REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, the climate crisis, REDD, and natural climate solutions. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
28 October 2019
What is REDD+ and can it help forests and communities?
Client Earth, 28 October 2019
Today, ClientEarth launches its new briefing on REDD+, the international initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation. This article discusses why it is important for forests and people.
The world’s tropical forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. Deforestation is the second-leading cause of climate change after burning fossil fuels.
If forests are left to grow, they can provide vital mitigation for climate change globally. As the science behind the Paris Agreement shows, humanity’s future is entwined with the health of forests.
Pooling knowledge in tropical landscapes key to resilience
By Sandra Cordon, CIFOR Forests News, 28 October 2019
The active involvement of everyone living and working in a tropical landscape – from local communities and governments to the private sector and researchers – may be the only way to ensure equitable, sustainable development and landscape resilience, says a new research paper.
Tenure security critical to landscape restoration, livelihoods, and fighting climate change says risk expert
Global Landscapes Forum, 28 October 2019
Tenure security is a critical element in landscape restoration that leads to greater agricultural production, better livelihoods and helps fight climate change.
Clear and secure land tenure is “extremely important” to restoration work because disputes over land ownership and control create uncertainty and drive away investment, says Amath Pathe Sene, environment and climate lead for West and Central Africa at the United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) where he manages climate, environment and social risks.
Brazil’s Fire Ban Correlates a Reduction in Amazon Wildfires. The Ban Lifts Today.
By Luiz Amaral, Marcelo Matsumoto and Thailynn Munroe, Global Forest Watch, 28 October 2019
Fires across Brazil caught the world’s attention this August, with fears that burning — and subsequent damage to the Amazon rainforest — would only intensify when peak fire season hit in September. However, Global Forest Watch (GFW) analysis of NASA data shows that fire alerts in the Amazon decreased by 34% between August and September.
Brazil ethanol exports to California rise with high carbon prices: Datagro
By Marcelo Teixeira, Reuters, 28 October 2019
Brazilian ethanol exports to California have been boosted recently by high carbon credits prices in the Californian market, which led to premiums to cane-based ethanol, Brazil’s Datagro consultancy said on Monday.
Datagro’s chief analyst Plinio Nastari said Brazilian ethanol receives a price premium to enter the California market due to its smaller carbon footprint compared with corn-based ethanol, what has allowed for increased volumes of exports in the last two months.
Merkel’s Climate Failings Are Now a Matter for German Courts
By William Wilkes and Mega Durisin, Bloomberg, 28 October 2019
After three straight years of crop losses due to soaring temperatures and crippling droughts, Heiner Luetke Schwienhorst has had enough and is taking Europe’s most powerful government to court.
The dairy farmer from the edge of the Spreewald forest south of Berlin blames German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for stoking climate change and wants to know why efforts to reign in greenhouse gas emissions have fallen short and put his livelihood at risk.
[Indonesia] The indigenous people of Aru saved their rainforest from destruction. Here’s how.
The Gecko Project, 28 October 2019
This month The Gecko Project and Mongabay published “Saving Aru,” an article revealing how the people of Indonesia’s Aru Islands thwarted a plan to turn much of their homeland into a vast sugarcane plantation.
To halt the project, they had to overcome huge odds. In Indonesia, a young democracy still recovering from three decades of military rule, companies usually succeed in their efforts to annex indigenous lands. The country has consequently become blanketed in concessions for plantations and mines that have provoked thousands of entrenched land conflicts.
Indonesian court fines palm oil firm $18.5m over forest fires in 2015
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 28 October 2019
A court in Indonesia has ordered palm oil company PT Arjuna Utama Sawit to pay the equivalent of $18.6 million in fines and damages for fires on its land in Borneo in 2015, in the latest instance of a zero-tolerance enforcement approach against concession holders.
The fires razed 970 hectares (2,400 acres) of forest in Katingan district, Central Kalimantan province. The company, a supplier to Singapore-based Musim Mas Group — which has committed to a “no deforestation, no peat and no exploitation” (NDPE) policy to ensure the sustainability of its palm oil supplies — holds a concession to manage 16,600 hectares (41,000 acres) in the district.
How Laos lost its tigers
By Jeremy Hance, , 28 October 2019
The last tiger in Lao PDR likely died in terrible anguish. Its foot caught in a snare, the animal probably died of dehydration. Or maybe, in a desperate bid to free itself from a snare crafted from a simple and cheap motorbike cable, it tore off a leg and died from the blood loss. Perhaps the Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), a distinct subspecies, was able to free itself from the snare, only to have the wound fester and kill it in the end. Or, and this isn’t impossible either, the last tiger of Lao PDR (or Laos) was simply shot to death by poachers who then butchered its body and sold its parts in the illegal trafficking trade to feed a seemingly insatiable demand for tiger bits and bones for sham medicine or status symbols.
Tanzania: Climate of fear, censorship as repression mounts
Amnesty International, 28 October 2019
Tanzania’s repression of the media, human rights defenders and opposition parties has intensified since 2015, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in two separate reports released jointly today.
Both reports found that President John Magufuli’s government has adopted or enforced a raft of repressive laws that stifle independent journalism and severely restrict the activities of nongovernmental organizations and the political opposition.
[UK] Restoring Nature and Climate Change
Hansard, 28 October 2019
Daniel Zeichner (Cambridge) (Lab): I beg to move, That this House has considered e-petition 254607 relating to restoring nature and climate change. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hosie, and an honour to introduce the petition on behalf of the Petitions Committee. That is timely because of the climate crisis we face, but also because it is a hot topic in Ambridge at the moment, for those who listen to “The Archers”. That is always a useful barometer for a certain part of public opinion.
[USA] Brown: California fires show ‘the horror’ world will face from climate change
By Carla Marinucci, Politico, 28 October 2019
As Californians suffer widespread power outages and mass evacuations due to wildfire dangers, former Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that the dark scenario may be “only the beginning” for Americans across the country — unless officials in Washington seriously tackle the issue of climate change.
“I said it was the new normal a few years ago,” Brown said in an exclusive interview with POLITICO. “This is serious …. but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in decades.”
[USA] This Is What a Calm California Wildfire Season Looks Like Now
By David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, 28 October 2019
This, keep in mind, is what counts as a good year now, a light year, wildfires posing just a fraction of the threat they represented to terrified Californians just last year or the year before.
In this light year, there are, right now, more than a dozen major fires burning across California. The biggest was the Kincade Fire, in Sonoma County north of San Francisco, which burned quickly through 85 square miles, powered by winds that reached 100 miles per hour, and forced the evacuation of 180,000 as it approached Santa Rosa, which had burned just two years ago in the Tubbs Fire, which killed 22. In Southern California, also on Sunday, the Tick Fire burned 4,615 acres in Los Angeles County; then, on Sunday night, what was called the Getty Fire broke out at 2 a.m. along the 405 freeway, burning at least 400 acres and forcing the sudden evacuation of 3,300 homes. “Get out when we say get out,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at an emergency early morning press conference. Some residents had only 15 minutes to escape.
[USA] State of emergency as California wildfires force 200,000 to evacuate
By Renae Cassimeda, , 28 October 2019
California Governor Gavin Newson declared a State of Emergency Sunday as some 200,000 people in Sonoma County and surrounding areas of northern California were ordered to evacuate in the face of advancing wildfires, fueled by wind gusts reaching 90 miles per hour.
Apocalyptic scenes of families having only minutes to desperately grab provisions and prized possessions are unfolding. Residents fleeing the areas in the early hours of Sunday morning were met with heavy traffic and pitch-black conditions on the roads due to lack of electricity. Pacific Gas & Electric blacked out much of the region from Wednesday night in a “preemptive” move that failed to prevent the ignition of new fires. Cell phone service was out in many areas.
29 October 2019
‘The climate doesn’t need awards’: Greta Thunberg declines environmental prize
Agence France-Presse, 29 October 2019
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has refused to accept an environmental award, saying the climate movement needed people in power to start to “listen” to “science” and not awards.
The young climate activist, who has rallied millions to her “Fridays for Future” movement, was honoured at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation.
Climate crisis – here’s what the experts recommend we do
By Hannah Hoag and Jack Marley, The Converation, 29 October 2019
The global strike on Friday September 20, 2019 was the largest demonstration for climate action in history. The movement that started with Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in August 2018 has now mobilised millions, while Extinction Rebellion and other protest groups have escalated their campaigns on streets around the world. From the efforts of activists in different countries, radical “Green New Deals” are emerging as a bold, political response to the climate crisis.
YouTube stars raise over $6m to plant trees around the world
By Jessica Murray, The Guardian, 29 October 2019
A group of YouTube stars have raised more than $6m (£4.7m) to plant trees around the world by rallying their huge numbers of subscribers.
The American YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast, was challenged on Reddit in May to plant 20m trees to celebrate reaching 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, where he posts videos of extravagant stunts.
Reporter Katie Baker details Buzzfeed’s explosive investigation of WWF
By Mike Goworecki, Mongabay, 29 October 2019
On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Katie Baker, a reporter for Buzzfeed News investigating allegations of human rights violations and other abuses committed against local indigenous communities by park rangers in Asia and Africa who receive funding from conservation organization WWF.
Catholic church denounces ‘attacks’ on Amazon people and forest
By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 29 October 2019
The Catholic church in the Amazon has denounced attacks on the environment and the life of indigenous people — setting out on a collision course with Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.
Catholic bishops from the Amazon region committed to a more active role in the world’s most important forest following three weeks of discussions at the first Amazon synod in Rome.
[Australia] Coalition quietly appoints expert panel to salvage emissions policy
By Adam Morton and Katharine Murphy, The Guardian, 29 October 2019
The Morrison government has quietly appointed an expert panel to come up with new ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions and given it less than a month to come up with recommendations.
In what is being seen by observers as an acknowledgment that its main climate change policy, the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund, is failing to cut national pollution, the government has appointed a panel of four business leaders and policy experts to suggest options to expand it.
[Indonesia] Kapuas Hulu diary: Resolving land-use conflicts for better land-use outcomes
By Augusta Anandi, CIFOR Forests News, 29 October 2019
In the biodiversity-rich Kapuas Hulu district of Indonesia’s West Kalimantan region, three Indigenous communities whose livelihoods are based on fishing, farming, and non-timber forest products have been trying for years to resolve land-use conflicts worsened by climate change.
[USA] Climate change is burning down California. It’s time we stopped adding fuel to the fire
By Michael E. Mann, Newsweek, 29 October 2019
Climate change was long regarded as a distant threat, one happening in far off places and future times. That is unfortunately no longer the case. Climate change is here, and it’s burning through California.
I spent five years in the San Francisco Bay Area getting my undergraduate degrees in applied math and physics from UC-Berkeley. To see my campus threatened by the fires is heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine how bad it is for those who have spent their entire lives, not just a beloved portion of it, in the East Bay. My thoughts are with those struggling to survive this fire, and are choking through the clouds of smoke it casts across the state.
[USA] Has the climate crisis made California too dangerous to live in?
By Bill McKibben, The Guardian, 29 October 2019
Monday morning dawned smoky across much of California, and it dawned scary – over the weekend winds as high as a hundred miles per hour had whipped wildfires through forests and subdivisions.
It wasn’t the first time this had happened – indeed, it’s happened every year for the last three – and this time the flames were licking against communities destroyed in 2017. Reporters spoke to one family that had moved into their rebuilt home on Saturday, only to be immediately evacuated again.
30 October 2019
In the Fight Against Climate Change, Not All Forests Are Equal
By Henry Fountain, The New York Times, 30 October 2019
Forests are a great bulwark against climate change, so programs to reduce deforestation are important. Those efforts usually focus on stopping the destruction in areas where it is already occurring.
But a new study suggests these programs would do well to also preserve forests where deforestation and degradation haven’t begun. Gradual loss of these largely pristine, intact forests has a much greater climate impact than previously accounted for, the researchers said.
Earth’s most important rivers are in the sky – and they’re drying up
By Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 30 October 2019
Gerard Moss is a bush pilot in the swashbuckling tradition. Born in the UK and raised in Switzerland, he had flown twice round the world in his single-engine plane before he set out on a new journey, to track rain clouds across the Amazon in his adopted home of Brazil.
Local scientists had an idea: that the forests of the Amazon were the continent’s biggest rainmakers; that most of the moisture in the clouds had been taken up and recycled back into the air five or six times by its 400 billion or so trees. Take away the trees, reasoned biologists such as Antonio Nobre, then of the National Institute of Amazonian Research in Manaus, and the rains would die. The Amazon basin would turn to desert. But with the rainforest largely a black hole for meteorological data, the idea was just that – until they hired Moss to equip his plane to collect water vapour.
Chile pulls out of hosting Cop25 climate talks amid civil unrest
By Karl Mathiesen and Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 30 October 2019
Chile, wracked by civil unrest for a fortnight, has withdrawn from hosting the 2019 UN climate talks.
Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera announced the country would not host the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting or the Cop25 climate talks on the steps of La Moneda, the presidential palace, on Wednesday morning.
Massacres in Lower Omo, Ethiopia, Call for Urgent Action by the Nobel Laureate PM Abiy Ahmed
Oakland Institute, 30 October 2019
In the past few weeks, we have received information that Ethiopian security forces have undertaken major operations to disarm two local tribes in Lower Omo Valley—the Mursi and the Bodi—because of incidents related to the sugarcane plantations. The disarmament operation has led to indiscriminate killings of civilians, mass detentions as well as horrific abuses including rapes, beatings, and various forms of humiliation by security forces.
Here’s an economic theory to curb haze-causing forest fires in Indonesia
By Chew Soon Beng and Daniel Ong Qi Ming, Today, 30 October 2019
The haze returned to Singapore again last month, with the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hitting the unhealthy level for the first time in three years.
While the episode was brief, the number of hotspots in Indonesia from forest fires remains high, as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli pointed out in a Facebook post on Oct 18.
Farmer-managed natural regeneration yields fruitful results in Kenya
UN environment programme, 30 October 2019
“You should always ask people what they want, get their opinion and involve them. That’s the only way they can feel ownership and have a successful project,” says Ivan Kiptui, project officer for World Vision in Baringo County, Kenya.
His job is to train people in farmer-managed natural regeneration, a methodology that helps farmers manage their land in a way that will preserve or improve the ecosystem, building upon indigenous knowledge and the latest approaches adapted to the landscape.
Singapore sees world’s first digital exchange platform for airlines to trade carbon credits
The Straits Times, 30 October 2019
A global blockchain-based carbon exchange was launched on Wednesday (Oct 30), offering a marketplace for airlines and other corporate buyers to trade securitised carbon emissions.
The new AirCarbon Exchange, by Singapore-based AirCarbon Pte Ltd, will provide a ready supply of credits, also called EEUs (eligible emission units), for those in the transportation industry to acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) offsets for compliance and voluntary purposes when the list of compliant units is approved.
Uganda Breweries Ltd In Campaign To Mobilize Corporate Companies Towards Mass Tree Planting
Soft Power News, 30 October 2019
Uganda Breweries Limited has launched a campaign that seeks to rally Corporate Companies to come together and respond to the growing concern of deforestation in the country, in a bid to foster sustainable development and production.
The campaign, dubbed “Running Out of Trees” will feature a 2-day relay from Kampala to Gulu, a 330 km awareness run, peaking with a National Day of Tree Planting in April 2020 under the theme “40 million trees in 8 hours”.
[USA] Al Gore Is Opening a New Front In the War On Climate Change
By Emily Chasan, Bloomberg, 30 October 2019
Al Gore’s 400-acre farm is located in Carthage, a small Tennessee town where the former vice president and senator traditionally kicked off his political campaigns. During his second act as a famous environmentalist, the farm became the site of a training program for aspiring climate activists, and more recently, an experiment in what Gore said is the world’s most realistic chance at averting climate catastrophe.
31 October 2019
Climate emissions from tropical forest damage ‘underestimated by a factor of six’
By Graham Readfearn, The Guardian, 31 October 2019
Greenhouse gas emissions caused by damage to tropical rainforests around the world are being underestimated by a factor of six, according to a new study.
Research led by the University of Queensland finds the climate impact of selective logging, outright clearing and fire in tropical rainforests between 2000 and 2013 was underestimated by 6.53bn tonnes of CO2.
Carbon emissions from loss of intact tropical forest a ‘ticking time bomb’
By Malavika Vyawahare, Mongabay, 31 October 2019
Losing undisturbed tropical forests is more devastating for the planet than previously thought, according to new research published in the journal Science Advances.
“Our results revealed that continued destruction of intact tropical forests is a ticking time bomb for carbon emissions,” lead author Sean Maxwell, from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Queensland, Australia, said in a statement. “There is an urgent need to safeguard these landscapes because they play an indispensable role in stabilizing the climate.”
This Perfect Shitstorm Crystallizes the Climate Crisis We Face
By Brian Kahn, Gizmodo, 31 October 2019
On Wednesday, Chile announced it would no longer host an international climate conference despite it being a little more than a month out. The move comes as protests over inequality roil the country. The only reason the conference was scheduled in Chile in the first place is that Brazil backed out of holding it after fascist Jair Bolsonaro became president last year.
And honestly, there’s no more suitable encapsulation of this moment in climate politics and the intertwined crises gripping the world.
Scary issues facing our planet today.
By Gavin Edwards, WWF, 31 October 2019
We face a daily reality such that no one can be in any doubt that the relationship between us and the planet is dangerously unbalanced. Whoever we are and wherever we live, food, water, and shelter are our human rights. And to those, I would add a stable climate and a healthy environment. We must do more to tackle the crises we face.
How major companies are achieving their carbon neutral goals
By Jonathan Manning, Fleet Europe, 31 October 2019
Trailblazing companies are using a wide variety of methods to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.
For these pioneers in the fight against the climate emergency, cutting carbon emissions is not enough, no matter how ambitious their targets. Instead, they are reducing the environmental impact of every area of their operations, and then investing in carbon offset schemes or buying carbon credits to ensure they make no net increase to global warming.
What’s most impressive is that some of these businesses operate in industries where carbon dioxide emissions are unavoidable.
Integrating the many meanings of restoration, big and small
By Gabrielle Lipton, CIFOR Landscape News, 31 October 2019
Harouna Abarchi is a semi-nomadic pastoralist from Niger. His community leads their livestock to where the animals can graze and drink, which depends on the seasons and what vegetation can grow where. Their mobility across West Africa is their survival, and ever-more-so as the ecological and weather patterns they have long followed are thrown off course by climate change, and droughts, diseases, bush fires and animals struggling to breed are all becoming their new way of life.
The trouble with indiscriminate tree-planting in Africa
By Simon Alison, Mail&Guardian, 31 October 2019
On July 25 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed picked up a spade and started to dig a hole. When he was finished, he gently lowered a sapling into the hole he had dug, and then covered its roots with the loose soil. The tree that he had just planted was one of 350 million planted in Ethiopia that day, part of an unprecedented push to reforest the country — and, in the process, save the world from the climate apocalypse.
Unfortunately, it’s a little more complex than that.
[Australia] Sydney shrouded in bushfire smoke as Melbourne swelters
By Lisa Cox, The Guardian, 31 October 2019
Smoke from fires burning in northern New South Wales has triggered health warnings for Sydney and other parts of the state, with conditions expected to persist into the weekend.
It comes as parts of Victoria were forecast to reach their hottest October day on record and Melbourne was set to record its hottest October day since 2015.
How China Is Helping Drive Deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia
By Nithin Coca, Gizmodo, 31 October 2019
This has been a watershed year for tropical forests—and not in a good way. Massive fires have burned through hundreds of thousands of acres of rainforests in Indonesia and Brazil. The result is huge uptick in greenhouse gas emissions due to carbon being released from not only trees, but also degraded carbon-storing peatlands and other high-carbon stock landscapes, the health of millions affected by haze, and the incalculable impacts to plant and animal biodiversity.
Commission report: more countries than ever hit by forest fires in 2018
European Commission, 31 October 2019
Today, the European Commission published the 2018 edition of its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. According to the report, wildfires destroyed nearly 178 000 hectares (ha) of forests and land in the EU last year. While this is less than one sixth of the area burnt in 2017, and less than the long-term average, more countries than ever before suffered from large fires.
German court rejects farmers’ legal challenge over Merkel climate policy
The Local, 31 October 2019
A Berlin court on Thursday threw out a case brought by three farmers against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government over its failure to meet climate protection targets, hyped by campaigners as the first such legal challenge in Germany.
After the government admitted it would fail to meet its own and EU greenhouse gas reduction goals for 2020, the would-be plaintiffs – farmers backed by environmental group Greenpeace– had tried to sue to force corrective action.
[Indonesia] Riau officially ends emergency status for forest fires as rainy season starts
By Rizal Harahap, The Jakarta Post, 31 October 2019
The Riau provincial administration officially lifted the emergency status for forest and land fires on Thursday as the province has started to enter the rainy season. The administration has also shut down the posts for the Forest and Land Fires Task Force following the change of alert status. Riau Governor Syamsuar said he had not extended the emergency alert since most of Riau had entered the rainy season. “We have conducted an evaluation meeting with the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency, and the rain has started to become more frequent,” he said. He expressed hope that the province could maintain a zero hot spot status until the end of the year. “Hopefully there won’t be any more fires,” he said.
[USA] There’s a new way for investors to turn a profit while helping California prevent fires
By Diana Olick, CNBC, 31 October 2019
As wildfires rage through western California, a new way to help prevent them is now being tested in nearby Tahoe National Forest. It is a first-of-its-kind financial tool, designed to help investors fund forest restoration in overgrown, highly combustible areas, which are becoming ever more dangerous due to climate change.
1 November 2019
The F-Word Finally Enters Climate Politics
By Geoffrey Supran and Ploy Achakulwisut, Scientific American, 1 November 2019
In CNN’s recent climate crisis town hall, fossil fuels—and the industry that produces them—were mentioned 153 times. Julián Castro committed to banning oil and gas drilling on public lands. Andew Yang supported a ban on offshore oil drilling. Kamala Harris promised to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its decades of climate deception. Bernie Sanders pledged to end fossil fuel subsidies and provide a just transition for displaced workers. Elizabeth Warren reiterated the importance of eliminating the corruptive political influence of fossil fuel companies.
Seagrass—secret weapon in the fight against global heating
UN environment programme, 1 November 2019
One of the most threatened yet overlooked ecosystems on earth, seagrass could have a promising future thanks to its ability to absorb carbon.
Seagrass is a flowering marine plant whose blades form dense meadows in shallow, sheltered areas along coastlines. It has a range of benefits: seagrass acts as a nursery and food source for a wide variety of marine life, provides a home for many fish and charismatic animals such as turtles and dugongs, protects coastlines by absorbing wave energy, produces oxygen and cleans the ocean by soaking up polluting nutrients produced on land by humans.
California wildfires signal the arrival of a planetary fire age
By Stephen Pyne, The Conversation, 1 November 2019
Another autumn, more fires, more refugees and incinerated homes. For California, flames have become the colors of fall.
Free-burning fire is the proximate provocation for the havoc, since its ember storms are engulfing landscapes. But in the hands of humans, combustion is also the deeper cause. Modern societies are burning lithic landscapes – once-living biomass now fossilized into coal, gas and oil – which is aggravating the burning of living landscapes.
YouTubers (and Elon Musk) want to plant millions of trees. Will it help fight climate change?
By Maria Mellor, Wired, 1 November 2019
How many trees would it take to stop global heating? One million? Ten million? With the project #TeamTrees, YouTubers and influencers have set their sights on planting 20 million trees over the next three years. It seems like a simple plan: there is too much carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and trees can take it out. Though is this really the best way for people to spend their time and money in the fight against the climate crisis?
Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg team up to stop the climate crisis
By Jill Ettinger, Live Kindly, 1 November 2019
As her climate strike journey made its way into Los Angeles, activist Greta Thunberg didn’t miss out on an opportunity to go to Hollywood. The sixteen-year-old vegan activist spent time with Academy Award winner and fellow climate crisis activist Leonardo DiCaprio.
“There are few times in human history where voices are amplified at such pivotal moments and in such transformational ways – but Greta Thunberg has become a leader of our time,” DiCaprio wrote on Instagram. “History will judge us for what we do today to help guarantee that future generations can enjoy the same livable planet that we have so clearly taken for granted.”
Brazil wildfires: Blaze advances across Pantanal wetlands
BBC News, 1 November 2019
A 50 kilometre-long (31 mile) wildfire is advancing across Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands.
The governor’s office in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul said the fire was “bigger than anything seen before” in the region.
At least 50,000 hectares of vegetation have already been destroyed.
The area, located in the southern part of the country, is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and a popular tourist destination.
Photos: Peatland fires rage through Indonesia’s Sumatra Island
By Nopri Ismi, Mongabay, 1 November 2019
Aerial images taken last month in the southern part of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island show wildfires burning through peat forests and producing clouds of toxic smoke.
Peatlands in the districts of Ogan Komering Ilir and Ogan Ilir in South Sumatra province were among those pictured ablaze by Mongabay Indonesia’s Nopri Ismi, who joined a water-bombing flight by the local disaster management agency, or BPBD, on Oct. 24. The air quality index for both districts hit unhealthy levels that day, according to the data from the Indonesian environment ministry.
2 November 2019
Thunberg delivers warning to world leaders during Vancouver ‘climate strike’
By Nick England and Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun, 2 November 2019
Climate-change activist Greta Thunberg warned world leaders that “change is coming whether you like it or not” during a Vancouver climate strike that featured First Nations activists from across Canada.
Thunberg, 16, spoke from the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery during the ninth climate strike organized by the Sustainabiliteens. The Metro Vancouver youth group has been staging Fridays for Future events inspired by Thunberg, who began going on strike from school on Fridays to protest government inaction to deal with the climate crisis.
In the Amazon, Fires Steal Breath, but Smoke Smells of Money
By Clifford Krauss, The New Years, 2 November 2019
With thousands of intentionally set fires raging across its enormous expanse, Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has been a smoky mess in recent weeks: Roads and airports enveloped by a soupy fog. Local governments declaring emergencies and advising people to stay indoors. Many coughing and spitting, their lungs clogged with irritating particles of dust.
ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25)
ASEAN, 2 November 2019
WE, the Heads of State/Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Member States of ASEAN, on the occasion of the 35 th ASEAN Summit.
Amazon Guardian killed, another shot, as loggers attack in Brazil
Survival International, 2 November 2019
An indigenous Amazon Guardian has been shot dead by loggers and another wounded after they were ambushed by loggers.
Paulo Paulino Guajajara, known also as Kwahu Tenetehar, was shot in the neck and died in the forest. His colleague, Tainaky Tenetehar, was shot in the back and arm but escaped.
The Amazon Guardians have been patrolling their territory in the eastern Amazon, which has been heavily invaded by loggers, for several years. Uncontacted members of the Awa tribe also live in the territory.
[India] Maharashtra leads in plantation under pact with cos
By Vijay Pinjarkar, The Times of India, 2 November 2019
The MoEFCC has included the Maharashtra government’s request to include guidelines related to the tripartite agreement for reafforestation and rehabilitation of degraded forest land with the participation of private sector.
[India] Rise and Fall of Carbon Credits: Finding Solutions for Climate Crisis in Free Market
By Kathikeyan Hemlata, The Weather Channel, 2 November 2019
The plan to combine two seemingly opposing forces – a free market and the battle against human-induced climate change – was ambitious. But carbon credit trading, once seen as one of the most successful mechanisms to help developed countries and the private sector to continue with business while meeting their emission targets, is now on the brink of disappearing into oblivion.
How did this happen? Before we look into the decline of carbon credit trading, first let’s look at its origin and growth in the context of global climate change regulation, and what its fall could mean for India, the second-biggest carbon trading market in the world.
Thousands of Britons invited to climate crisis citizens’ assembly
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 2 November 2019
Thirty-thousand people across the UK have been randomly chosen to take part in a citizens’ assembly on the climate emergency convened by MPs.
Invitations to the assembly, which will be held over four weekends in Birmingham from January to mid-March, are due to arrive from Wednesday next week.
3 November 2019
Palm oil watchdog’s sustainability guarantee is still a destructive con
Environmental Investigation Agency, 3 November 2019
Consumers around the world are still being conned about the sustainability of the palm oil contained in the products they buy from cosmetics and foodstuffs to biofuels.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a voluntary certification watchdog, created in 2004 to reassure shoppers and manufacturers who buy palm oil that anything bearing the RSPO label is not connected to the destruction of precious rainforests, including the habitats of endangered species such as orangutans, as well as human rights abuses and contributing to the climate crisis.
Addressing climate crisis begins with tackling inequality
By Charlotte Scott, Daily Maverick, 3 November 2019
Six weeks ago I was in Beirut in the basement floor of a UN building, complaining about bad coffee and flight delays with colleagues in blazers and leather shoes. It was a meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on climate finance and sustainable cities. When the PowerPoints and panel discussions were finally over, I walked around the city and learnt about Lebanon’s history, its food, its wine. And the stark inequality and unaffordability of the city, which resonates with my home in Cape Town.
Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming
By Clifford Krauss, The New York Times, 3 November 2019
A surge of oil production is coming, whether the world needs it or not.
The flood of crude will arrive even as concerns about climate change are growing and worldwide oil demand is slowing. And it is not coming from the usual producers, but from Brazil, Canada, Norway and Guyana — countries that are either not known for oil or whose production has been lackluster in recent years.