REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.
REDD+ Crossroads Post Paris: Politics, Lessons and Interplays
By Esteve Corbera and Schroeder Heike (Eds.), MDPI Books, January 2018
This article introduces the special issue REDD+ crossroads post Paris: politics, lessons and interplays. The contributions to the special issue suggest, first, that REDD+ design in the studied countries has generally lacked social legitimacy and sidelined key actors who can considerably influence land-use sector dynamics. Second, they show that REDD+ early actions have tended to oversimplify local realities and have been misaligned and local needs. Third, REDD+ efforts have remained constrained to the forestry or climate mitigation policy sectors and have thus suffered from a lack of policy harmonization.
22 January 2018
Why saving our forests should be a global priority
By Frances Seymour (WRI), World Economic Forum, 22 January 2018
In 2010, several private-sector companies made bold commitments to remove deforestation from major commodity supply chains by 2020. Since then, many others have joined this effort through the New York Declaration on Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Although much progress has been made to implement these commitments, the outlook for the forests is bleak. In 2016, global tree cover loss reached a record 29.7 million hectares, and this loss – totalling an area about the size of New Zealand – is 51% higher than the previous year. Assessments indicate that the international community will miss its 2020 target, and with less than 1,000 days to go, the need for action on the forest agenda has never been more urgent.
It’s the big new idea for stopping climate change — but it has huge environmental problems of its own
By Chris Mooney, Washington Post, 22 January 2018
Widespread use of a futuristic energy technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would create severe environmental problems, scientists argue in a new critique, casting doubt on one potential method of helping humanity escape the worst effects of climate change.
The technology, known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), comes in many variations. But the core idea is burning trees or other plants for energy while pulling in the resulting carbon dioxide and storing it below ground. When the plants grow back again, they would pull more carbon dioxide from the air, resulting in a net removal of the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.
Delta partners with Duke University on ‘first-of-its-kind’ sustainability program
By Eric Mandel, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 22 January 2018
Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) is partnering with Duke University to help erase some of its carbon footprint.
The Atlanta-based airline said Monday that the two entities are engaging in a “first-of-its-kind sustainability program” that involves a combined purchase of 5,000 “carbon credits.” Delta, which is the official airline of the university and its athletics, said the partnership offsets carbon from all Duke business travel on Delta in 2017, while supporting urban forestry in the Raleigh-Durham area through funding the planting and care of 1,000 new trees.
Climatecoin Aims to Be the World’s First Carbon-Neutral Cryptocurrency
By Brad Jones, Futurism, 22 January 2018
Climatecoin, an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, has partnered with a carbon credit exchange in an effort to help in the fight against climate change. The move is expected to lead to the creation of the world’s first blockchain-based platform for carbon credits trading.
Carbon emissions are wreaking havoc on our environment, and one way the world is attempting to combat this problem is through the use of carbon credits, an approach agreed upon by most of the world’s nations through an international treaty called the Kyoto Protocol.
Why 2018 is the year for business to step up climate action
By Andrew Steer and Grant F. Reid, World Economic Forum, 22 January 2018
Big numbers can drive change, so here’s a huge one: 800,000. That’s how many years it’s been since Earth’s atmosphere was as loaded with carbon dioxide as it is now. The steep rise in this heat-trapping gas underlines the need for a globally sustainable economy if we want to avoid the costliest impacts of climate change this century.
Legal recognition in the works for communities occupying Indonesia’s conservation areas
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 23 January 2018
The Indonesian government has acquiesced to the reality that local and indigenous communities already manage land within conservation areas, saying it will begin formalizing this de facto stewardship this year.
Some 5,860 villages are peppered throughout conservation areas covering a combined 221,000 square kilometers (85,330 square miles) of land, according to data from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. National parks account for three-fifths of that land, and though these are ostensibly off-limits to human activity, the reality is that many communities have long existed in these areas, subsisting off the forest and its natural resources.
Thailand, Myanmar build 17-kilometer fire barrier
Pattaya Mail, 22 January 2018
Thai and Myanmar authorities on Saturday built a 17-kilometer long barrier in the northern province of Chiang Rai as a precautionary measure against forest fires.
1,500 people gathered in Mae Sai district to take part in the Thailand-Myanmar fire prevention program where participants erected fire barriers from Ban Ja Lor Community to Baan Huay Nam Rin Community in Wiang Phang Kham subdistrict.
The activity was held in honor of HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn as well as to strengthen relations between the two neighboring nations.
23 January 2018
Davos 2018: climate change rhetoric and reality
By Megan Darby and Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home News, 23 January 2018
The world leaders, business tycoons and celebrities jetting in to the annual World Economic Forum (Wef) have identified the biggest threats to prosperity as environmental.
A global risk survey places extreme weather events, natural disasters and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation in the alarm zone for both likelihood and impact. So you can expect the topic to come up in speeches and panel sessions.
24 January 2018
A Recipe for Protecting the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Tropical Forests
World Bank, 24 January 2018
A year ago, 51-year old grandmother Janine Nyota-Nguburu traded in her traditional cookstove, about the size of a large metal lantern, for an energy-efficient version that she bought just around the corner from her small urban farmhouse in Kinshasa. The ceramic center of Janine’s new cookstove does a better job of harnessing radiant heat and reduces the amount of charcoal she needs to burn to prepare her signature fried beans. This also means a 70-kg bag of charcoal that costs about $20 now lasts her two months instead of two weeks.
But it’s not just the money she’s saving that has her breathing a little easier.
“My kitchen was always too hot, and the smoke from burning so much charcoal over many hours each day would burn our eyes and give us lung problems,” said Janine.
Remote Amazon tribe hit by mercury crisis, leaked report says
By David Hill, The Guardian, 24 January 2018
An indigenous people living in one of the remotest parts of the Peruvian Amazon has been struck by a mystery mercury epidemic, according to an unpublished Health Ministry report dated 2015 and 2017 seen by the Guardian.
The Nahua only entered into sustained contact with “outsiders” in the mid-1980s, which led to almost 50% of the population dying mainly from respiratory and infectious diseases. Today, numbering less than 500 people, the vast majority live in a village in the Kugapakori, Nahua, Nanti and Others Reserve established for indigenous peoples in “voluntary isolation” and “initial contact” in south-east Peru.
Togo includes women in the fight against climate change
Afrika News, 24 January 2018
In Togo, authorities are working on reducing the emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). However, women aren’t included in the management of this field even though they play a major role in the forestry sector.
Togolese environmental protection worker, Brigitte Acakpo-Addra, introduced an innovative way to include more women in the decision-making process and to also improve their knowledge of climate change. Acakpo-Addra founded CF-REDD+ and she is also using WhatsApp, a social media platform, to bring together women who are interested in the field. She currently has 62 members between the age of 30 and 60 years old.
25 January 2018
REDD+ fuels human rights abuses, causes of climate change – report
Friends of the Earth International, 25 January 018
A Friends of the Earth International report argues that Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiatives fail to reduce greenhouse emissions and lead to violations of environmental and human rights.
REDD+ projects, which include techniques like carbon trading and offsetting, follow a neoliberal logic, assuming that the market is equipped to deal with environmental problems. This is counterintuitive.
When nature becomes a commodity, and local communities are either expelled from their area in the name of ‘preservation’ or employed as private conservationists, traditional practices of managing land disappear.
Land Rights: A Crucial Strategy for Combatting Climate Change
By Alfred Brownell and Devan Braun, Rightscapes, 25 January 2018
Land is connected to many of our most pressing global issues. For example, a significant body of empirical evidence supports the view that strengthening indigenous and local communities’ legal rights to their land is a crucial strategy for avoiding deforestation and mitigating climate change. Secure land tenure can also alleviate poverty, enhance gender equality, and minimize forceful evictions contributing to mass migration and contentious immigration crises. In sum, land is a cross-cutting and vital human rights issue.
Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities Vital to the Global Environment
By Katie Reytar and Peter Veit (WRI), IPS, 25 January 2018
Indigenous Peoples and local communities are some of the best environmental stewards. Their livelihoods and cultures depend on forests, clean water and other natural resources, so they have strong incentives to sustainably manage their lands.
LandMark, the first global platform to provide maps of land held by Indigenous Peoples and local communities, last month released new carbon storage, tree cover loss, natural resource concessions, dam locations and other data layers that shed light on the environment in which these lands exist. Now anyone, anywhere can view and analyze indigenous and local communities’ environmental contributions and identify threats to specific lands.
The Brazilian state letting illegal Amazon loggers keep logging
By Fabiano Maisonnave, Climate Home News, 25 January 2018
According to Brazil’s federal environmental agency, Hidemar Finco should be out of the logging business.
Just over one year ago, the agency, known by its Portuguese acronym Ibama, launched a helicopter raid in the Aripuanã Park indigenous territory. This reporter tagged along.
Well into the territory, agents came across two lorries loaded with timber. Logging within indigenous lands is a federal crime. Inside the vehicles, which were left abandoned upon the agents’ arrival, there were wood transport authorisations in Finco’s name.
[Cambodia] How Mother Nature duo followed their principles into activism — and a trial
By Yesenia Amaro and Phak Seangly, Phnom Penh Post, 25 January 2018
When activists Hun Vannak and Dem Kundy went out in Koh Kong province on September 12 to document suspected sand transporting in the area, the risks of their activity were already apparent to them. In their work for former NGO Mother Nature, the pair had already faced repeated harassment.
In 2015, Kundy was briefly detained along with other activists and a rights worker while delivering a petition to the National Assembly to stop dredging in Koh Kong. And in August 2017, Vannak was arrested in Kandal province for flying a drone over an area where riverbank collapses appeared linked to nearby dredging.
Climate change and deforestation threaten world’s largest tropical peatland
By Daisy Dunne, CarbonBrief, 25 January 2018
Just over a year ago, scientists announced the discovery of the world’s largest intact tropical peatland in a remote part of the Congo’s vast swampy basin.
The Cuvette Centrale peatlands stretch across an area of central Africa that is larger than the size of England and stores as much as 30bn tonnes of carbon.
Now, the same research team has published a new study finding that future climate change, along with deforestation, could threaten the peatlands’ ability to soak up and store large amounts of carbon.
Namibia signs up for ICAO’s carbon offsetting scheme
New Era, 25 January 2018
Windhoek-Namibia has become the 73rd country to volunteer to participate in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which was recently put in place by the UN agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and will formally begin in 2020.
CORSIA is aimed at capping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from international aviation. International operators emitting more than 10,000 metric tons of CO2 annually on flights between approximately 74 participating countries will be required to purchase carbon credits to offset growth above 2020 levels for compliance with the CORSIA mandate.
[Nigeria] REDD+: Stakeholders adopt data collection tools, methodology for Nassarawa, Ondo
EnviroNews Nigeria, 25 January 2018
The data collection tools and the methodology for the strategic environmental and social assessment to enable the execution Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in Nasarawa and Ondo states have been adopted.
This was the major outcome of a workshop on Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) and Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for Nigeria REDD+ Readiness held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in Keffi, Nassarawa State.
26 January 2018
27 January 2018
43 Cambodians held for log poaching
By Prasit Tangprasert, Bangkok Post, 27 January 2018
Forty-three Cambodian men have been arrested and equipment used for cutting wood seized as part of a continuing crackdown on illegal logging in and around Thap Lan National Park.
The Cambodian workers were apprehended in the forest behind Dan Lakorlang village in tambon Non Somboon of Soeng Sang district on Friday by a military-led task force. Seized from them were saws and other equipment and a number of phayung (Siamese rosewood) logs and planks.
[Nepal] Yeti Airlines embarks on journey towards climate neutrality
The Himalayan Times, 27 January 2018
Yeti Airlines, in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has formally initiated the process to transform itself into a carbon neutral airline.
At a workshop held today, which was attended by representatives from the Nepal government, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), UNDP, civil society organisations, and the private sector, the airline shared the results of its first annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory along with plans to reduce and offset emissions.