deforestation

British Columbia’s booming wood-pellet industry threatens old-growth forests

“BC’s inland rainforest — which once totaled over 1.3 million hectares — is endangered, according to International Union for Conservation of Nature criteria, and could experience ecological collapse within a decade if current logging rates continue,” as Brian Barth reports in …

Brazil’s Amazon beef plan will ‘legalize deforestation’

For many, the overriding image of agriculture in the Amazon is one of environmental destruction. About 80 percent of deforestation in the region has been attributed to cattle ranching, tainting beef exports. But Brazil’s beef industry hopes to tempt buyers back to the Amazon region, which …

Report: Governments must ‘drastically improve’ efforts to reduce emissions in food, land-use systems 

As the first week of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) winds down, a new analysis of emissions-reduction pledges finds that those countries that have contributed the most to climate change have committed to do far too little to reduce emissions from the food system and leverage the carbon sequestration potential of landscapes. (No paywall)

At climate talks, countries agree to halt deforestation and cut methane emissions

The second day of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) brought sweeping pledges to end deforestation and curb methane emissions. “This is a significant moment, like a ‘Paris moment’ for forests,” said Yadvinder Malhi, a professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford.

A bio-economy in the Amazon to prevent deforestation

In the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, a nascent but significant movement is underway to protect the rainforest by connecting small-scale producers tapping rubber trees with multinational brands, report Brian Barth and Flávia Milhorance in FERN's latest story, produced with The New Republic.(No paywall)

Biden seeks 50 percent cut in U.S. emissions, sees farming as carbon frontier

By deploying clean technology, the United States can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by the end of this decade, said President Biden at an Earth Day summit intended to spark global action on climate change. "That's where we're headed as a nation, and that's what we can do if we take action to build an economy that's not only more prosperous but healthier, fairer, and cleaner for the planet."

Even in economic downturn, tropical forest losses climb

During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, as economic activity ground to a virtual standstill, Mother Nature flirted with recovery. With so many factories closed and far fewer vehicles on the road, Greenhouse gas emissions plummeted. Air and water quality temporarily improved. Overall, the global economy shrank by roughly 4 percent in 2020, and yet one disturbing trend continued apace: forest destruction worldwide, largely as a result of agriculture. No paywall

As agriculture expands, tropical forest losses soar

In September 2015, UN member states set a goal of halting deforestation by 2020 as part of its “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” But according to Frances Seymour, distinguished senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, “we seem to be going in the wrong direction.” Satellite data gathered by the University of Maryland and recently released via Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring platform directed by the WRI, indicate that 2019 was the third highest year for tropical primary forest loss since the turn of the century.

Peatlands, not rainforests, hardest hit in Indonesia fires

Forest fires burned 1.64 million hectares across seven provinces of Indonesia this year, with peatlands accounting for 41 percent of the area lost to flames, said the Center for International Forestry Research on Monday. The figures, based on satellite data, show that only a portion of the the fires could be attributed to direct land-clearing work for palm oil plantations.

At global summit, farming and land ‘central pillars’ in climate solution

At the two-day Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, food, forestry and agriculture—long viewed as step-children when it came to climate solutions—were recognized as central to whatever progress is going to made in reaching climate goals established in the 2015 Paris accord. Attendees …

U.K. retailer, Citigroup take actions against palm oil

It was a tough week for the multibillion-dollar palm oil industry. A British grocery chain with 900 stores said it would remove all palm oil from its branded products by the end of 2018, and Citigroup announced it would suspend loans to IndoAgri, the agribusiness arm of Indonesia’s largest conglomerate, the Salim Group. No paywall

Report: Biodiesel driving deforestation and host of other problems at home and abroad

An investigation by activist groups Mighty Earth and ActionAid USA challenges the notion of biodiesel as the environmentally responsible fuel of the future. Burned: Deception, Deforestation and America’s Biodiesel Policy claims that growing demand for biodiesel in the U.S. contributes to a host of problems, from deforestation in Argentina and Indonesia to algae blooms in Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone.

Farmers murdered to make way for palm oil

Six indigenous farmers were brutally killed in Peru by land traffickers trying to make way for a palm oil plantation, adding to the more than 120 environmental and land defenders who have been murdered around the world in 2017 alone.

Climate change ushering in era of deadly heatwaves

Almost a third of the world population is now exposed to deadly heatwaves that are a result of climate change, says a study published in Nature Climate Change.

Indonesia extends for two years its moratorium on forestland conversion

For the third time, Indonesia has extended its moratorium on issuing licenses to clear forests and peat land, says Reuters. The nation's environment and forestry minister told the news agency the extension will run for two years and allow officials time to develop regulations on forest use.

Brazil meatpacker JBS accused of violating rainforest protections

Brazil's environmental regulator says that meatpacking giant JBS "for years knowingly bought cattle that were raised on illegally deforested land," says Reuters. JBS denied the allegation, which comes at the same time the Brazilian meat industry is reeling from a meat-inspection scandal.

Deforestation gathers speed in Amazon basin

Nearly 2 million acres — 3,100 square miles — of forested land were cleared for agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon in the year ending July 2016, while Bolivia has cut down 865,000 acres, equal to 1,351 square miles, annually, says The New York Times. "A decade after the 'Save the Rainforest' movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world," said the newspaper.

Nutella producer: Back off our palm oil

The maker of Nutella says the hazelnut spread would never be as good without palm oil, reports Reuters. The Italian company, Ferrero, defended the oil after a European Food Safety Authority report suggested that it is potentially carcinogenic when heated above 390 degrees Fahrenheit. The oil is regularly heated to high temperatures in industry manufacturing to remove its red color and odor.

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