Success of Microsoft’s ‘moonshot’ climate pledge hinges on forest conservation

forest conservationOne mechanism by which the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement incentivizes greenhouse gas reductions is via carbon offsets, payments that compensate nations, states and private landowners who agree to keep forests intact in order to preserve carbon storage capacity and biodiversity. Continue reading “Success of Microsoft’s ‘moonshot’ climate pledge hinges on forest conservation”

Another Robust Year for Forestry

ForestryTHE AVERAGE price of commercial forestry on the market rose 23% over the last year, according to the latest sector statistics.

The 21st edition of the UK Forest Market Report, produced by Tilhill Forestry and John Clegg and Co, outlined a positive outlook for the ‘robust’ market in its annual analysis, and highlighted its ‘powerful attraction as an investment asset’.

That year-on-year rise in average forestry values takes it to £11,478 per stocked hectare, pushing a 21% increase in the total value of the forestry market.

Commercial forestry transactions worth £126.5m were completed in the past year, with14,235 ha of forestry traded in 2019, encompassing 81 forests, at an average cost £1.56m.

Continue reading “Another Robust Year for Forestry”

China’s Voracious Appetite for Timber Stokes Fury in Russia and Beyond

After sharply restricting logging in its own forests, China turned to imports, overwhelming even a country with abundant resources: Russia.

From the Altai Mountains to the Pacific Coast, logging is ravaging Russia’s vast forests, leaving behind swathes of scarred earth studded with dying stumps.

The culprit, to many Russians, is clear: China.

Since China began restricting commercial logging in its own natural forests two decades ago, it has increasingly turned to Russia, importing huge amounts of wood in 2017 to satisfy the voracious appetite of its construction companies and furniture manufacturers.

“In Siberia, people understand they need the forests to survive,” said Eugene Simonov, an environmentalist who has studied the impact of commercial logging in Russia’s Far East. “And they know their forests are now being stolen.”

Russia has been a witting collaborator, too, selling Chinese companies logging rights at low cost and, critics say, turning a blind eye to logging beyond what is legally allowed.

Chinese demand is also stripping forests elsewhere — from Peru to Papua New Guinea, Mozambique to Myanmar. Continue reading “China’s Voracious Appetite for Timber Stokes Fury in Russia and Beyond”

‘Nature is the biggest proven technology to address climate impacts’

Rainforest Alliance’s Ana Fortin highlights how sustainable forestry practices by communities have led to a net increase in forest cover in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala

Around World Environment Day we hear many devastating stories about habitat loss, species decline and biodiversity collapse. But there is also some positive news to highlight, for instance, on natural climate solutions.

Deforestation may be on the increase around the world, but in some areas, the story is different thanks to the commitment and incredible work of community groups that take care of the forest through sustainable practices.

Take, for instance, the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, where Rainforest Alliance has a decades-long partnership with indigenous and rural communities.

Between 2016 and 2017 the net forest cover increased, for the first time in 17 years, gaining 1,087 hectares of forest, according to a new report authored by USAID, CONAP (Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas), Wildlife Conservation Society, and others.

Why is this good news beyond the local communities and environment? Because we need to wield forests’ power to fight climate change. Continue reading “‘Nature is the biggest proven technology to address climate impacts’”