Category Archives: Blog

Surui and Yawanawa Etch Their Past into the Future

Across the Americas, indigenous and traditional communities have long struggled to assert their stories into a history written largely by foreign newcomers – one which continues to drown out pre-colonial voices. But in the Brazilian Amazon, the Yawanawa and Paiter Surui indigenous tribes are doing their part to set the record straight – in two newly released books that document their histories in their own words.

For the Yawanawa and Surui, who are currently experiencing a renaissance after reclaiming their …

What Does Brexit Mean for Illegal Logging and the Global Timber Trade? (Updated)

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Theresa May, today confirmed that the country will leave the European Single Market[1] in what has become known as a “Hard Brexit”. While the future shape of the UK’s relationship with the EU and other trade partners is still not entirely clear, the announcement rules out a number of possible scenarios. It also has implications for the UK’s position on forests and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), transposed into UK law …

Green Infrastructure Key to Solving 21st Century Water Crises

Cities and communities all over the world are facing severe water crises. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing its worst drought in decades; and while California is finally seeing its parched reservoirs being refilled, the intensity and fierceness of the storms bringing this relief also harbor new dangers, triggering mudslides, flooding, blizzards, and avalanches – thereby putting lives at risk. Intense and erratic weather patterns such as these put much of our natural infrastructure at risk, and, among other things, make access …

A Path for Forests and the Planet

On November 19, the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) ended in Marrakesh. It was at COP 21, just last December, in Paris that 195 countries came together to adopt the historic agreement to mobilize global action against climate change. Many called it the most important treaty ever. Working at the front lines, Forest Trends fought to ensure that forests were at the center of the Paris Agreement, and …

Swedish Court Rules Myanmar “Green Book” Inadequate for EU Importers

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Swedish Administrative Courts last week ruled that a certificate issued by the Myanmar Forest Products Merchants’ Federation (MFPMF) did not provide adequate proof that a shipment of teak imported into Sweden had been legally harvested. The court’s verdict follows nearly a year of injunctions from Swedish authorities and an appeal by the company, which had imported the teak via a Singapore trader in violation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The company in …

Saving Traditions, Saving Lives, One Plant at a Time

His fever had spiked overnight, and in the early morning hours, his breathing had become labored and his pulse irregular. Within hours, the patient who had sought help for severe stomach pains had died. Naraiamat Surui, a nurse technician at the hospital and member of the same small Paiter Surui tribe as the patient, had watched in frustration as his friend slid toward death after doctors administered drugs for his agonizing stomach pain.

Naraiamat Surui had witnessed similar cases at …

World Water Week 2016 Shines Spotlight on Sustainable Development

Next week, Forest Trends will join over 200 organizations from around the world in Stockholm for the annual World Water Week (WWW) meetings. This year’s WWW focuses on Water for Sustainable Growth, and it shines a light on an important realization: twentieth-century approaches – more storage, pipes, and treatment plants – are not sufficient for 21st century water challenges. Communities around the world are struggling to maintain basic water services in the face of growing scarcity, increasing floods and droughts, …

How to Reconcile Development and Conservation? Start by Thinking “Net Positive”

The variety and abundance of life on earth is astounding, beautiful, and essential to all of us. We rely on biodiversity daily for medicines, food, and countless useful products, and to regulate natural systems by purifying the air we breathe, regulating water, pollinating crops, creating and stabilizing soil, protecting us from floods and disasters, and helping us adapt to climate change.

But there’s a problem: species are going extinct 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than during periods when humans were …

Good News for Forests: REDD+ Money Going to the Right Places

After a decade of international, UN-organized efforts to combat deforestation through finance for forest protection, the million dollar question is whether that finance is reaching the tropical forest countries that need it most. When Forest Trends set out to answer that question for the first time, it found encouraging signs that the $10 billion in funding committed through 2015 under the program known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) is, in fact, going to the right places.…

The Missing Link in Protecting Forests

What’s the biggest missing link in finding the money needed to protect forests?

It’s not political will or public finance – though more is certainly needed – nor is it formal UN recognition of their importance; forests achieved that last December in Paris. What’s missing is the untapped power of the private sector.

One of the big surprises that came out of the Paris Agreement was the explicit recognition of the key role that forests (and land use, including agriculture) …