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.

Biodiversity Strategy Approved

Fund Will Defend Biodiversity

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has welcomed the Global Environment Facility (GEF-6) biodiversity strategy approved at the on-going fifth GEF assembly in Mexico, a statement said on Friday. The statement said the GEF-6 Biodiversity Strategy would be implemented under the sixth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund.

palm oil plantation deforestation

“The strategy encompasses four objectives and is composed of 10 programs. The second objective of the GEF-6 Biodiversity strategy (BD2) is to reduce threats to globally significant biodiversity.

“Programme three, under this objective, is aimed at preventing the extinction of known threatened species. This programme recognizes that illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is an emerging driver of biodiversity loss’’ and “that poaching at the current scale undermines the rule of law and economy generally”.

The statement quoted CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon as saying: “This GEF-6 biodiversity strategy responds to the immediate threat posed by poaching and smuggling to the survival of known threatened species in the wild.

“Poaching and smuggling of the survival of known threatened species which is being increasingly carried out at an industrial scale by organized transnational criminal gangs.

“Access to additional financing to help reverse these trends is essential and CITES applauds the GEF for its timely and innovative response to this crisis which poses a threat to wildlife, people, economies and security,” he added.

deforestation and climate change

The statement said that the programme would support strengthening decision making.

“GEF will strengthen the decision making process, including legislation and its implementation, strategic planning and capacity of national agencies in Africa engaged in reducing poaching and illegal trade of tusks, horns and associated by-products.

“GEF will also complement anti-poaching work in Africa through a similar array of interventions at source sites for rhino and elephants and other wildlife in Asia,” it said.

According to the statement, the CITES Secretariat is in discussions with GEF implementing agencies on how to further assist parties.

The Global Environment Facility is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. The GEF serves as financial mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It also works closely with the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances.

lion conservation Africa

Since 1991, the GEF has provided $12.5 billion in grants and leveraged $58 billion in co-financing for 3,690 projects in 165 developing countries. For 23 years, developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programs.  Through its Small Grants Programme (SGP) the GEF has made more than 20,000 grants to civil society and community based organizations for a total of $1 billion.

Among the major results of these investments, the GEF has set up protected areas around the world equal roughly to the area of Brazil; reduced carbon emissions by 2.3 billion tons; eliminated the use of ozone depleting substances in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia; transformed the management of 33 major river basins and one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems; slowed the advance of desertification in Africa by improving agricultural practices—and all this while contributing to better the livelihood and food security of millions of people.

Source: http://www.thegef.org/gef/climate_change

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