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Projects all over the globe risk pushing forests past breaking point

27/11/2020

Road construction, energy and mining projects take down the world’s remaining forests.

 

Tens of thousands of miles of roads and railways are planned alongside mines and dams, opening up the forests of South America, south-east Asia and central Africa to destruction, according to the report by the New York Declaration on Forests Assessment Partners.

Today, almost half of all large mines – more than 1,500 – are in forests.

In 2014, 50 countries and 50 of the world’s biggest companies backed the declaration, pledging to cut deforestation by 50% by 2020 and end the destruction of forests by 2030.

But the 2020 goal has been missed and deforestation is rising.

For more information read: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/19/megaprojects-risk-pushing-forests-past-tipping-point-report

 

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Latvia: Updates on the wood market

26/11/2020

Prices of products sold on the domestic market have fallen, but the prices of exported products grew.

 

Compared to September, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 0.2 % in October 2020.

Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture, had a growing impact on the producer price changes. Price drop of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply had a downward impact on the producer price changes.

Price drop of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply had a significant impact on the producer price changes. Manufacture of wood and of products of wood and cork, except furniture, as well as repair and installation of machinery and equipment had an upward impact on the producer price changes.

Source: https://bnn-news.com/producer-price-level-in-latvia-is-down-but-wood-products-influence-prices-to-go-up-219127

 

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French supermarket chains suppliers linked to deforestation

25/11/2020

The deforestation practices occur due to the importation of soy.

 

Eight French supermarket chains will now require that their suppliers obtain soybeans that were not grown on deforested land, according to the environmental NGO Mighty Earth.

The announcement said the retailers’ contracts will now bar soy coming from deforested parts of the Cerrado, a mix of savanna and dry forests covering 2 million square kilometres (772,000 square miles) in Brazil. Clearing of land to grow crops as soy has led to the disappearance of half the Cerrado’s natural forests and grasslands.

“French supermarkets are finally listening to their customers’ concerns and leading an industry-wide effort to clean up the entire French soy supply chain,” Estelle Higonnet, a senior campaign director with Mighty Earth, said in a statement.

For more detailed information read: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/11/france-falls-short-in-ending-deforestation-linked-to-imported-soy/

 

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USA: Why lumber prices have been so high this year?

24/11/2020

2020 sent the price of lumber – a traditionally stable commodity – on historic swings.

 

Lumber hit a low around $260 per 1,000 board feet in April before soaring to a high of almost $1,000 in September. This lumber price volatility has hampered American home builders’ ability to forecast, purchase, and plan new construction because they can’t count on a stable price for their key input in a time of serious housing demand.

David Logan, senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), explained that this historic price volatility had a serious impact on home-building earlier this year. He attributed the soaring prices to the COVID-19 lockdown – supply was restricted as mills were forced to shut down and demand skyrocketed as employed people working from home decided to start doing DIY work.

“As prices rose, builders took hits to their profits,” Logan said. “It got to the point where projects were having to be put on hold or deferred, if not cancelled outright. (...) Because of the increased cost, a homebuyer would no longer be able to afford the home, given the cost increases due to lumber”, he claimed.

Source: https://www.mpamag.com/news/why-have-lumber-prices-been-so-high-this-year-239702.aspx

 

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Brazil: Amazon registers a boom in private river port construction

23/11/2020

With little government oversight, these constructions threaten the region’s waterways.

 

Nearly 100 major industrial river ports have been built on the Brazilian Amazon’s major rivers over the past two decades. Many of the projects have been internationally financed and built by commodities companies with little government oversight.

These ports have transformed the region, opening it to agriculture business and the export of commodities, especially soy, to China and the rest of the world. However, this boom in port infrastructure often came at the expense of the environment and traditional riverine communities.

Today, more than 40 additional major river ports are planned in the Amazon biome on the Tapajós, Tocantins, Madeira and other rivers, projects again being pursued largely without taking cumulative socioenvironmental impacts into account.

For more information read: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/11/multiplying-amazon-river-ports-open-new-brazil-to-china-commodities-routes/


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Vietnam: Wood industry regains growth momentum

20/11/2020

Despite a tough year due to the COVID-19, the Vietnamese wood sector looks set to achieve its export turnover target of 12 billion dollars.

 

The wood industry has consistently maintained two-digit growth rates in recent years, but the pandemic caused negative growth in the second quarter of 2020.

Exports of wood products to key markets such as the US, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the EU sharply fell from April to June and many factories had to temporarily close due to a lack of orders, materials and capital.

However, once the pandemic was basically controlled in July, countries started to restore production. Wood businesses resumed production with demand for wood furniture up significantly.

The efforts of local producers have reaped positive results as the export value of timber and non-timber products in August topped $1 billion. In the first 10 months of the year, wood product exports reached $9.6 billion, up 12.4% from the same period last year.

For more information visit: https://en.vietnamplus.vn/wood-industry-regains-growth-momentum/190656.vnp

 

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Europe: 1 million people demand new European law to stop deforestation

19/11/2020

The campaign #Together4Forests is the second most answered public inquiry in the European Union.

 

More than one million people are asking for a new and stronger European legislation to stop deforestation. It is the most successful public inquiry about environmental issues in the history of the EU, and the signatory doesn't stop growing.

The campaign #Together4Forests is encouraging Europeans to pressure the European Commission and national governments to act against deforestation. More than one million people signed this inquiry appealing that lawmakers create a law that forbids products derived from deforestation to reach the common market.

"All these people want to be sure that what they are buying is not contributing to deforestation and other ecosystem destruction. This is a clear sign that citizens are providing towards the lawmakers, so they can act and promote systems that protect nature", claims Catarina Grilo, director of Preservation and Politics of ANP|WWF.

Source: https://mood.sapo.pt/um-milhao-de-pessoas-exigem-lei-europeia-para-travar-desflorestacao/

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Brazil: Amazon fire season winds down, carbon emissions rise

18/11/2020

A ruinous fire season, record deforestation and rising carbon emissions leave scientists worried that Brazil will blow past its Paris Climate targets, with devastating results for the Amazon and the world.

 

It was another intense year for fires in the Amazon. More than 2,500 major blazes burned across Brazil’s Legal Amazon between May 28 and November 3, according to a fire season summary released via the Amazon Conservation Association’s Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP).

The majority (90%) of the major fires this year detected by MAAP occurred in the Brazilian Amazon. Here, fires aren’t natural but are mostly ignited by humans on deforested lands to clear existing agricultural fields of pests and weeds, or, of far greater concern, as a way for land grabbers to convert forested conserved public lands into private agricultural lands.

Globally, wildfires emit as much carbon dioxide as the entire EU does each year, according to a recent report by WWF, the World Wide Fund for Nature. However, that data doesn’t paint the entire picture, and in fact, conceals a significant amount of emissions. That’s because the UN doesn’t require emissions from some fires to be included in national carbon accounting. “Forest fires are not counted because they are considered non-anthropic events, which is very questionable in the case of Brazil,” Tasso Azevedo, SEEG’s general coordinator claimed.

For more information read: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/11/as-2020-amazon-fire-season-winds-down-brazil-carbon-emissions-rise/

 

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Australian timber log exports blocked from entering China

17/11/2020

The products were banned due to bark beetle present on the logs.

 

China has indefinitely suspended imports of all Victorian timber logs, less than a week after an unofficial ban on Australian exports came into effect. Chinese customs officials notified the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment late yesterday of the ban, which is effective immediately, after 12 shipments from Victoria this year contained a pest known as bark beetle.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the department was working with industry on an "enhanced treatment and inspection response", and would write to China's customs officials in coming days.  Victoria's Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the suspension applied to plantation timber. "If bark beetle is present it is a legitimate reason to suspend trade, and we want to make sure we can address any quarantine issues as quickly as possible," Ms Symes said.

The Victorian Government said it would "back the Federal Government to lead effective talks with Chinese authorities". The annual trade for whole logs from Victoria to China is valued at $260 million.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-12/victorian-timber-logs-blocked-by-china-after-bark-beetle-found/12875066

 

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Peru: Indigenous people are helping with reforestation

16/11/2020

The initiative is taking place in the Andes region.

 

Preserve what exists and recover what has been destroyed. This is the mission that is being accomplished by the traditional people of Peru, that have been planting queuñas, a native species that grows in the tallest mountains of the Andes.

Reaching up to 5 thousand meters above sea level, queuñas have been devastated by fires and sheep grazing, but with the project "Andes Action" a new hope has emerged.

 

Through the Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) Association, the initiative is present in different actions. The festival Queuna Raymi is annually organized and it brings together younger and older generations that embrace the planting initiative together. More than a hundred thousand queuña trees were planted in one day.

 

The big goal of this initiative is reaching 1 million ha of protected land. Half a million will only be possible due to reforestation and the other half will happen through forest protection in 6 remaining countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

 

Source: https://greensavers.sapo.pt/povos-indigenas-estao-a-reflorestar-os-andes/

 

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