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Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing


Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Media Briefing summarising media stories, commentary, research and events that relate to natural climate solutions. We thought you might be interested based on your work on forests and climate change. 

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FEATURED NEWS
 
Coronavirus forces postponement of COP26 meeting in Glasgow

Wide coverage of the joint announcement from the United Kingdom and United Nations that COP26 will be postponed with an expectation that the event will be held in mid-2021. Climate Home reports that governments are still under pressure to submit tougher climate plans and ramp up ambition before the end of the year. Earther interviews several climate diplomats about the potential benefits that may lie within the extended timeline.  Business Green publishes an editorial describing how the stakes "are higher" now with the delay providing an opportunity to increase the climate ambition that has been lacking since the inception of the Paris Agreement. On a similar note, Mongabay reports on the announcement that the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Conservation Congress scheduled for June has been rescheduled for January 2021. 
Brazil: coronavirus fears weaken Amazon protection ahead of fire season
The Guardian, Jonathan Watts, 3 April
 
The Guardian reports on Brazil's law enforcement forces reducing efforts to monitor deforestation and land grabbing instances as coronavirus spreads. Unearthed reports that the illegal gold mining operations in Brazil are continuing to expand as protection measures are scaled back. Thomson Reuters Foundation runs an opinion piece from Amnesty International Brazil describing how the spread of the coronavirus has caused indigenous defenders of nature to scale back efforts to prevent deforestation. Germany's Environment Ministry (BMUB) has requested IPBES to consider links between infectious diseases and destruction of nature to outline policy options to help prevent pandemics. 
COVID-19 Coronavirus: Environmental benefits of coronavirus pandemic across the world
New Zealand Herald, Stephanie Bedo, 6 April
 
New Zealand Herald covers the environmental benefits of the global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and experts' warning that this isn't a silver lining if we return to 'normal' once the crisis is over. The Guardian writes that air pollution is down across the UK, but decreased less than expected as pollution from agriculture and wood fires continue. The Intercept shares that the United States' decision to roll back environmental enforcement during the pandemic will limit the amount of air pollution that could be avoided and potentially make more people susceptible to the respiratory virus.
Commodity Driven Tree Cover Loss in Congo May Be 10 Times Higher Than Previous Estimates
Global Forest Watch, Liz Goldman and Giuseppe Molinario, 25 March
 
Steering away from coronavirus for a moment, Global Forest Watch has published the results of a University of Maryland study that finds a greater share of deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is related to commercial activity than was once thought. 
Featured Opinion/Commentary
 
The executive director of the UN Environment Programme says we should not celebrate the fact that air pollution is down temporarily, but instead, focus on the necessary shifts to a more sustainable economy we need after this crisis passes. "The wild must be kept wild." It is time to restore our forests, stop deforestation, invest in the management of protected areas, and propel markets for deforestation-free products." 
 
Protect these places — or face climate doom
Conservation International, by Kiley Price, 31 March
Kiley Price writes about the new research led by Conservation International that shows there are certain places on Earth that we simply cannot afford to destroy. There is a significant amount of carbon dioxide locked away in our existing natural landscapes. If we exploit and release that stored carbon we are eliminating any chance to meet our global climate targets.
 
Coronavirus is a wake-up call: our war with the environment is leading to pandemics
The Conversation, by Fiona Armstrong, Anthony Capon and Ro McFarlane, 30 March
They might sound unrelated, but the COVID-19 crisis, climate and biodiversity crises are deeply connected.
 
Forbes, by Jeff McMahon, 1 April
According to the experts in this Forbes article, the question isn't if we will face more viruses as we continue to invade our remaining natural landscapes, but when the next disease will occur. 

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Q+A: Research findings offer framework for effective carbon management
Forest News, by Julie Mollins, 6 April

Why Old-Growth Trees Are Crucial to Fighting Climate Change
Wired, by Brooke Jarvis, 1 April

'National office for carbon removal': Green Alliance calls for carbon offset regulatory revamp
BusinessGreen, by James S. Murray, 2 April

Protecting forest cover in Papua is a green investment too, activists say
The Jakarta Post, by A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil, 3 April


Deforestation

On the road to sustainability: Musim Mas to advance traceability of palm oil by third quarter
Food Navigator Asia, by Guan Yu Lim, 31 March

Olam clashes with NGO over palm oil zero deforestation pledges: ‘We strongly refute the factually inaccurate and false allegations’
Food Navigator, by Flora Southey, 2 April

Palm oil giant Wilmar quits High Carbon Stock Approach citing governance issues
Eco-Business, by Robin Hicks, 3 April

A third of Peru’s La Pampa forest cleared for illegal mining ponds, study finds
Mongabay, by Yvette Sierra Praeli on 2 April 

Soan Sakesar valley under threat of deforestation
Tribune, by Shoukat Hayat Malik, 2 April

The young Brazilians fighting for the Amazon
Sharjah 24, 2 April

Climate change, deforestation, cripple Pakistan's honey exports
Dawn, by Mohammad Zubair Khan, 3 April

Business giants including Tesco urge ministers to end supply chain deforestation by 2030
edie, 3 April

Timber mafia and deforestation in Romania
Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa, 6 April

Deforestation and disease: How natural habitat destruction can fuel zoonotic diseases
Mongabay, by T. V. Padma on 1 April 

Anglo American seeking to mine on indigenous lands in Brazil’s Amazon
Mongabay, by Maurício Angelo, 31 March

Palm oil gains ground in Chiapas, Mexico
Mongabay, 3 April

The burning questions about Africa’s wood fuel
Forest News, by Anggrita Cahyaningtyas, 6 April


Reforestation

The man who grew his own Amazon rainforest
BBC, 2 April


Sustainable Forestry

Bill gives nod to forest products business for carbon storage
The Daily World, 26 March

Burning Wood Can Be a Clean Source of Power After All
Bloomberg, by Jess Shankleman, 25 March

Opening Up Thousands of New Forest Acres to Meet the Demands of Carbon Markets
Sustainable Brands, 31 March

Forests Are Adapting to Climate Change—For Now
Santa Barbara Independent, by Dana Dela Cruz, 5 April


Negative Emissions Technologies

World's largest CCS proposal not viable – report
E&E News, by Carlos Anchondo, 25 March

The missing puzzle piece for getting to 100% clean power
Vox, by David Roberts, 28 March

Gasification with CO2 Storage Reduces the Costs of the EU's Zero Carbon Strategy by 40% 
Natural Gas World, 26 March


Agriculture and Soil Health

Why protecting soil carbon is a win-win for farmers and the planet
GreenBiz, by Kiley Price, 2 April 

Impacts of cover crop planting dates on soil properties after 4 years
Phys.Org, 2 April

Can ‘Carbon Smart’ Farming Play a Key Role in the Climate Fight?
Yale Environment 360, by Gabriel Popkin, 31 March


Wetlands

The kelps are alright: Studies reveal resilience in kelp forests
Mongabay, by Liz Kimbrough on 2 April 

How Asia’s megacities can benefit from mangroves and other natural climate solutions
Eco-Business, by Neo Chai Chin, 3 April

Should water be transferred from east to west to save the Mekong Delta?

Vietnam Net Global, by Mai Lan, 2 April

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Feedback between drought and deforestation in the Amazon
IOPScience, April 2020
The results of this study suggest results suggest that global climate change, not deforestation, is the main driver of recent drying in the Amazon. However, a feedback between drought and deforestation implies that increases in either of them will impede efforts to curb both.

Global rangeland production systems and livelihoods at threat under climate change and variability
IOPScience, April 2020
This study highlights the urgency of developing and implementing context-specific adaptation options in rangeland ecological systems, with the support of relevant science as well as policy and enabling environments. 

Climate mitigation in agriculture: summary findings

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, March 2020
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, commissioned research to investigate which agricultural solutions offer synergy between climate and nature, and where there is a risk of conflict.

Increasing fragmentation of forest cover in Brazil’s Legal Amazon from 2001 to 2017
Nature, April 2020
Combining spatial data analysis with high spatial resolution data for forest cover and forest loss, this research quantified the spatial and temporal patterns of forest dynamics in the Brazilian Legal Amazon. It identified an alarming trend of increasing deforestation, with especially high rates in 2016 and 2017.

The world’s forests: a wealth of biodiversity
FAO, March 2020
Forests are home to an estimated 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. This is a collection of the Food and Agricultural Organization's latest insights on forests.

Tropical Forest Alliance Collective Action Agenda Launch Webinar Recording
Tropical Forest Alliance, April 2020
The Collective Action Agenda charts a framework and an urgent call to action of what the broader TFA community must achieve together in the post-2020 period to achieve a forest positive future. 

A close look at the quality of REDD+ carbon credits
Climate Focus, March 2020
Companies are increasingly relying on carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions or support climate goals. This report evaluates the quality of REDD+ carbon credit programs to date. 

REDD+: If communities are the solution, what is the problem?
ScienceDirect, March 2020
This research reviews REDD+ programs and its focus on local communities as agents of change when the majority of deforestation is known to be caused by commercial activities, and what that could mean for the frameworks applied working with them. 

Events


WEBINAR: Using the UN Biodiversity Lab to Support National Conservation and Sustainable Development Goals
Dates: 7 April
Host: NASA


WEBINAR: Jurisdictional Exchange Network – Webinar Series
Dates: 6 and 23 April
Host: Tropical Forest Alliance

WEBINAR: Aligning Deforestation-free Commitments and Capital Flows for Progress in Producer Countries

Date: 14 April
Host: UNEP Finance Initiative


WEBINAR: REDD+ Learning Session: Benefit Sharing at Scale: Tools and Good Practices for Results-Based Land Use Programs
Date: 15 April
Host: REDD+


WEBINAR: Introduction to Global Forest Watch Resources for Journalists
Date: 17 April
Host: Rainforest Journalism Fund, WRI Indonesia, Pulitzer Center


WEBINAR: Law, climate change, and agriculture - legal tools in the arsenal
Date: 22 April
Host: International Bar Association

Earth Optimism Summit
Dates: 23-26 April

The Tree Conference
Dates: 2 May
Location: Cambridge, UK

Rainforest Alliance Sustainability Summit

Date: 13 May
Host: Rainforest Alliance

We hope you found this information useful and you choose to subscribe to this weekly briefing on the top media coverage of natural-climate solutions.

Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
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