UN Recommends Reforestation Of Kilimanjaro

Vital Water Supplies Threatened Across East Africa

The greater Kilimanjaro region is one of the most threatened ecosystems on earth. As the snows, glaciers and rains retreat, millions of lives and the future of nations hang in the balance. A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme says that protecting East Africa’s mountain ecosystems would safeguard the region’s $7 billion tourism industry, not to mention the lives of millions of people and iconic endangered species.

Tanzania wildlife conservation

“Across the continent, the damage done to these ecosystems is depriving people of the basic building blocks of life,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment agency.

He said Mt. Kilimanjaro was an example of how climate change was severely damaging Africa’s mountains and the people who depend on them. Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest in Africa, contributes to more than a third of Tanzania’s revenue from tourism but is facing several problems, ranging from shrinking glacier to rampant wild fires. As climate change intensifies, it is essential that governments act swiftly to prevent more harm and more downward momentum. The report urges Tanzania to protect the mountain’s water catchment area by reforestation, investing in early warning systems and making climate adaptation a top priority.

Africa climate change solutions

Mt. Kilimanjaro forests are a vital source of water for the surrounding towns and the wider region. Water from the mountain feeds one of Tanzania’s largest rivers, the Pangani.

The report titled Sustainable Mountain Development in East Africa in a Changing Climate warned that the glaciers are likely to vanish completely within a few decades as a result of climate change if urgent action is not taken. Meanwhile, higher temperatures have increased the number of wildfires, which have destroyed 13,000 hectares of the mountain’s forest since 1976.

The town of Moshi, which is located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is already experiencing severe water shortages as rivers begin to dry up, starving farmland of water in an area already struggling to cope with a dramatic drop in rainfall.

deforestation Tanzania and Kenya

The report was produced by UN Environment, GRID-Arendal, East African Community, the Albertine Rift Conservation Society and Nature-RIDD. It was produced as part of the Mountain Adaptation Outlook Series, which was launched by the UN Environment Programme at the climate talks in Paris in 2015.

Meanwhile, Tanzania has already lost more than half of its elephants to poachers over the past decade. They could be wiped out entirely in just five or six years. Adding to the poaching crisis, there has been loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as a result of fragmentation and loss of critical ecosystem linkages and over-exploitation of the natural habitats. This loss of habitat brings humans and wildlife into more and more conflict over food, water and space–which means more bloodshed.

The good news is that local stakeholders share this vision and already have plans ready for action. Sacred Seedlings is a global coalition working to defend ecosystems and the planet for the benefit of future generations. We help local stakeholders with collaborative and inclusive planning and we help them secure the resources necessary to develop these critical plans.

NGOs across Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have 15 comprehensive projects planned and ready to defend regional ecosystems, including:

  • Forest conservation and reforestation;
  • Sustainable agriculture and aquaculture;
  • Watershed restoration and protection;
  • Solar power can replace wood stoves and improve productivity;
  • Community education about wildlife and forest conservation;
  • Anti-poaching patrols, habitat restoration and other wildlife conservation strategies;
  • Ecotourism; and
  • Jobs for men and women, which can help alleviate many economic, health and environmental issues.

For more information about plans to defend ecosystems across East Africa and beyond, please visit the East Africa Plan. We seek sponsors, donors, grants and volunteers. We are adding more projects to benefit local stakeholders and ecosystems around the world. Please join us. Thank you.

reforestation and climate change solution

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, 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

UN Chief Calls For Global Forest Conservation, Restoration

Deforestation Killing More Than Trees

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called upon all UN member states to make more efforts to invest in and protect the world’s forests. In his message to mark the International Day of Forests. 

“To build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all, we must invest in our world’s forests,” the secretary general said. “That will take political commitment at the highest levels, smart policies, effective law enforcement, innovative partnerships and funding. On this International Day of Forests, let us commit to reducing deforestation, sustaining healthy forests and creating a climate-resilient future for all.”

deforestation and climate change

The International Day of Forests, observed on March 21, strives to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside. The day of celebration and advocacy was established by resolution of the UN General Assembly on November 28, 2012. Each year, various events celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations. Countries are encouraged to undertake efforts to organize local, national, and international activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns, on the International Day.

Forests have been decimated due to land clearing, cattle grazing, intensive burning for firewood, or to construct streets and homes. Some 13 million hectares of forest – an area the size of Greece or Nicaragua – are cleared annually. Approximately 1.6 billion people — including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures — depend on forests for food, fuel, shelter and income, Ban noted.

In the Amazon rainforest alone, forests the size of seven soccer fields vanish every minute. Brazil has lost 10 percent of its forests – an area the size of France – between 1990 and 2000. Indonesia, with 20 percent of forests lost over the past 20 years, is the only country to surpass Brazil, taking the number-one spot when it comes to forest destruction, there, 24 million hectares of forest have been destroyed, according to the UN. Nigeria is in third place, followed by Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Three quarters of freshwater comes from forested catchments. Forests prevent landslides and erosion and — in the case of mangrove forests — reduce loss of life and damage caused by tsunamis,” he said. “For these reasons, and more, forests are integral to our future. Among their most important functions is their role in building climate-resilient societies. That is why, in this year of action for sustainable development, climate change is the theme for the International Day of Forests. Sustaining healthy forests and mitigating and adapting to climate change are two sides of the same coin. Forests are the largest storehouses of carbon after oceans.”

deforestation and global warming

The carbon they store in their biomass, soils and products is equivalent to about 10 percent of carbon emissions projected for the first half of this century, he said. “At the same and land-use changes account for 17 percent of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions.”

“Forests are on the front lines of climate change,” he said. ” These ecosystems, rich with biodiversity, are increasingly vulnerable to changes in weather, temperature and rainfall patterns. It is essential, therefore, that we work to preserve and sustainably manage our forests.”

“Despite the ecological, economic and social value of forests, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate — some 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually,” he said. “This is not sustainable for people or the planet.”

On the one hand, deforestation reduces biodiversity. On the other hand, every tree helps to store carbon, and thus work against climate change. Norway’s Environment Minister Trine Sundtoft stresses that Germany’s Bonn Challenge could make a decisive reduction in climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. The German plan, launched in 2011, calls for 150 million hectares of forest – an area four times larger than Germany – to be reforested by 2020. More than 60 million hectares are currently being reforested.

“We are now at the point where just reducing emissions will not be enough,” she said. “We must actively remove carbon out of the atmosphere – forest restoration is the most cost-effective carbon capture option we have,” she added.

The IUCN estimates that achieving the 150 million hectare reforestation goal by 2020 could not only reduce the current carbon dioxide emissions gap by 11 to 17 percent, but also generate more than $85 billion annually for local and national economies, and $6 billion in additional crop yields.

Forest Conservation News via http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/150322/un-chief-calls-more-efforts-invest-protect-worlds-forests

climate change and deforestation

Sacred Seedlings is a global initiative to support forest conservation, reforestation, urban forestry, 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

California Drought Linked To Global Warming

Climate Change Drying Up California

It’s an ironic twist of fate. After serving as an oasis during the dust bowl, California is rapidly becoming a dust bowl itself thanks to the worst drought on record mixed with a record high population.

While researchers have sometimes connected weather extremes to man-made global warming, usually it’s not done in real time. Now a study is asserting a link between climate change and both the intensifying California drought and the polar vortex blamed for a harsh winter that mercifully has just ended in many places. The Utah State University scientists involved in the study say they hope what they found can help them predict the next big weird winter.

climate change and drought California

Outside scientists, such as Katharine Hayhoe at Texas Tech University, are calling this study promising but not quite proven as it pushes the boundaries in “one of the hottest topics in climate science today.”

The United States just came out of a two-faced winter — bitter cold and snowy in the Midwest and East, warm and severely dry in the West. The latest U.S. drought monitor says 100 percent of California is in an official drought. The new study blames an unusual “dipole,” a combination of a strong Western high pressure ridge and deep Great Lakes low pressure trough. That dipole is linked to a recently found precursor to El Nino, the world-weather changing phenomenon. And that precursor itself seems amplified by a build-up of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the study says. It’s like a complex game of weather dominos that starts with cold water off China and ends with a devastating drought and memorable winter in the United States, said study author Simon Wang, a Utah State University climate scientist.

Wang was looking at colder water off China as a precursor to an El Nino. The colder water there triggers westerly winds in the tropical Pacific. Those westerly winds persist for several months and eventually push warmed up water and air to the central Pacific where an El Nino forms, Wang said. An El Nino is a warming of the central Pacific once every few years, from a combination of wind and waves in the tropics. It shakes up climate around the world, changing rain and temperature patterns.

California drought

Wang saw the precursors and weather event coming months before federal weather officials issued an official El Nino watch last month. Then Wang noticed the connection between that precursor — cold water off China, Vietnam and Taiwan — and the recent wild winter. He tracked similar combinations of highs and lows in North America. And he found those combination extremes are getting stronger.

Wang based his study, soon to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, on computer simulations, physics and historical data. It is not as detailed and doesn’t involve numerous computer model simulations as more formal attribution studies. Still, Wang said his is a proper connection.

Wang compared computer simulations with and without gases from the burning of fossil fuels. When he included carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use, he got a scenario over the past few decades that mirrored what has happened, including this past weird winter and other worsening dipole conditions. When he took out the greenhouse gases, the increasing extremes actually went down — not what happened in real life. “We found a good link and the link is becoming stronger and stronger,” Wang said.

And while other studies have looked at unusual activity, such as the jet stream, and possible connections to global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas, this study is different because it spots a possible tool that researchers can use to predict future weird weather, he said. The study, already much talked about in meteorological circles, is an offshoot of a growing and still not completely accepted subfield of climate research linking real-time weather extremes to changes in the jet stream and connecting those changes to man-made global warming. Several outside scientists partly praised the work, but were also cautious about jumping to conclusions and not in full agreement.

“It’s another way that climate change is probably connected to an individual weather event,” Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis said. “There are still a lot of questions out there. It’s another piece of the puzzle.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/25/california-drought-global-warming_n_5207120.html?&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000048

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

Community Forest Grants Available In Nevada

Private Landowners, Tribes Can help With Forest Conservation

The Nevada Division of Forestry is accepting applications for grants up to $400,000 to purchase private forest land. Local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through the acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller.

reforestation and forest conservation

The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, clean air, water, and wildlife habitat, forest-based educational programs and recreational benefits to the public.

Eligible lands under this program are private forests that are at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation and at least 75 percent forested. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, not be held in trust by the United States on behalf of any Indian tribe or allotment lands, provide community benefits defined by the Community Forest Program and allow public access.

reforestation and forest conservation

Applications are due to the Nevada Division of Forestry by Jan. 15. For more information, call 775-684-2500.

Source: http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/southshore/sannouncements/9547299-113/forest-community-program-benefits

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