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Environment, Carbon and Forests

Draft minutes from the 2018 ICP Forests Task Force meeting available online

GFIS - vor 3 Stunden 57 Minuten

The draft minutes from the ICP Forests Task Force meeting in Riga, 24-25 May 2018, are now available on the ICP Forests website. Their final version will be adopted at the next Task Force meeting in 2019.

Call for contributions: Exploring inclusive palm oil production - ETFRN News 59

GFIS - vor 4 Stunden 57 Minuten
This edition of ETFRN News will pour intellectual oil on troubled waters, calming the waves of debate by presenting examples of innovative and inclusive palm oil production systems. It will assess what has not worked, but importantly, it will analyse what positive practices and policies have worked for more inclusive palm oil production and why, as we strive towards more collective and sustainable solutions to this apparently intractable problem.

The Fairytale Lane enchants the Belgian photo contest jury

GFIS - vor 5 Stunden 7 Minuten
'Fairytale Lane' is the magical name of the winning image of PEFC Belgium’s 'Experience Forests, Experience PEFC' photo contest. “This picture reminds me of my childhood and the many fairy tales about magic and wisdom that can be found in nature,” said Andrea Otte, the winning...

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Agroforestry systems for producing nutritious food for smallholders in Odisha, India

GFIS - vor 6 Stunden 43 Minuten

A new project in India promises better diets for farmers The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) South Asia Regional Programme recently launched a three-year project: Enabling Smallholders in Odisha to Produce and Consume More Nutritious Food through Agroforestry Systems....

The post Agroforestry systems for producing nutritious food for smallholders in Odisha, India appeared first on Agroforestry World.

New report highlights global trade in wild plant ingredients

GFIS - vor 14 Stunden 16 Minuten
Cambridge, UK, 25th June 2018—a new TRAFFIC study has drawn attention to the wild plant ingredients used in everyday products and the need for their traceable, sustainable and ethical sourcing and trade.

Obituary

GFIS - So, 24/06/2018 - 17:00
It is with deepest regret that ITTO announces the sudden demise of Mr Satoshi Akahori, Assistant Director of Forest Management, in his home country of Japan, on 24 June 2018 at age 55. Satoshi, as he preferred to be called, joined ITTO on 1 April 2018, after a long and successful career in Japan’s Forestry Agency, where he held a number of posts, including Director General of the Forest Training Institute; Director of the Forest Utilization and Conservation Division; and Director of International Forestry Cooperation. He also worked on international forestry issues prior to joining ITTO, including a secondment to UN FAO in 1990?1992. Despite serving at ITTO only for a few months, Satoshi contributed valuable expertise to the Secretariat in various aspects of sustainable forest management, forest governance, timber legality and international cooperation, amongst others. However, he will be best remembered by all who knew him for his bright personality, good sense of humor and willingness to help anyone who crossed his path. He will be sorely missed by his family, his colleagues at the ITTO Secretariat, Japan’s Forestry Agency, and many others who met him over his short but wonderful life. Rest in peace, Satoshi, as we toast your life and success. Anyone wishing to forward a message of condolence to the Akahori family can send it to itto@itto.int with the subject “Akahori” and the Secretariat will ensure it is conveyed. Details of the wake and funeral will be posted here when available.

Obituary

GFIS - So, 24/06/2018 - 17:00
It is with deepest regret that ITTO announces the sudden demise of Mr Satoshi Akahori, Assistant Director of Forest Management, in his home country of Japan, on 24 June 2018 at age 55. Satoshi, as he preferred to be called, joined ITTO on 1 April 2018, after a long and successful career in Japan’s Forestry Agency, where he held a number of posts, including Director General of the Forest Training Institute; Director of the Forest Utilization and Conservation Division; and Director of International Forestry Cooperation. He also worked on international forestry issues prior to joining ITTO, including a secondment to UN FAO in 1990?1992. Despite serving at ITTO only for a few months, Satoshi contributed valuable expertise to the Secretariat in various aspects of sustainable forest management, forest governance, timber legality and international cooperation, amongst others. However, he will be best remembered by all who knew him for his bright personality, good sense of humor and willingness to help anyone who crossed his path. He will be sorely missed by his family, his colleagues at the ITTO Secretariat, Japan’s Forestry Agency, and many others who met him over his short but wonderful life.

Should We Fear the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?

GFIS - So, 24/06/2018 - 10:38

Ready.  Fire.  Aim.

That seems to be the emerging strategy of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the China-led mega-bank that wants to supercharge development across half the planet.

ALERT scientists have just analyzed the AIIB’s draft "Transport Sector Strategy" — which describes how the Bank will jump-start new roads, railways, sea ports, airports, development corridors, and other transport infrastructure.

We’re doing this because the final date for commenting on the AIIB’s draft strategy is July 4 — just ten days away.

We’ll be sending the AIIB our comments.  And we need you to send your comments — and ask your friends and organizations too.  It’s as easy as sending an email, as we explain below.

IN A NUTSHELL

Our scientific assessment of the draft AIIB Transport Strategy?

We’re flat-out scared by what we saw — and just as scared by what we didn’t see.

And if we’re scared, you should be scared too — because ALERT includes some of the world’s top environmental researchers, including leading experts on infrastructure and its consequences (for example, see this website).

THREE THINGS

Before telling you why we’re so worried, remember three things about the AIIB:

1.  It’s a multi-lateral lender, like the World Bank

In theory, that means it’s supposed to place as much weight on goals such as poverty alleviation, human rights, and the environment as it does on making money.

It’s also supposed to be working for the broader good — not as a de-facto instrument for advancing Chinese geopolitical and economic interests.

These are big issues.  Although more than 80 nations have joined the AIIB as partners, China clearly holds the lion’s share of power.  And China tends to do what benefits China.

2.  The AIIB is not just targeting Asia

For example, one of the AIIB’s biggest goals is supporting China’s Belt & Road Initiative — some 7,000 individual projects that will stretch across the South Pacific to Southeast Asia, Indochina, East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and much of Africa.

3.  The AIIB wants to be a game-changer

It wants to supercharge infrastructure by drawing in many other public and private investors, bulldozing impediments, and promoting ‘transformative’ projects that will initiate cyclones of further development.

WHY FEAR THE AIIB’S STRATEGY?

We could write a hundred pages here, but we’ll focus on three key issues:

Scary Point 1: The AIIB strategy is astoundingly incomplete.  Its only real allusions to ‘greening infrastructure’ involve reducing carbon emissions — by reducing traffic jams and vaguely attempting to slim down massive emissions from project construction.

This is ridiculous.  In the many remote and wild areas where AIIB-supported projects will be constructed, far and away the biggest impacts of infrastructure expansion are to open lands to a Pandora’s box of new environmental pressures — such as deforestation, habitat fragmentation, fires, wildlife poaching, illegal mining, and land-grabbing.

This Pandora’s-box issue is so central to infrastructure that failing even to mention it — or identify strategies for managing and reducing it — should set alarm bells ringing everywhere.

Scary Point 2: While unleashing an infrastructure cyclone, the AIIB scheme doesn’t even mention the desperate need for Strategic Land-Use Planning and Strategic Environmental Assessments.

That’s like trying to do major surgery while wearing a blindfold.

Our natural world is a complex mosaic of biodiversity hotspots, critical migration corridors for wildlife, remnant habitats for endangered species, and rare ecosystems.  

According to WWF, the Belt & Road will impact hundreds of threatened species including Tigers, Giant Pandas, and Saiga Antelope, and around 1,800 Important Bird Areas, Key Biodiversity Areas, Global Biodiversity Hotspots, and Global 200 Ecoregions.

Hence, the AIIB wants to slice and dice the Earth with thousands of transportation, energy, water, and other infrastructure projects – unguided by the biggest thing we need to avoid disastrous outcomes: strategic planning.

Scary Point 3: Perhaps the biggest defining feature of the AIIB is its desire to move fast — blasting ahead at warp speed.

But speed makes it hard to have good governance — to detect and ferret out corruption.

Speed makes it hard to see environmental and social dangers, many of which are not simple or obvious.

And speed increases risks to investors — elevating the chances that projects will fail — wasting public money, stranding assets, and incurring big foreign debts for host nations.

When it comes to infrastructure, speed can be deadly

WHAT CAN I DO?

Write to the AIIB and tell them you have great concerns about their draft Transport Sector Strategy (Email: ts.consultation@aiib.org).  Please emphasize the following, in your own words:

1.     AIIB-supported projects should not begin without first completing strategic land-use, environmental, and social planning for each geographic region.

2.     The AIIB’s view of the environment is far too narrow — protecting biodiversity, critical habitats, key wildlife corridors, and rare ecosystems needs much more emphasis.

3.     The AIIB must limit the Pandora's Box of illegal or unplanned activities that typically follows big infrastructure projects — especially by avoiding projects in wild or rare ecosystems.

4.     The AIIB’s intent to move ‘efficiently and rapidly’ creates serious dangers that major environmental, social, and economic dangers will be missed prior to project approval.

5.     The AIIB’s “Environmental and Social Framework" is vague, toothless, and poorly regarded by scientific experts.

6.     The AIIB will face major reputational risks and strong global resistance if it proceeds without fundamentally revising its draft Transport Sector Strategy.

New research on avian response to wildfires

GFIS - Sa, 23/06/2018 - 01:08
New research explores the effects fire has on ecosystems and the wildlife species that inhabit them. Scientists examined the impacts of fires of different severity levels on birds and how that changes as the time since fire increases. Scientists looked across 10 fires after they burned through forests in the Sierra Nevada. A key finding was that wildfire had strong, but varied, effects on the density of many of the bird species that were studied.

Registration for Paper & Beyond, 2018 is now open!

GFIS - Fr, 22/06/2018 - 17:11

Paper & Beyond, 2018. Where the bioeconomy and circularity meet.
 

Paper & Beyond is the successor event to what has been known as European Paper Week and will take place in the heart of the European district, in Brussels' Solvay Library, from 16 to 17 October.
It is the premier industry networking event, bringing together representatives of Europe's major pulp and paper producers, manufacturers, customers, suppliers and press.

The registration is now open and available here. Get your early bird ticket for EUR 520 until 5 August and avail of a discount of 20%. The regular rate is EUR 650.
 

Please note, that tickets for employees of European institutions and national representations, journalists and students are free of charge, although the registration is still required.

 

For more information about Paper & Beyond, visit the event-dedicated website or contact Katarzyna Dylag, CEPI Events & Digital Communications Officer at k.dylag@cepi.org or +32 2 627 49 41.

 

Workshop held to consolidate interagency law enforcement mechanism in China

GFIS - Fr, 22/06/2018 - 17:05
Haikou, Hainan, June, 2018—China’s Ministerial Level Coordination Mechanism for Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade  was enhanced through a training workshop jointly -organised by the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management, State Forestry and Grassland Administration (SFGA), TRAFFIC and the China Wildlife Conservation Association(CWCA).

Insights from the Uganda study tour: a journey without a map

GFIS - Fr, 22/06/2018 - 11:57
In June 2018, the New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform held a study tour in Uganda. Hosted by the New Forests Company (NFC) and WWF-Uganda, this was NGP?s first African study tour outside South Africa. It brought together more than 50 participants from Uganda and six other African nations, as well as from Europe, China and the Americas. They included representatives from forestry companies, NGOs and the finance sector.The five-day tour included a one-day workshop in Kampala, visits to NFC plantations, conversations with outgrowers and community members, and opportunities for reflection and guided discussion. This document provides the context for these discussions, and summarizes some of the insights we gleaned.

Are Holistic Value Chains Key to Smallholder Forestry?

GFIS - Fr, 22/06/2018 - 01:56

Founder of one of Canada’s largest private forests invests with smallholders. Peter Schleifenbaumn is well known in forestry – Besides developing one of the largest privately held forests in Canada – Haliburton Forest – he is known for his leadership in sustainable forest management worldwide. At 100,000 acres, Haliburton Forest was Canada’s first forest certified […]

The post Are Holistic Value Chains Key to Smallholder Forestry? appeared first on Taking Root.

Forestry agency uses a web application to support economic development in East Texas

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 21:09

June 21, 2018  —  LUFKIN, Texas — Angelina Forest Products, LLC recently announced plans to open a $100 million sawmill in Lufkin, Texas.  The softwood mill is expected to be in place by spring of 2019, creating 100 full-time jobs and contributing $52 million to the Texas economy in its first year.  “We made the

SDG Report 2018 Finds Conflict, Climate Change, Inequality Hindering Progress

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 20:08
The SDG Report 2018 shares progress on the 2030 Agenda and identifies areas where progress is currently insufficient to meet the SDGs by 2030. The report explores the interlinked nature of the SDGs and finds that conflict, climate change, inequality and persistent areas of poverty and hunger are key challenges in countries’ efforts to achieve the SDGs.

EU Looks Towards Enhancing NDC with New Renewables and Energy Efficiency Targets

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 19:44
The EU has agreed to increasing its renewable energy target from 27% to 30% of the energy mix by 2030, alongside an increased energy efficiency target of 32.5%, up from 30%. Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, highlighted that the increased targets would enable the EU to raise the level of ambition of its NDC to increase its 2030 emission reduction target to 45% from 40% in the current NDC. Civil society organizations have called for the EU to further strengthen its targets to reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and bring them in line with the Paris Agreement objectives. In a bilateral summit, German and French ministers have outlined their commitment towards an enhancement of the EU’s NDC by early 2020, also underscoring the economic opportunities of the transition to GHG neutrality.

Youth Celebrate, Innovate for the Environment

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 19:35
UNEP announced the names of 35 young entrepreneurs and innovators selected for a global competition to identify and support ideas with positive environment impacts. The UNCCD organized a youth engagement event to celebrate the World Day to Combat Desertification and discuss how youth can fight land degradation.

WWF, Partners Challenge Stakeholders to Take Action for 2030 on Forests, Food and Land

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 19:21
WWF and partners estimate that actions to meet their 30X30 Challenge can result in 30% of the “climate solutions” needed by 2030. Part of the Global Climate Action Summit, the challenge also aims to encourage greater ambition from national governments through concrete actions from a broad range of stakeholders including businesses, state and local agencies, multilateral organizations, scientists and civil society. Stakeholders are asked to, among others, halve food loss and waste, consume conscientiously and sequester one gigaton of carbon per year in forests and other natural and working lands.

International workshop on green timber supply chains opens in China

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 17:00
The International Workshop on Global Green Supply Chain of Forest Products and Dialogue with Chinese Leading Timber Enterprises opened in Beijing, China, on 21 June 2018 with the aim of establishing and promoting green timber supply chains. In his opening address, ITTO Executive Director Gerhard Dieterle said that the workshop is central to ITTO’s mandate to promote the expansion of international tropical timber trade from legal and sustainable sources. Dr Dieterle said that Chinese manufacturers of timber products are placed right in the middle of the tropical timber supply chain, from production, through processing to the marketing of finished wood products in international markets. They face challenges, therefore, but also have the opportunity to be major drivers of sustainable forest management through green supply chains.

Proposed ‘Tree Fund’ will fill an important gap in forest expansion in Africa

GFIS - Do, 21/06/2018 - 16:49
Uganda Plantations for Africa’s Prosperity Study Tour Reveals… The plantation industry potential all over the world is huge. Plantations can provide a route out of poverty for rural communities, contribute to moving fast-growing economies along a sustainable trajectory, take pressure … Continue reading →

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by Dr. Radut