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REDD in the news: 23-29 January 2017

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

23 January 2017

We are destroying rainforests so quickly they may be gone in 100 years
By John Vidal, The Guardian, 23 January 2017
If you want to see the world’s climate changing, fly over a tropical country. Thirty years ago, a wide belt of rainforest circled the earth, covering much of Latin America, south-east Asia and Africa. Today, it is being rapidly replaced by great swathes of palm oil trees and rubber plantations, land cleared for cattle grazing, soya farming, expanding cities, dams and logging.
People have been deforesting the tropics for thousands of years for timber and farming, but now, nothing less than the physical transformation of the Earth is taking place. Every year about 18m hectares of forest – an area the size of England and Wales – is felled. In just 40 years, possibly 1bn hectares, the equivalent of Europe, has gone. Half the world’s rainforests have been razed in a century, and the latest satellite analysis shows that in the last 15 years new hotspots have emerged from Cambodia to Liberia. At current rates, they will vanish altogether in 100 years.

Can Emissions Trading Produce Adequate Carbon Prices?
By Adam Whitmore, The Energy Collective, 23 January 2017
Prices under emissions trading schemes have been low to date. Sometimes this may be because systems are new, but the EUETS is long established and needs to demonstrate that it can now produce adequate prices.
Prices under emissions trading systems around the world have so far remained low. The chart below shows carbon pricing systems arranged in order in increasing price, with prices on the vertical axis shown against the cumulative volume covered on the horizontal axis. Carbon taxes are shown in purple, emissions trading systems in green. It is striking that all of the higher prices are from carbon taxes, rather than emissions trading systems.

Big business launches new data alliance on deforestation
By Robin Hicks, Eco-Business, 23 January 2017
Companies with a combined value of US$2.9 trillion have formed a data alliance to help them push deforestation out of their supply chains.
A deal brokered by the World Resources Institute (WRI) at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday saw 20 of the world’s biggest corporations such as retail giants Carrefour and Walmart and snacks firms Mondelez International and Mars agree to deploy a monitoring framework to increase the transparency and traceability of the raw materials they use, such as palm oil, soy and cocoa.

Forests ‘held their breath’ during global warming hiatus, research shows
Phys.org, 23 January 2017
Global forest ecosystems, widely considered to act as the lungs of the planet, ‘held their breath’ during the most recent occurrence of a warming hiatus, new research has shown.
The international study examined the full extent to which these vital ecosystems performed as a carbon sink from 1998-2012 – the most recent recorded period of global warming slowdown.

Time to get it together on mitigation and adaptation
By Yoly Gutierrez, CIFOR Forests News, 23 January 2017
To combat climate change, one can avoid it via mitigation, or cope with it via adaptation. Even though these objectives are two sides of the same coin, their synergies and conflicts tend to be overlooked.
“Because of the way international negotiations and national policies have separated adaptation from mitigation, two different communities of practices have emerged and they don’t talk to each other,” says Bruno Locatelli, a scientist working for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and CIRAD, a French research institute specializing in international agricultural and development issues.

Forest fires in Chile kill 3, scorch 500 square miles
By Andrew V. Pestano, UPI, 23 January 2017
Chile’s Ministry of Interior and Public Safety said Monday three people have died in fires that have consumed nearly 500 square miles of forest.
The agency, known as ONEMI, said there are 43 active fires, while 39 have been brought under control in the South American country’s Valparaíso, Maule, Bío Bío, La Araucanía, Los Lagos, O’Higgins, Metropolitana de Santiago and Los Ríos administrative divisions.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency in the affected regions.

[Indonesia] Jokowi Expects to See Fewer Forest Fires This Year
Tempo, 23 January 2017
President Joko “Joko Widodo” Widodo has called for fewer forest fires in 2017. Jokowi referred to peatland fires in 2015 that hurt both the economy and people’s health.
“I think everybody remembers the fires in 2015, we were struggling,” Jokowi said in his opening address in a meeting on forest fires at the State Palace on Monday, January 23, 2017.
Jokowi said that the government will step up preventive measures to avoid recurrence of forest fires.
The President has lauded the successful attempts to lower the amount of land burned as of December 2016 by 83.21 percent compared to 2015. Some 2.6 million hectares of land were burned in 2015.

Indonesian President instructs authorities to prepare early for forest fires this year
By Saifulbahri Ismail, Channel News Asia, 23 January 2017
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged all relevant authorities to be ready to fight any forest fires this year.
Speaking at a coordination meeting on the issue on Monday (Jan 23), Mr Widodo reminded those present about the devastation in 2015. Swathes of land were destroyed and the air quality was one of the worst on record, affecting not only Indonesia but also several countries in Southeast Asia. Indonesian authorities spent about 1 trillion rupiah (US$74 million) to tackle the fires.
“I believe we all remember about the fires in 2015. We were really in disarray. But, the fires were already too big, all our efforts were in vain,” said Mr Widodo at the State Palace.

[USA] Senate and House aim to cut funding to U.N.
By Tom Murphy, Humanosphere, 23 January 2017
A pair of legislative bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate seek to punish the United Nations after the passage of a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.
The Senate version would withhold funding until the resolution is repealed. The House bill goes further and paves the way for the U.S. to leave the United Nations.

24 January 2017

Do they work? – forest interventions intended to improve livelihoods
IUCN, 24 January 2017
People and forests are connected. Study after study confirms this linkage, and it is known that hundreds of millions of rural people around the world either derive a portion of their livelihoods from the forest or are deeply dependant on forests in some way. Unlike measuring benefits from agricultural practices or other directly quantifiable economic metrics, measuring the benefits that people derive from forests is complicated and variable, and can make for uneven benefits calculations.

UN Leaders Highlight Climate, Sustainability, Human Rights at WEF
By Delia Paul, IISD, 24 January 2017
UN leaders attending the 47th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland highlighted current threats to businesses from megatrends such as population growth, migration, climate change and water scarcity, while numerous sessions showcased solutions and examples of leadership in tackling such challenges.
Convening under the theme, ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership,’ the WEF drew over 3,000 participants from almost 100 countries.

Increasing accountability in the Paris Agreement
By Niki De Sy, CIFOR Forests News, 24 January 2017
Many countries have included agriculture, forestry and other land use targets in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to fight climate change as part of the Paris Agreement.
The land use sector is particularly important because it holds many links to food security, economy, well being, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This sector is also unique because of its huge carbon sink potential. In developing countries, land use change (i.e. deforestation) and agriculture are often the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

New Guidance Pushes Transparency, Collaboration To Scrub Forest Loss From Palm Oil Supply Chains
By Kelli Barrett, Ecosystem Marketplace, 24 January 2017
In an effort to improve­ corporate transparency on responsible palm oil to better understand practices at the ground level, a motley consortium released a guidance document today, which aims to establish “better practice” reporting for companies throughout the palm oil supply chain.
“We’ve got all these really ambitious commitments that have a lot of potential to transform the palm oil industry,” says Noah Klein-Markman, a Senior Associate for Sustainable Agriculture at Ceres, the sustainability organization that spearheaded the guidance’s development. “Yet in terms of what’s happening on the ground, we’re not seeing progress as fast as we could and we’re also seeing somewhat inconsistent reporting across companies.”

Video: Wildfires destroy a million hectares of land in Argentina
AP, 24 January 2017
Wildfires continue to rage across several provinces in Argentina, devastating one and half million hectares since the fires started in late in December, according to local authorities.
Amateur footage obtained by the Associated Press showed forest fires and large plumes of smoke billowing into the air just outside Bernasconi in La Pampa Province.
Unusually high temperatures accompanied by strong and dry winds have fanned the fires destroying swathes of farmland across the region.

EU Said to Spare Foreign Flights From Carbon Curbs Through 2020
By Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg, 24 January 2017
The European Union will propose extending an exemption on foreign flights from its carbon market until 2020 after nations worldwide reached a historic deal last year to introduce a global system to curb the growth of emissions from airlines.
The European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, will probably present a draft law on Feb. 3 sparing carriers, ranging from Delta Air Lines Inc. to Air China Ltd., the need to pay for emissions from flights into and out of the region for an extra four years, according to an EU official with knowledge of the matter. The current exemption, which began in 2012, would expire this year unless renewed.

Guyana focuses deforestation prevention efforts on conservation and management
By Gaulbert Sutherland, mongabay.com, 24 January 2017
Old and omnipresent, Guyana’s forests earn money for the country just by remaining standing. Boasting an intact forest landscape percentage that’s among the highest in the world, the country’s forests dominate the landscape, housing a world of table-topped mountains, rare creatures, valuable wood and precious minerals.
Perched on part of the ancient Guiana Shield on the northeastern coast of South America, trees cover Guyana like a blanket with 85 percent of the country shrouded by forests, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Almost 90 percent of Guyana’s population of about 750,000 lives on a narrow coastal strip. Thus trees covering an area bigger than England have stood largely undisturbed by human activity for centuries.

[India] Alarming rise in forest fires in J&K
State Times, 24 January 2017
Even though the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing unprecedented increase in the incidents of forest fires in comparison to previous years the funds allocated for forest fire management are dwindling.
Ironically, the funds sanctioned for the purpose have not even been spent to contain the forest fires in time.
According to the Minister-in-charge Forest Department, Rs 10.50 lakh were released for forest fire management in 2016-17 but only Rs 1.13 lakh were spent during the same period.
According to him, 781 incidents of forest fire were reported till December 2016. Out of these 289 fire incidents were reported in Kashmir while 492 incidents were reported in Jammu region affecting 2556.319 hectares of area.

Indonesia’s Riau province declares state of emergency to combat haze
Channel News Asia, 24 January 2017
Indonesia’s fire-prone Riau province declared a state of emergency on Tuesday (Jan 24), the disaster mitigation agency said, after President Joko Widodo urged regional authorities to avoid a repeat of fires that smothered Southeast Asia in haze in 2015.
Indonesia faces global pressure to put an end to slash-and-burn land clearances for palm and pulp plantations which send clouds of toxic smoke over the region each year.

Indonesian government remains vigilant on forest fires
By Haeril Halim and Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, 24 January 2017
While praising last year’s success in curbing land and forest fires, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has told regional heads to remain watchful in their respective regions and demanded the expansion of fire-prevention initiatives.
Jokowi reminded the dozens of regents, mayors and administrations from haze-prone regions he convened at the State Palace on Monday not to repeat “the mistakes of 2015”.
The fire season of 2015 saw the nation’s worst-ever haze crisis, which angered neighboring Singapore and Malaysia and caused Rp 221 trillion in economic losses to the country, an amount equal to 1.9 percent of national GDP in that year.

[USA] A Betrayal of the Public Interest
By Rhea Suh, Natural Resources Defense Council, 24 January 2017
President Trump fired a broadside at the nation’s environment and health on Tuesday, striking out, in the process, at the public’s right to know what our government is doing. Please join me in telling him that this all-out assault on our common values and basic rights will not stand.
In a presidential memorandum, Trump revived long-dormant Republican efforts to force the Keystone XL dirty tar sands pipeline down our throats. He invited the Canadian oil giant TransCanada to reapply for permission to build the pipeline and gave the U.S. State Department 60 days to determine whether the project is in our national interest.

25 January 2017

Reducing Risks, Ending Deforestation
By David McLaughlin, WWF, 25 January 2017
In a global movement to protect the world’s tropical forests, countless companies, governments, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations have committed to ending deforestation. Many include the world’s largest food companies who have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their agricultural supply chains, including from the production of palm oil. While this international ambition shows great promise, the challenge now rests with finding a way to ensure that these commitments are successfully implemented.
Fortunately, the increased availability of publicly available spatial data from satellite imagery and other sources has revolutionized the way the world sees and can respond to deforestation. Platforms such as Global Forest Watch (GFW) have extended the accessibility of global datasets to track deforestation in near real-time, and carry with them new possibilities to better protect forests.

Exxon Praises ‘Monumental’ Paris Agreement in Signal to Trump
By Vrian Parkin and Tino Andresen, Bloomberg, 25 January 2017
Exxon Mobil Corp., the U.S. oil giant that’s facing investigations over what it knew and when about climate change, sees the Paris agreement to mitigate global warming as a “monumental” achievement, according to a top executive.
The company supports the December 2015 Paris accord as a “very meaningful and constructive process,” William M. Colton, Exxon’s vice president for corporate strategic planning, said in an interview in Berlin on Wednesday. Adhering to the accord’s commitments are achievable and compatible with Exxon’s business strategy, he said.

Dramatic acceleration in loss of wild forest
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 25 January 2017
Here is how to turn a forest into a carbon-consuming machine that will help contain global warming. Leave it alone. Let it grow. Do not log it. It will sequester only so much carbon, but there are sure to be other benefits, according to some fresh thinking by a distinguished plant ecologist.
And is the world listening? Probably not. The planet’s stock of natural wild woodland – the technical term is intact forest landscape – which protects biodiversity, stores carbon and manages the water supply, is dwindling.
A new study calculates that the area of intact forest landscape shrank over the first 13 years of this century by almost 1 million square kilometres, and the rate of loss has accelerated dramatically in the most recent three years.

[Cambodia] Carbon-Credit Conservation Deal Reached for Cardamoms
By Aisha Down, The Cambodia Daily, 25 January 2017
The southern Cardamom Mountains have been targeted for a carbon-credit scheme that would put a monetary value on the rainforests’ potential impact on climate change in an effort to spur and fund their preservation.
The government, in partnership with the NGO Wildlife Alliance, agreed on Tuesday to develop the program, which would fall under the auspices of a U.N.-backed effort to encourage companies and governments to pay to maintain forests, according to officials and staff of Wildlife Alliance.

[Cambodia] Carbon deal a windfall for wildlife
Khmer Times, 25 January 2017
The Environment Ministry signed an agreement yesterday which will let the government sell carbon credits and plow the money into conservation at the Southern Cardamom National Park and Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary.
The 460,000-hectare forest in Koh Kong province is home to all of Cambodia’s endangered mammals, the Asian elephant, Indochinese tiger, clouded leopard, Asiatic black bear, Malayan sun bear, the humpback dolphin and the Irrawaddy dolphin.

The forests of Central Africa: A source of wealth to be rediscovered
By Guillaume Lescuyer, CIFOR Forests News, 25 January 2017
Although Cameroon has benefitted from sustainable forest management in the past 20 years and has a relatively well-preserved forest cover today, its forests are under increased pressure due to expanding agro-industrial exploitation, shifting cultivation, infrastructure construction and logging.
A recently published study aims to provide an updated estimate of the economic benefits of forest resources in Cameroon to inform policymakers on the financial advantages of forest management and the opportunity costs of deforestation.

747 Supertanker drops on its first fire in Chile
Fire Aviation, 25 January 2017
On its first day in Chile the 747 SuperTanker made two drops on a wildfire but had to abort working on two other targets due to dense smoke over the fires.
After arriving in Santiago at sunrise on Wednesday the pilots went to a hotel to get the required rest before they were allowed to get back in the cockpit.

India is grossly unprepared for impending climate change and worsening monsoons
By Rashme Sehgal, Firest Post, 25 January 2017
For the first time in its history, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had given a winter forecast for 2016-17 warning that winter temperatures would be higher than usual.
IMD chief KJ Ramesh said, “The winter will be above normal at the country level this year with North India having lesser cold waves.” The weather office has hit the nail on the head because temperatures across the sub-continent are already much higher than usual. Mumbai temperature on Tuesday (January 24) was 36 degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal. The situation is no better in the south. Mysore known for its cool winters is already bracing itself for summer with temperatures eight degrees higher than normal. South India has long put the Vardah cyclone behind it with temperatures in some cities touching 38 degrees Celsius.

[USA] Trump Prepares Orders Aiming at Global Funding and Treaties
By Max Fisher, New York Times, 25 January 2017
The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties.
The first of the two draft orders, titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” and obtained by The New York Times, calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria.

[USA] President Trump’s Rejection of Science Represents a Threat to National Security
By Eric Holthaus, Pacific Standard, 25 January 2017
When Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last summer, climate observers held their collective breath. Beyond his tweets, Trump hadn’t addressed the climate issue often on the campaign trail, so his intentions were a bit murky. The Sierra Club raised perhaps the loudest objections, warning that, if elected, Trump would be the only head of state in the world who actively believed that climate change was a hoax: Not only did Trump believe that climate change not caused by human activity—he said it was a total fiction, intentionally crafted to hurt the American economy.

26 January 2017

Learning Session 48: Forest and REDD+ highlights from COP22
WWF, 26 January 2017
Though forests did not have a formal agenda item in the climate negotiations at Marrakech, COP22 was crucial to maintaining international forest momentum. Labelled the ‘action COP,’ COP22 saw broad support for forests from governments, Indigenous Peoples, and the private sector, and showcased economic and development transformations that are already underway.
In this learning session, Josefina Braña-Varela and Karen Petersen, of WWF Forest and Climate, will review forest and REDD+ highlights from COP22, and discuss next steps and priorities for forest and climate.
They will also present a draft version of an upcoming publication “Mapping REDD+: A visual guide to UNFCCC decisions,” an all-inclusive resource for REDD+ negotiators, practitioners, policy makers, and funders.

Decoding Cameroon’s domestic timber trade
By Leona Liu, CIFOR Forests News, 26 January 2017
Verdant Cameroon boasts 20 million hectares of forest- nearly half of its national territory. It is Africa’s largest exporter of tropical hardwood to the European Union, most of which is sawn timber destined for Italy and Spain.
Though its reputation as an international timber exporter is well-known, its domestic timber market and trade have been documented only recently.
Cameroon’s national forest policies tend to ignore its existence, with no official data collected to assess 
the sector’s economic, environmental and social impacts, making the State the main loser in the growth of this informal sector.

Cambodia: Communities key to forest conservation
Cultural Survival, 26 January 2017
On January 11, 2017, the government of Cambodia signed a $1.5-million deal to launch the planning phase of a REDD+ carbon trading project involving Prey Lang forest, the largest remaining lowland evergreen forest on the Indochinese peninsula and home to approximately 200,000 Indigenous people.
REDD+ is a UN framework where investors can purchase carbon credits from developing country’s intact forests, effectively paying for the maintenance of forests based on how much carbon they prevent from entering the atmosphere. In the case of Prey Lang, the credits will be based on how much projected forest loss can be prevented.
However, REDD+ has been criticized by Indigenous Peoples globally for failing to channel funds in a way that benefits the local communities who have stewarded these forests and are responsible for their continued biodiversity.

Deadly wildfire razes entire town in Chile: ‘Literally like Dante’s Inferno’
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 26 January 2017
An entire town has been consumed by flames in Chile as unusually hot, dry weather undermined efforts to combat the worst forest fires in the country’s recent history.
More than 1,000 buildings, including schools, nurseries, shops and a post office were destroyed in Santa Olga, the biggest of several communities to be reduced to ashes in the Maule region.

Protecting Ghana’s tropical forest
Deutsche Welle, 26 January 2017
Extensive deforestation in Ghana has prompted the emergence of a program to raise awareness of the problem and train rural communities to set up their own legal milling businesses.

British businessman Tony Kenway shot in Thailand ‘ran Wolf of Wall Street-style boiler room scam that tricked Brits out of millions of pounds’
By Laura Burnip and Rick Dewsbury, The Sun, 26 January 2017
A Brit businessman executed in broad daylight in Thailand was the kingpin of a sprawling ‘Wolf of Wall Street’-style call centre scam that tricked Brits and Australians out of millions of pounds, police said.
Tony Kenway, 39, was shot through the head as he climbed inside his top-of-the range Porsche Cayenne after leaving the gym on Tuesday morning.

[USA] Innovative deal sees permanent retirement of coal reserves while securing long-term income for Chugach community via forest carbon market
New Forests press release, 26 January 2016
A groundbreaking new deal was announced today that has secured the sale and permanent retirement of an Alaskan coal field, while also ensuring long-term income for an Alaskan Native community.
The deal will see the Chugach Alaska Corporation (Chugach) sell its Bering River coal rights to New Forests, a sustainable forestry and conservation investment manager. New Forests will retire those rights by transferring them to The Nature Conservancy and the local Native Conservancy land trust, while generating revenue through the California cap-and-trade carbon market.
The transaction illustrates how land can be managed in a way that yields both financial and environmental benefits. It also provides an investment model that shows how conservation finance can create new opportunities for landowners, investors and non-profit partners seeking to balance long-term land stewardship and development.

27 January 2017

New Guidance Pushes Transparency, Collaboration To Scrub Forest Loss From Palm Oil Supply Chains
By John C. Cannon, mongabay.com, 27 January 2017
Sometimes for a scientist, the disconnected pieces of years of research come together in a single, “really awesome” point in time.
For ecologist Greg Asner, where it happened was about as important as the epiphany itself.
“I was almost on the Ecuador-Peru border, way up the Rio Tigre, and we had the moment,” said Asner, who heads the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) in Stanford, California. “We were days and days away from the rest of the world.”
It was the summer of 2015, and he and a pair of botanists had just connected the sampling they had done from CAO’s state-of-the-art research plane with their shoe-leather, on-the-ground observations of forests in the Peruvian Amazon.
They had measured the chemical signatures of different tree communities from high above. From those measurements, it seemed that the sea of uniform green they had flown over represented in reality an assortment of distinct growth and survival strategies.

[Australia] Gold Coast boiler room accused freed on $50,000 bail
By Greg Stolz and Jack McKay, Herald Sun, 27 January 2017
A man accused of running a multimillion-dollar Gold Coast “boiler room” scam has been freed on $50,000 bail.
Police allege Tomas Anthony Novak, 51, duped victims from across Australia out of $3.2 million in cold call investment schemes.
Novak appeared in Southport Magistrates Court yesterday charged with five counts of fraud after being extradited from South Australia following a 26-month investigation by the Queensland police Fraud Squad.

Carbon certification process launched in DRC
By Milly W. Maina, Footprint to Africa, 27 January 2017
Virunga National Park and Africa’s leading carbon finance group, Aera Group have launched a VCS carbon certification process for Matebe hydro-power plant, offering the possibility for further carbon certification in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
VCS is the world’s first voluntary Greenhouse Gas Program whose carbon certification process is an effective and transparent tool in tracking and accounting the CO2 performance of clean energy projects.
Matebe hydro-power plant is part of the Virunga Alliance, a wider investment plan by the Virunga Foundation to provide access to energy for four million people who live and work in and around the Virunga National Park.

[UK] Fresh row about pollution from Heathrow expansion
By Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 27 January 2017
The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has ignited a fresh row about plans for a third Heathrow runway by suggesting ministers might ignore the government’s official climate change advisers’ recommendations on the project.
The Committee on Climate Change, a statutory body that advises governments on meeting the UK’s greenhouse gas targets, has for years said aviation emissions need to stay at 2005 levels until 2050 to meet those goals — advice past governments have accepted.

28 January 2017

[India] Tiger sanctuaries gear up to fight forest fires
Times of India, 28 January 2017
Nagarahole and Bandipura Tiger Sanctuary authorities are bracing for more fires ahead of summer, especially in the wake of one such accident recently. Officials claim they’re prepared to prevent and tackle anyemergency.
Nagarahole and Bandipura have the highest number of tigers in India but a few pockets are vulnerable to fire accidents during the dry season. Five years ago, a major fire devastated core areas of Nagarahole and destroyed nearly 6,000 acres. Forest officials believe all fire accidents in the forest are acts of sabotage and protecting the thick forest from such incidents has become a major challenge for them.

[India] Short spell of rain brings relief from forest fires in Bandipur
By R. Krishna Kumar, The Hindu, 28 January 2017
A spell of unseasonal rain in the last two days in Bandipur National Park has provided temporary reprieve from forest fires. But this will do little to ease drinking water scarcity in Bandipur, which is going through one of the worst drought in recent memory with 321 out of 373 waterbodies having dried up.
While the rainfall on Friday was moderate to heavy, it was uniformly spread across the tiger reserve and is a welcome respite whose affect may last about a week.

[Myanmar] Govt launches UN-backed forestry scheme
By Kyaw Myo, Eleven, 28 January 2017
The Ministry of Resources and Environmental Conservation has unveiled its US$5.5-million United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme. The launch took place at the Thingaha Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw and was attended by Ohn Win, the minister of resources.
Myanmar ranks third in forestry depletion in the world. The programme is being partly funded by Norway and will run until 2020.
The programme will promote organisations working to protect woodland and the sustainable development of forests.
It will also provide the necessary technical and management systems.
“In Myanmar, 44 per cent of land was covered by forests. Our forests play a vital role in the reduction of climate change and this programme will help protect existing forests and upgrade low-quality forests,” said Ohn Myint.

29 January 2017

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  1. Hi Chris
    Really impressed by your REDD Monitor. The range and detail of your coverage is amazing. No idea how you manage it. Hope you have an army of people and lots of funding, but suspect not! Showed Florian’s Kalimantan forest roadtrip film to some students as part of a seminar and enjoyed your comments in that too.I’m sort of back after a long break from forest/Indonesia/IP issues. Now doing a (very late) PhD at UEA. Due to go out to Indonesia soon for short visit to try to sort out a study visa. Would be good to hear from you if you have a moment, but keep up the good work!