News Selection – Tropical Forests
Recent news chosen to illustrate and update Tread Softly briefings on Tropical Forests.
Forests and trees are key for a sustainable future
6/7/2018: Time is running out for the world's forests, whose total area is shrinking by the day, warns a new FAO report urging governments to foster an all-inclusive approach to benefit both trees and those who rely on them. Source: UN Food and Agriculture Organization
Tread Softly Comment: The elephant in the room for the current bulge in forest reporting is Target 15.2 of the SDGs which demands: "By 2020.....halt deforestation." The indicators are fuzzy, ignoring the significance of tropical forests, and enabling these reviews to gloss over the looming failure. The 2018 FAO door-stopper is the grand-daddy of the reports but is no exception to the rule of obfuscation on the state of the world's tropical forests. Relevant Briefing: Deforestation and Forest Degradation
Q&A: Why conservation must include indigenous rights
6/7/2018: Indigenous peoples and local communities conserve lands and forests for a quarter of the cost of public and private investments in protected areas, according to new findings. Interview with Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. Source: Devex
Tread Softly Comment: the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People presents familiar arguments in favour of community forest management. This is a proven model for controlling deforestation which may gain greater donor attention, as results of traditional protected areas remain disappointing. Relevant Briefing: Rights-based Solutions to Deforestation
Saving the rainforest 2.0: new report makes recommendations for improving forest protection
2/7/2018: Over the past decade, Norway has spent $3 billion to support efforts to keep forests standing in all of the world’s major rainforest countries. A report from Oslo takes stock of what’s worked and what hasn’t. Source: Mongabay
Tread Softly Comment: Alarm bells are ringing in Norwegian political circles as evidence mounts that the rate of global deforestation is not falling as hoped. This is one of a series of reports posing awkward questions for the world's most prominent forests donor. Relevant Briefing: Causes of Deforestation
Nothing to cheer in 2017 figures for loss of tropical forests
27/6/2018: Tropical countries lost 158,000 square kilometers of their forests in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. This scale of deforestation is the second highest since the dataset began in 2001. Source: Mongabay
Global Witness exposes European company for DRC logging
26/6/2018: A new investigation reveals systemic illegal logging by a major European company in the Democratic Republic of Congo, just as Norway and France are funding expansion of country’s industrial logging sector.
Palm oil certification damned by faint praise
26/6/2018: A new report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature finds that palm oil certified as “sustainable” delivers only marginal prevention of deforestation.
Why are corporate zero deforestation policies failing?
20/6/2018: Despite nearly 500 companies committing to zero deforestation within their supply chains, this goal remains as elusive as ever. New research looks into the true motives of the corporate decision-makers.
To end deforestation, we must protect community land rights
31/5/2018: The ambitious target to halt global deforestation by 2020 is hampered by pervasive insecurity of community land rights in low income countries. Respecting land rights of indigenous peoples is an essential component of success.
Norwegian government under fire for generous forests funding
31/5/2018: Over the last 10 years, Norway has granted a total of almost $3 billion to projects aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation. Criticism is inevitable, as evidence emerges that some of the beneficiary countries are under-performing.
Palm oil certification is not a perfect science
25/5/2018: The certification standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil are often criticised by NGOs. A governor of the RSPO responds.