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REDD in the news: 29 April – 5 May 2019

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

Coalition for Rainforest Nations: Global Conference – Reporting for Results-based REDD+ Actions (RRR+) project
FEEM, May 2019
On May 14-15, 2019 FEEM hosts the Global Conference on “Reporting for Results-based REDD+ Actions (RRR+) project”, organized by Coailition of Rainforest Nations.
The overall goal of the RRR+ project is to contribute to the assessment of progress towards the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement through improved GHG inventory (GHGI) reporting. In particular, the project aims to develop and institutionalize the capacities of tropical forest countries to prepare and report to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement on anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals from the agriculture, forestry and land use sectors (AFOLU). Robust GHG Inventories, that comply with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines, along with strong in-country capacity to report on national emissions and removals to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement are a critical first step in enabling access to results-based REDD+ finance, and ultimately in reducing global emissions and increasing removals through enhanced forest cover.

29 April 2019

UN biodiversity conference to lay groundwork for Nature rescue plan
By Marlowe Hood,, 29 April 2019
Diplomats from 130 nations gathered in Paris on Monday to validate a grim UN assessment of the state of Nature and lay the groundwork for a rescue plan for life on Earth.
The destruction of Nature threatens humanity “at least as much as human-induced climate change,” UN biodiversity chief Robert Watson said as the five-day meeting began.
“We have a closing window of opportunity to act and narrowing options.”

[UK] Winnie the Pooh’s real-life Hundred Acre Wood hit by forest fire
By Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN, 29 April 2019
An overnight fire ripped through a forest in England that provided the setting for the Winnie the Pooh children’s stories.
The blaze at Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex, started at around 9.30 p.m. on Sunday and affected an area of more than 35 acres, according to the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Six fire crews were on the scene as flames fed on dry undergrowth in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

UK government advisers to recommend net zero emissions by 2050
By Jim Pickard and David Sheppard, Financial Times, 29 April 2019
The UK’s chief advisory body on climate change will recommend the government legislates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, by far the toughest binding target for any big economy.
The Committee on Climate Change, which is to publish its keenly awaited recommendations this week, will set the ambitious new goal for the UK overall, according to three people briefed on the report. However, they added the committee would argue that Scotland should target net zero by 2045 while Wales should aim for 95 per cent emission reductions by 2050 — because of its large sheep-farming industry.

30 April 2019

Why are taxpayers subsidising the oil and gas companies that jeopardise our future?
By Clive Lewis, The Guardian, 30 April 2019
Last October, the world’s most renowned climate scientists warned governments that humanity has just 12 years to prevent climate catastrophe. The UK government faces three choices to deal with carbon-heavy fossil fuels: force people to stop using them immediately; facilitate a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy; or hope business-as-usual market forces solve our problem for us. Strip away the rhetoric, and the Tory government is still relying on the latter option.

UN report stresses urgent need for nature rescue plan
Agence France-Presse, 30 April 2019
Diplomats from 130 nations gathered in Paris yesterday to validate a grim United Nations assessment of the state of nature and lay the groundwork for a rescue plan for life on earth.
The destruction of nature threatens humanity “at least as much as human-induced climate change”, UN biodiversity chief Robert Watson said as the five-day meeting began. “We have a closing window of opportunity to act, and narrowing options.”
A 44-page draft summary for policymakers catalogues the 1,001 ways in which our species has plundered the planet and damaged its capacity to renew the resources upon which we depend, starting with breathable air, drinkable water and productive soil.

24 hours for more sustainable todays and tomorrows
By Sandra Cordon, CIFOR Forests News, 30 April 2019
From sustainable landscape restoration that mitigates climate change, to tenure security and innovative financing tools, to climate-smart lifestyle changes, the agenda is wide and deep for an upcoming Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) event in Kyoto.
Under the banner “Climate, Landscapes and Lifestyles: It is Not Too Late,” GLF Kyoto, running for a full day spanning 12 and 13 May across time zones, will bring together some of the best minds from science, business, international development, indigenous peoples, civil society and government to share on-the-ground solutions for a climate-smart future.

How Does Your Love of Wine Contribute to Climate Change?
By Eric Asimov, The New York Times, 30 April 2019
The exquisite vulnerability of grapes to nuances of weather makes wine both particularly susceptible to climate change and a harbinger of what’s to come for many other agricultural products.
Do wine consumers have a role in encouraging producers to take stronger steps to combat climate change? Some in the wine industry think they do, particularly by throwing their economic support to companies that are already acting decisively.

Leaders unite in appeal to protect Amazon as deforestation accelerates
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Landscape News, 30 April 2019
“When invaders come from the outside, they bring hunger and death,” said Jair Seixas Reis, chief of the Maraguá people in Brazil’s state of Mato Grosso. “We don’t know what to do other than resist. It’s very dangerous. I’m asking for help. The world needs to speak out. Amazonia is the lungs of our earth and if the lungs don’t work, the world will die.”
Seixas Reis, who said his life has been threatened more than 20 times, was addressing the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York alongside representatives of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM) and the Holy See, which governs the Catholic church.

OPINION: The climate change frontline: farmers and forest communities
By Martin Noponen (Rainforest Alliance), Thomson Reuters Foundation, 30 April 2019
While the devastating consequences of climate change may seem distant to some, many farmers and producers are already living in the wake of rising temperatures, drought and increasingly capricious weather. Higher temperatures can reduce flower and fruit production, damage plant cells, lead to high seedling mortality, and cause wilting of leaves leading to reduced photosynthesis and ultimately to a reduction in yields. Farmers, whose livelihoods are intricately linked to the natural environment and thus rely on stable and predictable weather conditions, are also contesting with drought, unpredictable rainfall, wildfires, hurricanes and floods. Changing and more extreme weather patterns can also exacerbate the dynamics and spread of pests and diseases to new regions, damaging, and even completely decimating their crops.

[Australia] Climate change damage to Queensland’s world heritage rainforest ‘as bad as Great Barrier Reef’
By Ben Smee, The Guardian, 30 April 2019
The wet tropics world heritage area in north Queensland has been damaged by climate change in a manner “equivalent” to coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, the area’s management authority has said.
In an extraordinary statement issued on Monday, the authority’s board said the tropical rainforest was in “accelerating decline” and that some of the area’s unique species were at imminent risk of extinction.
Last summer was the hottest on record.

British Steel gets £100m government loan to pay carbon bill
BBC News, 30 April 2019
British Steel has secured a £100m loan from the government to pay its EU carbon bill, a source close to the company has said.
The money means the private equity-owned firm will avoid a steep EU fine.
The firm said earlier this month it needed the funds to settle its 2018 pollution bill due at the end of April.
Sky News said the government money was used to pay for the company’s carbon credits – and that British Steel would repay the money on commercial terms.

1 May 2019

WWF Must Overhaul Its Human Rights Policies, A German Investigation Has Found
By Tom Warren, Marcus Engert, and Katie J.M. Baker, BuzzFeed News, 1 May 2019
The German branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature must overhaul its human rights policies, an independent investigation has found after the global mega-charity was implicated in abuses against indigenous people in parks across the world.
BuzzFeed News exposed in March how for years, WWF has funded and equipped paramilitary forces that have tortured and killed villagers living near wildlife parks it supports.

Burn notice: Fire’s reality in the 21st century
Hugh Biggar, CIFOR Landscape News, 1 May 2019
As a result of the extreme weather driven by climate change, fires are an increasingly common fact of life globally – one that calls for new approaches to living with fire, according to a report developed by a multinational team of experts.
“Data shows a trend of increasing frequency and intensity of uncontrolled fires adversely affecting biodiversity, ecological systems, human well-being and livelihood, and national economies,” says the report from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the World Bank’s Program on Forests (PROFOR).

How can companies deliver on their 2020 “zero deforestation” pledges? (Hint: collaborate)
By Daniel Nepstad, Earth Innovation Institute, 1 May 2019
Hundreds of companies are rapidly approaching a 2020 deadline with important implications for both tropical forests and climate change. These companies pledged to achieve deforestation-free supplies of palm oil, soybeans, beef, timber, pulp and other commodities grown in tropical forest regions through, for example, the Consumer Goods Forum and the New York Declaration on Forests. Most will fall far short, posing an important question: with only months remaining, what can companies realistically do to make a positive contribution to tropical forests?

Q: What’s missing from forest carbon accounting? A: Animals
By Brandon Keim, Anthropocene Magazine, 1 May 2019
The centerpiece of humanity’s plans to fight climate change by ending deforestation, best known by the acronym of REDD+—short for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, plus conservation—was first negotiated nearly fifteen years ago and finalized in 2015. It’s an ambitious, planetary-scale program, and though various details have been criticized, it’s still an extraordinary achievement. Yet something crucial appears to be missing: animals.

Huge rubber plantation in Cameroon halts deforestation following rebuke
By Rachel Fritts, Mongabay, 1 May 2019
Halcyon Agri Corp, the world’s largest rubber processor, is taking steps toward a more sustainable and transparent natural rubber supply chain following vocal public outcries from environmental NGOs last year. Organizations like Greenpeace, Mighty Earth, and Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) have put a spotlight on unsustainable practices in Halcyon’s two Cameroon plantations — Sudcam and Hevecam — currently run by subsidiary Corrie MacColl.

REDD+ policy network analysis in Ethiopia
CGIAR Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, 1 May 2019
Presentation by Lemlem Tejebe on April 5, 2019 at the “Forests and climate change: research results and implications for REDD+ and forest governance in Ethiopia”Workshop in Ethiopia.

Inside Mt Kenya perennial fires and the unsung heroes
By Saul Owiti And Bosco Marita, Standard Digital, 1 May 2019
Forest fires have become more dangerous worldwide and this is largely attributed to changing weather patterns caused by global warming and human activity.
When Standard Digital Videos Visited Mt Kenya forest and met a team whose life is endeared to the well-being of the forest, it was clear that fires were disasters waiting to happen.
In 2019 alone, there have been two major fires in Mount Kenya Forest.

Goldman Prize Winner Alfred Brownell Stopped Palm Oil Companies from Destroying Liberian Forests
By Marlena Chertock, World Resources Institute, 1 May 2019
Alfred Brownell almost lost his life defending the rights of forest communities in his native Liberia. He escaped the country in 2016, and now works as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Northeastern University’s School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. But the forest and villages back home are not far from his mind.
Brownell received the 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa in recognition of his work with Green Advocates, Liberia’s only non-profit environmental law organization. Under Brownell’s leadership, Green Advocates stopped palm oil companies from bulldozing over rural communities’ land rights and clear-cutting more than 500,000 acres of forest.

MPs make history by passing Commons motion to declare ‘environment and climate change emergency’
By Ashley Cowburn, The Independent, 1 May 2019
MPs have passed a motion making the UK parliament the first in the world to declare an “environment and climate emergency”.
The symbolic move – recognising the urgency needed to combat the climate crisis – follows a wave of protests launched by the Extinction Rebellion strikers in recent weeks.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the motion to “set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe”.
He added: “We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US president Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis.”

With Infrastructure Reform, US Can Build World’s Biggest, Greenest Carbon Sink.
By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 1 May 2019
In the middle of last month, US Senator (and New Green Deal co-sponsor) Ed Markey (D-Mass) told Vox that his party would make sure that any overhaul of the country’s infrastructure was done with clean energy.
“If there is an infrastructure bill, we’re going to make it a green energy bill,” he said. “We’re going to be submitting amendments that ensure that bill has aggressive renewable energy resource and energy efficiency standards, and that there are higher and stronger standards for federal renewable energy procurement.”

2 May 2019

Revealed: rangers at centre of abuses storm get BONUSES for arresting people
Survival International, 2 May 2019
Evidence uncovered by Survival International has revealed that rangers supported by WWF will get BONUSES for arresting people.
The bonus system gives the paramilitary units a clear incentive to arrest as many people as possible. Local people have given countless accounts of arbitrary arrests, and many other abuses, committed by rangers in the region.
The payments are detailed in the funding agreement signed between the EU and WWF for the creation of the hugely controversial Messok Dja protected area in the Congo.

[Australia] A billion trees planted by 2030? It can’t be done, forestry industry says
By Kim Honan and Melissa Martin, ABC news, 2 May 2019
In February this year, the Federal Government unveiled the ambitious target of planting one billion trees by 2030 to create growth and jobs in the sector, with the added benefit of absorbing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.
But CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton believed the Government would struggle to meet that target unless it removed barriers preventing the sector’s growth.
The AFPA is calling on the Coalition to scrap the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), a voluntary carbon offsets scheme, ‘water rule’, to encourage new plantings across Australia.

MAAP #100: Western Amazon – Deforestation Hotspots 2018 (a regional perspective)
Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, 2 May 2019
For the 100th MAAP report, we present our first large-scale western Amazon analysis: Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and western Brazil (see Base Map).
We use the new 2018 data for forest cover loss, generated by the University of Maryland (Hansen et al 2013) and presented by Global Forest Watch.
These data indicate 2.5 million acres of forest cover loss in the western Amazon in 2018.
We conducted an additional analysis that indicates, of this total, 1.9 million acres were primary forest.

Suppliers failing to address forest risks in Brazil-China cattle trade
By Christina MacFarquhar, Trase, 2 May 2019
Do companies at any point in the Brazil-China beef and leather supply chains have robust policies to assess and address deforestation risk?
Their deforestation policies matter because China is the world’s biggest importer of beef and leather from Brazil, where cattle production is the main direct driver of deforestation and other native vegetation loss.

Cameroon: Human Rights Watch Denied Entry
Human Rights Watch, 2 May 2019
The Cameroon government denied a Human Rights Watch researcher entry to the country on April 12, 2019. The government’s action is an attempt to curb reports of abuse by security forces, but Human Rights Watch will continue to document and publicize human rights violations in Cameroon.
“Denying entry to our researcher is a clear step back for Cameroon,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy global advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The government is doing everything it can to keep the world in the dark about its ongoing abuses, but it won’t succeed.”

Forest fires impact typical Himalayan trees
By Manupriya, Mongabay, 2 May 2019
The western Indian Himalayas, spread across Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have always been known for their pines, cedars and oaks. These trees are so typical to the region that it is hard to imagine a Himalayan narrative that does not evoke their images. However, frequent forest fires occurring in the region are fast becoming a threat to these trees. A new study conducted by scientists from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, says that if forest fires continue in this manner it would greatly reduce the area occupied by pines, cedars and rhododendrons in the western Himalayas.

Indonesia sees drop in hotspots due to peatland restoration efforts, says agency
By Vanessa Lim, CNA, 2 May 2019
The number of hotspots in restored peatlands in Indonesia has dropped by nearly 93 per cent since 2015, on the back of restoration efforts.
The figure was revealed on Thursday (May 2) by the head of Indonesia’s peatland restoration agency Nazir Foead, on the sidelines of the 6th Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources.

It’s now or never for Madagascar’s biodiversity, experts say
By Malavika Vyawahare, Mongabay, 2 May 2019
As President Andry Rajoelina marked 100 days at the helm of Madagascar on April 30, an international team of conservation experts weighed in on how to shape the country’s conservation goals and address persistent challenges. They warned that the fate of the country’s rich natural heritage hung in the balance.
The president’s record during his last term, from 2009 to 2014, when he rode to power following a coup d’état, does not augur well for natural resource management in the country, but there is room for cautious optimism, according to an opinion piece published in Nature Sustainability.

[New Zealand] Carbon farming can provide better returns than sheep and beef
By Gerard Hutching, Stuff, 2 May 2019
“Money really does grow on trees” jokes Manawatū sheep and beef farmer Marlene Anderson.
She and husband Patrick run a 800 ha hill country farm near Shannon, and for them “carbon farming” is more profitable than sheep farming.
The couple are not traditional farmers – they aim to return the whole property to natives and in the meantime are carbon farming exotic species to fund the transition.

[PNG] Land Summit or Land Grab?
The Oakland Institute and Juvilee Australia Research Centre, 2 May 2019
Jubilee Australia and the Oakland Institute denounce the National Land Summit, organized by the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government, as a dangerous attack on the country’s unique customary land tenure system.
Land Summit or Land Grab? details how the summit organized from May 1-3, 2019 is an attempt by the PNG government to ‘mobilize’ customary land to allow greater access to multinational companies and commercial banks for logging, mining, and industrial agriculture leases.

Community forests in Uganda: Strong rights in law but weak capabilities in implementation
By Steve Nsita (Havilah Company Limited, Kampala, Uganda), CIFOR Landscape News, 2 May 2019
In Uganda, legislative reforms ushered in by the 1995 Constitution have strengthened community forest tenure rights and privileges in the law books, but the communities who are meant to benefit from these legal provisions are largely incapable of demanding and defending those rights and privileges. The Global Comparative Study on Design and Implementation of Tenure Reform led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has found that in Uganda, local communities often have little understanding of their tenure rights enshrined in the law. On the other hand the study also found that although it was the duty of central and local government officials to build the capacity of community institutions to demand and defend these rights, the officials were focusing on the technical aspects of tree growing and forest management.

Emissions from international aviation must be included in a UK net-zero by 2050 target, says government advisors
GreenAir, 2 May 2019
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which advises the government on climate policy and action, has recommended that to be line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, the UK should set a 2050 net-zero target to cover all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping. The body says the target must be met without recourse to carbon offsetting. In a major report released today, it says increased ambition and stronger levers over and above present ICAO targets will be required in the long run and it will advise the government later in the year on its approach to aviation. The CCC says ICAO’s CORSIA scheme is not compatible with achieving net-zero globally and the UN agency should set a long-term objective consistent with Paris. The report comes a day after a High Court ruling against legal action brought by groups opposed to Heathrow expansion.

3 May 2019

The increasingly dangerous work of environmental journalism
By Alexa Vélez, CIFOR Landscape News, 3 May 2019
I still remember the intensity with which Pablo García, former head of the Tikuna indigenous community of Buen Jardín, Peru, told me of a confrontation between bands of drug traffickers in his territory: “At eight in the norming, we heard a number of people in boats coming toward us, shooting as they came. And the other group in the boat came up into the community and began running, armed, toward that house there, and the others shot at them.” Pablo’s testimony confirms the sense of impunity and insecurity present in the Amazonian trapezoid, a space bordered by Brazil, Colombia and Peru that is increasingly controlled by drug-trafficking cartels.

Green Climate Fund must take risks in warming fight, says new head
By Megan Rowling, Reuters, 3 May 2019
The Green Climate Fund can become a “completely unprecedented” tool to ramp up action on climate change in developing nations, allowing states, companies and communities to experiment more – as long as its coffers are refilled this year, its new head said.
In his first interview since starting a month ago, Yannick Glemarec described the fund as the “financial alchemists of climate change”, because it can design funding to meet needs.

Head in the clouds on climate change
By Jonathan Gornall, Arab News, 3 May 2019
On April 17, the aircraft-tracking website logged more than 200,000 flights. As many as 18,000 aircraft were in the air at any one time. Assuming a conservative average of 200 passengers per flight, in one 24-hour period 40 million people — the population of Iraq — were temporarily absent from the surface of the Earth. The statistic is as significant as it is mind-boggling. In previous years that number of flights had not been achieved until the northern hemisphere’s summer, when half the world goes on vacation.

Yeti Airlines celebrates carbon neutral milestone
By Kimberley Young, HMGaerospace, 3 May 2019
Yeti Airlines said it has become the first airline in Nepal to successfully reduce and offset its total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of 2018, becoming Nepal’s first carbon neutral airline.
An independent carbon audit process was carried out for the airline, facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to calculate the airline’s total carbon emissions and also to set plans to reduce and offset them.

The road to net-zero
International Cement Review, 3 May 2019
Shree Cement, one of India’s top three cement producers with a production capacity of 35Mta, has announced its commitment to set a science-based target to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and help tackle climate change. The company follows two other leading Indian cement producers, Dalmia Cement and Ambuja Cement in setting science-based targets and provides “a powerful signal of change”, according to global non-profit coalition We Mean Business. However, is reaching net-zero emissions from the global cement industry possible?

Oil Giant Eni Will Help Protect African Forests to Offset Its Carbon Footprint
By Paul Burkhardt and Chiara Albanese, Bloomberg, 3 May 2019
Eni SpA’s plan to offset emissions from its oil and gas operations will focus on working with African communities to prevent deforestation.
The project is part of the Italian energy giant’s goal of removing the equivalent of 20 million tons a year of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by 2030. On top of efforts to improve operational efficiency and minimize waste, the forest initiative would result in net zero emissions from its upstream fossil fuels business, Eni says.

Slash and Burn: Heartbreaking pics reveal the true scale of Amazon deforestation and its destructive effects on indigenous tribes
By Hana Carter, The Sun, 3 May 2019
Forest fires, mass flooding and water pollution are some of the shattering impacts that a ‘mega dam’ is having on the Amazon.
Canadian photojournalist, Aaron Vincent Elkaim has captured the beautiful people and nature of the Brazilian Amazon to show the environmental devastation.
Striking shots show a single tree standing alone amongst scorched land, fires burning as black smoke fills the air and a fisherman pulling up empty nets.

[Brazil] Indigenous mobilization wins battle in President Bolsonaro’s war on indigenous peoples
By Steve Schwartzman, EDF, 3 May 2019
Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s personal crusade to extinguish indigenous rights and devastate indigenous territories just hit a wall. Two, actually. Both Brazil’s Supreme Court and Brazil’s top congressional leaders handed Bolsonaro setbacks over his executive decision to move control of protecting indigenous lands to the agriculture ministry, which is controlled by members of the agribusiness lobby known for its opposition to indigenous land rights.

[Burkina Faso] What the world can learn from West Africa’s unheard
By Joan Baxter, CIFOR Forests News, 3 May 2019
In the forested parklands in northern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso lie diverse mosaics of cultivated fields mixed with useful trees, fallows, remnant woodlands and forest reserves. Within this ‘forest-farm interface’, it can be difficult to both understand and articulate how people use resources, and the challenges that they face.

UK climate emergency is official policy
By Paul Brown, Climate News Network, 3 May 2019
The United Kingdom has taken a potentially momentous policy decision: it says there is a UK climate emergency.
On 1 May British members of Parliament (MPs) became the world’s first national legislature to declare a formal climate and environment emergency, saying they hoped they could work with like-minded countries across the world to take action to avoid more than 1.5°C of global warming.

[USA] 2018 was the deadliest fire season in California’s history; these firefighters are on the front lines
By Gaby Levesque, Yahoo News, 3 May 2019
On Figueroa Mountain about two hours north of Los Angeles in Los Padres National Forest, the hillside was covered in orange poppies and a thick layer of smoke in late March of this year. Even with the growing plumes of thick floating embers, there was no need for alarm. Below the canopy of trees at the fire line, hidden from view were the men and women of the U.S. Forest Service, the ones setting fire to the forest with the intention of letting it burn. With fire season already underway, these wild-land firefighters were doing work to avert the catastrophic fires that ran through California in 2018.

Oil prices poised for weekly drop as U.S. output climbs
By Ahmad Ghaddar, Reuters, 3 May 2019
Oil prices were on track for sharp weekly declines on Friday as surging U.S. output countered production losses in sanctions-hit Iran and Venezuela.
Brent crude oil futures were at $70.08 a barrel at 0835 GMT, down 67 cents and set for their first weekly loss after five weeks of gains.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 41 cents at $61.40, poised for a second straight weekly decline.

4 May 2019

Plant trees to fight climate change —and enable harmony to blossom
By Joy Lo Dico, Evening Standard, 4 May 2019
We are going to need three billion trees over the next 30 years, according to the Committee on Climate Change, to put the country back on a carbon-neutral path.
That’s 90 million a year, and a return of about a fifth of farmland to forestry. Walking past my four favourite London trees — the hornbeams of Golden Square — I gulped at the magnitude of the task, and then recalled reading about Arbor Day in an old book on woodlands. It was a community tree-planting day, a tradition begun in the UK in the late-Victorian era as concern about deforestation and the abandonment of the countryside increased.

[UK] Is my £50,000 car park investment at Gatwick stuck on the runway? TONY HETHERINGTON investigates
By Tony Hetherington, Financial Mail on Sunday, 4 May 2019
Park First sold car park spaces as an investment, with more than 6,500 investors promised a return on their money based on charges paid by people parking their car.
The only snag was that the scheme was illegal. In effect, this was like a unit trust. That meant the company and its bosses should have been vetted and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, but instead they were breaking the law and it took the watchdog three or four years to spot this.

5 May 2019

Bad beef: UK supermarkets feed illegal deforestation fears as corned beef imports from corruption-hit Brazilian firm persist
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 5 May 2019
Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lidl and Carrefour are among the international brands potentially fueling illegal deforestation in Brazil’s cattle industry as they continue to stock corned beef from a firm implicated in numerous environmental and human rights abuses.
A new Earthsight investigation exposes how scandal-hit Brazilian firm JBS, the world’s largest beef producer, is supplying UK and European supermarkets with corned beef products for their own brand products and via UK firm Princes, the Lebanese-owned Exeter brand and Italian brand Simmenthal.


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