forests persisting. It takes much longer than 20 years for a secondary forest to absorb large amounts of carbon, or to provide habitat for many forest species, research shows.

‘Guardians of the forest:’ Indigenous peoples come together to assert role in climate stability
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 2 October 2018
A half mile from the din of the Global Climate Action Summit and its 4,000 attendees in San Francisco, indigenous peoples from around the world came together in a small space for a kind of summit of their own.
They spoke different languages. They wore unique clothing. But the tenor of their voices and the expressions on their faces conveyed a similar message: They are the “guardians of the forests,” not their national governments. As such, they have a vital role to play in the battle against climate change.

Global climate action by airports up 25% in past year
Advance, 2 October 2018
At the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva today, Airports Council International (ACI) provided an update on the latest developments among the community of 246 airports currently in the global carbon management standard, Airport Carbon Accreditation.
Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World said: “Airports around the world recognise that climate resilience* and climate action are two sides of the same challenge. With 48 new airports in the programme this past year, the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has never seen such annual momentum.

How Blockchain Can Make Carbon Markets More Accessible
By Kyler Sherry, Ecosystem Marketplace, 2 October 2018
As more companies and individuals are looking for tools to mitigate their impact on climate change, the idea of utilizing blockchain technology has been on the forefront of many conversations. It is one of the building blocks behind cryptocurrency and companies are looking to utilize blockchain technology as a means to streamline the development and sale of carbon credits. Under current carbon offset markets, credits are typically sold in bulk to larger corporations. This leads to barriers for smaller groups or individuals to reduce their environmental impact via purchasing offsets. Even the UNFCCC has touted blockchain technologies possibility to fight climate change by improving carbon emission trading, enhancing finance flows and increasing transparency of reported GHG emission reductions. The idea of using blockchain technology to alleviate impediments to carbon market trading is relatively new and much confusion abounds surrounding their inner workings and appropriateness for carbon markets.

A Chinese takeaway in Cambodia
By Luke Hunt, La Croix International, 2 October 2018
Rarely have Beijing and its minions been seen in such a dreadful light. The arrival of mainland Chinese in their droves as developers, financiers, restaurateurs, boiler room operators, gamblers, construction workers and tourists is sorely testing the patience of locals in Cambodia.Even Cambodia’s government-compliant press is picking up the baton. ‘Chinese behaving badly’ is the stuff of daily headlines, particularly in the southern port town of Sihanoukville where Beijing’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are investing heavily.Pristine beaches and rainforests are being carved up by big business, driving up property prices that locals can ill afford, amid stories of Cambodians being denied access to their own seaside and Chinese gangs acting as debt collectors, bullying people into selling their homes, and thugs in search of easy targets.

With drones and lasers, Costa Rica seeks to track its forests
By Sebastian Rodriguez, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2 October 2018
Costa Rica has long monitored its forests and the carbon they hold but it hopes to soon have a cheaper and more effective way to do it: by drone.
Deep Forest, a project backed by environmental group Fundecor, semi-conductor manufacturer Intel and San Jose-based Aerial Robotixs, aims to give scientists a better idea of what is happening in the country’s forest canopy, and allow more frequent monitoring.

Leaked US critique of climate report sets stage for political showdown in Korea
By Sara Stefanini and Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home News, 2 October 2018
Confidential US comments on a landmark global warming report raise doubts about the science behind it, warn that it risks crimping economic development and advocate for carbon-catching technologies.
The nine pages of comments on a draft of the UN report reflect the views of multiple government agencies and reveal a US diplomatic corps trying to speak to multiple constituencies – the global community, their own domestic interests and the White House.

Climate change, pests, fallen trees a deadly recipe for US forests
By Laurent Banguet,, 2 October 2018
Severe drought, insect infestation and poor forest management have combined in recent years to kill millions of trees in the American West—130 million in California alone—and provide fuel for huge wildfires.
The crisis is all the more alarming as hundreds of millions of hectares of land were scorched this summer out west in several states, causing a dozen or so deaths.
Last Thursday, for instance, the government agency in charge of overseeing firefighting in forests said no fewer than 71 wildfires were burning.

[USA] The Trump administration knows the planet is going to boil. It doesn’t care
By Bill McKibben, The Guardian, 2 October 2018
In the cloud of toxic dust thrown up by the Kavanaugh hearings last week, two new Trump initiatives slipped by with less notice than they deserve. Both are ugly, stupid – and they are linked, though in ways not immediately apparent.
In the first, the administration provided the rationale for scrapping President Obama’s automobile mileage standards: because Trump’s crew now officially expects the planet to warm by 4C . In the environmental impact statement they say it wouldn’t make much difference to the destruction of the planet if we all keep driving SUVs.

3 October 2018

Forests: A natural solution to climate change, crucial for a sustainable future
By José Graziano da Silva (FAO Director-General), Achim Steiner (UNDP Administrator) and Erik Solheim (Head of UN Environment), UN-REDD Programme, 3 October 2018
Throughout history, times of crisis have yielded extraordinary innovation and social cooperation. Not only has this been essential for conquering many seemingly insurmountable challenges, but it has also shown one of the greatest strengths of human nature: we can best face and overcome crises through joint, creative action.
Anthropogenic climate change constitutes one such historical crisis. The UN-REDD Programme, a joint undertaking of FAO, UNDP and UN Environment to fight deforestation and forest degradation, was developed to advance the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to foster innovative and collaborative approaches to address the existential challenge of climate change.

Countdown to CORSIA nears key milestone
Arabian Aerospace, 3 October 2018
At the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva today, airlines and aircraft operators around the world were reminded about upcoming milestones for the ICAO Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
Michael Gill, Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Executive Director, said: “operators will need to start monitoring fuel use and CO2 emissions from all international flights on 1 January 2019. This is just three months away and, ahead of that milestone, an emissions monitoring plan needs to be developed and signed off by national authorities.

UN urges Africa to re-strategize programs against deforestation
Xinhua, 3 October 2018
The United Nations on Tuesday called on African governments to re-strategize their programs against deforestation and environmental degradation.
Elsie Attafuah, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Africa Regional Technical Advisor for UN REDD, told the governments to incorporate integrated approaches that are aimed at benefiting communities.

Fighting the advance of the desert: the forest maker of the Sahel – podcast
The Guardian, 3 October 2018
Tony Rinaudo spent 18 years managing an agricultural programme in Niger, growing trees in one of the most inhospitable environments on Earth. By convincing people to nurture the remains of trees that were already there, he helped pioneer the restoration technique known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). Now used in more than 18 countries across Africa, the technique has had a huge impact on improving conditions for agriculture, and Rinaudo’s big dream is to see it introduced into at least 100 nations by 2030.

In pictures: Losing the lungs of our planet: dirty palm oil and Indonesian forests
By Angela Glienicke, Greenpeace UK, 3 October 2018
A new Greenpeace investigation exposes how palm oil suppliers to the world’s biggest brands like Colgate, Mars, Mondelez and Nestlé have destroyed an area almost twice the size of Singapore. 40% of the deforestation is in Papua, one of the most biodiverse regions on earth and home to the beautiful Birds of Paradise, an area which up to now had been relatively untouched by the palm oil industry.

[Malaysia] Kedah looks to Brazil, Peru to boost revenue without timber
Free Malaysia Today, 3 October 2018
Kedah is looking at the success achieved by Brazil and Peru in looking at new sources of revenue for the state instead of depending on timber.
Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir said this idea came about after he initiated a discussion with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York recently.
“UNDP is the main driver of the emission reduction programme as a result of logging and degradation of forests (REDD).
“They were impressed with Kedah’s stand and invited me to a discussion on ‘Forests and Finance’ in the German representative’s office to the United Nations the next night.
“Meeting with experts in the fields of finance and sustainable forestry revealed the numerous approaches taken by countries that face the same issue as Kedah.
“For example, the success achieved by Brazil and Peru can be the basis for formulating similar strategy in Kedah,” he said in a statement today.

[New Zealand] Iwi’s new income stream – carbon farming ‘best forestry deal’ ever
By Laurel Stowell, New Zealand Herald, 3 October 2018
Whanganui iwi have been offered an opportunity to harvest carbon credits off waste or unproductive land if it becomes permanent forest.
On September 28 the new Māori Carbon Foundation held a meeting at Cooks Gardens Function Centre to outline its proposal. About 40 people were there to hear it.
On suitable land the foundation is offering to establish, maintain and insure a forest at its own cost. It would pay for this by cashing in the carbon credits (NZUs) for the first seven years.

4 October 2018

Scientists say halting deforestation ‘just as urgent’ as reducing emissions
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 4 October 2018
The role of forests in combating climate change risks being overlooked by the world’s governments, according to a group of scientists that has warned halting deforestation is “just as urgent” as eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
Razing the world’s forests would release more than 3 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, more than the amount locked in identified global reserves of oil, coal and gas. By protecting and restoring forests, the world would achieve 18% of the emissions mitigation needed by 2030 to avoid runaway climate change, the group of 40 scientists, spanning five countries, said in a statement.

Progress Assessment of New York Declaration on Forests Shows “Record High” Deforestation Rates
By Elsa Tsioumani,IISD, 4 October 2018
The international community is not on track to meet the goals of the New York Declaration on Forests, including halving natural forest loss globally by 2020. This is the conclusion of the 2018 Progress Assessment, which addresses nine out of ten goals of the Declaration, highlighting major gaps and remaining challenges in implementation.

Scientists Say 1.5-Degree Climate Quest Gives Short Shrift To Forests
By Min-jun Sup, Ecosystem Marketplace, 4 October 2018
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the finishing touches on a new report detailing pathways to keeping global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, more and more scientists are calling for greater emphasis on natural climate solutions.
Research published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academies of the Sciences identified 20 low-cost, natural “pathways” that can get us 37 percent of the way to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement target of 2.0 degrees Celsius, but most of the Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) used in the upcoming IPCC report focus on technological interventions, according to the Climate, Land, Ambition & Rights Alliance (CLARA), which is publishing its own report on 15 October.

By the Numbers: The Value of Tropical Forests in the Climate Change Equation
By David Gibbs, Nancy Harris, and Frances Seymour, World Resources Institute, 4 October 2018
Protecting tropical forests is essential for achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. Global Forest Watch Climate recently released estimated carbon dioxide emissions associated with the 2017 tropical tree cover loss data, and the numbers demonstrate more of what we already knew. If tropical tree cover loss continues at the current rate, it will be nearly impossible to keep warming below the pledged two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Below are five numbers that demonstrate just how important tropical forests are in preventing further climate change, and how much more visibility they need on the global climate change mitigation agenda.

What You Need to Know about Carbon Pricing
Climate Reality, 4 October 2018
For years, fossil fuel companies and utilities have been dumping carbon pollution into our atmosphere — all while we pay the cost. Their carbon pollution is warming our planet and making so much extreme weather even worse. Hurricanes hit harder. Droughts last longer. Meanwhile, these polluters make billions.
It’s time to make energy fair for everyone. It’s time to fight climate change and make Big Polluters pay for the damage they do. It’s time for Pricing Pollution™.

Aviation marks ten years of emissions strategy, reaffirms carbon commitments
Arabian Aerospace, 4 October 2018
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) joined air transport businesses and associations to reaffirm its commitment to a sustainable future as the aviation industry marked ten years since agreeing an ambitious joint strategy for reducing carbon emissions.
“Ten years ago, the entire aviation sector committed to a joint strategy for carbon-neutral growth and to work towards a carbon-free future. That was a daring goal. But with hard work and solid commitment of industry and government, carbon-neutral growth from 2020 will be a reality. And we are already looking beyond. By 2050 we will cut our net emissions to half 2005 levels,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, speaking at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Global Sustainable Aviation Summit here.

The Kenyan Government Is Pushing Indigenous People Off Their Land. This App Helps Them Fight Back.
By Dan Nosowitz, New York Magazine, 4 October 2018
“There’s big money to be made in forests across Africa,” says Anjali Nayar, a Canadian scientist turned journalist turned activist who founded the company TIMBY in Nairobi in 2012. With big money comes big pressure, especially on the people who live in those forests — like the Sengwer people, an indigenous community that lives in the Embobut forest in western Kenya. “People get evicted, often forcefully,” says Nayar. “People die, and there’s an uproar, then it dies down and happens again in another couple years.”

[Norway] I made 1000 people walk out of school, all in the name of climate change
By Rashini Suriyaarachchi, Greenpeace, 4 October 2018
To many people around the world, Norway’s impact on the environment is invisible. The country is known for electric cars and clean energy, but beneath the surface is a sinister reality — it’s one of the world’s largest suppliers of oil and gas.
This is where Andreas Randøy grew up. The young activist didn’t like the future he saw unfolding for his generation, so he took action. At 16, before he was even old enough to vote, he started working with Nature and Youth and then Greenpeace Norway to help curb oil extraction in the Arctic.

5 October 2018

Why reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation remains a challenge
DownToEarth, 5 October 2018
Forests are important carbon sinks. Between 1990 and 2007, the world’s forests stored about 2.4 gigatonnes of carbon per year. Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2100 will not be possible without carbon sequestration by the forests. By 2050, the world would need to sequester and store 8 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) annually on average. But deforestation and degradation of forests is also account for more than 10 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emission—a major trigger for climate change.

Carbon reduction emphasised as priority at ICAO environmental summit
International Airport Review, 5 October 2018
ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu stated, at the beginning of the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit: “The sustainability of international civil aviation is a key priority for ICAO and its States, it has announced and governments worldwide greatly appreciate, how aviation’s ability to connect everyone has never been more important to our planet’s shared prosperity.”
He continued: “Since the last ICAO Assembly in 2016, the implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) has been one of the main priorities for ICAO.” He further emphasised that the very rapid development and approval by States of the new CORSIA international standards through ICAO earlier this year “is clearly representative of the increasing focus on climate change priorities which ICAO is now witnessing in every world region.”

Charge €30 a tonne for CO2 to avoid catastrophic 4C warming
By Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström, The Guardian, 5 October 2018
We are following a path that will ultimately take us to a 4C-warmer world. A hot state where it is unlikely that we can generate food, water and shelter for all citizens, where sea level rise will ultimately exceed 10 metres, and where social insecurity and widespread disease will very likely be universal.
Along the way we will reach several critical tipping points. One such is at 2C – a scenario that may prompt the Earth system to shift from self-cooling by means of buffering emissions to self-warming, thereby putting us on a path to a “hothouse Earth”. At 3C we reach a point where extreme floods and droughts will force people to leave their homes; more powerful hurricanes will destroy urban infrastructure.

Frozen Arctic moves seawards in hectic melt
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 5 October 2018
Satellite images have revealed a dramatic change in Russia’s frozen Arctic. An ice cap that once crept almost imperceptibly across the barren rocks of October Revolution island, in the Kara Sea, is on the move.
All ice, even when permanently frozen to the bedrock, moves. From 1952 to 1985, the western edge of the Vavilov ice cap, 1,820 square kilometres in area and between 300 metres and 600 metres in thickness, shifted at about 12 metres a year. Between 1998 and 2011, it stepped up the pace to 75 metres a year. Between 2014 and 2015, the ice front had broken into tongues that moved at more than 1,000 metres a year.

Global bio-economic transformation: What does it mean for forests?
By Erin O’Connell, CIFOR Forests News, 5 October 2018
Crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms — in the bio-economy, these are the basic building blocks for materials, chemicals and energy – from ethanol to omega-3 supplements.
Increasingly seen by international organizations and governments as a way to shift from dependence on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources toward a more sustainable path, the bio-economy also has its detractors. Experts warn that imports of biomass by some countries can negatively affect ecosystems in others.

[Australia] Great Barrier Reef catchment land clearing ‘crisis’ revealed in Government climate report
By Nick Kilvert, ABC News, 5 October 2018
New data released by the Government shows land clearing in the Great Barrier Reef catchment in the year to June 2017 was at its second highest in 10 years.
Data published in the Government’s quarterly emissions update shows 152,000 hectares were cleared in the catchment last year, marginally less than the amount cleared in 2015/16.
That takes the total land cleared in the catchment in the last five years to 770,000 hectares — an area about three times as large as the ACT — which Wilderness Society spokesperson Jessica Panegyres described as a “crisis”.
“The Federal Government is promising the world it’s doing everything it can to protect the reef, but it’s failing,” Ms Panegyres said.

Brazil’s election and the threat to environmental protection
By Lauro Marins, Financial Times, 5 October 2018
For decades, Brazil played a prominent role in the international climate arena.
Host of the Eco ’92 conference, Brazil was the birthplace of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Twenty years later at the Rio+20 conference, the country helped bring the Agenda 2030 discussions to life, paving the way for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

I will let miners strip the Amazon, vows Brazil poll favourite Jair Bolsonaro
By Stephen Gibbs, The Times, 5 October 2018
Environmentalists are expressing alarm that Brazil, home to the largest remaining rainforest in the world, may soon elect a president who believes that the Amazon should be exploited for its mineral resources.
Jair Bolsonaro, 63, a far-right congressman and former army captain who is leading the polls going into the first round of elections on Sunday, has repeatedly gone on record defending Brazil’s farmers against those trying to protect the forest. He has been especially critical of the commitment by Brazilian governments to set aside in perpetuity vast areas of the forest for indigenous people, protected from the threats of logging and mining.

8,100-square-mile indigenous reserve recognized in Brazilian Amazon
By Jenny Gonzales, Mongabay, 5 October 2018
The Brazilian government has declared 462 traditionally occupied Indigenous Lands (TIs), but only 8 percent of these reserves have been demarcated, legally protecting them from land grabbers, loggers, ranchers, miners and farmers. Among the remaining 92 percent still fighting for recognition of their indigenous territory borders as guaranteed under the 1988 Constitution is the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI, in the heart of the Amazon.
In September, persistence and a bit of luck finally paid off, as the Ministry of Justice issued a decree officially establishing permanent land ownership, and giving a go-ahead for the demarcation of the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI – covering 2.1 million hectares (8,108 square miles) on the border between Pará and Amazonas states.

German court stops controversial clearing of forest for lignite mine
By Benjamin Wehrmann, Clean Energy Wire, 5 October 2018
Clearing operations at the embattled Hambach Forest to make way for a coal mine have to be halted to decide whether the forest is protected by EU environmental rules, a German court has decided. The judges said energy company RWE did not provide sufficient evidence why cutting down the ancient woodland is necessary. According to the company, the ruling means that no decision on the forests future will be made before late 2020. [UPDATE Energy company RWE says ruling will significantly delay decision on Hambach mine expansion]

[Indonesia] New Papua Atlas tracks impact of plantations, roads on forests
By Barbara Fraser, CIFOR Forests News, 5 October 2018
Thanks to its remote location and sparse population, Indonesian Papua, on the western side of the island of New Guinea, harbors one of the Pacific’s last remaining expanses of pristine tropical forest. But recent spikes in deforestation rates, accompanied by the expansion of industrial oil palm plantations, are signs that rapid change is on the horizon.
Scientists hope a new interactive atlas that tracks deforestation annually will enable local governments to plan for the change and avert widespread destruction of the forests on which indigenous people depend for food and livelihoods.

[Indonesia] To conserve West Papua, start with land rights (commentary)
By Bernadinus Steni, and Daniel Nepstad, Mongabay, 5 October 2018
Large landscapes of intact tropical forests will figure prominently in global strategies to avert catastrophic climate change and conserve biodiversity. In this context, the extensive forests of Papua and West Papua Provinces in Indonesia are now becoming the focus of international conservation efforts. There are many inherent perils to this new boom in conservation in the provinces, which could repeat past mistakes that have deprived and dispossessed indigenous Papuans from their lands. Here we briefly outline the challenges of conservation, development and the recognition of indigenous land rights in West Papua province, based on our ongoing collaborative applied research projects in the province that began in 2013.

[USA] The Make America First Case for Carbon Capture
By Beau Rothschild, RealClear Energy, 5 October 2018
Next month, United Nations scientists are set to report that we can no longer win the battle against climate change by reducing carbon emissions: we have to start draining those emissions from the air. This conclusion simply adds to a growing scientific consensus that carbon removal technologies that actively remove CO2 already in circulation can be delayed no longer. Thus far, the U.S. government has only shown lukewarm support for these technologies, but America has as much to gain as anyone from their mass adoption. It’s time for President Donald J. Trump and his administration to take a second look at this issue to put America first in carbon capture technology.

6 October 2018

Stopping Climate Change Is Hopeless. Let’s Do It.
By Auden Schendler and Andrew P. Jones, New York Times, 6 October 2018
On Monday, the world’s leading climate scientists are expected to release a report on how to protect civilization by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Given the rise already in the global temperature average, this critical goal is 50 percent more stringent than the current target of 2 degrees Celsius, which many scientists were already skeptical we could meet. So we’re going to have to really want it, and even then it will be tough.

Wilmar aims for deforestation-free supply chain by 2020 after protests
By Robin Hicks, Eco-Business, 6 October 2018
Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader, has launched a new plan to weed out rainforest destruction and labour abuses from thousands of suppliers the week after environmental activists protested on its refineries in Indonesia.
The Singapore-based company announced on Friday that it aims to have a no deforestation, no peat, no exploitation (NDPE) supply chain by 2020.

[Rwanda] Young Africans, Blockchain Experts Land In Kigali For Youth Connekt Summit
Taarifa, 6 October 2018
Distinguished representatives from the Pan-African Council and blockchain hackers from Benin, Somalia, Nigeria, South Africa and even as far as Brazil and Haiti have started arriving in Kigali to attend EcoHack Africa 2018, the official green economy blockchain hackathon of Youth Connekt Africa 2018.
They will be joined by other blockchain experts from all over the world.
Their objective is to build and support an open-sourced blockchain based platform for Africa – the Sahara Marketplace.
The Sahara Marketplace will be a one stop center for individual farmers, entrepreneurs, cooperatives and institutions to raise funds for agriculture or ecosystem services through carbon credits, crowdfunding and grants from individuals, businesses, multinationals and nonprofit organizations.

7 October 2018

Carbon emissions from Amazonian forest fires up to 4 times worse than feared
Lancaster University press release, 7 October 2018
Carbon losses caused by El Niño forest fires of 2015 and 2016 could be up to four times greater than thought, according to a study of 6.5 million hectares of forest in Brazilian Amazonia.
New research, published in a special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, has revealed that the aftermath of 2015 and 2016 forest fires in the Amazon resulted in CO2 emissions three to four times greater than comparable estimates from existing global fire emissions databases.

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