By Carlos Salvatierra. Source: World Rainforest Movement
Communities, peoples and civil society organizations have worked for years to raise the visibility of the significant benefits of the mangrove ecosystem and the importance of its existence. They have fought for the recognition of mangroves as highly productive systems that provide livelihoods and a space for the practice of the cultures and traditions of coastal peoples. “The mangrove is our natural enterprise, it is our employment, it does not ask us for our qualifications or a CV or identification. As long as we are in good health we can cast our nets and harvest our food,” declared Enrique Bonilla, president of COGMANGLAR and a fisherman from Champerico, Guatemala.
Today, the former perception of mangroves as mosquito-infested swamps has changed, but the struggle to defend them has become increasingly difficult in the face of the new and aggressive actors threatening their existence and the survival of the peoples and communities who inhabit them, from Latin America to Asia to Africa. “They are slowly exterminating us. Government policies criminalize and impoverish us. We are not poor; we have great wealth that the powerful want to appropriate, and we call that environmental racism,” said Marizhelia López of the Movement of Fishermen and Fisherwomen of Bahia, Brazil, expressing her concern over the loss of territories. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Commodification of Life, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Water
Note: Rachel Smolker a good friend and former colleague of GJEP, and is currently co-director of Biofuelwatch.
-The GJEP Team
By Rachel Smolker, February 26, 2014. Source: Huffington Post
I am fortunate to live in the tiny state of Vermont, a state that has boldly led the way on so many issues it’s hard to list them all. We were the first to pass same-sex marriage and to take serious steps to make health care accessible to all. We outlawed billboards altogether and passed Act 250, a sophisticated mechanism for protecting the landscape against wanton development. That, in fact, led Vermont to be the last state in the nation to be colonized by Walmart. We were also the first state to ban fracking. We fought Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission long and hard demanding they shut down the dangerously rickety Yankee Nuclear power plant. Recently, at long last and against all odds, we “won” a semi-victory on that front.
Now Vermont has taken another bold step: denying permission for development of a dirty biomass burning facility, deceptively referred to as the North Springfield Sustainable Energy Project.
That facility would have burned 450,000 tons of wood annually, harvested from the “Green Mountain” state’s just barely recovering forests. The state’s Public Service Board is required to review big development proposals and issue (or deny) a “certificate of public good” (CPG) in order to proceed with the project. In this case, the decision was that the facility was not a public good. Many biomass facilities around the country and the world have not won permits, or have been abandoned en route to development due to economic concerns. But Vermont may be the first to deny a permit on the basis of sound reasoning.
By Chris Lang, February 19, 2014. Source: REDD Monitor
A recent study in East Kalimantan revealed no difference in carbon emissions between Forest Stewardship Council certified logging operations and conventional logging concessions.
This has potentially huge implications for REDD. “Sustainable management of forest” is one of the “plus” parts of REDD as agreed in December 2010 in Cancun. “Sustainable management of forest” could mean subsidies to industrial-scale commercial logging operations in old-growth forests.
The findings of the recent study also have serious implications for the Forestry Stewardship Council which is expanding its certification system to include forest carbon.
The Forest Stewardship Council was formed in 1993, with the aim of promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. It does so through a certification system. An FSC accredited “certifying body” assesses whether the company’s forestry concession complies with a series of FSC principles and criteria. Continue reading
Note: Yes, deforestation needs to be addresssed–and NOT through the development of massive-scale industrial monoculture tree plantations, but by addressing deforestation at its very source–namely agro-industrial expansion, especially of GMO crops, livestock production and overconsumption of paper and timber products.
As far as climate change is concerned, the tunnel vision of the UN, World Bank and other bodies on deforestation as a driver of climate change has been a deliberate misdirection to keep the focus away from where it needs to be–reducing fossil fuel consumption, and preventing its replacement with plant-based fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, which also put out huge emissions.
-The GJEP Team
By Chris Lang, February 15, 2014. Source: REDD-Monitor
Photo: Arnoldo Garcia
Myth: “Deforestation accounts for 25 percent of all man-made emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.”
That statement comes from a 2005 press release from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. A year later, FAO had decided that the figure was too low:
in fact between 25 and 30 percent of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere each year … is caused by deforestation.
In its 2007 report, the IPCC estimated that deforestation accounted for 17% of emissions.
Two years later, in a paper published in Nature Geoscience, Guido van der Werf and colleagues, argued that the figure was actually closer to 12%. While estimates of the rate of deforestation globally are fairly steady, emissions from burning fossil fuels are increasing rapidly. As such, the percentage of emissions from deforestation is falling. Continue reading
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Land Grabs, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
By Rachel Smolker, February 12, 2014. Source: TruthOut
(Photo: Kai Morgener / Flickr)
Climate geoengineering advocates have long argued over how to actually define the term “geoengineering.” The precise details of that definition are important for various reasons, not the least of which is that it will determine what likely is to be subjected to the scrutiny and potentially complex and difficult legal governance processes that such a global scale climate-tweak effort would necessarily involve.
Already, as of 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity, a treaty that 193 UN member countries (all other than the Holy See, Andorra and the United States) have ratified, adopted a de-facto moratorium on climate geoengineering in 2010. That was based in part on previous deliberations and decisions on one particular form of geoengineering, ocean iron fertilization, which also is regulated under the London Convention. Those decisions were negotiated and agreed in painstaking process, with each word and its implications carefully weighed in the balance.1 Obviously, there is much need to specify exactly what is geoengineering and, thus, subject to the moratorium or any other legal ruling.
For most people, it seems intuitively clear that, for example, spewing sulphate aerosols into the atmosphere – a technology in the category of “solar radiation management” (SRM) clearly would be considered “geoengineering.” We would not consider doing that for any other reason or intent – there are known anticipated serious risks and dangers, etc. Continue reading
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, Geoengineering, Green Economy, Oceans, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
February 11, 2014. Source: Partnership for Policy Integrity
McNeil biomass plant in Burlington, Vermont. Photo: Josh Schlossberg
In a final decision reached today on the fate of the 35 MW North Springfield Sustainable Energy biomass plant proposed in Vermont, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) denied the plant a certificate of public good, stating that the project would interfere with the State’s ability to meet statutory goals for reducing greenhouse gases “as a result of the large annual releases of greenhouse gases that would result from combustion of the wood fuel.”
“This is an important decision for the state of Vermont, and nationally”, said Mary Booth, Director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, an organization that helped the citizen opponents, the North Springfield Action Group, contest the facility in front of the PSB. “When policymakers see that bioenergy involves harvesting forests and burning the wood in low-efficiency power plants, they conclude that large-scale bioenergy isn’t compatible with greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
The 35 MW plant would have burned 450,000 tons of wood a year, most of which would have been sourced from whole-tree harvesting. Carbon dioxide emissions would have been over 445,000 tons per year. While the developer claimed there would be a greenhouse gas benefit, they testified they had not actually done any analysis to demonstrate a reduction in emissions. Continue reading
By Chris Lang, January 31, 2014. Source: REDD-Monitor
“It is a mistake to think that emissions from fossil fuels can be negated by increasing or protecting the storage potential of forests and other land based carbon.”
So says a new report from Brussels-based NGO FERN. The report exposes the myth that fossil fuel emissions can be offset by planting trees or preserving forests. Titled, “Misleading Numbers: The Case for Separating Land and Fossil Based Carbon Emissions”, the report can be downloaded here.
The report summarises the difference between greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and those from land use change:
Land use change, through both natural causes and human impact, accounted for approximately 12 per cent of annual global CO2 emissions over the past decade. However, there are fundamental differences between ‘terrestrial’ and ‘fossil’ carbon pools and their impact on the climate. Emissions from fossil carbon are irreversible for all practical purposes as it will be millennia before fossil carbon released by human activity is removed from the terrestrial carbon cycle. Land-based carbon stocks such as forests, on the other hand, are highly reversible: their carbon is held for years or centuries at the most, and is easily returned to the atmosphere. In addition, while immense volumes of fossil carbon are held in the earth, there is a natural limit to the amount that can be held at any one time by terrestrial ecosystems. Continue reading
January 31, 2014. Source: No REDD in Africa Network
Forest guards arrive in Kenya’s Embobut Forest in preparation for the evictions. Photo: Forest Peoples Programme
Last year the Government of Kenya was getting “ready” for REDD in the Embobut Forest, now it is violently evicting the Sengwer People and forcing them “into extinction.” According to Survival International, “as many as a thousand homes have already been torched.”[i]
Sengwer spokesman Yator Kiptum denounced the “disaster” caused by combined force of the Kenya Forest Service and Administration Police, a paramilitary unit of the police, which is now evicting the Sengwer not just from the Embobut Forest but from the entirety of the Cherangany Hills, destroying property and burning homes. “The government of Kenya is forcing us into extinction,” he said.[ii]
Sengwer houses being burnt by Kenya Forest Service guards on January 16, 2014. Source: Forest Peoples Programme
The extension of the evictions to all other areas in the Cherangany Hills forest complex to include Kapolet and Lelan/Kamolokon “means the removal of the entire population of Sengwer indigenous people living in the Cherangany Hills from their ancestral lands.”[iii] Some13,500 Sengwer live in the Cherangany Hills in Kenya’s Northern Rift Valley, and are one of the few hunter-gatherer groups left in eastern Africa.[iv]
According to Forest Peoples Programme, the Sengwer are not squatters. “The Sengwer have their rights to their ancestral forest lands enshrined in the Constitution and international law.” [v] The Sengwer obtained court orders to prevent further evictions to no avail. Continue reading
Filed under Africa, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, REDD, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, World Bank
Note: This story, which depicts communities’ attempts to reclaim desertified land for agriculture in the wake of water-thirsty eucalyptus plantations, is particularly timely for communities in the United States.
Right now the US Department of Agriculture is considering the legalization of genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus for planting across the US Southeast – the impacts of which would be enormous for a region predicted to experience major droughts in the coming decades.
Take action by calling on the USDA to demand a ban on the release of GE eucalyptus and all GE trees by signing the petition here: http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php
-The GJEP Team
By Ngala Killian Chimtom, January 9, 2014. Source: Inter Press Service
Sabina Shey Nkabiy tills land cleared of eucalyptus trees. Photo: Stephen Ndzerem
Kumbo, Cameroon – A project to reclaim agricultural land lost to eucalyptus plantations is bearing fruit in Cameroon.
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK radio for a weekly Earth Minute and Earth Watch interview.