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REDD in the news: 6-12 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.

6 May 2019

Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 6 May 2019
Human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life-support systems, the world’s leading scientists have warned, as they announced the results of the most thorough planetary health check ever undertaken.
From coral reefs flickering out beneath the oceans to rainforests desiccating into savannahs, nature is being destroyed at a rate tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10m years, according to the UN global assessment report.

‘Not too late to make a difference’ in rescuing nature
Reuters, 6 May 2019
A flagship report on the state of nature, backed by about 130 countries, warned on Monday that the rate of extinctions of plant and animal species was accelerating and would likely cause serious damage to human wellbeing around the world.
On average, the abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats had fallen by at least a fifth, mostly since 1900 and mainly because of human activities, it said.

Loss of biodiversity is just as catastrophic as climate change
By Robert Watson, The Guardian, 6 May 2019
A colleague recently described how fish would swim into her clothing when she was a child bathing in the ocean off the coast of Vietnam, but today the fish are gone and her children find the story far-fetched.
Another recalled his experiences just last year in Cape Town – one of the world’s most attractive tourism and leisure destinations – when more than 2 million people faced the nightmare prospect of all taps, in every home and business, running dry.

Children Change Their Parents’ Minds about Climate Change
By Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, 6 May 2019
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg became famous this spring for launching a student movement to compel adults to take action on climate change. Instead of going to school, Greta has been spending her Fridays in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign reading: “School Strike for Climate.” Students in more than 70 countries have since followed her lead. But before she started trying to convince the world to take action, Thunberg worked on her parents. She showered them with facts and showed them documentaries. “After a while, they started listening to what I actually said,” Thunberg told the Guardian newspaper. “That’s when I realized I could make a difference.”

We won’t eliminate deforestation by 2020. So what next?
By Kavita Prakash-Mani (WWF), TFA 2020 News, 6 May 2019
In 2018, the world lost an area of primary rainforest the size of Belgium. The latest figures from Global Forest Watch show that, despite a fall from the record levels reached in 2016, the rate of deforestation remains significantly higher than it was a decade ago.
This isn’t the story we were meant to be telling. Over the past decade, hundreds of companies have made high-profile commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains by 2020. Governments pledged to halt deforestation and reverse land degradation under the Aichi Targets, New York Declaration on Forests and Sustainable Development Goals.

Hunting jeopardizes forest carbon storage, yet is overlooked in climate mitigation efforts
Lund University press release, 6 May 2019
The loss of animals, often due to unregulated or illegal hunting, has consequences for the carbon storage capacity of forests, yet this link is rarely mentioned in high-level climate policy discussions, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Many wildlife species play a key role in dispersing the seeds of tropical trees, particularly large-seeded tree species, that on average have a slightly higher wood density than small-seeded trees. The loss of wildlife therefore affects the survival of these tree species – in turn potentially affecting the carbon storage capacity of tropical forests.

Cut emissions and poverty, not trees, by letting locals manage forests
By Lin Taylor, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 6 May 2019
Giving local communities the responsibility to manage forests – which are shrinking worldwide – could help ease poverty and deforestation, scientists said on Monday in what they described as one of the largest studies of its kind.
Researchers examined more than 18,000 community-led forest initiatives in Nepal, using satellite images and census data from the South Asian country, where more than a third of forests are managed by a quarter of the population.

ArcelorMittal cuts back European production after demand weakens
By Michael Pooler, Financial Times, 6 May 2019
The world’s biggest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, has blamed weakening demand and “insufficient” action by the EU against imports for a decision to temporarily cut production at some of its plants on the continent.
The company said on Monday that it would idle steelmaking facilities at its Krakow site in Poland and decrease output at Asturias in Spain. In addition, it will slow down a planned increase of shipments by its Italian unit.
Other factors cited by the Luxembourg-based group were high energy costs and increased prices for carbon credits, which polluters must use to compensate for emissions under a Brussels scheme aimed at curbing climate change.

[India] Increasing dry season fires in Kerala spotlight debate around man-made fires
By Haritha John, Mongabay, 6 May 2019
When summer strengthens, it brings with it dry spells and the season of forest fires.
Since January 2019, a number of fire incidents have been reported from Kerala. In the last week of March 2019, a major fire broke out in Munnar’s Vattavada region in Idukki. Many forest areas in Pazhathottam, Jandamala, Kadavari, Anamala were ablaze.
Though forest officials claim that less than 100 hectares of forest were burned, environmentalists stress that around 1000 hectares were reduced to ashes.

[Indonesia] Govt to revoke concessions of firms involved in land disputes
By Marguerite Afra Sapiie, The Jakarta Post, 6 May 2019
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has warned that the government may revoke land concessions under the control of companies and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) should they refuse to grant land to residents living in the areas before the concessions were granted.The warning came as the government carries out a program to redistribute land back to locals following years of disputes between them and companies that had been granted concessions.In a Cabinet meeting on Friday, Jokowi told his aides to accelerate efforts to settle agrarian conflicts involving households versus companies or government institutions, which occur in regions across the country.Jokowi called for the owners of land concessions to give ownership rights to local people who have lived in the respective areas years before the concessions were given by the state. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[New Zealand] Research needed before tree-planting
By Sally Rae, Rural Life, 6 May 2019
Landowners considering planting trees need to question whether the benefits to their overall farming business are greater with the land in trees or in its existing use, RaboResearch sustainability analyst Blake Holgate says.
Government policy changes in forestry and climate change would make forestry a more appealing land-use option for some landowners. However, they should carefully consider a range of financial, strategic and environmental issues to ensure they made informed decisions, a new report by Rabobank said.

[Thailand] Forest fires very close to a revered shrine in Mae Hong Son
The Thaiger, 6 May 2019
Fires continue to rage in the northwestern province of Mae Hong Son over the weekend. One of them got very close to a revered Guan Yin shrine in Muang district last night (Sunday).
A fire broke out in the forest behind the shrine on the Mae Hong Son bypass in Ban Mai Ngae village of Tambon Pang Moo at 7pm, surprising and scaring villagers and motorists.
Fire fighters quickly dug a buffer zone about 10 metres from the shrine and houses to prevent the blaze from spreading while fire engines moved in to attack the fire.

7 May 2019

Indigenous peoples, ‘guardians of Nature’, under siege
By Marlowe Hood,, 7 May 2019
From Amazon rainforests to the Arctic Circle, indigenous peoples are leveraging ancestral knowhow to protect habitats that have sustained them for hundreds and even thousands of years, according to a landmark UN assessment of biodiversity released Monday.
But these “guardians of nature” are under siege, warns the first major UN scientific report to fully consider indigenous knowledge and management practices.

PODCAST: Why Securing Land Rights for Indigenous People Can Accelerate Sustainable Development
By Marlena Chertock, World Resources Institute, 7 May 2019
About half of the world’s land is collectively held. Most of that land is not legally recognized under national laws, and even less of that land is formally documented with a land title.
In a recent commentary, Peter Veit, Director of the Land and Resource Rights Initiative in the Governance Center at World Resources Institute, makes a strong environment and development case for securing indigenous and community lands. Veit recently sat down with WRI Vice President for Communications Lawrence MacDonald to talk about his research on community and company procedures for acquiring formal land rights.

Is Natural Recovery Of A Tropical Forest In An Anthropogenic Savanna Possible?
By Victor Deklerck, Science Trends, 7 May 2019
Urbanization, timber exploitation, and the need for farmland has led to deforestation in Central Africa. A widespread technique to clear the dense vegetation is intentional burning. Not only does this prepare the land for farming, but it also attracts animals to the annual fresh vegetation. However, this repeated burning gives rise to anthropogenic savannas, while tropical forests are diminishing.

Start-Ups Hoping to Fight Climate Change Struggle as Other Tech Firms Cash In
By Nathaniel Popper, New York Times, 7 May 2019
With the money he made selling his last start-up to Google, Matt Rogers has been investing in companies that are trying to fight climate change.
Mr. Rogers, one of the founders of the digital thermostat company Nest, has put millions of dollars into start-ups whose goal is to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon-removal technology, as it is known, is something that scientists have said will probably be necessary to avert an extreme increase in global temperatures.

We all wait, but the climate does not!
By Uffe Jensen, We Don’t Have Time, 6 May 2019
Are they simply putting us off? Well!, They — the World leaders — seem to agree to act so that the rising temperature should be kept below 2 degrees Celsius, or preferably at 1,5 degrees. Not all of them though: the USA are not participating. The biggest authority on climatology, Donald Trump, agrees that temperatures are increasing, but his expert calculations prove beyond doubt that humankind has been wrongly accused and convicted of malpractice.

Only business unusual can save us now.
By Christianne Close, Delfin Ganapin, and Margaret Kuhlow, WWF, 6 May 2019
Some of the world’s top scientists have spoken — again. But IPBES’ first Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is more than just another warning. It is a siren call that Earth’s natural systems are in the red and that all that we hold dear is threatened.
How we feed, fuel and finance ourselves is pushing nature to the brink. We’re using resources faster than natural systems can replenish them, and the natural capital that sustains our enterprise and prosperity is in severe decline, posing an existential threat.

Capital for climate: The role of finance in saving our Earth
By Amit Bouri, Investment Europe, 7 May 2019
As we watched another Earth Day come and go, the global community’s insufficient action on climate change became more disturbing than ever before. There is no issue that more urgently calls for innovation, collaboration, and investment than the climate crisis. Yet we continue to fall behind.
With 17 of the 19 warmest years on record occurring since 2001, and the last four years going down as the hottest since records began, the rise in temperatures shows no sign of abating and the consequent effects of climate change will only accelerate. As a growing portion of our planet becomes uninhabitable, the list of plant and animal species nearing extinction lengthens.

Natural ecosystems are key to tackling climate change
By Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF, 7 May 2019
Wherever we look, nature’s warning signs are flashing red. Under pressure from land use change, pollution and climate change, the natural systems that we depend upon for clean air, fresh water, food and a stable climate are under stress — or even on the verge of collapse.

Stable forests are an under-recognized solution to climate change
By Jonah Busch, Earth Innovation Institute, 7 May 2019
Quick challenge—picture a solution to climate change. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Maybe you envisioned a solar panel, a wind turbine, or another clean energy technology. Perhaps an electric car or other zero-emissions vehicle. If you’re an Earth Innovation reader, there’s a good chance you thought of a natural climate solution like planting a tree or keeping a forest standing in the face of threats. I’m guessing you didn’t think of a mature forest that isn’t facing imminent threat of deforestation.

Canada’s forests haven’t absorbed more carbon than they’ve released since 2001
By Sarah Lawrynuik, The Narwhal, 7 May 2019
Ted Hogg’s research usually takes him much deeper in Canada’s boreal forest — but on a chilly day strolling through Edmonton’s river valley, it doesn’t take long before he sees examples of the damage he’s looking for.
Pointing to several of the snow bearing trees, he indicates the deaths he’s already witnessing from climate change.
“There’s a lot of trees dying. Different types of trees. There’s dead poplar, you can see the dead tops up there. Behind us is dead birch. And then there’s spruce ahead of us that’ve died a few years ago,” he said.

China Is Dawdling on Carbon Trading
Bloomberg News, 7 May 2019
A bureaucratic reshuffle has left China months behind in its preparation to launch a national carbon market, potentially slowing efforts to restrain greenhouse gas emissions by the world’s biggest polluter.
The delays in the initial phase of development are due to a regulatory restructuring last year that saw responsibility for the carbon market moved to the new environment ministry, according to an adviser to the Chinese government on climate change policies. Despite the hiccup, the nation should still be able to meet its 2020 launch target, according to the adviser, Ma Aimin.

How major banks turned a blind eye to the theft of billions of pounds of public money
By Madlen Davies, Ben Stockton, and Ferdinand Moeck, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 7 May 2019
Major banks enabled fraudsters to steal billions of pounds of public money through VAT scams, allege documents obtained by the Bureau. A decade later, tax authorities are still chasing the money through the courts.
Traders in London facilitated the so-called carousel fraud by organised crime gangs in 2009, which involved the trading of carbon credits, permits which allow a country or organisation to emit greenhouse gases.

Complex alleged frauds estimated to cost EU taxpayers billions of euro a year
By Jack Horgan-Jones, The Irish Times, 7 May 2019
Irish banks and shell companies were used in transactions worth millions of euro involving companies and individuals under investigation for tax fraud in Germany and elsewhere, leaked files reveal.
The files relate to multiple investigations by police forces and tax investigators into sophisticated alleged frauds which are estimated to cost European taxpayers billions of euro a year.

[Ireland] BoI and Ulster Bank used in tax fraud carbon credits trading
By Jack Horgan-Jones, The Irish Times, 7 May 2019
Irish banks and shell companies were used in transactions worth millions of euro involving companies and individuals under investigation for significant tax fraud in Germany and elsewhere.
Leaked files reveal that clients of both Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank had dealings with counterparties suspected of involvement in tax fraud associated with the trading of carbon credits.

Grand Theft Europe: Malta’s role in a scam worth €50 billion annually
The Shift, 7 May 2019
Companies registered in Malta have been found to be involved in a Europe-wide racket that is robbing European taxpayers of €50 billion annually.
A cache of over 300,000 pages of previously unseen German, Italian, Danish and Spanish tax and security services investigations, including covert recordings and interceptions, interrogations, and court documentation seen by The Shift News, provides unparalleled insight into the execution of some of the biggest scams in recent history and the players involved.

[Peru] Alicorp Subject of RSPO Complaint, Faces Reputation Risks
Chain Reaction Research, 7 May 2019
On April 17, 2019, the indigenous Shipibo Community in Peru announced that it filed complaints with the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) against Alicorp and one of its mill suppliers.
In a press release published by Forest Peoples Programme, released together with the Shipibo community Santa Clara de Uchunya and its representative organisation, the Federation of Native Communities of the Ucayali, the community says it is seeking accountability for the two companies purchasing palm oil from mills that are linked to deforestation on community lands. New reports about deforestation on these lands surfaced late last year: Chain Reaction Research (CRR) reported on Convoca’s expose that showed Alicorp was purchasing palm oil from three mills – Olamsa, Olpesa, and Palm Oleo – whose supply has been linked to plantations that deforested their land. Olpesa is also an RSPO member and the subject of an additional complaint.

Rwanda’s war nearly destroyed this park. Now it’s coming back.
By Benedict Moran, National Geographic, 7 May 2019
Samuel Munyaneza pointed out the window of the sports utility vehicle, toward a group of a dozen young Rwandan tourists giggling and taking selfies. Behind them, a pod of hippos lazed in the water of a shallow lake. A crocodile sunbathed near a muddy shoreline.
History permeates nearly every aspect of Rwandan life. With Munyaneza, it’s no exception. When he was three years old, during the height of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, his family was attacked by extremists. He survived, but his parents were killed, and it took him years to recover from his injuries.

Northern Thailand was once a paradise. Now forest fires have made the air worse than Beijing’s.
By Emily Tamkin, The Washington Post, 7 May 2019
In mid-March, the city with the worst air pollution in the world wasn’t an industrial powerhouse populated by millions. It was Chiang Mai, the tourist-friendly cultural center in northern Thailand.
And for Chiang Mai and its environs, that was the beginning, not the end, of northern Thailand’s trouble with air pollution.
The air pollution was caused in part by forest fires, notably the practice of the area’s farmers of starting fires to clear land for new harvests. Some Chiang Mai residents said the poor air quality showed that the government’s efforts to stop farmers from exacerbating northern Thailand’s seasonal haze problem were not working.

NASA warns UK set for record-breaking year of wildfires
By Sophie Curtis, The Mirror, 7 May 2019
NASA has issued an ominous warning that the UK could be set for a record-breaking year of wildfires.
The US space agency has been using satellites to monitor fires on Earth ever since January 2014.
The number of wildfires in the UK has been increasing annually, with a dramatic increase in the number of fire detections since 2017.
According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, warm, dry weather was to blame for the rise in wildfire numbers in 2017 and 2018.

8 May 2019

The simple, yet elusive, key to fighting the climate crisis
By Sarah Sax, Eco-Business, 8 May 2019
A new scientific report finds human behaviors are driving the extinction of non-human species at a rate so severe that the subsequent disappearance of life will soon be a threat to human health and prosperity. Habitat destruction on land, over-fishing in the seas and overconsumption across much of the globe, among other things, now threaten to extinguish up to a million species in the near future.

A call to forest conservation under transformative change
By Pablo Pacheco, WWF, 7 May 2019
The IPBES Global Assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services serves up a new reminder that transformative change is critical if we want nature to continue contributing to people’s health and wellbeing. Forests are a vital part of the solution, and we need bold and urgent action from across sectors to effectively reverse the tide of forest loss and to ensure that forests are valued.

Grading conservation: Which reserves defend forests?
Michigan State University press release, 8 May 2019
Lands that shelter forests have value often readily tallied by developers, but until now it’s been more difficult to prove the success of protecting those forested lands in pursuit of sustainability. That can put conservationists on the defense.
A group of scientists from Michigan State University (MSU) have focused on what makes a protected area the most effective at preventing deforestation. Preserving forests means more trees to suck up greenhouse gasses, as well as prevent erosion, mitigate flooding, purify water and quell sandstorms.

Arctic soils may produce huge methane leak
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 9 May 2019
The permafrost may be about to spring an unwelcome surprise, with Arctic soils thought to be thawing faster than anyone had predicted. This threatens to release vast quantities of frozen methane into the atmosphere and transform the northern landscape.
One-fourth of all the land in the northern half of the globe is defined as permafrost. This long-frozen soil is home to the detritus of life over many thousands of years: the remains of plants, animals and microbes. The permanently frozen soils of the region hold, so far in a harmless state, 1,600 billion tonnes of carbon: twice as much as exists in the atmosphere.

Prioritising sustainability in China’s soy supply chain
André Vasconcelos and Isabel Nepstad, Trase, 8 May 2019
This year is proving to be one of great uncertainty for China’s soy crushing and livestock industries. The trade tensions with the United States and the outbreak of African Swine Fever have both had significant consequences for the Chinese soy and livestock feed industries, affecting demand and profit margins.

What we learned from two years of investigating corrupt land deals in Indonesia
The Gecko Project and Mongabay, 8 May 2019
Just over two years ago, The Gecko Project and Mongabay set out to investigate the hidden story behind twin environmental and social crises unfolding in Indonesia.
The country’s rainforests, the third most expansive in the world, were falling at the highest rate since detailed measurements began. Every year, carbon-rich peat swamps across the archipelago were drying out and turning into a conflagration, churning noxious greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In thousands of villages across the archipelago, people found themselves locked into intractable conflicts with their neighbors, companies and the government, over control of land.

BNPP AM offers new quant carbon offset fund to Italian investors
By Eugenia Jimenéz, Investment Europe, 8 May 2019
BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has launched a quant climate carbon fund stepping up its efforts to responsible investing.
Theam Quant Europe Climate Carbon Offset Plan, available to investors in Italy, is managed using a systematic investment strategy designed to capture the performance of European liquid equities with high Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards. These are selected according to their carbon footprint and the robustness of their energy transition strategy.

Peru’s forest inspection agency OSINFOR regains its independence. But what next?
Global Witness, 8 May 2019
First, the good news: the only state agency effectively combatting illegal logging in the climate-critical forests of the Peruvian Amazon – OSINFOR has seen its independence restored, after it was weakened a few months ago. This is an important step in ensuring the problem of illegal logging continues to be tackled effectively.
But it’s only one small step on the road to resolving the many problems that are still pervasive across Peru’s timber supply chain – a small one too in helping protect one of the most important tropical forests on earth from rampant illegal logging. As Global Witness have highlighted for some time, and as a serious UN report this week exposes – if we are to save our planet and life on it, protection of our forests is vital.

Over 250 forest fires extinguished in Russia over last 24 hours
TASS, 8 May 2019
Around 250 forest fires have been extinguished in Russia on the territory of nearly 40,000 hectares in the last 24 hours, the press service of the Aerial Forest Protection Service said on Wednesday.
“According to regional forestry departments, 248 forest fires were extinguished on the territory of 39,761 hectares over the last 24 hours. As of 12am Moscow time on 8 May 2019, 100 wildfires continue blazing on the territory of 52,397 hectares. Firefighting efforts are underway,” the press service said.

Swiss study aims to find out if carbon dioxide can be locked in rock
By Marina Depetris, Reuters, 8 May 2019
Swiss scientists are injecting carbon dioxide into rock deep inside a mountain to discover if the gas leaks out or if it can be locked away to stop it contributing to climate change.
Inside Mont Terri in the Jura Mountains, a layer of impermeable clay could potentially trap carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing global warming.

UK to lose £1.1bn in carbon-credit revenue in event of no-deal Brexit
By Anna Gross, Financial Times, 8 May 2019
The UK will lose more than £1.1bn in revenue as carbon-emitting companies escape paying for the pollution they cause if the country crashes out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement in October, according to Sandbag, a climate policy think-tank.
From January, Brussels stopped providing carbon allowances, or credits, to the UK government for auction under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, because of uncertainty around Britain’s position in the bloc.

9 May 2019

How Carbon Markets Can Boost Biodiversity And Slow Climate Change
By Zubair Zakir and Dylan Murray, Ecosystem Marketplace, 9 May 2019
The Paris Climate Agreement came into effect in 2016, but 2020 is the year that countries are supposed to start ramping up their ambitions with newer, deeper targets. To do that, they need a clear and concise “Paris Rulebook” that lays out all of the terms and regulations for turning pledges into actions.
Published in December of last year and three years in the making, the highly anticipated rulebook is an addendum to the Paris Agreement, providing crucial instructions for implementation of national pledges. But negotiators at the United Nations were unable to agree on the specifics of ‘Article 6’ – the very section devoted, ironically, to the international cooperation between countries on carbon markets.

Climate change: Half world’s biggest airlines don’t offer carbon offsetting
By Dulcie Lee and Laura Foster, BBC News, 9 May 2019
Less than half of the world’s major airlines are giving passengers the opportunity to offset the carbon dioxide produced from their flights, BBC research found.
When airlines do offer such a scheme, generally fewer than 1% of flyers are choosing to spend more.
Carbon offsetting enables passengers to balance out their carbon footprint by paying towards environmental projects.

Deforestation-Driven Reputation Risk Could Become Material for FMCGs
Chain Reaction Research, 9 May 2019
Many fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have publicly committed to a 2020 deadline to end deforestation in their supply chains. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that most FMCGs will not meet this deadline. NGO campaigns against individual FMCGs and benchmark studies that show the differences in implementation of zero-deforestation commitments indicate increasing reputation risks for the sector. For an FMCG company, business risks related to tropical deforestation, such as market access risk, stranded asset risk, and the risk of higher costs of capital, contribute to only a small deviation in the total share value. However, reputation risk may become a much stronger value driver for them. This study explores the scientific knowledge on valuing this reputation risk.

[Brazil] SLC Agrícola Clears 1,355 Hectares of Cerrado Vegetation Despite Customers’ Zero-Deforestation Commitments
Chain Reaction Research, 9 May 2019
Between March 7, 2019 and May 5, 2019, SLC Agrícola, the largest listed soybean producer in Brazil, cleared 1,355 hectares (ha) of native vegetation at its Fazenda Parceiro farm. This farm, which was exclusively used for soy production in 2018, is located in the municipality of Formosa do Rio Preto, at the border of the states of Bahia and Piauí.
Fazenda Parceiro, made up of five areas, was purchased by the company in 2011. One of these areas, with a size of 10,644 ha, is leased from a third party. The other areas are either owned outright by SLC Agrícola (27,564 ha) or owned through SLC LandCo (3,680 ha), its farmland investment joint venture with UK-based Valiance Fund.

Colombia’s route to deforestation-free commodity commitments
TFA 2020 News, 9 May 2019
At the Tropical Forest Alliance Annual Meeting in Bogota, Colombia, UNDP’s new flagship initiative, From Commitment to Action (FC2A), is making its own contribution to a Forest Positive Future by holding a National Dialogue, jointly with Alianza Cacao, Bosques y Paz.
FC2A supports countries accelerating a reduction in deforestation from agricultural commodities in key forest eco-regions of the world, and is supporting Amazon-focused work in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Pressure mounts on EU to curb Brazilian deforestation, human rights abuses
By Sarah Sax, Mongabay, 9 May 2019
In the 100 days since Jair Bolsonaro became president of the world’s fourth largest democracy, Brazil has weakened indigenous rights and environmental protections, with no sign of slowing down. Now, a report co-signed by 20+ organizations, and coinciding with the 100-day benchmark, has called on the European Union (EU) to use its trade, investment and diplomatic leverage to ensure it is not complicit in policies that threaten indigenous rights or cause deforestation and environmental degradation in the Latin American nation.

[Fiji] Working without gender inequality will enable the successful conservation of our environment
By Monisha Chand, Fiji Village, 9 May 2019
Forests and mangroves support the livelihood of our people and if we work together without any gender inequality in place, we will successfully be able to conserve our environment.
This was highlighted by the Conservator of Forests from the Ministry of Forestry, Sanjana Lal while speaking at the FIJI REDD+ Gender Workshop at Holiday Inn today.
REDD+ FIJI is an NGO funded by the world bank to raise awareness amongst both men and women to work together in reducing carbon emmissions.

10 May 2019

Climate change: Scientists test radical ways to fix Earth’s climate
By Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, 10 May 2019
Scientists in Cambridge plan to set up a research centre to develop new ways to repair the Earth’s climate.
It will investigate radical approaches such as refreezing the Earth’s poles and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
The centre is being created because of fears that current approaches will not on their own stop dangerous and irreversible damage to the planet.
The initiative is the first of its kind in the world and could lead to dramatic reductions in carbon emissions.

[India] Six-fold increase in forest fires as temperatures rise in many states
Bu Ishan Kukreti, DownToEarth, 10 May 2019
As many states face higher than normal maximum temperature, instances of large fires have increased more than six times across the country within this week.
The Forest Survey of India’s (FSI’s) large forest fires monitoring programme data shows that there are 192 large, active fires in the country today (May 10). This figure was at 30 when this week began.

[UK] Adviser ordered to compensate ‘insistent’ client
By Amy Austin, FT Adviser, 10 May 2019
Advice firm Cowley & Miller Independent Financial Services has been ordered to pay compensation to a client following unsuitable advice on his self-invested personal pension.
The client, who the Financial Ombudsman Service called Mr B, met with an adviser at Cowley & Miller in 2012 to discuss his two pension plans. One had a transfer value of about £23,000 and the other was worth just more than £19,000, and was no longer receiving any contributions.
Mr B was advised to transfer one of his pension plans, which was no longer receiving any contributions, into a Sipp which then invested in carbon credits through the Carbon Advice Group, an unregulated investment.

11 May 2019

Emergency declared in southern Mexico as forest fires rage
AP, 11 May 2019
Authorities declared emergencies in 11 municipalities in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca due to raging forest fires, as high temperatures and dry conditions plague much of the country.
Forest fires were also reported Saturday in popular weekend retreats near the capital, such as Valle de Bravo and Tepoztlan, where the archaeological zone was closed. And in the Pacific state of Jalisco, more than 300 firefighters attempted to stamp out five blazes outside Mexico’s second-biggest city, Guadalajara.

12 May 2019

[Canada] ‘It’s way too early’: Officials, residents scramble as B.C. wildfires spread sooner than expected
By Sean Boynton, Global News, 12 May 2019
B.C.’s wildfire season has arrived in force, and officials have been caught off guard.
The quick spread of the Lejac wildfire near Fraser Lake in the province’s central Interior led to the season’s first evacuation order Saturday night, with residents of more than a dozen rural homes forced to leave.
Several other homes are on evacuation alert nearby, while the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako declared a local state of emergency as the fire swelled to 236 hectares.

[Canada] How soil carbon can help tackle climate change
By Derek Lynch, The Conversation, 12 May 2019
Maintaining soil organic matter is critical to tackling climate change because soil organic matter is rich in carbon. Soil carbon is also the keystone element controlling soil health, which enables soils to be resilient as droughts and intense rainfall events increasingly occur.
Given this tremendous importance of soil carbon, are economic incentives and programs helping Canadian farmers maintain and enhance soil carbon on their farms?


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