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Environment, Carbon and Forests

Myanmar foresters visit FRIM

GFIS - 9 hours 12 min ago
25 October 2014 (Saturday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has received a five-day study visit from the Myanmar Forest Department (FD). The visit was organised by the FRIM-ITTO REDDES Project implemented by the Natural Forest Programme under the FRIM Forestry and Environment Division. The five-member delegation was led by the Myanmar FD Planning and […]

Europe and the 'why me?' approach to decarbonisation

REDD monitor news - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 22:34
By Arthur Nelson, The Guardian, 24 October 2014 | In the economically flush days of 2007 as states prepared poker stances for an anticipated Kyoto II deal in Copenhagen, the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2020 were seen as a ‘me first!’ moment. Six years later, the bloc’s sequel is already being denounced by the clean energy industry and environmentalists as a ‘why me?’ package that barely rises above the EU’s own ‘business as usual’ forecasts, and comes with caveats that could render it toothless. The 20-20-20 benchmarks for 2020 – of 20% CO2 cuts, renewable energy share and efficiency gains – had appeared to offer global leadership. Reciprocal pledges were expected to allow a dynamic new US president to galvanise a coherent response to climate change. The 40-27-27 goals for 2030 slow the EU’s pace of change and extend to renewable energy the one clear failure of the 2008 package – a ‘non-binding’ energy efficiency goal that the bloc looks set to miss.

PEFC Recognized by Green Building Standard BREEAM

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 19:50
PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, has been recognized by BREEAM for its ability to allow the construction industry to source forest products in a responsible way. "This recognition by BREEAM underscores the growing importance of sustainably sourced wood in...

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EU Supports Amazon Protected Areas Project

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 18:43
The European Union (EU) has financed a project to strengthen protected areas systems in the Amazon. The ‘Amazon Conservation Vision' will increase the areas' resilience to climate change and promote the maintenance of environmental goods and services provision.

ESF Honored for Commitment to Blood Drives

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 18:36
Community involvement is alive and well at ESF. According to a National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement survey conducted in the spring of 2014, about 76 percent of ESF's undergraduate population volunteers in some way. "That says a lot about our students," said Meagan Pepper, ESF's program coordinator for community service.

CBD Secretariat to Provide Guidance on Sustainable Wildlife Management

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 18:34
Mandated by the twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the CBD Secretariat will be cooperating with the Collaborative Partnership on Sustainable Wildlife Management to prepare technical guidance on the role of sustainable wildlife management in the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and prepare an analysis of the impacts of 'subsistence use' of wildlife on the survival and regeneration of wild species, as well as support Parties in developing and implementing integrated sustainable wildlife management programmes.

Some progress, but still a long way to go: Biodiversity summit in Korea concludes

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 18:04
Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, October 2014—After two weeks of deliberations by 194 Parties(1) and more than 3000 delegates at the 12th Conference of the Parties (CoP12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, there were mixed views on the summit’s outcomes according to TRAFFIC.

EU emissions target isn't as ambitious as it seems

REDD monitor news - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:28
By Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 24 October 2014 | It sounds bold and ambitious. European Union leaders last night signed off on an agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. But climate scientists are wary of applauding the plan. For one thing, the target is a cut of 40 per cent compared with greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 – nearly 25 years ago. Since then, the EU has made cuts of almost 20 per cent, mainly through burning less coal and outsourcing heavy industries to developing countries. So it is virtually halfway there already. EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said after the deal that the new target left the EU's 28 member states "right on target" to meet its longer-term aspiration of an 80 per cent cut by 2050. But it's easy to argue otherwise – we're already nearly halfway there to the new 40 per cent target for 2030, but we'll have to act tougher and faster to cut a further 40 per cent in the remaining 20 years before 2050.

Stora Enso to expand board capacity at its Tainionkoski unit

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:15
Stora Enso will invest EUR 27 million in an upgrade project involving consumer board machine 5 at the company's Imatra Mills' Tainionkoski unit in Finland.

Walk in the Forest opens up window to a world of learning

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:13

October 24, 2014—COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Getting kids outdoors and actively engaged in learning is a tough task in a day where TV and video games seem to come first. But that is exactly what Project Learning Tree’s Walk in the Forest aims to do—starting with teachers. Throughout the school year, hundreds of teachers and pre-service—or student—teachers converge at forests across the state for Walk in the Forest, a PLT initiative aimed at getting environmental education implemented in classrooms across the state and nation. “We like to say that we use PLT as a window to the world. It’s a program that’s based on environmental education but it doesn’t teach students what to think, it teaches students how to think, how to discover and how to come to their own conclusions about the environment and about other things in life,” Jordan Herrin, Texas A&M Forest Service district forester and Sam Houston State University Walk in the Forest coordinator, said. A premier environmental education program, PLT uses hands-on, interdisciplinary activities to get prekindergarten through 12th-grade students reconnected with the outdoors while teaching them lessons that correspond with state curriculum standards. Teachers and pre-service teachers become certified to teach the curriculum through Walk in the Forest workshops. PLT co-coordinator and Texas A&M Forest Service District Forester John Boyette has been involved with Walk in the Forest for almost five years. “It’s a very worthwhile program. It teaches environmental science, it teaches forestry and it teaches teachers and students that forestry is a sustainable, earth-friendly type of business. You have to open your eyes and find out things for yourself.” Boyette recently led a Walk in the Forest in Longview at Eastman Chemical’s Nature Center. The center hosts nine outdoor classrooms and a demonstration forest that provides examples of different forest management concepts and techniques that they allow TFS to use throughout the year. Eastman Chemical’s continued commitment to the community, educators and students shows through their ten-year partnership with PLT, and that’s something they want to pass on. “We want our future decision makers (the students) to also have this same commitment in their lives and understand the importance of taking care of the environment,” Michelle Holyfield, training and responsible care coordinator for Eastman, said. During the workshops, teachers rotate through six different stations, each focusing on a hands-on sample activity they could plan for their classrooms. Mance Park Middle School teacher Sandra Bounds is a co-leader at the Huntsville State Park Walk in the Forest which is designed to help future teachers navigate through the program guide. Though any teacher can become involved with PLT, Bounds said it’s particularly successful to catch the student teachers while they’re still in college. Doing so allows them to accumulate a ready base of information—potential classroom lessons and a bank of natural resource professionals and forestry experts who can help them—before they get entrenched in the daily grind. “Nowhere else can you educate close to 200 people in one day with these kinds of resources,” said Bounds, who has been involved with PLT for most of her 17-year career. “As a teacher I have really appreciated the forest industry and the commitment to education that we have from these dedicated ladies and gentlemen that spend so much time making education priority.” Other important partnerships that make these Walks possible include Georgia Pacific, Resource Management Service, Hancock Forest Management and with colleges and universities like Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and LeTourneau. Walk in the Forest workshops take place once each semester in different parts of the state. A national program, PLT is provided by the American Forest Foundation. In Texas, it’s sponsored by Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Forestry Association. If you or an educator you know would be interested in joining the PLT program, check out www.plttexas.org. ### Editors Note: Texas Project Learning Tree hosts their Walk in the Forest workshop for over 150 pre-service teachers from Sam Houston State University who are interested in learning how to use the forest as a “window” into the natural world on Nov. 3 at Huntsville State Park. Media are invited to attend this event and should call or email Jordan Herrin for information. Check out the photo gallery from Walk in the Forest in Longview held Oct. 16, 2014. Contacts: Jordan Herrin, District Forester, Texas A&M Forest Service 936-295-5688, jherrin@tfs.tamu.edu Misty Bowie, PLT co-director for the Texas Forestry Association 936-652-3254, educationintexas@texasforestry.org Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Office newsmedia@tfs.tamu.eduow How h

Fedrigoni listed on Borsa Italiana in Milan

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:23
Coated woodfree and specialty paper manufacturer Fedrigoni has been approved for listing on the Star segment of the Italian stock exchange Borsa Italiana in Milan and has launched an initial public offering on 13 October, according to Euwid Pulp & Paper.

Illegal foragers are stripping UK forests of fungi

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:12

Gangs commercially picking edible fungi to sell to restaurants and markets are leaving a trail of destruction across ancient woodlands, such as Epping and New Forest

Here we go this is one of the really nasty ones, says Jeremy Dagley, pointing at the cappuccino-coloured cap of a two-inch mushroom nestled in the coppery leaf litter in Epping Forest. The brown roll rim will kill you and it is not a slow death.

But a few steps further on he discovers a mushroom the size and shape of a toasted tea cake. This is a penny bun - also called a cep - and its really edible, he says. It is the one the pickers love. They are really expensive and really lovely to eat.

Continue reading...

EU-funded project in China has lasting impacts for sustainable use of wild plants by Chinese traditional medicine sector

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:08
Shuijing Township, Sichuan Province, China 24th October 2014—A dedicated group of companies, government representatives and NGOs gathered in Shuijing Township, Sichuan Province this week to exchange experiences gained through a ground-breaking European Union-China Environmental Governance Programme project on harvesting of wild medicinal and aromatic plants (EGP MAPs).

Brazil protects giant swathe of Amazon rainforest

REDD monitor news - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 14:58
Reuters, 21 October 2014 | The Brazilian government said on Tuesday it has put an environmentally rich area of the Amazon rainforest under federal protection, creating a reserve larger than the U.S. state of Delaware. The new reserve, called Alto Maues, has 6,680 square km (668,000 hectares or 1.65 million acres) of mostly untouched forests that are not known to have human presence, the Brazilian Environment Ministry said. Declaring a federal reserve means forest clearing and similar development are forbidden. Putting large areas of mostly intact rainforest under federal protection is one of the tools the Brazilian government has to combat deforestation and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The creation of these reserves is part of the country's climate policy. Deforestation is the main cause of carbon emissions in Brazil, unlike most countries where the burning of fossil fuels leads emissions.

Civil Society warns of the impact of the World Bank’s proposals for safeguards

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 14:35
24 October, 2014

360 civil society groups and indigenous peoples’ organisations have endorsed a statement warning the World Bank that the newly proposed safeguard system risks increasing the burden on vulnerable communities and undermining years of progressive developments in the recognition by financial institutions of the need to adhere to best standards in development.

Click here to read the statement.

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Domtar reports rise in Q3 net earnings

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 13:19
Domtar Corporation today reported net earnings of $281 million ($4.33 per share) for the third quarter of 2014 compared to net earnings of $40 million ($0.61 per share) for the second quarter of 2014 and net earnings of $27 million ($0.41 per share) for the third quarter of 2013.

Oxfordshire Woodland Group looking for a group secretary

GFIS - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 13:13
The Oxfordshire Woodland Group are now seeking to recruit a person to undertake administrative duties for The Group. Duties include preparing Trustee meeting agendas & minutes of meeting, maintaining the Group bank account, preparing the annual Charities Commission submission, arranging Group visits & lectures, maintaining the Group membership data base, acting as a focal point […]

The Global Trade in Deforestation and Associated Emissions

REDD monitor news - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 12:19
By Frances Seymour, Center For Global Development, 22 October 2014 | Last month, I celebrated commitments to slow deforestation by Peru and Liberia announced at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York. Those agreements significantly expand the still-small set of large-scale experiments with REDD+, in which rich countries – in this case, Norway and Germany – promise to pay forest-rich countries to reduce emissions from deforestation. But a new Working Paper commissioned by CGD’s Initiative on Tropical Forests for Climate and Development argues that such national efforts could be overwhelmed by the increasingly commercialized and globalized markets for commodities that drive deforestation. The study, “Trading Forests: Quantifying the Contribution of Global Commodity Markets to Emissions from Tropical Deforestation”, by Professor Martin Persson et al seeks to inform “demand-side” efforts to get deforestation out of commodity supply chains.

How do we collaborate to curb deforestation?

REDD monitor news - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 12:13
By Jeremy Goon (Wilmar), World Economic Forum, 20 October 2014 | Consumers around the world are beginning to favour responsibly produced goods; and many companies that manufacture end-user goods have given themselves deadlines of between 2015 and 2020 to source 100% sustainable products to meet market demand. It is therefore critical that palm oil companies and the governments of the countries that produce them realize how important it is to move in this direction. In December 2013, Wilmar International Limited announced a “No deforestation, no peat and no exploitation” policy, with sustainability commitments covering the company’s entire palm oil supply chain. There is a need for momentum towards a more sustainable future in an industry that continues to be embroiled in debates over deforestation, biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions and social conflicts.

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by Dr. Radut