23 October, 2014
UN Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts sent the attached open letter to the State Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
In an open letter to the UNFCCC, the HR Council has called for a new climate agreement to protect human rights for all. The letter states: “There can no longer be any doubt that climate change interferes with the enjoyment of human rights recognised and protected by international law,” and underscores the need for urgency in addressing this topic, because of the approaching deadlines for the climate negotiations to reach a concrete solution. The Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention meets this December in Lima (COP 20), with the goal of adopting a new legal instrument at its next meeting, in Paris in December 2015 (COP 21).
The experts urge the State Parties to the UNFCCC “to recognise the adverse effects of climate change on the enjoyment of human rights, and to adopt urgent and ambitious mitigation and adaptation measures to prevent further harm.” Specifically, we call on the State Parties “to include language in the 2015 climate agreement that provides that the Parties shall, in all climate change related actions, respect, protect, promote, and fulfil human rights for all. And we urge the State Parties at COP 20 in Lima to launch a work program to ensure that human rights are integrated into all aspects of climate actions.”
The letter stresses that the human rights responsibilities of the State Parties in this respect “should not be viewed as stopping at their borders.” Because climate change is a global threat that requires global cooperation to solve, “States must work together in good faith to protect the environment that supports and enables the full enjoyment of our human rights.”
The full statement -- signed by 28 independent human rights experts -- is available here: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/SP/SP_To_UNFCCC.pdf
Special Envoy for Climate Change Mary Robinson has also released a statement: http://www.mrfcj.org/news/significant-development-the-advancement.html
The American Forest & Paper Association has released its September 2014 Printing-Writing Paper Report. According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 4 percent in September compared to September 2013, with total paper inventories decreasing 6 percent compared to August.
Kemira will invest in a production line expansion of process and functional chemistries at San Giorgio plant in Italy.
Valmet has developed a new chip bin, OptiBin, for pulp mills' digester chip feeding. Its task is to serve as a buffer before the digester and to remove air from the chips in an odorless manner.
A sneak peek into the Gombe national park in Tanzania reveals thick forest, tall waterfalls and chimps in treetops feasting on flies
Chimpanzees and their remote forest home in Tanzania have joined camels in the Abu Dhabi desert and the wildlife of the Galapagos islands on the list of things you can see on Google Streetview.
A team spent nine days with backpack-mounted cameras mapping Gombe national park, where primatologist Jane Goodall made her ground-breaking discovery over 50 years ago of chimps not just using but making tools. Continue reading...
C LEVEL, 21 October 2014 | In the worlds wettest place, Meghalaya, the Federation of Indigenous Khasi are powering ahead with India’s first REDD+ Project. You can watch the short film we made, the 101Vision in just 4 minutes here. Sacred forests, scattered with ancient stone monoliths, are home to a multitude of endangered species. Yet, due to pressures from logging, mining, forest fires and agriculture, deforestation was rapidly undermining ecosystems and peoples livelihoods. Community Forestry International worked with a Federation of 10 indigenous kingdoms to develop India’s very first REDD+ initiative, certified under the Plan Vivo (living plan) Standard. Businesses are able to make payments for ecosystem services by buying carbon credits – making these kind of projects happen and aligning business interests with those of the worlds great forests and indigenous peoples like the Khasi.
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 23 October 2014 | The fast-growing campaign to persuade investors to dump fossil fuel stocks has set its sights on a twin target of the world’s biggest mining company and one of the globe’s best universities. The mining giant BHP Billiton will face protests at its AGM in London on Thursday over its £6m association with University College London (UCL) and the effects of its activities around the world... The BHP Billiton AGM will also hear protests from people affected by its operations around the world. Rogelio Ustate Arregocés, has travelled from Colombia, where his village Tabaco was destroyed by the opencast Cerrejon coal mine, one of the largest in the world and part-owned by BHP... Pius Ginting, from Friends of the Earth Indonesia, will also use proxy shares to tell the BHP Billiton AGM that company should give up its huge areas of coal mining permits in the rainforests in the heart of Borneo. UCL declined to meet Arregocés or Ginting.
By Steve Zwick, Ecosystem Marketplace, 22 October 2014 | Over half the world’s known species are found only in tropical forests, and companies that invest in forest carbon projects often do so as much to conserve endangered habitat as to sequester carbon. Indeed, most privately-funded forest-carbon projects explicitly identify and tout their biodiversity impacts to attract top dollar, which is why voluntary carbon markets have succeeded in using carbon finance to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and to conserve biodiversity. But can governments replicate that success at a national or at least state-wide level? That question was central to last week’s 12th Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where delegates explored the synergies between sustainable forestry and biodiversity conservation.
Northampton Chronicle and Echo, 20 October 2014 | Investors are being warned by council officers that they cannot build on a plot of land in Northamptonshire that was at the centre of a £10 million fraud. The site in Hulcote, near Towcester, is being sold by the liquidators of Matthew Noad and Clive Griston, who were jailed for conning people into investing in it and other plots with a view to huge profits when the land was developed. But South Northants Council has warned that its policy is not to develop open countryside and any permission to build the land is highly unlikely to be granted... After pleading guilty in December, and combined with a scam in relation to Carbon Credits, Noad and Griston were jailed for four years and eight months each and disqualified from being company directors for 10 years at the Old Bailey on April 22.
By Brian Palmer, OnEarth Magazine (NRDC), 20 October 2014 | There are two basic ways to reduce deforestation: REDD, which the UN wants to promote, is the carrot. Brazil, which has more rainforest than any other country in the world (by a lot), has been using the stick. The stick works (or at least, it used to). Deforestation in Brazil has fallen 79 percent in a decade, and the country recently boasted four straight years of declining deforestation rates... This punitive, top-down approach was amazingly effective—until last year. With little warning, deforestation jumped 29 percent. What happened? Although Brazil is still doing better than most countries, many observers worry that the regulations are beginning to grate. Farmers have complained for years that the restrictions are too harsh, and large landowners successfully lobbied to loosen deforestation laws two years ago. The economy has stalled. The soybean moratorium ends this year.
Ecosystem Marketplace, 20 October 2014 | What’s happening to Paraguay’s forest is, unfortunately, a well-told story. The forests are under pressure from a multitude of threats that are undermining its health. A changing climate continues to alter rain patterns and affect food security. Drought plagues the farming and indigenous communities that rely on the forests for their livelihoods. Meanwhile, poor local people living nearby are over-hunting and illegally logging. And the forest people receive little help from authorities in the way of law enforcement toward preventing these crimes. Because of these threats, Paraguay’s 16 million hectares of forest are diminishing. This includes the Gran Chaco, the largest dry forest in South America. But as in several other countries struggling with similar challenges, REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) could serve as a solution. With REDD, sustainable forest management is fundamental.
By Roland Mbonteh, Cameroon Tribune, 22 October 2014 | The impact of Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade" (FLEGT) examined in Buea. Following the consequences of illegal forest exploitation, some of which includes the degradation of the environment, loss of public finance and poor living conditions of indigenous forest communities amongst others, the European Union (EU) adopted a strategy in 2000 dubbed "Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade" (FLEGT) in a bid to curb the illegality in countries in Africa and South America exporting timber to Europe. Cameroon with a forest surface area of 19.6 million hectares (3rd largest in Africa) ratified the agreement through law no. 2011/238 of 9 August 2011 while the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife signed an Ordinance in 2013 to implement the agreement.
By Anne Sandbrink, blog.annesandbrink.com, 21 October 2014 | Tomorrow a spin-off of the TED talks will happen in London: the REDD+ Talks. This event will catch the eye of only a specific crowd because it’s not as generic as the TED Talks. All talks will focus on REDD+: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation + Conservation and Sustainable Development. This international mechanism initiated by the United Nations aims to increase the value of standing forest and provide forest communities and developing countries with a new, sustainable pathway to economic growth. Recognizing the economic value of ecosystem services that standing forests provide will not only result in greenhouse gas emission reduction, but will also contribute to forest conservation, biodiversity preservation and sustainable economic development of forest communities.
By Kate Evans, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 22 October 2014 | A declaration by the governors of 21 tropical states and provinces announced recently at the United Nations Climate Summit is one of the “best deals going” for mitigating climate change and protecting tropical forests, a top scientist says. And one non-tropical place—California—could be “key” to the success of the declaration. The Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force (GCF) signed the Rio Branco Declaration in August, committing to reduce deforestation by 80 percent by 2020—if pay-for-performance financing can be secured from donor governments and the private sector. Significantly, the governors pledge to channel a substantial share of that revenue toward indigenous people and forest communities. Daniel Nepstad, the Executive Director of the Earth Innovation Institute, said on the sidelines of the Colloquium on Forests and Climate that although the task force has been a long-term collaboration...
By Carlos Paath, The Jakarta Globe, 23 October 2014 | A list of the ministries that President Joko Widodo plans to merge has come to light, confirming earlier speculation that the Education Ministry would be split up, among other changes. The affected ministries and their new incarnations are listed in a letter submitted to the president to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, a day after his inauguration. “The letter is a request for input on changing the ministries,” Fahri Hamzah, a deputy speaker of the House, told reporters on Thursday morning. “We’ll follow up on it with the rest of the House leaders and the party leaders at two this afternoon.” The proposed changes are as follows: ... The Environment Ministry and the Forestry Ministry will be merged into the Environment and Forestry Ministry.
By Victoria Finlay, The Independent, 18 October 2014 | If Christianity were promoted like climate change is, “it would amount to no more than reading a Gideon’s Bible in a motel chalet and trying to be nice to people” says the climate educator George Marshall. It is time, he argues in Don’t Even Think About It ... to learn from the religions, as well as from advertisers, teachers, film-makers, behavioural scientists and others, to work out how to make climate change something people really care about. There are no graphs in Marshall’s book and he leaves the science until the end. His point is that it’s not really the statistics that will change people’s minds: it’s the story. Instead of numbers, he gives examples, meets people around the world, listens to different points of view, and explores how some people persuade other people to do things (including tricks of rhetoric such as using narratives and the word “we”).
Integrated approaches to land management at landscape scales have been evident in the development and conservation sectors, under various guises, for many years now. But despite initial promise, strategies such as Integrated Conservation and Development Programs, Ecosystem Based Approaches and Integrated Watershed Management have in many cases failed to deliver on reconciling conservation and... Read more
23 October 2014 (Thursday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) received a certificate of achievement as one of the finalists for the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) 2014 International Innovations Awards at the CAPAM President’s Dinner on 21 October. FRIM and the Royal Malaysian Police were the only teams from Malaysia to […]
Now is the time for Maori forestry owners to maximise the returns on their assets, a meeting of more than 100 Maori forest owners and others associated with the forestry industry were told at a meeting in Moerewa. Source: New Zealand Herald
We can blame man for the altered composition of Eastern forests, but not climate change, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. Source: Science 20