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REDD in the news: 19-25 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.

19 August 2019

Is simplicity always best?
By Patrick Worms, CIFOR Forests News, 19 August 2019
“We humans want to see everything as simple, little and ‘square’,” says Chris Martius, principal climate scientist of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), as he shows a picture of a boxfish in his presentation at Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn. But cuteness can hide danger. Some boxfish species invented MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, long before the US and the Soviet Union: if their lives are threatened, they release a powerful toxin that is guaranteed to kill their enemy – and themselves.

Amazon Deforestation and Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s Attack on Science
By Doug Boucher, Union of Concerned Scientists, 19 August 2019
Science is always a potential threat to authoritarian rulers, because it uncovers truths that contradict their lies.
Recently we’ve seen a dramatic example of this conflict in Brazil, where the director of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has been fired by the country’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro, for releasing data showing a substantial increase in Amazon deforestation.

Brazilian states bypass Bolsonaro to discuss rainforest protection funding directly
By Lisandra Paraguassu, Reuters, 19 August 2019
Brazilian states containing the country’s Amazon rainforest said they want to negotiate directly with European nations who fund projects to curb deforestation after changes proposed by the federal government led Norway and Germany to suspend donations.
Norway – by far the biggest donor to the Amazon Fund – said last week it had suspended its donations after the right-wing government of President Jair Bolsonaro changed the fund’s governance structure and closed down the steering committee that selects the projects to back. Germany has also suspended its funding.

China provides $1 billion in ‘green’ finance to coal projects in first half of the year
By David Stanway, Reuters, 19 August 2019
Chinese financial institutions provided at least $1 billion in “green” financing to coal-related projects in the first half of this year, a review of financial data showed, with fossil fuels still playing a major role in Beijing’s energy strategy.
According to Shanghai-based financial data provider Wind, 7.4 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in green corporate and financial bonds were issued by 13 coal projects in the first half of the year. They involved power plants fueled by coal or coalbed methane as well as coal-to-chemical projects.

Another European Heat Wave: Carbon Credits
By Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit, 19 August 2019
You may not have noticed by glancing at all those doctored-up photos of your friends boasting about their transatlantic travels on Instagram, but it’s been a brutal summer in Europe. This year’s relentless European heat wave resulted in record-setting temperatures across much of the continent.
In addition to the human toll and amplified calls for taking action on climate change, the surge in temperatures has caused one market in particular to heat up: Europe’s carbon credit market.

[Peru] Prosecutor targets ‘ringleader’ Dennis Melka in Peru cacao investigation
Illegal Deforestation Monitor, 19 August 2019
After employees at Melka-run firm sentenced for illegal Amazon deforestation, officials now pursuing the millionaire businessman for yet more suspect practices in Peru.
Czech-American millionaire Dennis Melka is in the crosshairs of prosecutors over illegalities at a cacao plantation he owns as his activities in the Peruvian Amazon come under scrutiny again.
Illegal deforestation allegations have plagued the commodities investor since entering Peru in 2010.

[Republic of Congo] “You have stolen our forest.” Baka “Pygmies”’ heartfelt plea to European Commission
Survival International, 19 August 2019
Hundreds of Baka “Pygmies” from the Congo rainforest have written to the European Commission, pleading with officials to visit them and ask their “advice and guidance” before providing more funds for the hugely controversial Messok Dja park on their land.
The European Commission is one of the main funders of the project in the Republic of Congo, but the Baka say: “We’ve been waiting for you to visit us for many years, but you have never come.”

[Spain] ‘Environmental tragedy’ as Canary Islands fire out of control
By Desiree Martin,, 19 August 2019
A fire raged out of control on the Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria Monday, forcing evacuations as flames rose so high even water-dropping planes could not operate in what was dubbed an “environmental tragedy”.
The blaze, the third in 10 days in the mountainous centre of the island, has forced the evacuation of several villages with a combined population of 9,000, a spokeswoman for the emergency services said.

[Spain] Gran Canaria: 9,000 flee ‘unprecedented’ wildfires on holiday island
BBC News, 19 August 2019
About 9,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires rip through Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.
The fires, which started on Saturday, are advancing on two fronts in a mountainous area of the island.
In a press conference on Monday, authorities called the incident “an unprecedented environmental tragedy”.
Efforts to tackle the fires are being hampered by high temperatures, strong winds and low humidity, officials said.

[USA] How wood skyscrapers could help save our forests — and reduce wildfire risk
By Rod Griffin, Environmental Defense Fund, 19 August 2019
Wood skyscrapers? It sounds implausible, but engineering innovations in wood technology are changing the urban landscape — and the skyline. From Chicago to Tokyo, the race is on to build the tallest wood-framed skyscraper in the world.

20 August 2019

REDD+ Safeguards Information Systems: What Latin America countries are doing to put their systems into operation
By Victoria Suarez, Judith Walcott, and Steve Swan, UN-REDD Programme, 20 August 2019
Developing a system for providing information on how safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout REDD+ activities is a key requirement for results-based payments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Green Climate Fund. Many countries have been working on the design of their Safeguards Information Systems (SIS), but until now, only a few have put their SIS into operation.

Plants could remove six years of carbon dioxide emissions — if we protect them
Imperial College London press release, 20 August 2019
By analysing 138 experiments, researchers have mapped the potential of today’s plants and trees to store extra carbon by the end of the century.
The results show trees and plants could remove six years of current emissions by 2100, but only if no further deforestation occurs.
The study, led by Stanford University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and including Imperial College London researchers, is published in Nature Climate Change.

Carbon offsetting may increase pollution as experts warn the rich: ‘You can’t buy a clean conscience’
By Sarah Knapton and Helena Horton, The Telegraph, 20 August 2019
Carbon offsetting schemes may actually increase pollution and harm local communities, studies have shown, as UN environmental experts called for the rich to stop buying credits ‘in exchange for a clean conscience.’
As early as 2017 the European Commission warned that if carbon schemes were not radically altered, they could release an extra 3.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by 2020. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Lufthansa offers climate-friendly fuel, but at a price
Stuff, 20 August 2019
German airline Lufthansa is launching a website that allows customers to buy climate-friendly plane fuel to compensate for the emissions caused by their flight.
Lufthansa said that the sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, purchased that way will be added to one of the airline’s flights, reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent.

UNEP-FI, GCA Cite Adaptation as “Biggest Investment Opportunity of This Generation”
By Leila Mead, IISD, 20 August 2019
A report by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) addresses barriers and opportunities for financing resilience and adaptation, targeting financial system constituents, such as policymakers and financial actors, and the actions required of each.

Hedge funds are making millions off Europe’s killer heat waves
By Stephen Gandel, CBS News, 20 August 2019
Hedge funds have made hundreds of millions of dollars betting on climate change and higher temperatures, particularly in Europe, as heat waves across the continent this summer have turned deadly, killing 400 people in a single week in the Netherlands alone.

The Amazon Is on Fire and the Smoke Can Be Seen from Space
By Madeleine Gregory, Vice, 20 August 2019
In the middle of the day on Monday, the sky above São Paulo, Brazil went dark.
The city, along with parts of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Paraná, was blanketed by smoke from wildfires raging in the Amazon, according to local news reports.

Wildfires are burning around the world. The most alarming is in the Amazon rainforest.
By Umair Irfan, Vox, 20 August 2019
Major wildfires are burning all over the world right now.
More than 21,000 square miles of forest have gone up in flames in Siberia this month, putting Russia on track for its worst year on record for wildfires. The smoke from these blazes shrouded large parts of the country, including major cities like Novosibirsk, and has crossed the Pacific Ocean into the United States.

[USA] Late-season fires flare up in drought-stricken parts of Alaska
By Yereth Rosen, Reuters, 20 August 2019
Late-season wildfires during one of the driest summers on record in Anchorage have destroyed homes, forced evacuations, closed roads and schools and poured sometimes-dangerous levels of smoke into the state’s most populous region.
About 80 miles north of Anchorage, the 3,000-acre McKinley Fire was burning on both sides of the Parks Highway. That blaze had destroyed more than 50 structures as of Sunday night and residents of the area, which lies between Wasilla and Talkeetna, were under evacuation orders, fire officials said.

21 August 2019

ACI to seek ‘more ambitious’ CO2 reduction goals from ICAO
CAPA, 21 August 2019
ACI World director general Angel Gittens, speaking at the Asia Pacific Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, stated (20-Aug-2019) airports must be prepared to deal with the effects of climate change while actively working to address, reduce and mitigate the impact of airport operations on the environment. 54 Asia Pacific airports are accredited under the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, representing 41.2% of regional passenger traffic, of which six are carbon neutral. Ms Gittens commented: “With the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, the aviation industry at large is challenged to be a larger part of the solution… ACI will ask the International Civil Aviation Organization to develop more ambitious CO2 reduction goals to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement”.

Climate Change, Flying, & Feelings Of Guilt…
By Anothony Cotton, CPR News, 21 August 2019
Flygskam is Swedish for “flight shame.” Put another way, it’s the feeling of guilt based on air travel’s carbon footprint. Joep VanDijk had misgivings about air travel, so when he accepted a job as a climate scientist at CU Boulder, he decided against flying to Colorado. His trip from Holland took nearly three months. Meanwhile, Dan Rutherford just returned from a Hawaiian vacation and yes, he flew. It’s a decision he wrestles with, personally and professionally, as a program director with the International Council on Clean Transportation. We speak with both men about the increasing awareness about this issue.

Number crunching: Making sense of REDD+ and results-based payments
By Julie Mollins, CIFOR Forests News, 21 August 2019
Making the conservation of tropical forest ecosystems financially attractive for communities and smallholder farmers is critical for meeting U.N. climate targets aimed at preventing post-industrial average temperatures from rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius or higher.
Worryingly, the one-degree target has already been surpassed in parts of the planet: Global warming on land now averages 1.53 degrees Celsius, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in its latest report.

Offsetting Flugscham. Private jets edition
By Claire Jones, Financial Times, 21 August 2019
Regular readers may recall Alphaville writing about our battle with Flugscham, a German term based on the Swedish phrase ‘Flygskam’ used to express guilt about frequent flying.
It turns out the super rich are just like the rest of us, grappling with the same problems only at slightly higher altitudes.

Increasing wildfires threaten to turn Northern Hemisphere’s boreal forests from vital carbon stores into climate heaters
By Stefan H Doerr, Chuanyu Gao, and Cristina Santin, The Conversation, 21 August 2019
In 2014, we travelled to the northern boreal forests of Canada to set experimental fires that would help us understand the effect of wildfires on the global carbon cycle. Sadly, we never got the chance to set those fires, because the firefighters enlisted to help us were busy dealing with an area the size of Belgium that was already burning.
That wildfire season was the most severe on record in the region, which itself forms part of the wider boreal ecosystem that engulfs much of the Northern Hemisphere’s subarctic lands with coniferous forests shaped by fire.

Boreal forest fires could release deep soil carbon
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center press release, 21 August 2019
Increasingly frequent and severe forest fires could burn generations-old carbon stored in the soils of boreal forests, according to results from the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) funded by NASA’s Earth Science Division. Releasing this previously buried carbon into the atmosphere could change these forests’ balance of carbon gain and loss, potentially accelerating warming.

How Latin America can lead on climate ambition
By Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF, 21 August 2019
We are not on track to tackle the climate crisis, the world’s collective ambition is insufficient, and the momentum to raise that ambition is faltering. That is the sobering scientific and political context in which this week’s Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week takes place.
But while this context may be gloomy, it also provides an opportunity for governments, UN agencies representatives, as well as subnational governments, civil society and other stakeholders meeting in Salvador, Brazil, this week to elevate their voices and act on climate issues. They have a critical opportunity to send a clear signal to the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, in September, and to COP25 in Santiago, Chile, in December on the need for greater climate ambition and – importantly – to lay the groundwork for new formal mechanism to leverage that ambition to be launched in Chile.

Record 72,000 forest fires detected in Brazil this year
Reuters, 21 August 2019
Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have hit a record number this year, with 72,843 fires detected so far by Brazil’s space research center INPE, as concerns grow over right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policy.
The surge marks an 83% increase over the same period of 2018, the agency said on Tuesday, and is the highest since records began in 2013.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says NGOs may be setting fire to Amazon forest
By Eduardo Simões and Anthony Boadle, Reuters, 21 August 2019
Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday accused non-governmental organizations of setting wildfires in the Amazon rainforest to damage his government’s image after he cut their funding.
Bolsonaro, who has shocked environmentalists with plans to open the Amazon to business interests, said NGOs could be behind the record number of wildfires this year, although he presented no evidence to backup his claim.

IVORY COAST: Authorities strive to reforest 20% of land by 2040
By Boris Ngounou, Afrik21, 21 August 2019
With only 11% of its land covered by forests, Ivory Coast has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. To reverse this trend, the government is stepping up its initiatives to reach 20% of reforested land by 2040.

[UK] Elton John and the inconvenient truth about carbon offsetting
By Rupert Darwall, The Spectator, 21 August 2019
Elton John did his royal pals Harry and Meghan few favours when he revealed he’d bought carbon offsets for the couple’s recent trip to Nice in Sir Elton’s private jet. It was also a mistake. ‘Offsetting is worse than doing nothing,’ according to Manchester university professor Kevin Anderson, one of the vanishingly small number of people in the climate world who actually walks the climate talk. ‘It is without scientific legitimacy, is dangerously misleading and almost certainly contributes to a net increase in the absolute rate of global emissions growth.’

[USA] United and EDF Launch Partnership to Measure, Manage and Reduce Aviation Emissions
Environmental Defense Fund press release, 21 August 2019
United Airlines and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announce a new partnership to measure and accelerate greenhouse gas reductions across United’s operations and help the company meet its goal of cutting emissions 50% by 2050. Globally, emissions from the aviation sector currently account for roughly 2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and are expected to rise significantly in the years to come as demand for air travel is projected to increase substantially, even as the industry’s fuel efficiency improves.

22 August 2019

[Australia] Commonwealth Bank is putting biodiversity itself on the blockchain
By Andrew Munro, Finder, 22 August 2019
Commonwealth Bank (CBA) in partnership with BioDiversity Solutions Australia (BDS) has created a scheme to tokenise biodiversity itself on the blockchain.
The nuggets of biodiversity, as it were, are based on the Australian Government Biodiversity Offsets Scheme. It’s very similar to the controversial-at-the-time Australian carbon credits scheme, in that it creates incentives to reduce emissions – or protect biodiversity in this case – and creates a framework for trading credits to offset environmentally damaging activities.

The Amazon is on fire: 5 things you need to know
By Bruno Vander Velde, Conservation International, 22 August 2019
Smoke from fires in the Amazon darkened the skies of Sao Paulo, Brazil, this week, as the world’s largest tropical forest found itself in the midst of an ecological — and increasingly political — crisis.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro on Tuesday suggested without evidence that the fires were set by nonprofit organizations to make him look bad. Under Bolsonaro’s administration, deforestation has soared in the Brazilian Amazon, which now faces an existential, human-caused threat to its continued existence.
Here’s what you need to know — and why there is reason for hope.

As Amazon burns, Brazil’s Bolsonaro tells rest of world not to interfere
By Anthony Boadle and Stephen Eisenhammer, Reuters, 22 August 2019
Amid growing international criticism over the wildfires raging through the Amazon, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday admitted farmers could be illegally setting the rainforest ablaze but told foreign powers not to interfere.
French President Emmanuel Macron and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres both took to Twitter to express concern about the fires that have reached a record number this year, devastating vast swathes of forest considered a vital bulwark against climate change.
Bolsonaro responded angrily to what he regarded as meddling.

Recession would push EUAs below EUR 20/t – analysts
By Herman Moestue, Montel, 22 August 2019
A recession spurred by the US-China trade war and Brexit would drive EUA prices below EUR 20/t, analysts said on Thursday.
“I think we could definitively go below EUR 20/t,” Refinitiv carbon analyst Ingvild Sørhus said at Montel’s Nordic Energy Day conference in Oslo. “[But] I don’t think it will crash like it did in the previous financial crisis [in 2008].”
The 2007-08 financial crisis had exacerbated an oversupply of allowances issued to ETS installations by slowing industrial growth and denting demand for carbon permits. Carbon prices traded well below EUR 10/t for years.

[India] Monetized carbon credits may boost forest cover in state
By Abhishek Choudhari, Times of India, 22 August 2019
Although the old English saying is that money does not grow on trees, about hundred-odd villages in Uttar Pradesh strongly disagree. Their carbon credits, thanks to dense tree cover neer villages, is worht almost Rs 70 lakh that they can encash every five years for decades.

Forests without borders: Regional integration in West Africa as a prerequisite for climate change mitigation and sustainable forest management
By Francesca Felicani-Robles and Thomas Woolnough, UN-REDD Programme, 22 August 2019
Although forests are physically located within the territories of sovereign states, their environmental role extends far beyond these borders. For example, the mismanagement of riparian forests has transboundary implications in terms of soil and water conservation and biodiversity for neighbouring countries. Likewise, airborne pollutants generated in one country may be transported across borders, causing forest decline in others. The role of forests in global ecological cycles highlights the environmental significance of forests beyond the boundaries of the nations. In this context, they are being viewed as global or regional commons, as is the case in West Africa.

23 August 2019

[Bolivia] #SOSChiquitanía — it’s not just Brazil that’s on fire
By Claire Wordley, Medium, 23 August 2019
I’ve asked three major news outlets to cover the fires in Bolivia. None of them have, so I’ll publish what I wrote here — thanks Medium!
Almost half a million hectares of the unique Chiquitano forest were burned to the ground in Bolivia in the last five days — more forest than is usually destroyed in the country in a whole year. Experts say that it will take at least two centuries to repair the ecological damage done by the fires. At least 500 unique plant species are at risk from the flames.

Bolivia, like neighbour Brazil, battles intense wildfires that have so far burnt 500,000 hectares
By Alice Tidey, EuroNews, 23 August 2019
Bolivian authorities warned this week that 70% of the department of Santa Cruz — where more than a quarter of the country’s population lives — is under “extreme risk” from forest fires.
According to the government, nearly 500,000 hectares of forest have now been turned into ashes.
President Evo Morales announced on Wednesday that a new environmental emergency cabinet had been created to tackle the blazes in the Chiquitania area which borders with Brazil and Paraguay.

What Can Global Forest Watch Tell Us About the Fires in Brazil?
By Mikaela Weisse and Sarah Ruiz, World Resources Institute, 23 August 2019
The thousands of fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon got global attention this week, both in the media and online, where the hashtag #prayforamazonia earned more than 150,000 mentions in one day. But what can satellite data tell us about what is really happening in Brazil’s forests?

5 things the media won’t tell you about the Amazon fires
By Jesse Ferrell, AccuWeather, 23 August 2019
This week, traditional and social media have gone crazy covering the fires in the Amazon (specifically Brazil), and the images and video like those we shared are compelling. But there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and there is some good news: It may not be as bad as some in the media are reporting. This is serious stuff! We need to stick to the science. Here are five things that the media (which rarely gets it right on science) aren’t telling you.

Amazon fires explained: what are they, why are they so damaging, and how can we stop them?
By Jos Barlow and Alexander C. Lees, The Conversation, 23 August 2019
Imagine a rainforest at dawn – the tall canopy laden with dripping ferns and orchids, tree trunks covered in spongy mosses and lichens, and the morning mist only slowly burning away as the sun rises. While there is fuel everywhere, it seems unimaginable that such humid ecosystems could ever catch fire.
And without human intervention, they don’t. The charcoal record points towards infrequent fires in the Amazon even during periods of pre-Columbian human settlement, and the 8,000 or more Amazonian tree species have none of the evolutionary adaptations to fire found in their savanna or boreal cousins.

The Amazon in Brazil is on fire – how bad is it?
By Lucy Rodgers, Nassos Stylianou, Clara Guibourg, and Mike Hills, BBC News, 23 August 2019
Thousands of fires are ravaging the Amazon rainforest in Brazil – the most intense blazes for almost a decade.
The northern states of Roraima, Acre, Rondônia and Amazonas have been particularly badly affected.
However, images purported to be of the fires – including some shared under the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia – have been shown to be decades old or not even in Brazil.
So what’s actually happening and how bad are the fires?

As EU threatens trade retaliation, Brazil sends army to fight Amazon fires
By Lisandra Paraguassu and Gabriela Baczynska, Reuters, 23 August 2019
European leaders on Friday threatened to tear up a trade deal with South America, reflecting growing international anger at Brazil as a record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest intensified an unfolding environmental crisis.
Amid a global chorus of concern and condemnation, Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro pledged in an address to the nation to mobilize the army to help combat the blazes, while his administration launched a diplomatic charm offensive to try to mend bridges overseas.

[Brazil] Amazon rainforest fire destroys home of ancient tribes deep in woodland
By Tom Davidson, Mirror, 23 August 2019
The huge fires in the Amazon rainforest have destroyed the homes of an ancient tribe who live deep in the woodland.
The fire is raging out of control destroying homes and ancient protected forest reserves.
The indigenous Mura tribe are surrounded by nothing but dry soil and fallen timber which is the result of rapid deforestation and the thousands of wildfires that are raging out of control across Brazil.
Indigenous tribe leader Raimundo Mura, who lives in a reserve near Humaita in theAmazonas state said: “I’ll give my last drop of blood for this forest.”

Near the Amazon fires, residents are sick, worried, and angry
By Stefan Lovgren, National Geographic, 23 August 2019
Porto Velho, Brazil—A popular hymn describes the sky above this Brazilian city of more than 400,000 people as forever blue. But this week, Porto Velho, along with much of the Amazon basin, has been shrouded in gray smoke as forest fires continue to rage across the region.

The Amazon Forest Fires Are a Form of ‘Genocide’
By Yessenia Funes, Earther, 23 August 2019
When Richard Pearshouse visited indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon in April to investigate illegal deforestation, he heard countless horrors of land grabbers directly threatening and intimidating people. One story, however, really stuck with the head of environment and crisis with Amnesty International: a 22-year-old mother who finally lulled her children to sleep despite the sound of nearby gunfire only to find herself suffering the same insomniac fate. She was so scared, she couldn’t sleep.

Liberia: World Bank Breaks Ground for Forestry Authority Regional Office
Front Page Africa, 23 August 2019
Khwima Nthara, World Bank Liberia Country Manager has broken grounds for the regional office of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) aimed at decentralizing and strengthening institutions.
He said the Bank is supporting civil works in protected areas and regional offices of FDA, and the Forest Training Institute which is located in Bomi, Tubmanburg.

[USA] For $21 A Month, This Startup Will Offset Your Carbon Footprint
By Haley Kim, Forbes, 23 August 2019
When Landon Brand, Ben Stanfield and Mimi Tran Zambetti were brainstorming ideas for their second startup venture, one phrase was scribbled on the whiteboard in all caps: “CLIMATE CHANGE.”
The trio, who met through USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy, were originally working on HR software when they changed direction. But they weren’t climate scientists, environmental scientists or politicians. They were designers and engineers—so they began looking for a way to create a product for consumers. “There are tons of people out there like us that want to do something about this,” Stanfield told Forbes. “Can we set up some sort of software to help connect them with projects they can get involved with?”

24 August 2019

Harry and Meghan tried, but can we really make our flights carbon neutral?
By Harriet Sherwood, The Observer, 24 August 2019
Gope Walker has regularly flown to meet his clients in countries as far apart as Ireland and Argentina. But in 2020 his feet will stay firmly on the ground.
Walker, who runs an IT consultancy in Oxford, has pledged to make next year flight free. Instead, he will take advantage of increasingly sophisticated software to hold virtual meetings or will travel within Europe by train. “I just thought, this is something I can do. We should all be asking ‘do I really need to go there?’ From a business point of view, I honestly can’t see why I do,” he said.

Amazon Fires: What We Know and What We Can Do
By Daniel Nepstad, Ecosystem Marketplace, 24 August 2019
The fires now burning in Brazil’s Amazon, which have prompted international outcry, are a classic example of a “chronic emergency”. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, after casting blame for the fires on international NGO’s, acknowledged his administration is ill-equipped to battle the flames and soon after called in Brazil’s armed services to assist in that fight. But to truly address the situation, what is needed is a systemic, long-term strategy for prevention that feeds into a broader regional development plan. The current focus on Amazon fire —within Brazil and internationally—opens an opportunity to make that shift and to postpone or even avoid what scientists refer to as the Amazon forest “tipping point”, whereby the forest is no longer able to sustain itself.

Protecting rainforests with IOTA
By Jonathan Jones, Ico Examiner, 24 August 2019
At a time when fires raging through the Amazonian rainforest are making headline news, the IOTA Foundation has released a video suggesting their Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology, known more informally as the Tangle, can help in the fight to protect globally-critical ecosystems.

[New Zealand] Golden Bay forestry opportunity with carbon credits
New Zealand Herald, 24 August 2019
Two second rotation pine forests and associated carbon credits are for sale in the tightly held Golden Bay area of Tasman.
The well-established forests, East Takaka and Skyfarm, provide excellent proximity to markets and have significant roading and harvest infrastructure in place.
They have a combined area of 254.5ha and a net stocked area of 188.8ha planted predominantly in mid-rotation radiata pine.
The two forests are being sold together, along with 8424 associated pre-1990 emission units.

25 August 2019

AFRICA: Annual forum to boost nascent climate investments
By Luchelle Feukeng, Afrik21, 25 August 2019
Experts in sustainable forest management, meeting in Abidjan, have committed to organising an annual forum to revitalise green investment on the African continent. The resolution was adopted at the end of the workshop that brought together some 60 African experts on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in Abidjan.

We will never save the rainforest until a living tree is worth more to Brazil than an incinerated one
By Johan Eliasch, The Telegraph, 25 August 2019
The G7 should not make room for the crisis in the Amazon, it should be clearing the agenda for nothing else. Without rainforest we wouldn’t even have economies to launch trade wars.
The attention that world leaders are giving to the sharp acceleration in rainforest destruction in Brazil is long overdue. President Macron and Prime Minister Johnson nonetheless deserve praise for their genuine concern and insistence that it be placed on a busy G7 agenda.

G7 can’t turn a blind eye to ecocide in the Amazon
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 25 August 2019
When G7 leaders sit in judgment on Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro this weekend, the question they should ask themselves is whether the rape of the natural world should finally be treated as a crime. The language of sexual violence will be familiar to the former army captain, who publicly admires the sadistic torturers of the dictatorship era and once said to a congresswoman, “I would never rape you because you are not worth it.” Last month, after Pope Francis and European leaders expressed concern about the Amazon, Bolsonaro lashed back by claiming: “Brazil is a virgin that every foreign pervert desires.”

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Earth Alliance Pledges $5 Million Toward the Amazon Fires
By Christian Allaire, Vogue, 25 August 2019
Earth Alliance, a newly minted organization backed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio that combats climate change, has pledged $5 million toward preserving the Amazon rain forest, which has been experiencing devastating wildfires this month.
The fundraising launch, called the Amazon Forest Fund, will aim to protect sensitive habitats within the Amazon by donating to five local organizations: Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).

As the Amazon burns, Indonesia shows World how to fight forest fires
By Nithin Coca, Ozy, 25 August 2019
The warning signs are visible on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It’s the heart of the dry season, and drought — accentuated by a moderate El Niño — is sparking fears of a repeat of 2015, when the climate pattern that leads to above-normal sea-level temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean contributed to devastating fires. The blazes charred 2.6 million hectares of land, emitted more daily carbon dioxide than the entire U.S. economy and left millions sick from a haze that spread across Southeast Asia. But this year there’s something different — something that Indonesia is counting on and that the world will closely watch.

[PNG] Sustaining Indigenous Forests With Blockchain Technology
By Peter S. Kinjap, CleanTechnica, 25 August 2019
Reducing deforestation, which is responsible for up to 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, is crucial for the international community to achieve its goal under the Paris Climate Change Agreement to keep the global average temperature rise as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The global hype on REDD+ actions that will benefit forested countries financially and a technology of decentralized ledger blockchain that can possibly eliminate the ‘middleman’ and enables good governance are welcoming news to a Pacific Island country facing ‘irresistible’ corruption.


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