182 – Earth’s Tree News

Today for you 41 news items about Earth’s trees. Location, number and subject listed below. Condensed / abbreviated article is listed further below.

Can be viewed on the web at http://www.livejournal.com/users/olyecology or
by sending a blank email message to earthtreenews-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

–British Columbia: 1) Logging Copley Trail, 2) Popeye’s Old-Growth Spinach,
–Washington: 3) Quadrant Homes is green building
–Oregon: 4) Timber lobbyist shenanigans
–California: 5) Giant spray plans, 6) Sierra Forest Products shutdown, 7) Tahoe basin,
–New Hampshire: 8) History of forest protection
–Virginia: 9) Horse logging
–Pennsylvania: 10) No money to be made in selective logging
–Appalachia: 11) Mountain top removal
–USA: Congressional activities related to public forestland
–Canada: 13) Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. 14) Highway blockade,
–UK: 15) non-native species, 16) Project onetree kills ‘em to save ‘em? 17) Old people’s shade must go, 18) St. Mary’s Church creates new woodland,
–Finland: 19) Reindeer Husbandry Act violations?
–Poland: 20) Save Bia?owie?a Forest,
–Africa: 21) Mathaii on carbon off-setting and carbon trading
–Ethiopia: 22) 200,000 hectares of forest lost every year
–Mozambique: 23) Imposed discipline on forestry operators, 24) 19 million hectares,
–Kenya: 25) Five mountains in Kenya are forested
–Congo: 26) Plans to save the forest
–Guyana: 27) World’s largest rainforest protected area, 28) retrogression of the forestry,
–Peru: 29) Mysterious jungle stories and anecdotes
–Panama: 30) Ecology, Drug Discovery and Conservation
–Brazil: 31) Selling bottled water to save trees, 32) Selling ringtones to save trees,
–Pakistan: 33) Dam makes for deforestation
–China: 34) Reforestation numbers for 2006
–India: 35) Displacement and relocation issues
–Thailand: 36) Forest cover was down to 12-18%
–New Zealand: 37) Prosecution for clearing native forests
–Philippines: 38) Korean group bulldozes farms
–Borneo: 39) Malaysian logging giant Samling back by UK’s largest bank
–Australia: 40) Tarra Valley in South Gippsland
–World-wide: 41) Twenty-first issue of Forest Cover, 42) How to be Wild, 43) climate change and tropical peatlands.

British Columbia:

1) The Crown land surrounding the trail is still held in a provincial woodlot licence, and some residents worry about industrial uses trumping recreational values. Because of this, the municipal district submitted a bid to manage the woodlot in 2003, but the Ministry of Forests awarded the woodlot to a private company, Gregson Holdings Ltd., in 2005. The company hasn’t yet filed its management plan for the area. The community wants assurances logging won’t negatively affect the land’s natural values. Dave Gregson, co-owner of Gregson Holdings, declined comment, but Blood said he was encouraged by Gregson’s response when he recently walked the trail with him. “He didn’t think there would be any problem with recreational use there,” Blood said. The municipality wants assurances, and Lantzville council recently passed a motion asking the province to preserve 13 Crown land parcels containing 62 hectares surrounding the trail. Between 100 and 150 people regularly use Copley Trail, but Blood wants more people to know about the area. “If more people in the community are aware of it, there’s more observing it and watchdogging it and more people jumping up and down if the province were to sell off more of the land,” Blood said. “Our group sort of feels this part of the province got short-changed because of the E&N land grants. B.C. is a very park-rich place, except where we live; so any Crown land we’re suggesting should be looked at for park potential, and these have established recreational trails going through them.” http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=51&cat=23&id=850160&more=

2) Gordon Campbell and BC Liberals to Receive “Popeye’s Old-Growth Spinach” to help them grow their Green muscles (like Swartzenegger’s) Information pickets/ petition drives outside MLA offices, calling on BC government to end old-growth logging on Vancouver Island and to ban raw log exports. On Monday, the Wilderness Committee will hold a “Green Gift-Giving Ceremony” at petition drives / info pickets outside the constituency offices of Premier Gordon Campbell in Vancouver, MLA Ida Chong in Victoria, and MLA Murray Coell in Sidney, to help the BC Liberal government become truly green. The Wilderness Committee is calling on the BC government to end old-growth logging on Vancouver Island and to ban raw log exports. Protesters will unfurl giant banners and circulate petitions and leaflets to passersby. Gifts will include a giant can of “Popeye’s Old-Growth Spinach” to help Campbell and the BC Liberals grow their green muscles like those of Governator Swartzenegger of California; a box of kiwi’s, so they can be like the New Zealand government which banned old-growth logging in their country in 2001; and a green heart with an endangered marbled murrelet in it. The Wilderness Committee is calling on the BC government to immediately ban logging in the most endangered old-growth forest types on Vancouver Island and quickly phase-out old-growth logging from the rest of the Island by 2015, with a rapid transition to second-growth logging at a slower, more sustainable rate of cut. Already, almost two-thirds of the logging on Vancouver Island is in second-growth forests. Other jurisdictions, including New Zealand and southwestern Australia, have banned old-growth logging in recent years. A ban on raw log exports would help to protect BC forestry jobs at the same time. The most recent photo analysis based on 2004 LandSat satellite images show that 73% of the original productive old-growth forests of Vancouver Island have been logged, including 90% of the valley bottoms. See maps, statistics, and the petition at: http://www.viforest.org


3) You heard it hear first, folks: Quadrant Homes is about to receive an award for its “Green Building”… Problem is, the only green they seem to care about has presidents’ faces on it. See, wood used in their houses in the Seattle area is unsustainably clearcut and stolen rom the homelands of native people Join us bright and early on Tuesday outside Quadrant’s award ceremony to make sure they don’t get away with greenwashing. Quadrant Homes is the largest homebuilder in Western Washington. It is a subsidiary of logging giant Weyerhaeuser, which provides wood for Quadrant construction sourced from logging on the traditional lands of the Grassy Narrows First Nation in Canada, without their consent. This indigenous group has supported itself on this land in Ontario, Canada, for thousands of years, hunting, fishing, and gathering berries, rice and medicinal herbs. Now Weyerhaeuser-led logging is threatening this way of life and cutting deep into the Boreal forest, part of the largest intact forest in the world, and known as the ‘Amazon of the North’ because of its size and many species. The Boreal is also an important buffer against global warming because of the large amount of carbon it stores. On Tuesday, Quadrant is set to receive an award at the 2007 Built Green conference in Everett, Wa. Built Green is a program of the Master Builder’s Association of King and Snohomish counties that certifies new homes according to standards that allow even Quadrant’s developments to qualify (albeit at the lowest level). But with wood coming from a place like Grassy, Quadrant’s homes can never truly be considered green and they certainly shouldn’t be receiving an award. http://www.searag.org


4) The lobbyists’ aim is to assure policymakers that all of Oregon’s public forests (nearly 17 million acres) need to be thinned or logged to reduce the frequency and severity of forest fires, while at the same time promoting the fringe benefit of extracting forest biomass as a green and renewable energy source. Here is what the pro-forest biomass people are asking for: contracts for a minimum of 20 years on at least 150,000 acres, with no limits on the size of the trees to be taken. This is being done without soliciting diverse input from grass-roots conservation groups, scientists or the public. The governor, legislators and some larger conservation organizations are planning to give them what they want through legislation and by subsidizing large centralized forest biomass electricity generating plants. Such plants, once built, will have an insatiable appetite for forest biomass. A major guise of the forest biomass extraction argument is thinning the forest, or “backcountry fuels treatments,” to protect forest communities and their homes from wildfire. While fire fuels thinning within 100 to 200 feet of homes and structures is necessary in fire-prone ecosystems, sound science does not agree that removing fire fuels beyond 200 feet has any beneficial effect on lessening the occurrences or consequences of wildfire. Scarce financial resources should not be wasted on these “backcountry” fuels treatment projects where they do the least good. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2007/03/08/ed.col.biomass.0308.p1.php?section=opinion


5) FREEMONT-WINEMA AND MODOC NATIONAL FOREST HAVE GIANT SPRAY PLANS ON KLAMATH: comments on Freemont Winema due by April 9th The Freemont-Winema National Forest is planning to treat up to 156,000 acres with herbicides such as Chlorsulfuron, Clopyralid, Glyphosate, Imazapic, Imazapyr, Metsulfuron Methyl, Picloram, Sethoxydim, Sulfometuron Methyl, and Triclopyr for noxious weed management. Much of this spray could occur on tributaries to the Klamath River. The Modoc National Forest directly below the Freemont-Winema is also planning a 7,000 acre plus spray plan, in which they are getting ready to make a final decision. Please ask the Forest Service to not spray near the Klamath River, which already has massive chemical use on it’s Wildlife Refuges, BLM lands, and private farm and forestry lands. Ask the Forest Service to try the proven non-toxin noxious weed removal methods, such as burning, mulching and manual removal. For Freemont Winema info go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/frewin/projects/analyses/2007invasives/
For the Modoc go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/modoc/projects/noxious-weeds/noxious_weed.shtml

6) TERRA BELLA – The pace of the action was frantic. But it was also misleading. For by June, the Sierra Forest Products mill here may be out of business, stilled by years of dogged environmental opposition that have throttled the flow of national forest timber from the southern Sierra Nevada. If that happens, something more may disappear than the last sawmill south of the Tuolumne River. With it could go the best hope of managing the forest by thinning the dense stands of smaller trees sapping the health from the Sierra Nevada and fueling massive wildfires. “Without a mill, forest management will virtually cease in the southern Sierra,” said Larry Duysen, the mill’s logging superintendent. Two decades ago, more than 120 sawmills peppered California from Yreka to east of Los Angeles. But a steep drop in national forest logging has forced many to shut down. Now only 38 remain and about 8,000 workers have lost their jobs. None is more imperiled than Sierra Forest Products, a four-decade-old facility sandwiched between two orange groves along County Road 234 south of Porterville. Kent Duysen, general manager of Sierra Forest Products and Larry’s brother. “We are encouraging the Forest Service to get geared up. Let’s get ahead of the game.” The Duysens’ chief opponents are environmentalists. “Logging will increase, not decrease, fire risk,” said Ara Marderosian, executive director of Sequoia ForestKeeper. “The time for compromise has ended; these forests are already depleted.” Today, the harvest has plunged 90 percent to 23 million board feet and the Forest Service says its timber program is driven by environmental, not economic, goals.http://sequoiafacts.org/2007/03/11/some-fear-closure-of-terra-bella-sawmill-could-lead-to

7) Fire and timber harvests are the most influential factors affecting land coverage in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with stringent controls on the Lake Tahoe Basin making it the exception, according to a study recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey. Researchers looked at detailed aerial photographs of the entire range from 1973 to 2000 to determine how land has been disturbed in the region. Landscape disturbance from fire was the dominant change from 1973-2000, according to the study. “The second most common change was forest disturbance resulting from harvest of timber resources by way of clear-cutting,” the study suggests, and that “relatively minor landscape changes were caused by new development.” Timber harvests and wildfire have long been suppressed in the basin, according to Rex Norman, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. He said that tight land use controls have seen the basin “bucking the trend that is going on in many other parts of the Sierra Nevada.” Results of the study concur with Norman’s assessment when the report says that development in the basin after 1969 “has greatly slowed due to the constraints of increased public ownership through intensive state and Federal land acquisition programs, as well as stringent regulations on new development aimed at alleviating adverse environmental impacts in the Lake Tahoe Basin.” Regulations like the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s land capability system, which limits land coverage to 30 percent on parcels most apt for development, can claim some responsibility for the slow down in development and alleviation of environmental impacts, according to the TRPA. http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/article/20070309/NEWS/103090063

New Hampshire:

8) Ernest Russell wrote scathingly about one operation in the May 1909 issue of Colliers:
Between 600 and 700 men are at work there (west of North Woodstock in the Lost River Area) as I write, butchering the beautiful forest of that valley and doing the most reckless lumbering I have ever seen in the mountains. Do not lay this at (J.E.) Henry’s door but at the door of the great paper company (Publishers) that sold the stumpage of that 30,000 acre tract to a worse than ignorant contractor. On the plus side, public outrage over the devastation led to conservation alliances and efforts, such as the creation of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the adoption of the New Hampshire Wilderness Act of 1984, protecting 77,000 acres in the White Mountains. Without the Weeks Act of 1911, which “authorized the use of public monies for the purchase of privately owned timberlands,” there would be no White Mountain National Forest. http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070311/COLUMNISTS45/203110328/-1/


9) FERRUM — Wedge and Tong leaned into their harness. Much more experienced than their driver, the pair of Suffolk draft horses responded to his soft, insistent commands and pulled him, the homemade cart he sat on and 230 board feet of eastern white pine up the slope with short, powerful strides. Conventional logging is all about managing resources. That, Snider said, suggests an external puppeteer manipulating the forest. Snider, on the other hand, speaks of being an “ecosystem participant.” A graduate student at Appalachian State University, Snider said he draws inspiration from the Chipko movement in the Garhwal section of India. The movement — “chipko” translates as “embrace” — is the origin of the term “tree hugger.” By some accounts, this movement for local control of natural resources is well over 200 years old, but its most famous moments came in the 1970s. When the government gave logging rights to outside interests, people — mostly women and children — surrounded the trees to prevent their harvest. The point of the movement wasn’t to stop logging. It was to stop logging without consideration of long-term effects and without giving local people a stake. “They don’t see themselves as separate from the natural world,” Snider said. “They see themselves as part of it.” Jason Rutledge readily admits that his method of logging doesn’t offer the best short-term return for the logger or the landowner. But it offers other rewards — and it extends the return over many years. A clear cut brings in the most money at one time, but it erases the forest for decades. “If you owned a bank,” Jason Rutledge said, “why would you rob it?” He wants landowners to think of woodlands as a stock portfolio. Clear-cutting is liquidating. Cutting the best trees and leaving the weakest is like selling your blue chip stocks and investing in low performers. The forest is principal, he said. What you cut is interest. http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/wb/xp-108133


10) A few years ago, Bethlehem Authority members talked about making $5 million by logging trees from the authority’s land in Monroe County. Now, after shifting their strategy away from logging for profit to selective cutting as a way to restore health to their sick forest, they’re just hoping they can afford to do it. In 2006, the authority paid consultant Don Oaks $60,000 ? about triple what it budgeted ? while yielding just $27,000 from the sale of trees. ”We like the job Mr. Oaks is doing, and we’re not looking to go anywhere else,” authority Chairman Richard Master said last week. ”We’d just like to see a little more efficiency.” The authority could begin breaking even this year, but Oaks said profits are not the focus. ”Their strategy is forest maintenance and health,” Oaks said. ”There will be a point where the revenues will move ahead of costs, but this is never going to make enough money to matter. It’s not going to fix their financial problems.” Saddled with $125 million in debt from building the Penn Forest Dam, the authority faces raising water rates if it can’t generate money to reduce some of that debt. Members once thought logging the authority’s 23,000 acres, part of the Lehigh River watershed, would help do that. http://www.mcall.com/news/local/bethlehem/all-b1_4loggingmar12,0,5530675.story?coll=all-newsloc


11) The first time I flew over southern West Virginia and saw mountaintop removal coal mining from the air, I knew that if everyone in America could see what I had seen – mountain after mountain blown up and then dumped on top of streams in the neighboring valleys – they would be shocked at the massive scale of devastation, and would think twice about where their electricity came from the next time they flipped a light switch. Today, millions of people around the world will learn about our efforts to stop mountaintop removal coal mining for the first time when Google releases its latest featured content for “Google Earth” to 200 million users — and highlights the National Memorial for the Mountains as part of the new featured content. To coincide with the new release, we’ve updated the National Memorial for the Mountains with more detailed photos, graphics and information about the damage done to our mountains by mountaintop removal coal mining. New features include a mine site tour, improved memorials that tell first-hand stories of destroyed mountains, and high resolution before-and-after images. Check out the updated Memorial — and help spread the word to your friends and family. http://www.ilovemountains.org/memorial


12) February was a busy month on Capitol Hill for the forest community with Congress focusing mainly on the President’s Fiscal Year 2008 Budget request for the Forest Service. The Forest Service budget allocation is critical because it defines the agency’s priorities and drives all activities – from campsite maintenance and timber sales to oil and gas drilling. The Bush Administration’s Forest Service budget for FY 2008 is $4.6 billion versus $4.9 in FY 20061. The President’s budget would increase logging levels by 67%, decrease the recreation program by 10.6% while proposing to increase user fees, close campgrounds, and decrease funding for wildlife and fish habitat by 10.7%. Considerable discussion in the hearings focused on wildfire costs, which topped the $1.5 billion mark and now account for 45% of the Forest Service budget versus 13% in 1991. In the forest conservation context, the following hearings were noteworthy: 1) the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies held an oversight hearing on the President’s FY 2008 Forest Service budget request, 2) the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, held an oversight hearing of the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management’s FY 2008 budget request, 3) the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing of the Forest Service FY 2008 budget, 4) the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on S.380, to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. http://www.americanlands.org


13) Demonstrating their commitment to protecting the environment, Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. (www.haliburtonforest.com) in Ontario, Canada is hosting a Wood Biomass for Energy Conference on May 11, 2007. Partnering with the Haliburton Highlands Stewardship Council and the Haliburton County Development Corporation (www.haliburtoncdc.ca), they will be presenting to the public the latest research on wood biomass and its potential to convert wood waste into carbon-neutral energy. In this day-long event, participants will obtain an overview of the topic with up-to-date information and experiences. Guest speakers will include wood scientists, ecologists, and experts from a variety of related fields. The wood energy experts will provide an overview of all the latest developments in Europe, ecologists will address environmental concerns, and specialists will be presenting case studies. http://www.openpr.com/news/16748/Haliburton-Forest-Hosts-Canadian-Conference-on-Wood-Biomass-an

14) GRAND-REMOUS – An aboriginal group blocked off a Quebec highway on Monday to protest logging activity. Quebec provincial police said about 50 people set up the blockade around 5:30 a.m. on Highway 117, north of Ottawa. The protesters say the Quebec government reneged on a verbal agreement that ended earlier protests. Spokesman Guillaume Carle said the province has not allowed local off-reserve aboriginals to log in the region, as agreed. “The protest is about the government of Quebec, the Liberals, lying to us,” Carle said in an interview as he drove to the protest site. Two vans, a piece of heavy equipment, barrels and logs have been set up on the highway, the only route between the Laurentian and Abitibi-Temiscamingue regions of Quebec. Carle said the province allowed rampant clear-cut logging in the region for four years but local aboriginals were not included in either the planning or the economic benefit. “We’re being robbed,” he said. He said protesters are also upset about living conditions for local aboriginals who live off reserves. “No electricity, no heat, no water,” he said. “The conditions are unacceptable.” Last month, the protesters picketed the office of the Quebec minister of natural resources. Carle said the group wants rights to logging in the region as well as a say in overall forestry planing. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=462f4508-e880-4987-bc44-4fa782427391&


15) The rhododendron is one of at least 988 “invasive non-native species” in Scotland – unwelcome plants, worms, crustaceans, mammals and birds that scientists increasingly fear are threatening our ecosystem and even our economy. For years, a ragtag alliance of wildlife groups, gardeners, birdwatchers, anglers and concerned locals have fought the invasion as best they can, trapping, shooting and uprooting the invaders in an effort to preserve the natural order of things. But resistance has been piecemeal, with no central leadership and only limited support from government, and no clear plan or policy to help. Now, though, that could be about to change. The Westminster government and the Scottish Executive are discussing a new UK-wide strategy that could result in renewed efforts to curtail the spread of harmful species or even eradicate them outright. “The Invasive Non-Native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain”, a draft plan that has been circulated among government officials and ecology campaigners, outlines “a more preventative approach” towards the newcomers. Effectively declaring war on non-native species, the strategy declares: “We should be guided by the principle that, where it is shown beyond reasonable doubt that a non-native species is having or is likely to have a substantial negative ecological, social or economic impact, and eradication or control measures are technically and financially feasible, acceptably humane and safe for people and native wildlife populations, then such eradication or control measures should be instigated.” http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=381022007

16) A group of environmentalists gathered beside an oak tree on a cold damp November morning in Cheshire’s Tatton Park a few years back. They were there to launch a project they were calling “onetree”, through which a 170-year-old oak, in an area of woodland grazed by red deer, would be felled and its parts distributed to demonstrate how every one – right down to the leaves and sawdust – had a value to craftspeople, furniture-makers and artists. The results took time to materialise – after milling, the oak needed months of aeration – but it was worth the wait. A superb exhibition of products included such items as furniture, paper, leather (tanned in oak-bark liquor) and bacon (using sawdust to smoke the hams). Perhaps because the exhibition did not reach London (it travelled to Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden and Nottinghamshire’s Harley Gallery after Tatton), onetree commanded little national attention in the UK. But The New York Times saw the point. The exhibits, it said, spoke of “a confidence in British craftsmanship which inspires the viewer to think about their attitudes to the natural world.” And that might have been that for the two British furniture-makers and environmentalists whose idea this was – Garry Olson and Peter Toaig – had Canada not also become entranced by the concept. Looking for a way of celebrating the cherished cedars and maples of British Columbia, Canada launched its own project, acknowledging its debt to Olson and Toaig. There was a little unintentional one-upmanship (it was called “Two Trees”), and the project had a distinctly Canadian twist, with a cedar kayak and maple root sculptures amid the creative mix. But the effects were just as powerful, and a half-hour documentary on national television suggested the country was absorbed by the idea. Last year, Nicaragua seized the idea for its own Un Arbol project, and it was at this stage that the WWF was alerted to it as a powerful vehicle for highlighting the importance of preserving the valuable Central American hardwood forests. A WWF report had just found that our thirst for timber made the UK the biggest importer of illegal wood in the EU, and that 28 per cent of the timber arriving here came from trees that should still be standing. http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/lifestyle/article2339277.ece

17) An elderly couple whose garden is overshadowed by their neighbour’s tall trees are still waiting for action after more than a year. John, 85, and Ivy Borrett, 83, of Irvine Gardens, South Ockendon, thought their problems would be over last October when the Local Government Ombudsman up-held their complaint about Thurrock Council’s lack of action. The couple paid the council £225 to resolve the problem in September, 2005. The Borretts were also reimbursed the £225, and given £50 compensation and a letter of apology. However, the dispute is still dragging on. Even though the 90 days were up on February 6, the trees are still there. “We have written to the owner of the trees who has said the delay is down to birds nesting in them so they have not been cut down. “However, we have written to the owner saying this is not acceptable and the work needs to be carried out as soon as possible. “If they do not, we will have to take legal action. This is something we would like to avoid and we hope they carry out the work themselves.” Lee, 35, of Catherine Close, Chafford Hundred, said: “It’s unbelievable. “These trees are absolutely massive and the garden is completely in the shade.” http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/local/display.var.1242538.0.birds_blamed_for_delay_to_axing_60f

18) A scene immortalised by legendary artist John Constable and inadvertently uncovered by a restoration project will be returned to its former glory over the next few years. Last Saturday , around 130 villages planted 350 trees in front of St Mary’s Church to create a new woodland area. But Douglas Pike, chairman of the Friends of Cherry Wood, said a gap had been left so the church will still be visible. “We have used short trees so the view is not obscured, and the taller trees will be coppiced,” he said. “And by felling the poplar trees on the site, which had got past their years, the stream has filled up again, like it was in Constable’s painting. “The trees had to go because if they had blown down they would have gone across the road, which would have been dangerous. Last week we also finished making a pond for the area.” The community woodland scheme has been designed to become a focal point for village life and a learning tool for children in the area. http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/news/story.aspx?brand=EADOnline&category=News&tBrand=EADOnli


19) “Finland’s Reindeer Husbandry Act prohibits forestry operations that cause “substantial harm” to reindeer husbandry in regions where this livelihood is practised. Although extensive logging has continued in these regions throughout the postwar era, at no stage has any investigation been conducted into the practical meaning of this idea of “substantial harm”. Existing studies indicate that logging operations have a clear impact, especially on winter reindeer pastures. The lichen stocks upon which reindeer graze in winter take nearly a century to recover after the loggers have passed through an area. The availability of lichen in the late winter is a crucial issue specifically for the free-range reindeer husbandry practised by the indigenous Sámi people. Free-range reindeer husbandry is in turn a fundamental and internationally recognised element of Sámi culture and identity. The rights of the Sámi as an indigenous people to carry on their culture are recognised by the Finnish Constitution. Finland is a party to the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which requires the country to promote the rights of minorities to enjoy their own culture in community with other members of their group. It may well be asked whether continued logging in Sámi areas violates the Finnish Constitution and Finland’s international human rights commitments. http://arran2.blogspot.com/2007/03/last-yoik-in-saami-forests.html


20 The Bia?owie?a Forest situated on the border of Poland and Belarus is the last remaining natural lowland forest in Europe. It is abundant in wildlife, particularly on the Polish side, and is home to lynxes, wolves as well as European bison whose history is closely related to the history of the forest’s conservation. Unfortunately, the natural wealth and reputation of this unique place have not ensured its effective protection, with only 17% of the Polish area protected as a national park. The rest is subject to forest management and logging of old trees – an enormous threat to the natural harmony of the forest and the survival of its wildlife. The forest covers around 150 000 hectares, of which 62 500 hectares are in Poland. It houses a vast treasure trove of different species: thousands of plants, hundreds of birds – including all European woodpecker species – and more than 50 types of mammal. Up until the First World War the forest remained in excellent condition, but soon afterwards it began to be systematically exploited. This continues until today, with the cancellation of the 1998 moratorium on cutting trees over 100 years old and new Forest Management Plans, approved in 2003, that allowed a significant increase in the amount of harvested wood. Take action! If this exploitation continues it soon may be too late! Help us save this truly special place by signing our petition demanding that the national park is extended to cover the whole area of the Bia?owie?a Forest in Poland. http://passport.panda.org/campaigns/action_epetition.cfm?uCampaignId=1341&uActionId=2061 http://alexandrion.wordpress.com/2007/03/08/21/


21) Wangari Mathaii: Now let me say this. There are some people who really criticize the whole issue of carbon off-setting and carbon trading and they argue that it’s a way of removing the guilt from the Western companies or governments, who feel that they can tell the people ‘okay, you can go on and pollute the environment, because we are planting trees somewhere in Africa.’ Now, there may be some legitimacy in that, but on the other hand, we in the south need to plant a lot of trees. Definitely in Africa, we need to plant billions of trees to off-set not so much the carbon but to halt desertification processes. We don’t have resources to do that, even within the Green Belt Movement we don’t have the resources to do what needs to be done. So if people come and say ‘we want to help you plant your trees; we have money and we think that if you plant more trees you will not only be helping yourselves but you will also be helping us trying to remove the carbon that is already in the atmosphere’ – even if you are only thinking about what is already trapped in the atmosphere – I would say, yeah, come, let’s partner. What I find a bit unfair is, for example, the World Bank’s [approach]. We have already started working with the World Bank and they tell us, ‘you plant the trees, and when they start fixing the carbon, we will calculate how much carbon is being fixed, and we will be able to pay you accordingly.’ So, it’s not as if now, now, here they are giving you money to start planting. That’s one critique I have with it is, because by the time they give us money in ten years, that means I have to look for money to do the work now. The good thing is, we are trying to say, ‘take some mitigating steps that can help the planet’. If planting trees is one such step, I’m prepared to work with whoever is willing to work with us. But if there are some negative things that are going to come out of it, I’m very keen to know about it. In fact we had resisted for a long time working in this area, then we decided, ‘let us do it’, and experience the problem, so that we can talk from experience, rather than talk from theory. http://www.theecologist.co.uk/archive_detail.asp?content_id=787


22) The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute says Ethiopia loses up to 200,000 hectares of forest every year, and warned that if the trend continues the country would lose all of its forest resources by the year 2020. Institute Forestry development head, Dr. Alemu Gezahegn told ENA that deforestation has continued at an alarming rate in several parts of Ethiopia. The warning was given here Monday at a day-long symposium on ‘Functional Ecology and Sustainable Management of Mountain Forests in Ethiopia,’ organized by the Institute in collaboration with the German Research Foundation (DFG). Dr. Alemu said the stated area of forest has been destroyed due to deforestation, select logging, and other human activities. Dr. Alemu said special emphasis should be given to strengthen forestry research capabilities of the nation to institutionalize sustainable use of forest resources across the nation. http://friendsofethiopia.blogspot.com/2007/03/ethiopia-loses-200000-hectares-forest.html


23) Parliamentary deputies of the former rebel movement Renamo who claim there is indiscriminate logging taking place in Mozambican forests are years out of date, according to Environment Minister Luciano de Castro. Answering questions in the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Friday Castro admitted that there had been severe disorganisation, leading to uncontrolled logging, in the year 2000. But since then the authorities had been able to impose discipline on forestry operators, and the number of companies operating in the hardwood forests of central Mozambique had fallen. A total ban on exporting the most valuable species of tree as unprocessed logs had been imposed, and Castro believed that this had made a positive impact. The amount of wood processed in Mozambique had increased, and there were now 44 processing companies operating in the country. Furthermore the recent seizures of illegal logs in Pemba, Nacala and Beira ports “shows that our inspection is working”. As for deforestation, Castro pointed out that the main factor was not commercial logging at all, but the cutting down of trees for wood fuel, particularly near the main cities He said that 17 million cubic metres of wood is extracted every year in the form of firewood and charcoal, while commercial logging does not exceed 180,000 cubic metres a year. He also denied that there is any discrimination in granting forestry licences and concessions. “There are Mozambicans of various races, and of various political persuasions, exploiting timber”, he said. “There are Mozambican citizens from Renamo, or from Frelimo, who have licences. It’s not forbidden”. http://allafrica.com/stories/200703090593.html

24) Mozambique has 19 million hectares of forest that can be commercially explored with sustainable production of 500,000 cubic meters per year, said Mozambican Environment minister, Luciano de Castro Thursday in Maputo. Castro, who was responding in parliament to a request for information by a member of parliament, said that commercial exploration of wood was not even close to half a million cubic meters per year. According to the minister, obtaining firewood was much more worrying than commercial exploration of wood, estimating that the population consumed 17 million cubic meters of wood per year. Castro also said that there were 118 species of tree that could be commercially explored, of which just 31 species were being used, which meant that “we are not using our potential.” http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/news.php?ID=2970


25) We have five mountains in Kenya which are forested. Most rivers in Kenya flow from these mountains. They are extremely important. The longest river in Kenya is the Tan river. The tributaries from Mount Kenya and others form the Tan river. And the Tan river is the river from which we get 70 per cent of our electricity. So it’s a very important river, not to mention the agricultural production that is done along the tributaries of the Tan. Anything to save these mountains, I will do. http://www.theecologist.co.uk/archive_detail.asp?content_id=787


26) The newly-elected government of Congo Kinshasa (DRC) has presented wide-ranging efforts and plans to save its forests – the largest and most important on African soil. Irregular logging is already being stopped and a large number of reserves are being planned, following the example of conservation successes in Gabon, Cameroon and Congo Brazzaville. At an international conference on sustainable forest management held recently in Brussels, Congolese Environment Minister Didace Pembe Bokiaga solemnly committed his newly-elected Kinshasa government to what donors call “a revolutionary package of reforms” to boost the country’s nascent conservation efforts, and focus attention on Africa’s imperilled forests. Congo Kinshasa’s forests “represent an inestimable natural richness, and are the planet’s last natural lungs,” said Armand de Decker, the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and conference host in opening remarks. “Saving the Congolese forest contributes to poverty reduction and also to protecting humanity’s ecological heritage.” Congo Basin countries have created over 6 million hectares of new protected areas only during the past five years. Today, in the Congo Basin, sustainable forest management is advancing more quickly than any tropical region, according to environmentalists. http://www.afrol.com/articles/24663


27) On 28 February a French decree effectively created the world’s largest rainforest protected area in the northern Amazon. The decree created a 2-million hectare Parc Amazonien de Guyane (“Guyana Amazonian Park”) along the southern border of French Guiana, France’s “overseas department” in South America. The park boundaries were drawn in part to link to existing protected areas across the border in Brazil to create (de facto) the world’s largest rainforest protected area, a mosaic covering some 12 million hectares of tropical forest. WWF has been lobbying for 15 years for the creation of the Parc, and they welcomed the decree as a possible deterrent to further deforestation in the northern Amazon. They fret, however, that without strong, coordinated enforcement follow-up between Brazil, Suriname and French Guiana, the informal gold miners (popularly known by their Brazilian nickname “garimpeiros”) operating illegally in the area will so pollute the area with mercury that much of the ecological benefit in creating the protected area will be lost. http://www.temasactuales.com/temasblog/?p=206

28) This retrogression of the forestry industry into supplier of a primary commodity (prime hardwood logs) to India and China principally has been accompanied by monopolization of the best-stocked State Production Forests by four Asian companies through secret Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) agreements; the importation of Asian forest workers who continue to displace Guyanese forestry workers even when the foreigners have no more skill at using equipment than the Guyanese operators of bauxite mining equipment, and even after 15 years of in-country presence; and the starving of in-country downstream processors of wood supplies. It is not predestination or a rule of nature that Guyana has to be poor. We have the timber resources which are being turned elsewhere into high-value products. We have had the policies since at least 1980 to say that is what we should be doing. I will explore in subsequent columns some reasons for why this logic seems to have no resonance at government level or for most national investors, while the same logic drives efficient and profitable industries in India and China. http://guyanaforestry.blogspot.com/2007/03/guyana-and-wider-world-part-6.html


29) I was fortunate enough to have lived in the southern part of the Peruvian Amazon in the Madre de Dios region for 5 months, and I was always captivated by the many mysterious stories and anecdotes locals told me. 1) El Tunchi: This is one of the spirits that protects the rainforest, and more specifically it is said to be the spirit of people that took their last breath inside the rainforest. If you are well-behaved and respect nature by not harming flora and fauna, El Tunchi will just scare you a little and move on. However, if you mow down trees like there’s no tomorrow, pollute the air or displace animals from their habitat, then watch out and take heed! 2) La lupuna: is a tree found in various parts of the Amazon. It is one of those beautiful giants of the Amazon, grand, imposing, and well rooted in the jungle’s soil. Its trunk can be as wide as 10 meters (33 ft) when given the time to grow. And it has another characteristic: its spirit is also widely known to be a protector of the rainforest. Unfortunately, it is not entirely safe from deforestation but local loggers and lumberjacks are very careful about which lupuna to cut down, because if they choose the wrong species, the tree will take revenge. 3) Sirens: Traditionally, men are working in the forest for weeks on end, whether to collect Brazil nuts, taking out rubber or trees, or mining gold. During all this time there is not a single woman in sight. Many have reported that they saw beautiful women singing to them from the opposite shore, trying to lure them to the other side of the river. Some couldn’t resist and drowned in the river’s swift currents. 4) El Chullanchaqui: This little creature is also there to protect the rainforest. He is a farmer, and if you come across a clearing in the forest, you might be standing on one of Chullanchaqui’s farms known as “chacras”. If you return to the same place months later, you will find that it is still a clear area, as if someone had been weeding it and took care of it. When he appears out of nowhere, it is often to confuse you, he could be calling you, you will barely get a glimpse of him every now and then, so you keep following him. And when you realize that you’ve lost his trail, you are utterly and completely lost in the dense forest. http://journalperu.com/?p=536


30) They were (and are) biologists at the University of Utah, doing the kind of research that is standard in biology. Coley knows a lot about plant physiology, and Kursar knows a lot about ecology, but neither is an expert at discovering new pharmaceuticals. Neither has a degree in economic development. And yet because they spend four months of the year in the tropics of Panama, they were the ones to realize, in fact, it is possible to save the rainforests. They realized drug research could trump logging. Coley and Kursar may have been the first to envision first-rate laboratories being built in Panama, laboratories that would lure Panamanian-born scientists back from their careers in the United States and Europe.They were definitely the ones who went out and got grants and made it happen. Although, they explain, they knocked on doors for five years before they could find anyone to listen.Coley and Kursar’s story is glamorous in some ways and not so glamorous in others. (One nonglam detail: They job-share, which means they each work 80 hours a week and get paid for 15.) They will tell their story on Tuesday in a talk titled “Ecology, Drug Discovery and Conservation: Research in the Panamanian Rainforest.” Theirs is part of a series of lectures sponsored by the Utah Museum of Natural History and the Nature Conservancy. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660201443,00.html


31) For every 300ml bottle of Brazilian Springs water you purchase, the Brazilian Rain Forest Foundation can buy at least 12 square meters of rainforest. One bottle a day for a year adds to an area the size of a football pitch. Alongside preserving and regenerating the forest they are also helping local farmers to find alternative farming methods. Follow the links to the sites for more information and some very nice pictures. http://www.braziliansprings.org/

32) The Brazilian aid group Cidade Movel is raising money for the Xavante Indians who live in the Amazon rainforest by selling ringtones based on their traditional chants . According to a Reuters article tones like “the hunt song” and “the healing dance” have already garnered tens of thousands of dollars for the impoverished community. The group has also created ringtones for two other regions as well: Praia da Pipa and Ponto de Cultura Flutuante.” http://www.textually.org/ringtonia/archives/2007/03/015268.htm

33) ISLAMABAD: The unnecessary deforestation drive around Simly Dam by CDA officials in connivance with the timber mafia is posing serious threats to the ecosystem. Sources said that large-scale deforestations in Simly Dam’s Katch Fit area is causing a loss of millions of rupees and destroying the area’s natural beauty. Sources said the timber mafia has axed several varieties of trees including Sheshum, Kahu and Phalahi and sold them to city dealers. Area residents informed authorities concerned but no action was taken to stop the deforestation. The mafia started harassing people and directed them to stay quiet on the issue, sources added. Continuous deforestation has resulted in soil erosion and created rifts in the lake’s walls, sources said. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C03%5C10%5Cstory_10-3-2007_pg11_2


34) China planted 5.23 million hectares of trees in 2006, bringing the country’s forest acreage to 175 million hectares, said sources with the State Forestry Administration (SFA) on Sunday. Last year, 375,200 hectares of trees were planted to help improve the environment in Beijing and Tianjin by protecting the two cities from sandstorms. The country’s forest coverage increased to 18.21 percent last year from 12 percent in 1981 when the top legislative body, the National People’s Congress (NPC), passed a resolution calling for nationwide voluntary tree planting. In urban areas, the forest coverage reached 32.54 percent last year, while public green areas had increased to 7.89 square meters per capita from 7.39 square meters in 2005. In 2010, the forest coverage will reach 20 percent in China and 30 percent in 70 percent of its cities, said SFA spokesman Cao Qingyao. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-03/11/content_5832020.htm


35) A recent issue of Conservation and Society focuses on the debate surrounding displacement and relocation. Rangarajan and Shahabuddin set the scene with an analysis of the situation in India and this is supplemented by similar studies by McElwee for Southeast Asia and by Goodall for Australia. Despite the different geographies, a common theme emerges from these three analyses: local people are often the focus of those concerned with the impacts of people on protected areas when they are often not the greatest threat. The authors highlight some of the politics behind displacements, noticing that it is often minority groups that are targetted while the more powerful players – including mining and tourism companies aswell, in some cases, as park authorities – are left to their own devices. As a result, resettlement does not address the root causes of biodiversity loss. Another theme that emerges from these papers is the lack of dialogue between biologists and social scientists. This has the effect of reinforcing entrenched positions, prohibiting any real attempt to better understand each others’ science and each others’ perspectives: “The chasm between biologists’ and social scientists’ perspectives on relocation issues is widened by the fact that neither group attempts to derive insights from the scholarship of the other”. Goodall notes that not only do biological and social scientists need to get better at talking to each other, but they also need to develop more effective relationships for collaborative research with the local people whose lands and livelihoods are at issue. Reconciling the social and the biological, the scientific and the traditional knowledge is clearly important but, as Redford and Sanderson point out, not enough to cure “the struggles of the poor and the endangered”. The issue at stake, they note, is one of competing moral positions. While these competing positions may be defensible, the use of inappropriate, or inefficient tools, is less so. A lot is assumed rather than known, about displacement as a conservation tool – both in terms of its efficacy, scale, and severity of impact. Brockington and Igoe note the paucity of evidence documenting evictions from protected areas while McElwee highlights that lack of evidence to support the hypothesis that resettlement reduces conservation theats. http://www.conservationandsociety.org/vol-4-3-06.html


36) Wild forests once covered 75% of Thailand. By the early 1990s, wild
forest cover was down to 12-18%, and has been in decline ever since.
Many wildlife species including the sun bear have taken hard hits
along the way. At the same time, Thai politics has been anchored around controversy over the influence of money-politics, including more than eight rewrites of the nation’s constitution, each of them another attempt to meet popular demand that money-politics not dominate the nation. lance@wildrockies.org

New Zealand:

37) Government agricultural giant Landcorp could face prosecution for clearing more than 100ha of native vegetation – including manuka trees – on a Southland farm without resource consent. Landcorp company secretary John Kennedy-Good admitted the operational blunder after Sunday Star-Times’ inquiries. He said about half the 378ha earmarked for redevelopment on Hakuraki Farm, in the Maroroa Valley, had been cleared before the state-owned enterprise realised it should have had Southland District Council consent to carry out the work. The move has been attacked by National and the Greens, and it puts Landcorp back in the spotlight after its decision to try to sell 1100ha of land on the Coromandel that was subject to a Treaty of Waitangi settlement claim. The sale, which attracted an occupation by local iwi, has since been delayed. Kennedy-Good said the 3200ha Hakuraki Farm was used primarily for breeding. About 1360ha was rough, covered in native grasses and manuka. Landcorp had embarked on a plan to redevelop about a quarter of it into pasture to make the property more profitable, but had not considered it would need resource consent, Kennedy-Good said. “It was an inadvertent error – a genuine mistake.” Clearing had stopped and would not resume until it had resource consent, which Landcorp was applying for immediately. http://www.stuff.co.nz/3989268a10.html


38) ANGELES CITY — Six farmers have lost their livelihood and suffered heavy damage after a Korean group ordered the clearing of their 18 hectares of farmlands. The farmers’ sugar crops were bulldozed and about 60 trees planted by a businessman were cut to pave the way for the development of a subdivision near the Circumferential Road here last week. Casting doubts on the building and subdivision permits of the Korean project, the evicted farmers are now asking the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Angeles City Government, and other government agencies to stop the work on the land. Workers of the Korean financiers named only as Kim, Pak and Shim reportedly bulldozed the sugar crops of the tenants without giving them prior notice. Saying the Korean businessmen have no right to destroy their crops, the farmers stressed that concerned government agencies should stop the group from pursuing its activities. The Korean group has reportedly been clearing the land without having talked to the farmers, who until now have not been compensated for their landholdings and damaged crops. Sun.Star Pampanga learned that the Korean group, when it proceeded to clear the area, completely ignored environmental regulations since its activities resulted in the burning and cutting of about 60 Balakat and Ipil-ipil trees planted by businessman Ruperto Cruz. Residents said the Koreans ordered the burning and cutting of the trees that are now approximately at least 10 years old. They said the Korean group also felled trees on a watershed and the trees that were planted by the residents to prevent lateral erosions on the creek nearby. The farmers said they have been established as bona fide tenants of the land as they have been tilling it for many years now. They said the land was originally tilled by their fathers. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/net/2007/03/09/koreans.evict.pinoy.farmers.cut.down.60.trees.ht


39) HSBC, the UK’s largest bank, is helping the Malaysian logging giant Samling list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, despite HSBS’s claim to be the “first green bank”. The Samling Group plays a pivotal role in the continuing destruction of tropical rain forests. It holds over 40,000 square kilometres of biodiverse, timber-rich land in Malaysia, Guyana, China and New Zealand and has been involved in illegal logging in Cambodia and Papua New Guinea. Last May, the Times newspaper reported how the survival of Asia’s last nomadic people, the Penan, was being put at risk by Samling. Described as “the human equivalent of an endangered species”, the Penan, who inhabit the tropical rainforest in the state of Sarawak -in Borneo, were being threatened by Samling and having their land stolen. According to Private Eye, in the past 45 years more than 90 per cent of Sarawak’s rainforest has been logged. On 7th February, Malaysian police removed a blockade the Penan had set up on the upper reach of the Baram River allowing Samling to begin destroying the state’s last area of primary rainforest. http://www.theecologist.co.uk/news_detail.asp?content_id=783


40) Consider the once tranquil rural retreat of the Tarra Valley in South Gippsland, now riven by the arrival of a wealthy and powerful gun-toting landowner. Late last year, timber plantation company Great Southern snapped up some 400ha of prime farming land in the valley. The land is in an established tourism region that provides accommodation for visitors to the nearby Tarra Bulga National Park. Great Southern promotes itself as having a good neighbour policy of community consultation, but the way it is going about its business is infuriating tourist operators. Before the plantation is established, Great Southern plans to shoot foxes, rabbits, feral cats and hares and the swamp wallabies, which find the tips of blue-gum seedlings very tasty. The shooting will take place twice a week from 7pm to 10pm for several months, or as long as it takes Great Southern to clear the property. The problem is that the locals not only like peace and quiet, they like the wallabies because they’re a major tourist attraction. Lisa Grassby owns the neighbouring Tarra Valley Rainforest Retreat, where visitors can chill out from city life and get up close and friendly with the wallabies that frequent her property. She is dreading the shooting and reckons the noise will echo terrifyingly throughout the valley and be sure to scare off visitors. She is also dreading her wallabies being shot. Lisa is not alone. Fellow objectors include the Fernholme Caravan Park and Reg James, who runs the Willarney Native Animal Shelter. As for Ralph, who owns the award-winning Dog Friendly Caravan Park that sits opposite the proposed plantation, he is so upset he is thinking of selling up. His customers choose to visit because they can camp in an environment where responsible dog ownership is encouraged. As Australia’s rural land use continues to change, timber plantations will become even more common under the policy called 2020 Vision, a partnership between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments and the plantation industry. The biodiversity guide for 2020 Vision advises tree protection where required.This is one case where such protection is clearly required. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21362932-5006029,00.html


41) Welcome to the twenty-first issue of Forest Cover, the newsletter of the Global Forest Coalition (GFC), a world-wide coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs). GFC promotes rights-based, socially just and effective forest policies at the international and national level, including through building the capacity of NGOs and IPOs in all regions to influence global forest policy. Forest Cover is published four times a year. It features reports on important intergovernmental meetings by different NGOs and IPOs and a calendar of future meetings. The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Forest Coalition, its donors or the editors. Contents of this Issue: 1) Ex Silvis: The Inconvenient Truth Is…We Need Another World, by Miguel Lovera, Chairperson, Global Forest Coalition 2) UNFCCC Fiddles While the Earth Burns, by Anne Petermann, Co-Director, Global Justice Ecology Project, USA 3) Joint Implementation: The New ‘Carbon Market’ Market?, by Sandy Gauntlett, Pacific Indigenous Peoples Environment Coalition, Aotearoa/NewZealand 4) UNFF: Planning for the Next Eight Years, by Andrey Laletin, Friends of the Siberian Forests, Russia and Hubertus Samangun, Ikatan Cendekiawan Tanimbar Indonesia 5) Regaining Control of the Commons: New Alliance Springs into Life at WSF 2007, by Ronnie Hall, Friends of the Earth International 6) Reports on Other Forest-related Events 7) UNEP: Finally Selling Out? 8) ITTO: Doomed to Extinction? 9) Calendar of Forest-Related Meetings àFor free subscriptions, please contact Simone Lovera at: simonelovera@yahoo.com

42) Everything was going so well that I had time for a blast at the book I am writing, How to be Wild. And I had one of those moments, wonderfully pleasing to a writer, when the book somehow takes its own decision, breaks cover and runs off in a direction over which the writer has no control. I found myself writing about rainforest, and offering a complete rejection of all the arguments for saving them. I wrote of rainforest encounters with rhinoceros hornbill, the monster of the canopy, with jaguar, with flying lizards and flying squirrels, with gibbons, howler monkeys and spider monkeys. I wrote that rainforests cover 6 per cent of the land area of the planet and contain 50 per cent of known species; God knows how many unknown ones. To be among these teeming millions is an experience of glorious bafflement: and it seemed to me, as I wrote, that all the arguments for saving rainforests are nonsense. Oh yes, certainly there are plants that revolutionise medicine, certainly the forests are essential for controlling greenhouse gases. Rainforests are good for us: essential for us. But do you know something? I’d campaign for rainforests even if they were bad for us. Even if they were completely useless. Rainforest need to be conserved for no reason other than their baffling fabulousness. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/simon_barnes/article1494972.ece
43) An international, EU-sponsored project has been launched to study the interactions between climate change and tropical peatlands which store up to 70 billion tonnes of carbon. Dr Susan Page of Leicester University’s Department of Geography will be leading the team and has been awarded €458,000 funding from the European Commission for the project involving partners from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Holland, Finland and the UK. The CARBOPEAT project will investigate the complex interactions between the carbon sinks, climate change and land use change. Dr Page describes the peatlands as carbon-dense ecosystems that are extremely vulnerable to destabilisation through human and climate induced changes. Located mainly in Southeast Asia, they store 50-70 billion tonnes of carbon (3% global soil carbon) but poor land management practices and fire, mainly associated with plantation development and logging, are releasing some of this carbon and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. The CARBOPEAT project will identify key issues and critical gaps in the understanding of tropical peatland carbon dynamics, analyse implications for policy, and formulate guidelines for optimizing the tropical peat carbon store that can be understood readily by policy makers and decision takers in both European and Southeast Asian countries. http://biopact.com/2007/03/international-project-launched-to-study.html

Comments (2)

mmaliciousMarch 13th, 2007 at 5:21 am

could you LJ cut this?

AnonymousJune 3rd, 2008 at 9:57 pm


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