REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
Mainstreaming Gender into Cambodia’s REDD+ Action and Investment Plan
WOCAN, April 2019
In September 2018, the REDD+ Programme in Cambodia commissioned this assessment with the overall objective to support the RGC’s inter-ministerial Gender Group’s efforts to mainstream gender into REDD+ Action and Investment Plan. The specific objectives were to: 1) Assess to what extent gender considerations are addressed within strategic documents, action plans and reports related to the REDD+ programme in Cambodia and identify any good practices on gender undertaken and and/or lessons learned, which can be used to help inform the National REDD+ Action and Investment Plan; 2) Through field surveys, identify any gender gaps in REDD+ implementation (e.g. in REDD+ demonstration project sites); 3) Identify entry points for mainstreaming gender within the National REDD+ Action and Investment Plan; and 4) Provide recommendations on how to make the National REDD+ Action and Investment Plan gender-responsive.
15 April 2019
For Indigenous peoples, higher U.N. status gained, but rights still lacking
By Sandra Cordon, CIFOR Landscape News, 15 April 2019
From 22 April to 3 May, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNFPII) will hold its 18th session at the UN Headquarters in New York. The theme of the event is “Traditional knowledge: Generation, transmission and protection,” and sessions will cover a wide range of topics, from landscape restoration to tenure to achieving the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 15 April 2019
Had we put as much effort into preventing environmental catastrophe as we’ve spent on making excuses for inaction, we would have solved it by now. Everywhere I look, I see people engaged in furious attempts to fend off the moral challenge it presents.
The commonest current excuse is this: “I bet those protesters have phones/go on holiday/wear leather shoes.” In other words, we won’t listen to anyone who is not living naked in a barrel, subsisting only on murky water. Of course, if you are living naked in a barrel we will dismiss you too, because you’re a hippie weirdo. Every messenger, and every message they bear, is disqualified on the grounds of either impurity or purity.
Chinese soy trade in the spotlight
By Helen Burley, Trase, 15 April 2019
China is the biggest export market for Brazilian soy, with around 54 million tons of soy exported from Brazil to China in 2017. That means Chinese demand for soy plays an important role in shaping the Brazilian soy trade — and its sustainability.
That is why the Trase team was delighted to be invited to send a representative to join the China Soy Roadshow, organised by The Nature Conservancy and Solidaridad which takes place this month.
[France] GPA’s (Casino Group) Beef Supply Chain Exposed to Deforestation Risks
Chain Reaction Research, 15 April 2019
Casino Group is a French multi-banner food retailer, with a controlling share in Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA) in Brazil. This report analyses GPA’s deforestation risk exposure based on beef samples collected through store visits. Chain Reaction Research (CRR) visited 50 GPA supermarkets in five Brazilian cities and inspected 500 randomly selected beef products. Data from the product labels establishes supply chain links between supermarkets and slaughterhouses located in the Legal Amazon.
Environment a missing topic as Indonesia election looms
By Kate Walton, Al Jazeera, 15 April 2019
One-third of Indonesia’s rainforest will disappear by 2020 if nothing is done to reverse the damage caused by logging and palm oil plantations.
The water around the tourist island of Bali is full of plastic, while deforestation and mining are causing devastating floods.
Despite the threats, the state of the environment has not been a key issue with the country heading to the polls this week.
Palm oil, logging firms the usual suspects as Indonesia fires flare anew
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 15 April 2019
Oil palm and logging companies in Indonesia have come into public glare once again as another season of forest fires flares up in Sumatra.
Hotspots have been detected in 12 concessions in Sumatra’s Riau province, a perennial tinderbox where huge swaths of the land have been carved up for palm estates and logging areas. Nine of those concessions belong to palm oil companies, two to oil and gas operators, and one to a logging company, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
A separate survey by the NGO Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) has found 58 hotspots in palm concessions and 88 in logging concessions.
[New Zealand] Emissions move wrong way for another year
By Alex Baae, The Spinoff, 15 April 2019
Yep, they’re going up. New Zealand’s carbon emissions continue to increase, with transport a leading cause, reports Stuff. Over 2017 they were up 2.2% on the previous year (it takes a while to calculate.) This is alongside standard high contributions from agriculture and energy. It raises worrying questions as well about where the carbon savings in transport are going to come from any time soon, given consumer vehicle preferences.
16 April 2019
Why Green Pledges Will Not Create the Natural Forests We Need
By Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360, 16 April 2019
Experts agree: Reforesting our planet is one of the great ecological challenges of the 21st century. It is essential to meeting climate targets, the only route to heading off the extinction crisis, and almost certainly the best way of maintaining the planet’s rainfall. It could also boost the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of inhabitants of former forest lands.
Climate icon Greta Thunberg finds that political change is ‘complicated’
By Kalina Oroschakoff, Politico, 16 April 2019
Turns out that building a global climate change protest movement was the easy part.
Now 16-year-old climate icon Greta Thunberg is getting an up-close look at why politicians are having trouble turning her demands into policy.
“I have learned that anything can happen, but also learned how things work, how complicated everything is,” she told POLITICO on Tuesday about her political learning curve since starting her climate strikes last summer.
Microsoft to double internal CO2 tax as it plots ‘tech first’ sustainability path
By Michael Holder, BusinessGreen, 16 April 2019
Microsoft has today unveiled a raft of new green commitments, including plans to double its internal company carbon price, as it set out its “tech-first” approach to tackling climate change and delivering a “sustainable, just and prosperous future”.
The software giant said it will hike its internal carbon fee to $15 per metric tonne on CO2 emissions from its core business, including electricity consumption and staff air travel, with the funds raised from the levy reinvested in green measures such as energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and carbon offsets.
Africa sets a high bar for climate action
WWF, 16 April 2019
Africa could lead the way in 2019 to a strong global response to the call at COP24, in Katowice, for updated and strengthened nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by 2020 to close the mitigation and adaptation gap.
African countries met in Accra, Ghana in late March for the Africa Climate Week, with the theme “Climate Action in Africa: A Race We Can Win”. Since the race against climate change is a marathon and not a sprint, we can’t be sure yet who will win, or indeed if there will be any winners, but African countries certainly got off to a running start.
[Canada] Carbon credits, the national carbon inventory, and spending carbon tax dollars
By Lyndsey Smith, Real Agriculture, 16 April 2019
As the federal government rolled out the carbon tax April 1, farmers and rural Canadians were understandably irritated. Among the feedback we received was a question that struck me — why don’t farmers get paid to store carbon in the soil? I was a little surprised, because, in at least one province, they do. Alberta has had a carbon exchange and carbon credit system for years, but not many know about it. Why is that?
That question led me to call Rob Saik, agronomist and author and founder of AgriTrend (now owned by Trimble). Saik’s history with quantifying the conservation and building of soil carbon goes back nearly two decades. The science of how to measure soil carbon is complicated, but possible. Paying farmers to store is plausible, but not lucrative. Is there another option?
Forget Brexit and focus on climate change, Greta Thunberg tells EU
By Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian, 16 April 2019
The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has chided EU leaders for holding three emergency summits on Brexit and none on the threat posed by climate change.
In a clarion call to Europe’s political leaders ahead of European parliament elections in May, the founder of the school strike movement said if politicians were serious about tackling climate change they would not spend all their time “talking about taxes or Brexit”.
In a typically blunt speech, she said politicians were failing to take enough action on climate change and the threats to the natural world.
India’s First REDD+ Project: Meghalaya Tribes Are Reviving 27k+ Hectares of Forests
By Tanvi Patel, The Better India, 16 April 2019
Named after the ancient monoliths that adorn the dense Meghalaya forests, the Mawphlang village is home to indigenous tribes and unique cultures that find their calling in the protection of forests. Situated in the East Khasi district, the Mawphlang which translates to ‘grassy stone’ is a part of the largest of the 200 sacred groves in Meghalaya.
How Indonesia’s election puts global biodiversity at stake with an impending war on palm oil
By Bill Laurance and Penny van Oosterzee, The Conversation, 16 April 2019
This week, Indonesia will hold a presidential election that will make or break incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s chances of getting a second term in a rematch with his nemesis, Prabowo Subianto.
Jokowi’s re-election may put global biodiversity at risk as he is threatening to renege on a national moratorium he declared on new palm-oil plantations — which could quickly escalate deforestation in Papua, Borneo, Sumatra, and beyond.
[UK] ‘I’m terrified’: Extinction Rebellion activists on why they are protesting
By Damien Gayle, Matthew Taylor and Libby Brooks, The Guardian, 16 April 2019
People taking part in protests in London and Edinburgh explain their reasons for doing so.
Nathan, who was into his second day of protest, was sitting in the road in Piccadilly Circus in front of a large “rebel for life” banner laid across the ground. He was wearing boots stained blue with spray chalk.
“We need to do something drastic to have action,” he said. “For the past 40 years we have known about climate change and we have tried to go through governments and peaceful marching through the streets and it hasn’t done anything.”
[UK] British Steel sold excess carbon credits before seeking state aid
By Leslie Hook and Michael Pooler, Financial Times, 16 April 2019
British Steel could have avoided asking UK taxpayers for a £100m rescue if it had saved permits to produce carbon that it instead decided to sell in an ill-judged bet on the EU’s emissions trading scheme.
The metal manufacturer cashed in on allowances it was granted under the Brussels scheme aimed at curbing climate change. The scheme requires industries to match each tonne of emissions with an “allowance” or permit.
[UK] Extinction Rebellion London protest: Arrests top 200
BBC News, 16 April 2019
More than 200 climate change activists have been arrested for blocking roads in central London, amid protests aimed at shutting down the capital.
A second day of disruption is under way after Extinction Rebellion campaigners camped overnight at Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Oxford Circus.
Police said 500,000 people had been affected by the diversion of 55 bus routes in London.
The Met said 209 people had been arrested by 12:30 BST on Tuesday.
17 April 2019
The most effective way to tackle climate change? Plant 1 trillion trees
By Mark Tutton, CNN, 17 April 2019
What’s low-tech, sustainable and possibly the most effective thing we can do to fight climate change? Planting trees. A trillion of them.
Tom Crowther is a climate change ecologist at Swiss university ETH Zurich. Four years ago he found there are about 3 trillion trees already on earth — much higher than NASA’s previous estimate of 400 billion. Now, his team of researchers has calculated there is enough room on the planet for an additional 1.2 trillion — and that planting them would have huge benefits in terms of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.
This scientist thinks she has the key to curb climate change: super plants
By Adam Popescu, The Guardian, 17 April 2019
If this were a film about humanity’s last hope before climate change wiped us out, Hollywood would be accused of flagrant typecasting. That’s because Dr Joanne Chory is too perfect for the role to be believable.
The esteemed scientist – who has long banged the climate drum and now leads a project that could lower the Earth’s temperature – is perhaps the world’s leading botanist and is on the cusp of something so big that it could truly change our planet.
She’s also a woman in her 60s who is fighting a disease sapping her very life. In 2004, Chory was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which makes the timetable for success all the more tenuous.
Neotropical cloud forests to lose what most defines them: Clouds
USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station press release, 17 April 2019
In as few as 25 years, climate change could shrink and dry 60-80% of Western Hemisphere cloud forests, finds a study published today. If greenhouse gas emissions continue increasing as they have been, 90% of Western Hemisphere cloud forests would be affected as early as 2060. The current cloud and frost environment of the highly diverse alpine ecosystems above these equatorial cloud forests, known as páramo, will nearly disappear.
Forest protection policy boosted Amazon farm production, study shows
By Caspar Trimmer, Trase, 17 April 2019
It’s an argument well worn by opponents of forest conservation, in Brazil and elsewhere, that measures to slow deforestation slow agricultural development. The assumption — which spreads far beyond the agribusiness lobby and supposedly business-friendly politicians — is that protecting forests (along with the indigenous peoples whose livelihoods depend on them) imposes a heavy cost on farmers, food security and the national economy, making it a luxury some would say Brazil can ill afford.
The findings of a new study co-authored by Trase collaborator Erasmus zu Ermgassen, with Nicolas Koch from the MCC Institute, Berlin, and the former Director of the Action Plan for Deforestation Prevention and Control in the Amazon led by the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, Francisco Oliveira, just published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics suggest that this received wisdom is flawed. On the contrary, recent efforts to protect Brazil’s forests have helped boost agricultural production and productivity.
Shade or sun? Forest structure affects tree responses to Amazon drought
By Claire Asher, Mongabay, 17 April 2019
Small trees in the Amazon rainforest understory are more vulnerable to drought than their larger counterparts, but their fate depends on their local environment, according to a study published in New Phytologist.
Marielle Smith from Michigan State University and an international team of researchers used hand-held lidar to complete monthly surveys of the surface area of leaves at different heights in Tapajós National Forest in Pará state in the Brazil Amazon between 2010 and 2017 to obtain their results. The portable lidar instrument uses a laser to map the leaves in the forest canopy in two-dimensional slices up through the forest structure.
Niche asset nears mainstream as investors warm to EU carbon market
By Mark Lewis (BNP Paribas Asset Management), Financial Times, 17 April 2019
European carbon allowances, the carbon credits that serve as the unit of compliance under the European emissions-trading scheme, have been the world’s top-performing commodity over the past two years.
The energy-intensive industries covered by the scheme — power generators, steel companies, cement companies and oil refiners — must submit one allowance for every tonne of CO2 they emit in a given year by the following April 30 or face a €100 a tonne fine.
[UK] Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers
By Richard Partington, The Guardian, 17 April 2019
The global financial system faces an existential threat from climate change and must take urgent steps to reform, the governors of the Bank of England and France’s central bank have warned, writing in the Guardian.
In an article published in the Guardian on Wednesday aimed at the international financial community, Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, and Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Banque de France, said financial regulators, banks and insurers around the world had to “raise the bar” to avoid catastrophe.
[USA] Hawai‘i’s First Forest Carbon Offset Project Underway
Big Island Now, 17 April 2019
The State of Hawai‘i took a significant step towards launching its first-ever forest carbon sequestration program on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, by selecting a certification standard to ensure a reliable and transparent process and to guarantee the environmental integrity of the credits resulting from it. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) awarded the contract to Verra, one of four standard-setting firms that submitted proposals. Verra manages the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the world’s largest voluntary program for the certification of GHG (greenhouse gas) emission reduction projects.
18 April 2019
Three reasons why protecting species means protecting tropical forests
By Alex Morrice, Global Canopy, 18 April 2019
The focus of this year’s Earth Day is ‘Protect Our Species’, highlighting the diversity of life on Earth. Many scientists now believe we are in the midst of a sixth great ‘mass extinction’ — the first one caused by human activity, with asteroids or planet-wide natural disasters having caused the other five. What have forests got to do with this?
Tropical forests are disappearing at a staggering pace, with approximately one football pitch being lost every second. Ending large-scale tropical deforestation, the focus of our work, is of crucial importance for reducing the effects of climate change and for supporting the livelihoods of billions of people. Tropical forests are also irreplaceable refuges for many unique species.
Forest finance partnerships more productive than competition
By Nick Pasiecznik (Tropenbos International), CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, 18 April 2019
Benjamin Singer of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat shares his views on inclusive landscape finance in the latest of this new interview series.
He brings a decade of experience from his role in implementing the UNFF’s Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network to the discussion. Here he reflects on using public funds to assist developing countries in their efforts to mobilize finance for sustainable forest management.
[Australia] Buying international permits is a cheap way to cut emissions. It’s that simple
By Katharine Murphy, The Guardian, 18 April 2019
It’s the climate policy debate, so veering into Numptyville is par for the course, but I confess we are there earlier than even I expected.
For the past few days of the election campaign, we have been having a conversation about the use of international permits – if you can call what’s been happening a conversation. It’s been more like a series of unconnected statements. A bout of incoherent shouting in a wardrobe.
Brazil’s rainforest warriors ready to battle Bolsonaro
By Andres Schipani, Financial Times, 18 April 2019
The Kayapó war cry resounded deep in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest. Four dozen warriors, their headdresses made of yellow and red macaw feathers, stood in the village clearing, carrying shot guns and war clubs. Warrior women, the crowns of their heads shaven, sang high-pitched war cries and waved machetes in the air.
[India] Govt changes tack on conserving dense forests, okays mining in Chhattisgarh
By Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Business Standard, 18 April 2019
The Union government has allowed coal mining in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Arand, one of India’s densest sal forests, ignoring its own scientific demarcation of this patch of forest as ‘inviolate’ — one so dense and biologically valuable that no industrial or development activity should be permitted there.
The permission is for mining coal from the 5-million-tonne-per-annum Parsa Open Cast Coal Mine, in about 841.5 hectares from the Hasdeo Arand forest. [R-M: Subscription needed.]
The future of social forestry in Indonesia
By Monica Evans, CIFOR Forests News, 18 April 2019
In Kalibiru, a national park in the Menoreh mountains to the west of Yogyakarta, tourists scale precarious-looking ladders up timber trees to take Instragrammable photos of themselves on treetop wooden platforms overlooking lakes and lush forest.
This place wasn’t always quite so photogenic. Two decades ago, the state-owned production forest was severely degraded due to forest encroachment and illegal logging. Then, in 2001, a group of locals set up a community forestry co-operative, and set about applying for management rights under the national community forestry scheme (Hutan Kemasyarakatan, or HKm in Bahasa) to boost livelihoods and improve the health of the ecosystem. It took time, but in 2008, the government finally granted them the mandate to manage the forest for 35 years under its landmark social forestry program.
A long bet on the future of Indonesia’s forests
By Michael Igoe, Devex, 18 April 2019
The Mentaya river flows south from the Indonesian timber port of Sampit, thick with mud and debris. Barges blanketed in timber drag their weight up and down the river, while skinny, wooden boats with pull start engines dodge between them. A quieter stretch of waterfront features Sampit’s biggest tourist attraction, the Jelawat, a giant statue of a carp, raised on a pedestal above an elevated promenade.
[Malaysia] Powerful water pumps deployed to fight Sarawak forest fires
By Stephen Then, The Star, 18 April 2019
Big mechanical pumps that can draw water from 2km away are being used to fight the forest fires in northern Sarawak, as firemen continue working round the clock.
Fire and Rescue Department personnel are using these huge mechanical pumps to draw water from areas where water can be obtained from rivers and streams and use it to “flood out” the peat fires in the Kuala Baram district.
[Tanzania] The Dangerous Legacy of Fortress Conservation
Oakland Institute, 18 April 2019
“Cross-boundary human impacts compromise the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem,” a recent study penned by more than a dozen authors and published in the academic journal Science, warns of the detrimental impact of increased human activity and livestock populations along the borders of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
The study has been widely echoed in the media worldwide. Commenting on the findings, one of its authors, Colin Beale (University of York) stated: “Our research shows that encroachment by people should be considered just as serious a challenge as better-known issues such as poaching and climate change.”
Such a statement is short-sighted as it overlooks the reality of human presence in the Serengeti-Mara region. In particular, it misses both the essential role played by the Indigenous Maasai pastoralists in terms of conservation and the ongoing marginalization of these pastoralists on their ancestral land. The study paints a one-sided picture, omitting vital context of the colonization, displacement, intimidation, and violence that has beset the Maasai for decades. If the authors truly want to contribute to addressing the situation in the Serengeti, a much more comprehensive understanding of history and contemporary realities in the region is necessary.
[USA] Landowners are earning millions for carbon cuts that may not occur
By James Temple, MIT Technology Review, 18 April 2019
Under a California program aimed at curbing climate pollution, landowners across the US have received hundreds of millions of dollars for promised carbon dioxide reductions that may not occur.
The state has issued carbon offset credits to projects that may overstate their emissions reductions by 80 million tons of carbon dioxide, a third of the total cuts that the state’s cap-and-trade program was expected to achieve in the next decade, according to a policy brief that will be released in the next few days by the University of California, Berkeley.
19 April 2019
Amazon’s trees get taste of air of the future
By Daniel Grossman, The Guardian, 19 April 2019
An ambitious experiment deep in the Amazon rainforest aims to find out how the ecosystem is likely to respond to rising levels of carbon dioxide.
In 2000 a research team at the UK’s Hadley Centre forecast that a combination of reduced rainfall and higher temperatures caused by global warming could decimate the Amazon by the end of the century. But the following decade another Hadley Centre team concluded that this scenario was unlikely.
The contrary verdict was based largely on the researchers’ belief that extra carbon dioxide in the air would protect trees against the increasingly harsh conditions.
[Vietnam] Greenhouse gas emission reduction in north-central region talked
Vietnam plus, 19 April 2019
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held a consultation seminar in the central province of Quang Tri on April 19 to discuss refining mechanisms on feedback and dealing with complaints under the Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) for the 2018-2025 period.
The first regional-level programme was launched in the central provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, which are home to over 10 million people with a total land area of 5.1 million ha and forest coverage of 57 percent.
[USA] 3 easy things you can do today to help protect our planet
Clinton Foundation, 19 April 2019
“We need to integrate our commitment to fight climate change, our commitment to sustainable development, our commitment to species preservation into the everyday fabric of organized life everywhere on the planet.” — President Clinton
President Clinton’s commitment to preserving the environment — our forests, oceans, and air — and addressing the reality of climate change has extended beyond his presidency through the ongoing work of the Clinton Foundation. Through our Clinton Climate Initiative, we work to support women in the renewable energy sector, and help island nations transition to clean, renewable energy.
20 April 2019
Transforming conservation – a rights-based approach
By James Whitehead, Chris Kidd, Anouska Perram, Helen Tugendhat, and Justin Kendrick, Forest Peoples Programme, 20 March 2019
Recently published allegations of human rights abuses connected with the work of international conservation charities have shocked donors and the public alike. These allegations are consistent with evidence of human rights violations against indigenous peoples and local communities that Forest Peoples Programme and partners have encountered and documented over the course of nearly 30 years of work. While there have been moments when progress in this area seems to have been made (e.g. the 2003 Durban Accord, and the adoption of social policies by conservation agencies) changes to practice on the ground have been limited or quickly reversed, despite repeated calls by human rights organisations over decades.
Illegal Logging and Forest Fires Threaten Resources of Protected Areas in Costa Rica
The Costa Rica News, 20 April 2019
Officers of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) have attended last week several fires in the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge Border Corridor. Some hectares of land have been burned but the fire has been controlled.
Also, this week, they attended illegal logging in the Border Corridor National Wildlife Refuge and a case of illegal logging of wood in protected areas of streams and springs; this time in the district of Horquetas de Sarapiquí.
[Indonesia] Hope, Cut Off by a Road
Tempo, 20 April 2019
The last lowland tropical in Sumatra is threatened by the planned construction of a road meant for coal transport. The road will provide new access for forest encroachment, illegal logging, as well as hunting of endangered animals.
The sun had just begun to rise in the sky above Restorasi Ekosistem Indonesia’s patrol post, in the Meranti sector of Harapan (Hope) Forest, Batanghari Leko subdistrict, Musi Banyu Asin Regency, South Sumatra. Birds were singing and the agile gibbon were yelling, as if welcoming the sun that shyly peeked above the dense canopy of large and tall trees in the valley surrounding the post. In front of the post, the patrol pathway was still wet, its red soil immediately stuck when one set foot on it. It was the best time to observe animal footprints.
[Kenya] Mt.Kenya forest fires a result of raging dry spell: experts
By Allan Irungu, Citizen Digital, 20 April 2019
The increased number of forest fires in the Mt.Kenya region has been blamed on the ongoing dry spell conditions and honey hunters.
According to Meru County ecosystem conservator John Njoroge, they are currently battling the fire which has engulfed the Sirmon front at the Mt.Kenya National Park.
He also said over 100 hectares of forest cover were consumed by the fire which began on Monday.
Njoroge further warned that despite the government directive against logging took effect last year, there is still forest destruction.
21 April 2019
More than 30 wildfires have been registered across Mexico so far this year
Yucatan Times, 21 April 2019
Over 30 forest fires were registered this year in municipalities of Chiapas, Campeche, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Michoacán, however, most of them were under control.
In the Mexican state of Chiapas, Civil Protection brigades and volunteers fought fires at 18 points, according to the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP).
The fire spread mainly through the La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve in the Jiquipilas municipality and the Pampa Larga community, a difficult to access region in Villa Comaltitlán. Other ongoing conflagrations are located in the La Concordia, Montecristo de Guerrero, and Villaflores municipalities.
[Thailand] Forest fires continue to plague Mae Hong Son
By Tosapol Boonpat, The Nation, 21 April 2019
llegal outdoor fires continue to occur in Mae Hong Son province despite the ban and the raging smog crisis. In recent months, Mae Hong Son has been struggling with haze most of the time. Exposure to the serious air pollution has become a threat to the health of locals. Authorities have blamed outdoor fires as the key cause of smog.
However, illegal outdoor fires continue to be detected.