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Calls for help: Bialowieza–the last wild forest in Europe

GFIS - 2 hours 59 min ago

By Jan Carl Matysiak* It is a rare outstanding forest with an innumerable number of over 100 year old trees. It is one of the last places where you can find free roaming wisent. And it is the very last primeval forest in Europe. Bialowieza is on the border of Poland and Belarus. So you can only be left speechless when you hear Jan Szyszko Poland’s environmental minister. He stated ”The Białowieża forest was granted UNESCO natural heritage status illegally. …

The post Calls for help: Bialowieza–the last wild forest in Europe appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Role of women in sustainable conservation and local economic development celebrated in Bac Kan, Viet Nam

GFIS - 3 hours 32 min ago
Bac Kan, Viet Nam, 20th October 2017—National Women’s Day is an important date on the Vietnamese calendar when the contributions of women to their families and the local community are celebrated.

African Americans in Palm Springs neighborhood want ‘racist’ row of trees gone

GFIS - 3 hours 47 min ago

In Palm Springs, a row of tamarisk trees separates the Crossley Tracts, a historically black neighborhood, from a city golf course.

Innovative Pre-Fabricated Engineered Bamboo Houses

GFIS - 4 hours 27 min ago

New solutions for pre-fabricated engineered bamboo house design in China hopes to set the tone for future green construction. The house design, which was managed by INBAR’s long-term partner the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR), uses lightweight steel frames as load-bearing components, with bamboo-based panels as building enclosures, such as walls and roofs. […]

The post Innovative Pre-Fabricated Engineered Bamboo Houses appeared first on INBAR.

Event: 2017 Sustainable Development Transition Forum (SDTF)

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 23:14
The 2017 SDTF will build on the 2016 SDTF outcomes and insights and help create a bridge between the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and the 2018 HLPF. The event will also consider the sub-set of Goals that will be reviewed at HLPF 2018: SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), and SDG 15 (Life on Land). The 2017 SDTF will include sessions focused on: Towards Sustainable Societies; Mainstreaming and Monitoring the SDGs; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDGs and Finance Transformation Towards Resilient Societies; and Exploring the SDG Nexus.

Brazilian Amazon lost 660,000 hectares of forest in last year

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 18:07

Temer government claimed a victory as deforestation rate declines slightly, but green groups said announcement was no cause for celebration

The post Brazilian Amazon lost 660,000 hectares of forest in last year appeared first on Climate Home - climate change news.

Climate Mitigation Finance Update: First Emerging Economy Green Bond, Large Scale Forest Restoration in Amazonia

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 17:47
Fiji has issued the first emerging market sovereign green bond. A multi-stakeholder partnership has announced a reforestation project aiming to restore 30,000 hectares of degraded Amazonian forest land by 2023. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced several sustainable energy projects in Egypt, Morocco, and Serbia. The European Investment Bank and the International Solar Alliance have announced a Joint Declaration to mobilize finance to develop and deploy affordable solar energy in solar rich countries.

Video raises awareness of threat to afrormosia in Ghana

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 17:00
A video documentary on the decline of the valuable timber species Pericopsis elata?best known by its trade name afrormosia?in Ghana is raising awareness of the plight of the species and prompting conservation action. According to the video, which was produced as part of an ITTO project, P. elata is moving towards local extinction in the country.

UNCCD and GSP Unveil Global Campaigns Highlighting Land-Climate Links

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 16:25
The #LoveLand4Climate campaign highlights the close linkages between sustainable land management (SLM) and achieving climate targets. World Soil Day 2017 will address the theme, “Caring for the planet starts from the ground," and will include the launch the first-ever Global Soil Organic Carbon map (GSOCmap).

EverGreen Agriculture: a solution for degraded landscapes

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 16:19

Widespread land degradation is an increasing threat to ecosystem health, food production systems and livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa.

The post EverGreen Agriculture: a solution for degraded landscapes appeared first on Agroforestry World.

Declining baby songbirds need forests to survive drought

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 16:10
A new study aimed to identify characteristics that promote healthy wood thrush populations on US Department of Defense land.

Weyerhaeuser redeems ownership interest in Twin Creeks, LLC joint venture & announces sale of 100,000 acres of timberlands | 19 Oct 2017

International Forest Industries - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 15:23

Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY)  announced October 12 the redemption of its 21% ownership interest in the Twin Creeks Timber, LLC joint venture (“Twin Creeks”) for $107.5 million in cash.  The Company also announced an agreement to sell 100,000 acres of Southern Timberlands to Twin Creeks for $202.5 million. The sale includes 80,000 acres of timberlands in Mississippi and 20,000 acres in Georgia and is expected to close by year end.

Effective December 31, 2017, the Company will also terminate the agreements under which it has managed the Twin Creeks timberlands. Following termination of these agreements, Weyerhaeuser will have no further responsibilities or obligations related to Twin Creeks. The company does not expect to recognize a material gain or loss on the redemption of its ownership interest.

“Through these transactions, we are simplifying our operations to focus on management of our own timberlands while continuing to strategically optimize our timberland portfolio,” said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer.

Twin Creeks was formed as a joint venture between Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. and several institutional investors. Following its merger with Plum Creek, in February 2016, Weyerhaeuser assumed Plum Creek’s investment in the joint venture and became the manager of the Twin Creeks timberlands.

About Weyerhaeuser
Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. We own or control nearly 13 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. and manage additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada

Photo:  Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer.

The post Weyerhaeuser redeems ownership interest in Twin Creeks, LLC joint venture & announces sale of 100,000 acres of timberlands | 19 Oct 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Myanmar closer to FLEGT-VPA | 19 Oct 2017

International Forest Industries - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 14:48

The Myanmar government has recently taken another step to join a EU-led agreement to combat illegal logging and forest management. The measure will help ease timber exports to the European market.

According to Myanmar Times, various stakeholders, from all states and regions, have established an executive committee that will negotiate to be part of the EU-led Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade, Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT-VPA).

The FLEGT-VPA facility helps members to combat illegal logging and strength forest governance while encouraging sustainable economic development in countries that produce or process timber and export to the EU, according to the EUFLEGT website.

The executive committee is expected to be formed by latest next January, as Ko Zaw Thura, from the Union Interim Working Group, announced.

“Private businessmen are nearly ready and the government is also ready. If we manage to finish, the three-party committees will be ready by December or next January,” said Ko Zaw Thura.

In March 2014, the EU agreed to Myanmar’s invitation to officially partake in the FLEGT-VPA preparation phase. In January of the following year, an inception workshop on EU-Myanmar FLEGT-VPA preparation phase was held in Mandalay city.

The benefits of the FLEGT-VPA are threefold – it defines a framework to guarantee the authenticity of timber, allows for better cooperation by developing tracking system for timber trade, and improves forestry management, Myanmar Times reported.

“The main thing is that we need to further educate the citizens. We deal with resource sharing, so it’s also intertwined with peace process. Indeed, the majority of trees and forests are located within borders and ethnic regions. Their cooperation is essential,” added Ko Zaw Thura.

Yet, there is a need for an insurance system to certify legal timbers, between the EU and Myanmar to become trade partners in the sector. Such a mechanism needs nearly two years to be developed.

“If we create an insurance system, then we can engage trade not only with the EU but also with other nations. To ensure that the timber is legal, many points need to be discussed, Such as land use. Is home-grown timber legal or not? We also have to discuss license fees,” added Ko Zaw Thura.

“It took Indonesia 10 years to get the official license. Their model is the best. They keep their people informed. People can also investigate and report on the matter. There is a right to sell timber even at district level,” he said.

Currently, Myanmar prohibits timber production across the country since the 2015-2016 financial years, albeit in Kyunhla township, Sagaing Region. Local people’s understanding of legal timber production is paramount and so is the government’s systematic verification of timber, according to Myanmar Times.

The forest coverage in Myanmar decreased from 61% in 1975 to 47% in 2010, at a depletion rate of 0.5% per year on average. Illegal timber production and related activities are much to blame.

The post Myanmar closer to FLEGT-VPA | 19 Oct 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Russia: pulp exports down in Jan-Aug 2017 | 19 Oct 2017

International Forest Industries - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 14:14

In January-August 2017, Russian pulp exports decreased year-on-year, indicate the statistics published by the Russian Federal Customs Office. Thus, during the first eight months of the current year Russia exported 1.354 million tonnes of pulp, that is 2.95% less than during the respective period of the last year.

The total value of the Russian pulp exported in January-August 2017 went up, from $652.2 million in 2016 to $668.6 in 2017. Therefore, the increase came up to 2.51%. Besides, in January-August 2017, Russia exported 751,200 tonnes of newsprint valued at $307 million. Thus, Russian newsprint export grew by 6.94% in volume terms and by 10.35% in value terms.

The post Russia: pulp exports down in Jan-Aug 2017 | 19 Oct 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Vietnam’s wood products exports expected to hit US$ 8 billion this year | 19 Oct 2017

International Forest Industries - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 14:06

Vietnam’s exports of wood and timber products is forecast to reach US$8 billion in 2017, representing a 17% y-o-y increase and surpassing the target of $7-7.5 billion set earlier this year.

Nguyen Ton Quyen, vice chairman and General Secretary of Viet Nam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES), said the impressive growth rate in the first nine months boosts prospects of the wood sector achieving its target.

According to Vietnam Net, the sector earned $5.9 billion in export revenue from January to September, increasing 11 per cent from the same period last year. The wood export turnover reached some $700 million a month

Particle boards, artificial wood boards, melamine-faced chipboards (MDF) and wood pellets were the most exported wood products from Vietnam, until now.

The $8 billion industry target might be achieved by the end of 2017, as the last three months of the year are generally the peak season for wood and wood product exports. Wood exports grew in most traditional and key markets, such as the US, Japan, the EU, China and South Korea. The value of exports to the five markets makes up nearly 90 per cent of the total, said Quyen.

In May 2017, after a six-year negotiation process, Vietnam initiated the Vietnam-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

As reported by Vietnam Net, Quyen said that the implementation of this agreement in Vietnam will ensure all wood products on the agreed list are legal. The document could create fundamental changes for Vietnam’s wood processing sector, as well as domestic and export markets, including nations supplying wood material to Vietnam and those buying wood and timber products from Vietnam.

Yet, the country is now facing some challenges, as the short supply of raw wood. Vietnam imports $1.7-$1.8 billion worth of wood material, which is equivalent to about 20-30% of the export turnover.

Xuan Phuc, an expert from Forest Trends, said Vietnam’s export turnover of wooden products has been stable since 2015. However, Phuc said, the biggest challenge for the expansion of the wood sector was competition in raw wood purchase. China’s ban on natural forest logging, and restrictions imposed by Vietnam and other countries on the trade, exploitation and export of raw wood have limited supply globally.

He added that some of Vietnam’s major wood and wood product importers such as the US, Australia and the EU demand to know the legal origin of wood. This means wood must come from forests grown under sustainable forest management standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and must be imported from non-risk sources, Vietnam Net reported.

Also, because South Korea and Japan are also planning to tighten the management of imported wood products, this would directly impact the country’s exports to those markets.

The South Korean government will require importers to declare the legality and origin of wood and wood products imported into the country starting in late 2017, while Japan will do the same in March 2018.

Vietnamese wood processors and exporters must therefore devise solutions and long-term strategies to reduce risks and boost export growth. Local processors should choose clean raw wood to meet importers’ requirements, he said.


The post Vietnam’s wood products exports expected to hit US$ 8 billion this year | 19 Oct 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

John Deere Adds SmartGrade™ Capabilities to the 650K Crawler Dozer and Expands Track Configurations on Multiple Models | 19 Oct 2017

International Forest Industries - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 13:52

John Deere SmartGrade™ is now available on the 650K crawler dozer, joining the 700K, 750K and 850K models equipped with the technology. The integrated Topcon 3D-MC2 Grade Control System improves job site accuracy and work quality — delivering precise grading performance while eliminating vulnerable external masts and cables.

“The John Deere lineup of SmartGrade dozers are generating buzz in the industry, and many customers were vocal about their need for a smaller dozer with the integrated grade control technology,” said Andrew Kahler, product marketing manager, John Deere WorkSight™. “The introduction of the 650K SmartGrade answers those calls with all the same features and benefits as its larger dozer siblings. Customers also asked for multiple track configurations on all SmartGrade offerings, and we answered with the availability of low ground pressure (LGP) or the extra long track (XLT) configurations on all four models.”

The 650K SmartGrade boasts a 104 horsepower (78 kW) EPA Final Tier 4 John Deere engine. The model’s cab-forward designs make visibility, safety, and precise grading a priority. Exclusive Total Machine Control comes standard with this model, providing customers with personalization options and optimal comfort.

Since SmartGrade is integrated into the machines, it removes the need to install blade-mounted sensors and components daily, reducing setup time and allowing operators to get to work. Eliminating external cables to the masts reduces breakage, and the removal of the masts from the blade eliminates vulnerability to damage and theft.

The Auto SmartGrade feature, which is ideal for novice and expert operators alike, identifies the soil type and easily adjusts the machine to new terrain, without operators having to adjust the blades manually. Operators can easily select the application type (grading, cutting, spreading), load setting (high, medium, low) and soil conditions (hard, packed, loose). This feature stops slippage before it occurs by automatically lifting the blade. It also reduces the number of passes required to complete a job, reducing the wear of the undercarriage over time. John Deere dozers equipped with SmartGrade technology are approximately 7 percent more accurate, than those with conventional masted systems.

All SmartGrade machines are now available in LGP or XLT track configurations. The LGP configuration is ideal for customers who operate on low ground pressure conditions, such as damp or wet terrains, or on a steep slope. LGP models contain a wider than usual track gauge that provides excellent stability and blade control for light grading jobs. In contrast, the XLT configuration is best for rocky terrains and can withstand heavier loads.

Fleet managers looking to get the most out of their SmartGrade dozers can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide Ultimate Uptime, featuring John Deere WorkSight. With Ultimate Uptime, owners receive predelivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink™ telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics, programming capabilities and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to create a customized package.

For additional information and model-specific specifications, visit www.JohnDeere.com or contact your local dealer for a demo.

Photo: John Deere SmartGrade is now available on 650K crawler dozer; all SmartGrade machines are now available in LGP or XLT track configurations

The post John Deere Adds SmartGrade™ Capabilities to the 650K Crawler Dozer and Expands Track Configurations on Multiple Models | 19 Oct 2017 appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Social media multiplies British timber message

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 12:24

Social media activity, including a Thunderclap (joint Tweeting campaign), the launch of an e-postcards series, and posts on and from multiple Grown in Britain Week events, culminated in the campaign gaining over 2.5 million ‘impressions’ – opportunities to view its messages promoting British-grown wood – during the annual celebration from 9-15th October. Grown in Britain […]

The post Social media multiplies British timber message appeared first on Grown In Britain.

New guidelines for verifying timber legality at the border

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 10:29
Putrajaya, Malaysia, October 2017—TRAFFIC joined forces with several government agencies in Malaysia to review a draft of timber trade guidelines that, once finalised, will help Customs officers across the globe verify legal timber passing through border check points.

Indigenous West Sumatran Women Protect Forest

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 09:48

Uslaini or Chaus comes from a farming family of the Minangkabau indigenous tribe in West Sumatra. She is also an activist and work for the development of rural communities and forest conservation. Chaus is the Director of WALHI Sumatra Barat in Indonesia, which works among forest and indigenous communities (Walhi is GFC member in Asia region). This is Chaus’ photo essay which is originally published by Magdalene, a women and gender news platform in Indonesia. Enjoy the photo essay here.

The post Indigenous West Sumatran Women Protect Forest appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Benefits do not always equal cash

GFIS - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 03:00

In Peru, REDD+ communities recognize non-cash benefits to conservation


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by Dr. Radut