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REDD in the news: 29 July – 4 August 2019

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

The terrible truth of climate change
By Joëlle Gergism, The Monthly, August 2019
In June, I delivered a keynote presentation on Australia’s vulnerability to climate change and our policy challenges at the annual meeting of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the main conference for those working in the climate science community. I saw it as an opportunity to summarise the post-election political and scientific reality we now face.

29 July 2019

Is AI the next big climate-change threat? We haven’t a clue
By Martin Giles, MIT Technology Review, 29 July 2019
At a recent conference in San Francisco, Gary Dickerson took the stage and made a bold prediction. The chief executive of Applied Materials, which is a big supplier to the semiconductor industry, warned that in the absence of significant innovation in materials, chip manufacturing and design, data centers’ AI workloads could account for a tenth of the world’s electricity usage by 2025.
Today, the millions of data centers around the world soak up a little less than 2% — and that statistic encompasses all kinds of workloads handled on their vast arrays of servers. Applied Materials estimates that servers running AI currently account for just 0.1% of global electricity consumption.

Lost Cities and Climate Change
By Kate Marvel, Scientific American, 29 July 2019
Not far from my grandmother’s house is a ghost city. At Angel Mounds on the Ohio river about eight miles west of Evansville, there are a few visible earthworks and a reconstructed wattle-and-daub barrier. There is almost nothing left of the people who build these mounds; in a final insulting erasure, the site is now named after the white settler family who most recently farmed the land.
There are traces of other dead villages along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, mounds scattered from present-day Indiana to Arkansas and Alabama. In southern Illinois, a few miles from the Missouri border, hidden among empty corn and soy fields, is the center of that dead civilization’s gravity: the lost city of Cahokia.

From Environmental Leader to ‘Worst Company in the World’
By David Yaffe-Bellamy, The New York Times, 29 July 2019
For years, the American agricultural giant Cargill has been on relatively good terms with environmental advocates, praised for agreeing to a landmark moratorium on buying soybeans grown on deforested land in the Amazon rain forest.
In recent weeks, though, that relationship has soured over the company’s refusal to agree to a similar moratorium in another environmentally sensitive region of Brazil and, more broadly, over its failure to meet its anti-deforestation targets. This month, the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth released a report titled “Cargill: The Worst Company in the World.”

UN chief calls for 2050 zero emissions plans – but Australia remains tightlipped
By Katharine Murphy, The Guardian, 29 July 2019
The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, has written to all heads of state asking countries to outline their plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, but at this stage the Australian government is only engaging on commitments to 2030.
Ahead of a climate action summit in New York on 23 September, Guterres has reportedly asked leaders to flag plans they will set next year for 2030 emissions reduction commitments, and their plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

IWGIA condemns killing of indigenous leader in Brazil
IWGIA, 29 July 2019
Emyra Waiãpi, a 68-year-old indigenous leader, was stabbed to death last week as around 50 gold miners, a dozen of whom were heavily armed, entered the remote Waiãpi indigenous reserve in the northern Brazilian state of Amapá, which borders French Guiana, reported multiple Brazilian and international news outlets.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Emyra Waiãpi. We are alarmed by his death as it comes in a particularly dark month for indigenous peoples as their rights have been increasingly and systematically undermined in Brazil throughout 2019. Those responsible for his death need to be found and held accountable to send a clear message that no one is above the law,” said Julie Koch, IWGIA Executive Director.

[Canada] Massive wildfire season has Alberta seeking review of prevention, response strategies
By Jordan Omstead, CBC, 29 July 2019
Wildfires in Alberta have burned more land in 2019 than any year in the past four decades, according to data from Alberta Wildfire.
The blazes have burned an area larger than Banff National Park and displaced thousands of people across northern Alberta.
A request for proposal, posted to the Alberta government’s tendering website on Thursday, states “The 2019 spring wildfires in Alberta had a severe impact on people, communities, forest industry, and forest habitat.”

Environmentalist murdered near disputed DRC palm oil project
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 29 July 2019
The actions of Feronia-PHC are under intense scrutiny again after a local environmental activist in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was killed by a security guard working for the palm oil giant, the NGO he worked for has alleged.
Joël Imbangola Lunea was killed on 21 July near Boteka, northern DRC reportedly by a local Feronia-PHC employee who accused him of transporting palm oil stolen from its nearby plantation.
Lunea worked for RIAO-RDC, a Congolese environmental and human rights group that has long protested the Canadian company’s presence and the impact its projects have on communities.

Ethiopia plants 350m trees in a day to help tackle climate crisis
By Anna Ploszajski, The Guardian, 29 July 2019
About 350m trees have been planted in a single day in Ethiopia, according to a government minister.
The planting is part of a national “green legacy” initiative to grow 4bn trees in the country this summer by encouraging every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings. Public offices have reportedly been shut down in order for civil servants to take part.

[Indonesia] Pulp and paper firm targets zero forest fires in 2020
Jakarta Post, 29 July 2019
Giant paper producer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, has announced that it is stepping up efforts to fight forest and bush fires in its concession areas in anticipation of the dry season.
APP director Suhendra Wiriadinata said recently that the effort was needed as the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) had estimated this year’s dry season would be longer than the last year’s, with the peak expected to be in August-September.

[Nigeria] C’River Declares Public Holiday To Plant Trees
Sahara Reporters, 29 July 2019
The Government of Cross River on Monday in Calabar, declared July 30 a public holiday for the planting of one million trees in a ceremony known as the Green Carnival, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
According to a statement by the Permanent Secretary, State Security Office, Dr Alfred Mboto, the general public should be informed that major routes in Calabar will be closed to motorists from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the tree planting.

‘People are dying’: how the climate crisis has sparked an exodus to the US
By Nina Lakhani, The Guardian, 29 July 2019
At sunrise, the misty fields around the village of Guior are already dotted with men, women and children sowing maize after an overnight rainstorm.
After several years of drought, the downpour brought some hope of relief to the subsistence farmers in this part of eastern Guatemala.
But as Esteban Gutiérrez, 30, takes a break from his work, he explains why he is still willing to incur crippling debts – and risk his life – to migrate to the United States.

[USA] Regen Network Begins a New Chapter in Prestigious Techstars Program
Regen Network, 29 July 2019
We’ve been waiting to share the news: Regen Network has been selected to participate in the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator in Denver, Colorado, and start our journey today, July 29, 2019.
Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, a leading environmental nonprofit that protects millions of natural acres worldwide, to bring this globally-recognized mentorship-driven accelerator program to Denver.

30 July 2019

HRH The Duke of Sussex Interviews Dr Jane Goodall For The September Issue
By HRH The Duke of Sussex, Vogue, 30 July 2019
It’s an overcast day in Windsor, with temperamental weather threatening to change the locale for an exclusive sit-down between legendary ethologist Dr Jane Goodall and HRH The Duke of Sussex. “The rain stops for Jane,” assures Mary Lewis, long-time VP at the Jane Goodall Institute. And, as it turns out, not only does the rain stop for Jane – so do we. Here, a candid conversation from Vogue’s September issue about environment, responsibility and climate change.

How much does your flight actually hurt the planet?
By Cassie Werber, Quartz, 30 July 2019
The advice seems simple: Flying has a huge climate cost compared to other individual actions, and if we care about our impact on the environment, we should limit how much we do it.
But the bigger question of how flying truly compares to other behaviors, and more broadly, how we can sensibly make life-changing decisions about our impact on the environment, is far from simple.

A-listers flock to Google summit in private jets, mega yachts to talk climate change
By Emily Smith and Ebony Bowden, New York Post, 30 July 2019
The world’s rich and famous have flocked to a posh Italian resort to talk about saving Mother Earth — but they sure are punishing her in the process.
The billionaire creators of Google have invited a who’s who of A-list names— including former President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry — to the Sicilian seaside for a mega-party they’ve dubbed Google Camp.

Climate change: Tree planting rise ‘needs to happen quickly’
By Rob England, BBC News, 30 July 2019
Significant rises in tree planting in the UK “need to happen quickly” if other targets to cut carbon are not met, government advisers have warned.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommends 30,000 hectares of woodland should be planted annually, more than double the new trees planted last year.
And it said this may have to rise to 50,000 hectares if other carbon reduction targets are not achieved.

Smoke from fires in Africa help fertilize the Amazon basin
By Kay Vandette, Earth.com, 30 July 2019
New research has revealed that smoke from fires in Africa is actually fertilizing the Amazon rainforest.
Researchers from the University of Miami discovered that phosphorus from smoke carried by winds across the ocean to the Amazon Basin is the most important fertilizer for both the rainforest and marine phytoplankton.
Without these nutrients deposited on land and into the ocean, plants and marine life would struggle.

[Ethiopia] How do you protect what’s ‘everywhere but nowhere?’
By David Charles and Dominique Lyons, CIFOR Forests News, 30 July 2019
Yesterday Ethiopia began its ambitious 4 billion tree planting program. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, said the mega campaign will both fight deforestation and climate change. And with a record-breaking 353 million trees planted in the first twelve hours of roll out, it is unsurprising the world’s press have captured the historic day.
But while the country steps up its reforestation efforts, the deforestation of its irreplaceable dry forests continue unabated.

[France] Marseille airport expansion stalled on climate grounds
By Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 30 July 2019
Marseille Provence Airport has been forced to revisit expansion plans, after the environment authority questioned how they fit with France’s climate targets.
Developers were judged to have underestimated the environmental impacts and overestimated the economic benefits of proposed facilities to handle up to 7.5 million extra passengers a year from 2027.

Indonesia battles forest fires to prevent return of SE Asia ‘haze’ crisis
Yahoo! News, 30 July 2019
Fire fighters have been battling forest fires in Sumatra, to try and prevent deadly ‘haze’.
Forest and peatland fires in Riau Province are said to have burned 3,818 hectares of peatland, blanketing the region in smoke, or ‘haze’.
The fires are typically caused by attempts to clear land for farming, sometimes for palm oil plantations. But with the land below often comprised of peat, which burns, they can rage out of control for months.

[Indonesia] Authorities warned of fires as hot spots detected in Jambi
By Jon Afrizal, Jakarta Post, 30 July 2019
An environmental NGO is warning authorities of a potential increase of forest fires in Jambi during the dry season, as satellites detected dozens of hot spots — identified as land fires — spreading across the province over the past week.
Citing data compiled by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) from NASA’s MODIS satellites, the Warsi Indonesian Conservation Community (KKI Warsi) said that at least 38 hot spots have been detected in Jambi between July 23 and 30.

Forest fires destroy 1.2 mln trees last year in NW Pakistan
Zinhua, 30 July 2019
A number of incidents of forest fire have reduced over 1.2 million trees in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during the recently concluded financial year ranging from July 2018 to June 2019, local reports said Monday.
The fire, by destroying the trees, has incurred a loss of 27.2 million rupees (about 170,000 U.S. dollars) to the provincial government. An inquiry has been initiated to determine the cause of the fire as the loss has hurt the central government’s efforts to increase the country’s forest cover.

Philippines is deadliest country for defenders of environment
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 30 July 2019
The Philippines has replaced Brazil as the most murderous country in the world for people defending their land and environment, according to research that puts a spotlight on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
More than three defenders were killed across the world every week in 2018, according to the annual toll by the independent watchdog Global Witness, highlighting the continued dangers facing those who stand up to miners, loggers, farmers, poachers and other extractive industries.

UK carbon price to plummet under no-deal Brexit
By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 30 July 2019
British heavy industrial polluters could see their carbon costs nearly cut in half if the country crashes out of the EU with no deal this autumn.
Updated guidelines released on Monday show the UK government plans to introduce a domestic tax of £16 ($19) per tonne of CO2 emitted from power stations and industrial sites from 4 November. The aviation sector would not be subject to the tax.

[USA] Climate Change Really is Causing California’s Raging Wildfires
By Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Inside Science, 30 July 2019
California is getting hotter and drier — and that means the nation’s most populous state will likely continue to experience a larger number of deadly wildfires.
Although there are several factors that play into why the state’s wildfires have been getting more frequent and devastating, a new study, published this month in the journal Earth’s Future, indicates that climate change is a big factor.

[USA] California’s ARB to consider updated Tropical Forest Standard at September meeting
Carbon Pulse, 30 July 2019
California regulator ARB will consider endorsing an updated version of its Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) at the board’s Sep. 19 meeting, nearly a year after the agency delayed its original approval of the possible precursor to jurisdictional REDD offsetting following a flurry of backlash. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

31 July 2019

Only a climate revolution can cool the world
By Paul Brown, Climate News Network, 31 July 2019
Governments have completely failed to make progress in tackling the planetary emergency, and a climate revolution is the sole hope that they will do so.
This sounds like a sound bite from Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who is inspiring schoolchildren worldwide to go on strike, or a slogan from Extinction Rebellion, which has been disrupting city life in the UK and elsewhere to secure an urgent government response to the climate emergency.
Both campaigns might agree with the statement, but it is in fact from a scholarly book, Burning Up, A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption, a detailed study into the burning of fossil fuels since 1950. It looks at fuel consumption in individual countries but also at the political forces that have driven and still drive the ever-growing inferno of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, across the world.

Biodiversity highest on Indigenous-managed lands
University of British Columbia press release, 31 July 2019
More than one million plant and animal species worldwide are facing extinction, according to a recent United Nations report. Now, a new UBC-led study suggests that Indigenous-managed lands may play a critical role in helping species survive.
The researchers analyzed land and species data from Australia, Brazil and Canada — three of the world’s biggest countries — and found that the total numbers of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles were the highest on lands managed or co-managed by Indigenous communities.

The Coolest: How Forests Affect Climate Change
Rainforest Alliance, 31 July 2019
Scientists estimate that we have about a decade to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions if we hope to stave off a global climate collapse. If the situation sounds dire, that’s because it is. Luckily, however, nature has given us a great ally in the effort to slow climate change: forests.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Promises New Data on Deforestation Rates
By Bruce Douglas, Bloomberg, 31 July 2019
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro promised new data on deforestation rates Wednesday, days after telling foreign journalists that numbers showing sharply increase rates of deforestation were “lies.”
“I hope today to give you the real data,” Bolsonaro said at an event in the city of Anapolis, according to local media reports. At an event in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, the president had promised a “surprise” relating to the numbers produced by Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research, INPE.

Greenland Is Melting Away Before Our Eyes
By Eric Holthaus, Rolling Stone, 31 July 2019
Amid an ongoing heat wave, new data show the Greenland ice sheet is in the middle of its biggest melt season in recorded history. It’s the latest worrying signal climate change is accelerating far beyond the worst fears of even climate scientists.
The record-setting heat wave that sweltered northern Europe last week has moved north over the critically vulnerable Greenland ice sheet, triggering temperatures this week that are as much as 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal.

Indonesia declares state of emergency and fights fires in palm-growing hot spots as drought looms
The Business Times, 31 July 2019
Indonesia is stepping up efforts to prevent a repeat of haze that blanketed much of South-east Asia four years ago by deploying thousands of firefighters and emergency response teams in its main palm oil- and rubber-producing regions.
Authorities have declared a state of emergency in some provinces after detecting 84 hot spots. More than 9,000 personnel from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, the military, police, environmental groups and private companies, including Asia Pulp & Paper Co have been deployed to combat the fires so far this season.

Indonesia sends thousands of security personnel to combat forest fires
By Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Reuters, 31 July 2019
Indonesia is deploying thousands of military and police to douse forest fires after declaring an emergency in six provinces on the island of Sumatra and in the province of Kalimantan on Borneo, a disaster mitigation official said on Wednesday.
Indonesia has faced global pressure to put an end to slash-and-burn clearance of land, often to plant palm and pulp plantations, particularly after devastating fires in 2015.

Kenya: A Ranger’s Story
WWF, 31 July 2019
Rangers face challenging and dangerous situations almost every day, yet many lack the most basic means to do their job. WWF is working hard to support rangers around the world — nowhere more so than in Kenya.

[Russia] Putin sends military to fight Siberia forest fires
AFP, 31 July 2019
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has called in the army to fight the forest fires that have been raging across vast expanses of Siberia for days, enveloping entire cities in black smoke.
Environmentalists have warned that the scale of the blazes could accelerate global warming, aside from any immediate effects on the health of inhabitants.

[USA] Victims of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow suffer another defeat in case against JPMorgan
By Maria Nikolova, FinanceFeeds, 31 July 2019
Several months after a group of more than 200 victims of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow challenged a ruling by the New York Southern District Court that dismissed their claims that JPMorgan aided the fraudster, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit nixed their appeal.
The plaintiffs – Hongying Zhao and 244 other individuals, have brought this action against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMC) and its holding company JP Morgan Chase & Co. The First Amended Complaint asserts the following claims against both defendants: (1) knowing participation in a breach of trust, (2) aiding and abetting embezzlement, (3) aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, (4) aiding and abetting conversion, (5) aiding and abetting fraud, (6) unjust enrichment, (7) commercial bad faith, and (8) gross negligence. Put briefly, the plaintiffs alleged that JPMorgan had aided Haddow.

1 August 2019

Just 10% of fossil fuel subsidy cash ‘could pay for green transition’
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 1 August 2019
Switching just some of the huge subsidies supporting fossil fuels to renewables would unleash a runaway clean energy revolution, according to a new report, significantly cutting the carbon emissions that are driving the climate crisis.
Coal, oil and gas get more than $370bn (£305bn) a year in support, compared with $100bn for renewables, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) report found. Just 10-30% of the fossil fuel subsidies would pay for a global transition to clean energy, the IISD said.

FAO Indicator Report: World is Off Track on Most SDG Targets Relevant for Food and Agriculture
By Stefan Jungcurt, IISD, 1 August 2019
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report assessing progress on 18 indicators relevant to agriculture and food security across four SDGs. The report shows that the world is off track on most of the targets assessed.

Can palm oil enter the circular economy?
By Dominique Lyons and Nabiha Shahab, CIFOR Forests News, 1 August 2019
Palm oil is the wonderstuff of fats. It makes our cookies crunchier, shampoo bubblier and lipstick smoother, all for a fraction of the price of other oils. However, a recent media storm has cast a shadow on the industry. Headlines have exposed the mass deforestation at the hands of palm oil production, and all the gory social and environmental issues that comes with it.

Launch of the East African Alliance on Carbon Markets and Climate Finance
Carbon Pricing Leadering Coalition, 1 August 2019
Several countries in East Africa refer to the utilization of market mechanisms to facilitate the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Having registered a significant number of CDM activities with high sustainable development impacts, many East African countries are keen to build on this experience for accessing Article 6. This includes working towards a smooth transition of selected CDM projects that meet Article 6 requirements. In acknowledgement of the opportunities that Article 6 entails and the interrelated socio-economic impacts that climate change poses on the region, East African countries view sub-regional cooperation as a potential way for leveraging each other’s strengths on carbon market approaches and climate finance.

As the Brazilian Amazon Burns, Indigenous Peoples Take a Stand
By Christian Poirier, Amazon Watch, 1 August 2019
In these dark times we need solutions that inspire, and that match the enormity of our collective challenges. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Brazilian Amazon, where irreplaceable forests and their indigenous guardians face severe crisis. With deforestation now reaching three football fields per minute and murderous invasions of indigenous territories spiking, the Bolsonaro regime has created a perfect storm that is pushing the world’s largest rainforest toward an irreversible tipping point, with drastic implications for us all.

[Brazil] Deathwatch for the Amazon
The Economist, 1 August 2019
Although its cradle is the sparsely wooded savannah, humankind has long looked to forests for food, fuel, timber and sublime inspiration. Still a livelihood for 1.5bn people, forests maintain local and regional ecosystems and, for the other 6.2bn, provide a—fragile and creaking—buffer against climate change. Now droughts, wildfires and other human-induced changes are compounding the damage from chainsaws. In the tropics, which contain half of the world’s forest biomass, tree-cover loss has accelerated by two-thirds since 2015; if it were a country, the shrinkage would make the tropical rainforest the world’s third-biggest carbon-dioxide emitter, after China and America.

[Brazil] On the brink: The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point
The Economist, 1 August 2019
The Amazon basin, most of which sits within the borders of Brazil, contains 40% of the world’s tropical forests and accounts for 10-15% of the biodiversity of Earth’s continents. Since the 1970s nearly 800,000km² of Brazil’s original 4m km² (1.5m square miles) of Amazon forest has been lost to logging, farming, mining, roads, dams and other forms of development—an area equivalent to that of Turkey, and bigger than that of Texas. Over the same period, the average temperature in the basin has risen by about 0.6°C. This century, the region has suffered a series of severe droughts.

[Brazil] Amazon deforestation: Bolsonaro government accused of seeking to sow doubt over data
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 1 August 2019
The Amazon forest is being burned and chopped down at the most alarming rate in recent memory, but the Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro is focused on reinterpreting the data rather than dealing with the culprits, monitoring groups have said.
At a clearance rate equivalent to a Manhattan island every day, deforestation in July was almost twice as fast as the worst month ever recorded by the current satellite monitoring system, which is managed by the government’s National Institute for Space Research.

Glencore Agriculture Exposes Canadian Pension Funds to Deforestation Risks
Chain Reaction Research 1 August 2019
Glencore Agriculture is an agricultural commodity trading company that operates in corn, cotton, soy, and grains markets. Glencore Agriculture has been a stand-alone business since Glencore PLC divested in 2016. Its main shareholders are Glencore PLC (49.99 percent), the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB; 39.99 percent) and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI; 9.99 percent). This report assesses Glencore Agriculture’s exposure to deforestation risks in Brazil’s soy supply chain.

Indonesia forest fires spark haze warnings in Malaysia
Channel News Asia, 1 August 2019
The west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and western Sarawak have begun to experience haze due to forest fires in Indonesia, Malaysia’s Meteorological Department said on Thursday (Aug 1).
The Met agency’s director-general Jailan Simon said the haze will also have an effect on the weather in Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and Putrajaya in the peninsula, as well as and Kuching, Serian and Samarahan in Sarawak.

EPA Boss Blama Launches REDD+ Safeguards Information System with A Call to Sustainably Manage Liberia’s Forest
By Gerald C. Koinyeneh, Front Page Africa, 1 August 2019
The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA), Nathaniel T. Blama has launched Liberia’s REDD+ Safeguards Information System (SIS) with a call to sustainably manage Liberia’s forest.
The Liberia REDD+ SIS was recently developed by Conservation International (CI) and Skills and Agricultural Development Services (SADS) in consultation with Safeguards Working Group (SWG).

[New Zealand] Forestry creates fire risk for Tararua, group of residents tells council
By Paul Mitchell, Stuff, 1 August 2019
A group of Tararua residents says a Government carbon trading scheme meant to help save the planet could be putting the district at risk.
Akitio resident Dan Ramsden, the group’s spokesman, said pine tree plantations were displacing Tararua’s sheep and beef farms, because landowners could make more money farming carbon credits than livestock.

2 August 2019

Climate change: July ‘marginally’ warmest month on record
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 2 August 2019
A preliminary analysis of global temperature data for July suggests it may have “marginally” become the warmest month on record.
Figures from the first 29 days of a month in which many countries had heatwaves are “on a par” or slightly higher than a record set in July 2016.
The assessment was carried out by researchers at the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
Confirmation of a new record must await a full analysis is released on Monday.

Offsetting carbon emissions: ‘It has proved a minefield’
By John Vidal, The Guardian, 2 August 2019
Here’s the problem: in two months’ time I must travel to Malawi in southern Africa to help Gumbi Education, a small, Guardian-led kids’ education charity that I chair. There’s no Skype option, no railways or boats, and travelling 3,000 miles across Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania by bus is not recommended.
I’ve cut my annual holiday flights, I’ve reduced my work travel, and my carbon footprint is nothing to what it was. But realistically, I must fly the 10,200 miles to and from Lilongwe – and I want to offset my emissions in some way. If done correctly, this should mean that I do less harm overall.

Indigenous peoples raise concerns at UN Climate Meeting in Abu Dhabi
IWGIA, 2 August 2019
Despite being a small group of only eight people among the more than 1,000 participants at the UN Climate Meeting in Abu Dhabi in June, indigenous peoples were able to have their voices heard and put indigenous peoples’ rights on the agenda.
In her summary of a three-hour long synergy-session, the Director of the UN Environmental Programme, Inger Andersen, highlighted key issues that were raised by the indigenous representatives emphasising that consistency between international laws and governments’ actions must be ensured and that indigenous peoples’ rights must be respected in all climate activities at all decision-making levels, as well as on the ground.

Brazil space institute director sacked in Amazon deforestation row
By Dom Phillips, The Guardian, 2 August 2019
The director of Brazil’s National Space Research Institute (INPE) has been sacked in the midst of a controversy over its satellite data showing a rise in Amazon deforestation, which the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has called “lies”.
Ricardo Galvão, who had defended the institute and criticised Bolsonaro’s attack, was dismissed on Friday after a meeting with the science and technology minister, Marcos Pontes.

DRC: Batwa need avenue to peacefully reclaim their rights – further clashes between eco-guards and Batwa reported on a daily basis
By Justin Kendrick, Forest Peoples Programme, 2 August 2019
Following recent deadly clashes between eco-guards and Batwa Pygmies in April 2019 that resulted in the death of two people – one Batwa and one eco-guard – further clashes took place on 17 July 2019, during which one Batwa was killed and several others were seriously wounded by eco-guards’ bullets, meanwhile one eco-guard also suffered serious injuries.
Yesterday (1 Aug 2019) a Batwa and an eco-guard were killed following an altercation in Bugamanda (in the territory of Kalehe). Bugamanda is one of the places that the Batwa have returned to inside Kahuzi-Biega National Park (PNKB) following PNKB abandoning a Dialogue process. Other clashes between eco-guards and Batwa are reported on a daily basis.

PTI govt flagship ‘Plant for Pakistan’ afforestation campaign launched
By Usama Fayyaz, Business Recorder, 2 August 2019
Massive monsoon tree plantation campaign formally launched across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including erstwhile FATA under PTI government flagship ‘Plant for Pakistan’ project to offset growing effects of global warming and climate change in the region.
Project Director, Billion Trees Afforestation Project (BTAP), Muhammad Tahmasip Khan told APP that the plantation campaign has been formally launched after inauguration of Chief Minister KP by planting a sampling at Peshawar Zoo.

Siberian wildfires turn up heat on Russian oil producers
By Maria Vasilyeva, Olesya Astakhova, Olga Yagova, Reuters, 2 August 2019
Raging Siberian wildfires are forcing Russian oil firms to evacuate workers and suspend drilling, industry sources said, adding to challenges facing the world’s second-largest crude exporter which is already battling an oil contamination problem.

[USA] California releases updated Tropical Forest Standard: Here are the highlights and why CARB should endorse it
By Katelyn Roedner Sutter, Environmental Defense Fund, 2 August 2019
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) this week released an updated version of the proposed Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) for consideration at its September 19 Board meeting. CARB made some important changes to the TFS in response to feedback from members of the California Assembly, indigenous leaders, environmental groups, environmental justice advocates, and subject-matter experts.
Endorsement of the TFS would value tropical forests for the extensive climate benefits they provide. It would also be a major step forward for tropical forests and the communities who live in and defend them. And these proposed changes would make the TFS even stronger in the fight against tropical deforestation.

3 August 2019

Sharp rise in Brazilian deforestation undeniable, says sacked research chief
By Stephen Eisenhammer, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 3 August 2019
Ricardo Galvao, the sacked head of Brazil’s space research agency, said on Saturday the trend of sharply rising deforestation was undeniable, a day after he was fired following a public spat with President Jair Bolsonaro over data published by the agency.
“There is not the slightest doubt,” he told Reuters when asked whether the data pointed to a trend of significantly increasing deforestation. “Our data is absolutely correct.”
The sacking of Galvao, a respected physicist and member of the Brazilian Academy of Science, sent shockwaves through the country’s scientific community.

Singapore under threat of months of haze from forest fires
New Straits Times, 3 August 2019
The threat of occasional haze in Singapore could last for months owing to very dry conditions in the region caused by a weather event called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) said on Friday (Aug 2).
“Since early July 2019, dry weather has been persisting over southern Sumatra and Kalimantan. Drier weather can be expected in the next three months (August to October), with monthly rainfall of up to 60 per cent below average,” said the MSS.

4 August 2019

We must change food production to save the world, says leaked report
By Robin McKie, The Guardian, 4 August 2019
Attempts to solve the climate crisis by cutting carbon emissions from only cars, factories and power plants are doomed to failure, scientists will warn this week.
A leaked draft of a report on climate change and land use, which is now being debated in Geneva by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states that it will be impossible to keep global temperatures at safe levels unless there is also a transformation in the way the world produces food and manages land.

 

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