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REDD in the news: 14-20 January 2019

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

14 January 2019

Brazil minister blasts supermodel Bundchen, invites her to be environment envoy
By Jake Spring and Ana Mano, Reuters, 14 January 2019
Brazil’s agriculture minister on Monday criticized supermodel Gisele Bundchen for saying Brazil is a deforester and said she will invite the supermodel to be an ambassador for the country’s efforts to supply the world with food while preserving nature.
Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Twitter that Bundchen would receive the invitation soon, after striking out at her in a radio interview.

Cambodian PM warns of ‘dead’ opposition if EU withdraws preferences
By Prak Chan Thul, Reuters, 14 January 2019
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday threatened to retaliate against the opposition if the European Union withdraws duty-free trading access over human rights concerns.
The EU in November began a formal procedure to strip Cambodia of its Everything but Arms (EBA) status, after Hun Sen returned to power in a July general election in which his party won all of the seats after a crackdown on the opposition.
“If you want the opposition dead, just cut it,” Hun Sen said in a speech at the inauguration of a ring road around the capital, Phnom Penh, addressing the European Union and referring to Cambodia’s EBA status.
“If you want the opposition alive, don’t do it and come and hold talks together,” he said.

[USA] California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change.
By Umair Irfan, Vox, 14 January 2019
PG&E, the largest utility in California, announced Monday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the end of the month, providing a 15-day advance notice required by law.
What’s forcing the company into this unsavory position is upward of $30 billion in liability after record-breaking deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 torched big swaths of California. Investigators have attributed more than 1,500 fires to PG&E power lines and hardware between June 2014 and December 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal. And PG&E equipment is a major suspect in the Camp Fire, an October blaze that killed 85 people and destroyed almost 14,000 homes, making it the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.

[USA] Trump’s executive order will cut more forest trees — and some of the public’s tools to stop it
By Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, 14 January 2019
With a partial government shutdown looming, President Trump quietly issued an executive order that expands logging on public land on the grounds that it will curb deadly wildfires.
The declaration, issued the Friday before Christmas, reflects Trump’s interest in forest management since a spate of wildfires ravaged California last year. While many scientists and Western governors have urged federal officials to adopt a suite of policies to tackle the problem, including cuts in greenhouse gases linked to climate change, the president has focused on expanding timber sales.

[USA] White House: Ivanka Trump not under consideration for World Bank chief
By Andrew Restuccia, Politico, 14 January 2019
President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, is overseeing the internal search for a nominee to lead the World Bank — but is not herself a candidate for the job, according to the White House.
The World Bank’s current president, Jim Yong Kim, announced last week that he will step down next month, touching off speculation about his replacement. The Financial Times reported that Ivanka Trump’s name was “floating around Washington” as one possibility.

[USA] NY Court grants ninth stay extension in lawsuit targeting Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow
By Maria Nikolova, FinanceFeeds, 14 January 2019
The criminal proceedings against Renwick Haddow, known for his Ponzi and bitcoin scams, have been prolonged further. According to the latest filings with the New York Southern District Court, the stay of the lawsuit launched by the US authorities against Haddow has been extended once again.
This is the ninth such continuance in this case, which has now been extended until February 9, 2019.
The reason for the stay extension, as previously explained, is the ongoing engagement of the Government and the defendant in discussions concerning a possible disposition of this case.

15 January 2019

1.5 Degrees Lifestyles
Aalto University, 15 January 2019
If the world is to keep climate change at manageable levels before the middle of the century, changes in lifestyles are not only inevitable, but would need to be radical, and start immediately. Considering current consumption levels, citizens in many developed countries would have to cut their lifestyle carbon footprints by about 80-90% or more, and some in developing countries by about 30-80% within the next 30 years. This is one of the key messages coming from the report “1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints,” just launched by a group of experts from an international consortium of research and policy institutes.

Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 15 January 2019
Climate change could be kept in check if a phaseout of all fossil fuel infrastructure were to begin immediately, according to research.
It shows that meeting the internationally agreed aspiration of keeping global warming to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is still possible. The scientists say it is therefore the choices being made by global society, not physics, which is the obstacle to meeting the goal.
The study found that if all fossil fuel infrastructure – power plants, factories, vehicles, ships and planes – from now on are replaced by zero-carbon alternatives at the end of their useful lives, there is a 64% chance of staying under 1.5C.

Are We Living Through Climate Change’s Worst-Case Scenario?
By Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 15 January 2019
The year 2018 was not an easy one for planet Earth.
Sure, wind and solar energy kept getting cheaper, and an electric car became America’s best-selling luxury vehicle. But the most important metric of climatic health—the amount of heat-trapping gas entering the atmosphere—got suddenly and shockingly worse.
In the United States, carbon emissions leapt back up, making their largest year-over-year increase since the end of the Great Recession. This matched the trend across the globe. According to two major studies, greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide shot up in 2018—accelerating like a “speeding freight train,” as one scientist put it.

How much can forests fight climate change?
By Gabriel Popkin, Nature, 15 January 2019
When it comes to fighting global warming, trees have emerged as one of the most popular weapons. With nations making little progress controlling their carbon emissions, many governments and advocates have advanced plans to plant vast numbers of trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in an attempt to slow climate change. But emerging research suggests that trees might not always help as much as some hope.

Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’
By Damien Carrington, The Guardian, 15 January 2019
Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished.
“We knew that something was amiss in the first couple days,” said Brad Lister. “We were driving into the forest and at the same time both Andres and I said: ‘Where are all the birds?’ There was nothing.”
His return to the Luquillo rainforest in Puerto Rico after 35 years was to reveal an appalling discovery. The insect population that once provided plentiful food for birds throughout the mountainous national park had collapsed. On the ground, 98% had gone. Up in the leafy canopy, 80% had vanished. The most likely culprit by far is global warming.

Is deforestation in Borneo slowing down?
By Barbara Fraser, CIFOR Forests News, 15 January 2019
When people talk about deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia, palm oil often gets the blame. Demand for the versatile vegetable oil is high worldwide, and the two Asian countries together produce 87% of global supply.
Industrial-scale oil palm plantations have been expanding in the two countries in recent decades, as have plantations of pulpwood, mainly fast-growing acacia species.

Brazil downgrades climate diplomacy in Bolsonaro shake-up
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 15 January 2019
Brazil has demoted climate diplomacy as part of a foreign ministry shake-up, in Jair Bolsonaro’s first two weeks as president.
The world “climate” has been erased from the organisational chart. The role of deputy secretary for environmental matters has been axed and its portfolio subsumed by the secretariat for “national sovereignty and citizenship affairs”.
Staff previously responsible for UN climate negotiations are still there, a source told Climate Home News, but “climate change” is no longer part of the description of their department’s functions. Instead it refers to “protection of the atmosphere”.

Making a case for forest investments in Pakistan
Profor, 15 January 2019
A new report Forests for Green Pakistan highlights that while the forest cover in Pakistan is low, covering just 5.1 percent of the total land area, the contribution of forests to Pakistan’s national economy and to the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities is significant.
Forests benefit the economy and forest-dependent communities in several ways. For example, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO 2009), 68 percent of the country’s population depends on firewood as a major source of household energy and about 100,000 people are involved in the fuelwood trade, generating about PKR 11.3 billion ($113 million) annually.

Can carbon credits and cacao outcompete gold mining and deforestation in Peru’s Amazon?
By David Bank, ImpactAlpha, 15 January 2019
The Althelia Climate Fund’s investment in a project to restore degraded areas of Peru’s Amazon was supposed to demonstrate how the sale of forest carbon credits could be harnessed to finance large-scale conservation and boost the livelihoods of local farmers.
Instead, Althelia’s Tambopata project highlights how nimble project managers can make such conservation projects succeed even in the absence of a robust global market for such carbon credits or offsets.

16 January 2019

The case for forests’ prominent role in holding off climate change
By John C. Cannon, Mongabay, 16 January 2019
Most scientists and experts agree that forests are critical to stabilizing the global climate, and the 2015 Paris climate agreement recognized the need to “conserve and enhance” their carbon sequestration potential. But three years after the deal, forests and their capacity as regulators of emissions still aren’t recognized on the same level as the energy sector.
Part of the reason is that forests aren’t viewed as a permanent part of the solution, Donna Lee, an independent climate change and land use consultant, said.

Making connections: New funding opens dialogue on landscape approach efforts
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 16 January 2019
Over the past six years, conversations on sustainable forest management activities focused on transforming the way the international community addresses poverty, food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss have coalesced into the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) movement.
Based on the “landscape approach,” the GLF aims to synthesize seemingly competing land use goals to ensure social, environmental and economic equilibrium. In a nutshell, both the GLF and the approach address the pressures of population growth and human demand, which exacerbate agricultural expansion and intensification, and the extraction of commodities, including wood, vegetable oils and biofuels.

Kew research reveals 60 per cent of coffee species in danger of extinction
Global Coffee Report, 16 January 2019
Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the United Kingdom, have revealed that 60 per cent of all wild coffee species are under threat of extinction in two papers published in Science Advances and Global Change Biology on 16 December.
This includes the wild relative of Coffea arabica, the world’s most widely traded coffee, which has entered The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as an endangered species, largely due to climate change projections.

BlackRock Does the Right Thing
The Yes Men, 16 January 2019
In the early morning of January 16, a few hours before announcing their fourth-quarter 2018 earnings, Laurence Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the biggest asset manager on earth, received an email copy of his annual letter to investors. There was just one problem: he had not sent the real one out yet.
The letter, posted to a website made to look like a BlackRock corporate site, was a hoax intended to pressure Fink’s company—the world’s largest owner of fossil fuels including coal—to actively reduce their stake in climate destruction. It went viral on Twitter and was covered by the Financial Times before being revealed as fake. Since then, the hoax has been described in Business Insider, Barron’s, Financial News, and Axios.

Failure to curb climate change a top risk: Davos survey
By Timothy Gardner, Reuters, 16 January 2019
The risk that global efforts to tackle climate change will fail has risen despite concerns about powerful storms, floods, and droughts, a survey released by the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday, days before its annual gathering in Davos.
The annual Global Risks Report, which incorporates the survey, highlighted several top risks for 2019 including massive incidents of data fraud and theft and large scale cyberattacks.

Guyana signs on to forest management agreement with the EU
By Carinya Sharples, Mongabay, 16 January 2019
Guyana has initialed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) to tackle illegal logging, improve forest management and boost the legal timber trade in the South American country.
It has been an exhausting six years since Guyana first began the process back in December 2012. A deadline at the end of 2017 was missed, but now Guyana is finally one step closer to being able to issue licenses under the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) initiative.

The U.S. Should Get Tough on Timber With Peru
By Richard Conniff, New York Times, 16 January 2019
When the trade deal between the United States and Peru went into effect in 2009, proponents touted it as a shining example of environmental good sense. It was the first time the main text of any trade deal included detailed protections for the environment and for labor. That mattered — and still matters — both as a model for other trade deals and also because the environment ostensibly being protected includes a large chunk of the Amazon rain forest.

17 January 2019

More vegetables, less meat for all our sakes
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 17 January 2019
An international panel of health scientists and climate researchers has prescribed a new diet for the planet: more vegetables, less meat, fresh fruit, wholegrains and pulses, give up sugar, waste less and keep counting the calories.
And if 200 nations accept the diagnosis and follow doctor’s orders, tomorrow’s farmers may be able to feed 10 billion people comfortably by 2050, help contain climate change, and prevent 11 million premature deaths per year.

State of the climate: How the world warmed in 2018
By Zeke Hausfather, CarbonBrief, 17 January 2019
The climate data for 2018 is now mostly in, though the ongoing shutdown of the US government has caused some datasets to be delayed.
In this article, Carbon Brief explains why last year proved to be so remarkable across the oceans, atmosphere, cryosphere and surface temperature of the planet.
A number of records for the Earth’s climate were set in 2018:
It was the warmest year on record for ocean heat content, which increased markedly between 2017 and 2018.
It was the fourth warmest year on record for surface temperature.
It was the sixth warmest year in the lower troposphere – the lower part of the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gas concentrations reached record levels for CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide.
Sea ice was well below the long-term average at both poles for most of the year. The summer Arctic sea ice minimum was the sixth lowest since records began in the late 1970s.

2020 Deforestation Targets Lead to Positive Outcomes — Even If We’re Behind Schedule
By Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy, 17 January 2019
Another year down, another year closer to the 2020 deadline of the New York Declaration on Forests. In 2014, more than 50 companies, including household names like Unilever, Cargill, Nestle and Walmart, signed the declaration, committing to eliminate deforestation in four key commodities by 2020: beef, soy, palm oil, and pulp and paper. This enormous undertaking is a stepping stone to the even bigger goal of eliminating deforestation in all supply chains by 2030.
The 2020 goal isn’t going to happen, but that’s okay. I’m here to tell companies: don’t despair.

IKEA assembles plan to be carbon negative by 2030
By Gabrielle Lipton, CIFOR Landscape News, 17 January 2019
By keeping its design high, prices low, service quick and ice cream fresh at the ends of its labyrinthian warehouses, IKEA has become the world’s largest furniture retailer by creating positive shopping experiences for homemakers worldwide.
Yet to ensure its longevity, IKEA has been increasing its investment in a different relationship – one with the planet. Having revamped its 2012-launched People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy last June, the company, which had EUR 34.1 billion in 2017 sales, is no longer content achieving net-zero carbon emissions. By 2030, IKEA aims to have its operations actually reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as well as inspire 1 billion people to live more sustainable lives at home by making climate-positive furnishings an easy requisite rather than a luxury (despite those linen sheets suggesting otherwise).

Climate Change High on Agenda at Davos Summit Despite Privileged Access For Fossil Fuel Industry
By Chloe Farand, DesmogUK, 17 January 2019
As the world’s rich and powerful gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF), the threats to the global economy caused by environmental disasters and climate change are set to be high on the agenda.
Attended by David Attenborough, 15-year-old school strike activist Greta Thunberg and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, this year’s WEF conference will hear from influential voices which have repeatedly warned that time for world leaders to address climate change is running out.
But the fossil fuel industry continues to be a guest of honour at the meeting, with some of the world’s largest oil, gas and mining companies having a say in shaping the forum’s agenda and sitting on the conference’s front bench as “strategic partners”.

Brazil’s Environment Minister Toughens Stance with NGOs
By Lise Alves, Rio Times, 17 January 2019
After widespread criticism Brazil’s Ministry of Environment has backed down from the decision to suspend all agreements and partnerships with non-governmental organizations for the next 90 days. The Ministry now says that the suspension only applies to the signing of new contracts.
“We will not suspend anything that is in operation, but we will officiate each of these entities to report on activities and accountability for what they are doing,” explained Environment Minister Ricardo Salles during a TV interview to Globonews on Wednesday afternoon.

Brazil environment chief accused of ‘war on NGOs’ as partnerships paused
By Anna Jean Kaiser, The Guardian, 17 January 2019
Brazil’s new environment minister, Ricardo Salles, has suspended all partnerships and agreements with non-governmental organizations for 90 days, in a move that was described as “a war against NGOs”.
Announcing the move, Salles said the three-month suspension was to allow a re-evaluation of such partnerships, but civil society organizations described the move as a blatant and illegal attack on the environment and those working to protect it.

[Indonesia] A Highway Megaproject Tears at the Heart of New Guinea’s Rainforest
By William Laurance, YaleEnvironment360, 17 January 2019
The Pacific island of New Guinea, which harbors one of the world’s largest and most intact tropical rainforests, is the epicenter of Australasia’s tropical biodiversity. The island’s unique denizens, including tree-kangaroos and birds of paradise, are representative of a regional flora and fauna so fantastically diverse that Charles Darwin once mused such creatures must have been made by a “separate Creator.” Today, researchers are still merely sampling its primeval intricacies.

[Indonesia] Palm oil companies continue to criminalize farmers in Sumatra
By Gaurav Madan, Friends of the Earth, 17 January 2019
On a late night in December, I arrived in the village of Lunjuk on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. A warm breeze welcomed me as I sat down with 30 women and men from Forum Petani Bersatu — the local farmers’ union — who had gathered to share stories of their ongoing struggle to reclaim their land.
My visit came almost five years after Friends of the Earth U.S. reported about escalating conflict between farmers and palm oil company PT Sandabi Indah Lestari — or PT SIL. The case featured disturbing details of land grabbing, violence, and dispossession of local communities. According to farmers in Lunjuk, the company destroyed farms and homes, forcibly displaced families, and had villagers arrested on dubious charges.

[Philippines] Global IP leader out of ‘terrorist-list,’ calls to end attacks to HRDs
Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation press release, 17 January 2019
The Global Coordinator of a Philippine-based International Indigenous Peoples (IP) organization included in a government ‘terrorist-list’ was recently delisted together with more than 600 other names in an amended petition submitted by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to Manila Regional Trial Court last January 3.
Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and an Indigenous Bontok-Kankanaey from the Mountain Province, was removed in the amended DoJ petition, welcomes this latest development in the case.

18 January 2019

Q&A: 17 Percent of the Problem, but 30 Percent of the Solution
By Tharanga Yakupitlyage, IPS, 18 January 2019
From expansive evergreen forests to lush tropical forests, the Earth’s forests are disappearing on a massive scale. While deforestation poses a significant problem to the environment and climate, trees also offer a solution.
After a series of eye-opening reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) were published in 2018, it was clear that international action is more urgent than ever to reduce emissions and conserve the environment.

Saving the Paris Agreement
By Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 18 January 2019
During the United Nations climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland, in December, the cavernous modern convention center at the heart of this grim industrial city was like a spaceship in coal country. Outside, the air was so sulfurous and polluted it gave at least one negotiator a nosebleed as they walked from their hotel to the conference center.
Katowice is the coal capital of the European Union, where hills are hollowed out with mines and the livelihoods of some 90,000 workers are dependent on what the Polish prime minister has called “black gold.”

The dubious fanfare about BlackRock’s social purpose
By Jeff Conant, Friends of the Earth, 18 January 2019
The German playwright Bertolt Brecht once asked, “Which is the greater crime, to rob a bank or to own one?”
In that same spirit we might look at the recent flurry of news around BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, and ask which is the greater hoax: Wednesday’s spoof of the much-anticipated annual letter by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, or the real Fink letter, released a day later?

A former Kraken exec is hoping to transform the carbon credit market with blockchain
By Frank Chaparro, The Block, 18 January 2019
“The blockchain could radically transform this market.”
William Evans, who recently left cryptocurrency exchange Kraken to lead fintech startup Veridium Labs, isn’t talking about the bond market, the FX market, or even the stock market. He’s talking about the market for carbon credits, a financial product his firm wants to bring to the next level.

Can genetic engineering save disappearing forests?
By Jason A. Delborne, The Conversation, 18 January 2019
Compared to gene-edited babies in China and ambitious projects to rescue woolly mammoths from extinction, biotech trees might sound pretty tame.
But releasing genetically engineered trees into forests to counter threats to forest health represents a new frontier in biotechnology. Even as the techniques of molecular biology have advanced, humans have not yet released a genetically engineered plant that is intended to spread and persist in an unmanaged environment. Biotech trees – genetically engineered or gene-edited – offer just that possibility.

The most mind-blowing eco-stories of 2018
ALERT, 18 January 2019
ALERT continued its remarkable growth in 2018—all thanks to you. We’re now reaching around 15 million people yearly, with up to 2 million readers on any particular week.
Here are the most singular stories from ALERT in 2018—some of the hottest and most mind-blowing environmental issues of the year.

Is Marie Kondo the answer to our environmental woes?
By Shuk-Wah Chung, Greenpeace, 18 January 2019
I couldn’t sleep. It was 3am and all I could think about was the laborious task I needed to complete. Would I take the black skirt or the blue one? The silk shirt or the cashmere? And shoes. What about shoes?!
I was about to embark on a long holiday, traversing seasons and oceans and was consumed with the crippling decision of what stylish, comfortable, and versatile outfits to pack in my suitcase. A necessary job that should only take a few hours, took me…days. Quite simply, I was faced with a mountain of clothes, an overwhelming amount of choice, and a very, very messy room. If only I had Marie Kondo in my life…

[Cameroon] Douala International Airport embarks on new solar scheme
International Airport Review, 18 January 2019
A new ground-mounted 1.2MW solar installation at Cameroon’s Douala International Airport has been put into operation to help reduce the CO2 emissions produced by aircraft during ground operations.
Aircraft currently use jet fuel based auxiliary power units (APUs) or diesel-driven ground power units (GPUs) to provide pre-conditioned air and electricity to aircraft during ground operations.

[Iceland] The technology that turns CO2 into rock
By Tim Smedley, Data Driven Investor, 18 January 2019
Iceland may have uncovered the first truly safe method for carbon capture and storage. Currently, the established carbon capture technology is to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, condense it, and pump it into underground chambers. This is the technique favoured by the oil and gas industry because they can suck an oil or gas reservoir dry, pump CO2 back in, and claim they are doing their bit for climate change. The problem with this method (beyond the hypocrisy) is that the CO2 can leak back out — it is only ever an earthquake away from seeping to the surface, and into the atmosphere. Much like nuclear waste, it doesn’t solve a problem, it simply passes the buck to future generations.

[India] Carbon stock assessment of forest ecosystem to become part of working plan in Punjab
By Seema Sharma, Times of India, 18 January 2019
Carbon stock assessment of forest ecosystem will now be a part of state working plan code for Punjab forest department. States like Chhatisgarh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Assam also began the capacity building program of their foresters with Delhi based organisation The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) in this regard. Punjab too followed the suit with the three day training program of state forest officials on Thursday. A five day training workshop will also be held for the front line staff next month.

Indonesian road-building spree among ‘world’s scariest’ environmental threats
James Cook University press release, 18 January 2019
An ambitious road-building spree by the Indonesian government will fragment and destroy vast areas of tropical rainforests on the island of Borneo, according to an international research team.
“You’d be hard-pressed to identify a scarier threat to biodiversity anywhere on Earth,” said Dr Mohammed Alamgir from James Cook University in Australia, lead author of the study.
“Borneo’s forests and rare wildlife have already been hit hard, but planned roads and railways will shred much of what remains, slicing across the largest remaining forest blocks,” said Professor Jatna Supriatna of the University of Indonesia.

[Kenya] Barking up the same trees
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 18 January 2019
The forested mountains of East Africa deserve their ‘water towers’ moniker. Their springs and streams feed a number of major rivers and lakes, nourishing millions of people and countless ecosystems downstream.
But the functionality of these ‘water towers’ is under threat due to deforestation, land conversion, charcoal burning and encroachment for settlement. Without consistent forest cover, streams and rivers can diminish and dry up, and the quality of the remaining water degrade.

In a first, Malaysia sues state govt for infringing indigenous rights
By Rina Chandran, Place, 18 January 2019
The Malaysian government said on Friday it would sue the local government of Kelantan state for failing to uphold the land rights of its indigenous people, a move that activists said was unprecedented and that could lead to more protection measures.
Orang Asli, meaning “original people”, is the term used for Malaysia’s indigenous people, who make up about 14 percent of the population. They have been pitted against logging and palm oil companies keen to tap the forested areas in which they live.
Logging companies, which have cleared vast forest areas in Kelantan for durian and rubber plantations, had deprived the Temiar Orang Asli of their ancestral land and resources, the office of the attorney general said in a statement on Friday.

[USA] Native corporations maintaining Alaska forests find a carbon credit buyer: oil company BP
By Elizabeth Harball, KTOO, 18 January 2019
To help address climate change, one of the biggest oil companies in Alaska is paying to keep forests standing on land managed by two Native corporations.
At an industry conference held Friday in Anchorage, BP Alaska president Janet Weiss announced the company has developed two carbon credit offset projects with Alaska Native corporations Ahtna and Sealaska.
“We will use offsets as one of the tools to underpin our low-carbon ambitions,” Weiss said.

19 January 2019

Yes, We Can End Deforestation And Reverse Climate Change. Here’s How.
By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 19 January 2019
In his 1974 book Zen in the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the late American philosopher Robert Persig described periods of experimentation and exploration that he called “lateral drift”, where progress seems to freeze, but which in reality set the stage for periods of fervent activity.
Something similar has been happening in the global effort to reverse climate change by ending deforestation, which generates about 20 percent of all greenhouse gasses. Ending deforestation would flip the world’s forests from being net carbon emitters to being massive carbon sinks, but the “Zero-Deforestation Supply Chain Movement,” which I’ll explain in a moment, has been in a state of lateral drift for nearly a decade.

20 January 2019

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