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Environment, Carbon and Forests

Press: Indigenous peoples of the Amazon share message with the world

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 14:58
26 April, 2017

Bogotá 25 April: We, the traditional authorities and elected leaders of the Uitoto, Muinane, Andoque and Nonuya peoples of the Middle Rio Caquetá region of the Colombian Amazon are in Bogotá between the 25th and 28th of April to represent our peoples and our Traditional Association of Indigenous Authorities - the Regional Indigenous Council of Middle Amazonas (CRIMA) in meetings with different State institutions and international agencies. We self-identify ourselves as the "People of the Centre" and heirs of the Green Territory of Life in the Amazon rainforest.
We are here to demand guarantees for our rights and to share concerns regarding forest, climate change and biodiversity projects that affect our territory, including the National Parks Department’s Heart of the Amazon Project supported by the World Bank and Global Environment Facility, and the Vision Amazonia Programme funded by the UK, Germany and Norway. We wish to express concerns that these programmes are undermining our principles of consent and participation and are applying processes that are not appropriate for our way of thinking and decision making.
Asserting our rights: Under our Law of Origin, and in accordance with our uses and customs, we have maintained a respectful relationship with our territory and the natural world. Before colonisation, our ancestors lived well. More than a century ago the cauchería came to exploit, enslave and displace our peoples, and almost exterminated us. We are the survivors of that genocide. We have since been reconstructing our society by building our malocas (ceremonial houses) and practising our ritual dances using the Word of Life and the wisdom of our elders. Since the 1970’s, our Cabildos (Councils) and Traditional Association of Indigenous Authorities have undertaken collective actions to legally securing our territory and to claim our rights.
Messages of the People of the Centre
To the Colombian government: We are not here to ask for projects. We want the national government to fully recognise our autonomy and our rights to govern our territory. We wish to see our applications for the extension of Reserves of Monochoa, Puerto Sábalo-Los Monos and Aduche properly processed and titled in favour of our communities to consolidate the Territory of Life belonging to the People of the Centre. In addition, we seek the formation and legal registration of an Indigenous Territorial Entity under our full jurisdiction in order to manage, administer and preserve our traditional territory and forests and maintain our way of life.

To international institutions: We inform the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, donor governments and cooperation agencies of Germany, the United Kingdom and Norway, that they must reach agreements directly with us, as our ancestors did. They did not talk to outsiders by means of third parties. We don’t want to have the interference of intermediaries such as NGOs and environmental funds: we seek a direct relationship between programmes, international donors and our traditional authorities. We demand that we are recognised and respected as environmental authorities in our own territory, with our own indigenous system of territorial ordering. We demand that the agencies respect our rights to own, manage and control our territory. To this end, we seek formal steps to develop and implement a Safeguard Plan for our peoples.
To the world: These demands are not just our concerns. Many other peoples in the Amazon and the world have similar claims and proposals for protecting peoples’ rights and sustaining the forests. When we say that we manage our territory and have our own government we are not talking about nature as an object or natural resource, but rather as a space with natural beings with whom we relate guided by our Word of Life and mutual respect. We want to let the world know what “territory” means to us. This week we will share the teachings of the Muinane people about our care of territory. The Uitoto, Andoque and Nonuya peoples have been working in the same direction in documenting our ways of managing and preserving the rainforests. We want to invite all the Peoples of the Centre, America and other parts of the world to join us in this effort to defend life and territory.
Hernando Castro, Regional Indigenous Council of Middle Amazonas: hecasu68@yahoo.es
Tom Griffiths, FPP: tom@forestpeoples.org
Camilla Capasso, FPP: camilla@forestpeoples.org; +44 1608652893

Local law and order

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 12:50

Can communities and legislation stop Indonesian peatfires?

Solution for plastic recycling in sight

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 12:26
Worms can be the solution to the huge problem with recycling of plastic. The larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella, bio-degradiates plastics really fast and produces ethylene glycol, a Spanish researcher found out. Read more in Current Biology!

Helping rice farmers grow trees for adapting to climate change

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 10:05

  Trees in, and around, rice fields help farmers’ become more resilient to climate change, improve their incomes and protect the environment. A new practical manual helps guide farmers in Southeast Asia, the rice bowl of the world....

The post Helping rice farmers grow trees for adapting to climate change appeared first on Agroforestry World.

US homebuilder stocks fall after Trump tariffs

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:53
Homebuilder stocks fell on concern new tariffs by the Trump administration on Canadian softwood lumber imports will raise costs. Source: CNBC News The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) fell about 1%. PulteGroup’s stock closed down almost 4%, and Toll Brothers shares ended the day nearly 1% lower. PulteGroup also said its first-quarter results missed analyst estimates. Shares of DR Horton also pulled back, closing down over 1%. “We expect builders to attempt to combine surcharges to customers with some acceptance of lower margins as a way of coping,” wrote Carl Reichardt of BTIG. “Expect stocks to react negatively today with volatility to come as this issue plays out.” The analyst notes that lumber accounts for 8% to 12% of the cost of a new home. The trade action, the culmination of a long-running dispute between the two countries, wasn’t totally unexpected as lumber futures have surged already this year in anticipation of a possible escalation of this sort by President Donald Trump and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “The reason we’re putting it on is because Canada’s forests are owned by the various provinces and the provinces charge very discounted … prices to the lumbermen, which in turn lets them get subsidized low prices coming into the US,” Ross told CNBC. “It seems unfair because in the US most of the forests are privately owned and, therefore, they pay full market price,” he said. Lumber future for May delivery fell 2.53% to $385.10 per thousand board feet as investors took profits after the already blockbuster year for the commodity. “Lumber futures should move higher, but this announcement has been anticipated,” said Brian Kelly of BKCM. We “might get a sell the news” event. Lumber futures are up more than 20% this year. “It was priced in a couple weeks ago when there was talk the tariff was going to happen,” said Daniel Flynn, trader at The PRICE Futures Group. “Markets tend to overreact on a headline. Right now, nervousness” in the market. Canadian lumber stocks, on the other hand, rose sharply, including Canfor shares, which popped more than 6%.

Trump targets Canadian timber

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:52
The Trump administration is taking retaliatory action against Canada over a decades-old trade dispute, moving to impose a 20% tariff on softwood timber that is typically used to build single-family homes, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said yesterday. Source: The Australian Mr Ross said the tariff would be applied retrospectively and imposed on Canadian exports to the US of about $US5 billion ($6.6bn) a year. He said the dispute centred on Canadian provinces that had been allegedly allowing loggers to cut trees down at improperly subsidised costs and sell them at lower prices. The decision is preliminary and the Commerce Department will need to make a final determination. After that, the US International Trade Commission will also need to find that the US industry has suffered injury before any tariff is levied. But even a preliminary decision has immediate consequences, by discouraging importers from buying timber from Canada. “We tried to negotiate a settlement but we were unable,” just as previous administrations were also unable to resolve the dispute with Canada, Mr Ross said, adding that the Trump administration had notified Canada of its decision. The Canadian government said yesterday it “disagrees strongly” with the Commerce Department’s decision, arguing the reasoning was based on “baseless and unfounded” allegations from the US timber industry. In a joint statement from Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Resources Minister Jim Carr, the Liberal government said it would defend the country’s timber interests, including through litigation, and press the Trump administration to “rescind this unfair and unwarranted trade action”. It added the move hurt both the US and Canadian economies, most notably by increasing the cost of building a new house. President Donald Trump’s heightened rhetoric over Canadian treatment of US timber and dairy producers in recent days marked a sharp pivot for the President on the US’s northern neighbour and second-largest two-way trading partner, after China, with nearly $US545bn in goods and services crossing the border last year. In the lead-up to the decision on timber duties, US-Canada trade watchers said the Trump administration’s move on timber could serve as an opening gambit in laying out what he wants Canada to put on the table as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, which have yet to begin. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that when it came to trade irritants, from timber to dairy, he would “present the facts” to Washington and aim to work constructively on making improvements to NAFTA.

Legal challenge mounted to stop logging ash

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:51
Logging of Victoria’s native ash forests would be banned under an unprecedented legal challenge. Source: The Weekly Times Green group Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum has called on Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio to “prohibit any activity damaging to critical habitat of the Leadbeater’s possum, including timber harvesting operations, immediately”. Group president Steve Meacher called on Ms D’Ambrosio to declare an Interim Conservation Order across more than 170,000 hectares of ash forest in the state’s central highlands. “It’s a mechanism within the Flora and Fauna Act that has never been used before, but we’ve never had a state faunal emblem on the edge of extinction before,” Mr Meacher said. “Instead of watching and waiting for this animal to become extinct we’re calling on the minister to intervene.” A letter to the minister from the group’s lawyer Danya Jacobs said “an Interim Conservation Order is intended to provide the last line of legal protection for threatened species”. A Government spokesman said Ms D’Ambrosio was considering the letter. VicForests spokesman David Walsh said the order “would lead to significant difficulties in delivering timber to current contracts and put at risk thousands of jobs across the Victorian timber industry”. A review of Special Protection Zones established to protect possum habitat is expected from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning this week. Meanwhile, the Victorian Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party plans to call a parliamentary inquiry into VicForests. Eastern Victoria MP Jeff Bourman said it was “time the operations were laid out for all to see, so the people of Heyfield and workers at ASH at least know the truth”. “Under the previous government there was enough timber for a 20-year contract and now we don’t have enough for a one-year contract (at Heyfield),” Mr Bourman said.  “I’m confident the Greens and Coalition will support it (an inquiry).” But Nationals leader Peter Walsh said he did not know of the inquiry. “I’m not sure an inquiry into VicForests management at Heyfield is the place where people need to be looking.” Mr Walsh said an inquiry looking at the state’s management of threatened species made more sense. “These species are more prevalent than people might think,” he said.

Cooroora Woodworkers 28th show

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:48
The Cooroora Woodworkers will be holding its 28th annual Wood and Craft Show on May 12 and 13. Source: Sunshine Coast Daily The show will be held in the Cooroora Woodworkers’ clubhouse and surrounding precinct at 8 Lowermill Rd, Cooroy. The organisers are confident that the 2017 show will be the best show ever. The heart of the show is always where regional woodworking clubs compete in the interclub competition and students try their hand in the schools’ competition, as well as club members vying for victory in their own internal woodcraft competition. While valuable prizes are offered over a whole range of activities, these competitions promote woodworking skills. Woodworking is one of the oldest-known crafts and the constant drive to perfection is a mental stimulus and a great health benefit. Environmental concerns are always important and the club’s milling team saves many logs from around the Cooroy region to be recycled into useful timber. The shows increasingly reflect environmental issues. Visitors to the show will be able to see all the competition entries as well as demonstrations of woodworking, timber milling and a whole range of quality items offered for sale. Entry to see the competition entries is $2 (under-16 free). The Cooroora Woodworkers Club milling team recycles unwanted logs into useful timber. The team’s equipment level is basic and consists of a trailer with an electric- powered winch plus a few steel cables. Using this gear, augmented by two lever bars, a chainsaw and manpower, the milling team has been collecting logs from various properties around the Cooroy region for many years. After cutting to a length of about 2.5m, the logs (some exceeding 1000kg) are taken by trailer to the milling site at Ringtail Creek. A Lucas Mill fitted with a horizontal chainsaw is used to cut the logs into slabs. Alex Findlay, who is the timber-milling convenor, has been using the machine for more than 14 years and said the team had cut many thousands of slabs. Each year, the Lucas Mill is brought to Cooroy for the show and visitors can see the milling team in action. The mill is set up on the concrete slab next to the log maze. The cut slabs are offered for sale off the saw and seasoned slabs will also be available to buy.

Pesky pine pollen altering the oceans

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:47
That same pesky pine pollen that gets up your nose and coats your windscreen with yellow dust could also be altering some of the world’s deepest ecosystems. Source: New Zealand Herald Scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) say pollen from New Zealand pine forests has been shown to travel more than 1500km through wind and ocean currents, and sink thousands of metres into the ocean. Niwa scientists have analysed sediment samples from the Kermadec and Tonga trenches north of New Zealand. The findings show pine pollen is common, even in these remote deep-sea ecosystems. Pollen was found to be particularly abundant in the deepest part of the Tonga Trench, 10,800m down – and the second deepest point of the world’s oceans. The research findings have just been published in the scientific journal Ecosystems and concludes that pollen from exotic pine plantations may be changing these remote ecosystems. Niwa marine biologist Dr Daniel Leduc said the steep topography of trenches was thought to funnel fine particles that sink from the surface waters of the sea, leading to high accumulation of fine material, including pollen, at their deepest point. The study also found that areas where pollen is most abundant harbour the most life, suggesting that pollen may be a food source for some deep-sea organisms. Pine pollen was observed inside small, single-celled organisms called gromiids, which ingest the pollen and may derive nutritional benefits from it, Leduc said. “This unsuspected source of land-derived food originating from exotic pine plantations may be altering deep-sea food webs. “Deep-sea ecosystems are typically characterised by very low availability of food sinking from the surface, and any new food source is likely to get used by the organisms that live in the sediments.” Pines produce particularly large amounts of pollen which can travel very long distance by wind and ocean currents, reaching remote offshore areas where little or no other pollen is found. Dr Leduc said the replacement of native forest by forests of exotic pine likely led to an increased transport of pollen to offshore areas. Monterey pine was introduced to New Zealand in the early 20th century, with more than 1 million ha of pine forest now established. These forests produce an estimated 4.5 million tonnes of pollen each year. Dr Ashley Rowden, a Niwa scientist who co-authored the study, said the accumulation of pine pollen may also represent an unsuspected carbon sink. “The gradual burial of pine pollen, part of which is highly resistant to decomposition, likely contributes to the sequestration of land-derived carbon.” Further research is planned by Niwa scientists to investigate just how much carbon and nutrients are being transported by pine pollen to the deep sea around New Zealand, and to better understand the contribution of pollen to the diet of deep-sea organisms.

Cyclones dampen forestry production

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:46
Rain and wind from the ex-cyclones which lashed New Zealand’s central and lower North Island in the past fortnight, slowed production rates and damaged trees, AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his monthly forestry market report. Source: TVNZ “This should slow offerings to the market, but will obviously only benefit those not impacted by the weather.” AgriHQ’s Brick noted that the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay were significantly impacted, areas which account for about 17% of the country’s pine plantations. The stormy weather conditions also caused havoc to sea conditions, forcing at least one ship to cancel its booked shipments to and from New Zealand, and delaying many other shipments, Mr Brick said. “Ultimately, this will curb April export volumes.” Forest products are New Zealand’s third-largest commodity export group behind dairy and meat products. Mr Brick’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers showed prices were little changed this month. AgriHQ noted that shipping rates to China had lifted and shipping capacity was more difficult to secure than earlier in the year.

Gumatj makes a go of timber milling

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:43
One of Australia’s most influential indigenous leaders believes the rest of the nation could learn from what the Gumatj Corporation is achieving in the business world. Source: NT News Under the watchful eye of Galarrwuy Yunupingu, a former Australian of the Year, and the Gumatj Corporation board, the Yolngu in Arnhem Land have created a diverse range of businesses from construction through to cattle to mining. A key piece of the future will be the issuing of 99-year leases which will offer better land tenure. They are delivering genuine employment outcomes and have created their own timber milling industry and trussing manufacturing business in the process. “Things are getting better. There will be a lot of businesses happening — that is the name of the game,” Mr Yunupingu said. “The rest of Australia could learn from what we are doing here and to participate is the name of the game. Not only taking interest but to participate in the way we are doing our jobs.” Gumatj Corporation chief executive officer and long-time friend of Mr Yunupingu, Klaus Helms, said much of what had been created had occurred in the last seven years and come about due to a shift in thinking. “About seven years ago we talked about the possibility of the mine closure and that one day it could occur,” he said. “The first thing was to get the leaders together and we started to talk about if the mine shuts. “You’ve got no statutory royalties, you’ve got no mining royalties and then all of a sudden you’ve got nothing and then what were people going to do — go back to welfare.” At that point, the board made a decision to start looking for businesses and targeted the 17 to 24-year-old Yolngu to fill the jobs. They have reached the stage they now have a regular reliable workforce spread across Nhulunbuy and Elcho Island. Uncertainty was confirmed several years ago when the refinery at Nhulunbuy was mothballed.

Effective management of forests just a pretty picture

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:42
Australia is the seventh most forested country in the world and Australians have more forest per person than most other countries except for the Canadians and the Russians according to the Australian Institute of Foresters. Source: Timberbiz Rob de Fégely, National President of the Australian Institute of Foresters presented a grim picture of Australia’s contribution to managing renewable forest and plantation resources to the 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference in India this month. “It is a source of some national shame that Australia has a significant trade deficit in forest products of more than $2 billion each year,” Mr de Fegely said. “This is not an economic argument but a moral and social one. We have the space, skills, wealth and knowledge to do more. “Using wood is good – it is a carbon-positive, renewable resource – and it is almost impossible to live a day without using wood products in some form. Wood is a timeless product and we should encourage its use. “Most of Australia’s 125 million hectares of forest are either privately owned or on leasehold land yet the bulk of the production from natural forests come from public multiple use forests. “In addition, most of our planted forest estate was either established by public forest agencies or with some form of government assistance. “Private forest owners and Indigenous Australians, particularly in natural forests are conspicuous by their absence in the long-term supply of wood products. “We can change this if we have the community support and political will to do so! “Indigenous Australians own, manage or have an interest in around 30% of Australia’s forests and many are wanting greater autonomy in the management of their land and forests. “Effectively managing forests for environmental outcomes is also not the pretty picture we are often led to believe. “Australia has considerable areas of conservation forests which have no effective monitoring making it challenging to make informed decisions about forest management particularly in a landscape context. “Are these forests achieving what we think they are? “We need to investigate whether there is market failure in the domestic forest products market and whether incentives are needed to continue to develop new forest resources. Although I am often reminded that one of the best incentives is a simple one called profit! “Australia has a proud history of forest management and has the ability to improve conservation outcomes from its forests while meeting demand for renewable resources like wood.”

Burn off in Beecher State Forest

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:41
A planned burn-off is due to take place in the Beecher State Forest area over the next few days. Source: Gladstone Observer The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is set to conduct the burn-off until Friday, according to a QPWS statement. The fire may be called off if weather conditions become unfavourable. Smoke may be seen in the Gladstone, Calliope, Beecher and Burua areas, the statement said. Motorists are advised to drive safely to conditions if travelling through the area due to the potential for decreased visibility on the roads. QPWS said the burn was part of the annual hazard reduction and conservation management program conducted to reduce the volume of forest fuels and create a “mosaic pattern” of burnt and unburnt areas. The aim is to help lower the intensity of subsequent wildfires and increase prospects of natural forest regeneration. Anyone seeking more information can call QPWS’s Rockhampton office on 4936 0570.

NSW Forest Industries Tasforce meets in Tumut

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 05:41
The NSW Forest Industries Taskforce met in Tumut last week, with Minister for Forestry Paul Toole and major industry representatives in attendance. Source: Tumut and Adelong Times Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire said having the Minister in Tumut meant he could see the impact of forestry here first-hand. “It enables a lot of people from other regions to see the dynamics of Tumut, Tumbarumba, and Batlow, and see what it is that we do,” he said. “It’s a sharing of ideas, and to have the minister here is a bonus because he ultimately gets to make the decisions. “This is the centre of the timber industry, and it’s got a bright future if all the ministers and participants work cooperatively – and that’s what’s happening. That’s exactly what you’re seeing today: industry chiefs all sharing ideas and working for the future of the industry.” The NSW Forest Industries Taskforce was created in 2012 and meets four times a year. It is currently chaired by Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources Rick Colless, and consists of 15 other members: Nick Roberts of the Forestry Corporation of NSW; Andrew Hurford of Timber NSW; Ross Hampton, Stephen Dadd and Peter Mitchell of the Australian Forest Products Association; Stacey Gardiner and Chris Mangan of the Australian Forest Contractors Association; Nick Cameron of the Institute of Foresters of Australia; Kenneth Epp of Visy; Helen Murray of Timber Communities Australia; Francis Clarke of Australian Forest Growers; Belinda Lengenberg of the NSW Softwoods Industry; Bronwyn Petrie of NSW Farmers; and John Halkett of Forestland Consulting. Daryl Maguire lobbied for this quarter’s meeting to be held in Tumut, and Softwoods Working Group Chairman Peter Crowe thanked Mr Maguire for his work. “I want to recognise the work that Daryl’s done behind the scenes,” he said. “He’s been extremely influential in having all these things take place, and getting the Minister here and the Taskforce and all the rest of it. He’s done what all good ministers do: he’s worked like hell for his electorate.” Paul Toole is new to the Forestry Ministry, previously occupying the position of Minister for Local Government. However, he said he finds the job “fantastic,” and would be focusing on replanting harvested areas in the state. “The industry is going to be around for a long time, and Forestry Corporation is committed to ensuring that land is going to be used for replanting into the future as well – rather than just locking the gates up after its been harvested and seeing no replanting taking place,” he said.

Lumber Tariff Adds Wrinkle to Nafta Talks With Canada

GFIS - Wed, 26/04/2017 - 03:33
The Trump administration seized on the decision to slap tariffs on the industry’s exports as a way to demonstrate the president’s tough-on-trade posture.

B.C. Lumber Producers to Vigorously Defend Against U.S. Duties on Softwood Lumber

GFIS - Tue, 25/04/2017 - 20:35

Published April 24th, 2017 by the British Columbia Trade Council – Source Lumber tariffs will mean American job losses and higher American consumer costs Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed punitive preliminary countervailing duty rates on Canadian softwood lumber in response to a petition filed by the protectionist lumber lobby in United States. In this preliminary determination, countervailing duty rates imposed are as follows: …

The post B.C. Lumber Producers to Vigorously Defend Against U.S. Duties on Softwood Lumber appeared first on Coast Forest.

FLARE 3rd Annual Meeting

GFIS - Tue, 25/04/2017 - 16:48
Call for abstracts! Focali is part of the Coordination Committee when FLARE (Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement) will have its annual meeting in Stockholm, hosted by Stockholm University.

Reducing Inequality in a Turbulent World: Scaling-up strategies to secure indigenous, community, and women’s land rights

GFIS - Tue, 25/04/2017 - 16:25
3rd International Conference on Scaling-up Efforts to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights. The event is co-organized by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative (SIANI), and the International Foundation for Science (IFS).

Get your cameras and phones ready – Become the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year!

GFIS - Tue, 25/04/2017 - 11:19
How do forests make a difference to your life? How do you experience the many benefits that forests provide? Whatever forests mean to you, we want to know. Express yourself through your photos and compete for the 2017 PEFC Photographer of the Year Award! For the first time ever, our members have...

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Zambia announces indefinite ban on “In Transit” timber

GFIS - Tue, 25/04/2017 - 11:13
Zambia, 20th April 2017—In an encouraging move for East African forestry management and timber trade, the Zambian government has announced a ban on all “In Transit” timber within the country. The declaration, passed today, takes place effective immediately until further notice.


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