Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing, coming to you a day later than usual because of the holidays in the U.K. and U.S. 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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EU plans to protect 30% of land and seas by 2030 for biodiversity
Climate Home News, Chloé Farand,  20 May 
Climate Home News offers detailed coverage of the EU Commission's  biodiversity plan, which calls for dedicating €20 billion annually to conserve 30% of EU land and sea territories for biodiversity. New Scientist writes that the plan includes a target of planting 3 billion trees. Reuters carries the story as well, noting that the unofficial targets will also include organic farming to reach 25%, cut chemical pesticide use by 50% and fertiliser use by 20% by 2030 as well. The Guardian, i newspaperBusinessGreen, Nature World NewsBloomberg, Fast Company, and EU Observer also cover the story. More next week on biodiversity's inclusion in the €750 billion stimulus package presented by the Commission today. 
As co-chair of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) that emerged out of pre-COP last year (not to be confused with the HAC led by the Marshall Islands), Costa Rica's President Carlos Alvarado Quesada released a video announcing a commitment similar to the EU's to protect 30% of Costa Rica's land and seas for conservation as part of the nation's economic recovery from COVID-19. As the other co-chair, France's President Emmanuel Macron announced that France is committed to making the protection of biodiversity a top priority on the international agenda and will organize a One Planet Summit in Marseille on January 11, 2021, during the World Conservation Congress.
Tropical forests can still store ‘high levels’ of carbon under 2C of warming
Carbon Brief, Daisy Dunne, 21 May
Carbon Brief reports on a new study showing the carbon sequestration potential of trees if the world stays under two degrees Celsius of warming. The results are significant in the context of other recent research that shows global forests could become a net source of greenhouse gas emissions if deforestation continues in places like the Amazon, or if warming continues unchecked. The study highlights how important forests can be as a solution to climate change, but the need for broader emissions reductions to occur if forests are going to meet their potential. The Yorkshire Post interviews the team of researches behind the study, who call for urgency to protect tropical forests that can store up to a quarter century's worth of greenhouse gas emissions. These findings are released on the same day Deustche Welle writes on a new report from WWF showing that deforestation in 18 tropical rainforest countries has doubled since last year. Thomson Reuters Foundation looks at the increased deforestation that has been occurring in tropical countries while the world has been focused on tackling the coronavirus.
Indonesia to receive $56 million from Norway for reducing emissions
Jakarta Post, Apriza Pinandita, 22 May
The Jakarta Post reports that Indonesia is set to receive a US$56 million grant from Norway as the first payment for the former’s success in reducing deforestation and carbon emissions under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) cooperation scheme.
British supermarkets threaten Brazil boycott over proposed forest law
Reuters, Matthew Green and Jake Spring, 19 May
Reuters reports that British supermarkets may boycott products made with Brazilian goods if lawmakers pass a controversial bill that would ease the deforestation of the Amazon. Continuing with the story, Reuters reports in response to the supermarket threat that Brazil has delayed the vote on the controversial bill. Reuters also reports that an environmental minister has called for deregulation while the public is occupied with the coronavirus. Finally, Reuters shares new research from Brazilian environmental advocacy group Climate Observatory showing Brazil's greenhouse gas emissions could increase 10-20% in 2020 compared to 2019 due to increased deforestation.  BBC presents a new multimedia piece covering the factors behind deforestation in each of the eight countries that have territory within the Amazon and how the coronavirus is affecting lives alongside continued deforestation. Human Rights Watch shares that Brazil's own data reveals deforestation fines haven't been enforced since October 2019. The Independent and BusinessDay also carry the UK supermarket story.
WWF and RSPB: British consumption relies on overseas land area almost the size of the UK annually
BusinessGreen, Cecilia Keating, 22 May 
BusinessGreen covers a new report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds that shows British consumption of commodities and other goods globally requires a land area equal to the size of Great Britain annually to satisfy the UK's demand for just seven commodities. Additionally, a third of this footprint is in countries that struggle with high levels of deforestation and human rights issues. Gibraltar Chronicle writes that the demand for the products studied in the report has grown 15% since the last study conducted in 2015. Campaigners are using the report to urge the UK government to use post-coronavirus trade deals to enforce sustainability and deforestation mandatory due-diligence requirements for companies to aid in mitigating our biodiversity and climate crises.
Calls for green Covid-19 recovery packages from companies and 220 regional governments
Ethical Corporation, Terry Slavin, 18 May
Ethical Corporation reports that more than 150 multinational companies and more  than 220 state and regional governments released statements issuing commitments to meet a net-zero carbon economy and calling for a green recovery. Axios reveals that Prince Charles will be leading a virtual conference amongst political and financial leaders to "reset" the global economy with climate change solutions as the main theme.

This comes at a time when the environment and climate change have become less pressing risks for world leaders according to a new World Economic Forum report on COVID-19 risks facing the world. The report shows that environment and climate issues barely break into the top 31 most important risks ranked by respondents. These findings stand in stark contrast from the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report released in January that highlighted five environmental and climate risks as the biggest concerns for global experts and decision-makers. 
Rwanda submits tougher emission-cutting plan to the UN
Climate Home News, Chloé Farand, 21 May 
Climate Home News reports that Rwanda is the first African nation to put forward a  stronger Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UN making a new commitment to reducing emissions by 4.6 million tonnes by 2030. Some forestry and land-use emissions are excluded from their emissions calculations as data availability has been a challenge for the nation. However, Rwanda aims to stick to its previously announced plan to restore 30% of its national land area to forests. The full plan presented to the UNFCCC can be read here

The percentage of land and sea territory that will be conserved within the EU as part of their new biodiversity plan.

#NatureNow film awards two wins at The Webby Awards
Nature4Climate, 20 May

Nature4Climate is happy to announce that the #NatureNow campaign video featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot has won the Webby Award and Webby People’s Voice Award for the Public Service & Activism category for an internet video! We appreciate everyone in our community that voted for the video and helped it gain recognition as the one of the best internet videos focused on activism in the past year.
Featured Opinion/Commentary
Nature's Future Is Our Future
The Nature Conservancy, Jennifer Morris, 17 May
The new CEO of The Nature Conservancy shares why she remains optimistic in our fight to solve the biodiversity and climate challenges.
Giulia Bond, the Forests Campaigner for Global Witness, shares why our focus for recovering from the economic devastation from the coronavirus must include the economic and supply chain considerations around the future of our forests.
The Guardian's environmental journalist Fiona Harvey shares an opinion piece framing the importance of the world's leading economists and leaders calling for a green economic recovery because it would provide greater economic returns than other options. 

Planting Trees Won’t Stop Climate Change
Slate, Ted Williams, 25 May
Ted Williams, an environmental writer and Chair of the Native Fish Coalition, writes that tree planting as a climate solution often does more harm than good.
WWF’s Will Baldwin-Cantello argues we need to measure forest biodiversity better to fix our imbalanced relationship with forests and nature, which has tipped ecosystems out of balance.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not a break for nature – let’s make sure there is one after the crisis
World Economic Forum, Sebastian Troëng, Edward Barbier and Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, 21 May
The authors say it is a mistake to assume nature is experiencing a long needed reprieve from human activity because of the coronavirus, but we have the opportunity to create anew permanent relationship with nature that will provide it lasting relief if we capitalize on the opportunity for a green economic recovery.

Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Planting trees doesn’t always help with climate change
BBC, Michael Marshall, 26 May

Natural, biodiverse forests more reliable at fighting climate change than plantations
Mongabay, Neha Jain, 25 May

Carbon offsetting is essential to tackling climate change
The Economist, 21 May

Ecuador’s Kichwa implement innovative approach to rainforest conservation
Mongabay, Matthew Wilburn King, 20 May

Community forest enterprises provide win for forests and people: Study
Mongabay, Thelma Gómez Durán, 21 May


New Brazilian Highway Accelerates Rainforest Destruction
The Yucatan Times, 25 May

'Amazon of the East' under threat
The Sentinel, Himasmita Deka, 19 May

Help us protect the headwaters of the Amazon from oil companies, elders say
Reuters, Aislinn Laing and Marco Aquino, 22 May

The hidden toll of lockdown on rainforests
BBC, Alexander Matthews, 20 May

As their land claim stalls, Brazil’s Munduruku face pressure from soybean farms
Mongabay, Caio de Freitas Paes, 21 May

Tech made to find galaxies sets its sights on wildfires
Mongabay, Rachael Meyer, 19 May

Can Palm Oil Ever Be Sustainable?
Technology Networks, 20 May

Australia's severe bushfire season was predicted and will be repeated, inquiry told
The Guardian, Calla Wahlquist, 25 May

Siberia experiences hottest spring on record, fueling wildfires
Mongabay, Elizabeth Claire Alberts, 19 May

Jailing of farmer who cut 20 trees spotlights Indonesia land conflicts
Reuters, Michael Taylor, 19 May

Tuyên Quang faces large deforestation
Vietnam News, 22 May

Mining company pressing to enter Ecuador’s Los Cedros Protected Forest
Mongabay, Ana Cristina Basantes, 22 May

Is Mexico’s ‘Mayan Train’ a Boondoggle?
The Nation, Meaghan Beatley and Sam Edwards, 22 May

SLC Agrícola case exposes deforestation risk to listed companies
Capital Reset, Natalia Viri, 21 May

Palm Oil Is In Half Of Your Groceries And Destroys Forests. Can We Fix That?
HuffPost, Jillian Mock, 21 May


Trees everywhere might be warming the Arctic
E&E News, Chelsea Harvey, 21 May

These drones will plant 40,000 trees in a month. By 2028, they’ll have planted 1 billion
Fast Company, Adele Peters, 15 May

'It's good for the soul': the mini rewilders restoring UK woodland
The Guardian, Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston, 23 May 

Sustainable Forestry

Scientists blast idea of wood burning as climate fix
E&E News, Chelsea Harvey, 22 May

How nature can change the built environment, part three
CNBC, 22 May

Grenfell fears prevent timber building boom
BBC, Roger Harrabin, 25 May

Negative Emissions Technologies

Global warming: The world can capture enough carbon dioxide to avert dangerous climate change, research reveals
inews, Madeleine Cuff, 21 May

Agriculture and Soil Health

'Farming is going to have to change': NFU President Minette Batters on net zero, changing diets, and Brexit
BusinessGreen, Michael Holder, 21 May

Making money from soil carbon storage is a long way off
The Citizen, Nica Richards, 25 May

New soil sequestration module to reduce carbon footprint
Farming UK, 26 May

AgriSA backs carbon offset schemes to promote sustainable farming
News Pulse Online, 26 May


Loss of Louisiana marshes that protect New Orleans is ‘probably inevitable,’ study finds
Washington Post, Chris Mooney, 22 May

Mississippi River Delta Marshes Have Hit a Tipping Point, Study Finds
Yale E360, 26 May

Millions donated to save Clarendon mangroves
Jamaica Observer, 20 May

In Indonesia’s new rice plan, experts see the blueprint of an epic past failure
Mongabay, Hans Nichloas Jong, 19 May

Sundarbans once again stand against cyclone as savior
Daily Asian Age, 21 May

Part of the answer to surviving climate change may be South Africa's wetlands
Agri News Portal, Dr. Alanna Rebelo, 26 May

Women live off the mangroves
The Fiji Times, Viliame Odrovakavula, 26 May

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Building resilience through community forestry: RECOFTC Annual Report
RECOFTC, May 2020
Read the latest annual report from RECOFTC on their work to build a future where the people of the Asia-Pacific region utilize community forestry to live equitably and sustainably.

The Global Forest Transition is a Human Affair

Preprints, May 2020
Forests across the world stand at the crossroad with climate and land use changes shaping their future. This report provides possible solution pathways to overcome key barriers to implement the goals of ending deforestation governments, campaigners, and corporations have established.

PHPL: From Legality to Sustainability
Independent Forest Monitoring Network, May 2020
This report explores the environmental credentials, performance, and additionality of Indonesia’s Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) standard.

Low-Severity Fires Enhance Long-Term Carbon Retention Of Peatlands

AZO Life Sciences, May 2020
High-intensity fires can destroy peat bogs and cause them to emit huge amounts of their stored carbon into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, but a new Duke University study finds low-severity fires spark the opposite outcome.

Global geologic carbon storage requirements of climate change mitigation scenarios
Energy & Environmental Science, May 2020
This reports shows how logistic growth models, a common tool in resource assessment, provide a mathematical framework for stakeholders to monitor short-term CCS deployment progress and long-term resource requirements in the context of climate change mitigation targets.


VIRTUAL EVENT: Artists United for Amazonia Livestream
Date: 28 May
Hosts: Amazon Watch, Rainforest Foundation US and Amazon Aid Foundation

WEBINAR: Aligning NDCs with a Post-COVID-19 World
Date: 29 May
Hosts: WWF and OECD

The Future of Food Digital Conference
Dates: 2-3 June
Host: Innovation Forum

Global Landscapes Forum Bonn Digital Summit
Dates: 3-5 June
Host: Global Landscapes Forum

WEBINAR: Which companies are most exposed to deforestation-driven fires in their supply chains?
Date: 5 June
Host: Chain Reaction Research

WEBINAR: Nature-Based Solutions as a Force for a Green and Resilient Recovery
Date: 5 June
Hosts: WWF and OECD

WEBINAR: REDD+ Learning Session: The NDCs we want – Forests in the Focus
Date: 10 June
Host: REDD+

Dates: 7-9 July
Host: Nature-based Solutions Initiative, Oxford

WEBINAR: Unleashing the Potential of Finance to Green the Recovery
Date: 12 June
Hosts: WFF and OECD

VIRTUAL EVENT: Building business resilience: How collective leadership will reverse nature loss
Date: June 15
Hosts: World Economic Forum, WBCSD, ICC, UN Global Compact, IUCN, Business for Nature

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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