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World Rainforest Movement: Dangerous Impacts Of “Zero Deforestation”

“Zero deforestation” pledges are one more idea in the list of voluntary initiatives created in the past 10-15 years to supposedly address the negative impacts of industrial agriculture commodity crops. Oil palm plantation companies have responded to pressure from global food corporations such as Unilever, Nestle and Mars and made a commitment to “zero deforestation”1. Global food corporations are major buyers of palm oil and they, as well as the financial backers of oil palm companies...

Forests Emerge As A Major Overlooked Climate Factor

When Abigail Swann started her career in the mid-2000s, she was one of just a handful of scientists exploring a potentially radical notion: that the green plants living on Earth’s surface could have a major influence on the planet’s climate. For decades, most atmospheric scientists had focused their weather and climate models on wind, rain and other physical phenomena. But with powerful computer models that can simulate how plants move water, carbon dioxide and other chemicals between ground and air, Swann has found that vegetation can control weather patterns across huge distances. The destruction or expansion of forests on one continent might boost rainfall or cause a drought halfway around the world.

“Guardians Of The Amazon” Seize Illegal Loggers To Protect Uncontacted Tribe

Members of an Amazon tribe patrolling their rainforest reserve to protect uncontacted relatives from illegal loggers have seized a notorious logging gang, burned their truck, and expelled them from the jungle. The Guardians of the Amazon are from the Guajajara tribe: “We patrol, we find the loggers, we destroy their equipment and we send them away. We’ve stopped many loggers. It’s working.” The area they are defending, Arariboia, is in the most threatened region in the entire Amazon. It is home to an uncontacted group of Awá Indians, a tribe well known for their affinity with animals and understanding of the forest, who face total annihilation if they come into contact with the loggers.

Ecuador Endangered

In the last year, the Ecuadorian government has quietly granted mining concessions to over 1.7 million hectares (4.25 million acres) of forest reserves and indigenous territories. These  were awarded to transnational corporations in closed-door deals without public knowledge or consent. This is in direct violation of Ecuadorian law and international treaties, and will decimate headwater ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots of global significance. However, Ecuadorian groups think there is little chance of stopping the concessions using the law unless there is a groundswell of opposition from Ecuadorian society and strong expressions of international concern. The Vice President of Ecuador, who acted as Coordinating Director for the office of ’Strategic Sectors’, which promoted and negotiated these concessions, was jailed for 6 years for corruption. However, this has not stopped the huge giveaway of pristine land to mining companies.

Day Of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations

By Staff of GE Trees - In April and June of this year, the Campaign to STOP GE Trees organized a delegation to Chile to examine and document the impacts of monoculture pine and eucalyptus plantations in the country. This post includes a photo essay of from the delegation in a community ravaged by the worst wildfires in the country’s history–directly connected to tree plantations. This photo essay, “Chile’s 2017 Devastating Fires – The Legacy of Pinochet Continues” was shot by GJEP co-founder and Langelle Photography Director Orin Langelle. In Portugal in June, a drought and heatwave caused a wildfire to explode into an uncontrollable firestorm that killed dozens of people. The fires were fueled by highly flammable eucalyptus plantations, as the video below explains.

Food Companies Fail to Protect Environmental Activists in Supply Chains

By Benjamin Dangl for Toward Freedom. Industrial farming of food ingredients such as soy and palm oil, for example, have led to massive deforestation and displacement of rural communities in Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, and elsewhere throughout the globe. Activists standing up against such industries in defense of forests, rivers, land, and the livelihoods of local communities have been threatened and murdered at an increased rate in recent years. Four environmental activists were murdered each week in 2016 for defending their communities and environment from the impacts of agribusiness, mining, and logging industries, according to a report from the human rights organization Global Witness. In Colombia, activists standing up against the impacts of El Cerrejón, Latin America’s largest open-pit mine, have faced regular threats and violence. Jakeline Romero has organized against the water shortages and displacement caused by this mine, which is owned by Glencore, BHP Billiton, and Anglo-American. “They threaten you so you will shut up,” Romero told Global Witness. “I can’t shut up. I can’t stay silent faced with all that is happening to my people. We are fighting for our lands, for our water, for our lives.”

Revolutionary Plan Can Save Rainforest

By Jan Rocha for Climate News Network - SÃO PAULO, 14 October, 2016 − Brazilian scientists, alarmed at the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, have proposed a radical plan to save it. This would ally the forest’s incredible biodiversity with the new technologies being developed as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution − the name coined for the fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.

Global Trade And Destruction Of The Amazon

By Jesse Prentice-Dunn and Ilana Solomon for the Sierra Club. For decades, crews of illegal loggers have traveled deep into Peru’s Amazon rainforest, cutting valuable hardwoods for sale on the international market while threatening indigenous communities, our environment, and the climate. Rampant corruption has plagued Peru’s forest sector, allowing timber mafias to use fraudulent documents in order to obtain permits that they use to illegally harvest timber. According to a study by the World Bank, up to 80 percent of the timber exported from Peru has illegal origins. A new documentary from Al Jazeera shows just how widespread illegal logging is in Peru and how that illegal wood is making its way to the United States.
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