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.

DiCaprio Foundation Chipping In To Save Indonesian Rainforest

DiCaprio Foundation, WWF Forge Creative Rainforest Conservation Plan

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of deforestation of any country in the world. According to Global Forest Watch, the country lost 16.88 million hectares of rainforest between 2001 and 2013, a chunk of forest nearly the size of France.

Deforestation is not only a serious problem for global climate change, but it’s also a problem for the communities of people who make the forests their home. The same goes for animals, and many of the species found in the Sumatran rainforest of Indonesia are increasingly threatened with extinction, including the orangutan, Sumatran tiger and Asian elephants.

palm oil plantation deforestation

To help stop the decimation on the island of Sumatra, WWF and a handful of partners announced some good news. The government of Indonesia has granted conservationists a 100,000-acre concession of forest in Bukit Tigapuluh, also called Thirty Hills, for the purpose of ecosystem restoration.

The announcement effectively expands the protected area of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park by 25 percent. Part of the concession had previously been granted to a logging company, which has since abandoned the site. Although some of the forest is degraded from logging activities, logging has not occurred there for many years and much of the forest remains intact.

Leonardo DiCaprio is helping to fund the 100,000-acre restoration and conservation plan, which effectively expands the protected area of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park by 25 percent. According to Global Forest Watch, the Asian country lost 16.88 million hectares of rainforest between 2001 and 2013.

deforestation and climate change

Deforestation is obviously not great for the environment. Not only does it contribute to global climate change, but it’s also a huge problem for the communities of people and the various species of wildlife who make the forests their home. This concession of land is a good step in the right direction.

“I am honored that my Foundation is a part of this effort,” DiCaprio said.

The rainforest in Bukit Tigapuluh, or Thirty Hills, will also generate sustainable revenue from non-timber forest products, including rubber, honey and rattan. The WWF, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and The Orangutan Project will work together with indigenous forest groups to harvest products from the forest without causing further harm to the land. The revenue from the products will go towards protection as well as the restoration process of the forest where past logging activities have caused degradation.

deforestation palm oil orangutans

“This is a whole new approach to forest conservation,” said Jan Vertefeuille, Head of Campaigns for WWF. “We’re seeing it as a new model of innovative financing married with traditional conservation.”

But the new concession isn’t going to be managed like a national park. Instead, WWF, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and The Orangutan Project have set up a commercial company that will work with indigenous forest groups to harvest products from the forest without damaging it. These non-timber products include rubber, honey and rattan.

“Working very closely with the local communities is key to this, we see them as equal partners,” said Vertefeuille. There are two indigenous forest-dwelling tribes who live in this forest: the Orang Rumba, a nomadic tribe, and the Talang Mamak, a group that lives in forest villages.

Although these tribes have been marginalized by commercial loggers and plantations in the past, working with forest peoples is a smart conservation strategy. Considerable research has shown that forest communities who have land tenure can in fact be more effective at preventing deforestation than other types of management plans.

“We very much want to make sure that their land tenure is understood, and we’ve been mapping the concession to understand what parts of the forest are most important to them,” said Vertefeuille.

WWF has already created a partnership with Michelin tires, which operates a nearby rubber concession, and the local groups. Vertefeuille explains that natural rubber can be harvested without harming the trees or the surrounding forest, much like shade-grown coffee. Michelin has not only committed to purchasing this rubber, but also to helping the communities improve their tree-tapping techniques, so that they can sell a higher quality product and increase their revenue.

 

The announcement is also good news for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants, two species that have suffered from habitat loss. Thirty Hills is also home to the only project in the world that has successfully reintroduced Sumatran orangutans back into the wild, after they have been rescued from the illegal pet trade.

“Between the tigers, the orangutans and the elephants there it is quite a spectacular rainforest,” said Vertefeuille.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

DiCaprio’s foundation donated $15 million to various environmental causes last month in addition to raising more than $40 million at his annual fundraising gala. That’s leadership.

Rainforest Conservation News via http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/conservation-group-gets-into-rubber-business-to-save-rainforest.html

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

Corporations Plan To Destroy Remaining Orangutan Habitat

Editor’s Note: If Indonesia and Malaysia plan to industrialize the entire islands of Borneo and Sumatra, they owe it to the world to relocate the last orangutans and tigers to safe zones–including nearby islands. Extinction is not an option.

Relocating Orangutans Might Help Them Escape Land-Grab, Climate Change

Orangutan populations and their habitat on Borneo and Sumatra have been decimated over the past few decades. It’s predicted to get worse.

Due to deliberate deforestation and poaching, there are likely fewer than 50,000 orangutans left on these two islands combined. That number is dropping fast. Saving them from the threats of industry will be tough enough, but climate change adds a wild card to the equation.

deforestation and wildlife extinction and deforestation for palm oil

According to one study, some 74 percent of current orangutan habitat on Borneo – which covers Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei – could become unsuitable for them due to climate and deforestation caused by agriculture, mining and logging. Sumatra and its endangered species are experiencing a similar fate.

Large parts of the original forests have been taken away and replaced by palm oil plantations, or cities and villages. They also face danger from poachers, with the adults being killed for their meat and the babies being sold to keep as pets.

Research conducted by Dr Matthew Struebig, at the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, has identified some 42,000 km2 of land that could serve as potential orangutan refuges, providing relatively safe new habitats where the great apes could reside safely. This means that if necessary the apes could be moved there from their current location.

“The findings on first glance are quite pessimistic,” Dr Struebig explained. “What they show is the effects of climate change will exacerbate the ongoing effects of deforestation. The good news is that we found areas that wouldn’t be impacted upon by deforestation or climate change over the next 60 to 80 years.”

palm oil plantation deforestation

Dr. Struebig was joined by colleagues from Liverpool John Moores University and the Leibinz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and contributions were made by conservation scientists from Australia and Indonesia, in consultation with leading orangutan experts based in the Malaysian and Indonesian parts of Borneo. The researchers are hoping the findings will make a difference to conservation efforts on the ground.

“Orangutans need large areas of forests,” Dr Struebig explaines, “they need fruiting trees and they need areas that are relatively well protected because they are hunted.”

Indonesia deforestation

Part of the work was conducted by the Centre for International Foresty in Indonesia. Researchers used satellite images to map the deforestation and estimate the areas of forest change that are expected in the future. They mapped land that was unsuitable for oil palm agriculture, which is one of the major threats to the orangutans.

Using this alongside the information they had on orangutan ecology and climate, they could identify the environmentally stable habitats for the species. As habitat loss and climate change depletes their food resources, the problem is compounded.

With their living space shrinking and food getting more scarce, some orangutans are wandering into palm oil plantations to find food, including palm seedlings. They are seen as pests on these large plantations and they are shot, tortured and killed.

palm oil and orangutans

“I think the first step is awareness, so people know what’s actually happening,” MidKent College conservationist Ant Finch explains. “Then they can choose to get involved in a project that speaks to them. The situation isn’t getting any better. On a worldwide scale when you look at all species, to lose one would be terrible in our lifetime. If the orangutan goes extinct in our generation, it would be really, really catastrophic.”

Rainforest Conservation News via http://www.kentnews.co.uk/news/kent_orangutan_expert_talks_of_the_animals_plight_1_3947074

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

Planet Of The Apes Vanishing

Apes Can’t Survive Without Habitat

The accelerated and unsustainable exploitation of the earth’s primary natural resources has become a major threat to apes in Africa and Asia, a major United Nations environment conference heard Wednesday. Speaking on the sidelines of the UN Environment Assembly, conservationists said infrastructure development and extraction of natural resources — including timber, minerals, oil and gas — have devastated the prime habitat of apes and pushed chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, orangutans and gibbons closer to extinction.

palm oil kills orangutans

“There’s absolutely no doubt that extractive industries are severely impacting on apes and their habitats,” said Helga Rainer, conservation director of the Great Apes program at the Arcus Foundation, the world’s largest private funder of ape conservation.

“Only five out of 27 ape ( habitats) do not have a mining project within their range… and there is also an indirect impact associated with infrastructure development such as roads and railways,” she added.

But while the cost to apes of economic development has been acknowledged for decades, researchers say more needs to be done to integrate their preservation into broader social, economic and environmental policies. “We need to develop safeguards and environmental policies that can address these issues effectively,” said Jef Dupain, director of the African Apes Initiative at the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation. Experts predict that at the current rate, human development will have impacted 90 percent of the apes’ habitat in Africa and 99 percent in Asia by 2030, according to a new report titled “State of the Apes: Extractive Industries and Ape Conservation”. All species of apes are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), some critically so. There are about 880 mountain gorillas across Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, while Cross River gorillas in Cameroon and Nigeria are thought not to exceed 250.

Mountain gorilla photography award

“There’s a lot of pressure from mining activities, so you can see the pressure being exerted,” said Andrew Seguya, executive director of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority. In Asia, Sumatran orangutans are believed to have declined by 50 percent since 1992, and the entire population of Hainan black-crested gibbons in China amounts to just 21 individuals. “A key message of ‘State of the Apes’ report is that the global systems of production, consumption and demography are interconnected, and that rapid globalization will continue to exert intense pressure on natural resources and ape habitats,” officials said in a joint statement. Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000126008/planet-of-the-dying-apes-experts-alarmed-over-shrinking-habitats/

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

Corporations Sponsoring Campaign To Save Tigers

India The Last Stronghold For Tigers

Carrying forward the mission to ‘Save Our Tigers’ – the largest and the most comprehensive media campaign on tiger conservation till date, NDTV and Aircel have announced the 3rd season of Aircel NDTV Save Our Tigers. Launched in 2010, the campaign was successful in setting the tiger agenda for the Nation.

The launch of the 3rd season of Aircel NDTV Save Our Tigers initiative witnessed the coming together of well known personalities from different walks of life to participate in a panel discussion and set key focus areas for the season. Present on the occasion were Belinda Wright, Executive Director, WPSI, Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel; Dr. K. Ramesh from Wildlife Institute of India; S P Yadav, ADIG, NTCA; Dr. Anish Andheria, Director, Wildlife Conservation Trust; Bittu Sahgal, Editor of Sanctuary Asia; and was anchored by Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV Group.

tiger conservation

Launching the 3rd edition of the campaign, Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel said, “Aircel has been passionately working towards its initiative ‘Save Our Tigers’ with noted conservationists and organizations with an aim to create mass awareness on the plight of the magnificent tiger and rally efforts to save it. There is no denying the fact that ‘Tigers are Irreplaceable’ and are extremely crucial for securing the environment for our future generations. We are confident that like the past two editions, this year’s edition of Aircel-NDTV ‘Save Our Tigers’ campaign will further increase the level of participation and support for the cause.”

Speaking on the occasion, Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV Group said, “NDTV is overwhelmed by the nationwide response received for the first 2 editions of the campaign. We are now coming up with the Tiger Agenda for the 3rd edition and will be looking at key factors such as reducing man-animal conflict, protecting tiger habitats, strengthening the forest department and more.”

India tiger conservation and forest conservation

The current edition will focus on and highlight key factors – existing buffer zones and corridors to be clearly identified and control to be ensured by forest department; local community involvement; strengthening of forest department; human-animal conflict management solutions; bio-diverse forest areas to remain inviolate and push for political will. Catch the panel discussion on Save Our Tigers campaign on NDTV Prime on April 05 at 9:30 am and NDTV 24X7 on April 05 at 6:00pm.

Source: http://www.indiantelevision.com/television/tv-channels/news-broadcasting/aircel-and-ndtv-announced-the-3rd-season-of-save-our-tigers-campaign-140403

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

Vatican Holding Sustainability Conference In May

Workshop Talks Sustainability

Are Humanity’s dealings with Nature sustainable? What is the status of the Human Person in a world where science predominates? How should we perceive Nature and what is a good relationship between Humanity and Nature? Should one expect the global economic growth that has been experienced over the past six decades to continue for the foreseeable future? Should we be confident that knowledge and skills will increase in such ways as to lessen Humanity’s reliance on Nature despite our increasing economic activity and growing numbers? Is the growing gap between the world’s rich and world’s poor in their reliance on natural resources a consequence of those growths?

deforestation and climate change

Contemporary discussions on the questions are now several decades old. If they have remained alive and are frequently shrill, it is because two opposing empirical perspectives shape them. On the one hand, if we look at specific examples of what one may call natural capital, there is convincing evidence that at the rates at which we currently exploit them, they are very likely to change character dramatically with little advance notice. The melting of glaciers and sea-ice are recent symptoms. On the other hand, if we study trends in food consumption, life expectancy, and recorded incomes in regions that are currently rich and in those that are on the way to becoming rich, resource scarcities wouldn’t appear to have bitten so far.

“Environmental problems” and “future prospects” present themselves in different ways to different people. Some identify environmental problems with population growth, while others identify them with wrong sorts of economic growth. There are those who see environmental problems as urban pollution in emerging economies, while others view them through the spectacle of poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Some allude to “sustainable development” only when considering economic development in the global economy, while others see it in terms of the development prospects of villages in sub-Saharan Africa. Each of the visions is correct.

sustainable cities and urban forestry

We know that what begins as urban pollution becomes layers of atmospheric brown clouds (ABCs), containing black carbon particles and ozone, that annually destroy some 2 million lives and over 100 million tons of crops, disrupts the Monsoon circulation and contribute to the melting of arctic ice and the Himalayan snow. There is no single environmental problem, there is a large collection of interrelated problems. Some are presenting themselves today, while others are threats to the future.

Although growth in industrial and agricultural pollutants has accompanied economic development, neither preventive nor curative measures have kept pace with their production in industrialized countries. That neglect is now prominent in the rapidly growing regions in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS).

Moreover, the scale of the human enterprise has so stretched the capabilities of ecosystems, that Humanity is today Earth’s dominant species. During the 20th century world population grew by a factor of four (to more than 6 billion) and world output by 14, industrial output increased by a multiple of 40 and the use of energy by 16, methane-producing cattle population grew in pace with human population, fish catch increased by a multiple of 35, and carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 10. It is not without cause that our current era has been named the Anthropocene.

palm oil plantation deforestation

On the other hand, economic growth has brought with it improvements in the quality of a number of environmental resources. The large-scale availability of potable water and the increased protection of human populations against both water- and air-borne diseases in advanced industrial countries have come allied to the economic growth those countries have enjoyed over the past 200 years. Increases in scientific knowledge, investment in public infrastructure, and universal education in advanced industrial countries have meant that citizens there have far greater knowledge of environmental hazards than their counterparts in poor regions. They also have resources to avoid them.

Many people are convinced that scientific and technological advances, the accumulation of reproducible capital, growth in human capital, and improvements in the economy’s institutions can overcome diminutions in natural capital. Otherwise it is hard to explain why so much of the social sciences in the 20th century has been detached from the environmental sciences. Nature is all too often seen as a backdrop from which resources and services can be drawn in isolation. Macroeconomic forecasts routinely exclude natural capital.

Accounting for Nature, if it comes into the calculus at all, is usually an afterthought. The rhetoric has been so successful, that if someone exclaims, “Economic growth!”, one does not need to ask, “Growth in what?” – we all know they mean growth in gross domestic product (GDP). The rogue word in GDP is “gross”. GDP, being the market value of all final goods and services, ignores the degradation of natural capital. If fish harvests rise, GDP increases even if the stock declines. If logging intensifies, GDP increases even if the forests are denuded. And so on. The moral is significant though banal: GDP is impervious to Nature’s constraints. There should be no question that Humanity needs urgently to redirect our relationship with Nature so as to promote a sustainable pattern of economic and social development.

wildlife conservation and deforestation

Rio+20 Summit on biodiversity preservation was convened to provide a resolution to the problems Humanity faces in our interchanges with Nature. In practical terms though, it is widely acknowledged to have been a failure.

Looking through its program it is hard to detect an overarching intellectual framework that was used to identify Nature’s constraints. The lacuna was inevitable. There was no collective endeavor among natural and social scientists. That is why we are proposing a joint PAS-PASS workshop on Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature.

Our idea is not to catalogue environmental problems. We propose instead to view Humanity’s interchanges with Nature through a triplet of fundamental, but inter-related Human needs – FoodHealth, and Energy – and ask our respective Academies to work together to invite experts from the natural and the social sciences to speak of the various pathways that both serve those needs and reveal constraints on Nature’s ability to meet them.

The Joint Sustainability Conference will be May 2-6 at the Vatican. 

Source: http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/accademia/en/events/2014/sustainable.html

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