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

 

snb-912x912
“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

Deforestation in Brazil and Bolivia

 

Photo credit: CIFOR

Decoding deforestation in Brazil and Bolivia

More than meets the eye

Pablo-Pacheco
PABLO PACHECO – http://blog.cifor.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Pablo-Pacheco.jpg

Amazon – Recently, I came across a much publicized article in The New York Times about the impact of two of the world’s biggest grain traders, Cargill and Bunge, on deforestation trends in the agricultural frontiers of Brazil and Bolivia. Since we have entered an era of private commitments to deforestation-free supply chains, this article shows that there is still a way to go for some companies to improve their performance.

Deforestation estimates in 2016 from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) indicate a resurgence of deforestation in the Amazon, and deforestation hotspots identified by the Word Resources Institute suggest increasing pressure on the savanna forests in the Cerrado region, a biodiversity-rich ecosystem. Additionally, while there are no official deforestation estimates in lowlands Bolivia, it has remained at high levels, according to Terra-I. This suggests a need to examine the culprits.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees

The article mentioned above discusses a new report by the environmental campaign organization Mighty Earth that identifies deforestation in Brazil and Bolivia linked to Cargill and Bunge. Drawing on satellite imagery and supply-chain mapping information processed by the Stockholm Environment Institute, the article makes the case that new large-scale forest-clearing by Bolivian and Brazilian farmers for soybean production is associated with the demand from these two American-based food giants.

It is interesting to note that companies like Cargill and Bunge still buy soybeans originating from forestlands converted to agriculture and fail to implement due diligence procedures to verify their origin. In some cases, these purchases directly trigger soybean expansion across Brazil and Bolivia’s frontiers. Cargill and Bunge have argued, in their defense, that their role is minor, and that deforestation is a complex issue that requires all major buyers — not just them — to get involved.

While it is useful that environmental groups like Mighty Earth track how company supply chains are ‘contaminated’ by ‘dirty supply’, it would be more helpful if they could place these trends within a wider context. This would foster more practical and durable solutions, because even if these two soybean traders stopped buying soybeans from the Matopiba region in Brazil and the eastern lowlands in Bolivia, it is likely that deforestation would continue to expand in both of these regions.

Read the full article: CIFOR

Amazon into a vicious dieback circle ?

 

 

Vicious circle of drought and forest loss in the Amazon

Date:
March 13, 2017
Source:
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Summary:
Logging that happens today and potential future rainfall reductions in the Amazon could push the region into a vicious dieback circle. If dry seasons intensify with human-caused climate change, the risk for self-amplified forest loss would increase even more, an international team of scientists finds. If however there is a great variety of tree species in a forest patch, according to the study this can significantly strengthen the chance of survival.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Tree stumps found to significantly improve soil quality and crop yields

 

Photo credit: Google

How can tree stumps improve agricultural productivity?

Farmer managed natural regeneration is making a difference in developing countries but institutions need adapting for it to work

There’s a received wisdom that tree stumps, shoots and bushes should be cleared from a field before planting crops. It seems logical, but the experience of farmers in southern Niger suggests otherwise. There, the practice of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) has been found to significantly improve soil quality and crop yields, along with additional resources and income from tree products.

FMNR takes advantage of living underground root systems of previously cleared trees. Rather than remove new shoots, farmers practicing FMNR will nurture five or so of the strongest, most upright stems, pruning the rest away. These stems are allowed to grow, and some are harvested for firewood and timber.

The presence of shrubs and trees helps fix nitrogen in the soil and lessens wind erosion so that seeds don’t blow away and have to be replanted, while falling leaves scattering around fields enrich the soil.

The practice was first introduced in Niger in the 1980s on a small experimental scale in response to widespread drought and land degradation, and a new publication by the World Agroforestry Centre describes how transformational this straightforward practice has been.

It cites a farmer from the Maradi region in southern Niger who estimates that most farmers were getting yields of around 150kg of millet per hectare before FMNR became widespread. Many now get more than 500kg.

“The trees also increase the infiltration rate, and farmers are finding their local water table is going up,” says Dennis Garrity, UN Drylands Ambassador and a senior fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre.

Read the full article: The Guardian

Deforestation and Desertification

 

Photo credit: Green Heart at Work

Map 1: Deforestation data on occurrence around the world (Source: The World Bank 2011).

Deforestation and Desertification: A comprehensive look at its causes, contributors, spatial and temporal characteristic and human impacts thereof

http://greenheartatwork.blogspot.be/2015/09/deforestation-and-desertification.html

Two of the most important and widespread environmental changes will be discussed in detail. The first is the occurrence of deforestation which is globally a problem and desertification also occurring on the majority of continents. Deforestation has an impact on desertification. Various aspects such as the spatial and temporal scale, the causes, and contributors of such manifestation, as well as human impacts and whether all types of global environmental change can be generalised, will be comprehensively considered.

Introduction to Deforestation
An important environmental issue, deforestation, is both a complex global and local problem and Africa, being a developing continent, is being most widely and devastatingly affected by such rapid occurrence. It compromises the notion of sustainable development by impacting the environment in a very immediate and detrimental way. Even though forests play an imperatively environmental vital role, as it supports vital ecosystems and houses a myriad of fauna and flora, it is being destroyed and cleared at an astronomically fast rate without having enough time to restore itself, causing inestimable habitat changes, as well as reducing carbon storage. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated that, from 1990 to 1995, the annual loss was estimated at 12.7 million hectares Furthermore, deforestation account for roughly one-sixth of total anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and degradation may account for 10% of total emissions in the tropics. Tropical deforestation is responsible for 6–17% of global carbon dioxide emissions that affect climate change (Angelsen & Kaimowitz 1999; Pfaff et. al 2013; Cassea et. al 2004).

Spatial characteristics
It is widely known that deforestation occurs in both developed and developing countries, but at different geographical contexts in specific localities and are characterised by different regional aspects, such as aridity, as well as diverse human-environment conditions.

Read the full article: Green Heart at work

Drough threatens forests

 

 

Forests worldwide threatened by drought

Date:
February 21, 2017
Source:
University of Stirling
Summary:
Forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought, researchers have found. An analysis suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.

An analysis, published in the journal Ecology Letters, suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.

The study found a similar response in trees across the world, where death increases consistently with increases in drought severity.

Dr Sarah Greenwood, Postdoctoral Researcher in Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “We can see that the death of trees caused by drought is consistent across different environments around the world. So, a thirsty tree growing in a tropical forest and one in a temperate forest, such as those we find throughout Europe, will have largely the same response to drought and will inevitably suffer as a result of rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns on Earth.”

The biological and environmental scientists did find specific, varying features in different tree types can alter their resistance to drought. Species with denser wood and smaller, thicker leaves tend to fare better during prolonged, unusually-dry periods.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Deforestation and economy

 

 

Poor nations’ economies grow with rising deforestation

by Baraka Rateng’

Speed read

  • Researchers assessed the link between economic growth and deforestation
  • They found that in poor countries, increased deforestation leads to growth
  • An expert says the study is useful for formulating policies

Poor countries’ economic growth increases with deforestation rates but the effect disappears in wealthier economies, a study says.

According to researchers, climatic factors and inadequate data make it difficult to establish the link between economic development and overexploitation of natural resources.

But using satellite data, researchers were able to assess the link between deforestation rates and economic factors across countries.

“Our results quantify the potential costs that such policies could potentially have in terms of forest cover loss.”

Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Vienna University of Economics and Business

The study published this month (16 January) in the journal Scientific Reports found that as developing countries become richer, a decrease in forest cover occurs, but such a relationship disappears at higher levels of income per capita.

“This implies that increases in deforestation, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, are expected as poorer economies converge in income per capita to that of developed countries,” says Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, a research scholar and professor of economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, who led the study.

Read the full article: SciDevNet