On the Road after Paris – Next Stop: Bonn/Fiji

This year’s climate talks may not be as glamorous or high-profile as the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that adopted the historic Paris Agreement two years ago, but the agenda for COP23 that starts Monday in Bonn is packed with key issues that need to be resolved to fully implement the Agreement.   Credit: Mettus / Shutterstock.com It has been almost two years since countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement at the COP21 in …

Six Asian Countries Take Steps to Regulate Imports of Illegal Timber Products

In the past 12 months, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all taken steps to develop import regulations designed to keep illegally logged timber out of their markets. In most cases, timber import regulations give governments the power to penalize companies that trade in illegal timber. The new Asian regulations – when operational – will join the US, EU, and Australia which have similar legislation already in place, and together, have the potential to create …

New Report Tracks the Impact of Forest Finance in Brazil

Brazil has been recognized as a leader in global efforts to reduce deforestation and associated greenhouse gas emissions—mostly due to the successful implementation of forest conservation policies that reduced deforestation in the Amazon by 80% below historical levels, and prevented more than 5 billion tons of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere over the last decade. Brazil showed that the policy known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), could work in practice. Unfortunately, since 2016, deforestation levels …

Deepening Collaboration: Aligning Private Sector and Government Commitments to Tackle Deforestation

When it comes to reducing deforestation, companies and national governments tend to operate in their respective silos. Effectively reducing forest loss, however, will require collaboration between both corporations and governments. According to a recently published report, Collaboration Toward Zero Deforestation: Aligning Corporate and National Commitments in Brazil and Indonesia, companies and governments are beginning to work together toward their shared goals of reducing deforestation. Click the thumbnail to download the full report The report presents case studies that explore …

Timber Imports from Conflict Countries to EU Increasing

EU timber imports from conflict countries, which are at high risk of being illegal, have increased 14 percent, despite the European Union’s Timber Regulation (EUTR) legislation’s requirement that companies ensure that only legal timber enters the EU market, according to a new Forest Trends report. The Forest Trends brief analyzes 2015 trade data reported by European governments (the most recent full trade data available). It finds that across the EU, import levels of timber from conflict countries differ significantly, but …

Dutch Court Ruling Helps Curb Illegal Timber Trade

An administrative court in the Netherlands last week ruled on an EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) case involving the import of timber from Cameroon. The case is notable in that, for the first time, a European court has explicitly ruled that Operators in the EU must not only undertake meaningful Due Diligence but must also be able to supply documentary proof of compliance with the EUTR on request. The court concluded that it is not sufficient for Operators to rely solely …

Exiting the Paris Agreement Doesn’t Make America Great

Yesterday’s decision by the US administration to exit the Paris Climate Agreement will not make America or the world great. It is a decision that ignores basic science and turns its back to the global efforts to fight climate change. The Paris Agreement, by design, provides flexibility that the US could have used, if it had concerns about specific aspects of the agreement, such as lowering the costs by allowing the use of market mechanisms like cap-and-trade. The US exit …

By Pulling out of Paris Agreement, Donald Trump Offers U.S. Farmers a Bad Deal

U.S. President Donald Trump seems ready to punish his own supporters once again – this time by pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, depriving U.S. farmers and private forest owners of billions of dollars in income. To understand that figure, first try to remember your high school biology: specifically, the part about how plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, storing the carbon in their trunks and roots. Because of this capacity, healthy forests, farms, and …

Climate Negotiators Roll Up Their Sleeves in Bonn, With or Without the U.S.

As the next round of climate talks get underway in Bonn, the question on everyone’s mind is whether the United States government will stay in the Paris Agreement – and, if so, under what conditions. Many expect the Trump Administration to reach a final verdict any day now, and its decision will obviously have profound effects that reach far beyond this week’s negotiations. But, as always, the show must go on, and negotiators in Bonn will continue hammering out important …

Amazonian Tribe Shares the Secret of Treating Snake Bites

What are the biggest hazards of life in the Amazon rainforest? Many outsiders might peg snakes at the top of the list: the region is home to dozens of venomous snakes, among other fearsome reptiles, fish, insects, and mammals. But the Yawanawa, a tribe of 1,250 people living at the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, have never regarded snakes as much cause for alarm – not even those whose fangs pack a potent punch. In fact, the community hasn’t seen …