Lessons learned for involving local people in restoration monitoring


A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo

A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo

Success from the ground up?


New global forest restoration initiatives – such as the Bonn Challenge, Initiative 20×20, AFR100, the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets – present an unparalleled opportunity to reverse the trend of deforestation and forest degradation in the coming years. However, those who work in forest restoration have countless stories of failed projects. How can we minimize these failures, learn from other restoration initiatives and build success from the ground up?

Restoration experts agree: monitoring is essential to restoration success. But is monitoring being given enough attention in the current major global initiatives?

Read the full story: CIFOR


Fuel Wood and Desertification



Fuel Wood Consumption and Desertification in Nigeria

by Audu, E.B.
Government Secondary School, Lugbe, Along Umaru Musa Yar’adua Way, Abuja – FCT, Nigeria.
Uncontrolled population explosion especially in the developing countries, the need and struggle for survival as well as the quest for more comfort are the major causes of environmental resources depletion in the world with particular reference to Nigeria. One of the environmental resources over–exploited in Nigeria without adequate replacement
is vegetation particularly trees.
This paper seeks to look into the degree of fuel wood consumption in Nigeria using data of
the percentage (%) distribution of households by type of fuel for cooking in 2007 , areas of the desert–prone states in km2 and the population figures of the affected states
The results are presented in tables, analyzed using descriptive and comparative methods, discussed with mitigation measures suggested.
The result shows that fuel wood is there about the only means of domestic fire in the desert–prone states leading to desertification as other sources of domestic fire are almost not in use.  It is therefore suggested that other means of domestic fuel such as wind, solar,
kerosene, electricity, coal and gas should be made available at affordable rates and encouraged for use by ensuring continuous and constant supply.
Other measures of mitigating desertification such as afforestation, re–afforestation, creation of more forest and plantation reserves, creation of more shelter belts, controlled grazing and perennial cropping among others were also suggested

Poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts, but Kenya greens drylands.


Photo credit: IPS News

A Kenya Forestry Research Institute technician pruning an acacia tree at a drylands research site in Tiva, Kitui County. Credit: Justus Wanzala/IPS

Kenya Greens Drylands to Combat Land Degradation

High levels of poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts among communities in East Africa.

Faced with growing degradation that is swallowing large swathes of land in arid and semiarid areas, Kenya is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification.

Charles Sunkuli, secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, says a programme targeting 5.1 million hectares of degraded and deforested land for restoration by 2030 was launched in September 2016. He added that Kenya is increasing its forest cover from the current seven percent to a minimum of 10 percent.

“We have introduced an equalisation fund to help communities living in dry and degraded lands eke out at a living and participate in rehabilitation initiatives,” said Sunkuli.

He was speaking in Nairobi during the Fifteenth Session of the Committee of Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which concluded last week.

Afforestration, he noted, will mainly be done in the country’s arid and semiarid areas which make up 80 percent of Kenya’s land cover, although other areas of the country to are being targeted too.

To succeed in its ambitious endeavour, Sunkuli said Kenya is implementing a programme to promote drought-tolerant tree species such Melia volkensii (locally known as Mukau) in the country’s vast drylands to increase forest cover.

Indeed, Kenya is heavily investing in research into drought resistant trees to enhance afforestration of dry lands and improve livelihoods. At Tiva in the dry Kitui County, eastern Kenya, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has established a research centre to breed tree species ideal for planting in arid and semiarid areas. The centre is supported by the government in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Read the full article: IPS News

Desertification, deforestation and charcoal


Photo credit: Mareeg.com

Charcoal Trade in Somalia

It is certain that the bulk of the illegal Somali charcoal trade is carried from Somali ports on vessels registered in other States, so the trade is very clearly part of a broader transnational criminal enterprise that extends well beyond the activities of Al Shabaab and others inside Somalia itself. Nor does the illicit trade have only transnational organised crime dimensions – charcoal production creates massive deforestation and desertification problems, which in turn reduces the available grazing land for livestock, the dominant Somali export industry.

The UNSC has responded by placing a sanctions regime around the import of illegal Somali charcoal. However, this sanctions regime has three primary weaknesses:

a. It has not been applied over exports, thus it does not directly authorise any international action (in conjunction with the Somali Federal Government – SFG) in terms of interdicting illegal Somali charcoal shipments at the point of export;

b. The sanctions regime relies upon SFG implementation on the Somali export side of the trade, but the SFG has to date been unable to make significant inroads into this issue – understandable given the many other severe security and governance challenges it currently faces; and

c. The import sanctions regime does not appear to be enforced in importing States on a systematic and comprehensive basis, meaning that it does not yet appear to have sponsored any substantial reduction in the trade.

So what is to be done?

Read the full story: Mareeg.comMareeg.com

The EU is partnering Yar’Adua Foundation to end deforestation



Partnership to end deforestation, desertification  underway

International programs aiming to slow down tropical deforestation are not sufficiently taking local farmers into account


Photo credit: Science Daily

A recently burnt-down patch of forest in the vicinity of Yangambi in the central Congo Basin. In the background is the edge of the primary forest. The owner has planted a range of crops, including cassava and maize.
Credit: © Pieter Moonen

The fight against deforestation: Why are Congolese farmers clearing forest?

October 21, 2016
KU Leuven
Only a small share of Congolese villagers is the driving force behind most of the deforestation. They’re not felling trees to feed their families, but to increase their quality of life. These findings indicate that international programs aiming to slow down tropical deforestation are not sufficiently taking local farmers into account.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon


Photo credit: Science Daily

New research shows that landowners in Brazil are clearing more forest than government measures suggest. In the satellite image above, black boxes and yellow dots indicate deforestation taking place in the blind spots of Brazil’s forest monitoring system.
Credit: VanWey Lab / Brown University

Significant deforestation in Brazilian Amazon goes undetected


October 12, 2016
Brown University
Close to 9,000 square kilometers of Amazon forest was cleared from 2008 to 2012 without detection by the official government monitoring system, a new study has found.

Read the full article: Science Daily


Assumptions about the role of industrial plantations in Borneo forest loss


Photo credit: CIFOR   

Degraded land in Tebo in East Kalimantan alternates between bare earth and tree stumps. David Gaveau/CIFOR

Delving into drivers of deforestation

New study analyzes four decades of satellite images – overturning assumptions about the role of industrial plantations in Borneo forest loss

Debates over forest loss in Borneo generally focus on the extent to which industrial plantations are to blame: those on the conservation side charge oil palm and pulp and paper for the destruction of tropical rainforest, those on the plantation side tend to argue that planting is done on already deforested land.

Until now, both sides have lacked clear evidence to justify their claims.

“The story is complex, drivers of deforestation are many. Until now we lacked information to distinguish so-called good and bad plantations,” said Douglas Sheil of the Norwegian University of Life Science.

Read the full story: CIFOR

What it means for growth, people and climate action in the Asia-Pacific



Reversing deforestation, restoring landscapes

Asia Pacific – Regional leaders gathered this month in Brunei Darussalam to discuss ways to slow, halt and reverse deforestation in the Asia-Pacific. But what does it mean to ‘reverse’ deforestation? And how can it be done without reversing the rapid development that supports the economies and livelihoods of the region?

In discussion at the 2016 Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit, experts in government, research and development addressed these questions in a panel session titled ‘Restoring our rainforests’. Panelists in the session argued that reversing deforestation does not simply mean reforestation, but requires an approach that integrates the goal of restoring forests with other diverse objectives within the forest landscape, including livelihoods, economic growth and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Read the full article: CIFOR


The impacts of tropical deforestation will be felt for many years to come.


Photo credit: Science Daily

This graph shows modeled annual deforestation rates from 1950 to 2009 in five-year intervals.- Credit: Rosa et al./Current Biology 2016

Effects of past tropical deforestation will be felt for years to come

Source: Cell Press


Even if people completely stopped converting tropical forests into farmland, the impacts of tropical deforestation would continue to be felt for many years to come. That’s the conclusion of researchers who have used historical rates and patterns of tropical deforestation around the globe to estimate the resulting carbon emissions and species losses over time.

Read the full story: Science Daily

To better understand deforestation trends in South America.



Quantifying the drivers of South American deforestation

by  76-mq4l6fnungxzefrwoaogbdqnx96cmtunw2kb0imys0

Can you imagine examining samples from every patch of forest cleared over a period of 15 years across an entire continent?

That’s exactly what Veronique De Sy, a scientist at Wageningen University and at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), did for her latest study by using satellite imagery to quantify the drivers of deforestation for South America between the years of 1990 and 2005.

“It was quite labor-intensive,” said De Sy. “The task of visually confirming every data point of deforestation took me about a year, but I got a really nice result, so it was worth it.”

And a very valuable result – or rather, set of results – too.

Manually checking samples from each 10km by 10km patch of South America’s landmass meant that De Sy could attribute patches of deforestation to specific land-uses. Further, using data divided into two time periods allowed for a perspective on how these processes had changed over time.

This approach enabled De Sy to build up a picture of the drivers of deforestation which is both spatially and temporally explicit, providing welcome detail for policymakers and others looking to understand this fifteen-year period of significant land-use change.

Read the full story: Forest News


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