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REDD in the news: 30 October – 5 November 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.

30 October 2017

Record surge in atmospheric CO2 seen in 2016
By Matt McGrath, BBC News, 30 October 2017
Concentrations of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere surged to a record high in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Last year’s increase was 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years.
Researchers say a combination of human activities and the El Niño weather phenomenon drove CO2 to a level not seen in 800,000 years.
Scientists say this risks making global temperature targets largely unattainable.

Understanding COP 23: On the international politics of climate change
Demand Climate Justice, 30 October 2017
The current decade has already seen three consecutive record-breaking years for global temperatures. While 2014, 2015, and 2016 coincided with the El Niño phenomenon, 2017 does not — yet is still on course to end as one of the three hottest years on record.
The impacts of current levels of climate change were felt throughout 2017 as a spate of hurricanes tormented the Caribbean on their way to causing further destruction in the United States. Elsewhere, climate change supercharged the monsoons in India, resulting in flooding across the subcontinent that left thousands dead and tens of thousands displaced, while forest fires raged in Europe and across North America and a severe drought brought famine to East Africa, affecting over 20 million people.

Climate finance failing on forest protection
By Lou Del Bello, SciDev.Net, 30 October 2017
Climate finance, while efficient in sectors such as renewable energy, is not effective in protecting increasingly threatened forests or the rights of their inhabitants, a new report shows.
“It’s just so much easier to put money into wind farms,” Charlotte Streck, director of the advisory company Climate Focus, says during the launch of the report (24 October) in London attended by a delegation of indigenous leaders from Brazil, Indonesia and other developing countries. “You have energy projects worth hundreds of million dollars that are easy to invest in, easy to assess and whose results are measurable.”

The Difficult Discussion on Cambodia’s Forests
By Tyler Roney, The Diplomat, 30 October 2017
At the beginning of the year, Cambodia’s Environment Ministry found itself in a quarrel with U.S. space agency NASA over forest coverage.
Satellite data compiled by the University of Maryland stated that Cambodia experienced one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, with an annual forest loss rate of 14.4 percent. The data video from the NASA Earth Observatory showed the startling uptick in forest removal in dramatic images. The Environment Ministry claimed that it was an attempt by NASA at “incitement” and of “confusing the public with the desire to criticize the government.”
Again, earlier this month, The Phnom Penh Post reported that data from the University of Maryland showed at 30 percent spike in forest cover loss in 2016 over the year before. And, again, the Environment Ministry accused the report of being politically motivated an accused The Post of “exaggerated” reporting.

Scientists confirm presence of peatlands in Democratic Republic of Congo
Greenpeace Africa press release, 30 October 2017
Scientist have confirmed the presence of peatlands in the Democratic Republic of Congo after an expedition in the village of Lokolama (45 km from Mbandaka – capital of the province of Equateur in the Democratic Republic of Congo).
The first Congo Basin peatlands map was published in January 2017, in the journal Nature,[1] using data from the Republic of Congo. The search for peat in Democratic Republic of Congo began with the expedition to Lokolama, confirming the presence of peat, with a discovery of peat to a depth of 3.5 metres.

Touton teams with Cocobod to tackle forest devastation in Ghana
By Oliver Nieburg, Confectionary News, 30 October 2017
Cocoa trader Touton has partnered with Ghanaian government agency Cocobod to curb deforestation in Ghana, where cocoa is the main driver of 3.2% of protected forest loss each year.
The parties this month launched a project aiming to achieve a deforestation-free cocoa landscape in the Juabeso and Bia Districts of Western Ghana and to develop a market for climate-smart cocoa beans.
The ‘Partnership for Productivity Protection and Resilience in Cocoa Landscapes (PPRCL)’ project is in collaboration with The Ghana Forestry Commission, Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute, Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) and SNV-Netherlands Development Organization.

31 October 2017

UN warns of ‘unacceptable’ greenhouse gas emissions gap
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 31 October 2017
There is still a large gap between the pledges by governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the reductions scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous levels of climate change, the UN has said.
Current plans from national governments, and pledges made by private sector companies and local authorities across the world, would lead to temperature rises of as much as 3C or more by the end of this century, far outstripping the goal set under the 2015 Paris agreement to hold warming to 2C or less, which scientists say is the limit of safety.

Prepare for a world 3°C warmer in 80 years
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 31 October 2017
Governments should accept that we shall probably be living in a world 3oC warmer than it is today by the end of this century unless they urgently step up the speed at which they cut greenhouse gases, a United Nations assessment says.
As things stand, the UN says, even fully implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement (concluded in 2015) will deliver only one third of what is needed for the world to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
It will make “a temperature increase of at least 3 oC by 2100 very likely” – meaning that governments need to deliver much stronger pledges when they are revised in 2020.

Is the Forest Stewardship Council going to stay ‘fit for purpose’ for this century?
By Grant Rosoman (Greenpeace), Mongabay, 31 October 2017
Held every three years, the General Assembly (GA) is supposed to be the top Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) platform for decision-making. The idea is that members of the three FSC chambers — social, environmental, and economic — come together to shape the future of the certification system by discussing and voting on motions that fundamentally affect the way FSC is run. But is that really still the case?
Reflecting on the recent General Assembly in Vancouver, held earlier this month, has me questioning whether FSC is going to stay fit for purpose for this century, or whether it is going to be held back by misguided economic self-interest.

Robert Nasi: Changing the way forests and forestry are perceived
By Leona Liu, CIFOR Forests News, 31 October 2017
From 1 November 2017, Dr. Robert Nasi is taking on the role of Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Dr. Nasi is no newcomer to CIFOR, having been with the Center for more than 20 years, holding a variety of research and senior management roles, most recently as Deputy Director General for Research. In conversation with Forests News, he speaks about his decades of experience with CIFOR and in tropical forestry research, and lays out plans for the future.

The Largest Ever Tropical Reforestation Is Planting 73 Million Trees
By John Converse Townsend, Fast Company, 31 October 2017
There are more habitable planets in our galaxy than humans living on planet Earth. But the nearest one is about 70 trillion miles away, which means that, for now, and for the foreseeable future, Earth is the only life-supporting rock hurtling through infinite space we’ll ever know. It’s really not the best idea to let it burn up–and key to keeping it cool are the massive rainforests of the Amazon. Sadly, we’ve had a hard time not cutting them down.
A new project should help prevent–or at least slow down–that hot future. If all goes to plan over the next six years, a project led by Conservation International will become the largest tropical reforestation project in history.

[New Zealand] Oregon Group expects record 2018 on forest products, land development
By Jonathan Underhill, Scoop Business, 31 October 2017
Oregon Group, which manages a New Zealand portfolio of businesses for Malaysia’s Tiong family, expects record earnings in 2018 on rising prices for forest products and the completion of apartments in its land development unit.
Net profit fell to $41 million in the year ended June 30 from $95 million a year earlier, but managing director Thomas Song said that masks the underlying performance of the company. That’s because income in 2016 was boosted by a $124 million gain on the value of its forests, while the latest year had only three months of consolidated revenue from New Zealand King Salmon prior to the fish farmer’s initial public offering in October 2016.

[Singapore] Upcoming carbon tax on large emitters to be paid via credits instead of cash: Draft Bill
By Siau Ming En, Today 31 October 2017
The carbon tax to be levied on large emitters such as power stations and refineries from 2019 will be paid for using credits bought, rather than via cash directly, under the Government’s proposed framework.
This system keeps options open for Singapore if and when the authorities decide to adopt other systems, such as by linking Singapore’s carbon pricing framework to a bigger jurisdiction’s.

[Thailand] Forest crime suppression forces determined to nab transnational Siamese rosewood logging gang
The Nation, 31 October 2017
Integrated forces for suppressing forest crime under the Forest Protecting Operation Centre have expanded an investigation in a bid to nab a transnational Phayung (Siamese rosewood) logging gang, believed to be the largest of its kind.
The centre’s Phayak Prai taskforce last Saturday teamed up with Thap Lan National Park rangers to track illegal-logging moves by the gang’s members at the Sakaerat Environmental Research Station in Nakhon Ratchasima province, where two age-old Phayung trees had been cut down and sawed into pieces, pending transportation.

[USA] Government Scientist Blocked from Talking About Climate and Wildfires
By Brittany Patterson, Climate Wire, 31 October 2017
A U.S. Forest Service scientist who was scheduled to talk about the role that climate change plays in wildfire conditions was denied approval to attend the conference featuring fire experts from around the country.
William Jolly, a research ecologist with the agency’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Mont., was supposed to give a 30-minute presentation titled “Climate-Induced Variations in Global Severe Fire Weather Conditions” at the International Fire Congress in Orlando, Fla., next month. The event is hosted by the Association for Fire Ecology (AFE).

1 November 2017

How will forests be on the “menu” at UN Bonn climate talks?
By Chris Meyer, EDF, 1 November 2017
This year’s global climate conference (COP23) is upon us and will be an interesting mix of Fijian diplomacy and Kölsch beer. As I do every year, in this year’s pre-COP blog I lay out what will be happening during the COP related to REDD+ in the negotiations and what I hope to hear about in the hallways and many side events.
The COP23 conference is expected to be a working COP as parties make the necessary progress in rule writing to meet the 2018 deadline of a final rulebook. There will also be a lot of news about non-state actors – the private sector, states like California, and other non-federal entities – being discussed as a reaction to Trump’s reckless decision to leave the Paris Agreement.

New Director General reflects on the future of forests and research
CIFOR, 1 November 2017
Today marks the first day in office for Robert Nasi as incoming Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). He is not new to CIFOR, having collaborated and worked with the organization for more than 20 years, most recently as Deputy Director General for Research. In his new role, Nasi will lead CIFOR as it builds momentum towards more equitable, resilient and productive forest landscapes.
In an interview with Forests News, Robert Nasi reflected on the evolution of forestry.

Quarter of Oil Refineries Risk Closure Under Climate Goals-Report
By Ron Bousso, Reuters, 1 November 2017
A quarter of the world’s oil refineries risk closure by 2035 if governments meet targets to limit fossil fuel burning in the fight against global warming, a report released on Thursday said.
A surge in electric vehicle sales and higher efficiency in internal combustion and jet engines are expected to slow demand growth for fuels such as gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel in the coming decades, potentially putting pressure on refining profits.

Why Purchasing Voluntary Carbon Offsets is a ‘Good Buy’
By Jan Lee, TriplePundit, 1 November 2017
It’s the depressing truth about travel these days: It isn’t cheap — at least not when it comes to carbon in the environment. That super deal your friend found when she flew to and from Paris last summer still contributed at least a couple of tonnes of CO2. Those multiple business jaunts you were required to make several times last year and the daily commutes to the office downtown weren’t great for the environment, either. Even if you commuted by bus, rail or carpool, the numbers can stack up.

Bolivia: the ever-expanding frontier of extractivism
By Marta Musić, Entitle Blog, 1 November 2017
Two months ago, the Bolivian government of Evo Morales, leader of the party Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement towards Socialism, MAS), re-authorised the construction of a 300 km long highway that would cut through the protected Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS) connecting the central department of Cochabamba with the northern department of Beni. This mega-project is part of the broader Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America (IIRSA), a $69 billion worth program of 514 infrastructural investments in transport, energy and communications, said to foster ‘South-South’ cooperation through the construction of a trade corridor from the North-East to the South-West of South America.

China to Move Closer to Starting National Carbon Market
Bloomberg, 1 November 2017
Shanghai Zhixin Electric Co. surged in Shanghai, leading gains in carbon-related stocks after China’s top economic planning agency was said to submit a plan to the State Council to start a national trading system.
Shanghai Zhixin, a Chinese electric-equipment maker and carbon-asset management company, jumped by the daily limit of 10 percent, the most in more than two years, to 7.27 yuan. Centre Testing International Group Co., which provides auditing services on carbon emissions, jumped as much as 5.3 percent in Shenzhen. Datang Huayin Electric Power Co., a shareholder of Shenzhen-based China Emissions Exchange, a local carbon-trading platform, gained as much as 2.6 percent in Shanghai.

[Ghana] Limited capacity at grassroots affects REDD+ Project – GII
By Elsie Appiah-Osie and Doris Amenyo, Ghana News Agency, 1 November 2017
The REDD+ Government and Finance Integrity for Africa Project, has ended with limited capacity at the grassroot level being identified as a major gap that hindered the project.
Explaining this, in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Micheal H. Okai, the Project Coordinator said with the absence of capacity, it became difficult for community members to understand and link their livelihoods to climate change.
“This also made it impossible for community members to change their livelihoods to mitigate the effect of climate change,” Mr Okai stated at the REDD+ end of project and stakeholders meeting.

Nigeria: NNPC Signs MOU With Ondo to Establish Biofuel Plant
By Ifeoluwa Adeyemo, Premium Times, 1 November 2017
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Ondo State Government to establish a 65,000 million litres per annum biofuel plant in Okeluse, Ondo State.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, on the corporation’s website, Wednesday.

Interoceanic Highway incites deforestation in Peru, threatens more to come
By Bart Creeze, Mongabay, 1 November 2017
Saturnino Cuchama is proud of the business he runs in the middle of a lush tropical rainforest. Every day at 4 a.m., the 42-year-old rubber gatherer walks through the trails in the forest extracting latex from the bark of wild rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis), which grow naturally in this part of the Peruvian Amazon.
It’s an exhausting job. Cuchama has to collect latex from three trails every day; each one consists of about 100 individual trees. Since the rubber trees grow sporadically throughout the terrain, a single trail in the tropical rainforest can measure up to five kilometers in length.

[South Africa] Carbon sequestration role of savanna soils key to climate goals
By Justin Catanoso, Mongabay, 1 November 2017
When biologist Sally Archibald scans the vast savannas and grasslands of Kruger National Park some five hours northeast of her university office, she sees something many environmentalists and climate activists do not.
“I live in a country with 3 percent forests,” says Archibald, who studies the dynamics of savanna ecosystems at Witwatersrand University. “It’s always seemed to me that these ecosystems are important and fascinating. But most people see savannas and grasslands as empty, useless things.”

Sweden Pays for Trump Whistle-Blower to Attend UN Climate Talks
By Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg, 1 November 2017
The government of Sweden is paying for a former U.S. Interior Department official and prominent critic of President Donald Trump’s climate policy to attend next week’s United Nations climate conference in Germany, where he says he will speak about the U.S. “war on science.”
Joel Clement became a minor celebrity in July, when he wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post. The piece described Clement’s transfer from his job focused on climate adaptation to one “in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.” Clement called the reassignment retribution for his position on climate change. He resigned from the government last month.

2 November 2017

For the love of Earth, stop traveling
By Jack Miles, Washington Post, 2 November 2017
According to former U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres, we have only three years left in which to “bend the emissions curve downward” and forestall a terrifying cascade of climate-related catastrophes, much worse than what we’re already experiencing. Realistically, is there anything that you or I can do as individuals to make a significant difference in the short time remaining?
The answer is yes, and the good news is it won’t cost us a penny. It will actually save us money, and we won’t have to leave home to do it. Staying home, in fact, is the essence of making a big difference in a big hurry. That’s because nothing that we do pumps carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than air travel. Cancel a couple long flights, and you can halve your carbon footprint. Schedule a couple, and you can double or triple it.

Implementing the Paris Agreement: 1st Year Progress Report
By Han Chen, NRDC, 2 November 2017
One year after the Paris Agreement officially entered into force, how are countries doing on meeting their climate commitments? More than 160 countries have formally joined the agreement, and are moving forward to implement policies to tackle climate change. Some of the world’s largest emitters are taking bold action. While President Trump keeps pretending that other nations are not addressing climate change, some countries, plus many states and cities in the US, are taking the lead on climate action.

Forests can bring 1.5°C Paris target closer
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 2 November 2017
Forests that are properly cared for can take the world a long way towards cutting carbon emissions, US-based researchers say – far enough to go at least a quarter of the way to reaching the UN’s target.
They report that stopping deforestation and allowing young secondary forests to grow back could establish a “forest sink” – an area that absorbs carbon dioxide rather than releasing it into the atmosphere – which by 2100 could grow by over 100 billion metric tons of carbon, about ten times the current annual rate of global fossil fuel emissions.

Restoring forest landscapes: A question of community rights
By Suzanna Dayne, CIFOR Forests News, 2 November 2017
About 30 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by forests, and around 1.6 billion people depend on them for significant contributions to their environments and livelihoods. Yet, 12 million hectares of intact forests are lost in the tropics every year, either through permanent destruction or degradation.
Forest Landscape Restoration, FLR, is one of the newer initiatives to be put forward to help solve the problem. While its better known cousin REDD+ aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation, the goal of FLR is to restore ecological integrity to deforested and degraded landscapes. Both see the link between healthy forests and human well-being.

evian’s journey to become Danone’s first global carbon neutral brand
By Rachel Arthur, Beverage Daily, 2 November 2017
International natural mineral water brand evian recently became certified as a carbon neutral brand in the US and Canada, marking a ‘major milestone’ in evian’s journey to reach worldwide carbon neutrality by 2020. But with the impact of bottling, packaging and transporting water, how can evian achieve this?

Catastrophic fires sweep through iconic Brazilian national park
By Anna Sophie Gross, Mongabay, 2 November 2017
The piercing cries of blue macaws could be heard rising through the forests as flames approached the birds’ nestling chicks. For 12 days, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, located in the state of Goiás, endured the largest and most damaging fire in its history, in a year when record wildfires — mostly human-caused — have engulfed vast areas of the Amazon and forests in other parts of Brazil.
A team of more than 200 firefighters and logistical advisors worked day and night to contain the fire, which has destroyed at least 65,000 hectares (160,000 acres) of habitat. Highway police, Goiás state firefighters and Federal Military Police, supported by tanks and helicopters, all fought the intense blaze.

Indonesian Supreme Court strikes down regulation on peat protection
By hans Nicholas Jong and Lusia Arumingtyas, Mongabay, 2 November 2017
Indonesia’s highest court has struck down a regulation obliging forestry companies to relinquish and protect carbon-rich concessions to prevent a recurrence of annual fires.
The ruling was handed down on Oct. 2 by the Supreme Court in response to a challenge filed in June by a labor union in Sumatra’s Riau province, one of the regions particularly hard hit by the fires and choking haze they generate.
The regulation was issued in February by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry as part of a package of new rules meant to prevent a recurrence of the annual fires that burn across Indonesia’s vast peat swamp zones, much of which have been drained for agricultural use, rendering them highly flammable.

[UK] Designer furniture retailer Lombok becomes first UK company to be fined under illegal logging laws
By Ben Chapman, The Independent, 2 November 2017
Designer furniture retailer Lombok has become the first UK company to be prosecuted and fined under illegal logging rules designed to stop the import of timber linked to widespread deforestation around the world.
Environmental groups said the prosecution was likely to be the “tip of the iceberg” as many firms, particularly in the furniture sector, still don’t have a grip on where their raw materials come from.

3 November 2017

Climate action: A great tree is growing
By Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF, 3 November 2017
In a few weeks time, the world’s climate change community will gather in Bonn for COP23, just shy of the two year anniversary of the Paris Agreement being agreed by almost 200 countries.
That accord is already under pressure, with the Trump Administration threatening the hard-won international consensus that enabled success in Paris. But it should be remembered that the architecture of the Paris Agreement — specifically that which gives such an important role to business, civil society and sub-national governments — enables progress, even in the face of governmental obstruction and backsliding.

Earth’s rising fever, more floods and fires: Bad news about environment gets worse
AFP, 3 November 2017
Scientists monitoring Earth’s climate and environment have delivered a cascade of grim news in 2017, adding to the urgency of UN talks in Bonn next week tasked with ramping up efforts to tame global warming.

How Saving Forests Can Meet Climate Challenge
Ecosystem Marketplace, 3 November 2017
Forests can play a larger and more important role in reducing climate change emissions than previously thought, according to a suite of research released today. By stopping deforestation and allowing young secondary forests to grow back, the cumulative “forest sink” could grow by over 100 billion metric tons of carbon by 2100, about ten times the current rate of annual global fossil fuel emissions, according to a summary of the latest scientific research on forests and climate change, which was prepared by Woods Hole Research Center.
Capturing more carbon in land and forests is not a substitute for eliminating the world’s dependence on fossil fuels but by better managing forests and other land to reduce emissions and enhance their carbon sink capacity, forests and agriculture could help get the world at least a quarter of the way to meting the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5 oC, according to the summary.

COP23 Special: Green Climate Fund payments: An explainer
By Stephen Leonard, CIFOR Forests News, 3 November 2017
In early October, at its 18th Board meeting in Cairo, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) adopted its latest policy related to the UNFCCC policy framework known as REDD+, this time a USD 500 million envelope accompanied by a detailed and comprehensive process for countries to seek results-based payments (RBPs). GCF Board members and a select few advisors, GCF staff and consultants worked well into the late Cairo nights to complete one of the key pieces of the UNFCCC policy framework to pay developing countries to reduce emissions from the forest sector.

Despite Trump, The Paris Agreement Continues To Evolve At Bonn/Fiji Climate Talks
By Gustavo Silva-Chávez and Meryl Cohen, Ecosystem Marketplace, 3 November 2017
It has been almost two years since countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement at the COP21 in France. In the next two weeks, this work will continue – perhaps less excitingly so – at the 23rd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known informally as COP23 in Bonn. The main objective of this upcoming meeting is to finish the Rulebook, meaning negotiators will continue to develop the rules to operationalize the Agreement. The agenda in Bonn is packed, and Forest Trends staff and partners will be on the ground, following the discussion around key issues…

How unhealthy is the haze from Indonesia’s annual peat fires?
By Loren Bell, Mongabay, 3 November 2017
Susilo sat attached to an oxygen tank instead of tending his vegetables. The 62-year-old farmer, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, had a long history of respiratory trouble, but during the 2015 fire and haze crisis things got worse. As the landscape smoldered around his village in western Borneo, his attacks came so frequently that he could hardly work. This was his 37th visit to a local clinic for the life-saving treatment of a simple nebulizer.

[Pakistan] Illegal logging biggest threat to forest cover: experts
Daily Times, 3 November 2017
Illegal logging is driving the trend of deforestation in the country, experts said on Thursday.
“Hundreds of thousands of cases are pending in courts on illegal logging and not a single case has yet to conclude. We need to raise awareness among communities on forest resource conservation and especially young generation need to mobilize. This is the areas where media can play a crucial part through enhance reporting on the issue,” experts said while addressing the ‘Pre-COP Consultation on COP23 and REDD+ Implementation in Pakistan’ on Tuesday in Islamabad. The consultation was held as a collaborated effort by National REDD+ Office, Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

4 November 2017

‘For us, the land is sacred’: on the road with the defenders of the world’s forests
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 4 November 2017
f the many thousands of participants at the Bonn climate conference which begins on 6 November, there will arguably be none who come with as much hope, courage and anger as the busload of indigenous leaders who have been criss-crossing Europe over the past two weeks, on their way to the former German capital.
The 20 activists on the tour represent forest communities that have been marginalised over centuries but are now increasingly recognised as important actors against climate change through their protection of carbon sinks.

China’s massive toll on the planet
By Bill Laurance, ALERT, 4 November 2017
China likes to paint itself as environmentally benign — a nation that, while rapidly growing economically, is promoting large-scale investments in solar and wind energy — which is true.
China also likes to herald the fact that it has recently closed down its domestic sale of ivory, the huge demand for which has driven the global decimation of African and Asian elephants.
But China as a force for environmental sustainability? That’s so far removed from reality that there’s only one term for it:
Pure bunk.

Kemitraan to Assist Indonesia on REDD+ Implementation
By Dames Alexander Sinaga, Jakarta Globe, 4 November 2017
The Indonesian government and the Jakarta-based Partnership for Governance Reform, better known as Kemitraan, signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen the infrastructure and implementation capacity of the United Nations initiative for Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+, in the archipelago.
This agreement is a continuation of a letter of intent the Indonesian and Norwegian governments signed in 2010.
Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya said the two countries agreed that strengthening the Indonesian government’s institutional capacity was important in preparation for payments it will receive for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

5 November 2017

UN climate summit means business
By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network, 5 November 2017
This year’s annual UN climate summit, the twenty-third Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in UN jargon (or COP23 for short), starts on 6 November – and for once it may have an unusual spring in its step.
What it agrees during its two-week session in Bonn probably won’t make many headlines. It’s more about UN house-keeping than grandstanding, and many of its conclusions will be technical and businesslike, designed to make the process of cutting greenhouse gas emissions work better, rather than announcing new goals or targets.

Advancing knowledge of “jurisdictional approaches” to responsible commodity production
By Akiva Fishman, WWF-US, 5 November 2017
Jurisdictional approaches are exciting the global agriculture and conservation communities.
Collectively, jurisdictional approaches refer to a suite of strategies for protecting forests and other ecosystems within landscapes that produce important commodities—like beef, soy, and palm oil—at a scale that broadens sustainability impacts from the farm level to an entire political territory. These approaches hold great potential to align stakeholder interests in improved production and conservation in a landscape, in particular by catalyzing scaled land use planning and access to more sustainable production practices.

Forest Preservation in a Changing Climate
By Sébastien Jodoin, fifteeneightyfour, 5 November 2017
Since 2007, global efforts to fight climate change have included measures intended to reducing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, and support the sustainable conservation of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. An international mechanism known as REDD+ seeks to channel climate finance from North to South in order to shift incentives away from activities that lead to forest loss toward those that increase forest carbon sequestration. Because of its potential to protect forests, reduce an estimated 17% of the world’s greenhouse gases, and contribute to poverty alleviation efforts, REDD+ has gained significant traction during the past decade. With the support of multilateral institutions, bilateral aid organizations, NGOs, and corporations, a wide array of public and private REDD+ initiatives and projects have been launched in 60 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean in order to reduce forest-based carbon emissions throughout the developing world.

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