Forests, land and agriculture
WWF and Indonesian environment groups claim that European and Japanese taxpayers are among those unwittingly underwriting the continued destruction of important forest in Sumatra, including habitat for endangered tigers. A new report from Sumatra-based NGO coalition Eyes on the Forest, shows that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) agreed to protect high conservation value forest under debt restructuring agreements it made with taxpayer-backed financial institutions in nine countries, in 2004. However, Eyes on the Forest believes subsequent forest clearing blatantly breaches that commitment.
PT Hindoli, a subsidiary of agribusiness giant Cargill, has been fined $1 million for clearing land to grow palm oil trees beyond its concession in in South Sumatra, Indonesia. Environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia believes the fine could set a precedent and act as a warning to other palm oil companies clearing land illegally.
|April 3, 2012||to||April 4, 2012|
The 2nd Annual Sustainable Food Summit will bring together experts and interested participants from diverse sectors and backgrounds to examine what new frameworks and emerging solutions will help support a sustainable and resilient food system for Australia now and into the future.
To be held Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney. Pre-summit workshops begin April 2, 2012.
The Forest Industry Association, Tasmania’s peak timber industry group, has announced it is suspending support for the groundbreaking Intergovernmental Agreement to protect forests signed in August 2011. The Wilderness Society’s National Director, Lyndon Schneiders, says that if the peace deal unravels, it will be a tragedy for Tasmania’s forests and timber industry as well. Schneiders is calling on cool heads to prevail and for all parties to step back from the brink while awaiting key soon-to-be-released reports on how much of the State’s forests should be permanently protected and what lower conservation value forest could be made available for logging.
Back in 2010, we featured commentary by Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Campaigns Director Shailendra Yashwant on a landmark commitment by Indonesia to protect its remaining forests with $1 billion financial support from Norway. The pact was agreed in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions caused by the destruction of forest and carbon packed peat-land; it promised to be a flagship large-scale example of REDD+ in action. At the time, a moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions was announced on a supposed ‘no reduced deforestation, no money from Norway’ basis.
Now, Jakarta-based NGO Greenomics-Indonesia has revealed that over 1 million acres in Indonesian New Guinea was revised out of the moratorium in November 2011. How will Norway react to this worrying revision of the parameters? Do Indonesia’s actions bode ominously for other REDD+ initiatives? Is it possible to save the ambitious moratorium? We hope the Greenomics report will invite greater scrutiny of how this keystone pact is being implemented.
Environment groups claim the conservation agreement released today by the Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments fails to adequately deliver on the first key conservation outcome promised by the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). The coalition of groups urged both governments to bring an immediate end to logging that has continued in forests earmarked for protection and shown to be home to endangered species.
UPDATE: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended implementation of the IGA, saying “99.5 per cent of the nominated area for interim protection is being protected,” while the conservation value of the forests is verified.
Conservationist Miranda Gibson has spent weeks sitting 60 meters above the ground, at the top of a tree in the middle of Tasmania’s south-western wilderness. Miranda made the commitment to remain on her tree-top platform until the area of forest receives the protection that was promised by State and Federal governments in August 2011.
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