Deforestation A Crime Against Humanity

Deforestation Kills More Than Trees

By Arleen Richards, Epoch Times

Ensuring deforestation is given a proper place in global climate change discussions is an ongoing goal of the New York Declaration of Forests which was formalized at last year’s U.N. Climate Summit.

The Declaration—which codifies the willingness of 180 governments, companies, indigenous community networks and civil society organizations to halve natural forest loss by 2020 and end it by 2030—was a major accomplishment in 2014 and will be on the agenda again at this year’s U.N. Sustainable Development Summit on Sept. 25.

endangered species conservation and forest conservation

A panel discussion was held on Sept. 23 in preparation for those talks, to review the accomplishments over the last year towards achieving the goal of ending deforestation for commercial agriculture and developing more sustainable practices for the businesses that rely on land. The companies that signed on agreed to reduce the environmental and high carbon impact of several key commercial agricultural products such as palm oil, timber, cattle, and soy beans.

Deforestation is the second leading contributor to carbon emissions after the burning of fossil fuels, according to the Nature Conservancy, a conservation organization committed to land and water. Forests protect soil from erosion, produce oxygen, store carbon dioxide, and help control climate. When trees are cut down, the carbon dioxide is released into the air.

Referring to this week’s Development Summit, which has a broader focus than just climate issues, Eduardo Goncalves, International Communications Director for The Climate Group, talked about the importance of keeping forests on the agenda.

deforestation and climate change

“Climate really seems to be at the heart of the discussion and it’s absolutely right that forestry is a key element of that debate as well,” he said in opening remarks to kick off the panel.

More than 60 million hectares (about 232,000 square miles) of tropical forest have been converted to agriculture since 2000, according to Supply Change, which is tracking progress on the Declaration.

Panelists discussed the tremendous effort that has gone into getting the issue of deforestation on the climate agenda and the importance for the private sector to buy-in to the ambitions of the Declaration.

Stephen Donofrio, with Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace, in giving a progress report noted that just under 20 percent of the company endorsers are based in Southeast Asia; manufacturers and retailers who are receiving the most consumer scrutiny are mainly in North America; and food product sector makes up one-third of endorser companies.

Donofrio said that if a company is really committed to signing on it needs to incorporate that into its own corporate documentation, and in 92 percent of the companies they tracked, they are doing just that.

In order for the vision of the Declaration to work, Dominic Waughray, member of the executive committee of the World Economic Forum, praised the efforts of all participants, but noted that this is “a governmental issue” because as he said, they are the “stewards in the resource space.”

wildlife conservation and deforestation

He said governments have to change the way they think about forests. “The forest is a endowment which isn’t just an economic resource that can be turned into a product and sold somewhere else to make the economy work.” He urged governments to take a more long term approach and manage the natural resources in a sustainable way that would attract more and more investment and be very profitable for the poorest countries.

He sees the joint efforts of the declaration commitments as creating a leadership role for those countries that have a forest endowment to deliver on sustainable goals to their economies and create jobs for the people

“That’s the journey we’re going down with this. That’s the road to Paris,” he said referring to the World Climate Summit in December.

Climate Change and Deforestation News via http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1767288-deforestation-should-be-at-heart-of-climate-discussion-says-ngo-panel/

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

Climate Report Charts Defense Against Global Warming

Reforestation, Forest Conservation Fights Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation report, released Sunday in Berlin, explores some 1,200 scenarios to avert the worsening effects of global warming by 2100. The proposals  range from planting more trees to relying much more on nuclear power.

“This report is a wake-up call about global economic opportunity we can seize today as we lead on climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement. “This report makes very clear that we face an issue of global willpower, not capacity.”

deforestation and climate change

Sunday’s report is the third in a series of UN reports on climate change released in the past year that paint a picture of “virtually certain” climate change, driven by increasing emissions—80 percent of them from the burning of fossil fuels—which is already melting the Arctic, acidifying oceans and harming crops. (See also: “New Climate Change Report Warns of Dire Consequences.”)

The report urges global action before 2020. The alternative, it says, is paying more later when temperatures rise to dangerous levels, and running more severe risks of climate change, which include rising seas, acidified oceans, longer heat waves, and severe crop failures.

“The longer we wait, the more costly things will be,” said Stanford University economist Charles Kolstad, a lead author of the IPCC report. “It is possible to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, that’s clear. But it will be a challenge.”

Overall, global greenhouse gas emissions—largely caused by burning coal, oil and natural gas—need to be cut 40 to 70 percent by mid-century, the report says, for humanity to face better than 50-50 odds of dodging the worst effects of global warming.

To hit those emission reduction goals, the report calls for a tripling or quadrupling of “low carbon” power sources such as nuclear, solar, or renewable energy around the world.

Many of the report’s proposals involve “overshooting” emissions targets in early decades and turning to technologies that effectively remove carbon dioxide, the most significant greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere in later decades to have any realistic chances of working.

“One of the most important contributions of the report is simply in laying out a road map,” said Kelly Levin of the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., a longtime IPCC report observer. “There are a ton of solutions.”

reforestation and carbon capture

 

Since everyone shares the air and because everyone can pollute it, the report says that emissions policies need to involve the entire international community to be effective. But efforts in global cooperation on climate change, like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, have produced mixed results at best

“None of that is going to happen on its own,” said Harvard University’sRobert Stavins, another IPCC report lead author, “so public policy is required at the international level.”

A 1992 United Nations agreement broadly obligated the world to keep global warming temperature increases below “dangerous” levels, usually seen as 3.6°F (2°C), the point at which costly climate effects kick in.

The toll would be felt largely by poor farmers who live in dry and monsoon-dependent regions around the world that look to be hardest hit by warmer temperatures, and who have the fewest resources to deal with crop losses.

“The report makes clear a transition to clean energy and different behavior in how we use energy is needed to stay below that 2-degree [Celsius] increase,” said Levin.

deforestation and global warming

Climate Control

Without new power technologies spreading worldwide, avoiding the 3.6°F increase in temperatures over pre-industrial levels looks “very challenging,” said report author Leon Clarke of the the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Joint Global Change Research Institute.

Two technologies in particular look promising. One is growing forests expressly to pull carbon out of the air, an idea known as afforestation.

The other idea is to generate electricity from burning renewable energy sources, such as sawgrass or genetically engineered algal fuels, and stuffing their greenhouse gas emissions underground, a technique known as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

Both technologies exist, but scaling them up for worldwide use looks daunting, Clarke said.

Even if the world aims for less ambitious emissions cuts and allows more global warming, Clarke added, people will have to turn to such technologies. Otherwise, temperatures will keep rising.

In any case, the world will have to shoot for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2100, the report’s analysis suggests.

The report also points to energy efficiency and changes in how cities are built and managed as ways to limit emissions. For instance, roofs could be painted to absorb less heat, and more mass transit systems could reduce the need for emissions-spewing vehicles.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

Sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the report comes amid a long-lasting slowdown in economic growth after 2008′s recession that has raised questions about how the world might come together to tackle climate change.

In coming decades, China will overtake the United States, the biggest emitter historically, in total greenhouse gas emissions, said Harvard’s Stavins.

That might create an opening for international agreements to go forward on limiting climate change, he suggested, as developing nations see they are bearing more responsibility for global warming.

Otherwise, Stavins sees small agreements on regional levels, among different cities, states, or provinces pursuing steps to cut emissions as the “de facto” world response to climate change. “There really is a lot of skepticism about a big world agreement,” he said.

MIT economist John Reilly, who was not an author of the climate report, agreed: “It is too easy to wait and let someone else hurt their economy by going first.”

The report is aimed largely at world leaders attending next year’s international climate summit in Paris, which is expected to pick up the problems left unresolved at the last such global summit, in 2008 in Denmark, in particular, making climate mitigation plans for after 2030.

Written by more than 400 experts and reviewers from 57 nations over the past four years, the IPCC reports are essentially vast reviews of the latest climate research.

The last round of such reports, released in 2007, won a Nobel Peace Prize, which was shared by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/14/140413-ipcc-climate-change-report-un-science/

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

One-Third of Conifer Trees Face Extinction

Logging, Disease Threaten Oldest Forests

A third of the world’s conifers, the biggest and longest-lived organisms on the planet, are at risk of extinction, with logging and disease the main threats, scientists said.
The study of more than 600 types of conifers — trees and shrubs including cedars, cypresses and firs — updates a “Red List” on which almost 21,000 of 70,000 species of animals and plants assessed in recent years are under threat.

“The overall picture is alarming,” said Jane Smart, head of the biodiversity conservation group of the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, grouping scientists, governments and environmental organizations.

The IUCN said in a report that 34 percent of conifers were at risk of extinction, up from 30 percent in the last assessment in 1998. California’s Monterey Pine, the world’s most widely planted pine and prized as a fast-growing source of pulp, was moved to a rating of “endangered” from “least concern” because of threats such as a spread of fungal disease.

Conifers are the largest and longest-lived species on the planet. The Bristlecone Pine can live 5,000 years and the Coast Redwood can grow as high as 110 meters.

Craig Hilton-Taylor, manager of the Red List, which is updated twice a year, said that diseases were compounding existing threats from logging, pollution and forest clearance caused by a rising human population.

old growth trees

And global warming might be making conifers, standing in the same place for hundreds or even thousands of years, vulnerable to new pathogens as temperatures and rainfall patterns changed, he said.

The report said there were some successes. Better management and plantings of disease-resistant stock of Lawson’s Cypress in California and Oregon had helped a recovery of trees that were once heavily traded as timber. Among other findings, scientists added the Santa Cruz Pupfish, which used to live in Arizona, a freshwater shrimp and a lizard known as the Cape Verde Skink to the list of extinct creatures.

“The Skink was last seen in 1916. It’s taken a lot of surveys to conclude that it is extinct,” Hilton-Taylor said. A total of 799 animals and plants are listed as having died out in the past 500 years or so.

Source: http://main.omanobserver.om/?p=33566

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

Reforesting Uganda’s Nile Basin

World Bank Tests Reforestation Model

With a growing demand for wood products, Uganda must expand its wood resources substantially to reduce the strong pressure on the remaining natural forests. Uganda has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world at approximately 2.7 percent per year. Only a few thousand hectares of timber plantations remain, but at least 65,000 hectares of high yielding plantations are necessary to meet the domestic demand. Investment barriers have hindered tree planting for timber production, which is only viable if public incentives are provided.

endangered species conservation East Africa

The Uganda Nile Basin Reforestation project establishes 2,000 hectares of pine and mixed native species plantations in the Rwoho Central Forest Reserve, grassland areas previously degraded due to deforestation and erosion. The project promotes private- and community-based tree-planting initiatives with different investor shares.

The project design can be easily replicated, and it is planned to extend across the country to a number of deforested public forest reserves. The project became the first African forestry project to be registered under the CDM in August 2009. This project is being implemented by Uganda’s National Forestry Authority (NFA) in association with local community organizations. The Rwoho Environmental Conservation and Protection Association (RECPA) will manage 17% of the project area within the framework of a collaborative forest management agreement. NFA will provide seedlings and technical advice to RECPA, which will in return be in charge of protecting the plantations from fire and the remaining patches of natural forest. RECPA will also link the project with communities in the area.

deforestation and climate change

The expansion of available timber in Uganda is crucial for the country to meet a growing demand of wood and to reduce the pressure on its remaining native forests. In a country with only a few thousand hectares of remaining timber plantations, this project stands as an example of sustainable forest management.  The reserve is also an upper watershed of Lake Victoria with several small rivers. The permanent land-use is also providing several environmental benefits, including the reduction of erosion-induced discharge, the increase of dry-season flows, and the mitigation of ongoing land degradation.

reforestation and carbon capture

The project is generating income from the sale of carbon credits, as well as creating local employment for nursery work and weeding, fire protection, thinning, and pruning. Nearby communities will also benefit from the production of wood fuel. Forest plantations based on native species are very limited in East Africa, and the learning experiences from planting native tree species will decrease the technological barrier and risk of future projects.

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