The charred tree stumps in the Amazon rain forest tell their own story.
Even though the trees here are probably the best-protected anywhere on earth - at least in theory - someone is still cutting them down and burning them.
For several years now, the Brazilian government has insisted that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has declined sharply.
But earlier this year, it suddenly jumped again, to a rate five times higher than last year.
The government's flagship policy on community land deeds could jeopardise conservation efforts that have seen Thailand's forest area increase for the first time in decades.
Adis Israngkura, a researcher from the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), said deforestation had slowed from 3 million rai a year to 300,000 rai a year.
The ninth biennial issue of State of the World's Forests, published at the outset of 2011, the International Year of Forests, considers the theme 'Changing pathways, changing lives: forests as multiple pathways to sustainable development'. It takes a holistic view of the multiple ways in which forests support livelihoods. The chapters assembled for this year's State of the World's Forests highlight four key areas that warrant greater attention: regional trends on forest resources; the development of sustainable forest industries; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and the local value of forests.
Gorillas, the largest of the great apes, are under renewed threat across the Congo Basin from Nigeria to the Albertine Rift: poaching for bushmeat, loss of habitat due to agricultural expansion, degradation of habitat from logging, mining and charcoal production are amongst these threats, in addition to natural epidemics such as ebola and the new risk of diseases passed from humans to gorillas.
The high reliance on charcoal makes Tanzanian producers, traders and consumers vulnerable for environmental problems such as deforestation. Increasing the sustainability of the charcoal chain in Tanzania calls for a comprehensive approach that accounts for a multitude of aspects (e.g technological, economic, social and environmental issues). At present, the development of such a comprehensive policy is hampered by lack of information about the charcoal chain as well as the limited recognition of policy makers in Tanzania of the interdependencies between the segments within the charcoal chain. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive analytical overview of all three components of the charcoal sector: production, trade and consumption. This overview contributes to the development of a comprehensive policy regarding the role of charcoal in Tanzania’s energy strategy.
Preliminary lessons drawn from the available sources of information include the following: (1) The vast magnitude of the industry implies that changes in the sector can only be realized gradually with a comprehensive approach as a basis. Sudden interventions such as the ban on charcoal production and trade are counter-effective; (2) Despite the high environmental awareness among the charcoal producers, their poverty leaves no alternative but to continue the profession of charcoal making. Lack of alternative livelihood options, prevent them from shifting to more sustainable income sources; (3) Kiln efficiency is extremely low, thereby enhancing the rate of deforestation. Projects supporting the improvement of kiln efficiency would greatly support local communities as well as the environment. (4) Charcoal induced deforestation causes ample externalities, such as downstream water shortages. Because of these relationships, innovative economic instruments such as Payments for Environmental Services (PES) could be considered. (5) Current policies directed at the charcoal chain are inefficient in many ways. The command and control policies dominating the approach of the current Tanzanian government need to be supplemented by market-based approaches.
One of the United Republic of Tanzania’s most prized resources, forest land, is being threatened by the industry of charcoal. Deforestation caused by the charcoal industry is a problem that developing countries around the world and particularly in Africa are facing. This study will focus on this problem as it affects the city of Dar es Salaam, the countries largest consumer of charcoal. A large number of citizens, 69% (Malimbwi 2001), use charcoal to cook with, increasing deforestation, adding to their health problems and emitting detrimental greenhouse gases.
The process of producing and using charcoal is not sustainable and many organizations are looking into ways of making the charcoal chain more sustainable. Many options exist; however, this study will focus on decreasing charcoal consumption in the city of Dar es Salaam. Using the results of a survey of 235 targeted households in the city, this report seeks to explain what kinds of people use certain fuels, why they use those fuels, their way of cooking with the fuel, and their willingness to switch to other fuels.
The results of the survey are used in two cost-benefit analyses (CBAs). A household CBA will determine which fuel is the most cost effective, taking daily cost, initial investment cost, health risk avoided and time savings into account. The results of the household CBA will be used in a social planner CBA to determine if investing in a fuel substitution campaign will benefit the society as a whole. The social planner CBA will consider environmental benefits as well as the costs and benefits used in the household CBA.
Finally, we conclude that investing in an extensive LPG marketing campaign to target 30% of charcoal users is not only feasible but beneficial to society. This measure will decrease consumption of charcoal and make the industry more sustainable. Forestland, a precious resource, will have a better chance of surviving and being of continued use to the citizens of Tanzania.
The forest is home to a large, marginalized sector of Philippine society composed of both migrant and indigenous dwellers. They constitute about 20 million or 25% of total population and are generally considered the poorest of the poor. The attraction of the forests to the poor has partly to do with the lack of livelihood opportunities in the lowlands and partly with the numerous goods and services the forests provide for free. If properly managed by the upland dwellers, the forests can provide society with both use values such as timber and non-timber products, beautiful landscapes, recreation and hydrological services and non-use values like climate regulation, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. The offsite beneficiaries of these services are the downstream industries and residents who are normally better off in economic standing than the upland dwellers but who do not pay for the external benefits they derive.
In recent decades, there has been a growing interest among resource decision-makers in developing countries in market-based instruments (MBI) as a strategy to address the twin goals of resource management and poverty alleviation. This development is attributed to the poor performance of command and control policies in resource management in the absence of complementation from market-based instruments (MBI). A recent and innovative MBI that is gaining importance globally is payment or compensation for environmental services (PES). PES seeks to promote forest conservation activities by recognizing and compensating forest owners or dwellers for the environmental services they provide and making the beneficiaries of these services pay for them. The basic idea in PES is to create a market for environmental services by linking together the providers and users of these services and creating incentives to both groups to protect the integrity of the forests.
SAO PAULO – The massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Amazon rain forest won approval from Brazil's environmental protection agency on Wednesday, clearing the way for construction of a project fiercely opposed by environmentalists, indigenous activists and celebrities including film director James Cameron and rock star Sting.
The dam would be the world's third largest, behind China's Three Gorges dam and the Itaipu, which straddles the border of Brazil and Paraguay.
The consortium building Belo Monte still must obtain an operating license before producing energy, but Wednesday's decision allows for full-scale construction of an $11-billion project designed to produce 11,000 megawatts of electricity, more than 6 percent of Brazil's energy needs.
This report is a contribution to CIFOR’s multiyear Global Comparative Study on REDD+, which aims to provide policy makers, practitioners and donors with strategic information on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
This country profile for Brazil focuses on the Brazilian Legal Amazon region, which is made up of all or part of 9 states, and in particular on the Amazon rainforest biome (consisting primarily of dense and open broadleaf tropical rainforest). Some reference is made to areas in the cerrado biome, which are pertinent because of pressures of expansion in nonforest land uses, and because of persistent confusion regarding transition zones between the 2 biomes.
An international mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and increased carbon stocks through improved forest management (REDD+) is likely to become part of a post-2012 international convention on climate change. Meanwhile the academic and publicd ebate on the role of forest conservation in climate change mitigation has become increasingly polarized. Many of these conflicting positions are based on conceptual models or assumptions about how REDD+ will be put into practice; linking the debate to the large number of pilot REDD+ initiatives currently underway is thus an important step forward. This brief discusses three hypotheses related to the opportunities and limitations of REDD+ and links them to strategies being pursued by four incipient REDD+ programs in the Brazilian Amazon.