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  • Archive for March, 2015

    Slowing deforestation undermined by forest degradation

    2015 - 03.25

    A study has shown that the amount of climate pollution being produced every year by the deforestation is slowing globally, but benefits of this decline are being undermined by the degradation of the forests that remain standing.

    According to research conducted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the losses of forests and individual trees pumped on average 3.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year from 2011 to 2015, down by around one quarter from the yearly average of the previous ten years.

    Speaking to Climate Central, Stanford University professor Robert Jackson stated that the announcement helped highlight the “very positive trend” of reduced deforestation rates around the world. “You can share the credit among a whole bunch of groups, putting policies in place and monitoring their forestry activities,” he said.

    However, this slowing of deforestation that underpins the global improvements also hides increasing rates of forest degradation, which is estimated to be releasing around 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. According to the study, forest degradation was responsible for around half that amount each year between 2000 and 2010.

    Despite this, FAO director-general Jose Graziano da Silva has stated that the overall trend is encouraging, with forestry improvements across the world working to slow deforestation.

    One company that has already pledged its support to forestry conservation is Greenwood Management, which works hard to contribute to the reduction in worldwide deforestation.

    Scientists call on Brazilian government to protect aquatic animals

    2015 - 03.11

    A team of Brazilian scientists have called on the government to do more to protect the country’s aquatic animals.

    Scientists, including Luiz Rocha, PhD, associate curator of ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences, are urging the government to take action after new lists of those plants and animals facing extinction was released in December 2014.

    The data identified 3,286 species of plants and animals at threat of extinction on the red list, with 83 being aquatic animals that are being commercially exploited by fisheries. Many on the list are known to end up as by-catch during standard fishing operations. The team of scientists suggest that now is the time for the formation of a fisheries management collaboration between the nation’s private and public sectors in order to boost conservation of endangered water-dwelling animals.

    Rocha explains: “In Brazil – a country with some of the most unique aquatic environments on Earth – fisheries data don’t really exist. There are no bag or size limits for any species of fish, and for the past few years, even the most basic fisheries statistics – such as the numbers and weights of fish being caught – are a blank space. Maintaining current red lists is crucial to making sure management plans start as soon as possible.”

    He added that it is crucial that the Brazilian government act now to prevent further losses of the country’s aquatic animals.