Data released by the Brazilian government last week reveals that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has reached its highest rate since 2008. In the period August 2017 to July 2018, an area of 7,900 square kilometres of forest was cleared. That’s an increase of 13.7% compared to the previous 12 months.
At the end of last week, California’s Air Resources Board held a public meeting to consider the endorsement of the California Tropical Forest Standard. After several hours and dozens of testimonies for and against the Tropical Forest Standard, the Board decided to postpone making a decision until April 2019.
On 5 September 2018, the California Air Resources Board released a draft California Tropical Forest Standard. A 191-page Draft Environmental Analysis was released on 14 September 2018. A public meeting will take place on 15 November 2018, and the California Air Resources Board is inviting comments on the Environmental Analysis before 5 pm on 29 October 2018.
“Early evidence from REDD+ projects suggests major challenges, including: ongoing weak enforcement of domestic laws on forests and land, leading to limited effectiveness; contestation or conflict over property rights and community benefits; as well as securitisation and violence, often perpetrated by government agencies.”
Harold Tjiptadjaja is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, an institution created by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance. IIF funds oil and gas projects, airports, toll roads, seaports, and power generation, among other things.
This week Eco-Business reported Tjiptadjaja as saying that “Deforestation poses a bigger problem for the climate than burning coal in Indonesia”.
In the last few weeks, California’s governor Jerry Brown has received two letters about climate change. One recommends that he should take meaningful action on climate change. The other recommends that he should provide a loophole to allow the oil industry to continue polluting.
A two day meeting is currently taking place at the Columbia Law School in New York of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the Green Climate Fund. On the agenda is the Green Climate Fund’s funding of forestry projects.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon increased by 22% between August 2017 and May 2018 compared to the same period the previous year, according to figures published by IMAZON, a non-profit research institute. Forest degradation is up by 218%. In June 2018, deforestation reached an area of 1,168 square kilometres – the highest monthly area since Imazon started monthly deforestation reports in April 2007.
Last month saw the Oslo Tropical Forest Forum 2018, 10 years after REDD was included in the Bali Road Map, at the UN climate negotiations in December 2007. “The goal of the forum is to celebrate results and identify remaining challenges,” according to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation’s website about the event.
When a company buys REDD carbon credits to offset its continued pollution, it relies on certification organisations such as Verra (previously called Verified Carbon Standard) and the Forest Stewardship Council to prove that the project is genuine, well managed, and really does result in reduced emissions. World Rainforest Movement recently visited the state of Mato Gross, Brazil to investigate the Florestal Santa Maria REDD project. WRM’s report reveals the problems with REDD, the problems with relying on this sort of certification, and the false solution of offsetting emissions from flying.
From 11 to 29 June 2018, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is meeting in Montreal. Among the topics to be discussed are the rules for the aviation industry’s plans to carry on polluting while offsetting its emissions through its carbon trading scam, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
Norway has spent NOK 1 billion on saving the rainforest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But deforestation in DRC is increasing rapidly. On 12 May 2018, Dagsrevyen, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s daily news programme reported on Norway’s failure to address deforestation in DRC.
Last week, José Ilanga the Director General in charge of forests at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, announced that plans were underway to lift the country’s 16-year-old moratorium on new logging concessions. Today, more than 50 environmental and human rights organisations have written to key donor governments and agencies, including Norway, UK, France, USA, and the World Bank, calling on them to suspend funding immediately to the DRC government for forestry and forest conservation.
On 28 February 2018, Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court upheld the 2012 Forest Code as constitutional, including the Forest Code’s amnesty for landowners that illegally cleared forest before 22 July 2008.