In Forests News last week:
What do trees do when we are not looking? Read
Douglas Sheil, professor at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (and self-confessed ‘tree obsessive’) talks of his new findings that will help the science community measure forest biomass more accurately, for the greater good.
Small fortunes Read
Panellists at the GLF discuss the impact of migration on landscapes, and how better policies can help achieve global environmental and livelihood goals.
The dangers of definition Read
CIFOR scientists respond to an article published in Nature and The Guardian “Protect the last of the wild,”to debate what intactness and wilderness means, and how this needs to be agreed before policies are shaped.
Forests News’ pick of stories from around the globe:
World Economic Forum: ‘The Garden of Eden is no more’
Climate Change was hot on the agenda at this year’s World Economic Forum, where the rich and powerful come together at the Davos ski resort in Switzerland. Interviewed by the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir David Attenborough warned of the wipe-out of whole ecosystems, and made a plea to his audience to take action, CNN reports.
Schoolgirl and climate activist, Greta Thunberg – who turned heads at COP 24 in December when she told world leaders they lacked the ‘maturity’ to deal with climate change – gave a similarly toned no-nonsense speech at the event. The 16-year old’s address was published in full in The Guardian.
Still in Davos, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro took to the international stage for the first time since he was sworn in as President. As well as pledging to ‘open up’ the economy, the populist leader insisted that the natural environment in Brazil was safe, amid fears that his government will open up the Amazon rainforest further to agribusiness and loggers, the Financial Times reports.
Corporate consciousness pays in dividends
A timely report by the Carbon Disclosure Project has revealed that companies who have taken measures on climate change, water security and forests, have outperformed on the stock market. According to The Independent, Tetra Pak received top marks for their efforts to address deforestation, while L’Oreal was the only company to score straight As across the board.
Climate change is greeted with desperation in Mali
The Sahel region, already suffering from poverty and instability, is considered the most vulnerable to climate change, the BBC reports. Lyse Doucet paints a grim picture as she travels with the International Red Cross through Mali, where climate change is already causing conflicts. Droughts and floods are lasting longer, herds of animals are dying, leaving young shepherd boys no choice but to join ‘groups with guns’ to survive. It is projected that temperatures in Sahel will rise 1.5 times higher than the global average, and the UN’s Food Programme (FAO) estimates that ‘80% of Sahel is currently affected by degradation, including soil erosion and deforestation.’
Roads and orangutans in Kalimantan
Asia Times – A study published in Scientific Reports has warned that a planned road and railways project in Kalimantan will further threaten already endangered wildlife, as untouched forest gets sectioned into zones and fragmented. Locals however have expressed a ‘dire’ need for better infrastructure in underdeveloped parts of the region. The researchers have urged the Indonesia government to reconsider roads that cut through nature reserves, and scale-up illegal activities in the forests. The Indonesian side of Borneo, Kalimantan is home to endemic and endangered species, including the orangutan.
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