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

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Tropical forests losing their ability to absorb carbon, study finds
The Guardian, Fiona Harvey, 4 March
The Guardian 
and others report on new research published in Nature that argues tropical rainforests are absorbing less carbon than in the past, comparing the decline in sequestration between Amazonian and African rainforests. The Washington Post focuses on the specific implications and research environment of studying carbon uptake by trees in the African Congo. Reuters mentions that the research finds rainforests could become a source of carbon in the near future based on this science. Conservation International responds by putting the role of mature trees in a warming climate in context and highlighting how nature is one of our most important solutions available to us now.
Can you really negate your carbon emissions? Carbon offsets, explained.
Vox, Umair Ifran, 27 February
Vox offers a comprehensive explainer on the topic of carbon offsets, which provides the background necessary to understand both sides of the argument over the practice. Reuters writes that Shell's new "Drive Carbon Neutral" campaign is under scrutiny from Britain's advertising watchdog. Also on the topic of offsets, the Walrus reports on a $25 million carbon-offset project that is struggling to find buyers, and the Great Bear Rainforest is on the line. 
Eyes Turning Back to Brazil
International leaders and major media outlets have responded to ongoing deforestation, fueled by the release of troubling new statistics and investigative reporting. CBS releases a new documentary on the layers of complicity causing the Amazon’s record-breaking fires and how it relates back to Western countries like the United States. In an accompanying article, CBS details how Bolsonaro's administration has been effective in persuading Brazilian farmers that the media's coverage of wildfires is fake news. Reuters provides an exclusive report on thousands of shipments of uncertified and potentially illegal lumber moving through an Amazonian port. Reuters also shares new intelligence showing deforestation in protected indigenous areas doubled in 2019. The Rio Times covers Brazil's National Institute for Space Research satellite analysis showing that deforestation in the month of January hit a five-year high. At the same time, Mongabay reports the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands are facing unprecedented destruction from fires. India's Republic covers the remarks from the UN's Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet on Brazil's rollback of environmental protections. Shanna Hanbury of Mongabay writes on the negative impacts the agribusiness and energy sectors in Brazil would face from their continued deforestation of the Amazon. In the Conversation, researchers from Florida detail how indigenous peoples may be the Amazon's last hope which complements a recent ABC documentary on indigenous forest defenders. Phys.Org shares new research showing that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is connected to rising local temperatures.
Climate change made Australia’s devastating fire season 30% more likely
Nature, Nicky Phillips, 4 March
Nature reports on new research showing that climate change increased risk of the weather conditions that drove last year's record-setting bushfires by at least 30%. Australia's record-setting bushfires from late last year were 30% more likely.  The Guardian releases a multimedia piece on the recent heatwave that is decimating Australia and putting its citizens and wildlife in grave danger. This heatwave is taking place in the context of new research The Guardian covers showing that 20% of Australia's forests burned in the recent bushfires. Mongabay dives into how these conditions are leading to increased threats to the existence of wildlife trying to survive in these degraded landscapes. Additionally, Reuters reports on a new study showing Australia's summers are now twice as long as its winters.
CNBC Series Covers NCS
CNBC's Sustainable Energy series sponsored by Total releases a two-part video dive into the topic of NCS and their ability to assist in combatting climate change (Part One, Part Two). This coverage from a major media outlet in a digital video format is a step in the right direction in gaining more media attention for NCS. However, as Grist reported last week major news networks only devoted four hours of broadcast news coverage to climate change in all of 2019 and increasing coverage for climate change and NCS overall is still needed.


New research shows that climate change made the recent Australian bushfires 30% more likely to happen

Featured Opinion/Commentary

How Bolsonaro’s risky bet on China in the Amazon could backfire
The Washington Post, by Heriberto Araújo and Melissa Chan, 25 February
China, the country’s largest trade partner, has driven this meat and grain boom, buying $31 billion worth of its food commodities last year. The partnership seems to work well: Brazil has the land, and China the demand. But Bolsonaro might want to think twice about this relationship.

The "Zero Draft" Global Biodiversity Framework won’t save our forests
WWF, Hermine Kleymann, 25 February
"The negotiation of a new Global Biodiversity Framework under the CBD provides an important opportunity to take meaningful action on protecting and restoring nature. But business as usual needs to change if world leaders are serious about achieving the vision for 2050 of living in harmony with nature."

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Campaigners urge PM Johnson to 'turbocharge' climate plans ahead of U.N. summit
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 2 March

Why we can still save the planet, Tim Christophersen, United Nations Decade Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030
Irish Tech News, by Simon Cocking, 25 February

The best strategy for using trees to improve climate and ecosystems? Go natural

PNAS, by John Carey, 3 March

Cambodia: Building a Nested System to Protect Remaining Forests
Ecosystem Marketplace, by Quentin Renard, Sovanna Nhem, Chivin Lend, Jeff Silverman and Donna Lee, 5 March

Forget grouse, carbon is new target
The Sunday Times, by Jeremy Watson, 6 March

Forestry seen as key to Russian climate change efforts
Euractiv, by Dave Keating, 6 March


Last Stand for Forests: Can Brands Turn the Tide on Forests
Ethical Corporation, February

Indonesia’s point man for palm oil says no more plantations in Papua

Mongabay, by Hans Nicholas Jong, 2 March

How to build deforestation-free supply chains: lessons from Indonesia
World Economic Forum, by Michael B. Jenkins and Eric Usher, 5 March

Here’s How Mindless Deforestation Will Jeopardise Ecological Balance In Kashmir
Youth Ki Awaaz, by Sunil Kumar, 28 February

Murkowski: Agency's 'going backward' on timber issues
E&E News, by Marc Heller, 26 February

Billion tree tsunami to lose 25% to tobacco roasting
The News, by Shahina Maqbool, 26 February

Colombia launches offensive against drug traffickers for destroying national parks to plant coca
Nam News Network, 25 February

Sweden’s forest crimes
Euractiv, 26 February

14m trees have been cut down in Scotland to make way for wind farms
The Herald, by David Bol, 29 February

PepsiCo applies strengthened palm oil rules to entire supply chain
Business Green, by Toby Hill, 26 February


Nestle vows to plant 3 million trees in Mexico, Brazil to help set off emissions
Reuters, by Daina Beth Solomon, 4 March

If We Plant Billions of Trees to Save Us, They Must Be Native Trees
The Tyee, by Andrew Nikiforuk, 28 February

600 Influencers Team Up to Plant 12,000 Trees in the Amazon and Beyond
The Good Men Project, by Hannah Madison, 26 February

GOP's 'Trillion Trees' plan meets Democratic opposition
E&E News, by Nick Sobczyk, 27 February

Ten million trees by 2030
The National, by Peter Kinjap, 1 March

Tree planting: Edwin Poots pledges to plant 18m trees over 10 years
BBC News, by Conor Macauley, 2 March

House Squabble Over Trillion Trees Shows Partisan Climate Divide

Bloomberg Environment, by Bobby Magill, 26 February

Singapore to plant 1 million trees, develop more gardens and parks by 2030
Channel News Asia, by Cindy Co, 4 March

Agriculture and Soil Health

Climate-Change Bill to Shore Up Conservation-Based Farming
The Daily Yonder, by Bryce Oates, 26 February

Soil carbon is a valuable resource but not all soil carbon is created equal
GreenBiz, by Jocelyn Lavallee and Francesca Cotrufo, 25 February

Senegal Farmer Succeeds with Regenerative Agriculture & Begins Teaching Others  (OPINION)
Inter Press Service, by Lindsay Cobb and Ashleigh Burgess, 28 February

Farmers in Scotland 'need millions more' to tackle climate change

BBC, by Kevin Keane, 3 March

Put down that veggie burger. These farmers say their cows can solve the climate crisis
CNN, by David McKenzie and Brent Swails, 7 March

Negative Emissions Technologies

Are Carbon Credits Vanishing Into Thin Air? (OPINION)
Politico, by Derek Sylvan and Christopher Allen, 24 February


Mangrove forests provide cause for conservation optimism, for now
Nus News, 25 February

Plan to drain Congo peat bog for oil could release vast amount of carbon
The Guardian, by Phoebe Weston, 28 February

Peatlands are under threat. Here's why we must act now to save them
WEF, by Laura Saputelli and Peter Staubli, 28 February

Egypt launches project to plant mangrove trees along Red Sea coast
Egypt Independent, by Al-Masry Al-Youm, 27 February

How South Africa’s mangrove forests store carbon and why it matters
The Conversation, by Jaime Leigh Johnson and Jacqueline L Raw, 25 February

Mangrove-planting drones set to swoop in to restore UAE coastline
Dubai Standard, 25 February

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Zero deforestation soy neglects Brazilian Cerrado
Food Climate Research Network
In this paper, FCRN member Erasmus zu Ermgassen finds that voluntary zero deforestation commitments (ZDCs) cover more than 90% of the soy exported from the Brazilian Amazon, but only 47% of soy exported from the Brazilian Cerrado biome (a type of wooded savannah). 

Global species loss could be halved
Extinction risk could decrease by more than 50% if at least 30% of land were to be conserved across the tropics, a new study reveals.

New Species of Soil Bacteria May Fight Climate Change, Soil Pollutants: Study
The Weather Channel
Understanding how bacteria break down carbon in soil could hold the key to the sustainability of soil and the ability to predict the future of global climate, the researchers said.

The role of northern peatlands in the global carbon cycle for the 21st century
Global Ecology and Biogeography
In this study, future changes in both northern peatland extent and peatland carbon storage are simulated. We highlight that undisturbed northern peatlands are small but persistent carbon sinks in the future; thus, it is important to protect these ecosystems.

(On Watch Due to Coronavirus)

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         

WEBINAR: Introduction to CDP Forests disclosure
Date: 24 March
Host: CDP

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

Payments for Ecosystem Services to support Forest and Landscape Restoration
Date: 26 March

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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