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REDD in the news: 25 February – 3 March 2018

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

25 February 2019

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 25 February 2019
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, the global building industry will have poured more than 19,000 bathtubs of concrete. By the time you are halfway through this article, the volume would fill the Albert Hall and spill out into Hyde Park. In a day it would be almost the size of China’s Three Gorges Dam. In a single year, there is enough to patio over every hill, dale, nook and cranny in England.
After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on Earth. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world with up to 2.8bn tonnes, surpassed only by China and the US.

Fears of a dire precedent as Brazil seeks results-based REDD+ payment
By Sarah Sax, Mongabay, 25 February 2019
Almost a decade after it was founded, the Green Climate Fund is ready to start paying tropical countries for emission reductions from REDD+. A proposal from Brazil has been submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board meeting for payments for 2014 and 2015. But advocates and forest policy experts say the way the emissions-reductions savings are being calculated, and the likely possibility that the reductions will not be permanent, might end up setting a poor precedent for future payouts from REDD+.

[Brazil] Soy Traders Adopt Key Transparency Measures to Counter Deforestation Risks
Chain Reaction Research, 25 February 2019
Major agricultural commodity traders that operate in Brazil have agreed to a set of principles and transparency measures in an effort to reduce deforestation driven by soy production in Brazil’s Cerrado. As part of the Soft Commodities Forum, companies such as ADM, COFCO International, Glencore, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Cargill said last week that they will improve the monitoring of their soy supply chains by providing details on how much soy they are sourcing from areas at high risk of deforestation in the Cerrado. They will publicize their findings in June 2019.

[India] Karnataka gripped by forest fires, state says it’s because of ‘mischief & mistakes’
By Rishika Pardikar, The Print, 25 February 2019
A Forest Survey of India report based on incidents in January 2019 has found that Karnataka was the state with the most number of forest fires in the country. The state forest department has questioned the data used for the analysis, but at the same time, has also said that forest fires are a matter of concern.
The most recent incident was a major fire that started last week in the state’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve which destroyed thousands of acres of land and wildlife.

Indonesia braces for wildfires ahead of El Niño
By Yulia Savitri and Kharishar Kahfi, The Jakarta Post, 25 February 2019
The government has declared 16 provinces across the country as prone to forest and land fires ahead of the upcoming El Niño, a climate pattern linked to warming waters in the central and eastern areas of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Such weather phenomena are known to trigger an extension of the dry season in Indonesia, which can increase the risk of wildfire.
An official with the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, Bambang Sugeng, said the emergency declaration that certain areas were wildfire-prone was done as a warning for these regions to stay alert to prevent forest and land fires.

Indonesia creates artificial rain as forest fires rage on in Sumatra
The Straits Times, 25 February 2019
The Indonesian military deployed an aircraft to create artificial rain on Monday (Feb 25) as thick smog caused by forest fires forced schools to close on Sumatra island, officials said.
“The plane can carry tonnes of salt to be used in cloud-seeding,” said Edwar Sanger, the head of the civil protection agency in Riau province on Sumatra.
Haze has blanketed parts of Riau, forcing schools to send students home as pollution reached hazardous levels on Monday, Antara news agency reported.

Kenya Forest Services puts out bush fire in Mt Kenya forest
By Peter Kinyau (Kenya Forest Service), KBC, 25 February 2019
Kenya Forest Services (KFS) has mobilized it’s human and equipment to assist in putting out a huge fire that is fast spreading in Mt Kenya Forest.
KFS Chairman Peter Kinyua has directed that all efforts by KFS should be channeled towards dealing with the fire.
The 6km long forest fire line has moved from Lake Ellis area towards Lake Alice and Marania spreading to the moorlands an area under Kenya Wildlife Service.

[USA] Wildfires Caused By Bad Environmental Policy Are Causing California Forests To Be Net CO2 Emitters
By Chuck DeVore, Forbes, 25 February 2019
In the past two years, wildfires scorched 2.9 million acres in California, including five of the state’s 20 deadliest fires killing 131 people.
Former California Gov. Jerry Brown grimly warned that because of man-made climate change, these destructive wildfires are the “new abnormal” that threaten “our whole way of life.”
Newly elected Gov. Gavin Newsom’s rhetoric has been more balanced.

26 February 2019

Airlines pledged to buy carbon offsets to slow warming, but that’s not enough
By Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, 26 February 2019
Air travel is a major source of carbon pollution, and currently, there’s no real way to stop it (short of grounding flights). Jet fuel made from oil is extremely energy-dense, and while many attempts have been made to blend jet fuel with biofuel, that solution is often prohibitively expensive and hardly carbon-neutral, to boot.
The Paris Agreement didn’t set limits for carbon emissions from the aviation industry, but the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)—an agency of the United Nations that works with the aviation industry in 144 countries—attempted to take up that mantle. The ICAO agreed in 2016 that airlines would be required to buy carbon offsets for every ton of carbon that they emit over and above 2020 emissions projections.

Betting on blockchain to simplify carbon trading
By Nicole Jao, TechNode, 26 February 2019
Climate change has become one of the most urgent issues facing the entire planet. It has become increasingly clear to the majority of nations that further delaying action to mitigate the rise of global temperatures will cause irreversible impacts to ecosystems and populations. Carbon trading is one of the most efficient ways for nations to reduce their levels of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).

CO2 emissions in developed economies fall due to decreasing fossil fuel and energy use
Tyndall Centre, 26 February 2019
Efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and tackle climate change in developed economies are beginning to pay off according to research led by the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The study suggests that policies supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency are helping to reduce emissions in 18 developed economies. The group of countries represents 28 per cent of global emissions, and includes the UK, US, France and Germany.

Hotspots decline though haze hits some parts of Indonesia’s Riau province
by Wahyudi Soeriaatmadja, The Straits Times, 26 February 2019
The number of hotspots in Indonesia’s Riau province has declined, although poor visibility has been reported in some areas, particularly in the east, because of forest fires.
Antara news agency said thick smog has blanketed parts of the province and forced schools to send students home.
The number of hotspots came down from 54 last Friday (Feb 22) to 23 on Tuesday (Feb 26), said Mr Sukisno, the head of the meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG) at Pekanbaru, in Riau.
But the number has been fluctuating, with 44 recorded last Saturday and 47 on Sunday. On Monday, it went down to 32.

[Thailand] Ministerial officials in 9 northern provinces ordered to join forest fire-tackling efforts
By Tossapol Boonpat, The Nation, 26 February 2019
Following unsafe levels of PM2.5 in Mae Hong Son province for four consecutive days due to forest fires, a senior official has called on all ministerial offices in nine haze-affected provinces in the North to jointly fight the fires and explain operational progress to the media.
The order was issued yesterday by Wijarn Simachaya, permanent secretary of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

[USA] Dianne Feinstein Is a Bigger Climate Threat Than Trump
By Emily Atkin, The New Republic, 26 February 2019
As climate change worsens, so does President Donald Trump’s denial. On Sunday, The Washington Post reported that his administration is assembling a panel of fringe, industry-funded scientists who “represent the Trump administration’s most forceful effort to date to challenge the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are helping drive global warming and that the world could face dire consequences unless countries curb their carbon output over the next few decades.”

Viet Nam becomes the second country in the world to complete all four pillars of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+
By Charlotte Hicks (UNEP), CIFOR Landscape News, 26 February 2019
It has been a momentous start to 2019 for the REDD+ community. Viet Nam has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to complete the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ after fulfilling the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) safeguards requirements.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has the potential to deliver many social and environmental benefits that go beyond mitigating climate change, but such measures also entail some potential risks. In order to minimize these, seven safeguards, known as the “Cancun safeguards,” are in place that must be supported throughout the implementation of REDD+ actions.

27 February 2019

Environmental Defense Fund Calls on EU Leaders to Create Real Aviation Credits that Advance Climate Progress
Environmental Defense Fund, 27 February 2019
Today, members of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation, including Environmental Defense Fund, issued a letter to members of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s powerful Council – including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Ireland – urging them to avoid bad aviation rules that will worsen climate change.
Aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. If no action is taken, carbon pollution from airplanes worldwide is expected to triple by 2050 as some 30,000 new large aircraft take to the skies. CORSIA – the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, that will launch in 2020 – has the potential to prevent 2.5 to three billion tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere over the first 15 years of the program. This potential will only be realized if countries can guarantee a transparent process and strong measures to reduce aviation emissions.

Climate smart biofuel production offers financial benefits for local communities
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 27 February 2019
Despite its massive potential as a sustainable source of energy, bioenergy alone cannot fulfill global demand. To produce biofuels at the scale required to serve overall planetary need may require excluding large amounts of land from commodity crop production, putting food security at risk.
Bioenergy is derived from a range of renewable sources, including crops and crop residues. With careful landscape management and use of degraded and underutilized lands, bioenergy production is feasible and could offer monetary rewards for investors and local communities alike – as long as potential pitfalls are assessed and remedied, according to researchers.

Green Climate Fund makes first payment to Brazil for efforts to reduce deforestation
By Stephen Leonard, CIFOR Landscape News, 27 February 2019
It’s now been over 10 years since countries around the world started to work on the international policy framework known by reference as the acronym REDD+, which stands for ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation and sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.’
Basically, REDD+ refers to a policy framework under the international Climate Change Convention designed to provide payments to developing countries for keeping their forests rather than logging them and converting them to plantations.

Brazil receives US$ 96 million for having reduced its deforestation
UNDP, 27 February 2019
Brazil just became the first country to receive financial resources from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for having successfully reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation in the past.
The payment from the GCF is based on results achieved by Brazil in the Amazon biome between 2014-2015, and which have been reported and validated by experts from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is the essence of REDD+: a mechanism to reward countries for having reduced their deforestation.

[India] Conservationists Speak Out Against Evictions, Say This Is Not Pro-Conservation
The Forest Rights Act, 27 February 2019
Please find below a joint statement by some of India’s and the world’s most experienced conservationists and conservation biologists on the recent Supreme Court order. More than one hundred signatories have signed, representing organisations, universities and institutions around the world. Contrary to the notion that this order is somehow a pro-wildlife measure, they say
“We do not regard this order as pro-conservation. On the contrary, it is a real setback for conservation in India.”

[Indonesia] Haze on the way? Sumatra forest fires rage amidst heatwave
New Straits Times, 27 February 2019
Forest fires which have been raging in Riau province, Sumatra since January are worsening due to the current heatwave plaguing the region.
The current blaze has spread to over 1,136 hectares and is growing, and smoke is beginning to blanket the area, data from the Riau District Disaster Management Agency revealed today.
Indonesian authorities are currently struggling to douse the fires through methods such as water bombing, Bernama reported.

28 February 2019

Stanford researchers discuss imperative to combine natural and industrial approaches to global decarbonization
By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, 28 February 2019
In the fight to slow climate change, nature is a powerful weapon. In fact, natural climate solutions, such as reducing deforestation and changing farming practices, can soak up excess carbon in the atmosphere and prevent certain emissions so effectively that it might be tempting to think they can buy us time while we figure out how to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce.
Not so, says a group of scientists who published a related perspective piece today in the journal Science. They point out that some groups promoting natural solutions fail to adequately emphasize the urgency of moving away from fossil fuels if we are going to meet global climate goals and avoid the worst effects of a warming planet.

NGOs Pressure UN Aviation Agency on Offsetting Rules
By Gabriel daSilva, Ecosystem Marketplace, 28 February 2019
Greenhouse-gas emissions from international flights aren’t covered by the Paris Climate Agreement, but instead by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is a UN agency charged with coordinating aviation regulation. Two years ago, ICAO agreed to freeze net aviation emissions at 2020 levels beginning in 2021, and to create called called “CORSIA” (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) that lets airlines net out emissions by purchasing offsets from emission-reduction projects.
Since then, they’ve been debating the types of offsets that will be allowed and how they will be accounted, and the ICAO Council is meeting this week to establish rules for moving forward.

China’s CO2 emissions surged in 2018 despite clean energy gains
Lauri Myllyvirta, Unearthed, 28 February 2019
China’s CO2 emissions grew by approximately 3% last year, the largest rise since at least 2013, and all but ensuring global CO2 emissions also increased last year, according to an Unearthed analysis of newly released official data [in Chinese].
Here are 6 energy trends and takeaways from China’s latest statistical communique, including developments that promise to push emissions down in the coming years.

[India] Top wildlife scientists ask for cancellation of SC tribal eviction order
By Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 28 February 2019
More than 30 of India’s top ecologists, scientists and wildlife conservationists and have demanded that the petitioners withdraw their case against the Forest Rights Act and the government ensure the February 13 order of the Supreme Court for eviction of about 1.89 million tribal and forest-dwelling families be withdrawn.

[India] SC Stays Order Directing States To Evict Persons Whose Claims As Forest Dwellers Were Rejected
By Mehal Jain, Live Law, 28 February 2019
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed its February 13 order in the wake of which over 11 lakh tribals and other forest dwellers in 17 states stood to be evicted. The bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also required the Chief Secretaries of the states to disclose the modalities of the procedure of adjudication of these claims on forestland. Noting that many of these claimants may not even possess the requisite documents, the court directed the states to furnish whether the rejections were made after following due process, if there was adequate communication with the evictees at all stages, and whether there is acquiescence of the State-level Monitoring Committees which ensure that no tribal is displaced except in compliance with the formalities under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.

Mount Kenya wildfire: Marijuana farmers blamed
BBC News, 28 February 2019
A fire believed to have been started by illegal marijuana farmers is threatening tens of thousands of hectares of bamboo forest in Mount Kenya.
It has already destroyed 80 square kilometres of moorland and is now threatening indigenous forests.
East Africa is home to the largest natural bamboo forests in Africa. According to the CGIAR (Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research), it accounts for around 3-4% of the world’s total known bamboo coverage.

Norway’s wealth fund ditches 33 palm oil firms over deforestation
By Michael Taylor, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 28 February 2019
Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has pulled out of more than 33 palm oil companies over deforestation risks during the last seven years, a green group said on Thursday.
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), which released its annual report on Wednesday, sold stakes in more than 60 companies due to deforestation – including 33 firms involved in palm oil – Rainforest Foundation Norway said.
“It’s great to see that the GPFG is taking action against deforestation,” Vemund Olsen, a senior policy adviser at the Oslo-based group said on Thursday.

[Philippines] Forest fires spread; trek trails closed
By Kimberlie Quitasol, Inquirer.net, 28 February 2019
Authorities in the Cordillera closed several mountain trekking trails, deployed firefighters and formed a task force to avert the spread of fire that continued to destroy upland forests.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said it had recorded 90 forest and grass fires in Benguet and Mountain Province since January, with one incident killing five foresters in Benguet last week.

[UK] MPs debate climate after school strike – but only a handful turn up
By Sandra Laville, The Guardian, 28 February 2019
In the week that the UK experienced its hottest ever winter day, just a handful of government MPs attended a debate on climate change in parliament on Thursday.
Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said she had secured the discussion after being inspired by the thousands of UK schoolchildren who went on strike over climate change this month and wanted to thank them for forcing MPs into action.

[USA] With climate change, who should prevent California wildfires?
By Meredith Fowlie, Mercury News, 28 February 2019
Intense mega-fires have become the “new abnormal” here in California. The wildfires are out, for now. Thank you, firefighters! But the fight over who should bear the costs of future damage compensation and risk mitigation is heating up.
Citing wildfire liabilities upwards of $30 billion, PG&E, the state’s largest electric utility recently filed for bankruptcy. Headlines hail this the first of many “climate change bankruptcies.” But climate change is only one factor. These fires would not be so big if we did not send power through thousands of miles of tinderbox forest at high-risk times. Liabilities would not be so large if fewer people lived in high fire-risk areas.

1 March 2019

UN declares 2021 to 2030 ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’
By Sandra Cordon, CIFOR Landscape News, 1 March 2019
The United Nations has issued a massive global ‘call to action’ to mobilize the political and financial support necessary to restore the world’s deforested and degraded ecosystems over the coming decade to support the wellbeing of 3.2 billion people around the globe. More than 2 billion hectares – an area larger than the South American continent – stand to be restored.
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, approved by the General Assembly on 1 March, will run from 2021 to 2030 and emphasize scaling-up of restoration work to address the severe degradation of landscapes, including wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, worldwide. It will likely boost landscape restoration work to the top of national agendas, building on a public demand for action on issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and the resulting impacts on economies and livelihoods.

Food security at risk as web of life unravels
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 1 March 2019
The biggest agricultural authority in the world has warned that the web of life is coming apart as the loss of biodiversity increases.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations says the wholesale destruction and degradation of natural ecosystems puts human food security at risk, and adds a warning that the same loss could also seriously affect human health and livelihoods.

Beyond Paris: Other International Efforts to Address Climate Change
By Michelle Melton, Lawfare, 1 March 2019
The modern economy is built on an international transportation infrastructure that is largely invisible to the consumer. Nearly every banality of modern life, from the clothes people wear to the out-of-season food they eat, is possible only because goods can move easily by air and sea across vast distances, at a low cost.
Though beneficial for the consumer, this convenience has had adverse consequences for the planet. As international shipping and aviation have become increasingly central to the global economy over the past few decades, greenhouse gas emissions from these sectors have risen dramatically—despite improvements in the energy efficiency of both shipping and aviation.

Brazil to receive first-ever results-based REDD+ payment, but concerns remain
By Sarah Sax, Mongabay, 1 March 2019
The United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF) has accepted the first proposal for REDD+ results-based payouts from Brazil, effectively paying the country for reducing its deforestation rates in 2014 and 2015, as compared to the 1996-2010 average. In return for around 19 million tons of emissions reductions, the GCF has agreed to pay Brazil $96 million, which the country says it will use to launch a program called Floresta+ aimed at ecosystem restoration, the provision of environmental services, and strengthening the country’s REDD+ strategy.

In the Congo Basin, a road cuts through once-untouched ape wilderness
By Eugene N. Nforngwa, Mongabay, 1 March 2019
This right there used to be hell.” It’s early February 2019, deep in the tropical rainforest in southeastern Cameroon, the day after a night of heavy downpour. From his front porch, Jean Pierre Ondoua, a good-humored Baka Pygmy whom everyone calls JP (JEE-PAY), can see the weak glitter of the morning sun hitting the wet road. “Cars would line up here, unable to move. Timber trucks would topple over,” he says.
Three years ago, the stretch of road passing through Ondoua’s front yard was little more than a dirt track, sculpted by the combined forces of rushing rainwater and daily beatings from galloping timber trucks. Apart from these trucks, few vehicles came by regularly except for old Toyota Corollas with tuned-up suspensions, which ferried people and supplies hundreds of kilometers to and from Sangmelima, the nearest city. When it rained, cars and travelers waited for days for the slippery mud to dry up. When it didn’t rain, a thick layer of the mud piled on the road, rendering it even more slippery.
“It was hell, but things are different now,” Ondoua says, as the sun rises above a brush of towering trees in the distance.

Forest Fires Tripled in Last Four Months, Says Forest Survey of India
NewsClick, 1 March 2019
According to the Large Forest Fire Monitoring System launched by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) on January 16, 2019, the number of large forest fires has shot up to 14,107 from 4,225 between November 2018 and February 2019. According to the monitoring system, there are as many as 58 large forest fires active at the moment.
The real time fire alert system was launched as a part of the Last Forest Fire Monitoring System, and works using near real time data from the SNPP-VIIRS satellite.

India can’t afford to have Bandipur-type forest fires
Hindustan Times, 1 March 2019
On February 21, a major fire broke out in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, which is home to not just tigers but also elephants, spotted deer, bisons and antelopes. The fire was so severe that it took five days for the Indian Air Force and the forest officials, to douse the flames. Karnataka forest officials suspect that vandals are behind the fire. Other factors helped too: the current phase of hot and dry weather in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, leading to the crackling dry forest; and high speed winds. On February 25, the National Remote Sensing Centre estimated that about 4,419.54 hectares or 10,920 acres of the forest were affected.

MAAP #98: Deforestation hotsports in the Peruvian Amazon, 2018
Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, 1 March 2019
Thanks to early warning forest loss alerts, we are able to make an initial assessment of the 2018 deforestation hotspots in the Peruvian Amazon.
The Base Map highlights the medium (yellow) to high (red) hotspots. In this context, hotspots are the areas with the highest density of forest loss alerts.
Note that the most intense hotspots are concentrated in the southern Peruvian Amazon, particularly the Madre de Dios region. In previous years, intense hotspots were also concentrated in the central Peruvian Amazon.

[UK] Scammer Gets 6 Months For Violating £14M Repayment Order
Law360, 1 March 2019
A London judge on Friday sentenced a man behind a land investment scam to six months imprisonment for circumventing a court order that aimed to recoup the more than £14 million… [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Limited Response from Financial Institutions to U.S. Senators’ Call to Tackle Deforestation
Chain Reaction Research, 1 March 2019
A group of U.S. Senators recently sent letters on February 4, 2019 to investors and asset managers urging them to take into account deforestation risks in their portfolios. The Senators, led by Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, asked the financial actors to commit to pressuring companies in agricultural supply chains that do not adequately address deforestation risks.
Chain Reaction Research (CRR) contacted each of the targeted financial institutions for comment, and only two responded – Vanguard and CalPERS. And only one – CalPERS – has replied to the Senators, who requested a response by today, March 1, 2019.

Wiped out: America’s love of luxury toilet paper is destroying Canadian forests
By Sam Wolfson, The Guardian, 1 March 2019
We’re all becoming more aware about the damage single-use plastics and fast fashion has on the environment. Yet there is one product we all throw away every single day that, so far, has not been a major part of conversations about sustainability: toilet paper.
But America’s heavy use of toilet paper – particularly the pillowy soft kind – is worsening climate change and taking “a dramatic and irreversible toll” on forests, especially the Canadian boreal forest, according to a new report by two major environmental groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Stand.earth.

2 March 2019

[Kenya] Keep intruders out of parks to curb fires: Environment team
By Alex Njeru, Daily Nation, 2 March 2019
The parliamentary Environment and Natural Resources committee has called for strict measures to keep intruders out of forests as part of efforts to prevent fires.
In a phone interview with the Nation from Cape Town in South Africa on Saturday, chairman Kareke Mbiuki (Maara) asked Kenya Forest and Kenya Wildlife service officers manning forests and national parks to be more vigilant in keeping “criminals” out.
Mr Mbiuki said activities by licensed honey and firewood harvesters must also be minimised in February and September, the driest, to prevent wildfires.

3 March 2019

Nepali park officials tortured a man to death. Then, the government and the World Wide Fund for Nature rewarded them.
By Tsering D Gurung, The Kathmandu Post, 3 March 2019
On the evening of June 3, 2006, Shikharam Chaudhary was returning home after spending the afternoon in the paddy field with his wife when he was arrested by rangers from Chitwan National Park and driven to their detention centre in Kasara.
The rangers had received a tip from a suspected poacher that Shikharam, a resident of Divyanagar village, had information about a rhino horn. Under Nepali law, park rangers can arrest anyone suspected of being involved in crimes without a warrant—not just against protected wild animals, but also relatively minor infractions such as entering the park without a permit.
A week later, a group of rangers hastily dropped off an unconscious Shikharam at a local hospital in Bharatpur in the middle of the night. Two days later, he was pronounced dead.

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