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Deforestation

What Leading Consumer Brands Drive Global Deforestation?

Since the turn of the century, there has been a consistent average annual loss of 3 to 4 million hectares (7.4 to 9.9 million acres) of tropical forest globally. This puts us far from reaching the goal of zero deforestation by 2030, a target embraced in 2021 by 145 countries during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Besides damaging the local environment, deforestation threatens our societies and economies by elevating carbon emissions and exacerbating the climate crisis. Land use change—mainly deforestation—contributes as much as a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, solving the climate crisis means ending rampant deforestation.

How Money Laundering Rules Could Be Used To Tackle Deforestation

I spent the last month binging on money laundering TV to research this feature. But nothing prepared me to write about money laundering in relation to environmental destruction, because until now it has rarely been considered a shady subject. That could all be about to change. Last November, French NGO Sherpa filed a complaint with the National Prosecutor’s Office against French banks BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, BPCE, and Axa. It called for a criminal investigation into money laundering and concealment, arguing that the banks’ financial support for Brazil’s biggest beef companies was contributing to illegal deforestation in the Amazon.

World ‘Failing’ On Pledges To End Deforestation By 2030

A coalition of research organizations and civil society, the Forest Declaration Assessment, has conducted a new study that evaluates the progress toward eliminating deforestation by nations, companies and investors, as well as restoring 865 million acres of degraded land, by the end of the decade. The report, “Off Track and Falling Behind,” shows that last year, progress worldwide on restoring and protecting forests worsened in some cases and moved too slowly overall. “The world’s forests are in crisis. All these promises have been made to halt deforestation, to fund forest protection. But the opportunity to make progress is passing us by year after year,” said Erin Matson.

Deforestation From Rubber Worse Than Previously Thought

A new study has found that deforestation for rubber cultivation has been “substantially underestimated” with devastating consequences for the biodiversity crisis. Crucially, it identified that forest destruction is two-to-three-times higher than generally assumed. The new study was released on Wednesday 18 October in the journal Nature. It suggested that corporations and smallholders have deforested more than four million hectares since 1993 for rubber plantations. Moreover, it revealed that they have planted rubber in areas that are key for biodiversity.

In Turkey, Villagers Fight Deforestation In Coal Mine Project

Akbelen forest, western Turkey. Local villagers and environmental activists try to stop the expansion of a coal mine. Just three months after strongman President Erdoğan was re-elected, people flocked here from all over Turkey to try to save the remaining woodland. The protest is a symbol of a wider struggle to protect the environment in Turkey, from companies which often enjoy close relations with the government. The coal giant Limak Holding is a typical example. President Erdoğan dismissed the protesters as ‘marginal’, opposed to the country’s economic development. Despite a nation-wide outcry, the forest clearing continues with the protection of the Turkish security forces.

Amazon Deforestation Down 66% From Last July In Lula’s Brazil

The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. It is home to more animal and plant species than any terrestrial ecosystem, including one-third of the world’s tropical trees. This diverse sanctuary is also one of the last refuges for jaguars, pink river dolphins and harpy eagles, according to WWF. Brazil has an Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, and since President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office at the start of this year, deforestation has fallen dramatically. The country’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Marina Silva said that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in Brazil dropped 66.11 percent in August.

Lula To Launch Social Programs; Part Of Stopping Amazon Deforestation

The government of leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will launch a social program with economic aid to vulnerable families working in the conservation of the Amazon rainforest that is a similar program that was repealed by the previous president, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022). The program, called ‘Bolsa Verde’, an environmental version of the popular ‘Bolsa Familia’, will be implemented in 30,000 families in the Brazilian Amazon, but the government’s intention is to expand it to other biomes, such as the Cerrado (the Brazilian savannah) or the Atlantic Forest, all threatened by deforestation and other environmental crimes.

Atlanta City Council Approves USD 31 Million For Controversial ‘Cop City’

Atlanta’s 15-member City Council approved USD 31 million in funding to help build “Cop City,” the “urban warfare” training facility proposed to be built in the forest in the southern city. The 11-4 vote took place after 15 hours of public comments were heard regarding the project, with the vast majority expressing overwhelming concern over the project and and rejecting it. Throughout the session, over 1,000 people gathered inside and outside Atlanta City Hall to protest the controversial project. The Atlanta Police Foundation (APF), ostensibly a nonprofit but which provides support for the Atlanta Police Department and is spearheading the project of Cop City, believes that the facility is necessary.

UK Airlines’ New ‘Sustainable’ Fuels May Be Causing Deforestation In Asia

The “greenwashing” efforts of UK airlines may be contributing to the destruction of rainforests in Asia, openDemocracy can reveal. The aviation industry began boasting of using ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ (SAF) last year. It claims this will help it to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 because it is made from ‘waste and residue’ materials and can produce 80% less emissions than fossil jet fuel. But government data reveals that more than 80% of the 26 million litres of SAF supplied to airlines in the UK last year was made from imported “used cooking oil”. Most came from countries in Asia, where its authenticity has been questioned.

Eradication Of Poverty And Hunger Key Priorities For Lula Government

On Sunday January 1, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Workers’ Party of Brazil (PT) gave his first speech to the Brazilian people as president at the National Congress. In the speech, he presented a brief diagnosis of the situation and conditions of the country that he will govern over for the next four years. “It’s appalling,” said Lula, about the conditions in which he receives the country from his predecessor, former president Jair Bolsonaro of the Liberal Party, who abandoned the country and went to the US just before the inauguration. “They have emptied out the resources for health. They have dismantled the Education, Culture, Science and Technology [sectors]. They destroyed environmental protection. They left no resources for school lunch, vaccination, public security.”

We Will March, Even If We Have To Wade Through The Pakistani Floodwaters

Calamities are familiar to the people of Pakistan who have struggled through several catastrophic earthquakes, including those in 2005, 2013, and 2015 (to name the most damaging), as well as the horrendous floods of 2010. However, nothing could prepare the fifth most populated country in the world for this summer’s devastating events, which began with high temperatures and political chaos followed by unimaginable flooding. Cascading frustration with the Pakistani state defines the public mood. Taimur Rahman, the general secretary of the Mazdoor Kisan Party (‘Workers and Peasants Party’), told Peoples Dispatch that after the 2010 floods, there was ‘enormous outrage about the fact that the government had not done anything to ensure that… when there is an overflow of water, it can be controlled’.

Brazil: Volunteer Brigades And Artists Fight Forest Fires And Deforestation

The frequency and extent of wildfires are increasing all over the world. In South America, Brazil has had the highest incidence of forest fires in recent years. In 2019, during the first year of Jair Bolsonaro’s government, fires in the Amazon made headlines around the world. For the first time on record, the smoke from the forest fires in the Amazon reached São Paulo, the largest city in South America, more than 1,600 miles to the southeast of the burned regions. And in 2020, one third of the Pantanal wetlands biome was burned (11 million acres), leaving an estimated wildlife death toll of over 17 million animals.  Despite the large fires of 2019 and 2020 associated with higher deforestation rates in the Amazon, the Brazilian government has not instituted any additional public policy to fight forest fires.

Empty, Toothless Pledges To End Deforestation By 2030 At COP26

In his speech at COP26 on November 2, British prime minister Boris Johnson announced that more than 100 countries had joined the Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which seeks to halt and reverse the alarming levels of global deforestation by 2030. The declaration also emphasizes the need for countries to facilitate sustainable trade and development policies, promote food security through sustainable agriculture, and “accelerate the transition to [a green] economy.” To that end, more than $19 billion in public and private funds have been pledged for the plan, backed by countries including Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Russia, and the United States.

Animal Extinction Protesters Blockade McDonalds Factory

Animal Rebellion protesters have barricaded a McDonald's factory in Scunthorpe in a move to get the burger chain to switch to an entirely "plant-based food menu by 2025." The ‘animal and climate justice’ movement said that around 100 protestors set up a blockade using trucks, tents, bamboo structures in the early hours of Thursday morning to stop the facility from distributing burgers. Trucks with the sign “McMurder” stood outside the factory while police vans encircled the area. The campaigners, urging others to join in, said they will stay as long as it takes until McDonald’s commits to changing towards a plant-based menu. Accusing the global fast-food chain of poor labour conditions and wreaking havoc on the environment, the activists said that they would end the blockade if McDonald’s makes the first step towards this goal by committing to becoming 20 per cent plant-based within one year.

Big Banks Make A Dangerous Bet On The World’s Growing Demand For Food

As global banking giants and investment firms vow to divest from polluting energy companies, they’re continuing to bankroll another major driver of the climate crisis: food and farming corporations that are responsible, directly or indirectly, for cutting down vast carbon-storing forests and spewing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. These agricultural investments, largely unnoticed and unchecked, represent a potentially catastrophic blind spot. “Animal protein and even dairy is likely, and already has started to become, the new oil and gas,” said Bruno Sarda, the former North America president of CDP, a framework through which companies disclose their carbon emissions. “This is the biggest source of emissions that doesn’t have a target on its back.”
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