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18 pilot and demonstration DOE bioenergy projects, reviewed

GFIS - Do, 21/05/2015 - 15:02

What’s the latest with such projects such as Frontline BioEnergy, Myriant, POET-DSM, INEOS Bio, Sapphire Energy, Abengoa, Haldor Topsoe, UOP. ZeaChem, Mercurius, and American Process, among others?

EVENT (8th June 2015): Roundtable on Deforestation, Climate Finance and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

GFIS - Do, 21/05/2015 - 14:56
21 May, 2015

Forest Peoples Programme and Tebtebba invite you to the roundtable:

Deforestation, climate finance and the rights of indigenous peoples: the cases of DRC and the Green Climate Fund

DAY: Mon, 08 Jun 2015
TIME: 13:15-14:45
PLACE Room Bonn II (40)

Speakers: Francesco Martone , FPP Senior Policy Advisor; Rene Ngongo, OCEAN; Stanley Kimaren Ole Riamit, ILEPA; Galina Angarova, Tebtebba , Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (videomessage).

Coordination: Grace Balawag, Tebtebba

Participants will share testimonies on the impact of drivers of deforestation on indigenous communities' rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and participate in a discussion on how indigenous peoples can effectively participate to and directly access the Green Climate Fund and Climate Finance for their adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

NOTE: This event occurs while Parties are negotiating the draft text for the Paris Climate Agreement. In this context participants will reiterate the call for urgent and effective commitments by Parties to ensure a rights-based approach to climate actions that will be undertaken before 2020 and under the Paris agreement to be adopted at the upcoming COP21. Likewise the international community will have to effectively target drivers of deforestation (such as expansion of mining, infrastructure, logging, plantations) by ensuring indigenous peoples' rights to land, territories and resources and to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), as well as providing indigenous peoples direct access to finance to support community based adaptation and mitigation actions. The Green Climate Fund will have to ensure that Indigenous peoples are fully and effectively engaged, that safeguards to protect their rights are in place and direct access to funding is envisaged.

Live streaming from the even will be provided courtesy of IISD (put website) and the financial support of DFID

For further information please contact:

Francesco Martone (Forest Peoples Programme): francesco@forestpeoples.org / tel ++393384051174

Raymond de Chavez (Tebtebba) raymond@tebtebba.org

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GFIS - Do, 21/05/2015 - 14:00
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[Indonesia] Trans-Papua Highway: Economic development versus conservation

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 11:03
By Freddy Pattiselanno and Agustina Y.S. Arobaya, Manokwari, The Jakarta Post, 21 May 2015 In his four-day trip to Papua and West Papua, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised to complete the construction of the Trans-Papua highway, which has been postponed due to various reasons since its start in 2013. He compared the differences among the western, middle and eastern parts of Indonesia and said that when the infrastructure was built, commodity prices in Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua would be more equal. “The gap will no longer be as big as we see right now,” he said... Our survey along the coast of the Bird’s Head Peninsula found that the 571-km stretch of the Trans-West Papua Highway along the coast has split pristine forests and increased the trading of wildlife from remote villages into the nearest market towns. However, despite the tremendous expectations and vast investment in the road development, communities in the region still live below the poverty line.

South Korea’s power boost

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 10:58
By Anthony Fensom, World Coal, 19 May 2015 Coal demand in South Korea is on an upward trend, with the world’s fourth-largest coal importer expected to increase imports to 131 million t in 2015 from around 120 million t last year on the back of new coal-fired power plants, despite a new tax on imports... In July 2014, the government imposed a new tax on coal imports for power generation, while cutting duties on some alternative fuels, aiming to curb power consumption and CO2 emissions ahead of the launch of a new carbon trading scheme in January 2015. However, coal used for purposes other than power generation was exempted from the tax, which is likely to shift demand towards higher calorific value coal. According to Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, South Korea’s emissions trading market is the second-largest in the world behind the EU, but an oversupply of carbon credits will minimise potential switching from coal to gas-fired power.

[USA] Climate change: Gov. Jerry Brown signs climate pact with other states, foreign provinces

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 10:57
By Jessica Calefati and Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, 19 May 2015 Hoping to build momentum for a stronger international climate change deal in December, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed an agreement between California and 11 other U.S. states and foreign provinces to sharply limit emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. "This global challenge requires bold action on the part of governments everywhere," Brown said. "It's time to be decisive. It's time to act." Under the U.S. Constitution, only the federal government can sign treaties with other countries. But Brown and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before him have staged several high-profile news events to commit California and other states to non-binding accords in which they agree to limit industrial emissions that the overwhelming majority of the world's scientists say are causing the planet to continue warming.

Mismatched graph creates confusion in Canada's UN climate pledge

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 10:55
By Sophie Yeo, The Carbon Brief, 20 May 2015 Canada has submitted its intended contribution to the UN's forthcoming climate deal, but its new target has done little to remedy its reputation as a climate laggard... According to Canada's INDC, a 30% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 marks a significant deviation from how its emissions would be projected to grow in the absence of current policies... Yet this graph, which shows emissions in 2030 as below 1990 levels, appears to paint an incorrect picture of Canada's own intended target. The black line in this graph appears to be based on emissions data excluding land use and forestry, which Canada has included in its target. If these sectors are included, Canada's 30% reduction on 2005 levels would leave total emissions in 2030 higher by 6% than they were in 1990...

[Australia] Large tree-planting project to be carried out

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 10:46
Bundaberg NewsMail, 19 May 2015 A company tasked with assisting big business to offset carbon emissions is set to undertake a large tree-planting project in the Barolin Nature Reserve. Environment and Natural Resources portfolio spokesman Danny Rowleson said the approval of Greenfleet's proposal in this week's Ordinary Meeting was a win for council, the community and the environment. "For very minimal investment from council we will be able to see one of our region's most popular and significant natural areas revitalised through the planting of a variety of native tree species," Cr Rowleson said. "Council regularly undertakes tree planting projects in the reserve in partnership with local business and community groups on a much smaller scale. "Without the assistance of Greenfleet, a project of this scale would not otherwise be within council's budget or resources." He said the project would include planting a variety of native trees on approximately 65 hectares of bare land...

Pakistan achieves 12pc protected area target under MDGs: Minister

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 10:41
Business Recorder, 18 May 2015 Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that Pakistan has achieved the target of 12% protected areas under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on Environmental Sustainability. "However, the target to increase the forest cover to 6% is yet to be achieved, and it requires dedicated window on forests in the $ 100 billion Green Climate Fund," he added.

If you can’t add, don’t subtract from Guyana’s forests – Dr. Roopnaraine

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 08:56
By Kiana Wilburg, Kaieteur News, 20 May 2015 Based on its observations and in some cases, concrete evidence which it accumulated over the years, the A Partnership for National Unity plus Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has been unrelenting in its criticisms of the mismanagement of the Natural Resources sector. Tipped to head this very Ministry, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine in an interview yesterday told Kaieteur News that should he be confirmed to handle this division, there would be a serious “cleansing process.” Speaking particularly on the affairs of the Forestry Sector, Dr. Roopnaraine said that his plans for this industry which he is most passionate about would not be too different from what he has outlined for mining. The politician asserted that one of the very first things he would seek to look at is the contracts granted under the forestry division.

Metsä Board completes sale of Zanders Gohrsmühle mill to Mutares

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China's Climate Pledge Will Include New Commitment To Forests

REDD monitor news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 08:20
By Jeff McMahon, Forbes, 20 May 2015 Look for China to make new investments in forestry and deeper cuts in carbon intensity when it delivers its tardy climate pledge to the United Nations “soon,” a Chinese official said in Chicago Tuesday... 2. Greater carbon sink from forestry. Expect China to expand forests in a land that has been deforested for millennia , and to tinker with existing forests so they more effectively capture atmospheric carbon. China pledged in 2009 to expand its forests by 40 million hectares and forest-stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters by 2020. According to the World Bank, China’s forest cover has increased since then from 21.7 percent of land area in 2009 to 22.6 percent in 2012, the most recent year for which the bank has data. China’s reforestation program was ambitious even before the Copenhagen summit, but some observers have questioned its long-term success because China has relied on fast-growing species that are non-native and unlikely to thrive.

Trees are not the strong silent types

Australian timber industry news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 04:24

Do trees communicate with each other?  And if so, how? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. They might seem like the strong, tall and silent type, but trees actually communicate with each other. Source: ABC Science Forest ecologist Dr Suzanne Simard, from the University of British Colombia studies a type of fungi that forms underground communication networks between trees in North American forests. Big old trees — dubbed ‘mother trees’ — are hubs in this mycorrhizal fungal network, playing a key role in supporting other trees in the forest, especially their offspring. “If you’re a mother and you have children, you recognise your children and you treat them in certain ways. We’re finding that trees will do the same thing. They’ll adjust their competitive behaviour to make room for their own kin and they send those signals through mycorrhizal networks,” said Dr Simard. “We found that the biggest oldest trees had more connections to other trees than smaller trees. It stands to reason because they have more root systems,” she says. “So when a seedling establishes on the forest floor, if it’s near one of these mother trees it just links into that network and accesses that huge resource network.” Fungal networks don’t just operate between related trees, but also between trees of different species in the same native community, said Simard. In a landmark experiment, published in a 1997 issue of Nature, Simard used radioisotopes to trace carbon, nitrogen and water moving between a Douglas fir and a paper birch tree, which are both native to the inland forests of British Colombia. When she shaded one tree, carbon-based sugars would flow into it from the other tree. So rather than competing for resources, these two trees were using fungal networks to share them, said Simard. In another study, Simard and her graduate student showed every tree in a 30 by 30-metre forest stand was connected to every other tree, with an estimated 250 to 300 trees being connected together in this single forest stand. Other evidence shows trees use fungal networks to warn their neighbours about impending attacks from pests. “When trees are attacked, they increase their defence against the invaders by upregulating their defence genes to make defence enzymes,” said Simard. “Research suggests they also send chemical signals down into their roots through their mycorrhizal networks to their neighbours, which then detect these signals and upregulate their own defence genes.” Lab studies have recorded defence signals travelling between trees in as little as six hours, said Simard. She says when fungal networks are intact they allow a greater diversity of trees, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, to survive in the forest. This diversity is the basis for forests that are resilient to disease, pests and climate change. Plant physiologist Professor Hans Lambers of the University of Western Australia said that scientists have known for 20 or 30 years that plants communicate by giving off chemicals above ground. The classic example is the release of volatile chemicals by plants that are attacked by pests. These chemicals are picked up by neighbouring plants, which are then forewarned to defend themselves from the pests. “The neighbours must sense those volatiles, and then respond by accumulating the chemicals that deter the attackers,” said Mr Lambers. Above-ground chemicals can also attract predators that eat pests, and more recently this chemical communication has also been found to occur below ground he said. But whether mycorrhizal fungi networks are used or not depends on the particular ecosystem The Western Australian ecosystems, where Mr Lambers works, are dominated by banksias, grevilleas and hakeas that on don’t rely on mycorrhizal fungi. However, eucalypt forests do have mycorrhizal fungal networks, said fungal ecologist Professor Ian Anderson of the University of Western Sydney, although no research has been done looking at their function. “No-one’s actually shown that an interconnected network is transferring carbon and nitrogen,” he said. “It’s a really under-researched area.” Mr Anderson suspects that fungal networks would be playing an even more important role in eucalypt forests than North American forests given their soils have much lower nutrients. “I think these mycorrhizal networks have an even greater potential than what Suzanne Simard has shown,” he said. Dr Simard said her findings have implications for forestry practices that target old-growth trees. “We need to leave these legacy trees and let them send their messages into the soil to surrounding plants,” she said. “This will help the recovery of forests following disturbance such as logging or fire.” Conserving fungal networks that help forests recover from disturbance could also prevent invasions by exotic species, which often compete with the endemic networks, she believes.

The post Trees are not the strong silent types appeared first on Timberbiz.

Trees are not the strong silent types

GFIS - Do, 21/05/2015 - 04:24

Do trees communicate with each other?  And if so, how? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. They might seem like the strong, tall and silent type, but trees actually communicate with each other. Source: ABC Science Forest ecologist Dr Suzanne Simard, from the University of British Colombia studies a type of fungi that forms underground communication networks between trees in North American forests. Big old trees — dubbed ‘mother trees’ — are hubs in this mycorrhizal fungal network, playing a key role in supporting other trees in the forest, especially their offspring. “If you’re a mother and you have children, you recognise your children and you treat them in certain ways. We’re finding that trees will do the same thing. They’ll adjust their competitive behaviour to make room for their own kin and they send those signals through mycorrhizal networks,” said Dr Simard. “We found that the biggest oldest trees had more connections to other trees than smaller trees. It stands to reason because they have more root systems,” she says. “So when a seedling establishes on the forest floor, if it’s near one of these mother trees it just links into that network and accesses that huge resource network.” Fungal networks don’t just operate between related trees, but also between trees of different species in the same native community, said Simard. In a landmark experiment, published in a 1997 issue of Nature, Simard used radioisotopes to trace carbon, nitrogen and water moving between a Douglas fir and a paper birch tree, which are both native to the inland forests of British Colombia. When she shaded one tree, carbon-based sugars would flow into it from the other tree. So rather than competing for resources, these two trees were using fungal networks to share them, said Simard. In another study, Simard and her graduate student showed every tree in a 30 by 30-metre forest stand was connected to every other tree, with an estimated 250 to 300 trees being connected together in this single forest stand. Other evidence shows trees use fungal networks to warn their neighbours about impending attacks from pests. “When trees are attacked, they increase their defence against the invaders by upregulating their defence genes to make defence enzymes,” said Simard. “Research suggests they also send chemical signals down into their roots through their mycorrhizal networks to their neighbours, which then detect these signals and upregulate their own defence genes.” Lab studies have recorded defence signals travelling between trees in as little as six hours, said Simard. She says when fungal networks are intact they allow a greater diversity of trees, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, to survive in the forest. This diversity is the basis for forests that are resilient to disease, pests and climate change. Plant physiologist Professor Hans Lambers of the University of Western Australia said that scientists have known for 20 or 30 years that plants communicate by giving off chemicals above ground. The classic example is the release of volatile chemicals by plants that are attacked by pests. These chemicals are picked up by neighbouring plants, which are then forewarned to defend themselves from the pests. “The neighbours must sense those volatiles, and then respond by accumulating the chemicals that deter the attackers,” said Mr Lambers. Above-ground chemicals can also attract predators that eat pests, and more recently this chemical communication has also been found to occur below ground he said. But whether mycorrhizal fungi networks are used or not depends on the particular ecosystem The Western Australian ecosystems, where Mr Lambers works, are dominated by banksias, grevilleas and hakeas that on don’t rely on mycorrhizal fungi. However, eucalypt forests do have mycorrhizal fungal networks, said fungal ecologist Professor Ian Anderson of the University of Western Sydney, although no research has been done looking at their function. “No-one’s actually shown that an interconnected network is transferring carbon and nitrogen,” he said. “It’s a really under-researched area.” Mr Anderson suspects that fungal networks would be playing an even more important role in eucalypt forests than North American forests given their soils have much lower nutrients. “I think these mycorrhizal networks have an even greater potential than what Suzanne Simard has shown,” he said. Dr Simard said her findings have implications for forestry practices that target old-growth trees. “We need to leave these legacy trees and let them send their messages into the soil to surrounding plants,” she said. “This will help the recovery of forests following disturbance such as logging or fire.” Conserving fungal networks that help forests recover from disturbance could also prevent invasions by exotic species, which often compete with the endemic networks, she believes.

The post Trees are not the strong silent types appeared first on Timberbiz.

Pedal powers timber principles

Australian timber industry news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 04:22

While a bicycle and a building are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of function and scale, some of the principles that underpin their structural integrity are essentially the same. This means that the construction of the wooden bicycle serves as an excellent means for exploring methods for creating stronger building structures using thin timber sheets. “The bicycle is perfect to test how wooden structures work in different scales with different loads,” said Atanas Zhelev, one of a team architects responsible for the development of an innovative new timber vehicle. Zhelev and colleagues Martino Hutz and Mariya Korolova first devised the idea of the bicycle while designing a wooden house at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. According to Zhelev the design of the house piqued the interest of structural engineering experts. In order to better test the structural innovations of their own technology, the architects opted develop a bicycle made using similar principles. The pedal-powered vehicle produced in collaboration with bike manufacturer AERO is made from lamellas – sheets of birch wood that measure under a millimetre in thickness. These thin sheets are glued together in vertically stacked strips to form the bicycle’s innovative frame structure, consisting of two curved, boomerang-shaped beams that form a shape akin to an open mouth. The beams thicken slightly at certain parts for increased structural support – such as at the point where the pedals are attached, and beneath the metal tubing that props up the bike seat. The architects were able to use this bike frame to explore methods for improving the structural robustness of buildings made from the same material. One of the chief methods for increasing structural integrity uncovered by the team of architects is adjusting the positioning of the individual timber strips. The architects found that they could increase structural strength by aligning the strips of lamella based on their natural grain. According Mr Zhelev, the use of this specific layering technique confers multiple advantages compared to conventional timber building methods, including reduced weight, heightening flexibility and increased strength. The timber bike frame possesses sufficient strength and flexibility to dispense completely with a conventional suspension system employing tightly coiled springs. In addition to these structural advantages, the use of the layering principle for the production of timber materials is also far more economical than the conventional method of milling lumber blocks, which according to Mr Zhelev results in the wastage of large amounts of wood.

The post Pedal powers timber principles appeared first on Timberbiz.

Pedal powers timber principles

GFIS - Do, 21/05/2015 - 04:22

While a bicycle and a building are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of function and scale, some of the principles that underpin their structural integrity are essentially the same. This means that the construction of the wooden bicycle serves as an excellent means for exploring methods for creating stronger building structures using thin timber sheets. “The bicycle is perfect to test how wooden structures work in different scales with different loads,” said Atanas Zhelev, one of a team architects responsible for the development of an innovative new timber vehicle. Zhelev and colleagues Martino Hutz and Mariya Korolova first devised the idea of the bicycle while designing a wooden house at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. According to Zhelev the design of the house piqued the interest of structural engineering experts. In order to better test the structural innovations of their own technology, the architects opted develop a bicycle made using similar principles. The pedal-powered vehicle produced in collaboration with bike manufacturer AERO is made from lamellas – sheets of birch wood that measure under a millimetre in thickness. These thin sheets are glued together in vertically stacked strips to form the bicycle’s innovative frame structure, consisting of two curved, boomerang-shaped beams that form a shape akin to an open mouth. The beams thicken slightly at certain parts for increased structural support – such as at the point where the pedals are attached, and beneath the metal tubing that props up the bike seat. The architects were able to use this bike frame to explore methods for improving the structural robustness of buildings made from the same material. One of the chief methods for increasing structural integrity uncovered by the team of architects is adjusting the positioning of the individual timber strips. The architects found that they could increase structural strength by aligning the strips of lamella based on their natural grain. According Mr Zhelev, the use of this specific layering technique confers multiple advantages compared to conventional timber building methods, including reduced weight, heightening flexibility and increased strength. The timber bike frame possesses sufficient strength and flexibility to dispense completely with a conventional suspension system employing tightly coiled springs. In addition to these structural advantages, the use of the layering principle for the production of timber materials is also far more economical than the conventional method of milling lumber blocks, which according to Mr Zhelev results in the wastage of large amounts of wood.

The post Pedal powers timber principles appeared first on Timberbiz.

Reminder FIAC submission

Australian timber industry news - Do, 21/05/2015 - 04:21

Stakeholders have until June 5 2015 to make a submission to the Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) to help shape the future of the forest industry. In March the FIAC’s issues paper Meeting future market demand: Australia’s forest products and forest industry – a strategic directions was launched. This issues paper will feed into an industry-led discussion paper that will make recommendations on the future of policy and investment in the industry and stakeholder input is crucial. The issues paper and guidance on how to make a submission to FIAC are available at the Department of Agriculture’s website <http://www.richardcolbeck.com.au

The post Reminder FIAC submission appeared first on Timberbiz.

Reminder FIAC submission

GFIS - Do, 21/05/2015 - 04:21

Stakeholders have until June 5 2015 to make a submission to the Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) to help shape the future of the forest industry. In March the FIAC’s issues paper Meeting future market demand: Australia’s forest products and forest industry – a strategic directions was launched. This issues paper will feed into an industry-led discussion paper that will make recommendations on the future of policy and investment in the industry and stakeholder input is crucial. The issues paper and guidance on how to make a submission to FIAC are available at the Department of Agriculture’s website <http://www.richardcolbeck.com.au

The post Reminder FIAC submission appeared first on Timberbiz.

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