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REDD in the news: 22-28 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.

22 October 2018

Global Warming Still On Track For 4°C Despite Strong Carbon Prices, According To Schroders
By Joshua S Hill, CleanTechnica, 22 October 2018
The cost of carbon in Europe has soared to its highest levels for almost a decade but it has not been enough to slow the pace of global warming, according to Schroders’ latest Climate Progress Dashboard update, which remains on track for 4°C.
Global asset manager Schroders launched its Climate Progress Dashboard in July of 2017 to provide investors with “a unique insight” into the global progress towards limiting global warming to the 2°C set by the Paris Agreement. At the time of its inaugural publication, Schroders predicted that we are on path for a temperature rise of 4°C — a forecast which remained unchanged a year later.

U.N. climate fund gets ‘back on rails’ ahead of December talks
By Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 22 October 2018
The world’s biggest fund for tackling climate change in the developing world has approved investment of about $1 billion in new projects and launched a process to refill its coffers, putting it back on track after a difficult few months.
Progress at the latest meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board, which wrapped up on Saturday evening in Bahrain, was viewed as key to smooth the way for U.N. climate talks in December tasked with agreeing rules to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb global warming.

OECD predicts unsustainable rise in use of raw materials
Associated Press, 22 October 2018
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is warning that the world’s consumption of raw materials will rise sharply, putting greater pressure on the environment.
The Paris-based think tank said Monday that with a growing global population and rising living standards, the amount of raw materials used each year will increase to 167 gigatons by 2060, from 90 gigatons today.
The OECD says increased extraction and processing of wood, oil, gas, metals and building materials “is likely to worsen pollution of air, water and soils, and contribute significantly to climate change.”

IBM and Veridium Join Forces to Bring Carbon Credits Onto the Blockchain: Interview with the Chairman of Veridium.
By Anglela Scott-Briggs, TechBullion, 22 October 2018
Veridium and IBM will Use Blockchain technology to Create Social and Environmental Impact Tokens. Todd Lemons, the Chairman of Veridium will be sharing with us, the details of this project and the collaboration with IBM.
1) What is Veridium?
Veridium is creating a marketplace for environmental assets or “Natural Capital”, potentially the largest asset class in the world.

How Blockchain Could Help To Protect The World’s Forests
By Jack Robinson, CleanTechnica, 22 October 2018
Deforestation is responsible for an estimated 15% of global emissions every year. Since Europe and North America deforested much of their forested land long ago, most of this deforestation is occurring in the tropics, an area that also happens to be home to a staggering 50 bazillion species, as well as some ancient, indigenous communities. It was with these facts in mind that the forested nations Costa Rica and Guatemala first brought the concept of REDD to the table, at COP11 in 2005.

Across China: Forest returns as villagers leave for better life
Xinhua, 22 October 2018
Shao Dongsheng, a ranger in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, still remembers the fear he felt the first time he encountered a leopard.
“It was on the hillside only 30 meters away from me; I stood still because I was too afraid to move. It looked at me, turned away and then left,” Shao recalled.
For Shao and his fellow rangers in the mountains of Shanhe township in Longde County, this is not an uncommon experience. Leopards, wolves, and deer are often seen roaming the hillsides.

EU carbon market update, 22 October 2018
By Louis Redshaw, Environmental Finance, 22 October 2018
It was another volatile week for EU Allowances as prices traded in a €2.79 weekly range, but ended the week at €19.77, down only 59c having found willing buyers at the lower levels. The largest daily decline was on Monday when prices fell €1.79, largely reflecting wider energy price drops.
The following three days saw further downside, particularly Tuesday and Thursday when the EUA price reached lows of €17.82 and €18.12 respectively. However, on each day buyers stepped in to stem the losses by the end of the day and ensured that closing prices stayed above the long term trendline every day except Monday.

Roadmap to decarbonising European aviation
Transport & Environment, 22 October 2018
Aviation is already a major and growing emitter. In Europe its emissions have doubled since 1990, and globally they could, without action, double or treble by 2050. The sector will have a substantial fuel demand well into the 2030s, 2040s and beyond, the period when our economy needs to increasingly decarbonise. This report puts forward measures to limit that fuel requirement, but ultimately the remaining and substantial fuel demand will need to have its carbon content eliminated. The process of cutting and then decarbonising that fuel demand is the focus of this report.

[UK] ‘Without trees we won’t survive’: Prince Harry’s environmental message on Queensland visit
The Guardian, 22 October 2018
In the local language, Queensland’s Fraser Island is called K’gari, meaning paradise, and that’s just what Prince Harry says he found during his visit.
The Duke of Sussex turned his focus from the Invictus Games for wounded war veterans to the environment on the seventh day of his royal tour of Australia.
His first engagement was to dedicate the K’gari/Fraser forest to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives, which involves most countries of the Commonwealth.

[USA] Sign on against California carbon offset scheme – Deadline Oct. 29
Global Justice Ecology Project, 22 October 2018
GE trees, plants and seeds are included in the California Tropical Forest Offsets since a UNFCCC COP9 decision allows for genetically modified organisms for afforestation and reforestation.
We encourage you to use the Open Letter to the Peoples of the World (below) or submit your own comments against carbon offsets by the state of California.

US-China trade war spills into Green Climate Fund
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 22 October 2018
The first Chinese bid for finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was deferred on Saturday, after the US board member blocked it.
In a sign of US-China tensions spilling into the climate finance arena, Mathew Haarsager, a special assistant to the US president, vetoed a $100 million loan for green development in Shandong province.
He and Japan’s Hiroshi Matsuura raised concerns about the accountability of sub-projects and potential use of funds for research and development of commercial products.

[Zimbabwe] Govt to clamp down on deforestation
By Fungai Lupande, The Herald, 22 October 2018
Government is tightening environmental laws to rein in people who cut down trees causing deforestation and contributing to climate change, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Cde Douglas Karoro said.
Speaking at the commissioning of a biogas digester at Chitsungo Mission Hospital in Mbire district on Thursday last week, Cde Karoro said the hospital used to be a major consumer of firewood, immensely contributing to deforestation in Mbire but was now using biogas, which was clean energy. He added that deforestation was contributing immensely to climate change and Government had joined hands with other countries in enforcing laws that mitigate climate change.

23 October 2018

University of Cambridge Tool Shows Biodiversity Contributions to SDG Targets
By Elsa Tsioumani, IISD, 23 October 2018
Researchers from the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) developed an online tool to help identify the contribution of biodiversity conservation projects to SDG targets. Also, UCCRI recent research shows that REDD+ projects demonstrate strong alignment with the SDGs.

Ethical tourism: Steps to cut the negative effects of travel
By Gemma Nisbet, The West Australian, 23 October 2018
More people than ever are travelling for leisure — last year saw a record 1.323 billion tourist arrivals.
Meanwhile, the downsides of tourism have been making headlines, as destinations from Everest to Iceland attempt to deal with adverse effects such as environmental degradation and conflict between visitors and locals.
Indeed, if you’ve travelled even a little, you would have seen the impacts, both positive and negative, that tourism can have.

African fires wipe out endangered rhino’s favorite foods
By Cheryl Walker and Alicia Roberts, Wake Forest News, 23 October 2018
Fires in the African savannah – planned by national park staff to regenerate the preferred grasses of grazers such as wildebeests and zebras – are killing the few foods that endangered black rhinos love to eat.
And that makes the long-term future of black rhinos even more uncertain, according to new research from T. Michael Anderson, a Wake Forest associate professor of biology who studies the black rhinos living in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. It’s one of the last refuges for this critically endangered mammal.

Warning: The Amazon May Soon Reach the Point of No Return on Forest Loss
By Evan Barnard, New Security Beat, 23 October 2018
“What we do during this decade can be critical for the future of Amazonia,” said São Paulo Research Foundation member, Paulo Artaxo, at a recent Wilson Center event on efforts to support sustainability and development in the Amazon region. The recently accelerating environmental change in the Amazon region warrants greater collaboration between the civil and scientific communities on community and international scales, according to a panel of experts.

[Brazil] BAESA performs auction of carbon credits
BAESA press release, 23 October 2018
The voluntary carbon market is about to gain greater notability because it will be held on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 the auction of carbon credits from BAESA in Brazil.
BAESA – Energética Barra Grande S.A, an electrical generation company in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil promotes the auction of carbon credits certified under the widely recognized standard in this market, the VERIFIED CARBON STANDARD (VCS). Regarding the volume to be traded, this will be the largest auction in Brazil, 492,647 VERIFIED CARBON UNIT (VCU) from the GHG reduction Barra Grande Energetic Project, located in Pelotas River, Rio Grande do Sul State, South Region Brazil.

The EU has spent nearly $500 million on technology to fight climate change — with little to show for it
By Akshat Rathi, Quartz, 23 October 2018
In a report to be published later today, the European Court of Auditors will say that the EU spent more than €424 million ($486 million) over the past decade decade fruitlessly trying to establish carbon-capture technology. The EU considers the technology crucial to hit its climate goals, which will require the union’s member states to reach net-zero emissions within decades.

A photographer spent years exploring India’s apocalyptic ‘capital of coal’ and returned with unreal photos
By Harrison Jacobs, Business Insider, 23 October 2018
With a population exceeding 1.3 billion and a quickly developing economy, India has become the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter.
Coal is a big reason why. In recent years, India has experienced a “coal rush” as the country attempts to satisfy its ever-expanding energy needs.
At the center of the rush is Dhanbad, a city known as the “capital of coal,” and the nearby Jharia mines. There, mostly state-run coal companies operate massive open coal mines that wreak havoc on the villages that have long populated the area. The smoke-choked landscape is marked by burning cracks in the ground that have been on fire for over 100 years.
Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi became fascinated by Dhanbad nearly a decade ago while traveling to mining sites all over the world.

[Indonesia] Replanting the oil palm to save forests
By Fitri Nurfatriana, Ramawati, Galih Kartika Sari, and Heru Komarudi, CIFOR Forests News, 23 October 2018
As the world’s largest producer and consumer of palm oil, Indonesia relies on this commodity in major economic and social ways. In recent years, crude palm oil (CPO) exports have become Indonesia’s largest source of foreign trade, reaching $23 billion (IDR 310 trillion) in 2017 – the highest value ever – contributing 15.9% of the country’s total national export value. The sector also provides upstream jobs for 5 million on-farm laborers, and 16-20 million off-farm.

[Ireland] ‘Peat industry closure will lead to crazy biomass import bills’
By Claire McCormack, AgriLand, 23 October 2018
The looming closure of the peat industry in Ireland will lead to costly hikes in biomass imports to Ireland, independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has claimed.
The Roscommon-Galway representative was speaking ahead of a much-anticipated announcement from Bord na Mona (BNM) tomorrow (Wednesday, October 24), where the semi-state company is expected to give an update on plans to co-fire its power stations with a mixture of biomass and peat, rather than all peat up to 2030 – when all peat harvesting is set to cease.

An Historic Victory for Liberian People and Communities
By James Yarsiah, Rights and Resources, 23 October 2018
On September 19, Liberian President George Manneh Weah signed into law the Land Rights Bill (LRB), a landmark piece of legislation that recognizes the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to their customary lands and gives customary land the same standing as private land in Liberia.

Activists oppose Green Resources Uganda project as Norfund, Finnfund
IPP Media, 23 October 2018
Environmental activists from the Uganda, Europe and the US have written to new Green Resources CEO, Erik Knive protesting against land expropriation and threats to food security among locals at Kachung.
In a letter dated March 16, 2018 addressed to Knive with copies to Norfund and Finnfundw ho took over a controlling stake of the Dar es Salaam based company earlier this year, faulted the acquisition saying the Kachung Community Development does not qualify to sell carbon credit internationally because it violates people’s rights.

[USA] Five Questions for Earth Innovation Institute’s New Chief Economist
By Jonah Busch, Earth Innovation Institute, 23 October 2018
What’s your reaction to the recent IPCC report? (the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius)
The new IPCC report is frightening but also invigorating, as I wrote in a recent series of tweets shown at right. Frightening because on our present course we will have killed off the world’s coral reefs by the time today’s children are adults. Invigorating because the report gives us marching orders to avoid this fate: massive and rapid transformations in how we use energy and land.

[USA] Using gene editing to control forest fires? It could be a reality if anti-biotechnology activists don’t block it
By Andrew Porterfield, Genetic Literacy Project, 23 October 2018
The American west has experienced devastating wildfires in recent years; while the number of fires has decreased a little over the past 10 years, the amount of acreage burned has bloomed, threatening residents, businesses, transportation and even some cities.
One major source of fuel for these fires is dead trees. Particularly dead pine trees. What’s killing these trees? An insect called Dendroctonus ponderosae, commonly referred to as the mountain pine (or pine bark) beetle (there are many other pine beetles, too). It’s attracted to white mountain pines that live at high altitudes, as well as lodgepole and Ponderosa pines, which live just about everywhere. And they’ve killed billions of pine trees by chewing away at the cambium underneath the tree’s bark. But they don’t kill them all, and therein lies some hope.

24 October 2018

Growing forest landscape restoration from the grassroots up
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Landscape News, 24 October 2018
In villages and small communities around the world, heartening tales of forest landscape restoration (FLR) success abound. But on bigger scales, the balance sheet still looks grim. Between 2010 and 2015, 40.3 million hectares of forest were lost across the African continent – an area bigger than Malawi.
Alongside grave environmental consequences for climate change and biodiversity, this degradation impacts the lives of the millions of people who depend on forests and trees for food, energy, income and other services, said Stefan Schmitz, Deputy Director-General and Commissioner of the One World – No Hunger initiative led by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in a discussion forum at the Global Landscapes Forum in Nairobi.

Land Rights Pose Opportunities, Not Just Risks, to Companies and Social Justice
By Chris Jochnick, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 24 October 2018
In 2004, the Newmont Mining Corporation hired me to investigate human rights accusations facing its gold mine operation in Peru, despite the company feeling like it had done everything right. It got the necessary government approvals, made legal land purchases, and launched various philanthropic initiatives, yet widespread protests continued to disrupt its efforts.

Kill Carbon, save Humanity: Will the latest VeChain (VET) partnership boost it to above $0.1 in 2019?
By Lujan Odera, Crypto Globalist, 24 October 2018
VeChain is championing the internet of things (IoT) technology in the world through blockchain alongside Iota (MIOTA) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). As much as the three blockchains use IoT to develop their platforms, VeChain, recently named VeChain THOR, offers a unique and totally inclusive platform including AI, Big Data and Cloud computing. However, the superb development process of VeChain is yet to push the VET coin past its nemeses in price and market capitalization.

Beyond oil palm: tropical trees for bioenergy and restoration of degraded lands
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 24 October 2018
To avert catastrophic climate change, fossil fuel emissions must be cut, but energy demand is tipped to rise by 45 percent from 2013 levels in 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. Under a business-as-usual scenario, this would prompt a 40 percent rise in carbon dioxide emissions, making the need for renewable energies more pressing than ever.

[Brazil] Bolsonaro backers wage war on the rainforest
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 24 October 2018
The growl of a chainsaw and the howl of a straining tractor engine were enough to draw the environment officials up a rutted track into the forest.
In the clearing at the end of the road, three young loggers silenced their machines and proffered their documents. They were paid in cash, they said – nearly four times the Brazilian minimum monthly salary of £200 ($258) – to ship out up to two truckloads a day of huge hardwood logs.

Our planet can’t take many more populists like Brazil’s Bolsonaro
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 24 October 2018
Unless every poll is wildly wrong, Brazil will probably elect a racist, sexist, homophobic advocate of torture at the end of this month. The former army captain Jair Bolsonaro nearly won outright in the first round, securing the votes of almost 50 million people – despite his extreme views being well known.
What is less well understood, however, is the catastrophic environment implications of his rise to the brink of power. And in this, Bolsonaro is not unique: around the world, diminishing resources are fuelling a global rise of authoritarian leaders dedicated to doing the bidding of some of the world’s most environmentally damaging interests.

[Canada] How carbon pricing will work, province by province
By Ryan Flanagan, CTV News, 24 October 2018
The federal government has ordered all provinces and territories to put a price on carbon emissions by 2019 – but some provinces are years ahead of the game.
Quebec, Alberta and B.C. have had carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs in effect since long before it became a federal priority.
Three of the other seven provinces have developed systems which meet the federal government’s criteria and will take effect next year.

[Canada] Views on cap-and-trade are mixed, and some say it doesn’t go far enough
CTV News, 24 October 2018
A price on pollution will cost everyone more money, although how you pay – and how much — depends on where you live.
In Nova Scotia — the government has opted for a cap-and-trade system that will increase gas prices and power rates.
While some are against the carbon tax, some are wondering if it goes far enough.

[Canada] Ottawa’s carbon pricing estimates just dropped dramatically — because of California
By Maura Forrest, The Chochrane Times-Post, 24 October 2018
When the federal government announced Tuesday that a carbon tax will be applied next year to four provinces that don’t have their own, it also revealed something else: its estimate of how much carbon pricing will cut emissions has dropped dramatically.
Ottawa now expects that carbon prices across all provinces and territories will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 to 60 megatonnes in 2022, down from an April 2018 estimate of 80 to 90 megatonnes.

The Secret to Stopping Deforestation in Guatemala
Rainforest Alliance, 24 October 2018
Guatemala’s breath-taking Tikal pyramids draw thousands of visitors per year — and with good reason. Not only does this ancient metropolis — an archeological wonder featured in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope — attract tourists who are fascinated by ancient Maya culture, it happens to sit inside the magnificent Maya Biosphere Reserve. This 5 million-acre (approximately 2.1 million hectares) reserve, created by the Guatemalan government and UNESCO in 1990, anchors the largest remaining natural forest block in Mesoamerica.

[USA] New York Attorney General Files Suit Against Exxon for Climate Fraud
By Ucilia Wang, Climate Liability News, 24 October 2018
New York filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil on Wednesday, alleging that the company has deceived investors for years by deliberately downplaying the climate risks to its business and long-term financial health.
The lawsuit, filed by Attorney General Barbara Underwood in state court, is the culmination of a more than three-year investigation into Exxon’s actions and communications about climate change. The suit alleges that “this fraud reached the highest levels of the company” to include former chief executive Rex Tillerson, who left the company in 2017 to become President Trump’s first Secretary of State.

25 October 2018

Getting Carbon Prices Right: Whether Incentives or Tax, Climate Costs Must be Part of Production and Consumption Costs
By Beate Antonich, IISD, 25 October 2018
During September 2018, opportunities and challenges with carbon pricing mechanisms were addressed in several reports. An OECD report emphasizes a vast majority of industrial, residential and commercial sector emissions are entirely unpriced and highlights deep carbon pricing gaps in most countries studied. The report notes, however, that China’s emissions trading schemes, and carbon tax efforts in other countries, could significantly reduce these gaps. A UNFCCC report on achievements of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, along with calls by participants at a September workshop in Bonn, suggests consideration of CDM lessons in the creation of the Paris Agreement’s sustainable development mechanism. A New Climate Institute report addresses environmental risks from forest offset credits in the Paris Agreement.

Climate change: Five cheap ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 25 October 2018
As well as rapidly reducing the carbon dioxide that we humans are pumping into the atmosphere in huge amounts, recent scientific assessments of climate change have all suggested that cutting emissions alone will not be enough to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 or 2 degrees C.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others have all stated that extracting CO2 from the air will be needed if we are to bend the rising temperature curve before the end of this century.

Bolsonaro backers wage war on the rainforest
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 25 October 2018
The growl of a chainsaw and the howl of a straining tractor engine were enough to draw the environment officials up a rutted track into the forest.
In the clearing at the end of the road, three young loggers silenced their machines and proffered their documents. They were paid in cash, they said – nearly four times the Brazilian minimum monthly salary of £200 ($258) – to ship out up to two truckloads a day of huge hardwood logs.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro scraps pledge to quit Paris climate deal
By Rodrigo Viga Gaier, Reuters, 25 October 2018
Brazil’s presidential front-runner said on Thursday he was not set on leaving the Paris climate accord if elected, going back on a prior pledge to follow the pullout by U.S. President Donald Trump, a role model for his anti-establishment run.
Right-wing Congressman Jair Bolsonaro’s decision marks a surprising about-face for a candidate who enjoys strong support from Brazil’s powerful agribusiness lobby and has called conservation efforts a threat to Brazilian sovereignty.

What Europe can do if Bolsonaro attacks the Amazon
By Nicole Polsterer (FERN), Climate Change News, 25 October 2018
The views of the man on the brink of leading the planet’s fourth largest democracy have attracted global notoriety since his shock victory in Brazil’s first-round presidential election earlier this month.
Jair Bolsonaro would rather his son was dead than gay. He once told a female politician that she was not worthy of being raped. He has claimed that Brazil’s former dictatorship’s biggest mistake was torturing rather than killing its opponents.
His opinions on the environment and indigenous people’s rights are equally disturbing.

[USA] How to Shift Public Attitudes and Win the Global Climate Battle
By Todd Stern, YaleEnvironment360, 25 October 2018
Climate change is on the front pages again. In the space of three weeks, Florida and North Carolina were battered by severe hurricanes whose destructive power was surely intensified by hotter ocean waters and a warmer atmosphere, which holds more moisture. Between those two violent storms, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered a four-alarm warning about the profound dangers of holding global warming even to an increase of 2 degrees Celsius, which not long ago was considered a safe zone. Meanwhile, climate negotiators are currently wrangling with each other to finalize the guidelines and procedures needed to turn the Paris Agreement into an operational regime, a struggle made harder by the absence of U.S. leadership.

26 October 2018

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Still Matters
By Leor Hackel and Gregg Sparkman, Slate, 26 October 2018
Two weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a dire report that made crystal clear that we have about a decade to stop catastrophic levels of climate change. The report caught fire for another extremely near deadline: It suggests that if we don’t manage to dramatically shift carbon emissions, we’ll start feeling the brunt of the effects as soon as 2040. These dates have prompted a more urgent asking of the oft-discussed question: How do we start this herculean task?

New RSPO Principles and Criteria released – ‘no deforestation’ set to be adopted
EIA, 26 October 2018
The new P&C includes ‘no deforestation’ stipulations, although there remain some exceptions which could see forest clearance still occurring.
The RSPO is the most widely used voluntary certification scheme for palm oil but has been under increasing pressure to improve its standards in line with the more advanced ‘No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation (NDPE)’ commitments adopted by a multitude of companies.

Soy destruction in Argentina leads straight to our dinner plates
By Uki Goñi, The Guardian, 26 October 2018
The extent of the destruction is painful to see. Flying over the area around the El Corralito indigenous community in a single-propeller plane, only thin strips of green are left between vast fields of pale, newly uncovered earth, pencilled in with parallel white lines of the ashes of bulldozed trees.
Only a few years ago, this stretch of land in Argentina’s northern province of Salta was still forest – home to the Wichí people, and part of the gigantic Gran Chaco forest that spreads across northern Argentina and its neighbouring countries Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil. Second only to the Amazon in South America for its size and biodiversity, the Gran Chaco covers 250,000 sq miles of dry forest, which is being cut down faster than scientists can study it.

Indigenous land, culture at stake in Brazil election – experts
By Karla Mendes and Nadia Pontes, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 26 October 2018
Victory by far-right Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Sunday’s elections could lead to indigenous people losing lucrative land, campaigners and researchers warned.
The latest polls put Bolsonaro on track to win office, raising prospects of a new turn in policy that could exacerbate the threat to Brazil’s precious rainforests and speed the economic exploitation of its majestic landscape.

27 October 2018

[Zimbabwe] Sustainable biodiversity management
The Herald, 27 October 2018
The Government is implementing a five-year Global Environment Facility (GEF) — funded programme to support conservation initiatives in North Western Zimbabwe.
The project known as the Hwange-Sanyati Biological Corridor (HSBC) project has the overall objective to develop land use and resource management capacity of managers and communities in the Hwange-Sanyati Biological Corridor of Zimbabwe and is executed through the World Bank.

28 October 2018

Shell and BP pumped up by oil prices
By Rachel Millard, The Times, 28 October 2018
The two biggest London-listed oil majors are expected to report higher profits and cash levels this week, driven by rising oil and gas prices as the industry’s recovery continues.
The price of a barrel of Brent crude averaged $75.80 during the third quarter of the year, 45% higher than the same period in 2017, while UK gas prices are up 54% year-on-year.

[Brazil] Tropical Trump bodes ill for the planet
By Steve Schwartzman, EDF, 28 October 2018
Jair Bolsonaro, the projected winner of Brazil’s presidential election, has been dubbed “Tropical Trump.” The parallels are strong – both Bolsonaro and US President Donald Trump show clear contempt for democratic institutions, are on the record with racist and misogynist statements, and play on and inflame the fears and hatred of their supporters.
They are also both dangerous to the planet.

[USA] Washington could be the first state to charge for carbon emissions that cause climate change
By Steven Mufson, Washington Post, 28 October 2018
The bride had asthma. The scenic Seattle skyline — the ideal backdrop for photographs — was shrouded in smoke from wildfires. And Perfectly Posh Events, the wedding planner, had to scramble for an indoor venue in the middle of summer, usually the best time of the year for an outdoor exchanging of vows.
“I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life. This is not something I remember growing up with,” said Holly Olsen, owner of the business. “Clearly there has been some kind of change that happened.”

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