Natural Climate Solutions
Weekly Briefing

Welcome to Nature4Climate's Weekly Briefing. This weekly briefing summarises content from international media outlets (and our partner organisations) on stories, developments and events that relate to natural climate solutions. 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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A Nature-Positive Recovery for People, Economy & Climate Webinar
Investing in nature-based jobs and initiatives to stimulate the post-COVID economy

In association with the Planetary Emergency Partnership, the Club of Rome, and the World Economic Forum, Nature4Climate invites you to join the following webinar as part of London Climate Action Week 2020.

July 1st, 2020 - 10am-11am EST / 3pm-4pm BST / 4pm-5pm CET 

Speakers and Panellists:
  • Pavan Sukhdev, Founder-CEO of GIST; President of WWF-International; Study Leader of the TEEB project; Goodwill Ambassador of UNEP
  • Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment, the Republic of Costa Rica
  • Paul Mutuku, Africa Region Co-ordinator, Youth4Nature
  • Diane Holdorf, Managing Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Mark Wishnie, Executive Director, BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group
  • Helen Crowley, Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation, Kering
  • Moderator: Nicole Schwab, Co-Director Nature-Based Solutions, World Economic Forum
Featured News

Why Planting Trees Won’t Save Us
Rolling Stone, Jeff Goodell, 25 June
Rolling Stone reporter Jeff Goodell writes that despite being a hugely popular climate solution in the U.S., two recent reports show "just how misplaced hopes for tree-planting have been." This is in reference to a new survey by Pew Research Center that finds 90% of Americans approve of tree planting programs as a climate solution. Nature4Climate has previously developed a guide for evaluating tree-planting programs that can help put both the popularity of tree-planting, and the resulting criticism from the climate community, in context. Spoiler: there's a lot of nuance here. 
Senate passes major conservation package
Politico, Anthony Adragna, 17 June 
Politico reports on the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in the U.S. Senate based, in part, on Republican advocacy for the potential economic benefits of the bill. The bill provides $900 million for conservation projects, $9.5 billion for maintenance of national parks, and is expected to create 100,000 new jobs. This is in addition to new numbers released by The National Park Service, which found that National Park Service lands in U.S. support 340,500 jobs, and generate $21 billion  in local gateway regions. The Hill covers the bipartisan support for the bill, which has become one of the few issues where bipartisanship can be found in Washington, D.C. during an election year. Also in the U.S., The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released its Congressional action plan to fight climate change and call for conserving 30% of American lands and waters, a new civilian conservation corps, supporting agricultural transitions to eliminate and even sequester emissions, and other natural climate solutions.
The Consultant: Why did a palm oil conglomerate pay $22m to an unnamed ‘expert’ in Papua?
Mongabay, 25 June
Mongabay in partnership with The Gecko Project, the Korean Center for Investigative Journalism-Newstapa and Al Jazeera publishes an investigative report into the financing of Korindo Group that allowed it to become one of the largest palm oil developers in Papua, home to the largest rainforest in Asia. The report dives deep into the company structures of Korindo, its history in West Papua, and a $22 million dollar payment to a consultant, which several experts expect was just the tip of the iceberg for bribes to settle land deals. Mongabay and The Gecko Project also report their methods for identifying Korindo’s revenues from clearing Papuan rainforest.
CCC: UK risks ‘egg on face’ unless it accelerates climate plans
CarbonBrief, Simon Evans and Josh Gabbatiss, 25 June
CarbonBrief reports that the new Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report for the U.K. government that calls the ongoing coronavirus recovery efforts a “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to tackle climate goals, but which also stresses that current progress is insufficient. The report highlights the need to put more resources into reforestation, agriculture, and bioenergy with carbon capture amongst other solutions.  Reuters and The Guardian cover a new report from the Wildlife Trusts charity entitled “Let Nature Help” identifying habitats that, if restored, could absorb around a third of Britain’s CO2 emissions. BBC covers a new report from Green Alliance stating an additional £14 billion is needed each year for Britain to meet its climate targets, using solutions like reforestation. BusinessGreen shares news of a letter from the chairs of the Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy  Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee in the U.K. parliament urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to deploy a green recovery including nature restoration.
Tower of timber to soar over Sydney
CarbonBrief, Simon Evans and Josh Gabbatiss, 25 June
The Times reports on the approval for a new hybrid wooden tower to be built in Sydney, Australia that will be the world's largest at 40 stories tall. The building is funded by Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brooke, founders of Australia's biggest tech company, and is expected to be completed in 2025. The use of mass timber in large buildings is seen as an opportunity to drive sustainable forestry and reducing emissions by reducing the use of high-carbon materials like steel and concrete.
Amazon Monitor

We've established a special section to highlight media coverage of deforestation in the Amazon, which continues to be a key media heme. Here you will find the week's top stories on deforestation, conservation efforts, and the politics of the region.
Mongabay reports on deforestation occurring in the Brazilian state of Matto Grosso which, despite an initial crackdown on illegal deforestation, has seen a quick resurgence. Unearthed reports that President Bolsonaro's order to have 2,500 members of the army deployed to protect the Amazon has been a publicity stunt according to local experts. Counterpunch covers a recurring wave of droughts across the Amazon that have peaked this year in terms of frequency and severity. Mongabay reports that over one hundred farm properties in Brazil covering over 250,000 hectares have been legitimized by the Bolsonaro administration. Amazonia shares a report that looks at the slaughterhouses and soy siloes that saw the most fires occur near their operations in 2019. Reuters reports that new science links Amazon deforestation to lower crop yields for Brazilian corn. Mongabay shares coverage of indigenous communities utilizing new technologies to combat deforestation.
The number of new jobs expected to be created by the Great American Outdoors Act recently passed in the U.S. Senate.
Featured Commentary

Do Black Lives Matter to Big Conservation Groups?
Counterpunch, Fiore Longo, 22 June
Fiore Longo, a Research and Advocacy Officer at Survival International, questions conservationists' priorities when it comes to the protection of nature versus the protection of black lives internationally. She surfaces the silence of conservationists on the issue of anti-poaching officers unjustly killing black people who were not committing crimes in conservation zones. 

Investors take a stand against Amazon deforestation
Responsible Investor, Helen Burley, 26 June
Helen Burley, Communications Lead for Global Canopy, shares what investors can do to curb contributing to accelerating deforestation from occurring in places like Brazil.

Forests, Progress on SDGs Contribute to Recovery from Pandemic
SDG Knowledge Hub, Faye Leone, 25 June
Recent reports looking at Sustainable Development Goals tie their progress to mitigating the coronavirus pandemic and how forests can play a key part in our recovery.

We must not miss this glorious chance to address the climate and biodiversity crises
The Guardian, Jonathon Porritt, 24 June
Environmentalist and author Jonathon Porritt emphasizes the opportunity the U.K. has to truly "build back better" right now through natural climate solutions and other measures.

How did wildlife groups start collaborating in the destruction of nature?
The Guardian, Goerge Monbiot, 24 June
Columnist George Monbiot criticizes the Wildlife Trust's support for a new development project it once opposed that plans to build one million homes across an area twice the size of Birmingham because of the promise of 'net gains' of reserved habitat.

Amid Pandemic, Equator Prize Winners Provide Blueprints for Nature-based Recovery
SDG Knowledge Hub, Martin Sommerschuh, 23 June
The Coordinator of the Equator Initiative highlights how the award winners in 2020 have provided proof that investing in nature can provide the human, economic and biodiversity efforts we need to build back better during our coronavirus recovery efforts.

Indigenous-Led Land Protection Is Key to Canada’s Future
NRDC, Jennifer Skene, 23 June
An Environmental Law Fellow with Natural Resources Defence Council argues that Indigenous Peoples' leadership in Canada is essential to meeting the nation's conservation goals.

It’s time to rein in the industries devouring the world’s last standing forests
Mongabay, Gaurav Madan, 26 June
Gaurav Madan, Senior Forests and Lands Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S., argues that industrial commodity producers are failing to rein in destruction of the world’s tropical forest, and society should prioritize transitioning away from unaccountable production and unfettered consumption.

Conservationists: Despite pandemic, ‘there is still work to do’
Conservation International, Kiley Price, 24 June
Conservation International interviews three conservationists working global biodiversity hotspots who are working to save nature to save ourselves.

Sow nature's lessons, reap better protection
The Hill, Collin O'Mara and Lou Iglesias, 25 June
The CEOs of the National Wildlife Federation and Allied World Assurance Company call upon governments to invest in nature to tackle climate change and improve resilience in the face of imminent climate disasters.
Some Good News

Bay Nature speaks with the Executive Director of Literacy for Environmental Justice in California's San Francisco bay area which utilized nature-based solutions to overcome some of the storied environmental injustices that have plagued the area's Black and minority neighborhoods. While not a total solution for the issues plaguing these communities, nature-based solutions have proven a viable option for local communities to regain autonomy in decision making and to improve their local neighborhoods.
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Media Round-Up

Natural Climate Solutions and Nature4Climate Partners

Uganda becomes first African country to submit REDD+ results, paves way for payments
DownToEarth, Kiran Pandey, 29 June

Parks vs. People: In Guatemala, Communities Take Best Care of the Forest
Yale Environment 360, Fred Pearce, 18 June

Conservation corps backers grapple with legislating diversity
E&E News, Emma Dumain, 25 June

Ancient Sri Lankans built canals. Their legacy today? A new type of forest
Mongabay, Malaka Rodrigo, 22 June

UNEP calls on finance sector to boost biodiversity ambition and engagement
BusinessGreen, Cecilia Keating, 30 June

Working group working to improve forest community
Phnom Penh Post, Soth Koemsoeun, 25 June

Indigenous-led conservation, natural law and a different future
National Observer Canada, Emilee Gilpin, 24 June

Outdoor Afro CEO shares mission to connect Black Americans with nature
Today, 24 June

Ecosystem-based adaptation project reduces flood risk in Seychelles
Climate Home News, Zak Derler, 29 June

Forest tenure reforms in Indonesia could open door to greater gender equality
Forest News, Julie Mollins, 24 June

Research suggests that trees absorb less carbon dioxide as the world's temperature rises, Mikayla MacE, 25 June

Are REDD+ donors learning quickly and deeply enough to make a difference?
Forest News, Monica Evans, 25 June


Fivefold growth of forest fires in Siberia reported
Associated Press, 27 June

David vs Goliath: Indonesian communities push back against palm oil firm
Southeast Asia Globe, 26 June

‘If they take our lands, we’ll be dead’: Cameroon village battles palm oil giant
Mongabay, Victoria Schneider, 26 June

Cooking up a solution to Uganda’s deforestation crisis with mud stoves
The Guardian, Joey Tyson, 29 June

Trump administration wants drilling on more than two-thirds of the largest swath of U.S. public land
Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, 25 June

Marfrig hires ex-Greenpeace officer to increase sustainability and distance from deforestation 
Capital Reset, Vanessa Adachi, 23 June

How the legacy of colonialism built a palm oil empire
Mongabay, Victoria Schneider, 26 June

How to eliminate the deforestation risks of palm oil imported to China?
Eco Business, Zhang Yige, 25 June

In Madagascar’s dry forests, COVID-19 sparks an intense, early fire season
Mongabay, Malavika Vyawahare, 25 June

British Columbia poised to lose ‘white rhino of old growth forests’
Mongabay, Justin Catanoso, 22 June

Tongass timber harvest rejected by judge
E&E News, Marc Heller, 25 June


Cameroon: Entrepreneur aims to plant a billion trees to create local jobs
UN Environment Programme, 24 June

Lolo National Forest and the National Forest Foundation plant over 200,000 seedlings
KULR8, Jenny Power, 25 June

Urban forests are dying. Baltimore shows us how to bring them back.
Popular Science, Andrew Zaleski, 5 June

Sustainable Forestry

Green group gives U.S. toilet paper makers failing grade over forest use
Reuters, Ellen Wulfhorst, 24 June

Wooden Cities on the Rise
Nuvo, Keith Flanagan, 24 June

Minister calls for forest protection and management efforts
VietnamNet Global, 25 June

Negative Emissions Technologies

Projects to Stash Carbon Dioxide Underground Get a Boost
New York Times, Brad Plumer, 24 June

How green sand could capture billions of tons of carbon dioxide
MIT Technology Review, James Temple, 22 June

Britain's Drax to pilot carbon capture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Reuters, Susanna Twidale, 23 June

Another Kemper? Utilities struggle with next phase of CCS
E&E News, Kristi E. Swartz and Carlos Anchondo, 25 June

Inside Innovation: Concrete industry fast-tracks innovation to reduce carbon emissions
Daily Commercial News, John Bleasby, 25 June

Norway Warned $2.6 Billion Carbon Capture Plan May Be Too Costly
BNN Bloomberg, Mikael Holter, 25 June

Agriculture and Soil Health

How Congress Can Help Farmers and Ranchers Save Their Lands and Survive the Coronavirus-Induced Economic Crisis
American Progress, Ryan Richards and Matt Lee-Ashley, 23 June

Lawmakers woo farmers on carbon markets plan
E&E News, Marc Heller, 25 June

Soil offers key to curbing climate change
Financial Times, Ross Tieman, 24 June

Thai rice farmers step up to tackle carbon footprint
Financial Times, John Reed, 24 June


Iran’s Hara forests, a key biosphere and protected wetland
Tehran Times, 28 June

Well-managed peatlands vital part of global food security, GLF delegates say
Forest News, Hugh Biggar and Dianna Kopansky, 29 June

Can The Forests of the World's Oceans Contribute to Alleviating the Climate Crisis?
Ensia, Emma Bryce, 24 June

How carbon cycles in Pichavaram mangroves
Mongabay, Sahana Ghosh, 24 June

Restored mangroves provide evidence of resilience against cyclones in Sundarbans
The Hindu, Shiv Sahay Singh, 23 June

Plant 50 million mangroves in the Sundarbans? Improbable, say experts
DownToEarth, Jayanta Basu, 23 June

NbS Digital Dialogues 

Hosted by the Nature-based Solutions Initiative, this online event will ask “What do we mean by successful, sustainable nature-based solutions?” and “How can we achieve this?”

Leaders from science, policy and practice will discuss the four key guidelines for NbS, and identify the most promising methods for financing and governing NbS. The role of NbS for COVID-19 recovery will be a cross-cutting theme. Learn more about the programme and register to attend.

New Science, Research, Policy and Tools

Beyond ‘Business as Usual’: Biodiversity Targets and Finance
Natural Capital Finance Alliance, June 2020
This report is designed for financial institutions to enable a better understanding of the business sectors and financial mechanisms at risk from the loss of biodiversity.

Rural Investment: Building a Natural Climate Solutions Policy Agenda that Works for Rural America and the Climate
Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, June 2020
This report outlines a menu of policy ideas capable of both garnering the necessary support from rural America and helping the U.S. reach its climate goals through natural climate solutions.

Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through urban climate action
UN Habitat, June 2020
This guide for Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions through urban climate action provides practical opportunities for incorporating urban climate action and human settlement issues into the current NDC revision and enhancement process, drawing on existing knowledge and networks. 

Co-Creating Conceptual and Working Frameworks for Implementing Forest and Landscape Restoration Based on Core Principles
Forests, June 2020
Background regarding FLR concepts, definitions, and principles, and discuss the challenges that confront effective and long-term implementation of FLR. The many benefits that a transformative criteria and indicators framework can bring to actors and different sectors involved in restoration when such framework is anchored in the FLR principles. 

Closing the gap: financing and resourcing of protected and conserved areas in Eastern and Southern Africa
IUCN, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), 2020
This report aims to provide an overview of the current status of protected area finance in the Southern and Eastern African region, covering 24 countries, to understand the extent of the challenge. The report also outlines the different innovative finance mechanisms that might be used to help decrease the funding gap. 

Innovation Funding Window B Announcement [ENG, ES, PT, IND, FR]
Governors' Climate and Forests Task Force, June 2020
The Innovation Funding Window, also known as Window B, will support strategic jurisdictional initiatives to achieve transformations that reduce deforestation in forested landscapes of GCF Task Force member states and provinces.

Let Nature Help: How nature's recovery is essential for tackling the climate crisis
Wildlife Trusts, June 2020
The world is starting to take note of the threat of climate catastrophe. In response, the UK government has joined many governments around the world in setting a net zero emissions target in law. Yet we cannot tackle the climate crisis without similar ambition to meet the nature crisis head on – the two are inseparable.

Climate-driven risks to the climate mitigation potential of forests
Science, June 2020
Anderegg et al. review the growing evidence that forests' climate mitigation potential is increasingly at risk from a range of adversities that limit forest growth and health. These include physical factors such as drought and fire and biotic factors, including the depredations of insect herbivores and fungal pathogens.

Deforestation in the Amazon
Council on Foreign Relations
Deforestation in the Amazon is an infoguide presentation that summarizes the current state and social impacts of deforestation in the Amazon.

The Protective Value of Nature
National Wildlife Federation, June 2020
The Protective Value of Nature summarizes the latest science on the effectiveness of natural infrastructure in lowering the risks to communities from weather- and climate-related hazards. 

Transition to tall evergreens
Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, June 2020
An investigation into the impact of climate change on vegetation formation across tropical Asia.

Capturing New Jobs and New Business: Growth Opportunities from Direct Air Capture Scale-Up
Rhodium Group, June 2020
A report on the new jobs and industries that could develop from direct air carbon capture technology. 


WEBINAR: Our Forests Under Threat: Protecting Forests for Sustainable Livelihoods
Date: 30 June
Host: FAO and National Geographic

WEBINAR: Everland Presents: REDD+, A Force of Nature 
Date: 30 June
Host: Everland

VIRTUAL EVENT: Upholding Rights in Jurisdictional Approaches – some emerging lessons
Date: 30 June
Host: Tropical Forest Alliance

VIRTUAL EVENT: Climate Innovation Virtual Forum
Date: 1 July
Host: Climate Innovation Virtual Forum

WEBINAR: Climate Change and Animal Agriculture: Breaking the Link
Date: 1 July
Host: FAIRR Initiative

WEBINAR: Taking the Carbon out of Credit
Date: 2 July
Host: Climate Safe Lending Network

WEBINAR: Carbon Markets & Finance to Support Risk Management and Build Resilience
Date: 2 July
Host: International Emissions Trading Association - IETA

WEBINAR: Nature-Based Solutions in the NDCs: From Planning to Implementation
Date: 2 July
Host: WRI

WEBINAR: The Case for the Ocean as a Dual Solution to Climate Change and COVID-19 Recovery
Date: 2 July
Host: High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

WEBINAR: Financing blue carbon: What pathways to mobilise global capital?
Date: 8 July
Host: Earth Security Group

WEBINAR: Kick-off webinar - Introducing nature-based solutions and UrbanByNature in the Caucasus
Date: 10 July
Host: UrbanByNature

WEBINAR: Building a Nature-Positive Economic Recovery
Date: 10 July
Host:  OECD, WWF, EDF and the World Bank

WEBINAR: Using biodiversity data to enhance biodiversity risk management
Date: 16 July
Host:  IBAT Alliance

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

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