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The Consequences of Unscrupulous Environmental Conservation in Africa

22/05/2019

Environmental NGOs "occupy" territories for the creation of "national parks" in Africa. Populations are driven and trapped by the "rangers" paid by NGOs, many of them funded by European governments.

The landowners are angry with what is happening.

"We are being harassed and threatened," a Baka woman, from the Congo Basin region of central Africa, told Survival International.

The human rights organization has been collecting testimonies from Baka people in the Congo Basin region of Central Africa for years and compiling critical reports of human rights violations against indigenous peoples in nature reserves or national parks. In recent years, the complaints of the Baka people have become increasingly strong.

The area where they live, the forests of Messok Dja, in the Congo Basin, is being transformed into a national park under the direction of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has been declared a priority territory for the protection of great apes, certain species of primates, and is considered the last strong elephant in Africa.

The project is funded by European governments, among them German, but hated by the local population. The Baka have lived for generations and feel harassed by the rangers.

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Namibia: Million Lost in Timber Exports

20/05/2019

A NEW report exposes the government's failure to curb the controversial timber trade, with revelations that 10 000 blocks of wood from northern Namibia have been exported to China and Vietnam since November '18.

Agriculture and environment ministries officials compiled the report after investigating timber harvesting in the Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions.

The report also reveals new concerns on the widening impact of timber harvesting: damage to national and other roads, increasing the risk of wildlife poaching, providing cover for smuggling illegal wildlife products, diesel pollution in forests, the possible extinction of some tree species, and the disruption and destruction of wildlife habitats.

Central to the report which was compiled last month is a picture of an agriculture ministry and other agencies that remain clueless when it comes to protecting Namibia's rare forest areas. [READ MORE]

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Protection of Tropical Forests

17/05/2019

The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), which is part of the World Economic Forum, called for a change from individual actions to collective action, to the end of deforestation.

TFA's director, Mr. Justin Adams, said at the opening of the organization's fourth annual meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, that there is an urgent need to find solutions to the problem and added that it is necessary to involve all sectors of society.

"We have to move forward with all kinds of actions taken by governments and civil society, but we have to move from individual actions to collective action, and this requires unprecedented collaboration," he said, recognizing that implementing collective plans is complex because "it requires time, patience and knowing how to listen," but stressed that "it is indispensable" because "we can't expect more."

"Forests are key to correcting and avoiding climate change and ecological collapse," Adams said, adding "there are positive examples in some countries that have found a way to stop deforestation. Along the same lines, Fabiola Zerbini, TFA coordinator for Latin America, expressed "threats, weaknesses and challenges" that can only be overcome with close cooperation between governments and citizens. "This will only be achieved through close collaboration from the global to the local, from all social and governmental sectors. It is done with honest, transparent, constructive and critical dialogue, "he said.

David Nabarro, the UN Secretary-General's special adviser, said forests are "the most valuable asset in the world," because "without them, survival could not be thought of. Forests are essential to sustain life. Forests produce the oxygen we depend on so we can breathe and if we destroy the forests we destroy our lungs and we can not live without breathing", he said.

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Higher demand anticipated for Gabon wood and forestry exports

15/05/2019

Construction projects in West and Central Africa to push for higher timber demand

Gabon WoodShow in support of Gabon’s vision for economic prosperity through sustainable forestry management

The demand for timber products from Gabon is expected to rise with the positive construction business outlook in Central and West Africa. This report was released by Africa Construction Trends 2018 and was received with enthusiasm by the exhibitors and organizers of Gabon WoodShow, the leading platform from wood, woodworking machinery and forestry sector in Central and West Africa and which will be held on 24-26 June 2019 in Libreville, Gabon.

According to the report, Central Africa construction sector has started to pick up pace last year and posted 26 construction projects with a value of USD26.9 billion. This accounted for 5.7% of continental projects for last year. In the same year, West Africa rebounded with an increase in construction projects to 105. This had pushed West Africa’s GDP with construction project amounting to USD82.8 billion. The recovering construction sector in both Central and West Africa can be attributed to the booming real estate sector.

The need for competitively-priced and top-quality timber is now more imperative to sustain the construction sector. It is against this backdrop that exhibitors are maximizing the opportunity to reach and expand their market, especially in Central and West Africa, with their participation at Gabon WoodShow to feature their latest products and innovations.  

Walid Farghal, Director General of the Organizing Committee, said, “The three-day exhibition will focus on featuring wood, woodworking and forestry products to thousands of specialized visitors who are keen to find the best deals and new sources of supply for their business. This year, we expect more exhibitors as Gabon is an ideal source of top-quality timber, especially okoume of which 90% of the world’s exports come from Gabon. Gabon WoodShow is also in support of the government’s initiative to promote sustainable forestry management while reaping the economic benefits of the local forestry industry.”

Over 40 countries are participating at Gabon WoodShow including exhibitors who are into manufacturing and supply of woodworking machinery and tools, trucks and other timber transport vehicles, cropping and harvesting machines, saw millers, hardwood and softwood, flooring, plywood and veneer, MDF, laminates and boards, finishing and fittings, furniture, paints, adhesives and glues, and software.

Gabon WoodShow is organized in partnership with the Gabonese government under the patronage of H.E. President Ali Bongo Ondimba and the Gabon Special Economic Zone.

For interest to exhibit, register online at www.gabonwoodshow.com or send inquiry to info@gabonwoodshow.com. -END-

 

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World’s Highest Timber Building is officially built

14/05/2019

Located 110km from Oslo, Norway, Mjosa Tower has been finished. Projected by Voll Arkitekter it has 18 floors and its height counts with more than 85.4 metres. Take a look at the story behind it.

As it is a wood building, one of the main worries for the creators during the design process was the security against fires, so it was built with materials capable to support up to 90 minutes of fire before it destroys itself. The name of the wood used for the construction is Kerto LVL, a very environment friendly material.

Even though the façade of the building is all made of timber, the highest levels also have some concrete.
The Mjosa Tower represents a world movement to change construction tendencies with the aim to find sustainable formulas with little ecological impact.

If everything goes well, by 2041 Tokyo will have the World highest timber building that will be constructed in a  neighbourhood focused on sustainability, with 70 buildings built exclusively of wood, steel and glass. The complex will extend over an area of 6,500 m2.

Read more here: https://www.msn.com/pt-pt/financas/casas/eis-o-arranha-c%C3%A9us-de-madeira-mais-alto-do-mundo/ss-AABhPrF?ocid=spartandhp#image=1

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WWF and Apple collaboration to improve more than 1 million acres of China’s forests

08/05/2019

An impressive 375,000 acres of working forests are now managed responsibly, in accordance with the environmental and social standards of the Forest Stewardship Council

The 1 million acre milestone is part of a five-year project with Apple that began in 2015. The main goal of the project is to help reduce the environmental footprint of paper production in China, which is the largest producer and consumer of paper products in the world, by improving the management of working forests. For the third year running, the production of virgin fiber from the forests in this project has helped Apple to exceed the amount of virgin fiber they use in their product packaging.

WWF’s role in this achievement included, among other things, training and education in responsible forest management practices, helping state-owned forest farms and companies update or create forest management plans that are aligned with FSC certification, and working with their employees to identify forest land that has high conservation value.

This project demonstrates the dynamic role that companies can play in protecting forests.

Read more here: https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/wwf-and-apple-help-improve-management-of-more-than-1-million-acres-of-china-s-forests

 

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Portugal: garden benches recreate Viarco historical pencils

03/05/2019

The replicas of these historic models of Viarco are now used as urban furniture: wooden and iron benches, 1.7 meters long, composed by the union of 15 augmented pencils.

The idea of replicating traditional Viarco models began in 2018, when the first bench was installed in Largo do Souto.
For now, the new banks will be located in the landscaped grounds of the Court of São João da Madeira and in the exterior patio of the Torre da Oliva, where the Welcome Center of Industrial Tourism works, whose program integrates guided visits to Viarco, in real working context.

The benches that reproduce the red and blue bicolour pencils launched in the 1930s and those of the plank that have been marketed since the 1960s come from the hands of the carpenter Alberto Vieira and the painter Manuel Monteiro Cunha.

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China: 60,000 soldiers to plant trees

02/05/2019

There are about 84 thousand square kilometers of the area that was planned to be planted in the year 2018, an area that is planted is equivalent to the size of a country like Ireland.

China, in 2018, mobilized about 60,000 soldiers to plant a forest in Hebei province, which surrounds the populous and also polluted Beijing.

The figures are advanced by the Asia Times, which says that China, which has a forest area of about 21%, wants to increase this value in its territory.

The initiative is a way to reforest the country, thus counteracting the pollution and effects of climate change. Beijing is also known for the fog of pollution that makes itself felt in the city.

According to Zhang Jianlong, the Chinese official responsible for forestry, the Asian nation has planned by 2035 to make the forest area in China reach 26% of the national territory.

 

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BRAZIL IS THE COUNTRY THAT LOST MORE FOREST AREA

29/04/2019

The world has lost 12 million hectares of tropical forests by 2018, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), where Brazil is the country that has lost the largest area of primary tropical rainforests.

According to Global Forest Watch's annual report, 2018 is the fourth worst year in terms of deforestation of tropical forests after 2016, 2017 and 2014.

Overall, the report reports that the countries most affected are Brazil, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Bolivia, Brazil being the country that lost the largest area of primary tropical forests, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia.

"These are the forests that have the greatest impact in terms of carbon emissions and biodiversity," said a WRI official, Mikaela Weisse, as they store carbon and shelter large fauna and flora.

The situation may be even worse in Brazil, according to IMAZON, because deforestation in the Amazon Forest increased by 54% between January 2018 and January 2019, but also due to the change in environmental policies advocated by the current President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.

The rate of destruction of primary forests is particularly worrying in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while declining by 63% in Indonesia compared to the peak of 2016, according to the study.

Indonesia has benefited from government measures and relatively humid two years, unfavorable to the outbreak of fires, but the El Nino phenomenon can change the situation in 2019.

In Colombia, the loss of primary forests increased by 9 percent between 2017 and 2018, as the peace agreement between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has helped to make some areas more accessible, the study said.

The WRI also warns of the situation in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, which lost the highest percentage of primary forests between 2017 and 2018.

Overall, "it's tempting to welcome the second year of decline after the peak of 2016," said a WRI official, Frances Seymour "but if we look at the last 18 years, it is clear that the general trend is still increasing."

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FOREST CLEANING TO PREVENTION FOR WILDFIRES

26/04/2019

The U.S. Forest Service is planning another round of thinning in the mountains east of Albuquerque with the aim of reducing the potential for extreme wildfires.

New Mexico State Forestry, The Nature Conservancy, and others are helping with the project. The entire project area encompasses nearly 30 square miles where high tree density has created unhealthy conditions and has increased the possibility of high-intensity wildfires.

The Sandia Ranger District, one of the districts affected by the severe fires in the past, says the work beginning starting this week, April 23, will cover more than a tenth of a square mile. It will involve thinning the area by hand, piling up fuelwood for later collection and chipping the leftover material.

There are no plans to block recreational trails in the area, but officials are warning visitors to use attention. 

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