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Environment, Carbon and Forests

In São Paulo, Changing Agriculture Practices Prove Restoration Can Be Profitable

GFIS - 5 hours 37 min ago

By Gregor Wolf, Program Leader, and Werner Kornexl, Senior Natural Resource ManagemenSpecialist
Cattle ranching and agriculture have been key drivers of deforestation and land degradation in Brazil,  with land use practices that come at the expense of the environment and cause water scarcity, biodiversity loss and persistent poverty.

There’s no doubt that land and forest restoration to repair ecosystems is urgently needed in Brazil. This is especially evident in the State of São Paulo, where water scarcity from a combination of an extended drought and degraded watersheds is threatening the urban metropolis of more than 20 million people. Unfortunately, because of perceptions that land restoration is prohibitively expensive, interventions have been slow.

Fazenda da Toca, a private enterprise in São Paulo, is demonstrating the viability of large scale organic farming and agroforestry, including on land with highly degraded soils. Toca could effectively end the myth that agroforestry is not viable at a large scale, that it’s too expensive and too labor intensive to be attractive to the private sector.


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Policy Update #21: July 2016 Monthly Forecast

GFIS - 5 hours 42 min ago
In July 2016, the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will hold its first meeting since governments adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All eyes will be on its discussions regarding follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the presentations of the first governments to volunteer for national reviews of their progress in implementing the SDGs.

“Trash and run”: The Melka Group plans to sell its destructive oil palm plantations in Peru

GFIS - 6 hours 4 min ago
In April 2016, indigenous leaders travelled from Colombia, Indonesia, Liberia, and Peru to Europe, calling for action on human rights violations and land grabbing associated with the expansion of oil palm plantations in their countries. They visited London, where the delegates from Peru had a specific demand for the financial … read more

New Project – Formulation of the Future Cooperation in the Kenyan Forestry Sector

GFIS - 6 hours 32 min ago
LTS has been contracted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland for an assignment to design the future Finnish-Kenyan cooperation in the field of forest sector development. This is a continuation of the long collaboration of more than 25 … Continue reading →

Mid-Year Report: PNW Forest Industry Performance and 2H2016 Developments

GFIS - 7 hours 9 min ago

As we head into the throes of summer, we’ve enjoyed a much cooler and wetter weather cycle than this time last year, particularly here in the Inland region of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). But with the hot temperatures of wildfire season on the horizon, it’s a good time to reflect on industry developments in the region during the first half of 2016.

Formulation of the Future Cooperation in the Kenyan Forestry Sector

GFIS - 9 hours 46 min ago
The purpose of the assignment is to design the future Finnish-Kenyan cooperation in the field of forest sector development. This is a continuation of the long collaboration of more than 25 years that the Government of the Kenya and the … Continue reading →

New Project – Review of Governance of the Forest Sector in Kenya

GFIS - 9 hours 56 min ago
LTS is conducting a study with Indufor Oy for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland to provide a clear picture on how governance aspects of the forest sector agenda in Kenya have taken shape since a similar study was … Continue reading →

Review of Governance of the Forest Sector in Kenya

GFIS - 10 hours 4 min ago
LTS International conducted a forest sector governance in Kenya between February and May 2016. The 2016 study aims to provide a clear picture on how governance aspects of the forest sector agenda have taken shape over the past 5 years … Continue reading →

On Independence Day and Canada Day, celebrate the forests that built our two great countries

GFIS - 10 hours 19 min ago
Over this holiday weekend, both Canada and the United States are celebrating their birthdays. Among the many things these two nations share is a dependence on their forests—which have played a key role in their growth and prosperity.

Countering wildlife trafficking meeting held in Taiwan

GFIS - 12 hours 27 min ago
Taipei, Taiwan, June 2016—Wildlife trafficking enforcement officials from across Taiwan met recently to share and learn from one another the use of new techniques and methods to counter wildlife crime.

France seeks PEFC re-endorsement: public consultation open

GFIS - 13 hours 24 min ago
The French PEFC System has become the latest national forest certification system to seek PEFC endorsement for the fourth time. Stakeholders globally are invited to provide feedback on its compliance with PEFC International's Sustainability Benchmarks by 23 August 2016. France first achieved...

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COP22’s Ayman Cherkaoui on the road from Paris to Marrakesh

GFIS - 16 hours 54 min ago

Advisor to the Environment Minister of Morocco, Ayman Cherkaoui, speaks on the sidelines of the Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case, held on 6 June 2016 in London. The forum brought together experts from the financial services industry with leaders from the corporate sector, government and academia to take investments into sustainable landscapes to the […]

DroneSeed plants 800 seeds per hour

GFIS - 19 hours 6 sec ago
If Oregon startup DroneSeed has its way, foresters in the Pacific Northwest may be in for a surprise the next time they are out in the field. Instead of wandering into a team of people working to replant trees, they could be bombarded from above by a suite of seed-blasting drones deployed to accomplish the same task of reseeding an area after harvesting is complete. Source: Digital Trends Founded a year ago by Grant Canary and Ryan Mykita, DroneSeed is developing a specialized drone system that is designed to both identify potential planting sites and then drop seeds in these selected remote forest locations. When assessing a site, DroneSeed first uses drones to 3D map the area and identify micro-sites that will provide the best chance for tree survival and growth. They then load up their drones with seeds and deploy them to these selected locations. Rather than just dropping the seeds, the DroneSeed drones are equipped with a mini-cannon that fires the seeds using compressed air. Much like a paintball or BB gun, the seeds fly out of the drone at an astounding speed of 350 feet per second, which is even faster than your average paintball gun and matches most BB guns. This quick-firing velocity has a distinct advantage — unlike humans who can plant 800 seeds in a day, the DroneSeed drone can plant up to 800 seeds in an hour. On a full battery, the drone can blanket an acre of forest with seeds in 1.5 hours. The drone technology is so efficient that DroneSeed believes it can reduce replanting costs by at least 10-fold. DroneSeed’s drones are not only more effective than a human worker, but they also are safer to operate and more affordable than a human work crew. Working for a logging operation is a challenging and dangerous job — one of the most hazardous jobs in the world, in fact. It also is physically demanding with laborers burning more than twice as many calories as a marathon runner. Not surprisingly, logging companies have a hard time finding and keeping employees, even when they offer competitive pay. These combined financial and safety benefits are why the DroneSeed drones are so attractive. A suite of drones potentially costs less than a team of workers and can operate without the physical hazards humans face in the field. DroneSeed believes its drones will transform logging much as precision agriculture did with farming. “There is so much parallel with what happened to precision agriculture and what is happening with us in the forestry industry with drones,” said DroneSeed’s CEO Grant Canary to Marketwatch. “We see drones as forestry’s tractor.”

Summit Forests chooses Trimble’s

GFIS - 19 hours 1 min ago
Summit Forests New Zealand Limited has selected Trimble’s Land Resource Manager (LRM) solution to enhance its operational flexibility and support process reengineering. Source: Lesprom Summit plans to streamline both spatial and attribute business processes with Trimble’s LRM integrated technology platform, the company said in the press release. Trimble’s LRM solution is an intuitive, interactive and spatially-aware enterprise application for managing land and forestry operations. LRM is a key component of Trimble’s Connected Forest solutions, which manage the full raw materials lifecycle of planning, planting, growing, harvesting and transport. “We chose Trimble’s LRM solution because it can be configured to fit our company’s needs. As we expand, this flexible system will allow us to add any new assets we acquire seamlessly, making Trimble the logical choice for our forestry business,” said Rikki Green, harvest planner for Summit Forests. The LRM deployment at Summit Forests will support more efficient operational practices and provide a common platform for the entire company to access real-time information about the land base. Summit Forests New Zealand Limited (Summit Forests) is a New Zealand registered subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation Japan and Sumitomo Australia PTY LTD. Summit Forests has forest holdings of 38,000 hectares under CFL, leasehold, freehold and various management agreements in Northland.

Symposium to prepare for forest climate change

GFIS - 19 hours 1 min ago
CSIRO, ANU and Western Sydney University is running a symposium about forest industry preparedness for climate change: opportunities from genetics and genomics. Source: Timberbiz This is being held under the auspices of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) project ‘Forests for the Future: making the most of a high CO2 world’. The symposium will bring together genomics companies, tree breeders, genetics R&D providers, and the forest industry, to examine the opportunities from genetics/genomics in planning for climate change and variability, and to explore end-user (industry) priorities and delivery pathways. The symposium will provide an overview of genetics/genomics advances, opportunities and barriers; a synthesis of the sorts of future climatic conditions we will need to prepare for in Australia; the role of genetics and other management strategies in managing climate risks and impacts. It will facilitate discussion between the participating groups to identify priorities and delivery pathways. The event will be in Canberra on Wednesday 20 July 2016 in the auditorium at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, Black Mountain campus Keynote presentation: Dr Heidi Dungey, SCION Genetics Research programme. What quantitative genetics and genomics has delivered to the forest industry, and prospects for the future Session 1: Climate change and forests: how do we plan for the future? Michael Battaglia, CSIRO: Exposure and sensitivity of Australia’s plantations to climate change, and limits to silvicultural adaptation Greg Dutkowski, PlantPlan Genetics: Preparing for climate change in Australian tree breeding programs of the STBA Session 2: Opportunities from genetics David Bush, CSIRO: Breeding for resilience to climate change: risk management compared with yield optimisation Shannon Dillon, CSIRO: Maximising production in a high CO2 world: a genomics approach Session 3: Delivering commercial benefit Bruce Tier, AGBU: Delivering commercial benefit from genetic improvement Workshop session: Discussion session focusing on genomics: priority traits and deployment strategies, delivery pathways, timeframes for delivery A workshop dinner will be held on the 19 July. The symposium is free, numbers are limited so contact Libby Pinkard Libby.Pinkard@csiro.au More information at www.fwpa.com.au/news-and-events/upcoming-events/1069-symposium-invitation-forest-industry-preparedness-for-climate-change-opportunities-from-genetics-and-genomics.html#sthash.ANpwhham.dpuf

Research report from FRAME 2016

GFIS - 19 hours 2 min ago
A new EY research report titled Megatrends and the Australian Forest and Wood Product Sector was launched at FRAME 2016. Source: Timberbiz Launched on 23 May by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, this is an analysis by the global consultancy EY, that shows that the Australian forest and wood products sector has significant opportunities, as well as challenges, in response to the five megatrends identified by CSIRO. The five megatrends outlined by RIRDC and CSIRO are: A hungrier world — population growth driving global demand for food and fibre A wealthier world — emergence of a new middle class increasing food consumption Choosy customers — information empowered consumers demanding particular ethics, provenance, sustainability or health attributes Transformative technologies — advances in food and fibre production and transport A bumpier ride — changes resulting from globalisation and a changing climate For more information visit www.fwpa.com.au/forwood-newsletters/1070-new-ey-research-report-megatrends-and-the-australian-forest-and-wood-products-sector.html#sthash.v5sWHtWL.dpuf

5000 trees to revive Monaro

GFIS - 19 hours 4 min ago
An ambitious tree planting program has begun on the Monaro in southern New South Wales to counter the effect of an extremely large tree dieback episode in the region. Source: ABC News Dieback has killed the native eucalypt species, leaving the hills south of Cooma scarred with the remains of thousands of dead gum trees. Their skeletons stand as a stark reminder of what has been lost. Over some 5000 square kilometres between Cooma and Berridale almost every gum tree is affected by dieback. “It’s bad,” Upper Snowy Landcare’s Dieback Project manager Lauren Van Dyke said. “Almost all the Eucalyptus viminalis species, known as manna or ribbon gum have died out, causing what appears to be like a tree cemetery in this region.” The cause is uncertain, but most suspect the decade-long drought weakened the trees, allowing more virulent attack by the eucalyptus weevil, which ultimately causes the dieback. Whatever the cause, tree loss has fractured habitat connectivity, making it difficult for animal species such as small bush birds, reptiles and mammals to move under the safety of the tree canopy to feed and breed. The tree loss has also opened up country to new erosion events and weed incursion, along with the danger of trees falling on people and fences. Now four small plots are being replanted with a mix of species in the hope of bringing back the trees and creating a viable ecosystem. About 5000 trees and shrubs are being planted across the four dieback revegetation plots, under the supervision of Michael Platts from Monaro Tree Nursery in Bombala. “You can never recreate exactly what was there because it’s always changing anyway,” he said. “But we are trying to put species back in that were occurring here naturally.” But there is no point replanting if those trees simply die as well. To prevent future dieback, included in the mix are shrubs which act as a home for small birds – which in turn eat the eucalypt weevils. Species being re-established will mimic what has been lost, while adding more diversity in a mix of eight eucalyptus species, four acacia species, along with five species of shrubs including tea tree and callistemon. “There’s been many factors that have caused the dieback … one is that you haven’t got the diversity of birdlife and natural animals,” Mr Platts said. “The dieback insect is always here, we’re not going to get rid of it – so we’ve just got to have the right mix.” But Ms Van Dyke said there were also major benefits for landholders. “The loss of trees has caused a reduction in shelter belts and shade for stock in this region,” she said. Mr Platts said most of the dieback occurred on farms. “We’d like to show that environmental outcomes out of planting should also work in with production outcomes on farms because the farmers are the holders of the land where it’s all happening,” he said.


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by Dr. Radut