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13 May 2008 @ 06:56 pm
339 - Earth's Tree News  
Today for you 35 new articles about earth’s trees! (340th edition)
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--Myanmar / Burma: 1) One of world’s Deadliest Cyclones due to deforestation
--Vietnam: 2) Videos of illegal loggers
--Mumbai: 3) 50% of its forest lost in 30 years
--Solomon Islands: 4) Forests sold below value, 5) Macroeconomic strategies needed,
--Malaysia: 6) Forests preserves on the Thailand border, 7) Paddy Farmers losing their crop water to loggers, 8) Illegal logging in 650 hectares of Forest Reserves,
--Borneo: 9) 1,300 species of trees and plants planted becomes ecological miracle,
--Indonesia: 10) IP goes against their own greenwash rules, 11) “Model” conservation villages to be built around reserves, 12) 10 million hectares of forests converted to Palm oil since 2000, 13) Forest protection / destruction stats, 14) Using radio shows to save forests, 15) 70 million who live in or near forests survive on less than a $1 a day, 16) Stop mining in protected forests, 17) Shift of "biodiversity paradigm" to "carbon sink paradigm," 18) Palm Oil industries’ plans and stats, 19) STB and Crestino Intl. to build 100 palm oil mills,
--New Zealand: 20) Kyoto’s wicked problem, 21) Save the edges of Rotorua's Tikitapu (Blue Lake), 22) Cont.
--Australia: 23) Weyco sells holdings to Carter Holt, 24) Thousands of Red Gums saved with 17 billion liters of water, 25) Buffer zone restoration for Coffs Creek Flying Fox Camp, 26) Sawmill ruined by State’s Native Forestry Code of Practice, 27) Hobart’s bushfire smoke fallout continues, 28) GUNNS gets $15 million if they can’t log everything they want to log, 29) Help save Lower Weld Valley, 30) Social costs of new dam that will flood Williams Valley,
--World-wide: 31) MAP saves Mangroves, 32) Book: “Forests: The Shadow of Civilization” 33) 56-page report: Carbon Finance, 34) Resist GE trees, 35) Nature of most logging operations in undeveloped parts of the world,


Myanmar / Burma:

1) After the dead are finally counted in Myanmar, the cyclone that hit on May 2nd will go down as one of the deadliest cyclones of all time. Currently seventh on that list is the 1991 cyclone that killed 138,866 people in Bangladesh. Some estimate the Burmese death toll will be around 100,000. The reports are streaming in about how many dead, how many injured, how many missing, how many homeless and, worryingly, the relief organizations’ frustration at the sluggish acceptance of foreign aid by the country’s authoritarian military leaders. But one report is not making the current top headlines and may not merit mainstream news coverage even after the dust in Myanmar has settled. And that’s the fact that if the country’s mangrove forests hadn’t been cleared over the years, many people would have survived this disaster. Mangrove forests -- which grow along shorelines and up to a few miles inland -- provide a natural barrier against giant waves. After the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, it was found that mangrove forests protected coastal communities in several countries in the region. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) looked at the death tolls in two Sri Lankan villages that were hit by the tsunami. They found that only two people died in the village that was protected by dense mangroves, while the other village, with no similar vegetation, lost 6,000. Several countries have established trade embargos against Myanmar. In 2003, the United States put into law the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act, which bans all Burmese imports. European Union sanctions include restrictions on the import of Burmese timber, metals and gemstones and the prohibition of EU investment in Burmese mining and logging industries. But the success of sanctions from the West is questionable, especially when the Burmese dictators enjoy an unfettered trade with their neighbors that helped the nation to a 2.9 percent growth rate last year. Thailand gobbles up almost 50 percent of Myanmar’s exports, with most of the rest taken by India, China and Japan. And people who live in places that do not have import sanctions in place against Myanmar can think twice about eating Burmese shrimp and buying Burmese teak. These may seem like small gestures, but at these increasingly interconnected times, we all would do well to ponder again the famous question asked by meteorologist Philip Merilees in 1972: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? http://13point7billion.blogspot.com/2008/05/shrimp-effect-does-eating-shrimp-in.html

Vietnam:

2) The videos show sawing machines, falling trees and people loading logs onto trucks as they laugh and talk. Although illegal logging has been occurring for several years, Tien said the destruction escalated early last year. Every day, hundreds of valuable trees are cut down by illegal loggers and transported to Dong Xoai, the provincial town, for sale. Using the digital video cameras he bought to expose the logging, Tien has even videotaped interviews with hamlet leaders, asking for their comments on his recordings of two uniformed forest rangers ordering five young men to cut down trees and load the logs on a truck. The interviews were recorded in parts of the forest destroyed by illegal logging. Tien sent copies of the most startling parts of his videos to many provincial agencies but the deforestation has not been stopped. “They said I film at one place and talk about another place,” Tien said. After seeing some video clips, Thanh Nien reporters asked Tien to show them the destruction of the forests. More than 100 meters from warning signs, in a primeval forest of about three hectares, hundreds of trees the size of an adult’s thigh had been felled and were lying on the ground, leaves still green. Further off, newly-cut wood being burnt popped like firecrackers. Four or five people had started a fire. Tien said they had been hired to burn all traces of the illegal logging. Near the fire, there were hundreds of felled trees, two trucks, a crane and more than 10 people working hurriedly. “The wood from the forest is brought here and loaded on the trucks, with the big wood hidden under the small wood, to be transported to Dong Xoai,” Tien said. Hundreds of hectares of forests had been destroyed. http://www.thanhniennews.com/features/?catid=10&newsid=38406


Mumbai:

3) Experts say that over the last 30 years, Mumbai has lost of over 50 per cent of this unique eco-system. In 1975, the city had a cover of 50 sq kms of mangroves. Today, merely half of them are left. Environmentalists allege that the politican-builder lobby systematically destroyed the mangroves. ''They don't allow the water to enter and gradually they begin dumping rubble around the mangrove, killing it and then they declare the land arid,'' said Dr Quadros. But though urban planners agree a balance needs to be struck, they say the paucity of land in Mumbai is putting greater pressure on the environment. ''A lot of exaggeration is being done and developers are therefore being considered anti-development. But if you want Mumbai to be the financial capital of South East Asia, you cannot stop development,'' said Rajiv Mishra, urban planner, IAG Consultants. ''When it comes to a land parcel for development, the model that Mumbai has adopted is that of land sharing. You've got to give up something to get something. There is no clear thumb rule which says you've to destroy so much of environment to get so much of development,'' he added. http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080049282&ch=5/8/2008%208:11:00%20PM

Solomon Islands:

4) It is a big concern for the government when logs from the natural forest are gone in the not too long distant. This indicates lack of strategic planning by successive governments over the past years since Solomon Islands got its independance to be able to visualise the trend of the countries important resources such as that of the forest. The government relies heavily on round log export duty thinking that the forest will be stable over time but in our case "not". The government continue to embark on selling its owned forest plantations for a few million dollars some years ago which really did not reflect the real value of the forest plantations at that time. Had the government hang on to its forest plantations which were located in different parts of the country and had the government serious about reforestation programs on government own lands and in customaryland, the trend in revenue collected from log export would be stable. Because when the merchantable forest is gone, the next succession crop should be ready in ten years time, this is if logging operations are controlled and done according to the Solomon Islands code of harvesting practice in which the forestry department has sole responsibility over. The transission period that it takes to wait for the next natural forest harvest would be eased by harvesting trees from government plantations and even from community or family owned forest stands. I suggest that the government of the day take drastic measures to maintain only genuine logging companies, forster natural regeneration in concession areas to speed up the next available crop, re-enforce strick monitoring and avoid logging companies getting away with super small logs which are our next harvest and assist reforestation programs in all provinces. http://solomontimes.com/letter.aspx?show=298


5) At the launching Mr Lilo said Government had already taken the first step to ensure the country receives a fair return on the extraction of forest resources. He said this is by increasing the determined value for export round logs. However, Mr Sogavare said what is not clear in the CNURA Government's medium term strategy regarding the forestry sector is the specific measures the government is taking. He said this is important to ensure the remaining harvestable logging area are sustainably developed so that the country continues to earn the much needed revenue from round log exports. “Our immediate concern is that the CNURA Government’s new forestry policy will create a hole in the 2008 Budget and thus it must actively find alternative source of revenue,” he said. He said the Opposition Group would want to see well-researched macroeconomic strategies to address the country’s preparedness to face the challenges looming in the medium term. The Opposition Leader added that the need for a bridging revenue support would also be necessary if the Government is considering a major reform in the forestry sector. http://solomonstarnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1425&change=71&changeown=
78&Itemid=26

Malaysia:

6) The 300,000ha forest complex in Hulu Perak is bounded by the Malaysia-Thailand border and is linked to the Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary and Bang Lang National Park. The East-West Highway from Ipoh to the East Coast divides the forest reserve into two parts – the Upper Belum (to the north) and the Temenggor Forest Reserve (to the south), which includes Lower Belum. The forest is known for its rich bio-diversity. It is home to more than 100 species of mammals, including the Asian elephant, Malayan tiger, leopard, sun-bear, Sumatran rhinoceros and Malayan tapir According to the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), all 10 hornbill species of Malaysia can be found within the forest complex, including the endangered Plain-pouched Hornbill. Last year, the Royal Belum State Park was gazetted and granted fully protected status. The Federal and State governments also announced that logging would be phased out in the Temenggor Forest Reserve by 2008. This was achieved through a partnership with The Body Shop in postcard campaign, whereby 80,000 signatures were collected in support of the effort. The 117,500ha Royal Belum is managed by the Perak State Parks Corporation and guarded by the army. It comprises tropical rainforest with many river systems, small grassland areas and Tasik Temenggor, a large man-made lake. However, the battle to Save Belum-Temenggor is only half-won, and to create greater awareness of the need to save Malaysia’s green heritage, the Body Shop and MNS recently organised a nature trip into the wild. The journey began in Pulau Banding, which is the gateway to the forest complex. http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/5/8/central/21032350&sec=central

7) More than 9,000 padi farmers in Selangor face the possibility of losing their crop because illegal loggers have felled timber in a water catchment area of the Raja Musa Forest Reserve which is a source of water to their padi fields. The illegal loggers, who are suspected to have been operating there for two years, have levelled the area in the 650-hectare reserve. Besides the Raja Musa Forest Reserve, the Bestari Jaya Forest Reserve near Universiti Industri Selangor (Unisel) and the Hopeful Estate Forest Reserve are also sources of water supply for padi-growing areas in Tanjung Karang, Sabak Bernam, Sekinchan and Kuala Selangor. It is learnt that land in the logged area of the Raja Musa Forest Reserve was sold illegally for between RM8,000 and RM8,500 for every two acres, and that about 100 people had bought plots. Illegal logging is also said to be going on in the Bestari Jaya and Hopeful Estate forest reserves.

8) More than 650 hectares of forest reserve and state land, at three different sites, have been ravaged and logged under the noses of the Forestry Department.The Selangor government has launched a full-scale investigation into the scandal. The ravaged sites at the Raja Musa and Tanjung Karang Forest Reserves are important water catchment areas. Their destruction can adversely affect rice yields in Tanjung Karang and Sekinchan. Selangor executive councillor for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Entrepreneur Development Yaakob Sapari said the destruction was irresponsible and illegal."This has been going on for between two and three years. "However, the authorities have not done anything to curb it." Yaakob said an investigation was under way to find out why authorities had turned a blind eye to the destruction. "The Forestry Department had issued fines and seized excavators of the culprits but nothing concrete was done to stop the deforestation." Yaakob yesterday toured peat swamps, which had been devastated at the Raja Musa Forest Reserve, with Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Swee Lim. The site borders padi fields in Tanjung Karang, while Sungai Tengi, which flows through the area, is an important water source for farmers. "I have ordered the department to cordon off the entrances into the encroached sites and to immediately start reforestation activities." Yaakob said all relevant authorities would be ordered to monitor the sites to prevent further destruction. Ng suspects politically-linked syndicates were behind the deforestation. "It is learnt they logged the area before selling small lots to unsuspecting buyers for between RM8,000 and RM8,500." The buyers were then assured they would be able to obtain temporary occupation licences for the land, from the previous state government. Ng said he has received several complaints from those who have been hoodwinked into buying the land but they were afraid of the syndicate and have refused to lodge an official report. http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/National/2233614/Article/index_html

Borneo:

9) From this ruined landscape a fresh forest has been grown, teeming with insects, birds and animals, and cooled by the return of moist clouds and rain. It is a feat that offers hope for disappearing and ruined rainforests around the world. The secret was to use more than 1300 species of local trees and a fertiliser made with cow urine, says Dr Willie Smits, the Indonesian forestry expert who led the replanting. “The place became the scene of an ecological miracle, a fairytale come true,” says Smits, who has written a book about the project. Rainforests are home to half the world’s 10 million species of plants, animals and insects, store more carbon than the Earth’s atmosphere, clean air and water, and regulate temperatures and rains. The United Nations estimates that every day more than 14,000ha of primary rainforest are cut down - a figure campaigners warn is “conservative”. The area around the small town of Samboja was like a “moonscape” when Smits first visited it nearly a decade ago. The rainforest had been cut and burned and the land was covered with grasses. Without the forest, the rains disappeared and temperatures rose. Streams dried up, harvests failed, fires broke out, jobs disappeared and ill health soared. “The only thing I saw was this huge sea of yellow, waving grass; there was wind, but there was no rustling of leaves,” Smits said. “There were no birds, not even insects, nothing but this damned grass.” Smits raised money to buy 2025ha and six years ago set about planting seeds collected from more than 1300 species of tree, more even than would have lived in the original forest. These were planted with a fertilizer made from sugar, excrement, food waste, sawdust and cow urine. Already Smits and his team from the Borneo Orang-utan Survival Foundation claim the forest is “mature”, with trees up to 35m high. Cloud cover has increased by 12 per cent, rainfall by a quarter, and temperatures have dropped 3-5C, helping people and wildlife to thrive, says Smits. Nine species of primate have also returned, including orang-utans. “If you walk there now, 116 bird species have found a place to live, there are more than 30 types of mammals, insects are there. The whole system is coming to life. I knew what I was trying to do, but the force of nature has totally surprised me.” People have benefited from being given land around the forest to plant crops, providing food and income. “It was the poorest district in the area, now it’s above average,” said Smits. “It can be done anywhere. The principles are that you must have scientifically sound approaches, work with local trees, and you have to have the respect of local people - that’s the key.” http://jungaling.com/Malaysia/?p=194


Indonesia:

10) Rainforest Action Network and ForestEthics today condemned a proposal by U.S.-based International Paper to build a pulp mill and establish 1.2 million acres of plantation forest in the heart of the Indonesian rainforest. The groups urged International Paper, which is holding its Annual General Meeting today, to not violate its own paper policy and to abandon its plans to expand into Indonesia, a global warming and biodiversity hot spot. The policy,[1] announced in 2003, states: “International Paper will not procure or use wood that originates in biological hotspots or endangered, native forests in Indonesia or other parts of the world designated by Conservation International, as biodiversity hotspots or major tropical wilderness areas. We will assure that any wood procured from within the boundaries of these special areas comes solely from plantations and that our procurement practices do not jeopardize the ecological integrity of these hotspots. Most Indonesian wood is either harvested illegally or taken without consent from the country’s Indigenous peoples,” said Brant Olson, director of Rainforest Action Network’s Old Growth Campaign. “A move by International Paper to break its own commitment by sourcing from Indonesia would be a major setback for the climate, biodiversity, and Indonesia’s forest communities.” International Paper is among the world’s biggest pulp and paper producers. In 2003, it joined home builder Centex Homes and home improvement retailer Lanoga in announcing it would stop buying Indonesian wood products until the Indonesian government sufficiently addressed illegal logging within its borders and respected the property rights of its Indigenous populations. Since then, logging practices have further deteriorated, Indonesia’s small farmers and Indigenous groups continue to be pushed off their traditional lands, and the country’s carbon-rich forests and peatlands are disappearing at the alarming rate of more than 2.8 million hectares a year. http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0512-15.htm

11) The Forestry Ministry together with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced more model conservation villages to be built around protected forests and nature preserves. There are currently 182 conservation villages in West Java, Central Java, East Java, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam and North Sumatra, Forestry Minister M.S. Ka'ban said here Wednesday. "Those villages are located in upstream areas close to nature preserves," he said. "Through the conservation villages project, we hope local people will help us to preserve forests." The conservation village project is a community empowerment initiative involving local people. It aims to protect forests and wildlife habitats by reducing deforestation and watershed pollution. There are around 22 million hectares of conservation area in Indonesia. However, according to the ministry, the areas are endangered by deforestation, forests fires, illegal logging and illegal trading of rare plants and animals. Deforestation has damaged some 59 million hectares out of the country's 120.35 million hectares of forest. According to the ministry, 2,040 villages with 660,845 inhabitants, who live adjacent to protected areas, are dependent on the forests for their livelihood. Darori, the ministry's director general of forest preservation and nature conservation, said the conservation village model aims to educate local people about forest rehabilitation and ecosystem restoration. "As a start, we must give people who live nearby the protected areas the correct information about forest preservation so as to maximize the benefits through conservation," he said. "People must understand they will gain greater access to clean water through environment preservation," he said. According to the director of Basic Human Services of USAID, Alfred Nakatsuma, the five-year project, which started in 2005, is having a positive effect. "So far we're very happy with the results and we're planning future activities. Hopefully, the conservation village models can soon be implemented nationwide," he said. http://old.thejakartapost.com/misc/PrinterFriendly.asp

12) Forest conversion has reached an alarming level in Indonesia with more than 10 million hectares of protected forest converted for business use since the inception of regional autonomy in 2000, a study says. The study, conducted by the Greenomics Indonesia environmental group, found most regional spatial plans do not aim to protect forests. “In fact, some existing spatial planning … expedites forest conversions,” Greenomics executive director Elfian Effendi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday. “The area of converted forest now exceeds 158 times the size of Singapore.” Indonesia is the world’s third-largest forestry country, with over 120 million hectares of rainforest. The government has set aside about 40 million hectares for both protected and conservation forests, where plantation, agriculture or logging activities are not allowed. “However, as forest conversion remains common practice, only 30 million hectares of protected forest are now left. They will disappear in the short term unless the government takes actions to stop forest conversion,” Elfian said. The issue of forest conversion made the headlines when the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested lawmaker Al Amin Nasution for allegedly accepting a bribe to facilitate the approval for forest to be converted on Bintan Island, Riau, last month. The Bintan administration requested the government’s permit through the House of Representatives to convert around 200 hectares of a 7,300-hectare protected forest for an office complex project. The Greenomics study found that in the last two years alone, there were at least 40 cases where forest land was converted into plantations and agricultural land, covering about 195,000 hectares of protected forest. Greenomics found some 327,000 hectares of its protected forest has been converted under forest concessions in North Sumatra, while in Aceh about 160,000 hectares of protected forest was turned into plantation and agricultural areas. http://redapes.org/downloads/green-economics-group-indonesian-forest-conversions-alarming/

13) There are around 22 million hectares of conservation area in Indonesia. However, according to the ministry, the areas are endangered by deforestation, forests fires, illegal logging and illegal trading of rare plants and animals. Deforestation has damaged some 59 million hectares out of the country's 120.35 million hectares of forest. According to the ministry, 2,040 villages with 660,845 inhabitants, who live adjacent to protected areas, are dependent on the forests for their livelihood. Darori, the ministry's director general of forest preservation and nature conservation, said the conservation village model aims to educate local people about forest rehabilitation and ecosystem restoration. "As a start, we must give people who live nearby the protected areas the correct information about forest preservation so as to maximize the benefits through conservation," he said. "People must understand they will gain greater access to clean water through environment preservation," he said. According to the director of Basic Human Services of USAID, Alfred Nakatsuma, the five-year project, which started in 2005, is having a positive effect. "So far we're very happy with the results and we're planning future activities. Hopefully, the conservation village models can soon be implemented nationwide," he said. Aep Saefudin, a conservation village resident living in Sukatani, Cianjur, West Java, said he was excited about the project. "The field school, one of the programs within the project, has given us greater knowledge of how to benefit from the land properly," he said. http://old.thejakartapost.com/detailnational.asp?fileid=20080509.H04&irec=3

14) Radio was the ideal medium with which to draw attention to the problem, as it is the most popular form of media in Indonesia. Along with the Indonesian partner station Radio KBR68H, and with support from the German Development Ministry, the forest conservation project went into action. For Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle and its Indonesian language radio department that was a good reason to raise awareness of the problem in the country itself. The aim of the project was to make a feature series of 10-minute reports to broadcast on about 400 local radio stations during the climate summit. For the journalists involved, it was a rare opportunity to do some solid on-the-spot research – something their limited resources usually don’t allow, says Ade Wahyudi, program manager at KBR68H. “In the provinces in particular, journalists don’t have the technical or the financial capacity for fact-finding trips,” he said, adding that the complex topic of forest conservation can best be communicated to listeners when presented in a lively way and told from the perspective of those affected. The project yielded some interesting results. Some of the journalists went to the island of Kalimantan, looking for Sebuku elephants. Only a few dozen of them have survived the destruction of their habitat in the forests of East Kalimantan. In eastern Java, project members found a village where every single resident earns a living from illegal logging. Not even the police dare to go there. Another team went to Poso and Palu in central Sulawesi, places famous for the black wood of the ebony tree. Officially, ebony is protected and the trees must not be felled. But the violent conflict in the region makes the rules hard to enforce and prevents reforestation programs. The decades-long conflict in Papua between the local population and the central government with its huge army presence has also had an impact on the environment. The military, foreign companies, local officials – there are many different parties earning money in the timber trade. http://spreadthehopes.blogspot.com/2008/05/defending-nature-with-microphone-and.html

15) Indonesia has nearly 70 million people living in or near forest land, many of them living on less than US$1 per day. Illegal logging operations cause widespread destruction of forests and, although it does earn short-term gains for a few, it destroys the livelihoods of people who depend upon the forests. Just after we left, Indonesian officials cracked down on smallholder illegal logging in the region. But having smallholders thrown into jail is not necessarily a success. Many of these imprisoned are people living under a US$1 per day. They often live in miserable circumstances and are trying to make a living. They are not the buyers or the people who are driving the illegal deforestation. Undoubtedly, as soon as the police leave, new illegal loggers will replace the old ones and the long-term gain will still be missing. Law enforcement is needed, but it must be done with smart planning and development—not by simply throwing people out or arresting them. Why? 1) Indonesia is one of the largest tropical timber producers, with an estimated 80 percent of timber exports being illegal. This poses serious environmental and economic concerns. 2) The Indonesian government fails to capture over US$100 million per year in tax revenue on illegal logging and exports. 3) The cheap and plentiful supply of timber from illegal sources depresses timber prices worldwide by 2 percent to 4 percent and thus also impacts the U.S. timber industry. 4) Deforestation in Indonesia accounts for 4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. And thus deforestation in Indonesia is a major contributor to climate change. http://www.wri.org/stories/2008/05/first-hand-account-illegal-logging-indonesian-rainforests

16) Our president had the power to stop mining in protected forests,” said Rully Symanda of Indonesia’s environmental protection alliance WALHI. “He did not. Nice speeches are followed by contradictory policy, influenced by the powerful mining lobby.” Symanda was still optimistic in December, because Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had given a wonderful speech then at the climate summit in Bali. “We are gathered here to fulfill the hopes of over six billion people,” Yudhoyono said. “Every nation must become part of the solution, not part of the problem.” After Brazil, Indonesia has the world’s second-largest rain forest. Deforestation releases carbon dioxide, accounting for one-fourth of the global rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases. Therefore, making forests disappear is the second deadly sin against the Earth’s climate following the burning of fossil fuels. “Forests are our only option for carbon sinks,” Yudhoyono said to enthusiastic applause. “Those blessed with forests must do all they can to preserve and expand their forest cover.” Yet, only two months later, and away from the public eye, Yudhoyono allowed 13 firms to continue open pit mining in protected forests. http://redapes.org/downloads/indonesia-should-be-ashamed-of-itself/

17) If the shift of "biodiversity paradigm" to "carbon sink paradigm" gains more support among foresters, the pressure from forest industries to harvest more timber in natural forests will get stronger. Forest industries are very willing to promote the controversial idea of Patrick Moore (a former Greenpeace activist who established Greenspirit, a consulting firm on the environment and natural resources) to use more wood because a rise in wood demand would supposedly trigger the market to plant more trees. Local government officials and parliament members will be very happy to hear this idea because they will have a strong argument to clear-cut natural forests and get a lot of money from the timber. Not only natural forests in production forest areas, but also in conservation forest areas will likely be harvested since the central government has little power to protect it. These companies just want to get money from the timber and not to make plantations. The government has little power nor political will to punish these companies. If the forest companies want to make tree plantations in order to get more wood and absorb carbon at the same time, they can do so in degraded forest areas, which account for about 60 million hectares, and in critical land within and outside forest areas, which is 41 million hectares. http://old.thejakartapost.com/detaileditorial.asp?fileid=20080513.E04&irec=3

18) Executive director of the Indonesian Palm Oil Association (GAPKI), Didiek Hadjar Goenadi, said here Monday palm oil companies would focus on utilizing idle land, including former forest concession areas, to maintain Indonesia as the world's largest crude palm oil producer. "We realize the environmental impacts by opening all our forests so we will stop touching the forest and just concentrate on abundant lands which have not been cultivated yet," Didiek told reporters during a break in a a seminar on climate change, agriculture and trade. There are currently 6.7 million hectares of oil palm plantations in the country -- half belonging to private firms, while the rest are operated by small-scale farmers. Only about 600,000 hectares are managed by state-owned enterprises. Didiek estimated there were about seven million hectares of idle land across the country that could be used to plant oil palms or rubber trees. He said the association's members had applied the so-called roundtable on sustainable palm oil (RSOP), an international initiative promoting sustainability up and down the palm oil supply chain. "But since many oil palm plantations are operated by farmers, many of them are still unaware about the RSOP regulations. It is the government's task to educate them," he said. Indonesia's crude palm oil production reached its highest-ever level of 17.2 million tons last year, passing Malaysia, which produced 16 million tons. Environmental activists have stepped up protests against the country's palm oil companies, accusing the firms of expanding their operations by clearing formerly forested land. http://old.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20080513.A07&irec=6

19) Sitt Tatt Berhadon Friday said its wholly-owned unit, STB Technologies Pte Ltd, has teamed up with Crestino International Limited to build and operate palm oil mills in Indonesia. On May 9, STB Technologies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Crestino to participate in the project by investing RM20.0 million. The sum will be paid to Ithmaar Development Company Limited to enable Crestino to fulfill the pre-condition for the approval in principle by IDC to finance the business, Sitt Tatt said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia on May 9. On 25 May 2007, Crestino was awarded the rights to construct and manage 100 palm oil mills in Indonesia by PT Permodalan Nasional Madani Techno Venture. Crestino will establish a marketing/trading company in Singapore to handle the marketing and trading of the final products of the palm oil mills, the statement said. Crestino will establish a marketing/trading company in Singapore to handle the marketing and trading of the final products of the palm oil mills, the statement said. http://redapes.org/downloads/deforestation-continues-malaysian-companies-to-build-palm-oil-mill
s-in-indonesia-orangutans-beware/


New Zealand:

20) Forest owners are angry that Government plans to defer the inclusion of transport fuels in the emissions trading scheme will leave them with carbon credits they will struggle to sell. "We look around and we don't see a lot of other people in the ETS," NZ Forest Owners Association David Rhodes told members of Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee yesterday. In the early years of the scheme, oil companies would have been the biggest buyers of carbon credits which the owners of post-1990 forests fought long and hard for. Following a backdown by the Government last week, that demand will now be deferred until 2011. NZFOA chairman Peter Berg said: "There is a sense among foresters that anything is liable to happen in the future, so why invest in forestry." Concerns about the market for devolved carbon credits come on top of existing concerns about the treatment of pre-1990 forests arising out of provision of the Kyoto Protocol. If landowners want to switch to another land use, such as dairying, upon harvest, they face a prohibitive liability for the carbon in the trees, which is deemed to be emitted then and there. The effect is to lock the land into forestry, which might not be its best use. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/3/story.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10509688

21) Logging on the edges of Rotorua's Tikitapu (Blue Lake) could kill off the iconic lake, a professor warns. Environment Bay of Plenty chairman Professor David Hamilton has warned the popular lake is close to a disastrous tipping point, and sediment resulting from planned logging could ruin its pristine waters. Mr Hamilton said the logging could have disastrous effects if they were carried out similar to what had been done at Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake). Timberlands, which manages the cutting rights of the forest, is to undergo selective logging around the lake which would see about half of the trees removed and the popular walking track around the lake closed for a short period. Helicopters are being used for the felling. Timberlands forest risk manager Colin Maunder told the Daily Post last month it intends to replace the entire area with redwoods in 25 years. However, Mr Maunder would not answer Daily Post questions yesterday, only saying "the operations were recently inspected by Environment Bay of Plenty and considered to be compliant with council standards". Mr Hamilton said Tikitapu's surface water was pristine, but oxygen levels in the lake's depths had dropped. The waters were completely devoid of oxygen at the end of summer. He said the loss of oxygen had been the first obvious indicator of the decline of water quality in other Rotorua lakes, such as Okaro, Rotoiti and Rotorua. "Actions that increase sediment and nutrient inputs to Lake Tikitapu will hasten this decline." Mr Hamilton said a Master of Science study was carried out this year at Waikato University on Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake), which has recently been logged extensively by Timberlands. He said the study found substantially increased sediment concentrations in the lake water during and following the period of logging. http://www.dailypost.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3772085&thesection=localnews&thes
ubsection=&thesecondsubsection=

23) The Labor Government has been asleep at the wheel in regards to the logging of 90-year-old forests on Crown land surrounding the Blue Lake, Tikitapu, in Rotorua, says National’s Environment & Conservation spokesman, Nick Smith. “These magnificent trees offer far more to New Zealand and Rotorua for their scenic and recreational value than as timber and pulp. They are part of the popular Blue Lake walkway and the stunning scenery that is the backdrop to the busy tourism highway to Lake Tarawera and the Buried Village. “There is deep and widespread concern in the Rotorua community about the impacts of this logging on tourism and recreation. However, the Rotorua District Council can’t fix it without Government support.” Dr Smith says the 90-year-old douglas fir trees are on Crown land, but the cutting rights are owned by Kangaroa Timberlands, a company jointly owned by Harvard University and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The company is planning to selectively log the trees over the next two months in a process that will require the closure of the Blue Lake track. “Private property rights must be respected. However, the Nature Heritage Fund could be used to purchase the rights at reasonable market rates in an agreement with the local council and the forest owner. “In my view, retaining a forest like this with conservation value in one of New Zealand’s major tourism destinations should be a higher priority than some of the other projects this so-called conservation-minded Government gets itself involved in. And frankly, it also makes commercial sense in terms of our tourism industry. “Just because these trees are not native trees, does not mean there is no conservation value in this instance. The plantation forests of the Whakarewarewa area, including the majestic redwoods and these massive douglas firs, are part of Rotorua’s rich heritage of forestry experimentation. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0805/S00137.htm


Australia:

23) Weyerhaeuser Co., the largest North American lumber producer, plans to sell its Australian sawmills to Carter Holt Harvey Ltd. to help stem losses from slowing U.S. housing markets. Carter Holt, based in Auckland, didn't say how much it will pay for the units. Global Forest Partners LP may buy a half-share in 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of forest as part of the accord, Federal Way, Washington-based Weyerhaeuser said in a statement. Weyerhaeuser, which last week reported a worse-than expected $148 million first-quarter loss, is selling assets and closing mills amid falling U.S. demand for lumber used in homebuilding. Carter Holt, part of billionaire Graeme Hart's Rank Group, will eliminate a competitor by buying the units. ``The parties are now working to complete the preparation of sale and purchase agreements,'' said Michael Edgar, Global Forest's Auckland-based Asia-Pacific director. He wouldn't comment on prices and said the timetable for completing the transaction will be determined by regulatory decisions. West Lebanon, New Hampshire-based Global Forest manages about $2 billion of trees worldwide. It last year bought Weyerhaeuser out of a New Zealand forest and sawmilling venture in Nelson. Carter Holt last year sought bids for its board and lumber mills in Australia and New Zealand after being approached by a potential buyer. The opportunity to buy the Weyerhaeuser assets arose during that process, Rank said in a statement today. A purchase ``represents the best immediate strategic step in improving the combined business,'' Rank said. The company wouldn't comment further. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=aPdCUp1ytH9I&refer=australia

24) Thousands of red gums on the brink of death have been saved — temporarily at least — after 17 billion litres of water were released from dams to boost Victoria's ailing Murray wetlands. The water sparked an immediate response from the environment. Hundreds of frogs spawned, waterbirds arrived and tortoises laid eggs. Many of the areas targeted had not seen water for two years. Numbers of waterbirds have dropped by two-thirds during the 11-year drought. About 10,000 red gums — some 500 years old — would have been dead within a year had the environmental flow not occurred, said Dr Jane Doolan, from the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Water has flowed through the wetlands and creeks for two weeks. Recent studies have found that 70% of red gums in northern Victoria are dead or dying. This month's watering will cover only 900 hectares, or 1.4% of the state's river red gums. The environmental allocation consists of 6 billion litres from the Murray-Darling Basin Commission's Living Murray program and 11 billion litres from Victoria's pool of environmental water. It is flooding the Gunbower Wetlands north-west of Echuca; Little Lake Boort west of Echuca; the Lindsay-Walpolla site in the Mallee; and the Reedy, Kinnaird, Black and Moodies swamps near Shepparton. State Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the water had prevented ancient forests from turning into red gum graveyards. "Some of the river red gums were alive when Columbus discovered the Americas. They are part of all Victorians' heritage," he said. The Murray remains bleak, however. Dried-up wetlands and creeks in the lower parts of the river in South Australia have started to turn acidic and leach heavy metals, including high amounts of aluminium and arsenic, zinc and lead. The $12.9 billion water package to save the Murray has been finalised, but water specialist Mike Young, from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, has warned that time is running out and the Federal Government must act quickly to use $3 billion to buy back the 1500 billion litres the river system needs to be healthy. The Bureau of Meteorology winter forecast for the basin, released last week, suggested another dry El Nino phase could be on the way and there was little hope of good rainfall. The basin commission's chief executive, Dr Wendy Craik, described the situation as not terribly optimistic, but dam levels were slightly higher now than at this time last year. http://www.theage.com.au/news/environment/parched-forests-get-an-overdue-drink/2008/05/10/1210
131335204.html


25) Work is set to begin in mid May on the vegetation management plan designed to create a buffer zone around the Coffs Creek Flying Fox Camp to alleviate its impacts on local residents. The strategy was adopted after extensive consultation with residents and the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) – which is the regulatory body – and issued Council with a license to carry out the vegetation work. This consultation is ongoing and includes workshops with residents and regular meetings of the Working Group. DECC will also continue to provide technical advice and support. The vegetation management plan aims to consolidate the flying foxes in the centre of the reserve, away from residential properties. This will be achieved by creating a vegetation buffer zone around the camp. Tall and fruit-bearing trees, which attract flying foxes, are to be removed from the periphery of the reserve and low-growing natives planted in their place. Native species will also be planted throughout the core of the camp to encourage roosting in the centre. In addition, exotic weeds are to be cleared from the area to aid the growth of native species. The ultimate goal is a screen of native vegetation around the perimeter of the camp that discourages bat occupation, reduces noise and odour levels by limiting air movement, but enhances the visual amenity of the area for the residents. The first stage of the plan – due to begin in mid-May and go on until October – involves the clearing of specific trees from the periphery of the creek reserve area and private properties adjoining the reserve. In addition, under-storey weed control will be carried out and infill planting of trees in and around the centre of the flying fox camp. The work itself can only be carried out at the end of the breeding season. The timetable had to be postponed as there was a late season this year due to the long periods of rain. DECC has recently advised Council that the breeding and maternity season is at an end and work can begin in mid-May. http://www.rainforestportal.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=98895


26) Tamworth sawmiller Garry Frazer is expecting to lose his home today thanks to the State Government’s Native Forestry Code of Practice. The JT Frazer and Co sawmill closed its doors on December 22 last year. Changes introduced as part of the code had rendered the once thriving local industry worthless. Mr Frazer, who has rejected a “paltry” offer of $14,200 compensation from the NSW Government, was forced to sell the land on which the mill stood to try to recover some of his losses. Because of the introduction of the code it had proved impossible to source wood to mill. “I went from receiving two semi loads of logs a week to one load a month,” he said. Mr Frazer estimates that between August and December last year he lost from $60,000 to $70,000. “These changes have totally devastated my life. I have lost everything,” Mr Frazer said. Since closing the mill he has been forced to sell other family assets – including property – to make ends meet. His home phone was disconnected this week and restrictions have been placed on his water service. He is expecting the bank to foreclose on his home loan today . Mr Frazer took over as the owner/operator of J.T. Frazer and Co Sawmill in 1993. He was the third generation of Frazers to run the family business, set up in Westdale by his grandfather on May 13, 1953. Member for Tamworth, Peter Draper, a long time campaigner against the new forestry management regime, said yesterday it had proved to be a disaster. “Two out of three local sawmillers have closed or are in the process of shutting up shop,” he said. “Despite repeated representations... there is still no acceptable exit package.” The new code has created a maze of regulations and red tape that make it more trouble than it is worth for landholders to continue supplying timber to regional mills such as Mr Frazer’s and the Bendemeer Sawmill. http://tamworth.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/news-features/squeezed-out-timber-mills-get-th
e-chop/766036.aspx


27) Bushfire smoke that blanketed the sky above Hobart late last month graphically marked an abrupt turn in the public debate about forest management. Environmentalists were quick to make the link between forest regeneration burns and carbon emissions, and to argue that old growth should be saved to serve as carbon stores. Indeed, this debate was anticipated in February at a conference in Hobart on management of the world's old forests; by co-incidence that week Government adviser Ross Garnaut released his interim report on Australia's possible response to global change. Like it or not, carbon and the forestry debate are now firmly linked. Peppered throughout Garnaut's report are references to how land cover change, and especially de-forestation, is connected to worsening climate change. Garnaut advocates re-forestation and forest conservation to providing breathing space for new technologies to "de-carbonise" our economy in the next decade before we trigger dangerous climate change. This would be a brave new world for forest managers and forest conservationists, both battle-scarred following decade-long debates about biodiversity conservation, aesthetics and wood production. While hard-won agreements for greater reservation and changed forest practices have been achieved, simmering tensions remain over old-growth forests and the development of pulp mills. Suddenly the game has changed. The catch is that rules of the new carbon game for forests are far from settled. Factoring forests into national and international carbon trades will be devilishly complicated, as complicated as the global carbon cycle itself, the full understanding of which remains on the frontiers of ecological science. To make matters worse for Australia, the life cycles of eucalypt forests have peculiar attributes, especially the need for wildfires to initiate regeneration. This compounds the problem of neatly quantifying the carbon biomass in forests. The fact that our giant eucalypt forests arise from occasional intense fires is often forgotten. We need a coherent and comprehensive national monitoring framework which properly values carbon in wood products, and establishes a sensible baseline for forests and the forestry sector. We need to end the "forest wars" and focus on future challenges. Garnaut may be the trigger for this renaissance in forest management. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23655530-30417,00.html

28) GUNNS will be eligible for up to $15 million compensation if the wood supply to its pulp mill is cut off. Treasurer Michael Aird yesterday revealed the State Government had four months ago signed a tripartite sovereign risk agreement with Forestry Tasmania and Gunns. He said Gunns had required the agreement for its potential financiers, but it was "highly unlikely" that the Government would have to pay any compensation. "It will only be considered if both Houses of Parliament pass a law that directly results in Forestry Tasmania failing to supply wood under the terms of the wood supply agreement," he said. Forestry Tasmania has a 20-year deal to supply 1.5 million tonnes of pulpwood from native forests and plantations each year to Gunns' Tamar Valley pulp mill. The Tasmanian Greens were scathing of the sovereign risk agreement, saying it would impose a "huge financial penalty on future taxpayers" if forestry practices were changed. "Tasmania is in the box seat to gain a big financial windfall when carbon trading gets underway to counter climate change, as there is a very real prospect that we will make a lot more money from keeping forests growing as carbon stores than logging them for pulp," said Greens leader Peg Putt. "But Lennon has made this unacceptable deal to try and lock in logging against the changes we need to make to battle climate change and leave the legacy of a decent life for our grandchildren and their grandchildren." Mr Aird denied the agreement was another example of the Government looking after the big end of town. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,23653069-3462,00.html

29) Please write to the below people expressing your concern about planned logging operations in the Lower Weld Valley. Feel free to print and sign this letter, write your own (best) , or email Julie Collins, Peter Garret, and Kevin Rudd. Calling their offices is also very worthwhile. Remember, these people work for you! If you do write a letter, please photocop two copies(or write separate letters) and send them to Peter Garrett and Kevin Rudd. It is important that both local members and cabinet decision makers are aware of the strength of community opposition to the destruction of the Weld Valley. Email/Phone Contacts: Julie Collins: Julie.Collins.MP@aph.gov.au (03) 6263 5050. ; Peter Garrett: http://www.petergarrett.com.au/send-enquiry.aspx (02) 9349 6007 ; Kevin Rudd: http://www.pm.gov.au/contact/index.cfm (07) 3899 4031 See Form Letter at: http://www.huon.org/forest_info.html#weldletter


30) I can only tell my own story in order to explain why being well compensated financially, and perhaps buying somewhere else in the area, is not the point. As I mentioned before, Mum grew up at Munni House but lived most of her adult life in Sydney. But in the year 2000 she moved back ‘home’ to the Williams Valley. Her place is the small property just past the windy bits after the Tillegra Bridge. We looked down on it today when where we walking to the trig point. Mum was an enthusiastic supporter of the local Landcare initiatives and had begun planting trees on her property. When she died in 2002 we planted a ‘Memorial forest’ for her and scattered her ashes on the seedling trees. It was bloody hard yakka planting those trees, all one thousand or so of them! Many of them are now four or five times my height with some almost as high as the established casuarinas at the river. The other day, I was excited to see an Azure Kingfisher on the gate to our shed where we stay - that’s the first time I have ever seen one away from the protection of the river. Sitting on the verandah of our shed and hearing the birds singing their little hearts out is the most beautiful sound. It is one we have only started to hear in the last year or so, since the trees have grown into a small forest. If this dam happens, we will all lose some of the most beautiful and the most viable agricultural land in this country. But those people, who are connected with this land personally, will lose their history, their roots, their sense of belonging. My cousins and I will lose the place where the ashes of my grandfather and grandmother were buried. My cousin Phillippa will lose her home, in the valley where she grew up. Her mother Naida, will lose the valley she almost gave her life to save. For my Uncle Snow and his children, he will lose the dairy he put so much of his life into even, though he lived in Sydney. His children will lose the place that has always been part of their lives, that they love with a fierce passion. For me, I will lose the place where we scattered my mother’s ashes and the place where we planted a forest in her memory. I will lose the vision I had for my children, to feel this continuity with their past and their future in this connection to place. For all of us in the proposed inundated area, we will lose our valley. http://www.notillegradam.com/?p=80

World-wide:

31) MAP is dedicated to reversing the degradation of mangrove-forest ecosystems worldwide. We promote the rights of local coastal peoples, including fishers and farmers, and encourage community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources. We are based in the U.S., with regional offices in Thailand and Indonesia, and another office opening soon in Brazil. Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems -- their salt-tolerant trees and other plant species provide nutrients for the marine environment and support immense varieties of sea life in intricate food webs. Yet for too long, these vital wetlands have been undervalued, called mosquito-infested, muddy swamps, worthless and remote. They're being lost to the charcoal and timber industries, shrimp farms, tourism, golf courses, and ill-planned urban expansion. We've got a mangrove-y kind of love. The loss of these wetlands has made coastal regions vulnerable to tsunami waves and hurricane winds, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in property, as tragically evidenced in the tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, in which more than 250,000 people were killed. Most recently, it is believed that loss of coastal wetlands along the Mississippi Delta contributed to the immense devastation from Hurricane Katrina. If mangrove forests and related coastal wetlands are kept in a healthy state, they can offer a protective greenbelt to buffer against such otherwise devastating tsunamis or storm surges. http://www.grist.org/comments/interactivist/2005/10/03/quarto/?source=daily

32) I’ve been reading the extraordinary book Forests: The Shadow of Civilization, in which Robert Pogue Harrison describes how our imaginations are wooded from pole to pole. “If forests appear in our religions as places of profanity,” he writes, “they also appear as sacred. If they have been considered places of lawlessness, they have also provided havens for those who took up the cause of justice . . . . If they evoke associations of danger and abandon in our minds, they also evoke scenes of enchantment.” Forests have done much work in the human imagination and in our material world as well, furnishing not only shadows and havens, but food and fuel. We may have come down from the trees, but we never stopped seeking their shade and wood; our ancestors learned to coax both game and gardens from the glades. But the work that forests do isn’t limited to the human commonweal. By absorbing sunlight and carbon, they temper extremes of climate as well. From the taiga of the far north to the rainforests of the tropics, forests play a crucial role in sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide, trapping the gas in solid form where it can’t contribute to the warming of the planet. Since the evolution of bark-bearing trees, forests have been managing the carbon cycle; the CO2 released when we burn oil and coal was trapped by trees in the carboniferous age, 350 million years ago. Deforestation, then, deals two blows to our climate. By reducing the number of trees, we limit the amount of carbon that can be trapped safely; by burning many of those trees, we release the carbon they’ve already stored back into the atmosphere. Deforestation has immediate effects on climate and environment, too; deforested places are hotter, drier, and more prone to devastating events like floods and wildfire. In Forests, Harrison shows how deforestation is written into the DNA of civilization. Gilgamesh, the first hero in world literature, embarks on a quest to kill Humbaba, the demon of the forest, who lives in the mountainside cedar groves harvested to the last by the ancient Sumerians. (It’s telling that Humbaba offers to become Gilgamesh’s slave if he will spare his life.) Actaeon and Artemis; Romulus and Remus; Hansel and Gretel’s sylvan witch–our oldest stories stir with the antipathy between town and timber. And as the ancient forests fell, so did those civilizations that both feared and depended upon them. The Mediterranean basin is sunstruck and bereft of shade today because of the deforestation wrought by the Mesopotamians, Greeks, and Romans–in the process bringing about climate change that did as much as barbarian hordes and new religions to unwork civilization. http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/05/our-fate-in-forests/

33) The latest issue of Environmental Finance is now available, including a special report on the carbon markets. The 56-page special report, produced in conjunction with Carbon Finance, examines how the carbon markets are evolving, with a particular focus on the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. It also includes articles looking at how carbon finance is beginning to be applied to preventing deforestation, and how a post-2012 climate change agreement could better embrace the forestry and land-use sector. The report examines how the US, Japan and Australia are embracing – or considering – emissions trading schemes to tackle carbon emissions, and looks at opportunities in the fast-growing carbon jobs market. Elsewhere in the issue, two leading socially responsible investment (SRI) specialists examine the real story behind the growth in SRI assets under management, and we profile Michael Eckhart, the head of the American Council on Renewable Energy. Other features include: 1) How to finance a boom in biodiversity businesses; 2) An examination of the trends in corporate social responsibility reporting; 3) The evolution of wind farm finance; 4) Why environmental liabilities could soon loom larger in M&A deals. http://www.environmental-finance.com/onlinews/0508new.html
34) The timber industry has joined forces with the oil industry and the biotechnology industry to rapidly advance their work to commercialize GE trees for pulp and paper as well as agrofuels. They plan to develop huge plantations of genetically engineered with traits such as reduced lignin and insect resistance. GE tree plantations will have catastrophic implications for forests, forest-dependent peoples and wildlife. The agrofuels boom is driving this rapid advancement of GE tree technology. GE tree-based agrofuels are being promoted as the answer to climate change, though use of GE trees for agrofuels will damage forests and their ability to store carbon, accelerate deforestation around the world and lead to more and larger monoculture tree plantations. All of these will worsen climate change. Please join the STOP GE Trees Campaign and help us stop the commercial release of GE Trees. http://www.globaljusticeecology.org/


35) Everett Young writes: The existence of a population of several logging companies logging the same forest leads almost certainly to the companies racing to clear-cut the forest as fast as possible, because each company "knows" that if it does not cut as many trees as possible, the competition will. How do they know the competition will? Because they know that the competition knows this same thing about them. Everyone knows that everyone knows that everyone knows, so every corporation must race to clear-cut the forest as fast as possible. This requires no free will and no consciousness. A non-conscious computer could run the corporation based on purely logical, rational principles, and would come up with the same strategy without a need for "evil" uncaused intent. There is only one solution, of course, to this tragedy of the commons: every corporation must be held responsible for over-cutting the forest--including disincentives, such as financial penalties. The corporations can only fulfill their chartered purpose if they are held responsible. This, without their even being conscious beings, let alone entertaining illusions of being free. http://centerfornaturalism.blogspot.com/2008/05/collective-rationality-of.html