Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing. This weekly newsletter summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) 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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Dear readers, from time to time we will be introducing short, informal surveys on topical issues, the results of which we will publish in the following week’s newsletters. We hope this will provide interesting food for thought. No individual responses will be disclosed and all participation will be kept anonymous. 

Do you believe it is too early for the climate community to be advocating for “green stimulus” as part of economic responses to the COVID-19 crisis?
Deforestation risks rise as coronavirus hinders SE Asia protection
Thomson Reuters Foundation, Michael Taylor, 26 March 

Reuters reveals that Southeast Asian nations' are directing resources used to prevent deforestation towards enforcing quarantines leaving forests vulnerable to illegal loggers, agricultural expansion, and poachers. Mongabay shares that the Indonesian trade ministry has suspended a requirement of licenses verifying timber comes from legal and sustainable sources. Reuters also finds that Brazil is relaxing efforts to prevent deforestation according to an official at the Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources.
Campaigners attack Japan's 'shameful' climate plans release
The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 30 March
The Guardian reports on criticism from environmental groups of Japan’s new national climate target, which was released on Monday. Japan’s new nationally determined contribution (NDC) is almost unchanged from its commitments made in 2015 towards the Paris accord, recording no increase in ambition. In terms of natural climate solutions, as you may remember, Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) was a particular issue in Japan’s previous NDC. This from Climate Action Tracker: “LULUCF is an issue in the NDC, given that Japan intends to use credits obtained through LULUCF accounting to meet its 2030 target. According to the NDC, the Japanese government intends to use accounting rules “in line with approaches equivalent to those under the Kyoto Protocol.” This means that the activities of forest, cropland/grazing land managements and re-vegetation are projected to generate a credit of roughly 2.6% of total GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in 2013. This reduces the effectiveness of the 2030 goal from an 18% reduction below 1990 levels to about 15%."
$2tn US coronavirus relief comes without climate stipulations
The Guardian, Emily Holden, 26 March
The Guardian covers which climate-related requests did not make the cut in the U.S. Congress' $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. E&E News writes that there will likely be multiple efforts undertaken over the next year to stimulate the economy and climate priorities could be included, especially since the balance of power in Washington DC could shift in November.  On the other side of the Atlantic, EURACTIVE reports the EU leaders have called on the European Commission to prepare “a comprehensive recovery plan” that integrates green aspects. 
The planet is full of land holding ‘irrecoverable carbon’—and it’s at risk
Fast Company, Adele Peters, 31 March
Fast Company shares new research revealing over 260 billion tons of carbon are stored in "living carbon reserves". The research, led by Conservation International, published in Nature Climate Change finds that some land areas, if destroyed or degraded, would release so much carbon we would be unable to meet global climate goals.

26% by 2030

The original emissions reduction goal set by Japan in 2015 and unchanged in its new Nationally Determined Contribution.

Featured Opinion/Commentary

From Summits to Stimulus
Climate Home, by Lucy Almond, 25 March
N4C's Lucy Almond argues that in response to the coronavirus crisis we must shift from these summits to ensuring stimulus efforts include nature.

‘This is a wake-up call. We must live within our planetary boundaries to avoid future pandemics'’
Ethical Corporation, by Paul Polman, 23 March
The former CEO of Unilever challenges the business community to redefine their role in society and find a new balance with nature.

We call on leaders to put climate and biodiversity at the top of the agenda
Financial Times, by Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, 27 March
The best response to pandemic crises, climate change, and biodiversity loss is a unified one according to this letter from Costa Rica's Minister of Environment, writing on behalf of the new Planetary Emergency Partnership.

Applying the hard lessons of coronavirus to the biodiversity crisis
United Nations Development Programme, Jamison Ervin, 27 March
Jamison Ervin says the coronavirus is transforming what is possible to accomplish this year for nature and offers four ways we could respond that would still allow 202 to be a 'super year'.

Joe Biden offers $20 billion to protect Amazon forests
Earth Innovation Institute, by Jonah Busch, 20 March
n a recent debate, Joe Biden suggested joining with other nations to direct $20 billion to Brazil to preserve the Amazon. Jonah Busch explains how that money might be best spent.

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Saving the Amazon
ABC, 27 March

Protecting tropics could save half of species on brink, report says
GreenBiz, by Kiley Price, 27 March

Sustainable Forests and Reaching the SDGs
SDG Knowledge Hub, by Judith Walcott and Lera Miles, 26 March

Greener Fiji: Forestry Ministry to develop land use plan

The Fiji Times, by Vishaal Kumar, 31 March


New player starts clearing rainforest in world’s biggest oil palm project
Mongabay, 24 March

Amazon rainforest 'could be ravaged by even worse fires' as climate change worsens
Mirror, by Tom Parry, 24 March

'Urgent priority': UK must tackle supply chain deforestation, government warned
Business Green, by Michael Holder, 31 March

‘Logging rampant despite pandemic’
The Phnom Penh Post, by Khorn Savi, 31 March

New Maps Of Malaysian Borneo Reveal Worsening Carbon Losses Along Forest Edges
Eurasia Review, 31 March

Mondelēz hails progress against deforestation across cocoa supply chain
BusinessGreen, 27 March

Climate change: Green energy plant threat to wilderness areas
BBC, Matt McGrath, 25 March

Hoarding toilet paper during coronavirus doesn’t just deprive others – it’s killing the rainforests
South China Morning Post, 27 March

Palm oil giant Olam under scrutiny again over Gabon plantations
Mongabay, by James Fair, 25 March

Timber smuggling plagues Northern districts
Awoko, by David Thornton, 25 March

How climate change and wildlife influence the coronavirus
Axios, by Amy Harder, 27 March


Tree planting on hold in B.C.'s Interior over pandemic safety concerns
CBC, by Bob Keating and Jon Hernandez, 26 March

Ex-Coal Man Flips the Script By Rallying Appalachians to Plant 187 Million Trees on Abandoned Mines
Good News Network, byAndy Corbley, 30 March

Sustainable Forestry

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

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

To Meet Paris Agreement Targets, India Should Pay More Attention to the Soil
Science, by Raghu Murtugudde, 27 March

Is carbon farming a climate boon, or boondoggle?
Food & Environment Reporting Network, by Gabriel Popkin, 31 March

Farms with Diverse Crops Protect Animals and The Climate 
Futurity, 24 March

Overcoming Carbon Loss From Farming In Peatlands, by Kaine Korzekwa, 31 March


The wonder trees that nurture marine biodiversity
moderndiplomacy, 23 March

Oil exploration at odds with peatland protection in the Congo Basin
Mongabay, by John C. Cannon, 23 March

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Briefing Paper: The Role of Land in Achieving Net Zero
Nature-Based Solutions Initiative, March
A briefing paper for the Net Zero Network looking at the contribution of nature-based solutions and other aspects of land use to achieving net-zero emissions in the UK.

Ecosystem Marketplace 2020 Carbon Market Survey
Ecosystem Marketplace, March 2020
The survey is designed for carbon market participants, offering them the opportunity to confidentially and securely share information specific to their organization’s carbon activities and expertise, and to learn from others. Survey responses are aggregated and anonymized so that the resulting data can be provided freely and publicly.

Forests: Carbon sequestration, biomass energy, or both?
Science Advances, March
This paper clarifies this controversy and illustrates the impacts of woody biomass demand on forest harvests, prices, timber management investments and intensity, forest area, and the resulting carbon balance under different climate mitigation policies. 

Mangroves could turn tide on carbon output
Scimex, March
Research has found that changes in current land management practices in the mangrove forests of West Papua Province, Indonesia could have significant impacts on the country’s future emission reduction targets.

Detoxifying palm oil
FERN, March
How European Union policy could remove deforestation and human rights violations from the palm oil trade with Indonesia.


WEBINAR SERIES: Using the UN Biodiversity Lab to Support National Conservation and Sustainable Development Goals
Dates: 31 March, 7 April
Host: NASA

WEBINAR: Climate Change in the Era of COVID-19
Date: 1 April
Host: Woods Hole Research Center

WEBINAR: Tribal Forests and Forest Carbon, Activity and Interest in North America
Date: 1 April
Host: Forest-Climate Working Group, Michigan State University

WEBINAR: Collective Action Agenda Launch
Date: 2 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+

Earth Optimism Summit
Dates: 23-26 April

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

Please reach out with any feedback or thoughts on this version of the newsletter. If you want to be removed from the distribution list, please use the unsubscribe link below. Please join the conversation #NatureNow @nature4climate or get in touch.

Lucy Almond, Director and Chair of Nature4Climate
Copyright © 2020 Nature4Climate, All rights reserved.

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