Brazil Can Save Amazon And Economy

Rainforest Destruction Not Enriching Brazil

Many scientists blame deforestation, generated in large part by agriculture, for global climate change and disrupted rain patterns in the Amazon. Clearing Amazonian forest to create new pastures is illegal now in Brazil, but a cash-strapped government is struggling to enforce the law.

The Brazilian Amazon demonstrates that environmental destruction can be overcome. Meanwhile, this destruction continues at a frightening speed, which threatens the people of the Amazon, the country and the world.

deforestation and global warming

Since Brazil began monitoring deforestation in 1988, 166,000 square miles have been razed through 2017. Deforestation peaked in 1995, when a swath the size of Hawaii, about 11,000 square miles, was turned to pasture. That rate has slowed, but 2,548 square miles were cleared just last year.

This document indicates the possible ways to end deforestation in the region, with environmental, economic and social benefits for the country. Prepared by the Zero Deforestation Working Group – composed of experts from the organizations Greenpeace Brazil, ICV, Imaflora, Imazon, IPAM, Instituto Socioambiental, WWF Brazil and TNC Brazil, it has the most current scientific literature on forests, climate and agriculture.

Zero Deforestation is possible. It’s vital. No other nation has cleared as much as Brazil. There were 55 million hectares cleared between 1990 and 2010, more than double Indonesia, ranked second. Altogether, in the Amazon alone, 780,000 km² of native vegetation has been lost, an area more than twice the size of the territory of Germany. The rate of destruction over the last two decades has been 170 times faster than that registered in the Atlantic Rainforest during Colonial Brazil. The loss was accelerated between 1990 and 2000, with an average of 18.6 thousand km2 deforested per year, and between 2000 and 2010, with 19.1 thousand km2 lost annually and 6 thousand km2 between 2012 and 2017.

Amazon wildlife

About 20 percent of the original forest was already cut down without generating significant benefits for Brazilians and for the development of the region. On the contrary, there are several losses. Pollution from fires, for example, each year causes deaths, increased cases of respiratory diseases and changes in the regional climate that can bring great risk to productivity in the field. The government itself, through its research agencies, already indicates that it is unnecessary to continue deforestation of the Amazon, since it estimates that it is possible to shelter all agricultural production in the areas that are already open.

Several Amazon governors agree. The recent past confirms this thesis. Measures implemented between 2005 and 2012 have cut deforestation rates in the region by about 70 percent and indicate that the elements needed to achieve ZD are present. Among them are the agreements to end deforestation in agricultural production, increase the efficiency of livestock farming in the areas already cleared, the creation of protected areas (Conservation Units and indigenous lands) and compliance with the Forest Code. These policies, several of which are addressed in this document, if applied not only to the Amazon but also to other biomes, would be able to produce, well before 2030, the end of deforestation in the country.

It is clear that deforestation did not generate wealth for most Amazon inhabitants. The municipalities of the Amazon are among the lowest HDI (Human Development Index) and SPI (Social Progress Index) of the country. They follow the so-called “boom-collapse” logic.

At first, easy access to natural resources produces an explosion of wealth in the municipality. This wealth, however, is concentrated in the hands of few and runs out in a few years. The end result is swollen cities, with poor infrastructure, no quality jobs and a concentrated income. The additional contribution of each year of deforestation to the economy is negligible. The average area cleared per year between 2007 and 2016 (7,502 km2) has the potential to add about R$453 million annually in gross value of agricultural production (i.e. production volume multiplied by the price of products). This figure represented only 0.013 percent of the average Brazilian GDP between 2007 and 2016.

The old argument that it is necessary to clear new areas of forest to increase agricultural production does not hold up. There is already a huge deforested area that has been poorly used. Much of it is degraded pasture. According to the Brazilian government, in 2014 there were 10 million hectares of degraded pastures and pastures with forest regeneration in the Amazon. In the country 70 percent of the total pasture area is degraded or in the process of degradation. In fact, when measures against deforestation were more effective, agricultural production continued to grow, as farmers invested in increasing land productivity.

For example, ten years after the Soy Moratorium – which began blocking farmers who planted in newly deforested areas – in 2006, planted area increased from 1.2 million hectares to 4.5 million hectares due to planting in pasture areas. The large amount of poorly exploited areas in the region results to a large extent from deforestation from land grabbing, through the invasion of public lands, often using labor that is degrading or analogous to slave labor.

In 2016, for example, at least 24 percent of deforestation occurred in public forests not yet earmarked and in areas with no information. This land grabbing is also linked to very low-efficiency cattle ranching: 65 percent of the deforested area in the region is occupied by pastures, with an average stocking rate of less than one head of cattle per hectare. Therefore, the alleged economic imperative of deforestation is a false matter.

Politicians, agribusiness representatives and experts declared on October 31, 2017 to the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper that it is possible to expand Agribusiness without deforesting.

Yes. Brazil can double grain production by 2025 by occupying half of the 74 million hectares of degraded pastures that are not being used by extensive livestock grazing. Technologies that are available are also allies for increase productivity and allow for agricultural expansion without clearing new areas,” said Marcos da Rosa, president of the Brazilian Association of Soy Producers.

If the economic benefits of deforestation in the Amazon are questionable, their socio-environmental and economic losses are not. For example, air pollution from forest fires, coupled with deforestation, has the potential to cause hundreds of early deaths each year. The drop in the number of fires between 2001 and 2012, the period in which Brazil most reduced the rate of deforestation, resulted in a decrease in air pollution and may have prevented the early death of 400 to 1,700 people per year in South America. Not only from a health point of view, but also from an economic point of view, forest fires resulting from deforestation can cause serious damage.

In 1998 alone, a year under strong El Niño effects, Amazon states sourced a loss of almost US$5 billion (9 percent of Amazon’s GDP). The Public Health System of Brazil (SUS) alone had expenses with respiratory health treatment in the order of US$ 11 million. Agriculture in the region, that year, suffered a loss of $45 million.

Zeroing deforestation, therefore, also means saving lives, reducing government expenditures, and mitigating private economic losses. Deforestation also enhances rural violence and loss of public assets, exposes Brazil to the risks of commercial boycotts and is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil – deforestation in the Amazon alone contributed with about 26 percent in 2016.

The end of deforestation in the Amazon, in addition to contributing to the fight against climate change worldwide, will be fundamental for agricultural productivity in the future. There is increasing evidence that climate, not only regional or global, but mainly local, depends on the forest intact. In a grain-producing region or in areas with large settlements, the existence of forests (private or public) is necessary to dictate the future path of agricultural production.

A good example of forests as “irrigators” of agricultural production comes from the upper Xingu region of Mato Grosso. Over the past few years, clearing of the forest around the Xingu Indigenous Park resulted in a local temperature rise of around 0.5°C. This may be behind the severe droughts that hit the region. Were it not for the existence of the Xingu Park, this increase in temperature and drought would be even greater. Therefore, maintaining a mosaic of forests keeps the irrigation system running for everyone.

Disease and Death: Pollution from fires associated with deforestation causes premature diseases and deaths. The reduction of deforestation/forest fires in the Amazon averaged from 400 to 1,700 early deaths from respiratory diseases per year between 2001 and 2012 in Latin America. The decline in deforestation has reduced the rate of premature births and underweight infants.

Loss Of Public Patrimony: Land grabbers deforest to demonstrate possession of public lands. Illegal land grabbing affects approximately 7 million hectares, valued at R$21.2 billion.

forest tribes and forest conservation

Social Conflicts: By August 2017, a thousand areas with land conflicts have already been recorded, affecting close to 94 thousand families and resulting in 47 murders in the Legal Amazon. The total number of murders in the Amazon in 2017 has already surpassed that recorded in all of 2016.

Risk Of Boycotts: Environmental campaigns led companies to establish the Soy Moratorium, which boycotts purchases of deforested areas after 2006. And boycotts may increase. France, for example, has already announced that it will phase out imports of commodities that contribute to deforestation in the world, including the Amazon.

Increased Climatic Risks: Deforestation in the Amazon accounted for 26 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. With every 10 percent reduction in forest cover, the Xingu basin, for example, has a 50mm reduction in evapotranspiration and a 0.5 degree C increase in temperature. The worsening climate change can lead to a reduction of 1.3 percent of national GDP in 2035 and up to 2.5 percent in 2050. The loss of agricultural GDP would be even more serious: between 1.7 percent and 2.9 percent in 2035 and from 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent in 2050.

The country has successfully tested and implemented measures to control deforestation in the Amazon. Since the creation of the Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAm) in 2004, the rate of deforestation has fallen by about 80 percent up to 2012 – something that was previously considered by some decision makers as an impossible task. For example, based on the monitoring of deforestation by real-time satellites – through the Deter and SAD systems – the government focused, during this period, on policies in critical areas.

The government created protected areas in regions targeted for illegal land grabbing. Between 2002 and 2009, for example, almost 709 thousand square kilometers of protected areas were created, contributing to the decline in deforestation in subsequent years.

The National Monetary Council established credit denial to properties embargoed due to illegal deforestation. Credit restriction, as of 2008, helped to curb deforestation, especially in municipalities of livestock production. However, much still needs to be done to readjust the credit criteria to stimulate good practices. In addition, environmental campaigns, market restrictions and lawsuits have stimulated companies’ commitments against deforestation associated with the production of soy and beef.

Measures that contributed to the decrease in deforestation between 2004-2012:

2003-2006: The expansion of protected areas in the Amazon by 59.6 million hectares resulted, in this period, in the reduction of deforestation. It is estimated that 37 percent of the reduction observed between 2004 and 2006 occurred due to protected areas.

2006: Soy Moratorium. The voluntary agreement of the industry against the commercialization of soy associated with deforestation in the Amazon resulted in a reduction of deforestation area for soy cultivation. In 2004, up to 30 percent of soy planted in the Amazon came from recent deforestation. Today, that figure is only 1.5 percent.

2008: Surveillance directed towards municipalities with high deforestation. The intensification of surveillance in the 43 municipalities listed among those that most deforest avoided the deforestation of 355,100 hectares per year between 2009 and 2011.

2008: More efficient penalties. The application of immediate penalties, such as seizure of assets and embargo of activities, has a greater deterrent effect than the imposition of fines. In addition, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Central Bank and markets all employed embargoes in the fight against deforestation.

2008: Credit restriction Researchers estimate that R$ 2.9 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) in rural credit was not allocated between 2008 and 2011 due to the restrictions imposed by Resolution 3545, approved by the National Monetary Council, in order to reduce financial incentives for deforestation.

2009: Some of the slaughterhouses pressured by environmental campaigns and legal processes stopped buying from farms that cleared illegally (cattle agreement and TAC) and deforestation fell by 6 percent on farms that registered immediately in the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR).

2006-2013: Deforestation was 10 percent lower in property registered in CAR in Pará and Mato Grosso in relation to the period prior to the existence of CAR.

Unfortunately, the decline in forest destruction rates observed between 2005 and 2012 has been halted. The average rate of deforestation between 2013 and 2017 was 38 percent higher than in 2012, the year with the lowest rate since the beginning of the measurements. This increase in deforestation after 2012 occurred due to high impunity for environmental crimes, setbacks in socio-environmental policies, flaws in cattle agreements, encouragement of land grabbing of public land and the resumption of large infrastructure projects.

The scenario ahead does not point to significant reductions in this rate for the coming years. Currently, there are several measures to weaken forest protection approved or proposed in the Executive Branch and in the National Congress, including approved amnesty for land grabbers, and the reduction of protected areas, the weakening of environmental licensing, as well as the halting of the demarcation of indigenous and quilombola lands.

In addition, if additional measures are not taken, deforestation can remain high in the next decade, driven by demands for agricultural products and lack of political commitment and government and market inefficiency to enforce the necessary control. The rate of deforestation could reach levels between 9,391 km2 and 13,789 km2 until 2027 if the same historical relation between cattle herd and total deforested area is maintained.

Measures that enabled the increase in deforestation between 2012 and 2016:

Impunity for environmental crimes is still high: The risks of punishment and losses associated with the crime of deforestation are still low, making enforcement ineffective: between August 2008 and July 2013 only 18 percent of the total deforested area was embargoed – in the same period approximately 95 percent of the deforestation in the Amazon was illegal. The judgment of the infractions is slow and most of the fines applied are not paid.

deforestation and global warming

Environmental policy setbacks: With the new Forest Code, Congress and government conceded amnesty to 47 million hectares illegally deforested in 2012; reduced 2.9 million hectares of Conservation Units between 2005-2012; reduced the number of environmental analysts allocated to the Amazon by 40 percent in ICMBio (2010-2016) and 33 percent in Ibama (2009-2015).

Flaws in cattle agreements: Half of the slaughterhouses, responsible for about 30 percent of the slaughter capacity in the Legal Amazon, did not sign the agreements. In addition, companies that have signed the agreements have no control over indirect producers (breeding and rearing). Delays in audits facilitate fraud to cover illegal deforestation on farms. While nearly 60,000 ranchers in the Amazon adopted sustainable practices in the last decade, according to government officials, about 330,000 haven’t. Last year, ranchers cleared a swath the size of Delaware. Brazil is home to the largest cattle herd in the world earmarked for meat—214 million head. The Amazon alone is home to 87 million head, which is 30 million more than in all of Argentina and nearly the size of the total U.S. herd, 90 million, including dairy cows, according to U.S. figures. Ranchers could boost productivity quite a bit. On average, each Amazonian head of cattle gets two acres to munch on, while ranchers raise two head per acre in other parts of Brazil, a ratio similar to the U.S. And here in the rain forest, the animals are smaller, feeding on blades of low-quality grass. At a slaughterhouse run by JBS SA in Pará state, the average animal weighed a slim 550 pounds, 150 fewer pounds than cows raised in feedlots in other parts of Brazil where the company also has plants.

Amazon deforestation and beef

Many ranchers in the Amazon sell fresh pastures at 10 times what they paid for land with tree cover. Others say they can’t absorb the high cost of sustainable farming.

Grabbing of public lands continues to be lucrative: The government does not reclaim invaded public lands and approved laws to facilitate regularization of lands invaded. Under Law No. 13,465/2017, subsidy for illegal land grabbing in the Amazon could reach R$ 21 billion.

Large infrastructure projects: Deforestation increases in the surroundings of large infrastructure projects because it increases immigration. Risks are underestimated and/or mitigating measures are not designed and/or implemented. This was the case of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant: in a hydroelectric construction scenario and with high immigration in the region, mitigating measures in the surroundings were not implemented.

After decades of trial and error, successes and failures, advances and setbacks, there is enough knowledge in Brazil about how to achieve ZD with social, economic and political responsibility. It is necessary to discourage deforestation and at the same time support the sustainable use of the forest, seek recognition and positive incentives for forest conservation and compensate best agricultural practices. The implementation of this vision depends on the government, businesses, rural producers, and also on manifestations of society, which elects representatives, demands and finances public policies and buys and invests in companies.

The end of deforestation in the Amazon will result from four short-term actions:

  • The implementation of effective and perennial environmental public policies
  • Support for sustainable forest uses and improved agricultural practices
  • The drastic restriction of the market for products associated with new deforestation
  • The engagement of voters, consumers and investors in efforts to eliminate deforestation

Reducing deforestation in a context of scarce public resources will depend, to a large extent, on increasing the effectiveness of punishment for environmental crimes. The current Director of the Department of Forests and Deforestation Control in the Ministry of the Environment, in his doctoral thesis, has already proposed more effective procedures. Some are already in practice and have already generated positive results, such as the increase in the number of legal notices and embargoes applied by IBAMA, especially through remote actions.

The legal notices are sent by mail after crossing maps of deforestation detected by satellite images, the maps of real estate obtained from the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and authorizations for deforestation. The cost of each remote legal notice (R$600) is 4.66 times lower than that based on field surveillance (R$2,800). This measure may increase the likelihood of a crime being notified by 192 percent, according to Jair Schimitt. The government can use satellite imagery to monitor if the embargoed areas are being used and, thus, prosecute violators. To reduce trial time, it is still necessary to adopt automated administrative processes, as is already done in some Courts of Justice. Such a measure would increase the likelihood of cases going to trial by 169 percent, according to Schimitt. The effective collection of fines would generate a large volume of resources to intensify the surveillance and implementation of protected areas.

It is even more important that the government broaden and strengthen the punishment of companies buying and financing products from illegally deforested areas. After all, it is more effective to punish a few companies than the thousands of farmers they finance or source from. A good example was the Shoyo operation, which fined Santander Bank R$ 47.5 million for financing the planting of soybeans in embargoed areas. Another was the Carne Fria (literally “Cold Meat”) operation, which investigated 15 slaughterhouses and an exporter of live cattle bought from embargoed areas on 24 farms. Ibama crossed public information of the animal transit guides (GTA) with the embargoes. Intervention by the Federal Public Prosecutor´s Office was necessary for the government of Pará to release the GTA data. Unfortunately, the Pará government continues to hamper access to such data. Therefore, states truly committed to combating deforestation should provide full data transparency.

Meanwhile, after Operation Cold Meat, the Minister of the Environment apologized to the producers and declared that the operation was inopportune and that the acting superintendent of Ibama in Pará, who participated in the set-up of the operation, was dismissed. These reactions reinforce the importance of society shielding the environmental organs from political influence.

One of the key roles of surveillance is to curb the theft of public lands. As already seen, at least 24 percent of the deforestation verified today has its origin in land grabbing of public lands. Public authorities must intensify operations against organized squatters, who, in addition to destroying forests, carry out other crimes, such as money laundering, which provide for harsher penalties than violations against the environment. Another strategy to combat illegal land grabbing and the speculative deforestation is the effective collection of the Rural Territorial Tax (ITR). Such a tax was created in the 1970s to curb speculation in unproductive land. The collection could increase 100 times based on analysis done in Pará (from about R$5 million to R$500 million per year) using rural real estate maps (CAR) and satellite images to identify land use. ITR’s revenues could be reinvested primarily in rural areas in the form of incentives for forest conservation and the adoption of better agricultural practices in areas already deforested.

By closing the frontier for illegal occupation and collecting the ITR effectively, the public authority would also signal to farmers that the increase in production should occur in areas that are already deforested. In addition to the environmental benefit, combating illegal land grabbing would help reduce conflicts that occur over dispute for public lands.

deforestation and jaguar conservation

In the Amazon there are about 70 million hectares of public forests that have not been destined yet to a specific use, part of which has already been cleared. It is essential that public authorities create protected areas on these public lands, including indigenous lands and Conservation Units for various uses such as tourism, scientific research and use of forest products (e.g. extractive reserves). Where the type of public land allocation still needs to be better studied, the government should institute Areas under Provisional Administrative Limitation (ALAP), while conducting studies to decide future allocation. The creation of ALAP, which prevents any use of the areas, is especially relevant around regions that will receive infrastructure projects that quickly attract immigrants and illegal land squatters.

If the creation of new protected areas results in a decrease of deforestation, the opposite is true. Ending forest protection, as a result of actions to reduce the size of protected areas, can motivate illegal deforestation. In the Jamanxim National Forest in Pará, the announcement of the federal government’s decision to reduce the protected area could result in a significant increase in deforestation in the coming years. Therefore, public authorities should not reduce the size or degree of protection of Conservation Units.

The urgency of eliminating deforestation requires that federal and state governments have bold goals and coordinate their activities. Some states have already set targets to reduce deforestation that are bolder than that of the federal government. For example, the governor of Pará declared that the state could eliminate net deforestation by 2020. Mato Grosso, in a strategy that unites efforts from the government, companies and civil society support, has set the goal of eliminating illegal deforestation by 2020.

However, just as at the federal level, the implementation of these state plans falls short of what is needed due to political resistance and budget constraints. Deforestation in Mato Grosso in recent years is still high. The federal government should revise its goals, include an end to deforestation, and act in coordination with states to avoid the sense that illegal deforestation will be tolerated until 2030, considering NDC’s goal of eliminating illegal deforestation by 2030.

Extraction of forest products yielded an average R$3 billion based on 2015 and 2016, according to IBGE, of which R$1.8 billion came from logging and R$537 million from açaí13 extraction. However, this potential is poorly explored regionally, since much of the production is exported to other regions instead of being processed in the Amazon.

Production is also often associated with predatory practices (for example, about half of the logging is illegal). It is therefore essential to support best practices in producing these products by strengthening and improving the quality of existing programs and plans to reduce deforestation and increase income associated with forest conservation, including the National Plan for Biodiversity Products Supply Chain and General Policy for Minimum Price for Biodiversity Products (PGPMBio), National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture (PRONAF) and the National Policy for Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (PNATer). These programs have the potential to serve populations in Conservation Units such as extractive reserves and Agrarian Reform settlement projects. Such programs should be linked to centers of scientific research and development as is done with other products of national agriculture (such as Embrapa Grape and Wine, Embrapa Beef Cattle and Embrapa Milk Cattle).

In addition, infrastructure planning for the Amazon needs to be articulated with local development plans, with the objective of stimulating sustainable production chains that are already underway. Infrastructure plans in the Amazon are currently focused on large energy and transport projects that have little positive impact on local development plans and contribute to the expansion of the agricultural frontier and real estate speculation that stimulate deforestation. Policies to support forest conservation could be strengthened with state and municipal resources that reward forest conservation. The Green ICMS Tax, implemented by Pará and Mato Grosso, transfers additional tax resources to municipalities with better conservation performance. These experiences could be adopted by other states.

State governments also have the power to influence the allocation of more resources to conservation in private areas. They can, for example, accelerate the application of the Forest Code, which provides for the offsetting of forest liabilities in the same biome, creating an Environmental Reserve Quota (CRA) market. By this system, the rural property that conserves forest beyond the legal minimum (Legal Reserve) can sell conservation quotas for those that need to compensate for the excessive deforestation in other properties. This quota market can reach R$5.8 billion in Mato Grosso alone. CRAs could guarantee protection of up to 3.6 million hectares, if used to offset the entire Amazon Legal Reserve deficit.

However, a study by Esalq and Imaflora points out that there are 12 million hectares of forests on private land that are not protected by the Forest Code (i.e. in addition to the required Legal Reserve and Permanent Protection Area). Thus, discounting the potential of CRAs, there are still 8.4 million unprotected hectares. To encourage the protection of these areas it would be advisable to create means of payment for environmental services for landowners who conserve forests beyond legal protection.

Given that conservation of the Amazon contributes to the country’s climate balance, therefore, for agricultural production and energy generation, it is fair to allocate additional federal resources to the region. One way to do this would be to increase allocations from the Participation Funds to states and municipalities. Today, the federal government transfers R$50 billion a year to the states through the FPE (State Participation Funds).

If only 2 percent of the FPE resources were distributed according to a forest protection criterion (states with more protected areas would receive an additional one), about R$1 billion would be allocated to forest conservation. Of these, approximately R$770 million would be destined to the Amazon biome, which hosts 77 percent of the continental area of the Brazilian Conservation Units. This approach is consistent with the new PPCDAm approach, which provides for the elaboration of economic, fiscal and tax standards and instruments.

Increasing production and efficiency of the activities in the deforested areas will maintain the socioeconomic contribution of this sector without new deforestation. Some progress has already been made, but the cattle industry is an obstacle. For example, its potential does not reach 34 percent. If it rose to 52 percent (which would still be low), livestock would meet the demand for beef and, consequently, grain, by 2040 without the need for additional forest conversion and still avoid the emission of 14 billion tons of CO2.

The most powerful policy to support the adoption of best agricultural practices is the rural credit and other subsidies of the federal government’s Agriculture and Livestock Plan, which is financed with taxes from all Brazilians. In 2017/2018, this plan totaled around R$ 200 billion17. However, only 1.1 percent of rural credit is earmarked exclusively for low carbon agriculture through the ABC (Low Carbon Agriculture) Program. To encourage a more rapid adoption of more sustainable practices, the federal government needs to adopt two main measures:

  1. Prioritize rural credit only for municipalities that reduce deforestation and thus encourage rural producers, mayors and governors to engage against deforestation; and
  2. Establish a transition goal (for example, a maximum of 10 years) so that all rural credit is allocated to ABC alone. In doing so, the taxpayer would encourage that the entire system of research, development, and technical assistance focus on techniques compatible with reducing deforestation and increasing production with low greenhouse gas emissions. Irrespective of promoting more efficient use of the cleared areas, to reduce deforestation globally we will need to reduce food waste and change food practices (Box 5).

Increasing production in areas already deforested is the most obvious way to continue increasing agricultural income without deforestation, especially with cattle.

Up to 14 percent of the emissions generated by agriculture in 2050 could be avoided by better managing the use and distribution of food, according to a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Between 30 percent and 40 percent of all food produced on the planet is never consumed, because it deteriorates after being harvested and during transportation or because it is thrown away by traders and consumers.

Irrespective of the increase in production only in areas already deforested, it will also be necessary to reduce the consumption of animal protein globally. As the world population grows and productivity rates of agricultural production reach the limit, a greater amount of land would be required to produce if current conditions of production and consumption are maintained. This model is unsustainable, and experts (including the FAO, UN Food and Agriculture Organization) have recommended more efficient use of agricultural products and food with a greater emphasis on the use of plants (instead of animal protein) and alternative sources of animal protein (e.g., edible insects need six times less feed to produce the same amount of bovine protein).

A 2015 study by Imaflora illustrates the Brazilian case of the nutritional inefficiency of production. In 2006, agriculture produced 35 times more protein than cattle production did, although pastures occupy 2.6 times more area than agriculture. The 2006 harvest would meet the protein needs of 2.1 billion people, while meat production would feed only 85 million. In addition, today, much of this land used for agriculture is intended to provide food to fatten animals for human consumption and not eat the vegetable protein itself. The shift to diets less dependent on animal protein and more sustainable production systems is necessary and requires the promotion of a just transition from the current model of production and consumption respecting the social, economic and cultural differences of each country.

Companies that buy or finance agricultural products should reduce the market for products associated with deforestation and support the adoption of better agricultural practices. They may do so voluntarily or because of financial risks, market blockages, or legal pressures from investors or consumers, which are becoming more and more common. The various initiatives to monitor corporate commitments and legal action against buyers and financiers of deforestation mean that risks are increasing and will increase further as many commitments have targets for 2020. Recent experiences show that when companies monitor the origin of products and boycott purchases from deforested areas, producers stop deforestation.

Therefore, companies that claim to be committed to zero (absolute or liquid) deforestation – whether they are processors, such as slaughterhouses, retailers, supermarkets, or industries such as leather – must trace the source of all their products that can be associated with deforestation, such as meat, milk, soy, corn, cocoa and palm oil, among others. For example, in the case of the Amazon, slaughterhouses and supermarkets must trace the cattle from the breeding and raising farms that supply the finishing farms from which they buy.

Likewise, supermarkets that have announced policies aligned with zero deforestation in the acquisition of beef also need to implement their systems and monitor the entire supply chain. Pilot projects show the technical and financial feasibility of this complete tracking of livestock – for example, the total cost would be around ten cents per kilo of meat for the final consumer. This type of initiative could scale up with the participation of more public and private actors, as happened with the successful program to combat foot-and-mouth disease.

Buyers also should demand that half of the slaughterhouses that haven’t committed against deforestation – with slaughtering capacity equivalent to 30 percent of the total Amazon region – engage in the agreements, and that supermarkets that have not yet published policies to control deforestation associated with cattle production, such as large Amazon networks like DB, Líder and Cencosud, do so immediately. This would reduce unfair competition from those who are already restricting purchases from deforested areas.

The adhesion of producers will be as big as the support of the supply chain of their business. Thus, companies should broaden their initiatives to support environmental regularization and increase productivity. For example, governments and companies in the livestock supply chain could help train about 2,000 people needed to improve livestock productivity.

The government also plays a crucial role in strengthening company agreements by providing public information to help monitor farms and other land uses. The livestock supply chain, for example, could be freed from deforestation if the Ministries of Agriculture and Livestock (MAPA) and the Environment (MMA) and the state health defense agencies made the CAR data available (in the case of MMA) and the animal transit guides (in the case of states). Slaughterhouses, supermarket chains and other interested parties could crosscheck this data to identify the origin and destination of the livestock. It is likely that governments will release this data only after more pressure from consumers and companies committed to forest conservation, as there is resistance in the rural sector against increased surveillance and transparency, as was evident in the reactions against the dissemination of CAR data and against IBAMA’s Operation Cold Meat.

The total and active transparency of other data generated by governments (municipal, state and federal) is also fundamental in monitoring supply chains that act as potential drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. Among this information are the Forest Origin Documents and/or Forest Transport Guides and the Mapping of Forest Degradation in the Brazilian Amazon (DEGRAD).

Opinion polls show that most Brazilians support forest conservation and, in fact, at various times society’s participation and pressure have favored the conservation of the Amazon, including recent campaigns against policies that facilitate destruction. However, systemic political corruption and the lack of prioritization of environmental issues by governments make it difficult for the population’s demands to be met. In this context, social pressure must be even stronger and continuous against attempts to weaken forest protection, such as easing environmental licensing, reducing the protection of Conservation Units, halting the demarcation of Indigenous Lands and extending the term in order to legalize land grabbing.

However, it is not enough to reject destructive policies; it is necessary to support projects that promote the sustainable development of the region – for example, the Sustainable Amazon Plan, launched in May 2008, which provides for the valorization of sociocultural and ecological diversity and the reduction of regional inequalities. The population may also demand that their taxes be used only for policies that favor conservation and best practices, such as those described in previous sections. In addition, to give political sustainability to conservation, citizens should elect politicians who understand the value of forests to the wellbeing of the population and the economic development of the country. Every Brazilian and a global citizen, as a consumer, can help transform companies into conservation allies through purchases and investments (several of which are listed on stock exchanges and others financed by public resources). Corporate markets play an important role.

The Soy Moratorium has shown that rural producers changed rapidly when European soybean consumers announced that they would not buy soy from deforested areas. In addition to ceasing deforestation, they began to invest in production in areas already deforested. In the last decade, the pressure of the national and international market, which, even buying less than what is consumed internally, also managed to push the largest companies to adopt systems of socio-environmental control for livestock production. Also under pressure from civil society, the largest retail chains had to adopt policies for sourcing cattle aligned with zero deforestation. Thus, initiatives that assess and bring visibility to commitments to conservation are essential to channel attention from society and promote changes in policy and business. Along the same path, it is essential that countries investing in the country and in their businesses also demand criteria aligned with zero deforestation and respect for local communities.

After a broad mobilization by society, in 2015 a bill was passed in the National Congress that defends the end of deforestation in Brazilian forests. The project was supported by more than 1.4 million Brazilians and is still being processed in the Chamber and Senate. It is essential that society remain mobilized so that the project is discussed and the actions that build this path become a reality.

The Zero Deforestation Working Group includes, Greenpeace, Imaflora, Imazon, Instituto Centro de Vida, Instituto Socioambiental, IPAM Amazonia, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund,. The group has been supported by Climate and Land Use Alliance, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Norad.

For more information, visit IPAM.

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.

Colombian Government Ordered To Protect Forests

Top Court Demands Halt To Amazon Deforestation

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Colombia’s highest court told the government to take urgent action to protect its Amazon rainforest and stem rising deforestation, in what campaigners said was an historic moment that should help conserve forests and counter climate change.

In their ruling on Thursday, the judges said that Colombia – which is home to a swathe of rainforest roughly the size of Germany and England combined – saw deforestation rates in its Amazon region increase by 44 percent from 2015 to 2016.

deforestation and global warming

“It is clear, despite numerous international commitments, regulations … that the Colombian state has not efficiently addressed the problem of deforestation in the Amazon,” the supreme court said.

The ruling comes after a group of 25 young plaintiffs, ranging in age from seven to 26, filed a lawsuit against the government in January demanding it protect their right to a healthy environment.

The plaintiffs had said the government’s failure to stop the destruction of the Amazon jeopardized their futures and violated their constitutional rights to a healthy environment, life, food and water.

Bogota-based rights group Dejusticia, which supported the plaintiffs’ case, said the verdict meant it was the first time a lawsuit of this kind had been ruled upon favorably in Latin America.

“The Supreme Court’s decision marks an historical precedent in terms of climate change litigation,” said Camila Bustos, one of the plaintiffs and a researcher at Dejusticia.

In its ruling, the court recognized Colombia’s Amazon as an “entity subject of rights”, which means that the rainforest has been granted the same legal rights as a human being.

“The ruling states the importance of protecting the rights of future generations, and even declares the Amazon a subject of rights,” Bustos said.

The court ordered the government – both at the local and national level – along with the environment and agriculture ministries and environmental authorities to come up with action plans within four months to combat deforestation in the Amazon.

The Amazon’s destruction leads to “imminent and serious” damage to children and adults for both present and future generations, the judges said.

The ruling stated that forests were being felled to make way for more grazing and agricultural land, as well as coca crops – the raw ingredient for cocaine – illegal mining and logging.

reforestation and carbon capture

Deforestation is a key source of greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, which damages ecosystems and water sources and leads to land degradation, the court said.

“Without a healthy environment, subjects of law and living beings in general will not be able to survive, let alone safeguard those rights for our children or for future generations,” the ruling said.

The lawsuit follows a surge in litigation around the world demanding action or claiming damages over the impact of climate change – from rising sea levels to pollution.

Reporting by Anastasia Moloney @anastasiabogota, Editing by Robert Carmichael. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience.

Read The Story About Forest Conservation in Colombia.

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Reforestation, Restoration A Growth Industry

Trees, Forests Undervalued

According to some estimates, approximately 41 million trees are cut down every day—much faster than we are replanting them. The consequences of deforestation and land degradation include climate change, biodiversity loss, and declines in ecosystem services that support hundreds of millions of people.

In response, governments around the world have committed to restore 160 million hectares of forests—an area larger than South Africa. But it will take more than government action to execute on these commitments; the private sector has an important role to play, too.

In fact, these commitments are spurring increased demand for companies that can deliver large projects cost-effectively—restoring degraded land has the potential to become a big business opportunity, on top of providing much needed climate mitigation and other ecosystem benefits. Established companies and entrepreneurs alike are finding new ways to make money from sustainably managed forests and farms.

deforestation and climate change

Some are responding to governmental incentives; others are responding directly to the market, restoring land to generate new products and services, or to differentiate their offerings from the competition. Some entrepreneurs are betting that a huge new business opportunity for natural carbon capture and sequestration will emerge as more governments charge a fee for emissions driving climate change.

New research by The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute and other partners shows that restoration and other land management improvements could provide more than a third of the emissions reductions necessary to keep global warming under 2°C.

A new report launched today by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and World Resources Institute (WRI) finds that restoring degraded land is not only good for the planet, it’s also a good investment opportunity as well. Through the analysis of 140 restoration-focused businesses in eight countries and four continents, The Business of Planting Trees shows that the economic benefits of restoring land are estimated at $84 billion per year and deliver a range of financial returns.

Mt. Kilimanjaro deforestation

This new emerging “restoration economy” represents a wide range of business models and not only brings economic and financial benefits, but also co-benefits including clean water, sustainable agriculture and functioning ecosystems. Reforestation also provides the single largest potential for storing carbon of any land-based natural climate solution. However, there is still a$300 billion shortfall in funding for restoration needed to achieve these outcomes at scale.

The report highlights four promising investment themes – technology, consumer products, project management and commercial forestry and explores how for-profit companies and impact investors can begin to close the financial gap while also turning a profit.

“If we are to be serious about climate change, we have to get serious about investing in nature,” said Justin Adams, Managing Director Global lands for The Nature Conservancy. “The way we manage lands in the future could cost effectively deliver over a third of greenhouse gas emissions reductions required to prevent dangerous levels of global warming.”  

The report authors selected 14 commercial businesses that have restoration at the core of their customer value proposition to highlight the breadth and depth of the restoration economy. Companies ranged from those with over $50 million in sales, to fewer than 10 employees, startups and mature land management organizations in operation for over 40 years. Each business had to meet five specific criteria:

• Profitable: Does the enterprise make money today (or is on track to do so in the future)?

• Scalable: Does the company have the potential to become much bigger than it is today?

• Replicable: Can this concept be replicated in other regions by other businesses?

• Environmental impact: Does the enterprise result in degraded lands being restored?

• Social impact: Does the company have a positive impact on people?

The report found that that investors would like to invest in land restoration, but were unsure of the financial landscape. Commercial investment of restoration has been limited to date, due to lacking proof of concept in new business models, the small deal sizes and future long-term planning of five or more years. The research indicates that business model development has advanced substantially, and rapid growth indicates investment sums may also rise. By presenting real world examples of companies that generate revenues from restoration, investors and entrepreneurs can gain insight into what business models exists, operational setups and how to avoid the early pitfalls. The report authors strongly recommend investors perform their own due diligence.

reforestation and carbon capture

Political commitments like the Paris Climate Accord, the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests present a major opportunity for investment in restoration as countries seek to engage the private sector to help meet their commitments. The report authors hope that this report serves as a starting point for investors to understand the growth opportunity that exists within the restoration economy.

Yet hurdles remain, and one of the biggest is funding. Many investors still know little about restoration opportunities. This report is intended to bridge that information gap; it includes case studies of 14 innovative enterprises across eight countries. They cover a fascinating range of activities, from drones that shoot seeds into hardened soils to genetic research on tree species threatened with extinction.

The restoration economy is at the take-off stage. New business models are emerging, technology is advancing and governments are showing political will. This is great news for investors looking for the next growth opportunity. And this is good news for the planet, since restoring land can provide clean water, improve livelihoods and enhance biodiversity—all while pulling back to the earth excess atmospheric carbon that would otherwise be heating the planet.

Opportunities have never been greater—and the task has never been more urgent. As an ancient Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”

Read The Report About Reforestation and Restoration

Malaysia, Indonesia Denounce Ban On Palm Oil In Biofuels

Short-Term Gains Driving Biodiversity Into History

Found in everything from shampoo to donuts, palm oil is now the most common vegetable oil in the world—and also one of the world’s leading deforestation drivers. It’s also being used to fuel our automobiles. The controversial product has given new meaning to the old campaign sloga, “put a tiger in your tank.” In fact, the palm oil industry is driving the highly endangered Sumatran tiger and other species towards extinction.

In defense of our planet’s vanishing biodiversity, European lawmakers approved draft measures last Wednesday to reform the power market there and reduce energy consumption, with the plan including a ban on the use of palm oil in motor fuels starting in 2021.

palm oil plantation deforestation

Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm producer, said on Monday it would work with other producing countries to voice “strong concerns” to the World Trade Organization, following the European Union’s move to back a ban on using palm oil to make biofuels. Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, joined the outcry against the ban, which is aimed at preserving massive tracts of tropical rainforests and countless endangered species that rely on them for habitat. The palm oil industry alone has caused massive slash and burning of millions of acres of rainforests to create palm oil plantations at the expense of biodiversity and the future of our planet.

Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree, Elaeis guineensis, which thrives in humid climates. Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce nearly 90 percent of the world’s palm oil, called the move discriminatory and said there should be fair treatment for all vegetable oils.

A large portion of European palm oil imports is used to make biofuels, giving the industry’s top two producers cause for concern as they fear overall demand will fall. Palm oil exports are a key source of revenue for Malaysia and Indonesia. The European Union is their second-biggest market after India.

deforestation climate change

Malaysia’s trade minister called the move a “regressive step which will fuel further uncertainty surrounding global trade,” according to a statement on Monday evening.

“Malaysia will intensify collaboration with other palm oil producing countries to consider more concerted efforts to voice our strong concern before the various committees under the WTO,” said Mustapa Mohamed, minister of international trade and industry, in the statement, adding that the ministry would raise the issue with two committees in March and April.

One huge source of global warming emissions associated with palm oil is the draining and burning of the carbon-rich swamps known as peatlands. Peatlands can hold up to 18 to 28 times as much carbon as the forests above them; when they are drained and burned, both carbon and methane are released into the atmosphere—and unless the water table is restored, peatlands continue to decay and release global warming emissions for decades.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the burning of peatlands releases a dangerous haze into the air, resulting in severe health impacts and significant economic losses. Each year, more than 100,000 deaths in Southeast Asia can be attributed to particulate matter exposure from landscape fires, many of which are peat fires.

Beyond its global warming and human health impacts, palm oil production also takes a toll on biodiversity and human rights. Only about 15 percent of native animal species can survive the transition from primary forest to plantation. Among the species vulnerable to palm oil expansion are orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants. Furthermore, palm oil growers have also been accused of using forced labor, seizing land from local populations, and other human rights abuses.

palm oil and orangutans

The impacts of palm oil production have begun to draw a response from both governments and the private sector in recent years.

There has been significant movement from Southeast Asian governments to address palm oil impacts, though there is still much to be done. In 2010, Indonesia established a moratorium on new concessions for oil palm, timber and logging operations on primary forests and peatlands. In addition, Indonesia has responded to worsening haze conditions by calling for a halt to clearance and drainage of peatlands, and for the restoration of those already drained. Malaysia has also begun to act to protect some of its forests, though its protections thus far have not been as strong as Indonesia’s.

endangered species conservation and forest conservation

On the private-sector side, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)was formed to bring oil producers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders together to improve the sustainability of palm oil production. However, current RSPO standards fall short in important respects. For instance, while primary forests are protected under RSPO regulations, secondary, disturbed, or regenerating forests are left unprotected. Peatlands are also given limited protection under RSPO guidelines. So “RSPO-certified” does not necessarily mean “deforestation-free.”

PR firm climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.

REDD+ Offers Hope In Battle Against Deforestation

Innovative Conservation Models Can Refine REDD+

In December 2015, with the signing of the Paris Agreement, the nations of the world reached agreement on a historic, collective and comprehensive approach to combat climate change. The primary goal of the agreement, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and try to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees C. Within that agreement is a recognition of the critical role of forests, including actions to halt and reverse the rate of deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, which have contributed up to 20 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

deforestation and global warming

To assist countries in these actions, the agreement includes a framework of policies and incentives for reducing deforestation and forest degradation and increasing carbon storage in forests through conservation and sustainable management. This is known as REDD+.

REDD+ has evolved over a decade of discussions, research and negotiations to become a key piece of the newly adopted climate architecture. It is flexible by design, as it recognizes the significant differences across countries in terms of societal and governance structures, histories, laws, economies, and ecological and environmental factors. It is intended to support the necessary economic transitions and shifts to sustainable landscape management as part of a country’s low carbon development. To ensure that it contributes to the environmental integrity of the climate regime, REDD+ requires a national commitment—not isolated projects. No more foundational decisions are needed for REDD+ to be fully implemented.

The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 solidified the foundation for REDD+. The agreement referenced, in a single paragraph, the entire body of decisions, including the objectives, rules, guidelines and guiding principles for REDD+. The focus now is on actions to implement and support REDD+ initiatives. To do so, a solid understanding of REDD+ and the Paris Agreement is needed. We must understand what REDD+ is, in a manner that is accessible to policy makers, scientists and civil society and in a form that is completely consistent with the UNFCCC decisions and agreements.

The broad intent of REDD+ is to help countries shift to low-emissions development pathways by increasing the value of healthy forests relative to other land uses.

Greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high. If emissions are not reduced, it will be nearly impossible to hold global warming to below 2 degrees C. One of the best ways to address this challenge is to keep trees standing, as healthy forests are one of the largest store houses of carbon. And unhealthy forests—those that have been degraded or deforested—are the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, after the burning of fossil fuels.

reforestation and climate change

An approach called REDD+ is one of the most promising means for keeping trees standing in developing countries. “REDD” stands for “reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation.” The thought leaders behind REDD+ agreed that incentives are necessary not only to reduce emissions by tackling the drivers of forest loss, but also to avoid emissions and increase storage by taking proactive measures to conserve and restore forests.

The aim of REDD+ is to slowly halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss in developing countries. The broad intent of REDD+ is to help countries shift to low-emissions development pathways by increasing the value of healthy forests relative to other land uses. Achieving and sustaining the objectives of REDD+ requires the transformation of economic activities within and outside of the forests, often referred to as the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

REDD+ was born in 2005 but its importance was not fully and formally recognized until December 2015, when the 197 parties to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement—a landmark global pact to curb climate change. Recognizing REDD+ in the Paris Agreement was seen as a means to highlight and validate the system of incentives for developing countries to conserve forests in the context of poverty reduction and economic development. It also filled a gap left by the Kyoto Protocol, which went into effect in 2005.

Prior to the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol was the main tool to achieve the objective of the UNFCCC–reducing greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. However, the protocol did not include emissions caused by the unsustainable exploitation and destruction of forests in developing countries. With the Paris Agreement in place, REDD+ is now a key piece of the new climate architecture adopted by every country in the world. No additional foundational decisions are needed for REDD+ to be fully implemented. The focus now is on implementation and support of REDD+.

reforestation and carbon capture

REDD+ In A Nutshell

REDD+ is a voluntary approach for developing countries and includes five activities:

  •  Reduce emissions from deforestation;
  • Reduce emissions from forest degradation;
  • Conserve forest carbon stocks;
  • Sustainably manage forests; and
  • Enhance forest carbon stocks.

REDD+ includes four components:

  • A national strategy or action plan;
  • A national forest reference level as the basis for accounting the results of REDD+ activities;
  • A national forest monitoring system; and
  • A system for reporting how all of the REDD+ social and environmental safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities.

Countries implementing REDD+ pass three phases:

  • The development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures, and capacity-building;
  • The implementation of national policies and measures, as well as national strategies or action plans, that could involve capacity building, technology development and transfer, and results based demonstration activities; and
  • Results-based actions that should be fully measured, reported and verified.

Financial support for REDD+ may come from a variety of sources, such as the public and private sectors and bilateral and multilateral agreements. This funding may include payments for emissions reductions achieved through the implementation of REDD+ activities. These are called results-based payments.

How are unintended negative social and environmental impacts avoided?

The 2010 Cancun Agreements established a set of seven social and environmental safeguards when implementing REDD+ activities, as well as guidance for systems to provide information on how countries are implementing the safeguards. Countries should start providing a summary of that safeguard information to the UNFCCC once they begin implementing REDD+ activities and periodically, thereafter.

deforestation Tanzania and Kenya

Doing so is a means for reducing or eliminating the potential negative impacts REDD+ could have on social and environmental values, beyond GHG emissions and associated climate change. The social safeguards promote and support good governance, respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous people and members of local communities, and the full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders in the development and implementation of REDD+ activities. The environmental safeguards promote and support the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity. This helps ensure that REDD+ actions are not used for the conversion of natural forests, but are, instead, used to incentivize the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, as well as to enhance other social and environmental benefits.

The 2015 Paris Agreement highlights the role forests and other carbon stores (known as “sinks and reservoirs”) should play in meeting global and national climate change mitigation goals. In particular, Article 5 of the agreement highlights the role of forests in curbing climate change and effectively recognizes all of the existing guidance for REDD+ previously agreed to by the COP. This article states that all nations should take action to conserve and enhance the role of “sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases,” which include biomass, forests and oceans as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems.62 Nations are encouraged to take action to implement and support the existing REDD+ framework as set out in related guidance and decisions.63 This can be done in several ways, including through results-based payments. As specified in Article 4 of the Paris Agreement, REDD+ activities will also contribute to the goal of achieving a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century.

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.

Natural Systems The Best Defense Against Climate Change

Study Highlights Ecosystems As Key Strategy

Though his business card says Director of Forest Carbon Science at The Nature Conservancy, Bronson Griscom introduces himself as an ecological accountant. Griscom radiates an optimism somewhat rare in seasoned environmentalists, especially when he discusses the “carbon economy” of nature: the everyday role that trees, grasslands and coastal habitats play in the carbon cycle. Griscom can measure the carbon impact of logging in old growth forests, or how well different forest ecosystems work as sinks for absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere. He helps link our economy with the economy of the biosphere.

In recent decades, forest use—Griscom’s area of expertise—has been widely studied for its climate impacts. Forest loss accounts for 8 to 10 percent of carbon emissions globally; tropical rainforests like the Amazon have become almost synonymous with land conservation, largely because they work as massive carbon sinks and are home to many of the world’s indigenous people and endangered species.

deforestation and climate change

But other global ecosystems and managed lands—from farmlands and peatlands to seagrass and tidal marshes—have garnered less attention from climate regulators, both as a source of emissions and a potential mitigation solution. In fact, until recently no one had ever integrated the raw data on all the carbon that all ecosystems were already sequestering, and what the potential was for increasing carbon storage among all these habitats together, as Griscom and his team studied.

“I thought we would review a few papers and take an average to answer the question,” he says. “We were shocked to find that important gaps remained in answering the question: how much can lands contribute to solving climate change? So we took it upon ourselves to convene a large group of scientists across 15 research institutions to take a comprehensive look at this question.”

Answering that question became the highest priority for Bronson’s team, and the foundation for what has become the most comprehensive study on the role that nature can play in keeping global temperature increases to 2°C or below. They found that, with the right management, nature can play a bigger role than we realized.

Natural climate solutions offer up to 37% of the mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep global temperature rise below 2°C.

Mt. Kilimanjaro deforestation

The paper offers a comprehensive roadmap for reducing carbon emissions through nature. The study is the culmination of a partnership between the Conservancy and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation that brought together more than two-dozen leading natural scientists and economists from fifteen research, educational and private institutions around the world.

The land-use sector is currently responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. But this new study shows that this could change—and with concerted global action on land use over the next decade, nature can be a significant part of the climate solution.

The analysis found that the total biophysical potential for natural climate solutions while still taking account of food production needs is as much as 23.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year—approximately 30 percent more than previous, less comprehensive estimates.

In addition, the study’s economic analyses show that half of these natural climate solutions (11.3 billion tons CO2e) offer cost-effective mitigation opportunities, because they cost less than the future impacts of climate change, expected to cost society more than $100 per ton of CO2 in the atmosphere. These cost-effective NCS mitigation options offer up to 37 percent of mitigation needed between now and 2030 to keep global temperature rise below 2°C —the widely recognized target of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Pathways to Natural Climate Solutions

To synthesize the research, Griscom and his team developed a framework to distill the world’s “natural climate solutions”—the proven ways of storing and reducing carbon emissions in forests, grasslands (including agricultural and rangelands) and wetlands—into a taxonomy of 20 specific pathways that account for the full climate potential of nature.

In addition to covering three biomes, the pathways also look at different practices across a variety of economic scenarios that mitigate climate change, including the implementation of low-cost opportunities only ($10 per tonne CO2e or less).

Another striking aspect of these pathways is the additional benefits they provide. Most nature climate solutions—if effectively implemented—also offer water filtration, flood buffering, improved soil health, protection of biodiversity habitat, and enhanced climate resilience.

“The approach is synergistic,” says Justin Adams, managing director for Global Lands at the Nature Conservancy. “We can hit multiple targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals if we get this right.”

palm oil plantation deforestation

There is, however, a catch: The world must act soon.

Assuming current business-as-usual trajectories, increased emissions entering the atmosphere, coupled with continued environmental degradation, will lessen the impact that nature can have. If natural climate solutions are mobilized over the next 10 to 15 years, they could provide 37 percent of the needed mitigation for global climate targets. But if action is delayed until after 2030, that number drops to 33 percent, and drops again to only 22 percent after 2050.

Over the past two years, the world experienced unprecedented global climate momentum. In September 2015, international leaders adopted the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to fight poverty, promote sustainability and address climate change. Shortly after, nearly 200 countries came together in Paris to adopt the world’s largest ever international climate treaty.

And despite recent setbacks, including the United States announcing its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, many countries have moved forward implementing voluntary measures to limit emissions. And while natural climate solutions are part of many countries’ pledges, there remains a gap between promised action and realized climate progress.

“Natural climate solutions are available now, are cost effective and greatly benefit communities,” said Justin Adams.

As they are currently written, the Paris Agreement pledges still fall short, likely keeping warming around 4°C. Every five years, international representatives and negotiators will meet to ramp up ambition, but the current timeline for countries to end their reliance on fossil fuels while still maintaining development and economic growth does not align with what is needed to achieve climate stability. Barring a technological miracle, the world likely needs more time than it realistically has to move to full economic decarbonization.

“There’s a growing recognition that to get to below 2°C, we need to actively drawdown carbon from the atmosphere,” Adams says. “And while there’s lots of interest and investment in new technology solutions to capture and store carbon, this is new, experimental technology. Trees and other plants, meanwhile have already perfected this process over hundreds of millions of years of evolution—we’re unlikely to see a better carbon capture and storage technology than that which nature provides.”

deforestation and biodiversity

This makes the findings from the 20 pathways particularly important: they provide a scalable near-term option that, combined with fossil fuel emission reductions, can put the planet on a 2° path by 2030. If world leaders hold off on concurrently investing in nature now, emerging technology will have to play an exponentially larger role in reducing emissions later on. “That’s a gamble on the future that can be prevented today,” Adams says.

“The rapid deployment of clean energy technologies currently being witnessed is truly inspiring, and we absolutely must press forward with the deployment of renewables, electric cars, energy efficiency and other methods for fossil fuel reduction,” Adams adds. “But we also need to see a similar level of investment in natural solutions, which are available now, are cost effective and greatly benefit communities.”

Read The Full Story at Climate Change News via Nature

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems.

Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Orangutan Conservationists Can’t Stop Deforestation

Sustainable Palm Oil Wiping Out Biodiversity

A population trend analysis of Bornean orangutans reveals that, despite decades of conservation work, the species is declining rapidly – at a rate of 25 percent over the past 10 years.

University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences researcher Dr Truly Santika, an Indonesian statistician and researcher at the ARC Centre of Centre for Environmental Decisions (CEED), led the study on the critically endangered Bornean orangutans.

Analyses show declines are particularly pronounced in West and Central Kalimantan, but even in relatively well protected areas, such as the Malaysian State of Sabah, the rate of decline is still 21.3 percent.

Every year US$30-40 million is invested by governmental and non-governmental organizations to halt the decline of wild populations. The study shows that these funds are not effectively spent.

deforestation and climate change

Dr Santika said, for many threatened species, the rate and drivers of population decline were difficult to accurately assess.

“Our study used advanced modeling techniques that allowed the combination of different survey methods, including helicopter surveys, traditional ground surveys, and interviews with local communities,” Dr Santika said.

CEED Director Professor Kerrie Wilson said the new approach facilitated the break-through and, for the first time, enabled researchers to determine population trends of the species over time.

She described the study, conducted by a group of some 50 Indonesian, Malaysian, and international researchers, as “a wake-up call” for the orangutan conservation community and the Indonesian and Malaysian governments who had committed to saving the species.

One of the study’s initiators, UQ Honorary Professor Erik Meijaard said that the study’s worrying outcomes suggested the need to fundamentally rethink orangutan conservation strategies.

“The biggest threats of habitat loss and killing are not effectively addressed, despite government commitments through national action plans,” he said.

“The focus of orangutan conservation is on rescues and rehabilitation, but that only addresses the symptoms and not the underlying problem.”

According to Dr Marc Ancrenaz, a Sabah-based orangutan scientist and contributor to the study, there is hope for orangutans, despite the negative trends that the study demonstrates.

palm oil and orangutans

“As we learn more about orangutans we come to understand that the species is ecologically much more versatile than previously thought,” he said.

“Orangutans can survive in multifunctional landscapes, which includes plantations and agricultural lands. But they are very slow breeders and much more needs to be done to reduce killing rates.”

Previous studies have indicated up to 2,500 orangutans are killed annually on Borneo in conflict situations or by hunters looking for food, explaining a considerable part of the orangutan’s decline.

“Inappropriate land use planning is another major factor,” Professor Meijaard said.

“For example, 10,000 orangutans presently occur in areas that have been allocated by national and local governments to oil palm development.

“If these areas are converted to plantations without changes in current practices, most of these animals will be destroyed and the steep population decline is likely to continue.

palm oil plantation deforestation

“Viable populations of large roaming animals such as the orangutan require a network of protected forests that are properly managed, and sustainable practices outside of these protected areas.”

Biodiversity News via University of Queensland.

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.

Forest Conservation A Rising Priority In Gabon

Gabon Will Conserve Rain Forests

Gabon has signed an $18 million deal with donors to tackle deforestation and cut its carbon emissions by half as part of a wider plan to protect the tropical forests of the Congo Basin. One of the world’s most forested countries, Gabon is the second African nation, after the Democratic Republic of Congo, to sign an agreement with the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), launched in 2015 and backed by European donor nations.

The initiative, which also covers Central African Republic, Cameroon, Congo Republic and Equatorial Guinea, aims to restart protection efforts in the Congo Basin – a target for expansion of palm oil plantations as available land in Indonesia dwindles.

Protecting forests is widely seen as one of the cheapest and most effective ways to reduce the emissions driving global warming. Loss and degradation of forests account for about 15 percent of emissions each year, conservation groups say.

deforestation and climate change

“This agreement is a big step forward,” Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s climate and environment minister and chairman of the CAFI, said in a statement published late on Tuesday.

“Gabon is committing to measures that, if implemented, would preserve about 98 percent of its rainforests,” Helgesen added.

Forests in the Congo Basin cover about two million square km – nearly the size of Mexico – but are shrinking by 5,600 square km a year.

The small, central African nation aims to cut its emissions by half by 2025 – compared with 2005 levels – by establishing a national land-use plan, implementing a system to monitor forests and natural resources, and improving governance of its forests.

The CAFI requires countries to create national investment plans to address the pressures driving deforestation, and aims to slow illegal logging and burning of forests that are vital to millions of people and endangered species.

forest conservation Africa

It is backed by funding from the European Union, Norway, Britain, France and Germany, and technical advice from Brazil.

“Gabon could set a standard for sustainable development that could inspire other countries in Central and Western Africa,” said U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Magdy Martinez-Soliman.

“By accelerating reforms, the country will engage on a genuine green economy path that offers solutions for both climate and agriculture, and is attractive for green private sector investments more generally,” he added in a statement.

Rain Forest News via http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4647068/Gabon-pledges-protect-forests-regional-drive-save-Congo-Basin.html#ixzz4lPgu02v9

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.

EU Considering Palm-Oil Boycott To Curb Deforestation

Deforestation Driving Climate Change, Extinction

Indonesia and Malaysia, which produce more than 80 percent of the world’s palm oil, are resisting proposals by European parliamentarians that could limit their access to the second biggest palm oil market after India.

Government ministers from Malaysia and Indonesia, along with some regional palm oil producers, met in Jakarta on April 11 to plan a response to a resolution approved on April 4 by European parliament members concerning palm oil and deforestation.

The parliamentarians requested the EU to “introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and phase out the use of vegetable oils that drive deforestation by 2020.”

They hope for an EU-wide ban on biodiesel made from palm oil by 2020, claiming that the expansion of palm oil plantations, mostly in Southeast Asia, is causing “massive forest fires, the drying up of rivers, soil erosion, peatland drainage, the pollution of waterways and overall loss of biodiversity.”

palm oil plantation deforestation

Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar called the EU proposals an “insult,” while the foreign ministry accused the EU of “protectionism” and of ignoring the rights of millions of Indonesian farmers whose main source of income is from small oil palm plots.

The growth in global demand for palm oil, which is used in a wide array of products from cosmetics and fuel to foods such as margarine and chocolate, has resulted in the massive clearing of forests, particularly in Indonesia, over the last 30 years. The slash and burn methods used on Sumatra and Borneo have led to forest and peatland fires that have enveloped Singapore and parts of Malaysia in a smoky haze that has spread as far as southern Thailand.

Images of orphaned baby elephants and orangutans rescued from cleared forests and plantations have spurred vigorous environmental activism and consumer awareness campaigns in recent years. Species such as the Sumatran elephant have been put on endangered lists, with the ensuing bad publicity forcing governments and palm oil companies to sign up for various national and international certification schemes to guarantee that palm oil products are not causing environmental damage.

palm oil and orangutans

But members of the European parliament argue that a single certification scheme is needed. “MEPs note that various voluntary certification schemes promote the sustainable cultivation of palm oil,” but “their standards are open to criticism and are confusing for consumers,” said a European parliament press release issued on April 4.

In response, Indonesia’s Agriculture Minister Andi Amran Sulaiman told reporters in Jakarta that “we cannot let Europe dictate Indonesia’s agriculture. We have our own standard called Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil.”

Mah Siew Keong, the Malaysian plantation industries and commodities minister, said that “Malaysia too already has a national certification system.” He noted that “only palm oil is subjected to certification while similarly produced vegetables oils are not subject to sustainability certification,” asserting, “this is not fair.”

With the Indonesia Oil Palm Producers Association executive director Fadhil Hasan calling on the government to “retaliate,” mentioning wine, aircraft, perfume and pharmaceuticals as imports from Europe that Jakarta could target, the dispute over palm oil could undermine work started in July 2016 by the EU and Indonesia to move toward a free trade agreement, as well as disrupt longer-standing negotiations between the EU and Malaysia on a similar deal.

Indonesia is Southeast Asian’s biggest economy and accounts for almost 40% of the total 620 million population of Southeast Asia. “European companies already provide 1 million jobs here in Indonesia and we hope it can grow,” said EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, during a Nov. 2016 trade mission visit to Jakarta.With tensions over palm oil threatening to undermine free trade negotiations, some European officials sought to play down some of the concerns raised by MEPs.

deforestation and climate change

Jean-Charles Berthonnet, the French ambassador to Indonesia, described the MEP resolution as “unilaterally critical and moralizing” in an opinion article published in the Jakarta Post, though the ambassador agreed that a better certification system is needed.

“Deforestation is a very complex issue and I think we can agree on a number of points. But we need to take a broader look at deforestation because it is not caused only by the palm oil industry,” said Karmenu Vella, the EU commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries.

Indeed, one recent agreement suggests that the EU and Indonesia can collaborate on preserving forests. In November 2016, Indonesia and the EU launched a licensing scheme that aimed to stop illegally logged timber from being exported from Indonesia — the world’s third biggest jungle area after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — to Europe, and in turn reduce deforestation across the archipelago. “Indonesia has shown true leadership and now sets a high standard for other countries to emulate,” said Vincent Guerend, the EU ambassador to Indonesia, when the initiative was launched.

endangered species conservation and forest conservation

But both sides will now have to come to terms over palm oil. The April 11 meeting of palm oil growers in Jakarta was convened to plan a negotiating strategy ahead of a possible meeting with European officials in May to discuss the proposed restrictions on palm oil.

“We will do whatever we can to convince the European parliament and European countries not to implement it,” Darmin Nasution, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for economic affairs, told reporters. “We will negotiate in full force,” he added.

The European parliamentarians also accused the palm oil companies of not living up to their claims that their products are environmentally friendly. “Some companies trading in palm oil are failing to prove beyond doubt that the palm oil in their supply chain is not linked to deforestation, peatland drainage or environmental pollution, and to demonstrate that it has been produced with full respect for fundamental human rights and adequate social standards,” the MEPs stated.

Anita Neville, vice president of corporate communications and sustainability relations at Golden Agri-Resources, a Singapore-based palm oil company that manages 480,000 hectares of Indonesian palm oil plantations, said that producers hoped that the EU would not back away from the use of palm oil. “If your motivation is to tackle deforestation and poverty, you need to stay in the game and demand sustainable palm oil,” she said.

Malaysian palm oil producers Sime Darby and IOI announced in March they had joined the year-old Fire Free Alliance, which “focuses on fire prevention through community engagement.” It includes environmental groups and major forestry and agriculture companies such as pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International and major palm oil players Musim Mas Group and Wilmar International.

deforestation climate change

The Indonesian government is backing the FFA, which so far supervises activity in just 200 villages covering roughly 1.5 million hectares of land. This amounts to just over a quarter of what the Indonesian government estimates are 731 villages in seven of Indonesia’s 34 provinces where slash and burn clearances are undertaken.

Among those most affected by plantation expansion and deforestation in Indonesia is the country’s indigenous population, which is seeking more rights over traditional lands in many places that overlap with some of the country’s forests and plantations.

But granting such rights would likely make it more difficult to conduct agribusiness on up 8 million hectares of land claimed by indigenous peoples. This is seen as one reason why Indonesian President Joko Widodo belatedly cancelled a scheduled appearance at a March congress of indigenous leaders in northern Sumatra.

Rukka Sombolinggi, the newly elected head of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), said she was not surprised at the president’s reluctance to attend the event. But she added, “the problem is with the ministry of environment and forestry, they are the ones who are claiming our land as state land.”

Her group contends that giving indigenous groups legal rights to their land is the best way to ensure that forest ecologies are preserved. Rukmini P. Toheke, a prominent activist for indigenous peoples from Palu in central Sulawesi, said: “For us the forest is ‘katu vua,’ or life itself.” She added: “If we destroy the forests, we destroy our own lives.”

Deforestation News via http://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Commodities/Asian-palm-oil-producers-slam-EU-moves-to-restrict-market-access?page=1

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, carbon capture, sustainable agriculture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. We have projects ready across Africa now. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

International Day Of Forests Promotes Conservation

Deforestation Threatens Biodiversity

Today is the International Day of Forests. Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming, wildlife extinction, droughts and other threats to life as we know it.

Forests are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, and home to more than 80 percent of all known terrestrial species of animals and plants. They play a vital role in storing water, regulating climate, preserving soils and nurturing biodiversity, and provide important economic and social services.

On this UN day that is dedicated for forests, CITES highlights its commitment to help countries manage forests more sustainably. Through strictly regulating international trade in certain timber and non-timber forest products to ensure legality, sustainability and traceability, CITES is contributing towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal #15 as it relates to the sustainably managed forests and halting biodiversity loss.

deforestation and climate change

Recent years have witnessed a major development in the use of the Convention with Parties deciding to include many commercially valuable trees in the CITES Appendices. While only 18 tree species were listed in the CITES Appendices in 1975 when the Convention came into effect, CoP17 alone (held in Johannesburg, September/October 2017) brought over 300 new timber species, namely all Dalbergia rosewood and palisander species found across the world  under CITES trade controls. Today, more than 900 tree species are protected under CITES, including some of the world’s most economically valuable trees.

Legal international trade in timber is worth hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Thanks to CITES trade regulations, CITES Management Authorities establish the veracity of the legal origins of listed species before they enter international trade, and CITES Scientific Authorities advise on the sustainable nature of the harvest and exports. Customs officials at border crossings of source, transit and destination States across the globe will verify CITES permits for all such international shipments.

deforestation and jaguar conservation

“The decisions taken to bring so many new tree species under the CITES trade control regime reflect the growing confidence that Parties have in CITES in helping them manage these valuable resources more sustainably, and the determination to ensure the legality of such timbers in trade,” said CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon.

CITES works in partnership with other organizations to enhance sustainable forest management and timber trade practices. The successful long-term collaboration between CITES and ITTO, for example, has contributed greatly towards reducing biodiversity loss, fostering sustainable development and helping poverty eradication by enabling biodiversity-rich countries to better manage their natural forest resources.

Beneficiary countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas have been given support to sustainably harvest and trade in CITES listed tree species, which is good for people and wildlife, and contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal #15:

“Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.”

palm oil and orangutans

“Through our collective efforts we are ensuring that wild plants, and the animals that depend upon them, will be protected for this generation and the generations to come. Effectively regulating trade in forest products also has great benefits for people by ensuring sustainable livelihoods, and protecting social and cultural assets. Wildlife-based industries, including tourism, can bring significant benefits for some national economies and be a major generator of local jobs and foreign exchange” concluded Scanlon.

Deforestation News via https://cites.org/eng/CITES_highlights_its_contribution_to_sustainable_forest_management_on_International_Day_of_Forests_2017_21032017

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, sustainable agriculture, carbon capture and wildlife conservation. Sustainable land management and land use are critical to the survival of entire ecosystems. Sacred Seedlings is a U.S.-based program that supports the vision of local stakeholders. We have projects ready across Africa. We seek additional projects elsewhere around the world. We also seek volunteers, sponsors and donors of cash and in-kind support. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com 

Together, we can stop deforestation and preserve biodiversity.