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REDD in the news: 29 October – 4 November 2018

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

29 October 2018

Carbon Offset/Carbon Credit Trading Service Market: Future Demand, Market Analysis & Outlook to 2025
Trade Market Research, 29 October 2018
Carbon Offset/Carbon Credit Trading Service Market research report is a meticulous investigation of current scenario of the market, which covers a number of market dynamics. The Carbon Offset/Carbon Credit Trading Service Market research report is a resource, which provides current as well as upcoming technical and financial details of the industry.
Carbon offsets are measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) and may represent six primary categories of greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases.

Taking stock of Indonesia’s social forestry program
By Nabiha Shahab, CIFOR Forests News, 29 October 2018
Indonesia has an ambitious goal of giving forest-dependent communities access to 12.7 million hectares of forests through social forestry permits. The massive project, launched in 2014, is slated for completion by 2019 under President Joko Widodo’s current administration, bringing more justice into forest resources utilization.

[PNG] OECD to send auditors to assist crack down on tax evasion by loggers
ActNow!, 29 October 2018
International and national civil society groups have welcomed the announcement that international experts will support government authorities crack down on tax evasion by multinational companies in the forestry and fisheries sectors. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is sending auditors to Papua New Guinea early next year to work with officials from the Finance Department and Internal Revenue Commission, under its Tax Inspectors Without Borders Program.

MAAP #94: Detecting logging in the Peruvian Amazon with high resolution imagery, 29 October 2018
In MAAP # 85, we showed how medium and high-resolution satellites (such as Landsat, Planet and Sentinel-1) could be used to monitor the construction of logging roads in near-real time.
Here, we show the potential of very high-resolution satellites (such as DigitalGlobe and Planet’s Skysat), to identify the activities associated with logging, including illegal logging.
These activities include (see Base Map):
1. Selective logging of high-value trees,
2. Construction of logging roads (access roads),
3. Logging camps
4. Storage and transport

Polish utility sued over financial risk of €1.2bn coal plant
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 29 October 2018
Activist shareholders filed a climate lawsuit against utility Enea on Monday, over a planned €1.2 billion coal plant in north-east Poland.
Plaintiff Client Earth argues the 1GW Ostrołęka C power station poses an “indefensible” financial risk, as rising EU carbon prices and cheap renewables threaten the project’s profitability. The NGO bought a small number of shares in the company to give itself a legal avenue to challenge the project.
The lawsuit puts the Polish government’s support for coal under the spotlight, weeks before the country is due to host UN climate talks.

[UK] No-deal Brexit will spell £16-a-tonne carbon tax
By David Sheppard, Financial Times, 29 October 2018
The UK will introduce a provisional £16-a-tonne carbon emissions tax in the event of a no-deal Brexit as part of contingency plans to replace the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
The level set by the Treasury is broadly in line with the current EU ETS price, which suggests it would be high enough to continue disincentivising the use of coal by power plants and factories and maintaining the UK’s commitment to reducing pollution.

[UK] Jail for fraudster trio who conned £415k
Financial Planning Today, 29 October 2018
Three men have been jailed for their roles in operating a boiler room fraud, which fleeced investors out of £415,000, by convincing them to invest in worthless coloured diamonds.
Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, they were unanimously found guilty of conspiracy to defraud by a jury, at Southwark Crown Court, on Friday, following a five week trial.
Details of each of those sentenced are:
• Aaron Fay, 32, of no fixed abode, East London, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.
• Martin Ball, 30, of Galleon Road, Chafford Hundred, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment.
• Sudhir Singh Kundi, 39, of Bangors Road South, Iver, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment.

30 October 2018

Tropical forest regions can greatly reduce commodity-driven deforestation: here’s how
By Chris Meyer, EDF, 30 October 2018
Commitments to reduce deforestation in key commodity supply chains are on the rise, as are initiatives to implement them. EDF and colleagues at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies set out to map where such initiatives are underway. Specifically, they looked at areas where Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programs, jurisdictional approaches, and private sector actions are working to reduce deforestation driven by cattle, soy, palm oil, cocoa, and pulp and timber production.

Geoengineering is no closer to working
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 30 October 2018
Scientists have established a strategic error in one version of the climate change debate: they still say geoengineering is no guarantee of a cooler world.
There is no practical technology available to cool the Earth, they say – except the obvious one of ceasing to stoke the fires with fossil fuels.

Raw materials use tipped to nearly double by 2060, OECD report says
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 30 October 2018
Rising living standards and population growth will push the use of raw materials to unprecedented levels in the coming decades, according to projections in a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Around 90 gigatons of raw materials are used each year across the globe, say the report’s authors. That is a lot of stuff — the total raw materials consumed by an average family in a day would fill up a bathtub, volumes that will only become larger between now and 2060. The quantities are set to almost double to 167 gigatons by 2060, as global population grows to almost 10 billion, the global economy quadruples and average incomes per capita rise to converge with current OECD levels of about $40,000 a year. This will place twice the pressure on the environment that we are seeing today, said the authors in a press release.

Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 30 October 2018
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.
The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.

The unseen driver behind the migrant caravan: climate change
By Oliver Milman, Emily Holden, and David Agren, The Guardian, 30 October 2018
Thousands of Central American migrants trudging through Mexico towards the US have regularly been described as either fleeing gang violence or extreme poverty.
But another crucial driving factor behind the migrant caravan has been harder to grasp: climate change.
Most members of the migrant caravans come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – three countries devastated by violence, organised crime and systemic corruption, the roots of which can be traced back to the region’s cold war conflicts.

[UK] The Budget was a betrayal of the environment
By India Bourke, New Statesman, 30 October 2018
“How dare he?” Those were the three words that sprang to mind after watching Philip Hammond deliver yesterday’s Budget speech. How dare he pay little more than lip service to the urgent need to protect the natural world?
“We cannot secure our children’s future unless we secure our planet’s future”, the Chancellor solemnly announced to parliament, before going on to omit any mention of climate change – the greatest existential threat humanity has arguably ever faced.

[USA] The City of Angels Funds Some Hellish Fossil Fuel Projects
By Doug Norlen, Friends of the Earth, 30 October 2018
This month the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a startling report, which finds that severe impacts of climate change are happening much sooner than previously expected, and that countries must take far more aggressive actions to avoid the most catastrophic impacts. The report finds that the burning of fossil fuels must be curbed sharply.

[USA] Trading carbon to repurchase stolen property (E1299)
RT, 30 October 2018
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the fact that Donald Trump has already raised $100 million for his 2020 re-election campaign, the first president in modern history to begin fundraising so early in his first term. What does this sort of fundraising success mean for 2020? They also look at Big Oil suddenly advocating for a carbon tax. Are they trying to outrun the bear, leaving coal to be hit hard? Or are they trying to write legislation beneficial to themselves before regulators are forced to ‘do something’ as climate catastrophes escalate? In the second half, they look at the native Americans in northern California who buy back their land from the people who stole it by earning money trading carbon credits thanks to their massive Redwood trees.

31 October 2018

New Asian coal plants knock climate goals off course
By Leslie Hook, David Sheppard, and Myles McCormick, Financial Times, 31 October 2018
A fleet of new coal plants in Asia threatening to derail global emissions targets has exposed the growing “disconnect” between energy markets and climate goals.
Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said the growth of coal-fired power in Asia was worrying because the new plants would “lock in the emissions trajectory of the world, full stop”.
“How we are going to deal with this problem is for me the nerve centre of the climate change debate today,” Mr Birol told the Financial Times.

Bolsonaro’s election is catastrophic news for Brazil’s indigenous tribes
By Fiona Watson, The Guardian, 31 October 2018
Brazil has just elected as its president a far-right nationalist with authoritarian tendencies and fascist inclinations. The country’s 900,000-strong indigenous people are among the many minority groups Jair Bolsonaro has frequently targeted with vitriolic hostility. “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated their Indians,” he once said. If he enacts his campaign promises, the first peoples of Brazil face catastrophe; in some cases, genocide.

Brazil’s new leader promised to exploit the Amazon—but can he?
By Scott Wallace, National Geographic, 31 October 2018
The victory of hard-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election Sunday has set off alarm bells among indigenous communities and environmentalists over the fate of the Amazon rain forest. Activists and native leaders are particularly concerned by Bolsonaro’s campaign pledges to rollback protections of the rain forest and indigenous rights. Yet some experts say there are limits to how far Bolsonaro will be able to go on his promises, perhaps suggesting a more moderate future.

The Guardian view on Brazil’s new president: a global danger
The Guardian, 31 October 2018
It is depressing to think that for the first time since the return of democracy in 1985 Brazilians have elected a far-right president of the republic. Jair Bolsonaro, a seven-term lawmaker and former army captain, represents a clear and present danger not only to his country but to the planet. At home he has defended dictatorship and torture and joked about killing his leftwing opponents. He has a history of denigrating women, gay people and minorities. The president-elect promises to bring order by spreading chaos with a relaxation of gun laws. This will cost lives in a country that already records more than 60,000 murders a year. In a familiar but chilling pattern, Mr Bolsonaro successfully pitched himself as the anti-establishment candidate, appealing to voters fed up with political graft and violent crime. There’s every reason to think that Brazilians who voted in haste for Mr Bolsonaro will repent at leisure.

Deforestation continues upward trend in the Brazilian Amazon
Mongabay, 31 October 2018
Data released separately by civil society and the Brazilian government shows that deforestation is continuing to climb in Earth’s largest rainforest.
On Monday, Imazon, a Brazilian NGO, published its monthly report on deforestation in the Amazon from its satellite-based Sistema de Alerta de Desmatamento (SAD) forest monitoring platform. Imazon reported 444 square kilometers of clearing in September 2018, an increase of 84 percent over September 2017. More importantly given the variability of month-to-month deforestation figures, the twelve month total according to the system amounts to 4,859 square kilometers, the highest level since July 2008.

Indigenous communities in southern Colombian denounce invasion of their territories by cattle ranchers
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 31 October 2018
In the southern Putumayo Department, which borders Peru and Ecuador in the Colombian Amazon, indigenous communities have denounced illegal invasions and deforestation of their lands by cattle ranchers.
According to the latest issue of Semana Sostenible, an environmental quarterly Colombian magazine, the indigenous communities Nukanchiruna, Chaibajú and Uaima have demanded, so far without success, that ranchers remove their cattle from their territories.
At Nukanchiruna, residents of the kichwa ethnicity allege that ranchers have occupied and cleared 170 hectares of forests on their land in recent years.

Palm oil executives arrested in bribery scandal in Indonesia
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 31 October 2018
Three executives from one of Indonesia’s biggest palm oil firms were arrested over the weekend by the nation’s anti-graft agency, the KPK, after an employee was caught bribing politicians to kill an inquiry into water pollution and plantation licenses in Borneo, the agency said on Sunday.
The executives work for Sinarmas, a sprawling conglomerate owned by Indonesia’s billionaire Widjaja family. One of them, Edy Saputra Suradja, has been a vice president of PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology (SMART) since 2008. SMART is one of the Widjaja family’s main palm oil arms, presiding over dozens of plantations and mills across Indonesia. Edy tendered his resignation after the scandal broke.

1 November 2018

Climate change: Oceans ‘soaking up more heat than estimated’
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 1 November 2018
The world has seriously underestimated the amount of heat soaked up by our oceans over the past 25 years, researchers say.
Their study suggests that the seas have absorbed 60% more than previously thought.
They say it means the Earth is more sensitive to fossil fuel emissions than estimated.
This could make it much more difficult to keep global warming within safe levels this century.

The Billion-Dollar Rallying Cry for Nature
By Mark Tercek, Medium, 1 November 2018
As an environmentalist, I’ve long been inspired by the great biologist Dr. E.O. Wilson’s leadership and inspiring example. He is always pushing us to do more. That is especially true in his bold challenge that humankind should fully protect half the earth’s lands and waters for nature.
But how will we pull this off? We’ve made some progress recently, but we have a very long way to go. In 1990, just 8% of land and 1% of marine areas were protected from development — a small fraction of Dr. Wilson’s goal. Today, we’ve protected 15% of land and 7% of marine areas. We should be encouraged by this progress, but we need to do even more — and soon.

Negative emissions: Scientists meet in Australia to discuss removing CO2 from air
By Daisy Dunne, CarbonBrief, 1 November 2018
An international group of researchers and policymakers met in Australia’s capital this week for the country’s first major conference dedicated to the topic of “negative emissions”.
The two-day event, held at the Australian Academy of Science’s Shine Dome in Canberra, played host to a range of ideas for removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it on land, underground or in the oceans.

[Brazil] Fears for Amazon as Bolsonaro plans to merge environment and agriculture ministries
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 1 November 2018
Jair Bolsonaro will merge Brazil’s environment and agriculture ministries, a senior aide has confirmed, raising fears the ultra-right leader will ramp up conversion of Amazon rainforest into farmland.
After his election victory on Sunday, the president-elect is putting together a cabinet that he says will “make Brazil great”, though many conservationists fear it will put short-term business interests ahead of the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sink, indigenous communities and rich eco-systems.

[DR Congo] What should be the role of civil society in national Redd+ processes?
Rainforest Foundation Norway, 1 November 2018
A report published jointly this week by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) makes concrete recommendations for civil society on how to actively and effectively participate and engage in the REDD+ process.
The report follows the restructuring process from 2009-2015 of the civil society platform on REDD+ and Climate (Groupe de Travail Climat REDD+ Rénové – GTCRR) in DRC. Last weekend, end of October 2018, GTCRR held their general assembly in Kinshasa.

Major palm oil company execs arrested for bribery in Indonesia
By Jeff Conant, Friends of the Earth US, 1 November 2018
Earlier this week Reuters reported on a bribery scandal in Indonesia that has resulted — so far — in the arrests of seven people, including senior executives of palm company Sinar Mas Agro Resources and PT Binasawit Abadi Pratama. The vice president of Sinar Mas and several members of the Central Kalimantan parliament are named as suspects in the case according to the KPK, Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission, which made the arrests.
Both Sinar Mas Agro and Binasawit are subsidiaries of Singapore-listed palm oil giant Golden Agri-Resources Ltd., the second largest palm oil company in the world.

[Kenya] App helps indigenous group report evictions, actions, 1 November 2018
An indigenous group in Kenya is embracing the use of technological innovation to document forced evictions and efforts at resolving related conflicts.
Although forced evictions are not new to Kenya’s Sengwer community, in December last year, the Kenyan Forest Service started a new campaign to evict families from the Embobut Forest — their ancestral home — thereby resulting in conflicts and 341 houses being burnt, says a report by Amnesty International published in May this year.
The Sengwer community in Embobut Forest is now using “This Is My Backyard “(TIMBY), a set of interconnected digital tools, to document and boost negotiations to resolve land conflicts.

[UK] 1.4Mha of second-generation crops could boost biomass, report says
FarmingUK, 1 November 2018
The UK Government has been urged to increase biomass volume by utilising the planting potential of up to 1.4 Mha of second-generation crops.
In a report released this week, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has recommended an increase in biomass production and the creation of the right environment to advance bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) as a core component in a push to a low and net zero carbon UK.
ETI has identified BECCS as economically important to a low carbon transition for the UK.

2 November 2018

New peatland protection center in Indonesia a “triple win” for humanity
By Hannah Maddison-Harris, CIFOR Forests News, 2 November 2018
Representatives of Indonesia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined with international organizations to push forward a sustainable peatland agenda at a launch event for the new International Tropical Peatland Center (ITPC) in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The three countries – all home to extensive areas of tropical peatland – comprise the founding member states of the center, which is expected to become a holistic platform for peatland science and practice. It marks the first time countries from the global south have banded together in such a way to protect these pivotal yet under appreciated ecosystems. When managed sustainably, tropical peatlands offer not only substantial environmental gains, but also potential livelihood benefits to those living on and around them.

3 November 2018

[Indonesia] Farmers dispute palm oil prosperity claims
By Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta Post, 3 November 2018
Farmers have challenged claims that the palm oil industry has brought prosperity to smallholders and reduced poverty, as millions still struggle to get land ownership documents and earn enough money to meet their basic needs.
The chairman of the Bogor-based Oil Palm Smallholders Union, Mansuetus Darto, said the better welfare of farmers and sustainable development goals (SDG) could be achieved when farmers secure their land rights and the government sets a minimum price for fresh fruit bunches (TBS), as well as establishes fairer partnerships with companies.

4 November 2018

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