REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
April / May edition of the REDD+ Resource now available!
This edition of The REDD+ Resource includes a look into the true value of forests, the effectiveness of logging bans, inclusive agriculture green growth, updates from our partner countries and much more.
3 April 2017
The Green Economy and What It Means for Global Economics
By Kara Anderson, The McGill International Review, 3 April 2017
Climate change has recently dominated global affairs, as scientific studies have projected alarming and continual rises in global temperatures that affect long-term global sustainability. Long term sustainability is defined by a variety of factors, such as agricultural viability, water and air security, and biodiversity conservancy, and recent threats to these life-sustaining processes have fostered a variety of new global initiatives, such as the Paris Conference and an emerging new market for renewable energy sources. One of the most promising solutions, however, is the World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program that is changing the economics of environmental conservation.
EU carbon market emissions fall for sixth year, down 2.7 percent
By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, 3 April 2017
Emissions regulated under Europe’s carbon market fell for the sixth straight year in 2016, in part due to lower coal-fired power production, data published on Monday by the European Commission and examined by carbon analysts at Thomson Reuters showed.
Around 45 percent of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are regulated by the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the bloc’s flagship policy to cut emissions by charging for the right to emit carbon dioxide (CO2).
4 April 2017
We are heading for the warmest climate in half a billion years, says new study
By Gavin Foster, Dana Royer, and Dan Lunt, The Conversation, 4 April 2017
Carbon dioxide concentrations are heading towards values not seen in the past 200m years. The sun has also been gradually getting stronger over time. Put together, these facts mean the climate may be heading towards warmth not seen in the past half a billion years.
A lot has happened on Earth since 500,000,000BC – continents, oceans and mountain ranges have come and gone, and complex life has evolved and moved from the oceans onto the land and into the air. Most of these changes occur on very long timescales of millions of years or more. However, over the past 150 years global temperatures have increased by about 1℃, ice caps and glaciers have retreated, polar sea-ice has melted, and sea levels have risen.
How to stop deforestation: ‘Indigenous people are the best park rangers’
By Center for Global Development, The Guardian, 4 April 2017
1 | Stop subsidising agriculture that harms forests – Countries need to stop using outdated fiscal policies for agriculture. In some places, such as Brazil and Indonesia, the amount spent by their governments on subsidising agriculture is more than 100 times higher than the international funding provided to those countries for forest conservation. It sends out a contradictory message if a government is signing up to zero deforestation commitments on one hand, whilst simultaneously making deforestation more attractive to farmers.
REDD+ pioneers or guinea pigs?
By Suzanna Dayne, CIFOR Forests News, 4 April 2017
In 2012, Central Kalimantan was chosen as Indonesia’s pilot province for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). REDD+ is an ambitious effort to mitigate climate change and achieve other benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a series of incentives. To do this, projects are developed to improve forest management, increase conservation efforts and enhance forest carbon stocks. These projects involve multiple stakeholders, from central, provincial and district level governments to NGOs and local communities.
Scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and partner institutions looked at how the global environmental goals of REDD+ translated on the ground in Central Kalimantan. They found a number of underlying tensions among the local population that hampered the success of many projects.
Four firefighters killed in north China forest fire
Xinhua, 4 April 2017
Four firefighters were engulfed by a forest fire in north China’s Shanxi Province and were found dead on Monday, local authorities said Tuesday.
The fire broke out around noon on Monday in Wenjiazhuang Village of Taigu County, the county’s publicity office said.
The fire was put out late Monday. An initial investigation showed that it was caused by a villager, surnamed Cheng, who burned paper money when visiting relatives’ tombs before Tomb Sweeping Day.
[India] Uttarakhand to urge Centre to phase out stringent forest laws
By Deep Joshi, Hindustan Times, 4 April 2017
The Uttarakhand government will urge the Centre to make its forest laws less stringent so that it becomes easier for the locals to earn their forest-based livelihood, which would also prompt them to voluntarily conserve the green cover.
“We will soon put up a proposal before the central government to phase out, or, make less stringent all its harsh forest laws so that the forest-dependent people in this state face no difficulty in earning their livelihood,” state forest and wildlife minister Harak Singh Rawat told HT on Tuesday.
[India] Tendu patta gatherers set vast swathes of forest on fire in Gondia, Gadchiroli
By Bijay Pinjarkari, Times of India, 4 April 2017
Even as the forest department looks the other way, commercial interests over tendu patta has devastated thousands of hectares of forest in the state, the worst hit being tendu-dominated Gadchiroli and Gondia districts.
Even tall claims by Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act villages, joint forest management committees (JFMCs) and eco-development committees (EDCs) about protecting forests stand exposed as forests in Gadchiroli and Gondia are on fire.
[Pakistan] Afforestation campaigns need a reality check
By Munir Ahmed, Daily Times, 4 April 2017
Planting billions of saplings can do little to reverse the damage done by removing century old trees.
Last month, we celebrated International Forest Day to raise awareness about the importance of woodlands. Against the widespread campaign to increase forest conservation, Pakistan’s forest cover, however, still stands at a mere 1.9 percent.
The country has experienced ‘landmark’ deforestation over the last three decades because of the prevalence of timber and housing mafia working in connivance with political leaders and law enforcers. With the protectors of these valuable resources siding with nature’s enemies, who can be expected to monitor the ongoing deforestation?
5 April 2017
[UK] Company boss given ban on becoming a director after losing over £312k in an “unscrupulous” scheme
By John Lucas, Southend Standard, 5 April 2017
A company boss has been handed the maximum 15-year ban on being a director after members of the public lost more than £312,000 in an “unscrupulous” carbon credits scheme.
Russell Enright, 44, the director of SJL Risk Ltd, provided “trade execution and registry” services to boiler rooms selling voluntary emission reduction carbon credits (VERs) to members of the public.
The VERs were sold as an investment but the Insolvency Service ruled Enright, of Capadocia Street, Southend, should have known investors would lose their money.
6 April 2017
More large, high-intensity forest fires likely in coming years
By Christie Delfanian, Phys.org, 6 April 2017
When it comes to large, high-intensity forest fires, we can expect to see a lot more in the coming years, according to South Dakota State University professor Mark Cochrane, a senior scientist at the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence.
Using satellite data from 2002 to 2013, Cochrane and researchers from the University of Tasmania and the University of Idaho examined nearly 23,000 fires worldwide, identifying 478 large, high-intensity fires which they defined as extreme wildfire events. Their work is described in the Feb. 2017 issue of Nature Ecology and Evolution.
The growing case for conservation finance
By Mark Nicholls, Environmental Finance, 6 April 2017
It’s widely understood that a large gulf exists between the need for funding to protect the world’s vulnerable ecosystems, and the volume of funding that is changing hands. It is also understood that most of this money, to date, has come from public or philanthropic sources, often in the form of grants. What is less well understood is that environmental NGOs, entrepreneurs and financiers are constructing business models, projects and investment vehicles that are combining conservation outcomes with competitive commercial returns, and which are beginning to attract mainstream investors.
“There is a paradigm shift underway in the market,” says Gautier Queru, Paris-based investment director at Mirova, a subsidiary of Natixis Global Asset Management, which is raising a fund aimed at addressing land degradation. “Financial institutions are starting to seize the opportunity that exists in investing in conservation and natural capital.”
[Chile] Living Planet: Rethinking trees post fires
By Jane Chambers, DW, 6 April 2017
This year Chile suffered from one of the worst forest fires in the country’s history. Eleven people were killed and more than 500,000 hectares were destroyed. Now, as the ashes settle, locals are deciding how best to re-shape their future against the backdrop of climate change and a monoculture of pine trees and eucalyptus.
Successful Colombian rainforest project exposes problems with carbon emissions trading
By Bart Crezee, Mongabay, 6 April 2017
Ferney Caicedo, a trained forest ranger, is slipping and sliding over the forest path while he leads a horse and a group of four other people up a hill. Rain from the night before has made the wooded slopes almost impossible to ascend. The humidity is high. Sweat drips constantly from underneath Caicedo’s cap. This is the tropical rainforest in the extreme northwest of Colombia.
This is familiar terrain to Caicedo. On a clear day, he says that you can see the Caribbean Sea from atop the peak he is now climbing. In the other direction lies the border with Panama, somewhere in the impenetrable jungle of the isthmus connecting North and South America. Known as the Darién Gap, it runs between Colombia and Panama and is made up of marshland, mountains, and tropical rainforest. It’s the only still-unfinished part of the famous Pan-American Highway, which will someday connect North and South America. Although there have been plans to complete the road for years, so far the impenetrable jungle, as well as several rebel groups hiding out in it, have made it impossible.
No haze for Singapore this year from Sumatran fires: Governor
By Siau Ming En, Today Online, 6 April 2017
Despite forecasts of a hotter and longer dry season, the Governor of South Sumatra has pledged that Singapore and the region will not experience haze arising from forest fires in the Indonesian province this year.
“This year is more dangerous than 2015 because the dry season is longer and … quite hot compared with 2015. But I guarantee there is no fire, there is no haze,” said Governor Alex Noerdin during a panel discussion at the Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources on Thursday (April 6). It was organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
7 April 2017
Bringing the rainforest to the dance floor
By David Gaveau, Alex Joy, and Halim Asad Ardie, CIFOR Forests News, 7 April 2017
In an unlikely alliance, DJs, scientists and more teamed up at the recent Wonderfruit festival in Thailand to make nature conservation more appealing to the younger generation.
The Rainforest Pavilion, an immersive art installation hosted by musicians Alex Joy and Halim Ardie of the Joy Collective, invited scientists, activists, filmmakers, financiers, artists, wellness specialists and social entrepreneurs to explore the values of rainforests and what the average person can do to help conserve them.
Brexit could exacerbate EU ETS supply glut in short term, researchers warn
By Madeleine Cuff, Business Green, 7 April 2017
New analysis from Thomson Reuters’ Point Carbon suggests UK exit from trading scheme could spark a surge in UK firms offloading emissions allowances.
The prospect of a UK exit from the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) could increase the supply glut already plaguing Europe’s carbon market, according to new research from Thomson Reuters’ energy analysts Point Carbon.
Initial research by the Point Carbon team – shared with BusinessGreen ahead of its publication later this month – suggest UK firms will look to offload their unused allowances over the next few years in anticipation of a UK exit from the EU ETS in 2020, when the market’s third trading period is set to end.
[Philippines] NBI files rap vs British nationals running boiler room operations
By Tech Torres-Tupas, Inquirer, 7 April 2017
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed a criminal case against three British nationals involved in boiler room operations.
Facing a case for violation of the Securities Regulation Code in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 are Andrew Robson, Graham Allan Bennet and Dominic Whellams, Plustel Solutions Inc. consultant, trainer and IT expert, respectively.
The NBI also arrested 35 other Filipino personnel who were caught in the act of selling securities.
[USA] State Appeals Court Affirms California’s Cap-And-Trade Program To Cut Carbon
By Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 7 April 2017
A California appeals court upheld on Thursday the state’s free market plan to cut carbon — one that facilitates companies buying and selling credits amongst each other to try and limit greenhouse gases.
The California Chamber of Commerce has alleged that the so-called cap-and-trade program is merely an illegal tax on businesses that has forced some companies to move across state lines. But the target of the suit, the California Air Resources Board that voted unanimously in October 2011 to enact the program, has said that it is carrying out the will of state legislators and that it is healthier for both the economy and the environment.
8 April 2017
Singapore Lauds Indonesia’s Efforts in Handling Forest Fires
Tempo, 8 April 2017
Countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are contributing to achieving a smoke-free zone by 2020, and Indonesia has taken countermeasures to handle land and forest fires in several hotspots during 2016.
“Indonesia has taken positive steps in addressing several hotspots during the past year. In 2016, there were hundreds of hotspots. This number decreased as compared to that in 2015 during which the number of hotspots had reached several thousand,” Singaporean Minister of Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli stated at the 4th Singapore Dialogue for a Sustainable World Resources in Singapore on Thursday (Apr 6).