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Environment, Carbon and Forests

Assessing the impacts of EU legislation

GFIS - 2 hours 37 min ago

A new study which aims to assess the cost impacts of EU legislation on forest-based industries has begun with a productive stakeholder meeting in Brussels.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for GROWTH (formerly DG Enterprise) has launched a new tool for decision-making, called a cumulative cost assessment (CCA). The EC has already commissioned two CCAs for the steel and aluminum sectors, and is currently carrying out one for the chemicals sector. Next in line, it is the turn of the EU forest-based sector.

EFI is one of three partners in the consortium which will carry out the study, together with BOKU (Vienna University of Life Sciences, an EFI member organisation) and Technopolis group (leader).

The first stakeholder meeting was held in Brussels on 27 February, and generated a lot of interest. Representatives from 11 EU forest industry federations discussed the study, and the relevant policies which have an impact on the sector. A presentation of the research plan by the consortium was followed by open discussion with the stakeholders.

As a follow-up, regular stakeholder meetings will take place throughout 2015. The next meeting will confirm the methodology used in the study, yielding a basis for carrying out the empirical part of the work. Together with BOKU, EFI will be involved in defining the boundaries of the forest-based industries, developing the sample of companies, and pre-assessing the costs of legislation on the EU forest-based industries.

More information:
Elias Hurmekoski (firstname.lastname @ efi.int)

Photo: Elias Hurmekoski

WPA slams “arrogant” IDB’s US$32M loans to Guyana

REDD monitor news - 3 hours 30 min ago
Kaieteur News, 27 February 2015 The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has vowed to join with the other Opposition parties to review a recent loan granted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), yesterday questioning the entity’s commitment to transparency, accountability, ethics and the rule of law. WPA, one of the several political parties comprising A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), the country’s largest Opposition, also again called for IDB to disclose whether the monies have been disbursed to Government. “To date, the IDB has refused the Guyanese public and their parliamentary representatives the courtesy of a response,” the party said in a statement. “We wish to place on record our strongest condemnation over the egregious actions of the IDB in the face of repeated calls from the Opposition, Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), and other Guyanese stakeholders, to tread carefully on making loans to the Guyana Government on the eve of national elections.”

[Guyana] WPA questions IDB's commitment to transparency, rule of law

REDD monitor news - 3 hours 30 min ago
Stabroek News, 26 February 2015 The Working People’s Alliance ( WPA) today called into question the commitment of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the rule of law and transparency. The WPA, a member of opposition coalition APNU, made the statement in the wake of another loan by the IDB to the government despite concerns that the monies could be used for electioneering and over the fact that Parliament remains suspended. A WPA release follows: IDB disrespect for Guyanese continues, in tandem with Government’s electioneering The Working People’ Alliance, the WPA, follows up on its call, as published in the Stabroek News (SN) article, IDB Approves $17.2M environmental loan, dated February 16th, 2015, for the IDB to publicly declare whether this loan has been disbursed, after being published as a single instalment.

[Guyana] Hururu and Bai Shan Lin sign lease accord – Company to build wharf, log pond, village’s road

REDD monitor news - 3 hours 31 min ago
Guyana Chronicle, 27 February 2015 Hururu an Amerindian community in Region Ten, has signed a lease agreement with Bai Shan Lin Forest Development Inc. for 24.7 acres of land that will see the company constructing a wharf, log pond and buildings.Village Toshao, Mr Winsbert Benjamin on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with General Manager of Bai Shan Lin, Mr Han Zhen Jun, for a 15-year lease that will see the village receiving $5,000 per acre over time. The MoU was signed in the presence of Amerindian Affairs Minister, Ms Pauline Sukhai and representatives of Bai Shan Lin, along with members of the Village Council of Hururu and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. The MoU will also cater for the construction of two-storied buildings, and a parking area to accommodate equipment.

[Guyana] Bai Shan Lin lease agreement…APNU-AFC would rescind improper deal – Harmon

REDD monitor news - 3 hours 33 min ago
Kaieteur News, 27 February 2015 General Secretary of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Joseph Harmon, is convinced that the recently signed lease agreement between Bai Shan Lin and the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs is improper and does not reflect that sufficient consultations were done on the matter. As such, the politician said that once the coalition, A Partnership for National Unity – Alliance For Change (APNU-AFC) assumes office, the deal would be rescinded and properly reviewed to ensure that all the requirements were met. Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai on Wednesday, signed a “communist” lease agreement with Bai Shan Lin, and the Amerindian village of Hururu. It is believed that the agreement was not fully negotiated between the company and the village, as media operatives observed that discussions on the contract were still taking place. This was even as cameras were being set up for the occasion.

[Guyana] Norway ethics body blacklists parent company of proposed Amaila builder

REDD monitor news - 3 hours 37 min ago
Stabroek News, 26 February 2015 Norway’s Council on Ethics (CE) has recommended that the parent company of China Railways First Group (CRFG) be excluded from the Scandinavian country’s sovereign fund “due to the unacceptable risk of the company being responsible for gross corruption.” China Railways First Group is involved in several major multi-billion projects here and was selected to construct the Amaila Falls Hydropower... [R-M: Subscription needed.]

Pictures at an exhibition: justice and sustainable development - in pictures

GFIS - 3 hours 40 min ago

With the sustainability agenda set to replace the millennium development goals when they expire later this year, the International Development Law Organisation is promoting an exhibition in Geneva to highlight the importance of the rule of law in development. In Focus: Justice and the Post-2015 Agenda, a collaboration with the photo agency Majority World, covers themes ranging from women’s rights in Afghanistan to access to electricity in rural areas of India

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[EU] Roadmap to Paris takes a wrong turn

REDD monitor news - 3 hours 43 min ago
FERN press release, 25 February 2015 This Press Release explains why the European Commission's ‘Roadmap to Paris’ is a weakening of its commitment to reduce emissions by 40 per cent. By including forests and agricultural land, the European Commission has weakened its target since such land removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases. Different sources are now citing between 2.4 and 5 per cent reduction as a result of this inclusion meaning the target could in actual fact be 35 per cent or lower; a disaster given that climate science shows that even 40 per cent was not enough. This sets a dangerous precedent for the Paris summit.

Europe rescues its carbon market

REDD monitor news - 4 hours 14 min ago
By Gerard Wynn, Energy and Carbon Blog, 27 February 2015 Something remarkable happened on Tuesday, when a group of European parliamentarians voted to approve reform of Europe’s carbon market. The Environment Committee of the European Parliament reversed a previous existential threat to the market, assuring its future; and in so doing, they made the Commission’s proposals more ambitious. The European Commission is well known for pushing social and environmental goals, which the European Parliament and EU member states subsequently tone down. On Tuesday, however, took the Parliament committee took the Commission’s proposals to make the carbon market more environmentally effective, and made them tougher. This new enthusiasm probably reflected the realisation that the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been wrecked now for too long.

[Malaysia] Reports blame illegal logging for felling Sarawak forest

REDD monitor news - 4 hours 31 min ago
By Ethan Harfenist, mongabay.com, 25 February 2015 A recent report by the international affairs think tank Chatham House has highlighted Malaysia’s lack of progress in dealing with illegal logging, blaming corruption and a lack of transparency on the country’s sluggish approach to environmental policy reform. “Widespread problems remain, particularly in the state of Sarawak,” the report said, adding that timber, as well as pulp, palm oil and rubber plantation expansion were the main drivers of forest loss in Malaysia... A separate report published by NGO Global Witness last December investigated Japan’s role in fueling Sarawak’s rapid deforestation. Global Witness claims Japan’s construction industries are utilizing vast amounts of timber derived from Sarawak, which harbors some of Malaysia’s last remaining old growth rainforests.

Reports slam Malaysian timber companies, urge reforms in forest management

REDD monitor news - 4 hours 33 min ago
By Ethan Harfenist, mongabay.com, 27 February 2015 Two international NGOs have called out Malaysia in recent months over the country’s widespread illegal logging. Malaysia has been accused of not doing enough to protect its diminishing forests and thwart the illicit timber trade, particularly in Sarawak, the site of the country’s worst deforestation. In reports issued recently, the organizations claim lack of governmental oversight, endemic corruption and limited transparency have allowed Malaysia’s forests to be plundered by the private sector. In its report, Global Witness specifically calls out Shin Yang and Samling, two of Malaysia’s biggest timber companies. Both are significant suppliers of timber products to Japan... Chatham House, an independent policy institute, noted in their own recent report that while Malaysia has made more progress in tackling the illegal timber trade than countries such as Cameroon — where an estimated half of all timber production is through the in

Brazil's king of deforestation dethroned in drive to beat land clearers

GFIS - 5 hours 40 min ago

Arrest of Ezekiel Castanha shines new spotlight on financial crime and may help bring breakthrough in effort to protect Amazon rainforest

For most of the past six years, Ezequiel Antônio Castanha had seemed a pillar of the community in the small Amazonian city of Novo Progresso. As the owner of a supermarket, hotel and car dealership, he provided more jobs than anyone else. Outside his municipality, few had heard of him. Neighbours described him as a “pessoa normal” (regular guy).

Today, however, the thick-set, middle-aged man sits in jail with a notoriety across Brazil as a Tony Soprano-like character whose businesses were used to launder money from one of the biggest land clearance syndicates ever uncovered.

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cyclisme info et Sarah Obraitis Gnnrf

GFIS - 8 hours 26 min ago

Il ne comprend pas les avantages tels que les soins de santé et de retraite.Ce est la féministe en moi qui rejectslimits ou dénigrement ou caractérisations de couverture fondée sur le sexe tout genre ».Le cabinet du président comprendra E.. Il ne peut pas mesurer les autres indicateurs plus ambigus, mais tout aussi importants de l’apprentissage .Peter Katz, chef de l’exploitation du MoMA PS1, et Sarah Obraitis, propriétaire de M.. Pour beaucoup d’Américains, étant des moyens mariés paient moretaxes que les personnes seules .Mais sur notre meilleure estimation d’une base de forlike comme, l’emprunt devrait être plus élevée dans les premières

Continue reading cyclisme info et Sarah Obraitis Gnnrf

Seed policy needed to boost agroforestry productivity in Malawi

GFIS - 11 hours 19 min ago

Lack of a seed policy in Malawi may be hampering efforts in agroforestry, explains an article in Blantyre Newspapers Online.

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Hope for our food systems

GFIS - 11 hours 53 min ago

An article on the Food Tank website profiles 101 stories of hope, innovation and success in creating a better food system.

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Farming charcoal trees in Kenya

GFIS - 12 hours 5 min ago

Planting trees specifically for charcoal production can provide Kenyan farmers with lucrative income as well as prevent forest destruction, says an article in the Daily Nation.

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Coffee agroforestry – a win-win for birds and farmers

GFIS - 12 hours 30 min ago

The importance of coffee agroforestry systems in providing habitat for birds is highlighted in an article in The Conversation.

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Round Valley First Forest Carbon Offset Project on Native Trust Land for California

GFIS - Sun, 01/03/2015 - 20:35

The discussions of climate change and carbon footprints are important subjects within Indian country, and recently the Round Valley Indian Tribes became a part of history as far as carbon emissions goes.

Tester lawsuit gaffe reveals real frustration with logging litigation

GFIS - Sun, 01/03/2015 - 20:27

Anyone who’s worked a fire lookout knows it’s tough to tell a wisp of morning fog from the smoke of a fresh lightning strike.

U.S. Forest Service Chief lays out strategy, agency priorities in senate testimony

GFIS - Sun, 01/03/2015 - 20:23

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell cited five focus areas for the President’s proposed $4.9 billion Fiscal Year 2016 budget for the agency: restoring resilient landscapes, building thriving communities, managing wildland fires, promoting safety, and building diversity and inclusiveness.


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by Dr. Radut