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    Woodland Trust warns over fly-tipping after worst year on record

    2017 - 01.06

    The Woodland Trust is warning about the effect fly-tipping is having on woodlands and wildlife after seeing its worst year on record for the illegal dumping of rubbish.

    The charity says it spent £42,596 clearing up 196 incidents of fly-tipped waste across the UK last year, bringing the overall bill for dealing with litter in its woodlands to around £354,000 – some way up from the £192,000 spent the year before.

    Since 2010, the trust has spent more than £1 million on dealing with fly-tipping and picking up litter – money it says would be better spent on protecting existing woods and creating new ones.

    Well-managed and protected woodland are all attractive ways to encourage forestry investment.

    The trust highlighted one incident in which 280 bags of rubbish were collected from Windmill Hill near Runcorn, an urban woodland, along with mattresses, a fridge and garden fence panels.

    Norman Starks, Woodland Trust UK operations director, said: “It’s worrying to see, in a world where our woods face constant threats from disease, pests and development, that we also have to deal with the actions of mindless individuals.

    Each year we are spending thousands of pounds clearing up other people’s waste, which could otherwise go towards creating new woods or protecting ancient woodland.

    “At the end of the day fly-tipping is an illegal activity, and people need to understand and remember that it has numerous implications for our woods and wildlife. We all need to care for our natural environment or risk ruining it forever.”

    Ten per cent of Amazonian deforestation occurring in protected areas

    2015 - 06.17

    Ten per cent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is taking place within protected areas, a new report has suggested.

    Using spatial analysis, Imazon examined deforestation in the Brazilian section of the rainforest between August 2012 and July 2014. It found that 158,400 hectares of the 1.531 million hectares cleared in the Amazon during the two-year period took place within 160 officially designated conservation units.

    The vast majority (87 per cent) of the loss that occurred in protected areas came from zones in just two states: Para and Rondonia, Mongabay.com reported.

    While deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has sharply declined over the past decade, forest loss has been rising steadily in recent months, Imazon found. It is believed that Brazil’s weakening currency along with a sharp reduction in state funding of a key Amazon protection program are the main contributing factors to the apparent reversal.

    Imazon is a non-profit research institution focused on promoting sustainable development in the Amazon. The organisation’s most recent study says that the tree loss was highest in areas where infrastructure was expanding or management plans and funding were lacking. Consequently, the researchers recommend tougher law enforcement and the eviction of non-traditional settlers from illegally occupied forests, as well as a crack down on fake land titles, and targeted already-deforested lands for state resettlement schemes.

    Greenwood Management supports projects that aim to reduce deforestation, along with research that draws attention to this critical issue.

    Top firms punish palm oil supplier for forest deforestation

    2015 - 06.03

    Top palm oil companies have put their dealings with leading suppliers on hold following news of mass rainforest clearance in New Guinea.

    Palm oil titans Wilmar and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) have announced in an email to Mongabay that they will be suspending their dealings with palm oil supplier Austindo Nusantara Jaya (ANJ) Agri following the news that the firm is clearing dense rainforest across the country.

    Despite research published in 2014 by Indonesian NGO demonstrating that the palm oil developer was undertaking mass deforestation within New Guinea, the company has continued to engage in unsustainable methods of securing its resources over the last year.

    The firm’s largest customers continued to utilise an existing partnership until the latest report was revealed by Greenomics, who found that GAR spent £13.5 million on crude palm oil from ANJ and accounted for 43 per cent of its sales over the last 12 months.

    Commenting on the recent end to the relationship between the two companies, a GAR spokesperson said: “Following serious allegations against our supplier ANJ Agri regarding clearance of high-carbon stock forest in Indonesia’s West Papua province, we have immediately engaged with them to investigate the issues.”

    Similar customers yet to break their link with the firm include Asian Agri and Musim Mas, who have given no indication that they will end their partnership with the palm oil developer despite possessing a number of sustainability policies.

    Many other companies, including Greenwood Management, have already pledged their support for sustainability policies, working to prevent deforestation and encourage worldwide forest conservation.

    Biodiversity ‘key to sustainable development’, says UN chief

    2015 - 05.27

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the global population to recommit to taking action for reduce the range of deforestation and biodiversity loss around the world to ensure sustainable development and tackle the eradication of poverty.

    The sustainable development goals and post-2015 development agenda unveiled by the UN are set to encourage this philosophy, providing an opportunity for mainstream biodiversity and transformation change in how sustainability and conservation is regarded around the world.

    According to Ban Ki-moon, the reduction of deforestation and enhanced carbon stocks in forests and crop lands are all highlighted within the agenda as cost-effective ways of mitigating climate change.

    Marking the International Day for Biological Diversity, Ban Ki-moon’s message highlighted the importance of variety of life around the planet to the success and welfare of future generations, stating that a new focus on sustainability could help address the global issue of poverty.

    “Protecting ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable groups are essential to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,” he said.

    The post-2015 development agenda is expected to be adopted by world leaders later in 2015 at a United Nations summit during the opening of the substantive session of the General Assembly.

    However, a number of companies including Greenwood Management have already adopted sustainability initiatives of their own to help tackle the issue of climate change.

    Food giant commits to deforestation-free palm oil scheme

    2015 - 04.15

    Yum! Brands, the food giant behind well-known brands KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has announced that by the end of 2017 it will only buy palm cooking oil from suppliers that commit to protecting tropical forests and peatlands.

    Yum! Brands’ announcement comes just one day after the Union of Concerned Scientists released a new report analysing top companies’ palm oil commitments. The report was a follow-up to a March 2014 report that rated the 10 largest companies in packaged food, personal care and fast food sectors, revealing that fast food firms had the weakest plans to source deforestation and palm oil-free products.

    The new report tracked the 30 companies’ progress over the last year, as well as that of 10 additional companies from the house brands sector, and found that only eight of those surveyed this year have adopted palm oil commitments that fully protect forests and peatlands.

    The companies that have shown to strongest commitment include household names such as Danone, Kelloggs, Nestle and Pepsi Co from the packaged food sector, and Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble from the personal care sector.

    Despite the relatively poor results in the fast food sector, Yum! Brand’s announcement is expected to have a significant impact on the results of the 2016 report. However, the report has highlighted concerning results elsewhere in the fast food sector, with Dunkin’ Brands, Burger King and Starbucks all scoring zero in UCS’s March 2014 review.

    Although Yum! Brands has only recently committed to environmental causes, some companies including Greenwood Management have already made their pledge to stop deforestation.

    Indonesia ‘should reduce deforestation’, says UN chief

    2015 - 02.17

    Speaking to the Jakarta Post, UN Development Programme (UNDP) head Helen Clark has suggested that Indonesia needs to reduce deforestation in order to meet global climate control targets.

    One of the front-runners to fill the seat of UN secretary-general in 2017, the former New Zealand prime minister recently visited Jakarta to meet President Joko Widodo to discuss the country’s role in the upcoming Paris Climate conference.

    Commenting on the country’s current climate change targets, the former prime minister stated that Indonesia would fail to meet its targets for a 26 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases without tackling deforestation, which currently contribute to 80 per cent of the gases produced across the country.

    She continued: “This is a critical political agenda that Indonesia needs to do for its own sake. But it also has a position of global leadership and Indonesia should keep that leadership.”

    According to Ms Clark, Indonesia is likely to become a large player in the support of other countries when it makes its statement of intended national contribution to climate change in March, and as such should take an active stance on the fight against deforestation in order to meet those goals.

    Companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged to support sustainable forestry and are working hard to contribute towards the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

    McDonald’s helping to slow Amazon deforestation, study finds

    2015 - 02.04

    A policy from fast food company McDonald’s has helped to slow deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, according to a new study.

    Research conducted by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that the firm’s policy shift in 2006 has cut the rate of deforestation in the region.

    Since McDonald’s and other fast food companies stopped buying birds that have been fed with soy grown in the Amazon, the percentage of Brazilian rainforest that has been logged to raise the crop has dropped.

    The huge demand for soy is one of the top reasons why deforestation is such a global problem in the 21st century, but the 2006 moratorium is due to come to an end in 2016..

    Holly Gibbs, an environmental studies and geography professor and the study’s lead author, stated that 30 per cent of new soy came from deforestation before the moratorium, but after the agreement was reached, this dropped to just one per cent.

    Greenpeace exposed the high rate of deforestation from soy farming in a landmark report and the moratorium was quickly reached after the figures were revealed.

    “Very quickly, within days, unlike government policies which take years to implement, most of the soy industry and government agencies agreed to sign what’s known as the soy moratorium,” said Ms Gibbs.

    Romulo Batista, forests campaigner with Greenpeace Brazil, added that deforestation is not necessary in Brazil to double agricultural production in the country.

    Companies such as Greenwood Management realise how important it is to protect the world’s forests and they are working together to ensure they are preserved and safeguarded against excessive levels of deforestation.

    Obama plans methane emissions cut to fight climate change

    2015 - 01.20

    US president Barack Obama is set to announce a new plan to cut methane emissions as part of the global fight against climate change.

    Mr Obama is aiming to reduce emissions from the burgeoning oil and gas industry by as much as 45 per cent in the next 10 years.

    White House officials told campaigners the aim will be to slash 2012 levels of emissions by 2025, reports the Guardian.

    David Doniger, director of the climate and clean air programme at the Natural Resources Defence Council, stated that this is “the largest opportunity to deal with climate pollution”.

    He added: “It is the largest thing left and it’s the most cost-effective thing they can do that they haven’t done already and all the signs are there that they intend to step forward on that”.

    Mr Obama previously pledged to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020, with a further target of a 26 per cent to 28 per cent reduction by 2025.

    The US president will soon visit India where he will discuss climate change with the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi. Mr Obama has made green issues one of his top priorities since entering the White House in 2009 and he is aiming to secure his legacy by the end of his term.

    Over a 20-year timescale, methane is thought to be 87 times more powerful as a dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

    Companies including Greenwood Management are aware of the importance of protecting the world’s forests and are already working to ensure that they are preserved and safeguarded against excessive deforestation.

    Korean star expands environmental preservation efforts in Brazil

    2015 - 01.07

    Korean pop icon, Seo Taiji, has confirmed that he is to expand his “Be the Green” environmental preservation efforts, by sending donations to the World Land Trust to allow for new trees to be planted across a vast swath of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest.

    Back in 2012, fans of the singer raised $35,000 to rename an area totalling almost five hectares of Brazil’s tropical rainforest as the Seo Taiji Forest, in order to mark the star’s 20th anniversary as a performer. This meant that 27,500 new trees could be purchased by the Trust and planted in the Guapi Assu area of the forest. This region is under constant environmental threat as a result of a lack of conservation efforts, and many wildlife species that live there are facing extinction.

    Now, the star has said that he will plan a further 5,000 trees in the area, creating the Seo Taiji Mania Forest, located next to the existing Seo Taiji Forest, in order to carry on building on the legacy started by his fanbase.

    Seo said: “It’s not about showing that good people like me, it’s about me becoming a good person by giving back to these good people.”

    Firms such as Greenwood Management, which are already working to protect Brazil’s precious natural resources, understand only too well the need to share with the world the importance of these forests and the threats they face.

    Report shows deforestation increases rainfall

    2014 - 12.24

    Deforestation not only releases carbon into the atmosphere, it also increases rainfall, according to a new report.

    The research, published in Nature Climate Change, provides the most comprehensive analysis so far of the climate impacts of tropical forest destruction on agriculture in the tropics and thousands of miles away.

    Effects of Tropical Deforestation on Climate Change and Agriculture claims that deforestation in South America, south-east Asia and Africa could even have an impact on agricultural areas in the tropics and as far afield as the US Midwest, Europe and China.

    Lead author of the study, Deborah Lawrence, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, stated that deforestation delivers a double whammy to the climate and to farmers.

    She said: “Most people know that climate change is a dangerous global problem, and that it’s caused by pumping carbon into the atmosphere. But it turns out that removing forests alters moisture and air flow, leading to changes – from fluctuating rainfall patterns to rises in temperatures – that are just as hazardous, and happen right away.”

    Dr Charlotte Streck, director of Climate Focus, added that the new research will help guide policy makers who are currently working on climate change projects.

    Companies such as Greenwood Management realise how important it is to protect the world’s forests and they are working together to ensure they are preserved and safeguarded against excessive levels of deforestation.