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.

Mountain Gorilla Earns Photo Award

Poster Child For Forest Conservation

South African photographer Ian Johnson has earned Wildlife Photographer of the Year honors from the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide. The shot is another powerful poster child against the horrors of deforestation.

Mountain gorilla photography award

As Johnson explored the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, the silverback mountain gorilla leapt over the stone wall without warning and just stood there. It and its family are effectively stranded in the park, which is ringed by farmland. Here, at the foot of Mount Sabinyo, Rwanda, fields of potato and pyrethrum have replaced forest.

Wild gorilla numbers in Africa are dwindling. About 400 mountain gorillas remain on the Virunga massif, a volcanic mountain range that straddles the borders of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. About 480 remain in the nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

The future of the mountain gorilla is threatened by conflict over habitat, oil and gas exploration, hunting and war. But Johnson has been inspired by rewilding projects in other areas. He believes that if the needs of local people are met, it may become possible to reforest the areas adjacent to the parks to safeguard the gorillas.

Ian Johnson is a Professional Safari Guide, Eco-tourism Consultant, and Professional Photographer. He qualified as a microbiologist and studied conservation in the Cape. He has lived and worked throughout Africa’s Great Rift Valley in some of Africa’s greatest wildlife destinations from South Africa to Northern Kenya to Egypt.

deforestation and climate change

As a photographer, he has received several Southern African and International Awards for his wildlife and natural history photography, he runs a successful photography business & does photo journalism for numerous publications namely Africa Geographic, Msafiri, & Conde’Naste House and Garden. He is also a freelance cameraman for the BBC Natural History Unit, having worked on a number of documentaries in the Maasai Mara and is a specialist consultant on Leopards for the unit.

Contact the photographer, Ian Johnson, at www.ijwild.com

Source: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/wpy/gallery/2014/images/world-in-our-hands/4889/where-is-my-forest.html

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

Deforestation Contributing To Climate Change

East Africa Prepared To Conserve Forests, Reforest Degraded Land

When it comes to climate change, much of the conversation is limited to energy policies. Meanwhile, wholesale deforestation is releasing staggering amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every day, while eliminating nature’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

Deforestation impacts climate change in two ways. First, it’s estimated that deforestation is responsible for 20 percent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Secondly, healthy forests can capture several tons of CO2 per acre from the atmosphere every year. Deforestation eliminates that capacity from our ecosystem, which is half the reason we’re treading water today in many regions of the world and drying up in others.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

Of course, these forests also are critical to the survival of endangered species and endangered communities. Thanks to deforestation, orangutans, tigers, elephants and many other endangered species are at critical levels and their habitats (our shared resources) are still under siege.

The forests in East Africa represent one of the largest stands of tropical forest left in the world. Unfortunately, Tanzania’s forests are vanishing faster than most tropical forests, which makes it even more important to seize the opportunity to conserve them. Villagers cut them for firewood, while the effects of drought cut deeper and deeper each year. We can stop the destruction and reverse it with a regional reforestation and economic development project that will create hundreds of jobs and help protect wildlife.

Some visionary young leaders in East Africa have developed comprehensive plans to help their communities, their countries and the world fight climate change. They will promote sustainability for their cultures and endangered species, including elephants, rhinos, mountain gorillas and more.

Africa wildlife conservation

The scope already involves six projects, dozens of NGOs, the United Republic of Tanzania and thousands of stakeholders across five nations, including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda. The projects include more than 200 million acres of existing forests that will be permanently protected. Stakeholders also will plant more than 100 million new trees. In addition , the project will include agroforestry, biochar, beekeeping and support for sustainable agriculture.

We can’t afford to lose another acre of woodlands or waste another day on political gridlock regarding energy policy. We have a rare, shovel-ready opportunity to shape the future of Africa and the world. The sooner that we can seize it, the sooner that it can start paying dividends. There are fewer forest conservation and reforestation projects on the planet that can make a difference on this scale this fast.

Please help us contact stakeholders who can fund this important program. We need grants, sponsorships, donations and carbon offset revenue to make this a reality. We can shower our sponsors with as much recognition as they can tolerate as this will become a global showcase for years and years. We can channel the forest conservation efforts as necessary to meet regulatory requirements for carbon offset credit.

reforestation and climate change solution

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

China Holds The Key To Africa’s Forests, Wildlife

Africa’s Largest Investor Leaving Large Footprint On Landscape

An African commodities boom is in full swing, stimulated greatly by Chinese market demand and growing Chinese investment in Africa’s forests and timber. Africans want to be better informed about Chinese investments in their forests, and how stronger China-Africa dialogue could help ensure good management of forests and wildlife management.

China’s relationship with Africa is deepening. It has become Africa’s biggest trading partner – over the past decade African trade with China has risen from (US) $11 billion to $166 billion. Investments by Chinese state-owned and private enterprise, mostly in natural resource sectors, are increasing year on year.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

Many of these investments are in forested or woodland areas, some are directly in forest management and logging enterprises, and many others use timber and other forest products. Logs and lumber from Africa don’t yet make up a large proportion of China’s forest product imports – currently about 4% with a value of US$1.3 billion, according to Chinese government statistics. But this Chinese market is huge and set to grow. In 2011, China imported 145 million cubic meters of wood, worth around US$33 billion. So, for countries like Mozambique, Republic of Congo and Cameroon, which have large tracts of forests and for whom China is their largest market, this is very significant.

But compared to the investments sourced from other countries, many Africans feel they lack information about Chinese investments in their countries. In a survey carried out by African partners working with IIED, due to be published in June, a majority of African forest sector researchers and policy opinion formers in eight countries said that they were much less well informed about Chinese forest-linked investments than about those of other countries.

One reason for this limited understanding is that there are only a small number of large Chinese forestry concessions and investments and these are confined to only a few countries (Gabon, Ghana, Republic of Congo and Cameroon). A much larger number of smaller Chinese-backed independent enterprises operate informally and generally invisibly as loggers, lumber producers or timber buyers.

deforestation and climate change

In Mozambique, for example, it is estimated that some 90% of timber exported is destined for China, and all of this is produced and bought by small enterprises. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there are no official Chinese-owned forestry concessions but an apparently increasing share of the 4 million cubic metres of timber currently produced each year under artisanal permits is being bought by informal Chinese timber traders.

Improved understanding of the China-Africa relationship and its potential impacts is clearly needed.

Some good connections do already exist:

  • the Chinese State Forestry Administration (SFA) has had a number of useful exchanges with African government agencies on forestry and on desertification summarised here
  • the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have also facilitated exchanges involving Chinese companies and investors.

wildlife conservation Tanzania

Several organizations have published useful research on forest-based trade and investment between Africa and China, including IUCN’s scoping study of the China-Africa timber trade, Forest Trends’ report on the trade in forest products, the Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR)’s research on trade and investment in China in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), which also suggests that most timber imports to China from Africa are done by a relatively small number of geographically clustered firms.

But more research and dialogue is needed to develop a shared understanding of how investments can support good forest management and a sustainable forest product trade between Africa and China.

Building greater understanding among forest governance researchers and opinion formers on both sides of the Africa-China relationship was the aim of an early-March meeting held in China and facilitated by IIED’s Forest Governance Learning Group to initiate a China-Africa Forest Governance Learning Platform. Some 15 African forest governance players – from Cameroon, Uganda, DRC, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa – travelled to Beijing to join representatives from the Chinese Academy of Forestry, the Global Environmental Institute, IIED and some other international organisations, with support from the European Commission and the UK Department for International Development.

Chinese colleagues were keen to explore how progress made in Chinese forestry in areas such as tenure reform for household and community-managed forestry and industrial forestry and timber processing methods, might be brought to bear in Africa.

Chinese forest officials, researchers and civil society were also eager to test out ways to improve the environmental and social responsibility of Chinese companies. The application of official Guidelines on Sustainable Overseas Forests Management and Utilization by Chinese Enterprises jointly issued by the Chinese State Forestry Administration (SFA) and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce was identified as one way to do this.

reforest Tanzania

The Platform event concluded that there is huge potential – through research, dialogue and joint action – to contribute to improving forest governance in China and Africa. There is clearly work to be done to improve compliance with African laws protecting forests and local benefits, and there is great potential to contribute to efforts in developing a timber legality verification programme.

Efforts are underway to raise people’s awareness of the Guidelines and to have them implemented effectively in Africa. Before convening again in Africa later this year, participants in the Platform will support this work and explore how it can stimulate stronger monitoring and regulatory frameworks.

It might seem like a small step, but when small changes are made in big systems, or big markets, they can have great effects.

Source: http://www.iied.org//china-africa-forests

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