Forests: Trump on fire, palm oil price slump and the extinction of coffee
In Forests News last week:
Is deforestation in Borneo slowing down? READ
A new CIFOR study has revealed a deforestation slowdown on the island of Borneo in 2017. The paper looks to a slump in palm oil prices as its main cause.
Making connections: New funding opens dialogue on landscape approach efforts READ
Coverage from the GLF in Bonn, Germany, where panellists from UNEP, CIFOR and World Bank discuss a landscape approach to tackle poverty, food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss.
Barking up the same tree: ‘Water and forests cannot be separated’ in East Africa’s Rift Valley READO
Water, forestry departments and communities come together to create management plans that work from the highlands through to the lowlands.
Here’s our pick of stories from the world’s press:
Rising temperatures threaten cultural heritage
On social media The New York Times reran a lauded five-part series that did the rounds again on Twitter over the weekend. Perfect excuse then to include in the summary! The multimedia story delves into the threat that climate change looms over the world’s most famous heritage sites: Warming seas in the Galapágos face its creatures with their biggest evolutionary test, swelling seas sweep up Easter Island’s cultural heritage, the rapidly changing ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park leave little time for its animals to adapt, drier weather chokes Lebanon’s millennia old cedars and rising seas steal stone age landmarks in Scotland’s Orkney islands.
The Tanzanian government has granted protection of a forest after sobering research revealed it to be nearing total wipe-out, The Independent reports. A new agreement drawn up by scientists, authorities and local villages hope to ensure the protection of the Magombera Nature Reserve, which has been hampered by poaching and illegal logging in recent decades. The forest is home to a newly discovered chameleon, galagos (adorably known as bush babies) and elephants, packing an impressive biodiversity punch in a relatively small area.
1000s of students in Northern Europe take to the streets to demand climate change action
Major global media titles gave light coverage of student’s skipping school and joining protests across Northern Europe on Friday, to demand their governments take climate action. The marches were inspired by 15 year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who told leaders at the UN climate talks in December they were ‘not mature enough to tell it like it is’. The BBC published a video of students in Belgium who came out in their thousands to pound the streets of Belgium.
Ethiopia’s “church forests” give faith for restoration
The National Geographic conducted this beautiful photo essay of island forests in Ethiopia who have only avoided complete devastation because of the churches that are nestled inside them. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church created their sanctuary’s in patches of shady forest as early as fourth century AD, and now their priests are joining with scientists and communities to save what’s left of the forest. Though surrounded by wheat fields and monocultures, scientists are hopeful of the restoration prospectives in the region.
Feed the world in a better way
Millions of people will die from obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and cause “catastrophic” damage to the planet unless we change our diets, a landmark health study in The Lancet said this week. News outlets in China and Australia ran the story, reporting that nearly a billion people still go hungry, two billion are eating too much of the wrong foods, all whilst the global food system claims the title of ‘biggest emitter of greenhouse gases’. Eating less grain fed beef and doubling the average intake of fruits, nuts and vegetables was recommended in the report.
Trump deals with wildfires by increasing deforestation efforts
For someone who expertly knows how to grab the headlines, this was an executive order the US president has passed ‘quietly,’ The Independent reports. According to the article, Trump has turned his interests towards timber expansion to deal with California’s wildfires, and passed by recommendations from scientists and federal officials to concentrate on emission reductions to tackle climate change. The new order instructs the agriculture and interior secretaries to consider timber production on millions of hectares of land, before putting it up for sale – carried out this would increase deforestation by over 30 percent. Fire ecologists are sceptical about the new approach.
Can’t live without coffee? Scientists warn of bad tastes and price hikes
A collaborative study with Ethiopian scientists and the UK’s Royal Kew Gardens warn that the world’s most popular coffee beans are facing extinction.CNN uses the report published in Science Advances to cite deforestation as coffee’s biggest threat, with climate change coming in a close second. Fewer wild crops will mean that coffee will not only become ever more expensive. but will taste worse too.
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