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Environment, Carbon and Forests

PwC post-Conference Of Parties (COP) report: UN Climate Summit – Lima

REDD monitor news - 8 hours 13 min ago
pwc, 15 December 2014 The climate talks almost ground to a halt here in Lima. Progress outside the process, such as the US-China climate deal and the $10bn pledged to the Green Climate Fund, did not translate into much progress inside the negotiating hall. Countries fired their opening salvos of the Paris negotiations here, and as a result, they agreed little of substance at the army headquarters where the climate summit was hosted. This was despite the best efforts of the host to create a positive atmosphere. There were two main objectives at COP20: to agree the information and review process for the national pledges (or INDCs*) in 2015, and to develop a first draft of the negotiating text. Many countries dug into long held positions and were accused of not negotiating at all. The talks ran on into the early hours of Sunday morning when countries finally adopted the bare bones of a decision on the pledges and agreed to keep talking in 2015.

The Wood Fiber Costs for the World’s Hardwood Pulp-Producing Mills Have Declined in 2014

GFIS - 12 hours 3 min ago
Reduced pulpwood prices in Sweden, Russia, Brazil and Australia in the 3Q/14 resulted in the lowest Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) since 2009, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. With mixed price trends for softwood fiber, the Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) has been fairly stable the past two years. [PR.com]

Forest Service Exceeds Ecological Restoration Goals

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 19:00
I am proud to announce that we exceeded our ecological restoration goals for Fiscal Year 2014. This was no small feat. A lot of great people across the U.S. Forest Service worked hard to make it a reality. We did substantial homework and planning, and then based on that we made strategic investments across all [...]

UK demand for sustainable palm oil rises – experts respond to Defra report

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 18:56

Latest Defra figures show the market for sustainable palm oil continues to grow, but will the UK meet its target?

Consumption of sustainable palm oil in the UK has increased for the fifth year running, according to the latest report from the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The second CPET Annual Review on UK Consumption of Sustainable Palm Oil shows there has been a steady rise in the proportion of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) being imported into the UK, with consumption increasing from 277,961 metric tonnes in 2012 to 321,61 metric tonnes in 2013. The figures, which include segregated and GreenPalm certified oils, show consumption has doubled since 2009 when just 155,000 metric tonnes was used.

There are a couple of big assumptions in Defra’s work on UK consumption of sustainable palm oil. The first is that CSPO, palm oil certified according to the RSPO standard, goes far enough in protecting against some of the worst environmental and social impacts of the industry – it doesn’t, although it is arguably better than standard palm oil. The second is that GreenPalm certificates should count towards the UK’s goal of achieving 100% sourcing of sustainable palm oil. They shouldn’t.

Even putting those issues aside, the report paints a frustrating picture. Although CSPO now accounts for between 55% to 71% of total consumption, too much of this is still attributed to GreenPalm certificates rather than physical CSPO. According to Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) data, only around half of the CSPO produced is being bought – the reality is that the UK, and many other countries with similar commitments, could and should be much closer to their target.

Defra’s report provides evidence that the UK food industry is making significant strides towards its goal of sourcing exclusively sustainable palm oil. This is evidenced by the commitment of our members to review and change their sourcing policies. After a slow start, the hospitality industry is taking the issue very seriously and addressing its responsibility.

However, there are outstanding challenges, including the ubiquity of palm oil in products as diverse as lemonade and toilet cleaner. The number of different certification schemes and the lack of transparency in products using palm oil derivatives are other challenges the industry faces.

It is excellent news that the UK is making continued progress towards its commitment to source 100% sustainable palm oil. Palm oil is a cheap and versatile product, and the industry has contributed greatly to the economies of the tropical countries where it is grown. However, there are considerable concerns about the negative environmental and social impacts that the industry is having, particularly in driving deforestation, carbon emissions from conversion of peatlands, and social issues including land rights of indigenous peoples.

The RSPO provides a good starting point for driving the transformation of the industry to one that provides a net benefit to environment and society. Of course, sustainability is a journey of continuous improvement, and we look forward to the RSPO and its stakeholders raising the bar further to achieve a truly sustainable oil palm industry in the future, as well as providing evidence that certification is achieving its aims.

The RSPO welcomes the positive announcement on sustainable palm oil from the UK. The RSPO is aiming for 100% CSPO across Europe by 2020. The fact that certified sustainable palm oil now represents between 55% and 71% of all palm oil consumed in the UK is good progress and encouraging for other countries that this target can be achieved. We are particularly pleased to see an increasing trend towards physical (segregated and mass balance) certified sustainable palm oil.

The UK is currently the only government in the world to join forces with industry and NGOs towards achieving 100% certified sustainable palm oil. It is retailers and food manufacturers that are driving the change and increase in demand towards the target, and we now need others, particularly the food service/catering sector, government procurement and the animal feed industry to join their efforts.

The Food and Drink Federation is pleased to see that Defra’s data show continued progress by the UK palm oil supply chain towards sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015.

In particular, the report demonstrates that demand for physical supplies of sustainable palm oil increased by more than 16% between 2012 and 2013. Even stronger progress should be seen in 2014 as leading food and drink manufacturers strive to meet updated company commitments by using only traceable supplies of sustainable palm oil.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors welcomes this report and the continued focus on sustainable palm oil targets. This is an area where Britain is leading the way on what is a global issue and the UK government should be applauded for taking the lead.

Holland is the only other country doing as detailed reporting on the usage of sustainable palm oil. There are obstacles, such as the availability of sustainable derivatives and the challenge of auditing, but initial progress towards the target is good.

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December 2014 Climate Finance Update

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 18:48
During December 2014, finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects was announced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), Global Environment Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank. Germany, Norway and the UK also reported on funding for projects to be undertaken in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) released its annual report, and publications on REDD+, climate finance and climate change awareness were produced by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), GEF, and IDB, respectively.

FAO Reports on Record Wood Pellet Market

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 18:37
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released global forest data showing an increase in wood product production in 2013. The ‘2013 Global Forest Products Facts and Figures' also notes the emergence over the past five years of China and the Russian Federation as significant forest product producers and consumers.

IGES Launches Project on Implementing the SDGs

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 17:50
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) announced the launch of a project, ‘From Aspiration to Action,' addressing implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project seeks to examine barriers to and enablers for the successful implementation of the goals and targets, and recommend essential means of implementation (MOI) to put them into action "through active engagement with various stakeholders and partners." The project issued a commentary on 12 December on the UN Secretary-General's synthesis report on the post-2015 development agenda, ‘The Road to Dignity by 2030.'

Looking back at COP20 in Lima

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 16:58
Region: World Sector: Renewable energy, Agriculture Program: REDD+ Country: Peru SNV attended the 2014 20TH Session of the Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru.

Call for Abstracts

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 16:58

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Beyond enforcement: Communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating illegal wildlife trade

Symposium to be held February 2015, South Africa


IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Austrian Ministry for the Environment, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and TRAFFIC are holding a symposium exploring the roles of communities, governance, incentives and sustainable use in combating illegal wildlife trade, to be held near Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 February–1 March 2015.

ASEAN Should Confront Laos On Rights Abuses: NGOs

REDD monitor news - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 16:42
By Prashanth Parameswaran, The Diplomat, 16 December 2014 ASEAN member states should abandon their principle of not interfering in each other’s internal affairs and confront Laos on rights abuses in the country as responsible members of the international community, a group of leading regional and international non-governmental organizations said yesterday. “Instead of invoking the principle of non-interference into one another’s internal affairs, ASEAN member states must act as responsible members of the international community and uphold the…key tenets enshrined in the ASEAN charter, which recognizes the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms….,” a statement, signed by 82 regional and international NGOs, said.

UPM to commercialise its smart food label

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 15:23
UPM and Indicatorium Oy have entered into an agreement for the international commercialisation of the food freshness indicator technology developed by UPM.

Visions for the world’s forests – the role of water in forests in Sweden and in the world.

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 15:06
Focali researcher Eskil Mattsson participated in a seminar on “Forests’ role for water in Sweden and the world”.

[Indonesia] Lessons Learned from the Conflict, Negotiations and Agreement between Senyerang Village and PT Wira Karya Sakti

REDD monitor news - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 14:34
By Patrick Anderson, Harry Oktavian and Rudiansyah, Forest Peoples Programme, 19 December 2014 A new report reveals unresolved social conflicts over the pulpwood plantation of a major Indonesian company promising ‘No Deforestation’. The report, from Forest Peoples Programme and Indonesian NGO partners, details a flawed conflict resolution process for community lands grabbed for pulpwood plantations by the massive pulp and paper company Asia Pulp and Paper, in Sumatra. APP is owned by the enormous Sinar Mas conglomerate which is incorporated in Jakarta. “Our field investigation shows how weak APP’s pilot conflict resolution effort in Jambi has been to date. The deal imposed on Senyerang Village (Kelurahan) is a tough one, and is not in line with APP’s policy commitment," said Patrick Anderson, Policy Advisor of Forest Peoples Programme.

Time to take the power away from the polluters

REDD monitor news - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 14:33
By Dorothy Grace Guerrero, Bangkok Post, 19 December 2014 After 11 full days of intense negotiations, the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP20) held in Lima, Peru, ended last week with proposals deemed too weak by climate campaigners. The results, which lock us to a disastrous global temperature rise of at least 3-4C, do not merely show a lack of progress in the talks, but also prove that the convention cannot offer the right solutions to the millions of people already affected by climate change, such as those in the Philippines and vulnerable small island states. The process, in its current state, does not and will not offer appropriate actions for those who will be affected in the future: the whole planet.

[Malaysia] Greed and Resistance in Sarawak's Rainforest

REDD monitor news - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 14:26
By Peter Bosshard, Huffington Post, 18 December 2014 Sarawak, the Malaysian province on the island of Borneo, has long been one of the six world regions with the highest biodiversity. An average hectare of Sarawak rainforest contains more tree species than all of Europe. The local Penan communities have names for more than 1300 of the plants they live with. The forest is also home to orang utans and tree leopards, hundreds of bird species, and frogs that can glide up to 20 meters through the air. The greed and corruption of a small clique are now turning Sarawak's rainforests into a monoculture of oil palms and hydropower reservoirs. In a gripping new book, Lukas Straumann, the Executive Director of the Bruno Manser Fund, documents the local politics, international complicity and desperate resistance in the struggle over one of the world's last paradises.

Carbonballs: “Lima is already a success,” says Al Gore at COP20

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 14:07
REDD-Monitor’s occasional series, Carbonballs usually features the howlers made by con artists selling carbon credits as investments. Today’s post features Al Gore, Former Vice President of the USA, the man who insisted on carbon trading as part of the Kyoto Protocol, back in 1997. On 11 December 2014, COP20Lima posted … read more

Fripa Papierfabrik starts up new tissue machine in Germany

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 13:23
In mid-November a new tissue paper production line was successfully put into operation at Fripa Papierfabrik's Miltenberg paper mill in Germany.

New owner of Uetersen mill presents business plan

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 12:59
After having been sold to investment company Perusa, the former Stora Enso mill in Uetersen will...

FAO report on State of the World's Forests 2014

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 12:13
FAO's 2014 edition of "State of the World’s Forests - Enhancing the socioeconomic benefits from forests" is out.

Commission to recover €102 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

GFIS - Fri, 19/12/2014 - 12:12
European - Press release Commission Brussels, 19 December 2014 A total of €102 million of EU agricultural policy funds, unduly spent by Member States, is being claimed back by the European Commission from Greece, Ireland and Slovenia under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure.

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