Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

Welcome to the new format for the Nature4Climate Media Round-Up. This weekly newsletter summarizes content from international media outlets (and our partner organizations) on stories, developments and events that relate to nature-based solutions to climate. Our editorial policy is to circulate articles and opinion pieces whether we agree or disagree with viewpoints represented. In this new version, we feature the week's top NCS related news stories and analyse themes in coverage. 

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Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate

Image of the Week
Jeff Bezos' Instagram post announcing the launch of his $10 billion 'Bezos Earth Fund' to combat climate change.
Featured News

Bezos' Big Bet on Climate
There was widespread media coverage of Jeff Bezos’ announcement on February 17th that he would be dedicating $10 billion of his fortune to fight climate change. Bezos announced the initiative, called the Bezos Earth Fund, on Instagram, saying the fund will support scientists, activists, non-governmental organizations and "any effort that offers a real possibility to help preserve and protect the natural world.” So what does this mean for natural climate solutions? Details are light. Although remember that last September Amazon announced it was launching a $100 million fund to restore and protect forests and wetlands. The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer asks where the money will go. Lots of coverage revolves around how it should be spent. The Guardian reports a proposal for an “Amazon for the Amazon” fund. Writing in US Today, David Murphy suggests Bezos should spend his money to ensure half the earth is preserved. Another theme in the coverage is that Bezos needs to clean up the act of his mega-corporation before going on a potentially greenwashing donation campaign. Vox argues that donating $10 billion isn’t the best way for Jeff Bezos to fight climate change. 
Credit where it’s due: Forest-carbon programs a vital tool to fix climate
Agustin Silva, Conservation International
Conservation International (CI) offers a thoughtful response to a series of Telegraph articles critical of carbon offset forest projects. The Telegraph reported on an illegal mining operation occurring in Madagascar’s Ankeniheny-Zahamena Corridor (CAZ) as an example of how people buying carbon offsets are at risk of being ripped off. It was accompanied by a companion piece, discussing why the reporter believes offsets are fooling people into thinking they’re contributing to a greener future; and a third article warning for governments not to pursue offsets as a solution. CI’s response adds important context around mining and other drivers of deforestation in the CAZ, pointing out the important role forest carbon credits can and must play in the area and more broadly. The challenge, CI argues, is more nuanced: "Here’s the rub: Current carbon prices have been shown to be sufficient to compensate for the opportunity costs of small-scale agriculture in the CAZ, but not for the higher opportunity costs of illegal mining.”
Gaining Clarity on NCS Standards
As momentum for nature-based solutions for climate grows, attention is turning to the question, “what do good nature-based solutions look like?” Last week, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Council adopted a new standard for NCS (IUCN), which will be launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille this June (IUCN). A group of environmental organizations led by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative at Oxford wrote to the incoming COP26 Presidency outlining “robust principles" for NBS. And don’t forget N4C’s recent blog post on how to judge tree planting initiatives.  
1 trillion trees: What would it take, how would it work, and is it even worth it?
Adele Peters, Fast Company
Fast Company publishes a useful explainer on the campaign. This comes amidst ongoing debate around the campaign. The Editorial Board of the LA Times says that the danger of the Trillion Trees Initiative is that pro-oil business conservatives will wave it around as a solution to global warming, excusing action to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Mother Jones carries a similar piece. N4C has been very clear on this point: if a government, business or NGO is implementing or investing in tree planting in order to delay or avoid decarbonization and to continue business as usual in terms of emissions, that is not a nature-based solution. Tom Crowther, writing in the Guardian, also has useful guidance.  


Jeff Bezo's $10 billion commitment to combat climate change is estimated to be 7.7% of his total $130 billion net worth.


Why Paraguay can be “beacon state” for forest management
UN-REDD, by Achim Steiner, Inger Andersen and Qu Dongyu, 219 February
Paraguay's Gran Chaco forest is threatened from the encroachment of agricultural expansion and deforestation. But, working through the UN-REDD+ process in 2019, Paraguay reported 26.7 MtCO2 of emission reductions – or a nearly 50 percent reduction of emissions from the forest sector.

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

IUCN Council adopts first-ever Global Standard on Nature-based Solutions
IUCN, 17 February

Natural Climate Solutions: How 4 global companies leverage nature to tackle the climate crisis
GreenBiz, by Michèle Zollinger, 24 February

1 trillion trees: What would it take, how would it work, and is it even worth it?
Fast Company, by Adele Peters, 19 February

Buttigieg unveils public lands plan ahead of Nev. caucuses
E&E News, by Kellie Lunney, 21 February 

SDG15: The Fight For Life On Land
Business Green, by Mike Scott, 26 February

Afforestation - Nigeria to Plant 300 Million Trees in 2020 - Official
AllAfrica, 17 February 

Liberia, Sierra Leone Join to Protect Gola Rainforest
Daily Observer, by Hannah N. Geterminah, 24 February 

Under attack from climate change, Colombia's farmers befriend nature
Thomson Reuters Foundation, by Anastasia Moloney, 22 February

Suez Launches Acting for Natural Capital
BioPlastics News, by Axel Barrett, 20 February

Money trees: U.S. cities find new ways of valuing urban forests
Thomson Reuters Foundation, by Carey L. Biron, 20 February

EU funds project to promote sustainable forest management in Quang Tri
Voice of Vietnam, 21 February

New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
CounterPunch, by Stephen Corry, 24 February

A Trillion Trees in Rep. Westerman’s Hands Means a Trillion Stumps
CounterPunch, by Rachel Fazio, 20 February

Republicans are buying into carbon capture foolishness
Washington Examiner, by Steve Milloy, 21 February

Seven strategies that offer hope for rainforests
Eco-Business, by Tony Juniper, 21 February


‘Catastrophic’ Loss of Amazon Forest Looms, Suzano CEO Warns
Bloomberg, by Gerson Freitas Jr and Fabiana Batista, 20 February 

Scientists Warn Paris Accord Is ‘Impossible To Implement’ If We Don’t Stop Tropical Forest Loss
The Rising, by Taran Volckhausen, 23 February

Deforestation is so rapid, everything will be lost before anyone knows: Supreme Court
Deccan Herald, by Ashish Tripathi, 18 February

Coconut Oil Could Be the Next Disastrous Biofuel
Gizmodo UK, by  Nithin Coca, 24 February

Romania facing legal action over destruction of Europe’s last natural forests
Client Earth, 21 February

Investors drop demands after Tyson Foods commits to no deforestation
Mongabay, by Liz Kimbrough, 20 February

Communities facing Zero Deforestation pledges: the case of OLAM in Gabon
Farm Land Grab, 19 February

WWF urges government to add deforestation protections to Environment Bill
Environment Journal, by Pippa Neill, 19 February

Kellogg's revamps deforestation and palm oil policies after environmental protests
Edie, 19 February

Destruction of the Amazon: the main threats to the world's largest rainforest in the 9 countries that share it (SPANISH)
BBC, by Camilla Costa, 18 February

Meat company faces heat over ‘cattle laundering’ in Amazon supply chain
The Guardian, by Dom Phillips, 20 February

Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan at loggerheads over a Selangor plan to clear forest reserve
Straits Times, by Hazlin Hassan, 21 February

Religious leaders launch historic commitment to end tropical deforestation in Indonesia
UN Environment, 21 February

Tesla has defeated “tree pirates” and resumed plowing down a forest in Germany
Quartz, by Michelle Cheng, 22 February

Deregulation in Indonesia: Economy first, environment later. Maybe
Mongabay, by Hans Nicholas Jong, 24 February


Remaking Appalachia green
The Seattle Times, by Alex Brown, 17 February

Nestlé farm to rip up saplings after eco drive planting wrecks wild flower meadow
The Telegraph, by Helena Horton, 19 February

Nigeria to plant 300 million trees in 2020 — Official
Premium Times,17 February

Czech forestry agency launches app so people can help plant trees
Expats CZ, by Raymond Johnston, 24 February

This is not a forest
Ecologist, by Tesni Clare, 21 February

Fir's fair: UK must embrace conifers in climate fight, says forestry chief
The Guardian, by Patrick Barkham, 26 February

Sustainable Forestry

Less Logging Means Less Money for Schools in the Northwest
Pew Trusts, by Alex Brown, 18 February

What’s holding back China’s bamboo furniture makers?
Eco-Business, by Wang Chen, 21 February

Agriculture and Soil Health

U.S. Ag Secretary Perdue outlines green goals for farmers
E&E News, by Marc Heller, 20 February

Farm groups unite to oppose climate rules
E&E News, by Thomas Frank, 20 February

Farm groups launch CO2 coalition — without saying 'climate change'
E&E News, by Marc Heller, 19 February

Canadian farmers have a plan for tackling climate change
Grist, by Alastair Sharp, 17 February

General Mills chooses Kansas for restorative farming project
The Wichita Eagle, by Alice Mannette, 19 February

Preserving soil health cannot be compromised
The Hindu Business Line, by Alka Bhargava, 18 February


Save our peat swamps
Malaysian Insight, 22 February

New Science, Policy and Tools

Guidance: Enabling a Natural Capital Approach, UK
The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has published a set of resources on “enabling a natural capital approach” to guide policymakers and decisionmakers.

Forest Soils Release More Carbon Dioxide Than Expected in Rainy Season
Current carbon cycle models may underestimate the amount of carbon dioxide released from the soil during rainy seasons in temperate forests like those found in the northeast United States, according to Penn State researchers.

The Cities4Forests Toolbox
Cities4Forests offers a collection of practical tools from around the world to help cities include forests, trees, and green infrastructure in their decision-making, planning, and investments. 

Long‐term impacts of permafrost thaw on carbon storage in peatlands: deep losses offset by surficial accumulation
A large amount of soil carbon has become frozen in Northern permafrost peatlands, but warming is causing these stores to thaw. A new study found no long‐term net impact of permafrost thaw on carbon stores, as losses of previously frozen carbon were offset by carbon that accumulated at the surface following thaw.


World Biodiversity Forum
Dates: 23-29 February
Location: Davos, Switzerland

2020 Investor Summit on Climate Risk
Dates: 24-25 February
Location: New York City, USA

Governing and Managing Forests for Multiple Ecosystem Services Across the Globe
Dates: 26-28 February
Location: Bonn, Germany

Joint Symposium: Multiple Values of Nature
Dates: 2-3 March
Location: Bristol, UK

World Bank Land and Poverty Conference 2020
Dates: 16-20 March
Location: Washington, DC, USA                                                                                                                      

CERES - 2020 in New York
Dates: 23-27 March
Location: New York City, USA                                                     

Sustainability Summit 2020
Date: 26 March                 
Location: London, UK    

International Conference on Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence
Dates: 1-3 April
Location: Oxford, UK

Africa Climate Week 2020
Dates: 20-24 April
Location: Kampala, Uganda 

Earth Optimism Summit
Dates: 23-26 April
Location: Washington, DC, USA

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