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REDD in the News: 2-8 April 2018

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

2 April 2018

Two degrees no longer seen as global warming guardrail
By Marlowe Hood, Phys.org, 2 April 2018
Limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius will not prevent destructive and deadly climate impacts, as once hoped, dozens of experts concluded in a score of scientific studies released Monday.
A world that heats up by 2C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit)—long regarded as the temperature ceiling for a climate-safe planet—could see mass displacement due to rising seas, a drop in per capita income, regional shortages of food and fresh water, and the loss of animal and plant species at an accelerated speed.

Underwater melting of Antarctic ice far greater than thought, study finds
By Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 2 April 2018
Hidden underwater melt-off in the Antarctic is doubling every 20 years and could soon overtake Greenland to become the biggest source of sea-level rise, according to the first complete underwater map of the world’s largest body of ice.
Warming waters have caused the base of ice near the ocean floor around the south pole to shrink by 1,463 square kilometres – an area the size of Greater London – between 2010 and 2016, according to the new study published in Nature Geoscience.

[India] What’s causing untimely forest fires in Kashmir? Prolonged dry spell
By Ishan Kukreti, Down to Earth, 2 April 2018
For many others in Kashmir, the recent incidents of forest fires in Anantnag, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal districts are an abnormal event. They are unseasonal.
Responding to the urgency of the incident, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti put all departments on high alert. “All departments are on high alert to make sure that the situation is brought under control,” she said in a tweet on March 31.
Dr Shakil A Romshoo, the head of Earth Sciences at the University of Kashmir, is worried but not surprised.

[USA] Calls for change in handling abuse allegations at top conservation group
By Genevieve Belmaker, Mongabay, 2 April 2018
There are two versions of the story, and both of them are true. In one version, Conservation International (CI) is an idealistic, energetic and challenging place to work and grow if you want to help save the planet. The pay is on the high side for comparable non-profits or global conservation organizations. It’s also prestigious: its CEO dines with world leaders, its board includes movie stars, and it just announced a partnership with NASA and legendary grunge band Pearl Jam. It gets funding from USAID, the National Science Foundation, NOAA and the U.S. Department of State.
In the other version of the story, current and former employees of one of the largest environmental non-profits in the world say the organization is not adequately addressing allegations of workplace bullying and harassment that stretch back years.

3 April 2018

Limiting global warming to 1.5C would have ‘significant economic benefits’
By Jocelyn Timperley, CarbonBrief, 3 April 2018
Holding global temperature rise to 1.5C would lead to significant economic benefits by the end of the century, a new paper suggests.
The paper uses a new approach to project how different temperature rises could affect global gross domestic product (GDP).
It finds that per capita GDP would be 5% higher by 2100 if temperatures are stabilised at 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures rather than 2C.

400% rise in number of floods since 1980; droughts, forest fires doubled since then
Down to Earth, 3 April 2018
The rate at which climate change is having an impact of global weather events is alarming, reveals a study conducted by European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC). “Extreme weather events have become more frequent over the past 36 years, with a significant uptick in floods and other hydrological events compared even with five years ago,” says the study titled ‘Extreme weather events in Europe: Preparing for climate change adaptation: an update on EASAC’s 2013 study’.
The number of floods and other hydrological events have quadrupled since 1980 and doubled since 2004, says the study. “Climatological events, such as extreme temperatures, droughts, and forest fires, have more than doubled since 1980. Meteorological events, such as storms, have doubled since 1980,” reveals the study.

[Canada] HPQ Signs MOU with Big Data Enterprise Blockchain Solution Developer to Develop a Carbon Credit Marketplace for Solar Carbon Credits Generated by its PUREVAP™ Process
HPQ-Silicon Resources Inc. press release, 3 April 2018
HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (HPQ) (TSX-V:HPQ) (FWB:UGE) (OTCPink:URAGF) is pleased to inform shareholders that its newly created subsidiary, Solar Blockchain Energies Inc. (“SBEI”), has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with an Undisclosed Blockchain Company (“UBC”) to advise, develop and implement a new set of blockchain solutions for the monetization of solar and renewable energy carbon credits through a marketplace, which will also serve to complete the Company’s vertical integration plans from quartz to solar cells.

EU carbon market emissions rise for first time in 7 years in 2017
By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, 3 April 2018
Emissions regulated under Europe’s carbon market rose for the first time in seven years in 2017 due to stronger industrial output, data published on Tuesday by the European Commission and examined by carbon analysts at Thomson Reuters showed.
Around 45 percent of the European Union’s output of greenhouse gases is regulated by the Emissions Trading System (ETS), the bloc’s flagship policy to tackle global warming by charging for the right to emit carbon dioxide (CO2).

Indonesia’s dying timber concessions, invaded by oil palms, top deforestation table
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 3 April 2018
The rate of deforestation in selective-logging concessions in parts of Indonesia has unexpectedly overtaken those of pulpwood and oil palm concessions, a new study shows.
A study by the NGO Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) in the provinces of North Sumatra, East Kalimantan and North Maluku showed a combined loss of 7,180 square kilometers (2,770 square miles) of these forests between 2013 and 2016. Seventy-two percent of that deforestation occurred in areas under one of four types of concessions: selective logging (for timber); pulpwood (typically acacia, to make paper); oil palm; and mining.

[Indonesia] Increasing sustainability by leaps and bonds
By Nabiha Shahab, CIFOR Forests News, 3 April 2018
A recent private sector initiative to help fund sustainable natural rubber plantations in heavily degraded land areas of Indonesia has received much praise and caution. The initiative, issued by the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF) in February this year, was a multi-tranche USD 95 million sustainability bond – and it marked the first ever sustainability bond issued in Southeast Asia.

Liberia’s new president must lead on land rights or risk conflict
By Solange Bandiaky-Badji, place, 3 April 2018
Earlier this year, the outgoing President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf handed over power to George Weah in the country’s first peaceful and democratic transition of power since 1944. It was a moment that crystallized just how far Liberia had come in the last 13 years, since a 2005 peace agreement brought an end to over a decade of civil war, raising hopes internationally that the country remains on course towards lasting peace.

4 April 2018

Forests burn across India as temperatures rise
By Juhi Chaudhary, India Climate Dialogue, 4 April 2018
The beginning of summer in India has arrived with a spate of forest fires across the country. Fires are raging in the dry deciduous forests of southern and western India. Sporadic fires have begun in the sub-tropical forests of the Himalayas as well.
Even as the weathermen predict a scorching summer, 22 patches of forests are burning in the hilly state of Uttarakhand in northern India. The state made headlines in 2016 when 3500 hectares of forests were charred in a major fire outbreak. In the western state of Maharashtra, 1,500 forest fires were recorded in the past six weeks. Nearly a score of people have been killed in a massive forest fire in Tamil Nadu recently.

5 April 2018

The Sisyphean task of addressing carbon emissions through forest conservation: Reflection from a REDD+ workshop
By Adeniyi Asiyanbi and Emmaunuel Nuesiri, Biosec, 5 April 2018
Can forests save the world from the climate crisis? Well, we have a decade of organised experiments to scour for some insights. Four decades after the British Physicist Freeman Dyson’s published the theoretical basis for reducing carbon emissions through forests, the international community through the United Nations has led an ambitious initiative to curb global carbon emissions by incentivising forest conservation in developing countries through REDD+.

To fix landscapes, first get the right tools
By Barbara Fraser, CIFOR Forests News, 5 April 2018
By pledging to restore millions of hectares of deforested and degraded land, countries take a first step on a road shaped by a broad array of local decisions. Natural regeneration, tree plantations or both? What about a mosaic landscape of natural forest, agriculture and agroforestry?
Fortunately, researchers, practitioners and decision makers have increasingly more tools at hand for answering these questions, evaluating trade-offs and making choices. But on-the-ground experience reveals critical gaps that have yet to be addressed by any method, according to new research.

[Brazil] Lifting sugarcane farming ban would be ‘last straw’ for Amazon rainforest, warn Brazilian environmentalists
By Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent, 5 April 2018
Environmentalists in Brazil have urged the government not to proceed with a change in the law described as the “last straw” for the Amazon rainforest.
The Brazilian senate is set to vote on a bill that could see the eight-year-old ban on farming sugarcane for biofuel production in the Amazon lifted.

Ethiopia: Withstanding Desertification Through Forestry
By Esseye Mengste, The Ethiopian Herald, 5 April 2018
In this age, desertification has been rapidly expanding across the world at an alarming rate. Scholars who make researches in the area figure out the factors behind the rapid rate of desertification.
One of the major factors is rapid population growth. When population increases, people are forced to cultivate new areas for agriculture. Such activities have their own impact in disturbing the balanced ecosystem. The distraction of flora and fauna for the purpose of gaining additional farm land resulted in rapid loss of forests. By the same token, it could be a factor for soil degradation and loss of wildlife.

[India] Himachal facility generating power costlier than market rate: CAG
Business Standard, 5 April 2018
A state-run hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh, being funded by the Asian Development Bank, which was partially commissioned last year after cost overruns and delays, is generating power much costlier than the market rate, report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said on Thursday.
The stage-I of the 195-MW Integrated Kashang Hydro Electric Project, implemented by the Himachal Pradesh Power Corp Ltd, was completed with an outlay of Rs 789.84 crore against estimated cost of Rs 478.02 crore, a cost overrun of Rs 311.82 crore.

Area ravaged by forest fires in Russia’s Far East increases by 20,000 hectares per day
Xinhua, 5 April 2018
The area ravaged by forest fires in Russia’s Far East has increased by 20,000 hectares per day, the local forestry department said Thursday.
“In the past day, 15 forest fires were extinguished in the Far East, and 23 new forest fires have broken out. Taking into account the fires registered in the previous days, there were a total of 53 outbreaks,” it said.

[UK] Revealed: Boiler room cold-call fraudsters are conning the vulnerable out of £75million a year as it reaches epidemic levels in Britain, and YOU could be next
By Stewart Paterson, Daily Mail, 5 April 2018
‘Boiler room’ cold call fraudsters who are conning people out of £75million a year are reaching endemic levels, a documentary reveals.
Crooks masquerading as experienced traders dupe trusting victims into investing huge sums of cash into products that do not even exist.
They never receive any returns on their investments and their names of added to a ‘suckers list’ so they can be targeted again in the future.

6 April 2018

Colombia’s top court orders government to protect Amazon forest in landmark case
By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 6 April 2018
Colombia’s highest court has told the government it must take urgent action to protect its Amazon rainforest and stem rising deforestation, in what campaigners said was an historic moment that should help conserve forests and counter climate change.
In their ruling on Thursday, the judges said that Colombia – which is home to a swathe of rainforest roughly the size of Germany and England combined – saw deforestation rates in its Amazon region increase by 44 percent from 2015 to 2016.

7 April 2018

[India] Kashmir’s Forest Cover: Green Gold up in Smoke
By Imran Khan, Kashmir Reader, 7 April 2018
Jammu and Kashmir is a forest rich state, having almost about 20% of its geographical area covered by forests of different types. These forests are found in different hill slopes, making vital watersheds which help in maintaining the fragile environs of the state. All around the world people are benefitted by forests as they are considered to provide ample lot of benefits. People living in the state also do enjoy whole lot of benefits like these provide wood along with different wood products, different flora and fauna which are unique, which serve as pastures for local as well nomadic life. But, most importantly, these forests provide shelter for different wild animals found in the state.

8 April 2018

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