Draining the Swamp

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Peatlands contain peat soil, which is wet, thick, and made of partially-decomposed plant materials. The International Peatland Society (IPS) cover approximately 3% of the Earth’s surface. Tropical peatlands in Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Southern Africa contain 10-12%of the total peatland resource. Peatlands are also extremely valuable ecosystems because they foster biodiversity,…
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Money doesn’t grow on trees

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Walking into the COP, observer and party delegations alike are given a bar of chocolate. And while the candy bar does not give its holder a Golden Ticket, it does draw chocolate-lovers’ attention to an important message for the Trillion Tree Campaign. That campaign is spearheaded by Plant-for-the-Planet, an NGO launched in 2007 by a…
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Continuing to Decouple

Photograph by Volker Hartmann - Getty Images

For the third year in a row, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the energy sector remained level while the global economy grew. This continues to buck the economic thinking that economic growth, typically measured with gross domestic product (GDP), cannot be decoupled from environmental degradation. The current trend of…
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Bonn Challenge Takes First Steps

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The Bonn Challenge is a global initiative to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded lands by 2020, and 350 million by 2030. So far, 38 countries have pledged to restore 124.32 million hectares in order to achieve this goal. The challenge now is holding these nations to their commitments and ensuring…
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Farming for the Future: Climate Change and Food Security.

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The United Nations weather agency recently announced that the past five years have been the hottest on record, with increasing evidence showing that this is man-made climate change. Thus, the urgency for solutions increases here at COP22 where the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is meeting to discuss and improve climate change…
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Using the Paris Agreement to Incorporate Indigenous Peoples Knowledge into Climate Change Policies

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Panelists presenting today on indigenous peoples knowledge outlined land use and resource management practices adopted by indigenous peoples that are viable and sustainable approaches to climate change adaptation. To date, climate change approaches have focused largely on utilizing modern technologies and developing new technologies to the detriment of indigenous peoples. Panelists began by describing specific…
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Will it Be a REDD+ Letter Day for Our Forests?

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Yesterday, the Parties received a “clean” version of the draft Paris Agreement, and at 8PM the Parties convened to share their first impressions on this draft Agreement. One hot topic repeatedly discussed was the status of our forests. Many Parties are advocating that the Paris Agreement establish a mechanism that incentivizes the reduction of emissions…
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Subnational leaders leading the way

“Under 2 MoU”  – no it’s not Prince’s latest song, it is the initiative of subnational leaders (Mayors and Governors)  committing to limit emissions below 2 metric tons per capita by 2050 which is the amount of reductions needed to limit global warming to less than 2°C. This initiative, supercharged by the leadership of Governor…
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A Call for Deforestation-Free Agriculture

Source: World Agro Forestry

What do cattle, soy, and palm oil have in common? These are all products associated with commodity-linked deforestation. Between 2000 and 2012, expansion of commercial agriculture and timber plantations caused the destruction of more than 50 million hectares of tropical forests. The UNFCCC website states: “Roughly a third of recent tropical deforestation and associated carbon emissions…
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The Cancun Agreements

Agreements were made. This is important. The process did not fail and the UNFCCC will continue in the long term quest to achieve internationally binding targets.  I have seen several achievements consistently mentioned in the media. (1) Commitments made by global economies for 2020 were recognized/the Copenhagen Accord was adopted, (2) a global environmental fund…
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Check out this line-up

Being on the CIFOR (center for interntational forestry research) listserv, I was invited to a very special, 400 people – including press, event… Advancing REDD+: New Pathways and Partnerships By Invitation Only *    *     *     *     *     *     * Special honored guest: His Excellency Ban Ki-moon – Secretary-General of the United Nations And other distinguished…
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LULUCF (Lu-Lu-C-F) Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry: what will COP 16 do about unaccounted emissions from logging?

During the first commitment period of the KP, countries are only required to voluntarily account for emissions from logging. This means that countries can determine their own baselines, including the use of a baselines based on future instead of historical data. There are several options on the table to decide how to account for forest…
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Forest Day panelists believe an agreement may be reached on REDD+

Forest Day started off with a  speech by President Calderon, who said we must “empujar todos” (“push all”) towards a REDD+ agreement. An agreement on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is predicted by many high level panelists to be one the biggest outcomes from COP 16. “REDD + is an enormous prize within…
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