Key insights from the 17th Meeting of the GCF Board in Songdo, Korea

 

Photo credit: Forests News

Green Climate Fund steps up to reduce deforestation and forest degradation

South Korea – The Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently adopted two new decisions intended to reduce global emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as to support forest restoration and conservation in developing countries via REDD+.

These two new decisions relate to:

  1. The GCF’s role in financing development of policies and preparatory activities in developing countries; and
  2. The GCF’s policy related to making payments for verified emission reductions achieved through such policies and measures.

 CONTEXT OF THE GCF

It has been a long trek to get to this point at the international level. The work on REDD+ started as early as 2005, and the international framework was finalized between 2013 and 2015. The UN Climate Convention Standing Committee on Finance has more recently been undertaking work to move the finance discussion forward since 2014 and much groundwork has been done through initiatives led by the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP and the FAO, such as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the UN-REDD Programme.

Since efforts to curb forest loss and restore and conserve forests commenced through REDD+, there has been more than USD $6 billion provided to countries across Asia, Africa and Central and South America- mostly on behalf of the governments of Norway, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. Now, more funding (likely several hundreds of millions of USD), is expected to come from the GCF.

Read the full article: Forests News

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2mn indigenous trees have been planted throughout Pakistan

 

Photo credit: Gulf Times

Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme

by Amos YEE

More than 2mn indigenous trees have been planted throughout Pakistan so far as a part of Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Programme. This was stated by Mohamed Saleem, a representative of the Ministry of Climate Change, yesterday.

“Launched on February 9 this year at the Prime Minister Office, the Green Pakistan Programme aims to reinvigorate country’s ailing forestry sector through a large-scale plantation besides protecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats for revival of the overall biodiversity, which is in danger because of over-exploitation or sustainable use of natural resources,” he said.

He claimed that more than 1mn trees had been planted in Punjab followed by 409,300 trees in Sindh, 202,000 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 232,400 in Balochistan, 130,500 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 86,330 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 87,000 trees in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). He said 9.58mn saplings were in different nurseries set up in various parts of the country under the programme.

“These 9.58mn more saplings will be planted across the country in the next few months, particularly in watershed and areas which are vulnerable to floods, land erosion, landslides and where desertification is expanding,” Saleem added.
He said a viable mechanism had been hammered out to ensure maximum survival of the tree samplings through utmost care.

In this regard, local forest communities are also being engaged for their direct involvement in the tree plantation and their care.
Under the five-year ambitious Green Pakistan Programme, 100mn trees will be planted till 2021 at a cost of Rs10bn.

Some 50% of the cost will be met by provincial governments, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK and Fata regions while the remainder will be extended on a yearly basis by the federal government.

Read the full article: Gulf Times

Zero deforestation, deforestation free, carbon neutral, climate smart and a host of other terminologies

 

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“Slash-and-burn land clearing of old rubber agroforest – such practices can continue under ‘deforestation-free’ claims. Photo credit: Meine van Noordwijk/ICRAF

Attention to detail is necessary for zero deforestation intentions to succeed, say scientists

With the realization that climate change is real, consumers are demanding products that come from responsible manufacturing processes. But do market branding terms such as zero deforestation, deforestation free, carbon neutral, climate smart have any meaning? A new book by the European Tropical Forest Network investigates if deforestation-free claims are genuine or simply designed to influence purchase decisions.

Consumers worldwide are becoming aware of how manufacturing processes contribute to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, and in the long term lead to climate change. With this knowledge, they are demanding products that come from responsible value chains, right from the point of the production and extraction of raw materials to delivery at retail points. Manufacturers have responded to this call by consumers by using labels such as zero deforestation, deforestation free, carbon neutral, climate smart and a host of other terminologies.

Methods used by UNFCCC to account for emissions focus on the supply side, based on country land area and production systems and nationally determined contributions (NDCs). However, a new study suggests that by using demand-side accounting, looking at human population and per capita emissions based on lifestyle, individually determined contributions to climate mitigation can complement nationally determined contributions.

“Labelling products as ‘deforestation-free’ as an attempt to satisfy consumers’ demand only takes into consideration one side of the production chain without consideration for the connection with other drivers of deforestation,” said Dr. Meine van Noordwijk, a scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre and lead author of an introductory paper.

Making the connection between deforestation and the economy

The study explored this connection from seven perspectives: when, how and why zero deforestation claims arise in global trade; how forest definitions relate to zero deforestation claims; the degree of variation in ‘footprints’ of equivalent products; tracking products that go through multiple market transactions as opposed to easy-to-follow vertically integrated value chains; interaction of all participants in totality in a value chain without isolation of those that are responsible producers; personal consumer decisions in relation to lifestyle choices, dietary changes and waste reduction that may have a bigger effect than simply choosing products with smaller carbon footprints; and how improved productivity and value chains can contribute to green economies.

Read the full article: Agroforestry World

Climate change alters rainfall patterns, potentially destroying even forested peatlands that remain undrained.

 

Source: http://news.mit.edu/2017/peatlands-already-dwindling-could-face-further-losses-0612

Climate Change Could Destroy Forested Peatlands, Causing Major Carbon Emissions

Written by AZoCleantech

Tropical peat swamp forests, which once occupied large swaths of Southeast Asia and other areas, provided a significant “sink” that helped remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But such forests have been disappearing fast due to clear-cutting and drainage projects making way for plantations.

Now, research shows peatlands face another threat, as climate change alters rainfall patterns, potentially destroying even forested peatlands that remain undrained.

The net result is that these former carbon sinks, which have taken greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, are now net carbon sources, instead accelerating the planet’s warming.

The findings are described this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in a paper by MIT Professor Charles Harvey, research scientist Alexander Cobb, and seven others at MIT and other institutions.

“There is a tremendous amount of peatland in Southeast Asia, but almost all of it has been deforested,” says Harvey, who is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and has been doing research on that region for several years. Once deforested and drained, the peatland dries out, and the organic (carbon-containing) soil oxidizes and returns to the atmosphere. Sometimes the exposed peat can actually catch fire and burn for extended periods, causing massive clouds of air pollution.

Tropical peatlands may contain as much carbon as the amount consumed in nearly a decade of global fossil fuel use, and raging peat fires in Indonesia alone have been estimated in some years to contribute 10 to 40 percent as much greenhouse gas to the atmosphere as all the world’s fossil fuel burning. Tropical peatlands, unlike those in temperate zones that are dominated by sphagnum moss, are forested with trees that can tower to 150 feet, and peat fires can sometimes ignite forest fires that consume these as well. (Peat that gets buried and compressed underground is the material that ultimately turns to coal).

Read the full article: AZO Cleantech

 

Goats plant new trees

 

Photo credit: Treehugger

CC BY 4.0 H Garrido/EBD-CSIC

How tree-climbing goats plant new trees

melissa-breyer.jpg.50x50_q70_crop-smart

by Melissa Breyer

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fee.1488/full

If you’re a goat enthusiast it’s probable that you already know of the curiously awesome phenomena of Morocco’s tree-climbing goats – and anyone who has never seen this wonderful weirdness before, should. It’s such an unlikely scenario, these decidedly hooved land animals perched atop branches like dainty birds.

Goats are fabulous and incredibly agile – and in arid places with little forage, they will climb straight to the top of trees to chomp away on what may be the only available greenery around. Likewise, when they’ve gobbled up all the fallen fruit from the ground, the hungry things will march right up the tree to find some more.

It’s a sight to behold, for sure, but beyond entertaining masses of YouTube viewers, tree-climbing goats provide another important service as well – they are agents of seed dispersal for the trees they climb. In the case of Moroccan goats, argan trees.

Read the full story : Treehugger

Importance of trees and forest cover in dryland areas as these ensure food security for millions of people

Photo credit: Down to Earth

Life in drylands is precarious and to make things worse water availability in these areas is expected to decline due to changes in climate and land use Credit: Paul Shaffner/Flickr

Increasing tree cover in drylands can ensure food security, solve water crisis

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Deepanwita Niyogi Blogger Directory | Deepanwita Niyogi Assistant editor at Down To Earth – http://cdn.downtoearth.org.in/uploads/0.78846000_1457934934_deepanita.jpg

by Deepanwita Niyogi

The world’s drylands must be restored as they provide habitat for biodiversity, protect against erosion, help combat desertification and contribute to soil fertility

A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) preliminary study speaks about the importance of trees and forest cover in dryland areas as these ensure food security for millions of people threatened by climate change.

Drylands cover about 41 per cent of the Earth’s surface and face the problem of water scarcity. People living in drylands, especially in the developing countries, depend on forests, wooded lands, grasslands and trees to meet their basic requirements.

The world’s drylands must be restored as they provide habitat for biodiversity, protect against erosion, help combat desertification and contribute to soil fertility.

According to Nora Berrahmouni, drylands forestry officer at FAO, “Trees contribute to food security. So, increasing their density in forests is very important. It is important to increase their density in drier areas, keeping in mind the local conditions. However, this does not mean that we should convert natural grasslands into forests. Grasslands are equally important as forests.”

Water shortage in drylands

Life in drylands is precarious and to make things worse water availability in these areas is expected to decline due to changes in climate and land use, the report says.

“People in drylands face many challenges. They live in extreme environmental conditions: scarcity of water, periods of drought, heat waves, land degradation and desertification. Poverty, lack of socio-economic opportunities, food insecurity, conflicts, weak governance and inadequate policies are other problems they face,” Berrahmouni added.

Increasing forest cover in drylands will improve water infiltration in soils and reduce erosion. To solve water scarcity, there is a need to manage existing water resources and develop water harvesting techniques, support restoration of forest cover to reduce siltation and water erosion and recharge aquifers.

Diminished status

Dryland forests and other associated ecosystems have not attracted the same level of interest and investment. Tree cover and land use in drylands are not well known. However, drylands cover 6.1 billion hectares, an area more than twice the size of Africa.

Read the full article: Download to Earth

Planting trees in Mongolia

 

Photo credit: Travel Daily News Asia

Korean Air to plant trees in Mongolia to prevent desertification

Theodore Koumelis

From May 15th to 26th, more than 200 Korean Air employees will be cooperating with 600 local residents to plant trees in Mongolia.

Hong Kong – Korean Air has been taking the lead in saving the Earth by volunteering for 14 consecutive years to plant trees in Mongolia.

From May 15th to 26th, more than 200 Korean Air employees will be cooperating with 600 local residents to plant trees in Mongolia. This activity is part of Korean Air’s ‘Global Planting Project‘ which aims to prevent desertification of the city and save the environment. What was once a deserted area now has more than 110,000 trees planted and has been renamed ‘Korean Air Forest‘. The forest is located at Baganuur, a city 150 kilometers east of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

Mongolia Global Planting Project ‘Korean Air Forest’ covers an area of 440,000 square meters and consists mainly of poplar trees, sea buckthorn and Siberian elms. The fruits of the sea buckthorn are used as ingredients of vitamin drinks. Thus planting trees not only makes the city greener but also contributes to increasing the incomes of local residents. The airline is focused on maintaining the forest well and has hired a local professional to look after it and to train local residents in supervision.

Read the full article: Travel Daily News AsiaTravel Daily News Asia