Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 220

Posts Tagged ‘deforestation’

Greens Continue Campaign Against Conservation in Indonesia

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 maggio 2012

Just last year Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, warned that Indonesia was still facing trouble from foreign green NGOs fundamentally opposed to the notion of economic development. But it looks like the greens will now have to come up with yet another excuse to oppose Indonesia’s economic rise, after Indonesia’s forestry sector announced plans to “suspend natural-forest clearing in Indonesia and start holding itself and its suppliers to a higher standard of forest conservation.” Thi s decision truly flies in the face of the claim that the country’s forestry industry is not doing enough to support conservation. Despite this positive measure, groups like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace continue to remain dismissive and outright hostile. Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s forest campaign in Indonesia, stated that “It’s hard to believe this will become a breakthrough,” hardly the most substantive and robust critique. This is all because Greenpeace not only looks set to lose face in Indonesia; this move will undermine the greens’ campaign to promote the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). If green groups can no longer point fingers and make wild accusations against businesses that source their products from Indonesia, then how will they be able to justify bullying others into endorsing FSC? Greenpeace’s hostility towards Indonesia is well renowned. The onus is now entirely on Greenpeace, WWF and other groups to acknowledge the positive measures being taken in Indonesia, and drop their fundamental opposition to the robust commercial activity emanating from the country.

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Measuring forest degradation not possible any time soon: FAO

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 aprile 2012

A Thick Forest

A Thick Forest (Photo credit: Jon Person)

The FAO has released a new paper that underlines the difficulties of measuring forest carbon stock changes. One of its key conclusions is that measuring stock changes caused by forest degradation is not possible in the near future. The finding delivers a huge blow to the Western efforts on REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), which has always struggled with the ‘degradation’ part of the equation.
Negotiators and technical experts at this point had failed to come up with a uniform and acceptable definition of forest degradation. The paper notes that measuring forest degradation is significantly more costly and expensive than attempts to measure deforestation, as the changes in the forest occur at the structural level and do not necessarily involve land-use change. This means that they cannot be measured using remote-level sensing. The paper argues that in order to measure stock changes from forest degradation accurately, there must be consistent ground data to measure different types of activities taking place within forests, which includes selective logging, fuelwood removal and fire. Simply, attempting to measure carbon changes from degradation is even more difficult that measuring deforestation – which itself has posed significant problems for researchers.

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Cifor questions protected area effectiveness

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 1 ottobre 2011

Will forests, like this one on San Juan Island...

Image via Wikipedia

CIFOR, one of the world’s leading forestry institutions, has questioned the effectiveness of strictly protected areas in preserving forest cover. In so doing, it has returned to a common-sense approach to forest use at odds with the world’s environmental campaign groups. The journal piece, authored by long-serving CIFOR researcher Terry Sunderland, questions the ‘fortress conservation’ approach to forest cover. He draws on evidence recently published by Mexico-based forest scientists that compares strict conservation areas with ‘multiple use’ forest areas, where local communities manage a variety of interests, including commercial exploitation, agriculture and watershed management. The effectiveness measure was simple: forest cover change. The study found that strict protected areas were less effective at maintaining forest cover than areas where locals were able to make their own economic decisions on land use. Key to this was the national government management of protected forest areas. In tropical countries this is often marked by a lack of funding for adequate forest protection. The paper therefore questions the argument of many campaign organisations that argue conservation areas somehow improve livelihoods. The findings follow those argued by World Growth in a paper that was released in Jakarta at the beginning of 2011. The World Growth paper drew on research from a range of studies that found that strict protected areas were often ineffective, particularly in countries with high population growth and ineffective tenure arrangements. The introduction of REDD into developing countries, and pressure to introduce or extend moratoria on forest developments needs to be examined in a similar light. What the new research presents – and which has also been argued by World Growth – is that a blanket ‘no deforestation’ approach as advocated by groups such as Greenpeace will simply not work. Unless economic development is taken care of, deforestation will continue unchecked.

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Living in a time of climate change

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 15 giugno 2010

The European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) met for its 8th Assembly 9-13 June in the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic. Some 80 participants from 23 countries discussed the theme “Our daily bread – living in a time of climate change”. The connection between daily food consumption and climate change was highlighted from different perspectives. Czech scientists and politicians explained the situation in Central Europe. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) meat consumption contributes largely to global greenhouse gas emissions. Intensive industrial cattle breeding as well as mass deforestation for large soy plantations providing cattle feed, are the main causes. Bringing down meat consumption is therefore an important tool in combating climate change. The ECEN Assembly took this to heart by having mainly vegetarian catering during the conference. Quaker and leading Scottish theologian, Alastair McIntosh, spoke about the need for spirituality in order to bring about lasting change. Metropolitan Krystof, the head of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia, in his contribution pointed out the need for strong links between theology and care for creation. Libor Ambrozek, former minister of environment in the Czech government underlined the role churches play as a part of civil society in the dialogue with public authorities. The plea of keynote speakers to include depth-psychology and spirituality in creation theology was taken up by ECEN’s working group on theology. It will continue its work focusing on education of clergy, seminarians, teachers and pastoral workers.Other working groups on food, eco-management and lifestyle transition looked into the practicalities of helping mitigate climate change. New bilateral partnerships were formed between church organisations with different levels of experience throughout Europe. In the Czech Republic church environmental work has developed rapidly over the past few years, as presentations demonstrated. There is the need to understand that we are victims of economic drivers pushing us to consumerism. Only if we break through these psychological mechanisms can we turn around and become aware that we are part of creation, rather than misuse it.The Assembly will send a letter with a prayer to the European churches. In an annex with the letter, suggestions and recommendations will be listed including the recommendation to strengthen common lobby and advocacy on environmental issues on a European level on behalf of the European churches. ECEN intends to strengthen working relations with the World Council of Churches, the Council of European Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conferences and the World Student Christian Federation. Representatives of these organisations participated at the Assembly.www.ecen.orEuropean Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) is a church network promoting co-operation in caring for creation. ECEN is an instrument of the Conference of European Churches for addressing the relationship to nature and the environment from the perspective of Christian theology and Christian way of life.The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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Deforestation causes “boom-and-bust”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 giugno 2009

Clearing the Amazon rainforest increases Brazilian communities’ wealth and quality of life, but these improvements are short-lived, according to new research published today (12 June) in Science.  The study, by an international team including researchers at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London, shows that levels of development revert back to well below national average levels when the loggers and land clearers move on.    Since 2000, 155 thousand square kilometres of rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon have been cut down for timber, burnt, or cleared for agricultural use. Forest clearance rates have averaged more than 1.8 million hectares per year (roughly the area of Kuwait), and the deforestation frontier is advancing into the forest at a rate of more than four football fields every minute. The researchers’ analysis revealed that the quality of local people’s lives –measured through levels of income, literacy and longevity, as mentioned above – increases quickly during the early stages of deforestation. This is probably because people capitalise on newly available natural resources, including timber, minerals and land for pasture, and higher incomes and new roads lead to improved access to education and medical care, and all round better living conditions. Ana Rodrigues, lead author of the study, previously at the University of Cambridge and currently at the Centre of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, France, said: Fellow author Dr Rob Ewers from Imperial College London’s Department of Life Sciences adds: The decline in development which occurs once an area has been deforested is likely due to the depletion of the natural resources that supported the initial boom. Timber is exhausted and land used for cattle ranching and farming is often rapidly degraded, leading to large scale abandonment – for example, by the early 1990s, one third of the area used for pastures had already been abandoned. This is compounded by an increasing human population as migrants including ranchers, farmers, colonists, landless peasants, gold miners, loggers, and land grabbers arrive, lured to the area by the prospect of rapid financial gain. Andrew Balmford, co-author of the study and University of Cambridge Professor of Conservation Science, concluded.

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