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Environment, Carbon and Forests

NZ tele-operation – another step forward

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 04:01
New Zealand’s forestry industry took one step closer to a safer and fully mechanised future with a demonstration of gamer-style remote technology at Trass Valley, south of Nelson. Source: Stuff NZ The new tele-operation technology allows remote use of a purpose-built tracked forest harvester from the safety of a separate cabin and seated console located at the work site. Four cameras attached to the John Deere 909 felling machine transmit live images to monitors inside the cabin console where the seated operator can replicate their tasks. The third stage of development in a quest to make our forestry work sites safer was unveiled near Nelson with a specially designed cabin console providing remote control operation of a John Deere 909 felling machine. The control system follows on from a handheld remote system demonstrated last year. Associate Minister of Primary Industries Jo Goodhew, visited the site of the tele-operation demonstration at Trass Valley, near Nelson. Simon Rayward of Wood Contracting said a shift to mechanised operations was a logical next step to create a safe but productive industry. “Although we are happy with our operators being in the machines 99% of the time, there are some more difficult blocks where we basically don’t want to put them in, or the machine for that matter,” he said. Developers have emphasised the system is still in trial mode as further improvements are made to reduce vision obstacles like sun strike. This breakthrough is part of steepland harvesting, a six-year, NZ$6 million primary growth partnership (PGP) program between the Ministry for Primary Industries and a consortium of forestry companies and contractors led by FFR. Associate Minister for Primary Industries Jo Goodhew also visited the site and acknowledged the benefits of the project in eliminating forestry-related deaths, particularly after the “annus horribulus” of 2013 where 10 people lost their lives. “That really focused everyone’s minds on the potential to get harmed at work, so any technology that can help is fantastic,” she said. “This is really exciting but it’s also New Zealand leading the way in slope safety. Chief executive of FFR Russell Dale said the development of the tele-operation control system brought the forestry industry closer to their ultimate goal of having “no person on the hill, no hands on the chainsaw”. He hoped that as well as ensuring workers stayed safe on the job, young people looking to enter the workforce would see forestry as a more attractive employment option.

TFS joint venture

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 04:00
A subsidiary of TFS Corporation and a joint venture between a Melbourne oils producer and a local indigenous business have been shortlisted for wild sandalwood oil processing contracts with the state government. Source: Business News The Forest Products Commission plans to enter into contract negotiations with TFS-owned Mount Romance Australia, and a new joint venture between Australian Botanical Products and Dutjahn Custodians. Dutjan is a newly formed company, equally owned by three shareholders including Kutkabubba Aboriginal Corporation, which is getting back on its feet after dealing with an internal fraud issue that cost an estimated $300,000. Melbourne-based ABP is an established producer and supplier of oils and fragrances to the pharmaceutical and fragrance industries. Forestry Minister Mia Davies said if final commercial negotiations were successful, the FPC would continue to supply sandalwood to Mount Romance in Albany, as well as introducing the newly formed joint venture based in the Goldfields. “This partnership proposes to distil high-quality oil from sandalwood harvested in the Goldfields region and focus on employment of local Aboriginal people,” Ms Davies said. “The state government started a review of the harvest and haulage sector of the sandalwood industry in 2012 and new oil processing arrangements will complement broader reforms occurring across the state’s sandalwood industry. “The state government has actively sought input into the structure of the industry from a broad range of stakeholders and I am pleased the results of the process can deliver on key government and community objectives, including increased participation of local communities and Aboriginal groups.” The state government also said two other contracts for the processing and marketing of sandalwood were currently being finalised.

Prefab networking

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 03:59
A prefabAUS networking event will be held 15 August from 5-7pm in the Brown Theatre, Ground Floor, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Building (193), University of Melbourne. Source: Timberbiz The Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is leading a study mission to Australia that week. BCA is a strong advocate of prefabrication as part of its construction productivity initiative. The Singapore delegation is meeting with PrefabAUS and CAMP.H that afternoon and has accepted an invitation to the PrefabAUS networking event following. Delegation members include government procurement agencies, developers, builders, architects/designers and suppliers. Join the BCA delegation and PrefabAUS members and four rapid fire presentations: Singapore Building & Construction Authority (BCA) Modular Building Services (M&E) by John Lucchetti of Wood & Grieve Building & Construction: Think differently to achieve productivity gains by Paul Kremer/Rob de Brincat of XLam Michelle Mannering on the Black.ai building performance optimisation technology.

Crisis in New Zealand Log Supply

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 03:57
New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei this week to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. Source: Timberbiz The joint industry/government meeting saw statistics that clearly show the completely unsustainable forest harvest rate in Northland, Northland forests being harvested and exported at an immature stage, limited evidence of replanting and certainly no new afforestation. Brian Stanley, Chair of the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (WPMA), said that the Northland circumstance is severe but he is hearing a clear message from WPMA members that a threatening log supply situation is being observed from Northland right through to Southland. “If New Zealand wants economic growth in its regions, jobs for local people, affordable housing and environmental protection then it needs a viable New Zealand wood industry,” Mr Stanley said. This view was strongly reinforced by Mr Pita Tipene of Taitokerau Maori Forestry Inc, who added the importance to Maori of being able to take the lon- term view on forestry development. “What we are seeing unfold here in Northland is rabid global demand for wood coinciding with short term speculation in the industry,” Mr Stanley said. “The pillaging of our forests cannot continue.  We owe this to future generations. I want to see our forest resources treated as a national strategic asset; held with the same mana, for example, as our land, minerals and fisheries. “Thirty years after New Zealand took the radical step to privatise the industry we are now at the end of one growing rotation of our trees. We need to know where this “privatisation experiment” has landed us. It’s for this reason that I am, today, calling for an urgent review of the industry.  This joint government/industry Rotation Review needs to start in Northland now and extend nationwide.”    

Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, State Lands is hiring

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 03:33

The Wood Utilization and Business Development Specialist will promote and facilitate the beneficial use of Utah forest and wood products for a variety of markets including traditional forest products, such as lumber, house logs and posts and poles, along with the use of small diameter and/or low quality logs and woody biomass in value added applications.

New forestry book provides relaxed, jargon-free advice for landowners

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 03:14

Backyard Woodland is a practical, jargon-free guide for landowners looking to better enjoy and care for their wooded acreage.

Persistent illegal bird trade highlighted at notorious Bangkok Market

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 03:02

in Thai

Bangkok, Thailand, 28th July 2016—More than one thousand birds were found for sale in Bangkok’s famous Chatuchak Weekend Market over a two-day period, many of them legally protected and internationally threatened, according to a new paper published in BirdingASIA, the bulletin of the Oriental Bird Club.

In Phoenix, an ambitious plan aims to cover 25% of the metropolis with tree shade

GFIS - Thu, 28/07/2016 - 02:43

This Southwest capital presents a distinctive postcard: brutal heat, desert peaks, sprawling subdivisions and endless asphalt.

Wildlife: a forgotten and threatened resource

GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 17:36

Presentation by Robert Nasi, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, et al. at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation in Montpellier, France, 19-23 June 2016. The harvest of forest wildlife provides invaluable benefits to local people, but understanding of such practices remains fragmentary. With global attention drawn to the issue […]

The post Wildlife: a forgotten and threatened resource appeared first on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry.

YouTube hunting videos offer scientists invaluable insight

GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 17:28

New research analyzes hundreds of YouTube sports hunting videos in order to better understand the motive of Brazilian sport hunters.

Citizen Scientists Help Monitor Nation’s Watershed Health

GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 17:00
What do adventurers, microplastics, and your national forests have in common? Water. Our national forests and the glaciers, lakes, and rivers running through them form the headwaters for the majority of America’s drinking water. This includes many of our big cities and growing urban centers, even those that are far away from national forests. Because [...]

Press: Indigenous land rights defenders intimidated after protesting sale of Maasai land for tourism

GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 16:22
27 July, 2016

Press Release *For Immediate Release*

Intimidation of land rights defenders in Tanzania must stop, says international human rights organisation Forest Peoples Programme.

Since 12 July, 18 Maasai elected officials, teachers, activists and community members who have been defending their lands from large-scale foreign safari companies have been arrested by local authorities  in Ngorongoro district, northern Tanzania. The Tanzanian government alleges that they pose a threat to national security. Another 52 names are allegedly contained on the list held by police for future arrest. 

Many of those arrested were held for more than 10 days without charge, and with no access to legal representation or medical assistance. Four individuals suffered beatings while in custody. A lawyer who attended the police station to defend those arrested was also himself arrested, although later released. Those remaining in custody were charged and released on bail overnight after a national media campaign, and a demonstration by lawyers who boycotted all court activities. A number of individuals targeted for arrest remain in hiding. There are indications that police are still continuing to pursue arrests.  Read the press release in full. 

13-14 July 2016

GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 11:10

Agroforestry at International Farming Systems Association Conference

An agroforestry workshop took place at the International Farming Systems Association Conference on 13 July 2016 at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, England. Seven speakers from the UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Portugal provided updates of their research to an international audience. A fascinating field trip was held on 14 July.

What is the persistence capacity of a forest?

GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 10:55
A research group at the Forest Science Centre of Catalonia (CTFC) has defined an index to measure the capacity of a forest to cope with natural disturbances, such as fires, droughts or windthrows. The index is based on the diversity and abundance of response traits present in species to respond […]


GFIS - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 09:25
... The forester is always looking for harmony between economic, environmental and social benefits of forests.

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MED Investment Operations – Part 1: Anyone want to buy 345 million REDD carbon credits? Only US$6.80 each

GFIS - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 22:07
Last week, REDD-Monitor received a message from Boniface Mburaburirwe asking whether I have any buyers for carbon credits. I suspect Mburaburirwe hasn’t read much on REDD-Monitor, particularly not the series of posts about scam artists selling carbon credits to unsuspecting members of the public as investments. Mburaburirwe’s message was short … read more

Wood Fiber Supply and Demand in the Baltic Rim

GFIS - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 21:43

The latest data from Eurostat indicates that the EU is on target to meet its renewable energy target of 20 percent by 2020. In 2014, with six years left to reach the targets, 16 percent of the region’s energy was derived from renewable sources. The Baltic Rim countries have been some of the most successful, with Sweden (49 percent), Finland (38 percent), Estonia (25 percent) and Lithuania (23 percent) already exceeding their shares. Denmark (30 percent), Latvia (40 percent), Poland (15 percent) and Germany (18 percent) are on trajectory to meet their targets, though they have yet to do so.

Can Innovative Financing Bring Landscape Restoration to Scale?

GFIS - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 20:09

By Paola Agostini, Lead Environomental Economist, and Werner Kornexl, Senior Natural Resource ManagemenSpecialist

Vibrant landscapes are not just beautiful to look at, they are productive and resilient. They provide the natural resources and ecosystem services that underpin economic activities like agriculture, mining, and energy, and are thus vital to national economies and the jobs and wellbeing of billions of people. However, in many areas across the globe, economic activities are being carried out at an unsustainable level, undermining the very landscapes on which we depend. FAO estimates that worldwide land degradation costs US$40 billion per year.


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Video: A Year in the Life of a Trail Camera

GFIS - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 18:20

The Caribou Program has mounted about 50 trail cameras on seismic lines in west-central Alberta to monitor how wildlife are using these features. The trail cameras are programmed to take pictures every day at noon, plus whenever they detect movement. The data adds to our understanding of how linear features on the landscape are affecting species like caribou, and it is essential for suggesting which linear features are priorities for restoration.

Find out more about this project here.

Related Content: Video: Setting Up Trail Cameras with the Caribou Program


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