Posts Tagged ‘forest’
“Forests diebacks are taking place all around the world. The evidence is quite sobering,” said tropical biologist Daniel Nepstad of IPAM in Belem, Brazil.
This reinforces the urgent need to reduce emissions of fossils fuels and to develop a global land strategy to turn sources of CO2 into sinks for CO2, he said.
“Most of the evidence shows climate change is speeding up. Meanwhile political action on climate is slowing down,” Nepstad added.
–From a previous post on how the loss of trees to deforestation, drought and disease is accelerating climate change.
Is there a middle ground between economic interests, livelihoods and conservation?
By Stephen Leahy
VANCOUVER, Canada (IPS)
The Earth’s life support system, which generates the planet’s air, water and food, is powered by 8.7 million living species, according to the latest best estimate. We know little about 99 percent of those unique species, except that far too many are rapidly going extinct.
What can be done to slow down this process, which could eventually lead to the extinction of the human species?
“The challenge is to find the middle ground between economic interests, livelihoods and conservation,” says Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the newly appointed head of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the international agency charged with helping countries slow and reverse the loss of plants, animals and other species.
A native of Brazil, Dias holds a doctorate in zoology from the University of Edinburgh, and worked for many years at the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, where his last position prior to joining the CBD was as Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests.
An exclusive interview with BRAULIO FERREIRA DE SOUZA DIAS, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Q: Why are species going extinct and why does it matter?
Read the rest of this entry »
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Sep 26, 2011 (IPS)
Government policies are seldom lauded, yet Rwanda’s forest policy has resulted in a 37-percent increase in forest cover on a continent better known for deforestation and desertification.
Rwanda’s National Forest Policy has also resulted in reduced erosion, improved local water supplies and livelihoods, while helping ensure peace in a country still recovering from the 1994 genocide.
Now Rwanda can also be known as the winner of the prestigious Future Policy Award for 2011.
“Rwanda has sought not only to make its forests a national priority, but has also used them as a platform to revolutionise its stances on women’s
rights and creating a healthy environment,” said Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement.
She issued a statement for the award ceremony in New York City last week just days before her death from cancer in Nairobi Monday at the age of 71. “Rwanda has been a very divided country since the 1994 genocide but this policy is helping to bring peace and value to the people,” said Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council, which administers the Future Policy Awards.
The World Future Council is an international policy research organisation based in Hamburg, Germany that provides decision-makers with effective policy solutions.
“Our aim is to inspire other countries to adapt these successful policies to their individual needs.” said Wandel told IPS. Read the rest of this entry »
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 18, 2010 (IPS)
The decades-long war in Canada’s northwoods appears to be over. Environmental groups and Canadian logging companies linked arms Tuesday morning and agreed to work together to sustainably manage and protect 720,000 square kilometres of Canada’s boreal forest – an area twice the size of Germany.
“This is the biggest conservation agreement on the entire planet,” said Richard Brooks, spokesperson for participating environmental organisations and forest campaign coordinator of Greenpeace Canada.
The vast northern boreal forest is a broad band that circles the top of the world below the Arctic. It is the last great forest ecosystem – larger even than the Amazon – and the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon. Made up primarily of pine and spruce trees, Canada’s boreal covers more than five million square kilometers, representing more than a quarter of the remaining intact forest on the planet. Just eight to 10 percent is currently protected.
“This is our best and last chance to save woodland caribou, permanently protect vast areas of the boreal forest and put in place sustainable forestry practices,” Brooks said in a press conference.
“We estimate there is roughly 20 billion tonnes of carbon in the trees and soils that are part of this agreement.”
That is equivalent to the annual emissions from 18 billion cars, he estimated. Read the rest of this entry »