REDD-Monitor’s weekly round up of the news on REDD, forests and climate. The links are organised by date (click on the title for the full article). REDD-Monitor’s news links on delicious.com are updated regularly. For past REDD in the news posts, click here.
REDD Integrity: An evidence based approach to anti-corruption in REDD+
By Aled Williams, Fiona Downs and Kendra Dupuy, U4, March 2015
Schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD ) have emerged as a means to address deforestation trends in developing countries and related emissions of forest carbon. Governance and corruption challenges facing REDD are widely acknowledged to be daunting both in their scale and severity. Learning lessons from empirical studies on corruption, anti-corruption and early REDD activities is important for minimising corruption risks in future REDD implementation. This U4 Issue paper draws together findings and suggestions for anti-corruption policy and practice from U4’s three year REDD Integrity project. We find that addressing corruption in REDD requires a broad approach to accountability and not one merely focused on protecting REDD financing.
FAO Publications Focus on Disaster Risk Reduction and Forestry Links
Climate Change Policy & Practice (IISD), March 2015
On the occasion of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a special edition of its forestry journal focusing on the impacts of disasters on forest-dependent communities and published a brochure on natural disasters, agriculture and food and nutrition security. The journal, ‘Unasylva’, highlights the importance of linking forests to the global agenda on disaster risk reduction, especially given the important role of forests and forest ecosystem services in increasing resilience and recovery. Overall, the journal covers forest – disaster links ranging from hurricanes, earthquakes and floods to wildfires, the Ebola outbreak, human conflict and nuclear accidents. The journal includes examples of forests supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan and the US.
16 March 2015
Promises to keep: Can private sector ensure success of zero-deforestation pledges?
By Virginia M. Moncrieff, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 March 2015
The aim of last year’s New York Declaration on Forests is an ambitious one: Halve deforestation by 2020 and eliminate it altogether by 2030. But the heaviest burden of ensuring the success of the non-binding declaration will fall largely to the 34 private companies that signed it, say two experts who point to the steep challenges faced in weeding out unsustainably sourced raw materials from corporate supply chains. On the other side of the equation: The innumerable smallholders who supply these companies face heightened scrutiny—and risk being pushed out of business, with damaging ramifications for family livelihoods and rural economies. The two experts, both from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), recently spoke about the ramifications of the New York declaration—and other recent corporate zero-deforestation pledges—on the eve of the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty…
Zero-deforestation pledges and palm oil: a conversation
CIFOR Forests News Blog, 16 March 2015
The 2014 New York Declaration on Forests has ambitious goals: halve deforestation by 2020 and eliminate it altogether by 2030. But how feasible in practice is the declaration? Who will shoulder the heaviest burden for ensuring its effectiveness—and who will suffer the most if it doesn’t work? Ahead of the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, where many of the signatories of the declaration will be present, two experts from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) spoke about implementation of the declaration, particularly with respect to the oil palm industry in Indonesia.
[Guyana] Baishanlin bid to log in regions six, nine still under scrutiny
Stabroek News, 16 March 2015
The environmental permitting process to allow logging firm Baishanlin to begin operations at its forest concessions in regions Six and Nine has not yet been completed. “The process is still ongoing,” an official told Stabroek News in a brief comment. It is not clear when the process would wrap up. Chairman of the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) Michael Williams told Stabroek News recently that since a scoping meeting at Apoteri in September, the team carrying out the Environ-mental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) had not contacted the communities again and they are concerned. [R-M: Subscription needed.]
[Pakistan] The ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’
The Nation, 16 March 2015
The government is also in the process of establishing rules for REDD+, an innovative global financial instrument that aims to reverse deforestation by providing cashable carbon value to standing forests. According to preliminary estimates and depending on the global carbon regime, KPK’s forests could earn in the range of $6-800 million through carbon credits from standing forests. Again the philosophy is to value and capitalize the forest not for the timber but for the environmental services it provides. A complete ban on cutting and felling of trees in the reserved forests of KPK has already been imposed while the community forests have been subjected to scientific management based upon detailed working plans – doing away with the highly abused “windfall” policy of previous governments which was used as a tool for legalizing massive felling of trees.
17 March 2015
Finance for sustainable landscapes: Momentum is building
By Peter Holmgren, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 17 March 2015
The landscape approach is largely about working across institutional boundaries – boundaries that evolved for good reason but now sometimes hinder the integration needed to overcome imminent development and environment challenges on all geographic scales. The most obvious boundary discussed in relation to landscape approaches is that between forestry and agriculture. Most agree that key aspirations such as reducing deforestation; implementing low-emission land use; enhancing ecosystem services for food production; ensuring appropriate and well-managed use of fire; and addressing rights and tenure issues cannot be realized to satisfaction if agriculture and forestry do not work together. But there are other sector divides to bridge also. One of these exists between the private finance sector and the land-based sectors.
Cambodian Activists Urge U.S. First Lady to Seek Release of Jailed Land Defenders
Radio Free Asia, 17 March 2015
More than 50 activists gathered in front of the U.S embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday to request the intervention of First Lady Michelle Obama to press Cambodian authorities to release 11 jailed land rights defenders. They want Obama, who is visiting Cambodia on March 20-22 to promote a U.S. initiative to help girls around the world attend and finish school, to put pressure on the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen to free the activists, who have been jailed for their involvement in protests of land development projects in the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila communities of the Cambodian capital. “I 100 percent believe that the First Lady will intervene to the government of Cambodia immediately to release the land activists,” Bov Sophea, a Boeung Kak land rights defender, told RFA’s Khmer Service. She said Obama’s presence in Cambodia would help persuade authorities to free the jailed activists—11 women and a monk—who were arrested last year.
18 March 2015
Amazon Rainforest Lives Faster, Dies Young Amid Carbon Gas Blitz
By Stefan Nicola, Business, 18 March 2015
The Amazon rainforest is losing its capacity to absorb carbon as tree deaths increase, weakening its ability to alleviate the impact of man-made climate change, according to a study led by the University of Leeds. While increasing carbon dioxide initially boosted growth in trees by spurring photosynthesis, their mortality rates also climbed by more than a third, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. That has cut the carbon taken up annually by the rainforest by about a third in the past decade compared with the 1990s, Roel Brienen, the study’s lead author, said in statement from the university. “With time, the growth stimulation feeds through the system, causing trees to live faster, and so die younger,” said Oliver Phillips, a co-author from the university.
EU carbon market emissions fell 3.7 percent in 2014: analysts
Reuters, 18 March 2015
Emissions capped by Europe’s carbon market fell 3.7 percent in 2014, driven by higher output from renewable power producers and lower electricity consumption, analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said on Wednesday. Firms covered by Europe’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) emitted 1.838 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2014 compared with 1.907 billion tonnes a year earlier, the analysts estimated in a research note. Official data on last year’s emissions will be released by the European Commission on April 1. Participants in Europe’s carbon market will be eyeing the numbers, which give an indication of demand for carbon permits. The drop was driven by a 6.7 percent decrease in emissions from the heat and power sector, to 1.025 billion tonnes of CO2e, the analysts said.
[India] Carbon credit faux pas: Panel to probe anomalies in tendering
By Dhaval Kulkarni, DNA India, 18 March 2015
After wrong calculations of carbon credits by consultants involved in the scientific closure of BMC’s Gorai dumping ground led to embarrassment for the civic body, the state government has set up a high-level committee to inquire into tendering anomalies. Speaking in the state legislative assembly on Tuesday on a question by Sameer Kunavar (BJP) and others, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the projected carbon credits had not been generated in the project and the consultant, IL&FS, had been given full payment for their work. This had led to an audit para from the CAG, which also questioned if any action was taken against the consultant since the projected carbon credits had not been generated. Fadnavis said they were recovering the fees paid to the consultant and had initiated action to blacklist it.
Uganda: Tree Planters Harvest Fortune
By Justus Lyantuu, The Observer (Kampala), 18 March 2015
When John Tabula first heard of the idea of planting trees for a living, he laughed it off, and thought it was a joke. That was until he gave it a try. Tabula, a resident in Buikwe district, says commercial tree-planting has become a lucrative business that he and other farmers have turned tree planting into full-time occupation. “I started the business in 2006 and with the help of Sawlog Production Grant Scheme (SPGS) I was able to establish a two-hectare plantation, which I sold to start a tailoring business,” he said. He also explained that on the farm he had 2,000 trees and each tree was sold at Shs 35,000 to companies that made transmission poles used to distribute power. He fetched Shs 70m in his first harvest, he said. “From the money I got, I was able to buy a solar panel, start up a tailoring business and take my children to school…”
[USA] Far-reaching decision: appeals court finds carbon offsets ensure integrity
By Mathew J. Todaro (Verrill Dana LLP), Lexology, 18 March 2015
In a recent decision by a California Appeals court, the appellant, (Our Children’s Earth Foundation; (Appellant)), challenged the State Air Resources Board’s (Board) use of carbon offsets within its Cap-and-Trade program and more specifically, its method for establishing that the offsets achieve the requirement of “additionality.” … The Appeals Court roundly rejected all of the Appellant’s claims. It held that the Board had reasonably interpreted its legislative mandate and that the mandate provided it with the authority to design a standard-based offsetting mechanism. The Court deferred to the Board’s policy expertise and refused to venture into a debate concerning specific choices. (It should be noted that the lower court compared a standard-based approach to a case-by-case approach and found the former to be sound.)
[USA] Unlike Tallahassee, intelligent climate change talks happen in Hillsborough
By Kate Bradshaw, CL Tampa Bay, 18 March 2015
Say what you will about carbon sequestration, but if a governing body unanimously supports it, said governing body obviously knows a) there is an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere that is damaging our environment, and b) humans are causing that excess in CO2. Thus, the Hillsborough County Commissioners, which voted to support allowing companies who exceed carbon emissions standards to buy up green space in Hillsborough County, which will then be preserved, gets a gold star. It was Commissioner Al Higginbotham’s idea. Higginbotham is a Republican, as are most of his colleagues on the board. “We’ve got to find a way to maintain and protect our lands,” Higginbotham said. Such a program would quantify the amount of carbon that preserved green spaces in the county take out of the atmosphere, which would constitute carbon credits polluters could buy to offset their environmental impact.
19 March 2015
[Indonesia] Questioning government logic on REDD+
By Aditya Rakhman and Vitri Sekarsari, The Jakarta Post, 19 March 2015
On Jan. 21, Jokowi signed Presidential Regulation No. 16/2015 to outline the direction that should be taken by the Environment and Forestry Ministry in the coming years. One of the impacts of this regulation was the dissolution of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Agency, with it being absorbed into the ministry’s duties and functions. In the spirit of efficiency, it seems that a lot of people support the move. We, with all due respect, disagree… Aditya Rakhman is an Indonesia economic and social policy analyst and Vitri Sekarsari is an environmental issues observer. They used to work for the REDD+ Agency.
[UK] Latest carbon credit scam shut down – but will it make a difference?
By Michael Trudeau, Money Observer, 19 March 2015
Eco Business Management, a firm Money Observer has previously warned against doing business with, has been ordered to close by the High Court. The firm was ordered into liquidation after an investigation found it mis-sold wildly overpriced carbon credits to investors, using high-pressure sales tactics and misleading statements. Although investors were falsely told they could receive returns of up to 82 per cent within six months to two years, in some cases their carbon credits were actually being retired (cancelled) without their knowledge… Although the closing down of Eco Business Management is good news in theory, it means relatively little to those whose money has already been whisked away to offshore bank accounts. It also likely means very little in terms of personal consequences for any of the individuals involved.
[UK] Police raid iconic skyscrapers in fraud crackdown
By David Barrett, Telegraph, 19 March 2015
Police have raided some of Britain’s most famous skyscrapers as part of a major crackdown on frauds targeting wealthy middle class investors. Dozens of detectives and other law enforcement officials visited prestigious business addresses in the Square Mile of London and Canary a Wharf in a bid to close down so-called “boiler room” frauds. Officers said rented office space inside high-profile buildings is increasingly being used by con artists to give their victims a false sense of security… In reality the products are vastly over-priced and never deliver a profit, allowing the con artists to disappear with investors’ money, in scams worth an estimated £1.2 billion a year. Police, trading standards officers and other officials raided Tower 42, formerly known as Nat West Tower, in the City of London where serviced office premises were thought to have been let to boiler room scams.
[UK] ‘How I lost £74,000 to boiler room fraudsters’
By David Barrett, Telegraph, 19 March 2015
A pensioner couple have been left with a “frugal” income after losing the bulk of their life savings to a boiler room scam. Peter Hodgson, 78, was duped out of £74,000 by highly convincing fraudsters who sold him diamonds as investments at highly inflated prices. “I should have smelt a rat but they seemed so genuine,” said Mr Hodgson, who worked as a cameraman for Thames Television. “Their brochures were glossy, they had proper invoices and the diamonds came with a certificate.” In 2011 he handed over the huge sum of money in stages to salesmen at Sussex-based No1 Gems, which promised the coloured diamonds would massively increase in value. But when Mr Hodgson, from Surrey, had the gems valued by independent experts they were worth far less than he had been told by the fraudulent company. One diamond purchased for £4,000 was worth just £600 and a batch of gemstones bought for £27,000 was valued at £2,000.
20 March 2015
This is not sustainable – VIDEO
World Rainforest Movement, 20 March 2015
This two-minutes video is a rebuttal of the one-minute video produced by FAO for International Day of Forests. The video aims to challenge the FAO video for March 21, which narrowly and erroneously views forests as if they were a “storage facility” for wood and carbon.
United Nations’ 2015 International Day of Forests. Theme: “Forests / Climate / Change”. What change?
World Rainforest Movement, 20 March 2015
We argue that the supposed solutions that FAO has supported and promoted over the past 20 to 30 years have not reduced deforestation; far less have they effectively contained the climate crisis. These failed proposals are “Sustainable Forest Management”, “REDD+” and “Zero Deforestation” which is included in the recent New York Declaration on Forests. Without challenging the globalized model of production and consumption for the benefit of the few, these proposals have further strengthened corporate power, and have created an industry of “consulting firms” to “certify” which forests and monoculture tree plantations are “sustainable”. Moreover, there are covert links between “zero deforestation” commitments among REDD+ projects and trade in other “ecosystem services,” on the one hand, and the advance of destructive industries such as oil extraction, large-scale monoculture plantations, mineral extraction, hydroelectric plants, etc., on the other.
Forest conservation key to combating climate change, say UN officials
Jamaica Observer, 20 March 2015
The sustainable management and conservation of forests must be considered in the design and implementation of the new sustainable development goals and the new climate change agreement to be adopted this December in Paris, according to UN officials and forest experts in messages for the International Day of Forests, which will be observed tomorrow. At least 1.6 billion people directly depend on forests for food, fuel, shelter and income, but everyone benefits from the clean air, water, and climate regulation that forests provide. Three fourths of freshwater, crucial for human survival, comes from forested catchments. Healthy forests are critical for building resilience — the ability to bounce back from storms and other natural disasters. Mangrove forests, when left intact, reduce loss of life and damage caused by tsunamis.
It’s a forest, not a ‘museum’: What sustainable development means in the tropics
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 20 March 2015
A tropical forest: A habitat for wildlife, untouched by humans? Or trees ripe to be cleared for profit? Or is the forest an integral part of a human landscape: relied on by people for clean water, timber, forest foods, wood fuel, a haven for animals and plants, and a carbon sink for the health of the climate system? Forestry experts argue that this last picture is closest to the true nature of forests – and this is how we must think of them if, as a global community, we are to achieve the new UN Sustainable Development Goals and tackle climate change. Forests are not just something ‘nice to have’ but an integral part of what sustainable development means in the tropics, according to Louis Verchot, Director of Forests and Environment Research at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Forests ‘not only about the environment’: On SDGs, zero-deforestation pledges
CIFOR Forests News Blog, 20 March 2015
Where do forests fit into the climate and development agendas? How—and when—will the promise of REDD+ be fulfilled? What is the value of zero-deforestation pledges? These are some of the most pressing questions for forests in 2015, and ahead of International Day of Forests (21 March), three experts from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) sat down to talk about these issues and others.
Sustainable Development Goals and forestry: Lessons from Peru
By Barbara Fraser, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 20 March 2015
A decade ago, forests along the Ampiyacu River in northeastern Peru were being logged, hunted and fished unsustainably by outsiders with no management plan and no input from local communities. So the Huitoto, Bora, Ocaina and Yagua communities along the river joined together to create a protected area and patrol their lakes and forests to take firmer control over their customary lands. It has paid off: Fish and game animals are returning, they say, making it easier for them to feed their families. Some communities are even developing timber management plans. “We’re happy,” said Alfredo Rojas, of the community of Nuevo Porvenir, in a recent interview. “We don’t have outsiders coming in any more.”
21 March 2015
[Malaysia] Call for recognition of land rights of indigenous people
Daily Express, 21 March 2015
Legal recognition of indigenous people and their entitlement to collective rights to their lands, territories and resources under international human rights standard has continued to be denied by many states. Massive logging, expansion of oil palm plantations and wide-scale mono cropping, conversion of forestlands to commercial and destructive projects such as the development of mega-dams still prevail, stripping the indigenous people from their lands. These are taking place in spite of the serious problem of global carbon emission arising from the deforestation and forest degradation, which are major causes of climate change. However, forest is the lifeline and cultural heritage of more than 100 million indigenous people in Asia, said Jaringan Orang Asal Se-Malaysia(JOAS) in a statement, here. Based on the World Bank Study “The role of the Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation: The Natural but Often Forgotten Partners”…
[New Zealand] Call to reduce deforestation in NZ
Radio New Zealand News, 21 March 2015
Today is the United Nations International Day of Forests, and the association said the Government is failing to recognise the role they play in combatting climate change. Chief executive, David Rhodes, said about 10000 hectares was deforested in New Zealand last year, as owners pursued more lucrative means of using the land, such as dairying. He says to reverse that trend, the Government could do more to raise the price of carbon credits from about $6 each to $15. Mr Rhodes said that would encourage owners to retain or replant their forests. Meanwhile, an extensive American-led study has found 70 percent of the world’s remaining forested land is less than 1 kilometre from a forest edge. The report, by two dozen researchers on five continents, has used data covering the past 35 years.
[Pakistan] Govt committed to safeguard existing forest resources, increase areas under forests: Mushahid Ullah
AAJ News, 21 March 2015
Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that the government is committed to safeguard existing forest resources and increase area under forests from below 5 percent of the total land mass of the country. “In this goal, I will leave no stone unturned to achieve this ambitious goal for the sake of our present and future generation’s healthy lives and sustainable environment,” he made these remarks in a statement issued on occasion of World Forest Day observed on Saturday. He said that boosting tree plantation at all levels was must for protecting humans, animals and plants from delirious impacts of global warming. The minister stressed, “No matter how many trees are planted today will secure future of our existing and future generations from the devastating impacts of climate changing causing carbon emissions, particularly carbon dioxide.”
[Pakistan] World Forest Day-2015 today Trees are a must for protecting life on earth
Daily Times, 21 2015
Climate Change Federal Minister, Mushahid Ullah Khan on Friday said boosting tree plantation at all levels is a must for protecting humans, animals and plants from delirious impacts of global warming. In a press statement issued here in the context of the World Forest Day 2015, the minister stressed, “No matter how many trees are planted today will secure future of our existing and future generations from the devastating impacts of climate changing causing carbon emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. Failing to which will only continue to expose humans and every kind of the life on earth to harmful effects of the global warming”. This year, the World Forest Day (WFD) 2015 is being marked across the world including Pakistan under the theme “Forests and Climate Change”, which highlights forest-based solutions to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, and more broadly forests and sustainable development.
UN chief calls for more efforts to invest in, protect world’s forests
GlobalPost, 21 March 2015
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called upon all UN member states to make more efforts to invest in and protect the world’s forests in order to ” build a sustainable, climate- resilient future for all.” In his message to mark the International Day of Forests, the secretary-general said, “To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world’s forests.” “That will take political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding,” Ban said. “On this International Day of Forests, let us commit to reducing deforestation, sustaining healthy forests and creating a climate-resilient future for all.” The International Day of Forests, observed on March 21, is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside.
[UK] The pension tax maze nightmare and what you can do to make sure you avoid the crooks
By Tricia Phillips, Andrew Penman, Ros Altmann, Mirror, 21 March 2015
Looking forward to getting your hands on your pension pot? You can be sure that an army of con men are too. Pensions liberation will open the door to legions of crooks desperate to fool you into handing over your life savings. Some may pose as advisers offering to review your pension plans. Or offering investment opportunities that seem to offer far higher returns on your cash than a legitimate annuity. Crooks will use buzzwords such as “unique”, “one-off”, “exclusive” and even “ethical” to sell it. It might be fine wine, which is routinely touted by con men as a great investment. It could be unmined gold, so-called rare metals, or coloured diamonds, all of which have been flogged by sharks in recent months. Another favourite is carbon credits, a supposedly green investment. What they all have in common is that investors risk losing everything the moment they hand over their money.
22 March 2015
Rights, resources and environmental impacts: A complex but crucial link
By Baruani Mshale, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 22 March 2015
It is well known that property rights, which govern how individuals can control, benefit from and transfer property, influence the condition of natural resources and environments around the world. Yet there remains much to learn about the nature of that relationship. A recent systematic review of literature on the subject—to be presented this week at the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty—shows that while it is fraught with complexity, there is evidence that different property rights regimes can and do shape environmental impacts. This is of particular importance for those seeking to advance sustainable resource use, conservation and poverty reduction objectives, since property rights to natural resources comprise a major policy instrument.
[Australia] Tasmanian government ignored expert advice on logging threat to swift parrots
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 22 March 2015
The Tasmanian government ignored the advice of its own experts to push ahead with logging in the habitat of the endangered swift parrot, internal departmental documents have revealed. The documents show that experts warned the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment of the impact of approving logging in five areas of forest in the state’s south-east. In one area, called a logging coupe, the advice states that the felling of trees will “result in the continued loss of breeding habitat that has been identified as being of very high importance for the species with the further fragmentation of foraging habitat. This cannot contribute to the long-term survival of the species.”
Brazil’s Deforestation Rates Are on the Rise Again
By Richard Shiffman, Newsweek, 22 March 2015
In a world hungry for environmental success stories, Brazil has been the closest thing we have to a golden child. The nation, Latin America’s largest economy, has been growing at an impressive clip, weathering the global financial crisis while cutting deforestation rates in the Amazon to historic lows. Citing its success in protecting the earth’s largest rain forest, President Dilma Rousseff boasted that Brazil is “one of the most advanced countries” for sustainable development, on World Environment Day last June. But it is too soon to declare victory in the Amazon. Corruption, lawlessness and massive land fraud are now threatening those gains, and an aggressive new development push in the region may soon open remote areas of the forest to being cut.
Devastating human impact on the Amazon rainforest revealed
Lancaster University press release, 22 March 2015
The human impact on the Amazon rainforest has been grossly underestimated according to an international team of researchers from Brazil and the UK, led by Lancaster University. They found that selective logging and surface wildfires can result in an annual loss of 54 billion tonnes of carbon from the Brazilian Amazon, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent to 40% of the yearly carbon loss from deforestation — when entire forests are chopped down. This is the largest ever study estimating above and below-ground carbon loss from selective logging and ground level forest fires in the tropics, based on data from 70,000 sampled trees and thousands of soil, litter and dead wood samples from 225 sites in the eastern Brazilian Amazon.
PHOTO credit: Image created using wordle.net.