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REDD in the news: 26 September – 2 October 2016

REDD in the newsREDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.

26 September 2016

Would you fly less to tackle climate change? 2 in 3 Brits would
By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC, 26 September 2016
Six out of 10 Britons not already doing so would be willing to fly less in the next year to tackle climate change, according to a new poll for environmental charity WWF.
The poll also found that 67 percent of travellers would be happy to pay in order to offset the environmental impact of their return flight in Europe. The WWF said that cutting out one return flight to Europe is roughly equivalent to driving 1,500 miles less in terms of carbon savings.
The WWF said that their findings would increase pressure on both governments and aviation industry leaders over the need for “climate solutions.”

People would fly less to help climate change, survey shows
ITV, 26 September 2016
Around six out of 10 people would be prepared to fly less in the next year to help fight climate change, a survey suggests.
Two-thirds would be willing to pay extra to “offset” the pollution caused by their European return flights – which costs less than £5.
Environmentalists claim the findings pile pressure on aviation industry leaders and governments to find solutions to pollution caused by flying, as they gather for a meeting on the issue.
The poll of 2,089 people for WWF, a conservation charity, found that 60% of people would be willing to cut back on flying internationally in the next year to tackle climate change.
The figure was higher than those who were willing to cut back on driving (47%) or eating meat (49%), while 70% said they would be prepared to buy fewer new gadgets.

Is low-carbon aviation possible?
By Nils Zimmerman, Deutsche Welle, 26 September 2016
UN-sponsored talks in Montreal, at ICAO’s 39th Assembly – running September 27 to October 7 – are meant to arrive at a first-ever global agreement to limit and eventually reverse growth in airline carbon dioxide emissions, even as air travel continues to grow briskly over coming years.
The proposed ICAO measure is backed by the United States, China, and the United Arab Emirates. Its aim is to limit emissions to 2020 levels after it takes effect in 2021.
The deal, dubbed the “global market-based measure” (GMBM), will remain voluntary for the first several years post-adoption. It only becomes mandatory from 2027.

EU urges global support for UN aviation climate plan
By Ed King, Climate Home, 26 September 2016
The European Union will support a UN pact to control greenhouse gases from international flights, even though the plan’s ambitions fall well short of the bloc’s existing proposals.
Governments are expected to sign off on the deal in Montreal during a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which starts on Tuesday.
If agreed it will be a first for the aviation sector, which accounts for 2% of global emissions but was not obliged to cut its carbon footprint under last December’s Paris climate deal.

Delving into drivers of deforestation
By Deanna Ramsay, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 26 September 2016
Debates over forest loss in Borneo generally focus on the extent to which industrial plantations are to blame: those on the conservation side charge oil palm and pulp and paper for the destruction of tropical rainforest, those on the plantation side tend to argue that planting is done on already deforested land.
Until now, both sides have lacked clear evidence to justify their claims.
“The story is complex, drivers of deforestation are many. Until now we lacked information to distinguish so-called good and bad plantations,” said Douglas Sheil of the Norwegian University of Life Science.
In a new study published in Scientific Reports that he co-authored, Sheil and fellow scientists reviewed over 400 Landsat satellite images of Borneo between 1973 and 2015 to track forest loss and degradation and the concomitant expansion of plantations. The impacts of drought and fires tied to El Nino events were also considered.

We’re addicted to meat. And it’s destroying the planet
By Jeremy Coller, World Economic Forum, 26 September 2016
As the global population swells towards 10 billion and increasingly affluent emerging markets demand more meat in their diet, feeding the world is going to be both an enormous challenge and a historic economic opportunity.
Currently, the world relies heavily on intensively-farmed livestock for much of its protein – around 99% of all meat in the US for example comes from factory farms. However, a report released this week on the future of food explains the business case driving the market away from animal proteins and towards greater use of plant-based sources of protein.

Cap and trade gains global momentum ahead of COP 22 climate conference
By Anais Voski, CBC News, 26 September 2016
There’s a global momentum for carbon pricing, says the European Commission, with the number of schemes more than tripling since 2012 and with China, Ontario and Mexico set to launch their cap-and-trade systems in upcoming months. But more than a decade of emissions trading in Europe paints a complex, problem-ridden picture of politics and market failure.
The European Union’s 11-year-old emissions trading system (ETS), the world’s first and largest international cap-and-trade scheme, has served as an exemplary tale of both successes and failures for all new systems, including the one in China set to launch in early 2017.

Paris climate goals will cost emerging Asia $300 billion a year: ADB
By Nyshka Chandran, CNBC, 26 September 2016
Developing Asia will have to fork out $300 billion per year until 2050 if governments intend to uphold their 2015 Paris climate summit goals, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned in a new report on Tuesday.
But as the ADB pointed out, no pain, no gain.
“This is a substantial sum but the economic returns from adopting low-carbon policies far outweigh the costs,” Juzhong Zhuang, ADB’s deputy chief economist, said. “The region can generate more than $2 in gains for each $1 of cost it bears to reach the Paris goal—if the right steps are taken.”

[Guyana] Patience with Baishanlin exhausted – Trotman
Stabroek News, 26 September 2016
While officials from Chinese logging company Baishanlin want three more years to make good on long-awaited promises, the APNU+AFC government believes that not only the time requested is too much but that leniency and their patience have been exhausted.
“I think that government has been more than reasonable with Baishanlin. We have done all that we physically or possibly could to give them, to hold out the hope to them, that things could happen, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman told Stabroek News, when asked about government’s response to the company’s pleas. [R-M: Subscription needed.]

[Indonesia] Disaster becomes us
The Jakarta Post, 26 September 2016
The country has seen disasters strike one after another. After fires raged in forests and on peatland in Sumatra, sickening many and even killing some due to the toxic smoke they spread, rain started pouring almost every day and more lives are under the constant threat of floods and landslides, with dozens lost in the most recent disaster in West Java’s Garut regency.
Both the forest and peatland fires in Sumatra and the flash flood in Garut have much in common in the way humans play their part in instigating or at least exacerbating devastating disasters. That said, what looks like a natural disaster is actually a man-made calamity.

[USA] Has a decade of Golden State climate diplomacy made a difference?
By Debra Kahna, Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition, 26 September 2016
The Brazilians are frustrated.
They’ve just learned that California, yet again, has delayed making a decision on whether to allow its businesses to fund greenhouse gas reduction efforts in other countries.
“Should we continue to do all this effort?” asks Luiza Lima, who coordinates the activities of the eight Brazilian states that are members of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, a group set up by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2008. “Is it worth it?”

27 September 2016

The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently
By Brian Kahn, Climate Central, 27 September 2016
In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million.
That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes, according to scientists.

Can the aviation industry finally clean up its emissions?
By John Vidal, The Guardian, 27 September 2016
When a South Africa Airways scheduled flight flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town last month, it carried nearly 300 passengers.
Neither the passengers or the pilots would have noticed any difference between that flight and any other.
But instead of the usual petroleum-based jet fuel, the plane was burning thousands of litres of a clear liquid derived from the oil of nicotine-free tobacco plants grown by farmers on acres of under-used land in the country’s Limpopo province.

Fighting Climate Change From 36,000 Feet
By Michael Jenkins, The Huffington Post, 27 September 2016
A few years from now, every time you squeeze into an airplane seat, you could be helping protect the world’s tropical forests. That’s because the airline industry is considering a plan to make up for excessive carbon emissions by financing the preservation of those species-rich forests.

Climate Con: why a new global deal on aviation emissions is really bad news
By Oscar Reyes, New Internationalist, 27 September 2016
It sounds like a fine riddle: what can grow exponentially but still remain the same size? A new global deal on climate emissions from aviation promises just that, ‘carbon neutral growth’ from an industry that is the world’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.
When diplomats meet in Montreal this week for the triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the results are likely to be prosaic: a delay in cutting emissions until 2021, at which time a voluntary scheme would be introduced that allows airlines to continue polluting by paying others to clean up for them. The controversial ‘carbon offsetting’ scheme at the heart of this proposal is likely to involve counting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions twice, posing a significant new threat to hopes of avoiding dangerous climate change.

Aviation sector to vote on climate change plan
AFP, 27 September 2016
Civil aviation officials were expected to endorse a proposal that would have airlines buy credits to offset rising carbon emissions, at a 10-day meeting that opens in Montreal Tuesday.
The 191 member nations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) were scheduled to vote on this and other proposals at their triennial meeting.
The head of the UN agency, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, outlined at its kickoff the challenge facing the industry: reduce emissions while the number of air passengers doubles to six billion in the next 15 years.

Airlines Support ICAO on Cusp of Historic Emissions Agreement
IATA, 27 September 2016
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments at the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to agree a global market-based measure to help the aviation industry manage its carbon footprint.
At the top of the agenda for the ICAO Assembly is the proposal for the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
“The global aviation industry has turned out in force to encourage governments to make history by agreeing to implement CORSIA. This will be the first global agreement of its kind for an industrial sector. We are committed to carbon neutral growth from 2020. CORSIA, along with measures to improve technology, operations and infrastructure, will keep aviation at the forefront of industries responsibly managing their climate change impact,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

World’s First Green Securities Exchange Announced in Luxembourg
By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg, 27 September 2016
The Luxembourg Stock Exchange introduced the world’s first exchange that will trade nothing but green securities.
The Luxembourg Green Exchange, also known as LGX, goes live Tuesday. It intends to act as a gatekeeper for green bonds and other environmentally-focused financial instruments to help reduce ambiguity in the market.
It will oblige its issuers to provide “a full set of documentation that is readily available with pre and post reporting,” meaning that companies will have to disclose details about their project initially and also after it is complete, Chief Executive Officer Robert Scharfe, said by phone.
“Investors are growing very skeptical about whether green really means green,” Scharfe said. “So we felt that we needed to create an environment where it is clear.”

[Ghana] Environmental programme starts next year to reduce deforestation, degradation in cocoa landscape
By Seth J. Bokpe, Graphic Online, 27 September 2016
Ghana will, from next year, start the implementation of an environmental programme to significantly reduce deforestation and degradation in the country’s cocoa landscape.
The $199-million programme will end in 2021 and is estimated to produce 316 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emission reduction.
The programme is part of the National REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation + Conservation of Forests, Sustainable Forest Management and Enhancement of Carbon Stocks) initiative.

[Indonesia] Peatland Restoration Agency in Search of Foreign Investors
By Riva Dessthania Suastha, Jakarta Globe, 27 September 2016
Indonesia will need the help of foreign investors to restore its peatlands, the Peatland Restoration Agency says as it calls for the recovery of over 2 million hectares of peatlands in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua.
“Some foreign organizations have expressed interests in aiding us with peatland restoration. We will never meet our target if we only rely on [palm oil] corporations,” Peatland Restoration Agency chief Nazir Foead told CNN Indonesia on Monday (26/09).
According to Nazir, peatland restoration requires a close cooperation between the government, investors and farmers, as its sustainability relies on following existing programs on preservation, rehabilitation and land use.
Nazir said the agency has identified a host of potential donors including Tom Steyer, the Packard Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Goldman Sachs, the GoodEnergies Foundation and the Climate and Land Use Alliance.
The Packard Foundation and the Climate and Land Use Alliance have already declared they will donate $15 million.

[Indonesia] Lawmakers End Hearing on 2015 Forest Fires After Police Fail to Provide Answers
By Alin Almanar, Jakarta Globe, 27 September 2016
Lawmakers concluded a hearing to discuss last year’s forest fires earlier than expected on Tuesday (27/09), after the police were apparently unable to provide detailed explanations for the termination of the investigation.
The members of the House of Representatives’ special committee on land and forest fires summoned Riau Police chief Brig. Gen. Supriyanto over the termination of investigations into 15 plantation companies for alleged land burning in the province last year.
Having taken up his current post only after the police terminated the investigation earlier this year, Supriyanto stopped short of citing a lack of evidence as the reason for the termination warrants.

[Indonesia] Denmark Gives New Hope for Jambi’s Hutan Harapan
By Ratri M. Siniwi, Jakarta Globe, 27 September 2016
Casper Klynge, Denmark’s Ambassador to Indonesia, has signed a Rp 40 billion ($3 million) funding agreement with local conservation organization Burung Indonesia to ensure the Hutan Harapan, or Forest of Hope, program can continue in Jambi.
The funding will go towards assisting efforts to strengthen legislation regarding Hutan Harapan, the country’s first Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) founded in 2008, as well as a restoration area for formerly logged forests.
Hutan Harapan is also home to 20 percent of the remaining Sumatran Lowland Rainforest and highly threatened wildlife endemic to Sumatra, such as the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran elephant and birds.

Protecting mangroves, Kenya’s fishermen net cash – and more fish
By Moraa Obiria, Reuters, 27 September 2016
For fishing communities on Kenya’s southern coast, felling mangrove trees to make boats has long been a part of life.
But traditional attitudes toward the mangroves are shifting, as communities become aware of a new benefit from keeping the trees standing: cash payments for carbon storage.
Local people who are protecting and replanting mangroves are now selling 3,000 tonnes of carbon credits a year to international buyers, for about $5-$6 a tonne. The money goes into financing more forest protection and restoration, and to community-chosen projects.

[Malaysia] A Deadly Trade-off: IOI’s Palm Oil Supply and its Human and Environmental Costs
Greenpeace, 27 September 2016
Over the last two decades, the plantation sector has laid waste to Indonesia’s forests and peatlands. Millions of hectares have been destroyed for pulp and oil palm concessions at great cost to wildlife, the climate and people.
But who is to blame? And who has the power to deliver change?
This Greenpeace International investigative report looks at the Malaysian palm oil company IOI group. Despite policies to ensure that its palm oil supply is free from deforestation, peatland destruction or exploitation, IOI continues to buy palm oil from third-party suppliers linked to serious environmental destruction and human rights abuses.

The Nigerian super-highway project that threatens a million people’s homes
By Mark Amaza, Quartz, 27 September 2016
Almost anyone who visits Nigeria as a tourist or for business will soon realize that, after years of neglect, the country is in dire need of significant transportation and road infrastructure upgrades to help open up Africa’s largest economy.
Yet, despite the poor road network, a proposed transformative superhighway for Cross River state, in the southeast of the country (often referred to as “South-South”), is struggling to win supporters. The reason? Activists claim the proposed highway will have severe negative environmental impact and will likely displace up to a million people.

28 September 2016

Will the Aviation Sector’s Planned Carbon Offset Scheme Help Curb Emissions from Air Travel?
By Jonathan Fraenkel-Eidse, Earth Island Journal, 28 September 2016
Some may have noticed aviation’s conspicuous absence from the Paris climate negotiations last December. Worldwide, the aviation industry accounts for approximately 4.9 percent of anthropogenic global warming. It is also the fastest growing emitter, with some estimates expecting it to become the number one driver of global warming by 2050. Despite this, aviation emissions were unaccounted for in the Paris Agreement, leaving, what Lou Lenard of World Wildlife Fund called a gaping hole in the plan “big enough to fly an airplane through.”

ICAO SG Meets with UNSG Ban Ki-Moon, Other Global Organizations, as Aviation Launches Cooperative Efforts Toward 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
ICAO, 28 September 2016
The Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr. Fang Liu, conducted extensive bilateral meetings during the United Nations Summit on the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A meeting was held with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on ICAO’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of aviation development to the 2030 Agenda, as well as to jumpstart the critical cooperation which will now be needed for its realization.
Secretary General Liu commented that “Aviation is fundamental to a wide-range of global goals which are shared by a variety of international communities. This summit represented an exceptional opportunity to network with various Programmes and Departments of the United Nations, specialized agencies and other international organizations, so that we could understand better our common goals and begin to identify how we can work together more effectively to realize these critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

East Africa: EAC Told to Invest in Climate Change Mitigating Projects
By Ali Twaha, The Observer (Kampala), 28 September 2016
Andrew Gilder, a climate change expert, has urged the East African Community to invest in projects aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions.
Gilder, a senior associate specializing in carbon markets and climate change law at ENSafrica in South Africa, said projects aimed at mitigating climate change can also be sold in the carbon credit markets.
He was delivering a paper titled The future of the market mechanism; opportunities for the EAC region, to environmentalists at Lake Victoria hotel in Entebbe recently. He said using carbon emissions projects as a business venture remains unexploited.
“East Africa has not negotiated the carbon credit market in a robust and aggressive manner as it should have done,” he said.

Guyana preparing for lucrative EU forest markets
By Tiffny Rhodius, Government Information Agency, 28 September 2016
A local Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) facilitation support office will be set up in Guyana as the country works towards finalising its European Union (EU) FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
The office is being established by the Department for International Development (DFID) and will provide much needed resources for support activities elaborated in the joint road map which developed during the negotiation process, Commissioner of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) James Singh said.

[Indonesia] Tax amnesty, the green economy and peat restoration
By Herry Purnomo, CIFOR Forest News Blog, 28 September 2016
The Indonesian government seeks to collect USD 13 billion from its tax amnesty program this year, says the country’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
Although less than USD six billion has been collected for tax amnesty so far during the first period (July- September 2016) until September 27th, the minister is optimistic that this target can be achieved.
With a potential USD 50 billion total to be obtained from the amnesty, President Joko Widodo hopes to use this extra cash to boost infrastructure development to drive progress in the country.

Is it time for Norway to stop looking for oil?
By Megan Darby, Climate Home, 28 September 2016
Norway should stop exploring for more oil and gas, leaving it to countries with cheaper reserves or greater development needs.
That is what one of the world’s leading researchers of “unburnable carbon” told a conference in Oxford on Monday.
In the first summit of its kind, experts debated who should have the right to extract fossil fuels within “safe” climate limits.
“If any country in the world needn’t produce its fossil fuel resources, it’s Norway,” said Paul Ekins, professor of resources and environmental policy at UCL.

Peru’s new president summoned to Amazon by indigenous protestors
By David Hill, The Guardian, 28 September 2016
Indigenous peoples are part blockading one of the main tributaries of the River Amazon and demanding that Peru’s new president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski visit them – with no positive response to date. The protest is one of the latest instances of social unrest across Peru and in Loreto in particular, which, at 50% larger than the UK, is Peru’s biggest and most difficult-to-access region – as well as one of the poorest.

[Russia] Siberia forest fires engulf 2 million hectares: Greenpeace
AFP, 28 September 2016
Forest fires have hit two million hectares of Siberian forest, where global warming has caused an “exceptional drought”, environmental group Greenpeace said on Tuesday (Sept 27).
The Russian federal forestries agency confirmed the problem while giving a much lower estimate of the land affected, putting the figure at 125,000 hectares.
Greenpeace Russia spokesman Alexey Yaroshenko told AFP the situation was “an unprecedented catastrophe in Siberia”, which he said was due to “the ineffectiveness of the authorities” but, above all, global warming.

US drives rainforest destruction by importing Amazon oil, study finds
By Oliver Milman, The Guardian, 28 September 2016
US imports of crude oil from the Amazon are driving the destruction of some of the rainforest ecosystem’s most pristine areas and releasing copious amounts of greenhouse gases, according to a new report.
The study, conducted by environmental group Amazon Watch, found that American refineries processed 230,293 barrels of Amazon crude oil a day last year.
And California, despite its green reputation, refines an average of 170,978 barrels, or 7.2m gallons, of Amazon crude a day, with the Chevron facility in El Segundo accounting for 24% of the US total alone.

29 September 2016

Going green with the aviation industry
By Jeffrey Chatellier and Devan Wardwell, mongabay.com, 29 September 2016
The eyes of those who steward forests around the world are on the international aviation industry this October. Initiatives to protect and rehabilitate forests are massively underfunded, and the onslaught of deforestation continues. More than 46,000 square miles of forest are lost each year, the equivalent to 48 football fields every minute. Since 1990, the world’s forests have shrunk by an area roughly the size of South Africa.
Yet an opportunity exists to potentially transform how we conserve the world’s forests and position the international aviation sector as a model for green growth in the global economy.

Furniture that destroys forests: crackdown on ‘rampant’ trade in rosewood
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 29 September 2016
Governments have launched a crackdown on the rampant billion-dollar trade in rosewood timber that is plundering forests across the planet to feed a booming luxury furniture market in China.
The Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) summit on Thursday placed all 300 species of rosewood under trade restrictions, meaning criminals can no longer pass off illegally logged species as legitimate.
Rosewood is the world’s most trafficked wild product, according to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, accounting for a third of all seizures by value, more than elephant ivory, pangolins, rhino horn, lions and tigers put together.

Global warming to breach 2C limit by 2050 unless tougher action: study
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, 29 September 2016
Global warming is on track to breach a 2 degrees Celsius threshold by 2050 unless governments at least double their efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said on Thursday.
Plans by almost 200 governments to cut greenhouse gases are far too weak to match targets set in a Paris Agreement on climate change last December for a drastic shift from fossil fuels towards greener energies, they said.
“We’ve really got a problem,” Robert Watson, a British-American scientist who was among the seven authors of the study and is a former head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told Reuters.

India Wants Aviation Carbon Cap to Follow Paris Pact
By Soumya Sarkar, The Wire, 29 September 2016
India has proposed key changes in an international deal to restrain aviation emissions so that measures by International Civil Aviation Organisation are in line with the Paris pact on climate change.
Even as representatives from close to 200 nations meet in Montreal to hammer out a deal to contain aviation emissions, India has expressed its reservations on a global agreement unless some key concerns are addressed.
“(We’ll decide) once the nuts and bolts become clearer,” India’s aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju told Reuters in Montreal. “Until then, our fears are that it is not equitable.” Representatives from almost 200 countries are meeting in Montreal since Tuesday to negotiate an agreement for the first-ever global ceiling on carbon emissions from international flights.

[Indonesia] ‘Too Little, Too Late’ from APP on Sustainability
By Christopher Barr, Aidil Fitri, Marcel Silvius, Woro Supartinah, Ginger Cassady, and Syahrul Fitra, Triple Pundit, 29 September 2016
Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper producers, claims to have made a remarkable turnaround on sustainability. The company, owned by Indonesia’s Widjaja family, has a legacy of forest destruction, conflicts with hundreds of local communities, and an historic US$13.9 billion default on its corporate debt, the largest in emerging markets history.
Though the damage from that legacy persists, today APP receives a lot of positive attention for championing sustainability issues. Even the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) says it may re-engage with the company. FSC previously disassociated with the paper firm in October 2007 for “destructive forestry practices,” and a re-engagement would signal to conscientious commercial buyers that it may be okay to do business again with APP.

Fires driving deforestation in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem
mongabay.com, 29 September 2016
Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem lost 4,097 hectares of forest cover in the first six months of 2016, according to Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh (HAkA), an NGO. At the same time, 187 fire hotspots were recorded in the nationally protected area during the period.
“The hotspots overlay the forest cover loss in Aceh,” HAkA’s Agung Dwinurcahya said at a press conference in Jakarta. “For example, the high number of hotspots in Aceh Timur is the main contributor to deforestation in Aceh Timur.”
Leuser, home to one of the Southeast Asian country’s last great swaths of intact rainforest, lies in Indonesia’s westernmost Aceh and North Sumatra provinces. It’s the only place in the world where orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers coexist in the wild.

30 September 2016

Volunteers needed! Ensure ICAO’s global aviation climate measure works for people and planet
By James Beard, WWF-UK, 30 September 2016
Right now, 191 countries are in the final throes of negotiating a global climate agreement for the aviation sector. It’s happening at the Assembly of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. By far the majority of countries support the deal, which would require airlines to offset the industry’s growth in emissions from 2020. Already 63 countries have stepped up to participate in the “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation” (CORSIA) from day one – and we’re hoping for many more to come.
There are just a handful of countries pushing back against the agreement now. One of them is the Russian Federation, who yesterday claimed that the CORSIA will actually increase carbon emissions and sea level rise. As evidence they cited a statement claiming that the ICAO plan to “offset emissions will push global warming beyond 1.5°C”.
The statement raises genuine concerns about carbon offsetting, which WWF fully shares. Offsetting should only be pursued as a last resort, which is why it’s great news that 60% of Brits are willing to fly less to help tackle climate change. There is no shortage of bad news stories about carbon offsets that have either failed to reduce emissions or wrought havoc on sustainable development.

[Cambodia] Despite More Wood Seizures, Official Insists Logging Is Over
By Aun Pheap, 30 September 2016
Military police stopped five vehicles carrying large amounts of luxury and first-grade wood in three provinces this week, including a massive haul of more than 5,400 cubic meters of timber in Kratie province, officials said on Thursday.
National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said the confiscated wood was not freshly logged, however, and claimed that not a single tree had been illegally cut down since an anti-logging task force began its work in January.

[Guyana] EU workshop on advancing FLEGT VPA negotiations commences
Kaieteur News, 30 September 2016
The Georgetown Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) seminar commenced yesterday, under the theme: Sharing Regional Lesson on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) Processes.
Jocelyn Dow, Chair of the Board of the Directors, Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) said she sees the seminar as an opportunity to bring experiences and aspirations together. She added that all states have common and differentiated responsibilities to sustainable development.

1 October 2016

[Guyana] UK timber procurement restrictions threaten local forestry export
By Leonard Gildarie, Kaieteur News, 2 October 2016
Local logging companies are deeply worried about a major development that threatens its export market to the United Kingdom (UK).
Tomorrow, a high profile team of Government officials is set to meet stakeholders in a move designed to bring pressure on the UK authorities to reverse a decision by the Environment Agency which raises questions of sustainable logging practices in Guyana deriving from an apparent poor review process.
In effect, that decision has reduced the exports of Greenheart from Guyana to UK by more than half, local companies confirmed Friday.

A Curious Plan to Fight Climate Change: Buy Mines, Sell Coal
By Michael Corkery and Michael Wines, New York Times, 1 October 2016
The coal was piled about as high as it could go, spilling down to the railroad tracks and towering over the elevator shaft. A yellow bulldozer pushed the mound to make room for more. From a distance on this rainy day, the black heap looked like a giant whale about to swallow the mine whole.
The word underground was that Federal mine No. 2 would soon have to close. It was early April, and the mine was running out of storage space. There were not enough buyers for all the coal.
A few months earlier, this problem would have belonged to Patriot Coal, one of the nation’s largest coal companies, which used to operate the Federal mine, built near a meandering mountain stream called Miracle Run.
But this was not Patriot’s problem anymore. Nor was it the problem of the hedge funds and other investors that had lent the company millions.

2 October 2016

[Guyana] GFC responsible for decline in nation’s forest wealth –Bulkan
By Kiana Wilburg, Kaieteur News, 2 October 2016
For years, members of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and even the political opposition boasted that Guyana enjoys a high standing on the global platform for its low deforestation rates.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s Global Forest Resources estimate that Guyana’s deforestation rate has been negligible.
Significantly also, Guyana’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) declares that based on national estimates, Guyana’s deforestation rate up to end 2015, had peaked at only 0.079 per cent in 2012 and 0.065 per cent in 2014.

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