Forest News, October 26- November 1


Emily Kaldjian

Visit us every Monday for recent news on deforestation, forest legality, and developments in forest technology! 



Kenya turns to technology to monitor illegal activities in Forests,” 26 October, Standard Media

Kenya on Friday launched a mobile application (app) to monitor forests in order to curb illegal logging. Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Director Emilio Mugo said that the smartphone application will enable users to report illegal activities in the forest. “We expect the app to compliment the efforts of law enforcement officers to conserve Kenya’s forests,” Mugo said during the 20 year celebrations of the Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG).

Cambodia: peaceful direct action has saved one of our most beautiful forests,” 27 October, The Guardian

An environmental activist explains how a grassroots campaign has stalled the building of a dam in Cambodia. “We knew that our strategy of resistance had to be peaceful, innovative and direct to be effective – we have learned from experience that nothing else works in Cambodia, not engaging the media nor writing to parliament.”

Furniture Exports Sets Record Highs After Timber Reform,” 27 October, Jakarta Globe

Indonesia's local timber furniture producers have exported $2.7 billion of products following the country's adoption of legal timber certification, spurred by higher demand from European customers, a leading industry figure said. According to Lisman Sumardjan of the chairman Indonesian Furniture and Crafts Producers (Asmindo), Indonesia is on course to reach $3 billion in furniture exports this year as demand usually spikes ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday. The figure is set to eclipse last year's total $1.8 billion in exports.

Amazon - illegal loggers set Indigenous forest ablaze,” 28 October, The Ecologist

Deep in the Brazilian Amazon indigenous people have been protecting their reserve from illegal loggers, writes Luana Lila. The loggers took their revenge by kindling one of the Amazon's biggest fires ever, destroying almost 200,000 hectares of rainforest.

The world’s tropical forests should not fit in your grandmother’s attic, 29 October, National Geographic

Even as the fires in Indonesia continue to rage, international acceptance of a proven solution has yet to penetrate the dense text of the draft international treaty that the United Nations is trying to coordinate. This is a diplomatic process, concluding in December, which argues out almost every word in a 55-page document. And the placement of an issue in the treaty—if it is discussed in the front, middle or back of the document—makes the difference between whether the final agreement will address the issue, or just pay lip service to it. “If your issue gets stuck in a preambular paragraph,” said Charles Barber of the World Resources Institute, referring to the preamble or introduction of the treaty, “it’s like sticking it in your grandmother’s attic; it’s going to get dusty and forgotten.”

Malawi's hydropower dries up as river runs low, menacing forests,” 29 October, Reuters

Dwindling water levels are hobbling Malawi's hydroelectric power supply and putting more pressure on the country's already stressed forests, officials say. The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), a public utility, says the amount of power it generates through three plants on the Shire River has fallen by 66 percent due to Lake Malawi's declining water level, which experts blame on erratic rains made worse by climate change.

Paying Tropical Forest Countries to Keep Trees Standing Is a No-Brainer,” 29 October, Center for Global Development

Performance payments can play an important role in providing visible and meaningful incentives to reduce deforestation, according to a new CGD working group report. That’s important because the benefit to the global climate from keeping trees standing is huge.  Tropical forests store so much carbon that cutting them down releases more greenhouse gases annually than the entire European Union from all sources. Avoiding deforestation keeps that carbon out of the atmosphere, and regrowing forests that have been cut down or damaged can remove tons more. Doing both could reduce gross annual global emissions by as much as 30 percent.

Traceability in the paper-packaging supply chain,” 29 October, Procurement Leaders

Improved forest law enforcement and increasing regulation of the wood trade is helping reduce illegal logging practices. The level of enforcement differs worldwide, however, resulting in a lack of consensus regarding timber trade practices. Growing demand for wood from a number of industries, including the paper-packaging market, places considerable pressure on worldwide resources. Traceability in the supply chain is very important but it is also not straightforward; it not only requires awareness of the wood’s origin, but also tracing its complete journey throughout the supply chain. This is can be tricky in the paper industry as some paper products are manufactured in pulp mills, which may use wood from a variety of sources.

Meet the Real Climate Warriors Going to Paris,” 29 October, Huffington Post

As world leaders, diplomats, climate activists and journalists are set to meet in Paris at the end of November for a crucial conference to tackle climate change, a group of leading indigenous peoples groups are also making their way to the French capital. As part of the UNDP's Equator Initiative, communities' leaders from a wide range of countries that include Iran, Guyana, Uganda and Indonesia will not only be receiving a prestigious international prize, but also be calling for government to take bold steps in the fight against global warming.

2 million hectares of Indonesian forest burnt since June, says report,” 1 November, The Malaysian Insider

More than two million hectares of Indonesia's forests were burnt down in the past five months, Indonesian authorities have revealed, as neighbouring countries get respite from the choking smoke.