REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
19 September 2016
New study undercuts favorite climate myth ‘more CO2 is good for plants’
By Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian, 19 September 2016
A new study by scientists at Stanford University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested whether hotter temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels that we’ll see post-2050 will benefit the kinds of plants that live in California grasslands. They found that carbon dioxide at higher levels than today (400 ppm) did not significantly change plant growth, while higher temperatures had a negative effect.
Those who benefit from the status quo of burning copious amounts of fossil fuels love to argue that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit plant life. It’s a favorite claim of climate contrarians like Matt Ridley and Rupert Murdoch.
Tackling the Climate Challenge
By Mark Tercek (The Nature Conservancy), 19 September 2016
Climate change is the biggest threat to achieving the mission of my organization, The Nature Conservancy, and perhaps the greatest challenge of our time.
Last week, TNC co-sponsored the American Climate Leadership Summit, hosted by ecoAmerica. I delivered a keynote speech to an audience that included CEOs from some 250 organizations from a wide variety of sectors, from faith and health to business and government.
[Ghana] Corruption thrives because we fail to enforce laws – GII
GhanaWeb, 19 September 2016
Ghana has a good number of legislations but fails to enforce them, and so corruption is having a field day, Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has said.
“Issues of corruption come up every time, whether in procurement, education, health or any other. What we need to do is use the existing laws to prevent corruption from happening,” she said at the launch of a report titled “A Stakeholder Perspective on Corruption Risks in Ghana’s REDD+” in Accra.
“In Ghana we put in place institutions to fight corruption and we have the laws to fight corruption but then we have to enforce the laws. It is the enforcement of the laws that is weak. Nobody gets sanctioned or too many people do not get sanctioned and go scot-free,” she added.
Haze from Indonesian fires may have killed more than 100,000 people – study
AFP, 19 September 2016
A smog outbreak in Southeast Asia last year may have caused over 100,000 premature deaths, according to a new study released Monday that triggered calls for action to tackle the “killer haze”.
Researchers from Harvard and Columbia universities in the US estimated there were more than 90,000 early deaths in Indonesia in areas closest to haze-belching fires, and several thousand more in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia.
The new estimate, reached using a complex analytical model, is far higher than the previous official death toll given by authorities of just 19 deaths in Indonesia.
“If nothing changes, this killer haze will carry on taking a terrible toll, year after year,” said Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaign Yuyun Indradi.
“Failure to act immediately to stem the loss of life would be a crime.”
[Indonesia] Social forestry: Where are we now?
By Abidah Billah Setyowati, The Jakarta Post, 19 September 2016
As a celebration of social forestry initiatives in Indonesia, a festival showcasing stories of community-managed forests around the archipelago was held in Jakarta last week by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF).
The event took place more than a year after the launch of the Indonesian government’s ambitious program targeted at allocating 12.7 million hectares of forests to be managed by communities through social forestry schemes, which includes hutan kemasyarakatan (community forestry), hutan desa (village forests), hutan tanaman rakyat (community plantation forests) and hutan adat (customary forests), as well as forming partnerships for collaborative forest management.
20 September 2016
Global trade deal threatens Paris climate goals, leaked documents show
By Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 20 September 2016
A far-reaching global trade deal being negotiated in secret could threaten the goals of the Paris climate deal by making it harder for governments to favour clean energy over fossil fuels, a leak of the latest negotiating text shows.
The controversial Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa) aims to liberalise trade between the EU and 22 countries across the global services sector, which employs tens of millions in Europe alone.
But a new EU text seen by the Guardian would oblige signatories to work towards “energy neutrality” between renewable energy and fossil fuel power, although amendments proposed by the EU would exempt nuclear power from this rule.
Pact eyed to curb emissions from international flights
Nikkei Asian Review, 20 September 2016
More than 50 countries including Japan, Western nations and China plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel.
The measures aim to limit carbon dioxide emissions from 2021. Each airline will be assigned an allowance, purchasing carbon credits if it exceeds the cap.
As a start, international flights between countries agreeing to the measures will be regulated. This would include routes between Japan and the U.S., or the U.S. and China, for example. An airline’s country of origin will not be a factor.
Deploying livelihoods-enhancing options for REDD+: Improved management, exploitation and valorisation of natural resources
IUCN, 20 September 2016
By George Akwah Neba, IUCN, 20 September 2016
IUCN is working with partners and government institutions to pilot and upscale livelihood enhancing options for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Pilot initiatives undertaken in 14 landscapes across 7 countries – Cameroon, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Uganda – are providing the framework for learning from, and policy inputs for, the design of livelihoods-oriented national REDD+ strategies. Traditional conservation policies and strategies often oppose livelihoods – which are viewed as a threat to conservation and sustainable forest management.
[Haiti] Death By A Thousand Cuts: documentary charts the dangers of deforestation
By Jeremy Hance, The Guardian, 20 September 2016
In January 2012, park ranger Eligio Eloy Varga was hacked to death by a machete near the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This incident, still unsolved, kicks off the new documentary thriller, Death by A Thousand Cuts. Airing in the Raindance film festival in London on 1 October, the film explores how the fate of forests in two neighbouring countries has exacerbated social conflict, xenophobia, poverty, and even resulted in multiple murders.
“[Haiti and the Dominican Republic] share the island of Hispaniola, but have starkly different trajectories, in large part, related to how they have managed their natural resources,” said Jake Kheel, co-director of the documentary, which won the Jury’s best documentary prize at the Seattle film festival.
Drone video implicates Indonesian palm oil company in haze fires
Channel News Asia, 20 September 2016
Indonesian environmental coalition Eyes on the Forest (EoF) on Tuesday (Sep 20) released a drone video further implicating the role of palm oil plantation company PT Andika Permata Sawit Lestari (APSL) in this year’s forest fires that caused the haze.
The drone video, taken on Sep 1 in Rokan Hulu, Riau province, shows great swathes of burnt land in and around an illegal palm oil plantation belonging to APSL.
[Indonesia] Better Policies Equal Fewer Forest Fires: World Resources Institute
By Ratri M. Siniwi, Jakarta Globe, 20 September 2016
While last year’s haze crisis has been described as the worst on record, having reportedly resulted in the premature deaths of more than 100,000 people in the region, the World Resources Institute notes that the fire alerts for 2016 have been the lowest in a decade.
According to the non-governmental global research organization, this year’s fires have only raised 16,128 alerts by Sunday (18/09), or 73 percent less compared to the same period last year.
The institute attributed the decrease to weather conditions and policy changes implemented after the 2015 emergency.
“This year, Indonesia is seeing wetter-than-usual conditions caused by La Niña, which shortens the dry season and helps firefighting efforts. Heavy rains have extinguished a recent fire in Riau and provided a relatively swift relief from toxic haze,” the WRI research team, consisting of Arief Wijaya, Susan Minnemeyer, Reidinar Juliane, Octavia Aris Payne and Andres Chamorro, said in a statement on Monday.
Peru earns millions from REDD+ programs to stop deforestation
By Jack Dylan, Peru Reports, 20 September 2016
REDD+ conservation efforts between 2013 and 2015 have brought $33.5 million to Peru through an international reward scheme aimed at reducing deforestation.
Programs for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, known as REDD+, financially reward countries who meet specific in reducing carbon emissions, conserving or increasing forest carbon and forest management. Peru implemented the program in 2 million its 16 million hectares of sheltered forests.
REDD+ employ a multi-faceted pilot program including governments, NGOs and the private sector. They offer pay by performance and enforce a strict verification system including field inspections, satellite imagery to monitor forest clearance and community consultations.
[Peru] Government ignored warnings about forest fires
By Alvaro Tassano, Peru This Week, 20 September 2016
The region of Junin is suffering one of the largest forest fires in recent years. About 20 thousand hectares of forest have being consumed by the flames, and various communities where agriculture is their only mean of livelihood have being affected. The first fire occurred on August 19 (five weeks) and to this day the fire has not been controlled.
According to Steffi Rojas, representative of the Ashaninka community of the Ene River, between May and June, various state authorities like SERFOR, Sernanp and Civil Defense, were warned about the risks of various heat sources due to drought in the area, but they did not take the necessary actions to prevent an inferno.
[UK] World-renowned conservation professor, 69, ‘took part in a £60million tax dodge that tempted wealthy investors to pay into schemes tackling climate change and the spread of HIV’
By Emma Glanfield, Daily Mail, 20 September 2016
A world-renowned conservation professor is accused of taking part in a £60million tax dodge that tempted wealthy investors to pay into schemes tackling climate change and the spread of HIV.
Professor Ian Swingland OBE, 69, who set up the acclaimed Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent in 1989, allegedly took part in a three-year scam which helped wealthy investors avoid paying 40 per cent tax on their income.
The prosecution alleges that Swingland, along with five others – Anthony Blakey, 65, John Banyard, 67, Martin King, 54, and Andrew Bascombe, 58 – was involved in a scheme that ‘sheltered’ investors’ money so they could avoid paying the higher tax bracket.
21 September 2016
Stuck on record warm: Earth has unprecedented 16-straight warmest months
By Andrew Freedman, Mashable, 21 September 2016
When it comes to Earth’s climate, even the records themselves are breaking records now. Earth just experienced its hottest August on record, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
This means the planet has set a record warm monthly temperature record during every month for the past 16 consecutive months — an unprecedented warm streak, according to NOAA. The year-to-date is also record warm, as was the June through August period, known as meteorological summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Big banks support firms linked to deforestation
The Jakarta Post, 21 September 2016
The link between the world of finance and the destruction of forests has become clearer with a recent study finding that global banks, including three large banks in Indonesia, have been financially supporting forest-risk companies.
The study titled “Forest & Finance” revealed that financial institutions provided more than US$38 billion worth of commercial loans and underwriting facilities to 50 companies implicated in deforestation in the Asia-Pacific region, in the period between 2010 and 2015.
The banks provided loans and underwriting facilities to companies through their production and primary processing operations in four sectors: palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber and tropical timber.
Saving Bangladesh’s last rainforest
By Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com, 21 September 2016
When most people think of Bangladesh’s native ecosystems, the Sundarbans — the world’s largest mangrove forest — are probably the first thing that come to mind. But the Sundarbans aren’t the country’s only wildlife-rich forest ecosystem: dense tropical forests once extended across large expanses of the country, housing tigers, elephants, pangolins, gaur, and numerous other species. Today most of these forests have been cleared for agriculture, firewood and charcoal, and urban areas. Yet some of the forests that survive remain incredibly biodiverse.
Bordering Myanmar on the southeast and the Indian states of Tripura on the north and Mizoram on the east, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is one of these areas. Characterized by semi-evergreen forest that is considered part of the highly endangered Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, CHT is a refuge for at least 26 globally threatened species, making it a critical conservation priority.
Brazil’s raging forest fires threaten indigenous land, uncontacted tribes
By Chris Arsenault, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 21 September 2016
Forest fires raging in northeast Brazil are forcing indigenous people out of their traditional territories and threatening uncontacted tribes, an indigenous leader said on Wednesday.
Fire season in the Amazon and surrounding savannah normally lasts from July to November, but burning has become more intense due to climate change and illegal logging, said Sonia Guajajara, National Coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Peoples.
Uncontacted members of the Awa tribe live in areas affected by fires, and some have been forced out of the jungle, Guajajara told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“The Awa people live in isolation but they are coming out of the forests much more frequently,” said Guajajara, who hails from the fire-hit region in northeastern Maranhao state.
“Illegal logging and fires are putting pressures on them by destroying the forests,” she said.
[Guyana] Former Iwokrama Chairman facing tax evasion charges in UK
Stabroek News, 21 September 2016
British Professor Ian Swingland, a world renowned conservationist is facing charges in the UK for allegedly helping investors avoid £60 million in taxes through projects tackling climate change and the spread of HIV.
Swingland, who was appointed Chairman of Iwokrama’s International Board of Trustees in 2002, has denied charges of cheating the public revenue and conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation during a three-year scam.
Indonesia dismisses study showing forest fire haze killed more than 100,000 people
Associated Press, 21 September 2016
Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean authorities have dismissed research that suggested smoky haze from catastrophic forest fires in Indonesia last year caused 100,000 deaths. Some even contend the haze caused no serious health problems, but experts say those assertions contradict well-established science.
Last year’s fires in Sumatra and the Indonesian part of Borneo were the worst since 1997, burning about 261,000 hectares of forests and peatland and sending haze across the region for weeks. Many were deliberately set by companies to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.
[Indonesia] The three small letters destroying the rainforest
By India Thorogood, Greenpeace UK, 21 September 2016
Last year, Indonesian forest fires shocked the world. Decades of forest destruction by palm oil and paper companies laid the foundations for 2015’s Indonesian forest fires. The Indonesian government responded with a firm commitment to crack down on rogue companies. Hundreds of thousands of us pushed brands like Colgate to toughen up their ‘no deforestation’ policies.
But while some progress has been made, some of the biggest palm oil traders are still sitting on their hands. One particular company, called IOI, has been making and breaking promises on forest protection for almost 10 years. It is one of the biggest palm oil importers in Europe and used to supply big brands like Nestlé and Unilever.
Proposed sale of timber from palm oil concession sparks alarm in Liberia
By Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com, 21 September 2016
In July, news leaked out that Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority (FDA) was considering a new regulation to allow timber logged from palm oil and other plantations to be sold abroad.
The news followed the failed request for a timber sale from a palm oil concession owned by Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL). The NGO Rainforest Rescue started a petition against the potential new regulation and 50 Goldman Prize Winners signed an open letter calling on the Liberian government “to abandon its plan to legalize forest destruction by removing the current restriction on the export of timber from forest conversion.”
[UK] Renowned conservationist was involved in £60m tax dodging scheme, court hears
The Telegraph, 21 September 2016
A renowned conservationist who was awarded an honour for his work took part in a £60m tax-dodging scheme which used climate change projects, a court heard.
Professor Ian Swingland OBE, 69, allegedly took part in a three-year scam which helped wealthy investors avoid tax on £170m worth of income.
Swingland founded the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology in 1989 at the University of Kent, a world-leading research facility into biodiversity, communities and sustainable development.
22 September 2016
Doubts rise on China carbon trading
By Craig Hart, Nikkei Asian Review, 22 September 2016
China is planning to roll out a national greenhouse gas emissions trading market by 2017, creating the world’s largest market for carbon. However, for the scheme to be effective a greater focus on the creation of a market economy and a deeper political commitment to the environment will be essential. In particular, the government must wean highly polluting industries off state subsidies.
[Indonesia] Jokowi wants simpler forestry procedures
The Jakarta Post, 22 September 2016
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has urged Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar to simplify social forestry regulations and procedures to make it easier for people to access the benefits of forests.
Jokowi said that in their implementation, many social forestry initiatives had missed their targets and people were still facing difficulties in getting necessary permits.
Citing an example, he said, only 610,000 of the 2.5 million hectares of the village forests and community forests targeted could be exploited, partly because of complicated permit procedures.
“I want all obstacles hampering the realization and implementation of social forestry resolved soon,” Jokowi said on Wednesday.
Indonesia forest fires well-managed, fewer hotspots this year: Minister
By Saifulbahri Ismail, Channel News Asia, 22 September 2016
Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar has said that the forest fires this year have been well-managed as seen by the reduction of hotspots of up to 88 per cent as compared to 2015.
Giving an update on the forest fires this year to lawmakers at the House of Representative on Thursday (Sep 22), Dr Siti Nurbaya said slight haze only occurred for a few days in August.
“Last year, there was thick haze (for) up to three months, but this year, slight thick haze happened between Aug 26 and 29 in Rokan Hulu, which affected Singapore for a few hours,” said Dr Siti Nurbaya. She added that hotspots in Riau province went down by up as much as 81 per cent.
23 September 2016
ICAO’s carbon offset plan for aviation is a threat to Paris Agreement
By Hannah Mowat (FERN), EurActiv, 23 September 2016
The UN deal to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius was greeted with much fanfare around the world. After tortuous negotiations involving 195 nations the Paris Agreement, struck in December last year, was seen as a landmark in the fight against climate change.
Yet one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions was exempt from the agreement.
Greenhouse gas emissions from aviation almost doubled between 1990 and 2006. And this is not set to change, with almost 800 planned airport projects in Europe alone. If the global aviation sector were a country, it would be the world’s seventh largest emitter, though less than 7% of the world fly.
Governments poised to agree historic CO2 emissions market system for aviation
By Frank Watson, Platts, 23 September 2016
The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization is poised to take a ground-breaking decision on a global market-based measure to control aviation’s greenhouse gas emissions in a matter of days.
If signed off at ICAO’s general assembly meeting in Montreal running September 27 to October 7, this will be the first time any sector has agreed a global market-based system for controlling emissions.
The fight must go on to protect the EU’s right to continue with its own aviation emissions scheme
By Jeff Gazzard, Green Air, 23 September 2016
Over the next couple of weeks, the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be holding its 39th Assembly in Montreal. One of the key items up for discussion/agreement/stonewalling (take your pick!) is the development and implementation of a Global Market Based Measure (GMBM) to try and control and reduce civil aviation’s growing use of fossil fuel via the use of a price mechanism that includes the cost of CO2 emissions in airline ticket prices – the practical embodiment of the ‘polluter pays’ principle, writes Jeff Gazzard.
Sustainability Prevails as Sime Darby Implements Responsible Agriculture Charter
By Ratri M. Siniwi, Jakarta Globe, 23 September 2016
Malaysian palm oil producer Sime Darby Plantation has drawn up a charter aimed at improving its agricultural practices and strengthening sustainable development.
With its Responsible Agriculture Charter, the company pledges a commitment to sustainable palm oil production, an end to deforestation and peatland exploitation, environmental and corporate integrity, as well a dedication to human rights and social development.
“This charter represents a new starting point and an important juncture in Sime Darby’s sustainability journey. We believe that responsible agriculture plays a critical role to ensure food security needs are met and can provide a pathway to alleviate rural poverty and improve livelihoods, sustainably,” Sime Darby chief executive Mohd Bakke Salleh said in a statement on Wednesday (21/09).
Forest fires could hasten loss of Amazon rainforest
environmentalresearchweb.org, 23 September 2016
If temperature rises more than 4°C or clearance of the forested area reaches more than 40%, the Amazon rainforest could reach a tipping point, according to researchers in Brazil. And fires caused by human activity increase the risk of us reaching that point.
“There are thresholds that humanity should not transgress if we intend to keep most of the Amazon forest,” Carlos Nobre of Brazil’s National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters told environmentalresearchweb. “Today, the Amazon has warmed by about 1°C due to global warming, and total deforested area in the basin is about 20%. It seems that we are still operating in the safe space for the Amazon, but scenarios of future climate change and/or continued deforestation indicate that by 2050 the forest could be reduced by more than 50%.”
[Guyana] GFC failed the forest sector –Bulkan
By Kiana Wilburg, Kaieteur News, 23 September 2016
The Central Bank of Guyana, which monitors the performance of the nation’s major productive sectors shows that the output from the forestry sector was slower than expected for the first half of the year.
Disappointment in this performance was also noted by the Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan.
The ‘slower-than-expected’ output of the sector has awakened a conversation among many local analysts about the value added performance of the forest sector and its overall contributions to the economy.
[India] RE certificates may be junked
By Shreya Jai, Business Standard, 23 September 2016
Renewable energy certificates, battling declining demand, could be scrapped, officials said. The industry, however, sees a turnaround by 2017-18 and does not want the certificates to meet the fate of carbon credits.
The market for these certificates, launched in 2010, crashed last year with over 10 million of them remaining unsold. Last month’s discovered price was Rs 3.5 per unit for solar certificates and Rs 1.5 per unit for non-solar certificates.
These prices are far below prevailing rates of solar and wind power. Of the 9.4 million certificates issued last month, 9.3 million were unsold.
Indonesia punishes 5 firms over forest fires
By Arlina Arshad, Straits Times, 23 September 2016
Five Indonesian pulpwood companies in Riau province have been slapped with administrative sanctions over the illegal burning of forests which contributed to the haze crisis last year, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said yesterday.
They were among 15 firms whose cases were dropped by Riau provincial police earlier this year due to insufficient proof, sparking protests and prompting the parliamentary commission for law, human rights and security to set up a task force to examine the controversial decision.
Ms Siti told the working committee that her ministry has revoked the licences of three companies: Dexter Timber Perkasa, Siak Raya Timber and Hutani Sola Lestari.
Latin America sees surge in carbon pricing interest
By Ed King, Climate Home, 23 September 2016
Latin American markets are witnessing a surge in companies preparing for tougher climate laws, a report released on the sidelines of Climate Week New York City said.
The number of major companies preparing for a national carbon price doubled to 26 in Mexico, and rose 74% to 47 in Brazil said the study by UK-based carbon disclosure analysts CDP.
Businesses using an internal price on carbon to hedge against proposed national laws include Hispanic America’s largest multimedia company Grupa Televisa, Brazilian energy giant Petrobras and Banco Santander Brasil.
“Brazil is a market to watch,” said CDP, noting the government is considering plans for a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS).
[New Zealand] Government backs global aviation climate change measure
New Zealand government press release, 23 September 2016
Government backs global aviation climate change measure
New Zealand is set to join an international agreement addressing carbon emissions from air travel, says Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
“International aviation is not included in the recent Paris Agreement, which is why New Zealand will join the voluntary global measure being developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” Mr Bridges says.
ICAO is responsible for the regulation of international aviation, including measures for the reduction of emissions in the sector.
[Peru] Regional gov. asks public to stop burning fields
By Alvaro Tassano, Peru This Week, 23 September 2016
More than ten fires have being reported in the region of San Martin, all man made. The regional director of agriculture in San Martin, Santiago Medina Contreras, urged for the population to avoid burning grasslands, garbage or other materials that might cause a forest fire.
He explained that so far, more than ten forest fires have being reported in different parts of the San Martin region, burning crops and leaving many farmers in a dire situation.
[Philippines] LGUs, DENR supports REDD+ national implementation as a strategy
Philippine Information Agency, 23 September 2016
Declaration of support pours in consideration of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) as a strategy to reduce emissions through protection of the forest in the country.
In the recent conduct of national REDD+ congress, representatives from the various demonstration sites shared each learning experiences on the implementation of REDD+ as a strategy for addressing climate change, GIZ National REDD+ System Philippines Project Advisor Dr. Brend-Markus Liss said during the press conference on the last day of National REDD+ Congress held in Kuting Reef Resort, Macrohon, Southern Leyte from September 12-15, 2016.
[UK] Businessman conned investors out of £13.3m
By Dan Cooper, Newbury Today, 23 September 2016
A businessman who scammed investors out of £13.3m has been disqualified from being a company director for 15 years following a hearing at the High Court.
Thirty-seven-year-old Ian James Hamilton, the director of Industry RE Ltd (IRE) operated a number of ‘alternative investment’ scams between 2009 and 2013.
Mr Hamilton’s last known address was in Newbury in 2013, but it is believed he subsequently lived in Dubai and possibly Spain.
The main scams were a money circulation scheme and selling interests in land in Dominica that the company never owned.
24 September 2016
Landmark deal to curb airline emissions expected in Montreal
By Allison Lampert and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, 24 September 2016
The world’s first deal to curb pollution from commercial flights is expected after United Nations-led talks kick off next week in Montreal, although European lawmakers remain skeptical that it would be tough enough.
The agreement, backed by the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates, aims to limit rising airline pollution to 2020 levels after it takes effect in 2021, but has been watered down by being made voluntary for the first five years. It only becomes mandatory from 2027 for the world’s largest emitters, and would cost airlines less than 2 percent of industry revenue.
Although they have the option of later opting out, 55 countries now say they will join the first phase of the deal under discussion at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) assembly from Sept. 27 to Oct. 7.
[Australia] Clearing The Smog: The Hunt For A Coherent Climate Policy
By Thom Mitchell, New Matilda, 24 September 2016
In August 1990, journalist Kerry O’Brien anchored a segment on the then-new “burning issue”. Climate change. Four Corners viewers were told that the very “survival of the planet itself” was being threatened. This was urgent. It couldn’t wait.
The Hawke Government had just joined an emerging international movement, agreeing in-principle with the Toronto Agreement. Australia would aim to shave 20 per cent off its carbon emissions by 2005, over a period of just 15 years.
In the end, caveats were cashed, and literally nothing was achieved.
[Indonesia] Govt Preparing Crisis Center for Forest Fires
TEMPO, 24 September 2016
Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution said the government is preparing a new concept to prevent forest and peat land fires.
One of the measures is by establishing a crisis center whose financing comes from outside the State Budget.
“For example, the funds can be from developed countries because if Indonesia managed to prevent the fire, the world would get the benefits,” Nasution said on Friday.
According to Nasution, at the cabinet meeting some time ago, the government decided to change the way in the prevention and handling of forest fires.
[Sri Lanka] Dept. says forest fires destroyed 4,000 acres
By Keshala Dias, newsfirst.lk, 24 September 2016
The Department of Forest Conservation states that approximately 4,000 acres of land has been destroyed this year alone, owing to fires.
Forest Conservation Department Director, Anura Sathurusinghe stated that the highest number of fires were reported from the Badulla District, Sri Lanka.
He also added that a considerable number of forest fires have also been reported from Ratnapura, Kandy and Polonnaruwa districts.
25 September 2016
[Nigeria] CBN’s Ban On 41 Items Shoots Demand For Local Palm Oil
By Ezekiel Enejeta, Financial Watch, 25 September 2016
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) ban on importers accessing foreign exchange for certain products is proving a boon for the country’s biggest palm-oil producer as it has forced Nigeria buy locally produced palm oil. Profit at Presco Plc, a Benin City-based producer of the edible oil, more than doubled in the first six months of 2016, as sales jumped 60 per cent to N7.5 billion, according to results published recently by the company.