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Should We Fear the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?

GFIS - 3 hours 48 min ago

Ready.  Fire.  Aim.

That seems to be the emerging strategy of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the China-led mega-bank that wants to supercharge development across half the planet.

ALERT scientists have just analyzed the AIIB’s draft "Transport Sector Strategy" — which describes how the Bank will jump-start new roads, railways, sea ports, airports, development corridors, and other transport infrastructure.

We’re doing this because the final date for commenting on the AIIB’s draft strategy is July 4 — just ten days away.

We’ll be sending the AIIB our comments.  And we need you to send your comments — and ask your friends and organizations too.  It’s as easy as sending an email, as we explain below.


Our scientific assessment of the draft AIIB Transport Strategy?

We’re flat-out scared by what we saw — and just as scared by what we didn’t see.

And if we’re scared, you should be scared too — because ALERT includes some of the world’s top environmental researchers, including leading experts on infrastructure and its consequences (for example, see this website).


Before telling you why we’re so worried, remember three things about the AIIB:

1.  It’s a multi-lateral lender, like the World Bank

In theory, that means it’s supposed to place as much weight on goals such as poverty alleviation, human rights, and the environment as it does on making money.

It’s also supposed to be working for the broader good — not as a de-facto instrument for advancing Chinese geopolitical and economic interests.

These are big issues.  Although more than 80 nations have joined the AIIB as partners, China clearly holds the lion’s share of power.  And China tends to do what benefits China.

2.  The AIIB is not just targeting Asia

For example, one of the AIIB’s biggest goals is supporting China’s Belt & Road Initiative — some 7,000 individual projects that will stretch across the South Pacific to Southeast Asia, Indochina, East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and much of Africa.

3.  The AIIB wants to be a game-changer

It wants to supercharge infrastructure by drawing in many other public and private investors, bulldozing impediments, and promoting ‘transformative’ projects that will initiate cyclones of further development.


We could write a hundred pages here, but we’ll focus on three key issues:

Scary Point 1: The AIIB strategy is astoundingly incomplete.  Its only real allusions to ‘greening infrastructure’ involve reducing carbon emissions — by reducing traffic jams and vaguely attempting to slim down massive emissions from project construction.

This is ridiculous.  In the many remote and wild areas where AIIB-supported projects will be constructed, far and away the biggest impacts of infrastructure expansion are to open lands to a Pandora’s box of new environmental pressures — such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation, fires, wildlife poaching, illegal mining, and land-grabbing.

This Pandora’s-box issue is so central to infrastructure that failing even to mention it — or identify strategies for managing and reducing it — should set alarm bells ringing everywhere.

Scary Point 2: While unleashing an infrastructure cyclone, the AIIB scheme doesn’t even mention the desperate need for Strategic Land-Use Planning and Strategic Environmental Assessments.

That’s like trying to do major surgery while wearing a blindfold.

Our natural world is a complex mosaic of biodiversity hotspots, critical migration corridors for wildlife, remnant habitats for endangered species, and rare ecosystems.  

According to WWF, the Belt & Road will impact hundreds of threatened species including Tigers, Giant Pandas, and Saiga Antelope, and around 1,800 Important Bird Areas, Key Biodiversity Areas, Global Biodiversity Hotspots, and Global 200 Ecoregions.

Hence, the AIIB wants to slice and dice the Earth with thousands of transportation, energy, water, and other infrastructure projects – unguided by the biggest thing we need to avoid disastrous outcomes: strategic planning.

Scary Point 3: Perhaps the biggest defining feature of the AIIB is its desire to move fast — blasting ahead at warp speed.

But speed makes it hard to have good governance — to detect and ferret out corruption.

Speed makes it hard to see environmental and social dangers, many of which are not simple or obvious.

And speed increases risks to investors — elevating the chances that projects will fail — wasting public money, stranding assets, and incurring big foreign debts for host nations.

When it comes to infrastructure, speed can be deadly


Write to the AIIB and tell them you have great concerns about their draft Transport Sector Strategy (Email: ts.consultation@aiib.org).  Please emphasize the following, in your own words:

1.     AIIB-supported projects should not begin without first completing strategic land-use, environmental, and social planning for each geographic region.

2.     The AIIB’s view of the environment is far too narrow — protecting biodiversity, critical habitats, key wildlife corridors, and rare ecosystems needs much more emphasis.

3.     The AIIB must limit the Pandora's Box of illegal or unplanned activities that typically follows big infrastructure projects — especially by avoiding projects in wild or rare ecosystems.

4.     The AIIB’s intent to move ‘efficiently and rapidly’ creates serious dangers that major environmental, social, and economic dangers will be missed prior to project approval.

5.     The AIIB’s “Environmental and Social Framework" is vague, toothless, and poorly regarded by scientific experts.

6.     The AIIB will face major reputational risks and strong global resistance if it proceeds without fundamentally revising its draft Transport Sector Strategy.

New research on avian response to wildfires

GFIS - Sat, 23/06/2018 - 01:08
New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied.

A Young Logger With Deep Roots in the California Timberlands

NYT Logging Industry - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 18:45
A newly graduated forestry technician enjoys the sense of continuity that comes from playing his part in the business his family started 70 years ago.

Registration for Paper & Beyond, 2018 is now open!

GFIS - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 17:11

Paper & Beyond, 2018. Where the bioeconomy and circularity meet.

Paper & Beyond is the successor event to what has been known as European Paper Week and will take place in the heart of the European district, in Brussels' Solvay Library, from 16 to 17 October.
It is the premier industry networking event, bringing together representatives of Europe's major pulp and paper producers, manufacturers, customers, suppliers and press.

The registration is now open and available here. Get your early bird ticket for EUR 520 until 5 August and avail of a discount of 20%. The regular rate is EUR 650.

Please note, that tickets for employees of European institutions and national representations, journalists and students are free of charge, although the registration is still required.


For more information about Paper & Beyond, visit the event-dedicated website or contact Katarzyna Dylag, CEPI Events & Digital Communications Officer at k.dylag@cepi.org or +32 2 627 49 41.


Workshop held to consolidate interagency law enforcement mechanism in China

GFIS - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 17:05
Haikou, Hainan, June, 2018—China’s Ministerial Level Coordination Mechanism for Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade  was enhanced through a training workshop jointly -organised by the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management, State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA), TRAFFIC and the China Wildlife Conservation Association(CWCA).

Can a DNA Database Save the Shrinking Forests of the Earth? These Scientists Hope So.

NYT Logging Industry - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 14:30
They hope to fight the thriving black markets for illegally logged timber.

John Deere announces equipment, warranty additions to the forestry certified used program

International Forest Industries - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 12:48

To better support customers, John Deere recently announced new equipment and warranty additions to its forestry certified used program.

The program, which ensures the value and reliability of used forestry equipment, will now include L-Series skidders and wheeled feller bunchers. Additionally, the warranty choices for all certified used skidders and wheeled feller bunchers now include an option to extend up to 12 months, in addition to the existing six-month offering.

“Our certified used program is designed to give customers a sense of security when purchasing used equipment,” said Kent Stickler, manager, Product Training and Information, John Deere. “Through this program, whether a machine has 5,000 hours or 8,000 hours, we are able to stand behind the quality of our equipment and provide our customers with the support they need to keep machines up and running.”

The most notable change to the program is the inclusion of the L-Series skidders and wheeled feller bunchers, providing customers with more certified used models. The new 12-month warranty option guarantees that customers are covered if any issues do occur with used skidders or wheeled feller bunchers. Forwarders, wheeled harvesters, and tracked feller bunchers and harvesters are still eligible for a six-month warranty.

The forestry certified used program provides loggers with reassurance when purchasing John Deere used equipment, including skidders, wheeled feller bunchers and harvesters, tracked feller bunchers and harvesters, and forwarders. Each used machine must pass a strict 100-plus point inspection in order to be certified. When using a certified machine, owners and operators can be confident in the quality of their machine, as John Deere and its world-class dealers back each piece of equipment.

Click here to learn more about the forestry certified used program.

Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division
Mailing:  P.O. Box 8806
Moline, IL 61266-8806

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Amy Jones
Phone: 410-821-8220
E-mail: amyj@imre.com

Photo: L-Series skidders and feller bunchers now included in program.

The post John Deere announces equipment, warranty additions to the forestry certified used program appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Insights from the Uganda study tour: a journey without a map

GFIS - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 11:57
In June 2018, the New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform held a study tour in Uganda. Hosted by the New Forests Company (NFC) and WWF-Uganda, this was NGP?s first African study tour outside South Africa. It brought together more than 50 participants from Uganda and six other African nations, as well as from Europe, China and the Americas. They included representatives from forestry companies, NGOs and the finance sector.The five-day tour included a one-day workshop in Kampala, visits to NFC plantations, conversations with outgrowers and community members, and opportunities for reflection and guided discussion. This document provides the context for these discussions, and summarizes some of the insights we gleaned.

Are Holistic Value Chains Key to Smallholder Forestry?

GFIS - Fri, 22/06/2018 - 01:56

Founder of one of Canada’s largest private forests invests with smallholders. Peter Schleifenbaumn is well known in forestry – Besides developing one of the largest privately held forests in Canada – Haliburton Forest – he is known for his leadership in sustainable forest management worldwide. At 100,000 acres, Haliburton Forest was Canada’s first forest certified […]

The post Are Holistic Value Chains Key to Smallholder Forestry? appeared first on Taking Root.

Forestry agency uses a web application to support economic development in East Texas

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 21:09

June 21, 2018  —  LUFKIN, Texas — Angelina Forest Products, LLC recently announced plans to open a $100 million sawmill in Lufkin, Texas.  The softwood mill is expected to be in place by spring of 2019, creating 100 full-time jobs and contributing $52 million to the Texas economy in its first year.  “We made the

SDG Report 2018 Finds Conflict, Climate Change, Inequality Hindering Progress

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 20:08
The SDG Report 2018 shares progress on the 2030 Agenda and identifies areas where progress is currently insufficient to meet the SDGs by 2030. The report explores the interlinked nature of the SDGs and finds that conflict, climate change, inequality and persistent areas of poverty and hunger are key challenges in countries’ efforts to achieve the SDGs.

EU Looks Towards Enhancing NDC with New Renewables and Energy Efficiency Targets

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 19:44
The EU has agreed to increasing its renewable energy target from 27% to 30% of the energy mix by 2030, alongside an increased energy efficiency target of 32.5%, up from 30%. Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, highlighted that the increased targets would enable the EU to raise the level of ambition of its NDC to increase its 2030 emission reduction target to 45% from 40% in the current NDC. Civil society organizations have called for the EU to further strengthen its targets to reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and bring them in line with the Paris Agreement objectives. In a bilateral summit, German and French ministers have outlined their commitment towards an enhancement of the EU’s NDC by early 2020, also underscoring the economic opportunities of the transition to GHG neutrality.

Youth Celebrate, Innovate for the Environment

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 19:35
UNEP announced the names of 35 young entrepreneurs and innovators selected for a global competition to identify and support ideas with positive environment impacts. The UNCCD organized a youth engagement event to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification and discuss how youth can fight land degradation.

WWF, Partners Challenge Stakeholders to Take Action for 2030 on Forests, Food and Land

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 19:21
WWF and partners estimate that actions to meet their 30X30 Challenge can result in 30% of the “climate solutions” needed by 2030. Part of the Global Climate Action Summit, the challenge also aims to encourage greater ambition from national governments through concrete actions from a broad range of stakeholders including businesses, state and local agencies, multilateral organizations, scientists and civil society. Stakeholders are asked to, among others, halve food loss and waste, consume conscientiously and sequester one gigaton of carbon per year in forests and other natural and working lands.

International workshop on green timber supply chains opens in China

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 17:00
The International Workshop on Global Green Supply Chain of Forest Products and Dialogue with Chinese Leading Timber Enterprises opened in Beijing, China, on 21 June 2018 with the aim of establishing and promoting green timber supply chains. In his opening address, ITTO Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle said that the workshop is central to ITTO’s mandate to promote the expansion of international tropical timber trade from legal and sustainable sources. Dr Dieterle said that Chinese manufacturers of timber products are placed right in the middle of the tropical timber supply chain, from production, through processing to the marketing of finished wood products in international markets. They face challenges, therefore, but also have the opportunity to be major drivers of sustainable forest management through green supply chains.

Proposed ‘Tree Fund’ will fill an important gap in forest expansion in Africa

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 16:49
Uganda Plantations for Africa’s Prosperity Study Tour Reveals… The plantation industry potential all over the world is huge. Plantations can provide a route out of poverty for rural communities, contribute to moving fast-growing economies along a sustainable trajectory, take pressure … Continue reading →

SP launched two new head models at Expoforest Brazil

International Forest Industries - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 14:32

SP presented two new harvester head models SP 661 E and SP 761 E at Expoforest exhibition in Brazil.

Both heads are specifically designed for harvesting and debarking of plantation grown eucalyptus. Thanks to the state of the art hose routing and heavy duty design in combination with superior debarking efficiency and high speed feeding, the SP 661 E and SP 761 E are built to offer highest productivity, reliability and profitability.

Anders Gannerud
International Sales Manager
Tel.: +46 372 253 41
Mobile: +46 73-442 53 41

Kristofer Holmberg
Sales Sweden, Danmark, Finland, Norway
Tel.: +46 372 253 42
Mobile: +46 73-442 53 42

Photo: The SP 661 E is optimized for tree diameters from 100 to 250 mm.


The post SP launched two new head models at Expoforest Brazil appeared first on International Forest Industries.

NEXCELLENCE – New era of timber loader cranes

International Forest Industries - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 13:50

As part of the PALFINGER NEXCELLENCE programme, EPSILON is for the first time ever entering a new era of timber loader cranes – the era of digitalisation – with the first, fully functional Smart Control and Virtual Drive prototypes. As a result, PALFINGER EPSILON has made the future a reality by integrating in the EPSILON product range the applications and benefits of electronic assistance systems for crane operators and companies.

This is why we will be unveiling the Smart Control and Virtual Drive digital solutions in combination with the new Q- and S-series at this year’s INTERFORST, which runs from 18 to 22 July (booth FM 710/11 outdoor area). These latest crane innovations build on the strengths of the revolutionary Next Epsolution series and offer further potential above and beyond the steel construction and hydraulics systems for significantly increasing efficiency.

At our 1,000 m2 stand, visitors will have their first-ever opportunity to experience for themselves the new cranes in action – complete with Smart Control and Virtual Drive – on four mobile exhibits and one demo truck.

The post NEXCELLENCE – New era of timber loader cranes appeared first on International Forest Industries.

CoverX – New Unique Track By Olofsfors With Exceptional Flotation Capacity

International Forest Industries - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 11:25
This summer Olofsfors will release its biggest news in a long time. With the new CoverX, the life of the forestry machine tracks increases significantly.

”CoverX has an unique profile, which doesn’t look like anything else before”, says Daniel Domeij, Marketing Director of Olofsfors.

Exceptional flotation capacity, minimal soil damage, optimum grip on the tires and better tire support. This, along with the sustainability of the crossmember which has increased by over 20 percent, are the major benefits of CoverX launched this summer.

“You can’t get better flotation capacity. CoverX makes your work easier while also protecting the environment in a much better way than before”, says Daniel Domeij.

The development has been going on for a year and CoverX will be presented at Interfors in Münich, in July. Daniel Domeij has great expectations of the reception.

”Olofsfors has produced tracks for 50 years and that’s the experience that lies behind CoverX. It is optimized for all types of machines, from the heaviest to the lightest, and will be available in a variety of designs. It is best for wet soil and when you want as little ground damage as possible.”

The adventages of CoverX

  • Exceptional flotation capacity
  • Straight crossbar, specially designed, giving maxium flotation capacity. Optimum grip both forward and sideways.
  • Optimum grip towards tire
  • Specially designed carrier for best grip on the tires.
  • Minimal soil damage
  • Soft ends contribute to minimal soil damage and softer turning radius.
  • Better support against the tire side
  • Extended side support for maximum tire support.
  • Increased durability on the crossmember
  • The durability has increased by more than 20 percent compared with previous supporting crossmembers.

More Information, Please Contact:
Daniel Domeij : Marketing Director, Forest, Olofsfors
E-mail: daniel.domeij@olofsfors.se
Mobile: +46 (0)70-575 07 14
Photo:  Daniel Domeij, Marketing Director for the forest business area at Olofsfors.

The post CoverX – New Unique Track By Olofsfors With Exceptional Flotation Capacity appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Uganda hosts 6th annual forum on illegal timber trade

GFIS - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 11:09
Kampala, Uganda, 21st June 2018—This week, Uganda played host to the 6th Annual East Africa Timber Trade Stakeholders’ Forum jointly hosted by WWF Uganda and Uganda’s Forestry Sector Support Department under the Ministry of Water and Environment.


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by Dr. Radut