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15 May 2008 @ 12:56 pm
341 - Earth's Tree News  
Today for you 34 new articles about earth’s trees! (341st edition)
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--Alaska: 1) How Climate change kills Yellow Cedars
--British Columbia: 2) Northeast BC resource liquidation, 3) Arrested Langford activists likely won’t face any charges, 4) Archaic and scientifically untenable forest management, 5) Saying good bye to East creek wilderness, 6) Timber regulatory compliance chaos,
--California: 7) Court shuts down logging plan on Plumas NF, 8) Citizens continue reclaiming Jackson State Forest, 9) Gary Paul: worse forester in the world! 10) Turning neighborhoods into logging zones,
--North America: 11) Whitebark pine extinction
--Canada: 12) Oil sand developers may have to follow rules and laws? 13) New and improved Big Wild campaign, 14) Clearcutting creates community safety, 15) Grassy Narrows and Gov sign MOU, 16) Clueless about future world resource economy!
--UK: 17) Prince says we must stop logging? 18) "farcical" protection given to old trees,
--Scotland: 19) More on cycleway’s destruction of forest
--Germany: 20) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
--Costa Rica: 21) "Project Pacific" is led by the Monteverde Conservation League
--Brazil: 22) Gov’s leader of forest protection ousted, 23) Lula sells out eco goals, 24) Half-billion dollars to be spent on stopping deforestation? 25) BBC show on last frontier,
--Pakistan: 26) Save the Walnut trees!
--India: 27) Ceylon Tobacco converts Eucalyptus to native forest, 28) Chipko lives on,
--Bangladesh: 29) Chevron’s Seismic survey wreaks havoc
--New Zealand: 30) Movement to save Blue Lake forests grows,
--World-wide: 31) UN panted 2 billion of ‘em, 32) Small lakes not trees absorb the most carbon, 33) For sure set up to miss self-imposed goal of slowing the rate of extinctions, 34) How many tree species are there in the world?

Alaska:

1) The suffering cedar trees average 240 years old and almost all began growing during the Little Ice Age, a cold period lasting several centuries. The onset of dying yellow cedars corresponds with the end of the Little Ice Age in Alaska around 1890. Conditions lethal for yellow cedar have arisen especially often during the last two decades. The worst period when alternating thawing and freezing temperatures coincided with little snow on the ground was early 1987. Similarly harsh circumstances also occurred in 1997, 2001 and 2003. The 1987 episode is marked by snags dating from that time and extremely little growth in those cedars that did survive. Warming winter weather in southeast Alaska has created a combination of conditions that's eliminating yellow cedar from low-elevation rainforests. Dead yellow cedar trees cover 200,000 hectares (770 square miles) of coastal Alaska and extend into northern BC. Scientists have now directly linked weather patterns with tree response over the last hundred years to document how climate change has pushed yellow cedars into a lethal predicament. Unlike other trees in the region, yellow cedar's frost hardiness is triggered by temperature, making it particularly vulnerable to climate change. Its response to spring temperatures enables yellow cedar to get an early start on growing, giving it an edge over other northern rainforest species. There's a drawback, though. Intermittent late-winter melting can prompt yellow cedar to end its frost-hardy state prematurely. It's becoming more common for freezing temperatures to be preceded by a winter warm spell. Such a cycle destroys any unprotected fine roots. With fewer roots feeding it, the tree crown suffocates, causing foliage to turn brown and die. Eventually, the entire tree succumbs. Cedars growing in bogs where water forces them to keep roots near the ground surface are particularly vulnerable to freezing. In past centuries, yellow cedar roots were protected from cycles of thawing and freezing by an insulating blanket of snow on the ground. But as another consequence of a warmer climate, the ample precipitation in this region during winter is increasingly landing as rain rather than snow. http://www.currentresults.com/Forests/Western-NA/climate-change-yellow-cedar-805121.php?utm_sou
rce=ea&utm_medium=e


British Columbia:

2) Agriculture, forestry and especially oil and gas development have recently flourished across the forested landscape of northeastern British Columbia. In their wake, wildlife habitat has been restructured at an exponential rate. A University of British Columbia study examined the cumulative impacts of these disparate industries by comparing two snapshots, from 1970 and 2005, of vegetation cover and development. On one 410,000-hectare (1600 square miles) area in the Peace-Moberly region, industrial activity cleared about 10,000 hectares of boreal forest over the 35 years. Commercial timber harvesting accounted for half the cut forest, and 1000 hectares were cleared for farming. Another 4000 hectares were converted to roads and seismic lines, that sliced and diced the remaining forest. Although resource development cleared trees from 2.5% of the area, its impact on wildlife habitat reached much farther. The activity left a piecemeal landscape of forest fragments and clearings. For all types and ages of forest, patches declined in average size and became more numerous. The change was most pronounced for interior forest that's located away from the edges of clearings. The entire region has seen an 89% increase in edge habitat and a 47% increase in open, unforested landscape. Interior forest ecosystems at the same time declined by 30%. The break-up of contiguous forest by cutblocks, fields, roads and cutlines created habitat for some animals, but destroyed it for others. Many more wildlife species gained rather than lost habitat and the net result is a greater richness of species across the landscape. The effect is particularly pronounced where development was most concentrated and had created edges in boreal white and black spruce forests. The biggest beneficiaries are broad-winged hawks and Le Conte's sparrows, for whom the suitable terrain has nearly tripled. Many other birds have also gained habitat in the region, as have wood bison and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Meanwhile, species that need large tracts of mature and old-growth coniferous forests have fewer places to live as a result of industrial clearing. Environments appropriate for wolverines, fishers, pine martens, moose and woodland caribou declined. Among those most affected are grizzly bears, which in the 35 years lost 30% of their Peace-Moberly habitat. http://www.currentresults.com/Wildlife/forest-wildlife-habitat-804041.php


3) The Crown won't proceed on mischief charges for the people arrested at the site of the Bear Mountain Interchange in Langford. Charges were stayed for tree sitters Luke Woodyard and Noah Ross, and no charges were laid against Nancy Powell and Ingmar Lee. Ben Isitt will find out his fate on Thursday morning. The forest defenders are now free to return to the interchange site. An invasive species removal party and broom pull is scheduled for next Tuesday, May 20, the same day as the OCP hearing at City Hall. Details to be announced. The fight to save Garry Oak meadows, rare species and First Nations cultural sites continues. Drop a line to find out more. Big cheers! ZoeBlunt@gmail.com


4) Even though the carbon sequestering and water regulation services from BC forests are now increasing in value, BC forests remain within an archaic and scientifically untenable timber management framework. This attempted redesign of forests for timber production degrades forests and lowers their ability to provide these essential nature's services. We've known since ecological economist Robert Costanza and his team's 1997 preliminary valuation of nature's services that timber is less than one-tenth of the total value of services produced by temperate forests so how come we're still stuck in timber management? The high volume, low value-added products forest industry that evolved within this timber management continues to spiral down: providing a poor return on investment, employing ever less workers, generating less wealth and tax dollars, it's raw commodity products uncompetitive in global markets against plantation forestry in warmer climes. So how come the whole forestry debate remains focused upon band-aids for the present industry that continues to clearcut nature's services and the wealth creation potential for future generations of forest workers with each tree cut, and losing hundreds of millions of dollars to boot? Why can't we focus instead on building a forestry and industry that is truly sustainable: providing a stream of revenues today while restoring the forest health basis for future wealth creation? I've worked in the industry for forty years. My wife and I raised our family on forest industry wages in communities that were and remain to a large degree dependent upon logging and sawmills and pulpmills. At the end of the 1980s I awoke like many others to the Lysenko-esque applied science of sustained yield, the paradigm for forest management in BC, in North America, and globally in the 20th century. In this forest management framework - as mandated for BC forests by the Sloan Commissions after World War II and implemented first by a series of WAC Bennett governments and then by all subsequent governments - overmature old growth forests were to be liquidated on a schedule (the annual allowable cut) on tenure areas leased to forest companies (Tree Farm Licences, Timber Supply Areas) and replanted with trees to be logged again in seventy to a hundred years. bhenderson@dccnet.com

5) We followed a massive Grapple-Yarder Tower/Machine on a flat bed truck being towed by a giant off-road logging truck and also being pushed by a 2nd off-road logging truck. Slowly but surely this massive rig, owned by Western Forest Products, was making its way towards another fresh clear-cut to pull the carcasses off another hillside where old growth forest stood for many centuries. After driving 100km through a maze of rough logging roads west of Port McNeil we finally drove over the ridge that separates the valley of Klaskish Creek from East Creek. Both of these watersheds flow into Klaskish Inlet, which opens out into Brooks Bay just north of the Brooks Peninsula. The remote and rugged location of this virgin pristine wilderness has protected it from one hundred and fifty years of industrial logging until today!? Less than 9% of the original old growth forest remains in low valley bottoms on Vancouver Island. 85 of the original 91 watersheds have been completely devastated by logging to date. Old growth temperate rainforests are on the verge of extinction. Roads blasted through the mountainsides linked large areas of stumps along the natural watershed of East Creek. In the past few years LeMare Logging, operating out of Port McNeill, has felled most of the old growth forest in the upper watershed of East Creek.? Each of the clear-cuts is focused around a creek or tributary where the largest trees once grew. Massive stumps from ancient Yellow Cedar, Mountain Hemlock, Pacific Red Cedar, and Balsam Fir trees and line the banks of these waterways. We watched as more trees were being felled; lots of mess, and a deadly silence after the crew trucks had left the valley.? Hundreds of truckloads of logs are lying on the sides of the roads, waiting for the snow to melt so they can be hauled to the boom yards for shipping? This will happen in the next few weeks. East Creek is designated as a Special Management Zone by the Vancouver Island Land Management and was considered a Natural Disturbance type #1 by the Forest Practices Code. Both these distinctions would have the public believe that the highest standards of logging regulations would be upheld in this ancient forest. However, the “Results Based Forestry Code” leaves it up to the logging companies to report on their logging standards with no public approval process in place to monitor environmental or ecological degradation in the old growth forest. Western Forest Products holds the “Timber Lease” on the old growth trees in the lower East Creek Valley, meaning the have no obligation to work towards standards required by a “Tree Farm License” where planting, and cultivation of a second harvest would be the goal.? May 11, 2008 update by Richard Boyce

6) The board examined the number of compliance and enforcement (C&E) inspections conducted by the Ministry of Forests and Range in 2005 and 2006, and the range of alleged (not formally identified) non-compliances, in six forest districts: North Coast and Campbell River in the Coast Region; Skeena-Stikine and Fort Nelson in the Northern Interior Region; and Kamloops and Chilcotin in the Southern Interior Region. "The investigation couldn't determine precise reasons for the variations, but found that policy issues, workforce issues and variableapplication of assessment tools seem to be factors in this lack of consistency," said board chair, Bruce Fraser. "While the board generally finds high levels of compliance in our own audits and investigations," added Fraser, "if the ministry is going to rely on C&E inspections as the measure of industry compliance with forestry legislation, then it must improve its policies and ensure better inspection consistency across the province." Variations between the examined districts included: 1) One district with over 12 times more harvesting and road inspections than another district. 2) Alleged non compliance levels ranging from two per cent to 35 per cent between districts. 3) Alleged non compliance levels ranging from zero to 61 per cent between inspectors within the same district. - The main assessment tool used in the districts is the ministry's compliance information management system (CIMS). The investigation found that the CIMS system is applied and utilized inconsistently. Board recommendations to standardize inspection performance are: 1. To strengthen policy guidance for C&E inspection coverage. 2. To ensure CIMS provides information in a form more useful to local C&E management to achieve good inspection coverage and consistency in identifying and addressing non-compliances. www.fpb.gov.bc.ca

California:

7) A federal appeals court has barred logging in the Sierra Nevada forest. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the federal government failed to explore other ways to raise money to fight forest fires when it approved a plan to award timber contracts to cut down trees on three sites. The Forest Service says the logging of commercially valuable trees is needed to help pay for thinning of less desirable smaller trees and brush. Environmental groups say the logging plan fails to protect scarce species such as the California spotted owl, martin and Pacific fisher. Attorney General Jerry Brown joined the environmental groups in appealing a lower court decision last year that authorized the government to allow the timber contracts. http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_9257513

8) The Jackson Forest Advisory Group (JAG) held its first meetings on May 9 and 10, 2008. For the most part, the meeting consisted of reviews of forest history, of the legalities of being a public body (the Bagley-Keene open meeting act applies), and of the new management plan. Noteworthy was the first public information about plans for the two timber contracts that were the focus of the lawsuits of the Campaign from 2000 forward. These two plans, one in Brandon Gulch and the other in Camp 3, are on almost 1000 acres of forest that has not been entered since the initial logging in the early 1900s. Such unentered old second growth stands are rare in Jackson Forest, and these particular stands are in the heart of the major recreation area of Jackson Forest. I'm happy to report that the state appears on course to change the objective of these plans from logging for the sake of revenue to moving these stands toward old growth conditions. This is good news indeed, as restoration toward old growth has been one of the centralAs the plans are still under negotiation among the Campaign to Restore Jackson State Redwood Forest, Cal Fire, and the contract holders, not all details were released, but the broad outlines were given. Both plans will be designed to accelerate "late seral conditions" (the technical term for the forest conditions found in old growth stands). Camp 3 will have an experimental design and have baseline measurements of biological and timber inventories. Brandon Gulch will demonstrate late seral development, but will not have an experimental design. Of course, the key question is, "What will be done in the name of old growth development?" In order to assure that the best scientific information is consulted and that the public interest is fully represented, a subcommittee of the JAG was established to make recommendations to the Director of Cal Fire on the specifics of marking trees for cutting. All of its meetings will be open to the public, and it will interact with the full advisory group as it develops its recommendations. Recreation values will be explicitly considered by the subcommittee. At the JAG meeting on May 10, four members volunteered to serve on the subcommittee: John Helms, chair -- forest ecosystem dynamics, silviculture / Brad Valentine -- wildlife and fisheries in the context of forestry / Linwood Gill -- practical silviculture, sustainable forest management / Dan Porter -- redwood ecology and botany, late successional redwood structures / Kevin O'Hara - UC Berkeley http://www.jacksonforest.org

9) Santa Cruz - This proposed 38 acre plan is in the watersheds of Whalebone Gulch, Deer Creek and Starr Creek (tributary to Bear Creek, a steelhead stream) north of Boulder Creek. Gary Paul is the RPF. Apparently the private road to access the property and used by multiple neighbors is a disaster and gets graded with spoils delivered directly into Starr Creek. Never mind that a portion of the existing haul road on the property runs in the creek. Or does the creek run down the road? The plan proposes to upgrade and reconstruct 1,600 feet of the existing access road on the property and to construct 1100’ of ‘temporary’ road to reach the ridge top in order to access 4’ diameter redwoods that have grown up since the last harvest around 100 years ago. (Supposedly the residual old growth will not be cut, except for one leaning over the stream.) An additional 2,000 feet of temporary ridge top road is also proposed. Portions of the new road will be in the WLPZ. “About 150 feet of existing instream road that is in very poor shape and prone to erosion will be abandoned and the channel restored.” The plan proposes to haul 140 loads of logs over 28-35 days. Maybe someone can explain to me how a timberland owner who has allowed his existing roads to go to hell in a hand basket can be allowed to construct and reconstruct close to a mile of ‘temporary’ new road? Central Coast Forest Watch - JodiFredi@aol.com


10) Santa Cruz - I continue to field phone calls from frustrated members of the public who suddenly learn that a neighbor has applied to rezone property to the Timber Production Zone. Most of the concerned calls have focused on smaller properties that submitted applications during the ‘grace period’ after the County raised the minimum parcel size for rezoning to 40 acres. Nearly all of those applications have gone smoothly through the Planning Commission and some have already received final approval from the Board of Supervisors. Two stand out as items of note. One such rezone application on Old Santa Cruz Highway was withdrawn by the applicant, without explanation after a host of his neighbors showed up at the Planning Commission hearing to protest. It appears that while the County may not be willing to stand in the way, good ole public pressure may still be effective. A second parcel (34 acres) has been recommended for denial by Planning Staff. It is located on Hubbard Gulch Road in Boulder Creek and has a contractor’s equipment storage yard on site that is not considered a ‘compatible’ use in the TP zone district. APN 089-081-21 Special Use (SU), Property located on the east side of Hopkins Gulch Road (900 Hopkins Gulch Road) about % of mile north from the intersection with Bear Creek Road. Property owner is John Jackson. Jackson has hired Dennis Kehoe (sometimes attorney for Big Creek Lumber) to argue that Jackson’s equipment storage meets the definition of the “work incidental to the growing, harvesting, cutting and removal of timber and other forest products.” I believe the county made its determination of incompatible use based in part on the fact that Mr. Jackson advertises his business in the Yellow Pages under Excavating Contractors (bulldozing, septic installation and repair, graders, backhoes, bull-dozers, cat excavator, etc.) You get the picture. Mr. Jackson claims that 85% of his business is for the timber companies. You’d think he might mention that in his ad, but then maybe word of mouth is all he needs. Most of his equipment (ascertained by County aerial photos on their website) seems to be spread around in his cleared/grassland areas. At a minimum, this case indicates that the County should not be rezoning land that grows heavy equipment and not trees. This will simply incentivize others to turn forest and grassland watershed lands into equipment yards and graveyards. Central Coast Forest Watch - JodiFredi@aol.com

North America:

11) A fungus introduced from Europe is well on its way to rendering whitebark pine trees extinct in some North American national parks, scientists warn. A large proportion of whitebark pines in Canada's and Montana's Rocky Mountains are infested with or already dead from white pine blister rust. As a keystone species, whitebark pine's absence will cause repercussions throughout the harsh mountain ecosystems it once thrived in. Its presence on exposed spots enables other plants to grow. The tree's ample seeds also nourish wildlife ranging from birds to grizzly bears. Whitebark pine seed yields have already dwindled. Long before killing a tree, the blister rust can shut down seed production. It strangles the upper branches where the cones in this species are confined. The lack of whitebark pine trees less than 1.3 metres high in 14% of the areas surveyed indicates that seed supply is substantially curtailed. Where seedlings do sprout, up to one-quarter are under attack from the rust. Once a young tree develops cankers, it usually succumbs within three years. Throughout the mountains stretching from Glacier National Park in Montana to Jasper National Park in Alberta, blister rust has infested 57% of the thousands of whitebark pine trees examined by park scientists. Out of the 170 sites inspected, 98% harboured blister rust. The numbers of dead and infested trees are rising. In Waterton Lakes National Park, where the extent of blister rust was tracked over seven years, infested trees increased by 3% a year. Blister rust had spread from 43% of the pine in 1996 to 71% by 2004. Over the same period, mortality had grown from 26 to 61% of whitebark pines. http://www.currentresults.com/Forests/Western-NA/rocky-mountains-whitebark-pine-805011.php?utm_s
ource=ea&utm_medium=e

Canada:

12) Multibillion-dollar oil sands projects will face new legal and regulatory hurdles after the Federal Court ruled against Imperial Oil Ltd. in its battle to keep the $8-billion Kearl oil sands mine on schedule. Imperial went to court to win back a key permit for site preparation that was voided after a Federal Court found Kearl's regulatory approval to be incomplete on the issue of greenhouse gases.The loss will set back Kearl by at least several months, if not a year or more. For the energy industry, the Federal Court decision means regulatory reviews are likely to become ever-more detailed and arduous, while legal challenges will become more common. It also means that if an oil sands plan is caught up in a court fight, the project is likely to be halted as governments will be more hesitant to issue important permits early, after the Kearl experience.“[Project] proponents can expect more challenges,” said Shawn Denstedt, a leading oil sands regulatory lawyer and partner at law firm Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Calgary. “And you'll see regulators reluctant to issue permits until a court says the [regulatory] decision was satisfactory.” Mr. Denstedt said companies proposing projects will have to redouble their efforts during the regulatory review to minimize the risk of potential court challenges. Petro-Canada is the next big company to go to public regulatory hearings, starting June 23 near Edmonton, to review a proposed oil sands upgrader. Peter Symons, a spokesman, said Petrocan has prepared diligently because scrutiny is growing more intense every day. “There's just a ton of valid issues that have to be addressed,” Mr. Symons said. The court decision also has implications beyond the oil business, and could affect big infrastructure projects in any industry, said Dennis Mahony, an environmental specialist and partner at Torys LLP. Mr. Mahony said the Kearl case was watched closely across Canada by professionals working on climate change issues. Even if Imperial ultimately wins back the permit – an outcome many think is likely – the delay highlights the growing challenge of keeping big projects on schedule. The case suggests that “it's certainly possible to delay projects by several years,” Mr. Mahony said. The original challenge against Kearl was brought by environmental groups, led by Sierra Club and Pembina Institute and represented by Ecojustice. They had previously and unsuccessfully challenged Petrocan's Fort Hills oil sands mine, with the Supreme Court rejecting a leave for appeal in 2006. http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080514.wkearlstaff0514/BNStory/Business/?
page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080514.wkearlstaff0514#

13) The Big Wild, a new social movement to advance large-scale wilderness protection in Canada, is "Goin' Wild on the Streets," launching itself with a series of high-profile guerrilla marketing stunts in 11 cities across the country. The coordinated launch activities and promotions will introduce Canadians to www.thebigwild.org, a new social networking site designed to mobilize support and protect Canada's public wilderness areas. The Big Wild is founded by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Canada's only non-government organization devoted solely to large-landscape wilderness protection, and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Canada's largest retail cooperative for self-propelled recreation equipment. "The Big Wild is a new way for everyone who cares about our country's wilderness to voice their support for protecting it," says Anne Levesque, National Executive Director, CPAWS. "The goal of The Big Wild is to establish an influential Canadian-wide movement to protect at least half of Canada's public land and water in a permanently wild state. We invite every individual and group that shares our vision to add their voice on www.thebigwild.org. Together our small voices can create big change." Created by Tribal DDB, the online division of DDB Canada, the new social networking site allows Canadians to share stories and media about wilderness experiences and learn more about the country's wild spaces in need of protection. Most importantly, it will also act as a catalyst to raise awareness and mobilize support for conservation campaigns. The evolving site will continue to have features added throughout this year and next. "More than a static site, www.thebigwild.org is where Canada's wilderness protection movement comes to life for supporters," says Cosmo Campbell, creative director, Tribal DDB, Vancouver. "With all communications ultimately directing audiences to this hub, the social networking site plays a crucial role bringing the brand to life." To support www.thebigwild.org and launch The Big Wild movement, DDB Canada's Vancouver office and ZiP DDB in Montreal established a robust, integrated marketing program, which was first revealed to MEC members in March through a print campaign in the retailer's Spring catalogue. http://www.thebigwild.org/

14) It seems those blooming tree-hugging hypocrites who purport to be running Toronto (into the ground) have quietly reduced 19 healthy, mature Austrian pines and ash trees to ugly, sentry-like stumps in Mossgrove Park, located in the tony York Mills Rd. and Leslie St. area. This latest City Hall chainsaw massacre occurred on April 15, one week before Earth Day. The deed was sanctioned by the city's tree police and ward councillor Cliff Jenkins, who claims it was done to improve "community safety" at a park where teens have been loitering, dealing drugs and conducting other "undesirable activities" for years. "This is a community safety issue ... it's not a tree issue," Jenkins told me late last week, noting 30 replacement trees, as yet unspecified, will be planted in the park. By contrast, on April 29 Coun. Mike Del Grande failed to get the two-thirds vote required from council to reconsider the case of a Grandville Ave. couple who've been told they can't take down an invasive Norway Maple infiltrating their tiny home -- unless they cough up $10,526, which includes the value of the offending tree. In fact, before the vote, the pompous Tree Emperor Joe Pantalone shouted to his colleagues to register "No." (Jenkins, to his credit, supported the couple.) While this kind of twisted logic has made it clear -- at least to me -- that Toronto's draconian private tree bylaw is being applied inconsistently and on a most selective basis, I dare say the safety excuse is the best I've heard to date for clear-cutting an entire stand of healthy trees. I can't wait for what's next. Perhaps some of those trees in downtown parks under which homeless folk tend to catch a few winks should be taken down, too, for being a safety hazard. http://www.treeworld.info/f6/toronto-city-hall-massacre-19-healthy-2230.html


15) Grassy Narrows First Nations leadership is set to sign a memorandum of understanding today with the Minister of Natural Resources, Donna Cansfield. Chief Simon Fobister released a statement Friday, saying they'd come to terms with the MNR on a process meant to find ways to protect and manage the community's traditional lands. The Memorandum of Understanding between Grassy Narrows and MNR sets in place methods for gathering information, increasing understanding and considering various options for the preservation and protection of the community's culture, as well as future opportunities for economic development. A working group will also be created through the agreement, which will help launch a pilot project designed to integrate community perspectives on land use and planning with existing forest management activities. http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/News/400224.html


16) Canada will be in tomorrow’s world economy. How can there be any cause for optimism during what is arguably the worst times in our industry’s history? Because natural resources that are produced sustainably will be the most prized products in tomorrow’s global economy. The math of where the world is heading is simple: Economists are predicting that global GDP will double in the next 20 years and per-capita incomes in developing nations will triple. This march of the world’s poor in developing countries out of a subsistence existence and into the modern economy has long been part of humanity’s dream, but it will put pressure on the planet. Just look at where we are today, with prices for energy and natural commodities rising and the evidence of the harm we are doing to the planet all around us. Now project out from today as global GDP doubles in just two decades. With increasing global wealth, global demand for paper and wood is projected to grow significantly over the years ahead. However, global levels of production of forest products will fall far short of increasing demand. In the past, the answer to growing demand was the establishment of low-cost tree plantations in the tropics. But the emerging social and economic reality will all but stop any expansion of land use for tropical plantation forestry. http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2008/05/12/forestry-has-a-bright-gre
en-future.aspx

UK:

17) The halting of logging in the world's rainforests is the single greatest solution to climate change, Prince Charles has said. He called for a mechanism to be devised to pay poor countries to prevent them felling their rainforests. The prince told the BBC's Today programme that the forests provided the earth's "air conditioning system". He said it was "crazy" the rainforests were worth more "dead than alive" to some of the world's poorest people. The world's forests store carbon in their wood and in their soils. But they are being felled for timber products, food and now bio fuels. Experts say this carbon is being released into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006, suggested that the destruction adds about 18% to the CO2 from human sources. Prince Charles said of the rainforests: "When you think they release 20 billion tonnes of water vapour into the air every day, and also absorb carbon on a gigantic scale, they are incredibly valuable, and they provide the rainfall we all depend on." He said a way had to be found to ensure people living in the rainforest were adequately rewarded for the "eco-system services that their forest provides the rest of the world". He said: "The trouble is the rainforests are home to something like 1.4 billion of the poorest people in the world. In order to survive there has to be an effort to produce things which tends to be at the expense of the rainforest. What we've got to do is try to ensure that those forests are more valuable alive than dead. At the moment there's more value in them being dead. This is the crazy thing." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7400911.stm

18) Despite numerous reports of old trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) being cut down – often because they stand in the way of developers' building proposals – the DoE has admitted that its policy is to "negotiate" with the perpetrators, rather than take them to court. And, in what environmentalists and politicians have said is an example of the "farcical" protection given to old trees, the sole prosecution the department could point to saw the perpetrator fined £200 for cutting down several trees – just 0.6 per cent of the £30,000 total fine that could have been imposed for each tree. Northern Ireland has less tree cover than any other European country, with just six per cent of the land area covered by woodland. Responding to a written Assembly question from North Down UUP MLA Alan McFarland, Environment Minister Arlene Foster said that the only prosecution brought was against City of Derry Golf Club in 2003 for "wilfully destroying trees". In response to the revelation, Green Party MLA Brian Wilson attacked the DoE's record of protecting trees and said some developers had been "laughing at the system for years". "To only prosecute one case of violating a TPO makes a farce of the whole thing," he said. "The current system is totally ineffective and unenforceable – it's laughable that the only fine was £200 which will obviously not deter anyone." Fellow North Down MLA Alan McFarland, who raised the issue in the Assembly, said the problem of trees being cut down illegally was widespread: "Clearly the whole thing is a nonsense. "There is no point putting protection orders on trees, then letting people cut them down and not enforcing them. "People are raising this right across the constituency but to only prosecute one case, and have a £200 fine, makes a mockery of the whole thing when there are so many examples of trees being cut down illegally. "The time has come for us to take these issues seriously if we care at all about our countryside and the sensible development of our towns." http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/Ulster39s-historic-trees-39under-threat39.4072118.jp

Scotland:

19) Wildlife is being damaged by the construction of a cycleway through one of the most precious and protected natural habitats in Scotland, conservationists have warned. Work to drive a five-kilometre track through Rothiemurchus forest in the Cairngorms National Park is putting red squirrels, wood ants and ancient Caledonian pines at risk, they say, and amounts to “environmental vandalism”. But this is disputed by the three public agencies who are overseeing the cycleway. They insist that the damage is “minimal” and that the project will bring long term gains. The construction of the last leg of a cycleway from Aviemore to Glenmore is being managed by the Forestry Commission, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage. Work was begun in February and is due to be completed in June. Rothiemurchus forest is one of the best preserved remnants of the ancient Caledonian woodland that used to blanket the Highlands. It is home to a huge range of endangered species, including capercaillie, crossbills and ospreys, and is under statutory protection from three separate nature designations. But according to the Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group, the forest and some of its species are under threat because of the poor way in which the track is being built. Elementary standards had not been met, said the group’s convenor, Dr Gus Jones. “Surveys for some key species like wood ants have been demonstrably incomplete, turfs and soil are not being cut and stored to allow for reinstatement following excavations, and trees are being bulldozed aside.” Jones has seen and photographed the damage, which he claimed was harming the natural diversity of the forest. “This is a national disgrace,” he told the Sunday Herald. “We are witnessing environmental vandalism at one of the most important conservation sites in Europe by the very agencies supposed to protect it.” http://www.robedwards.com/2008/05/ancient-forest.html

Germany:

20) The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Alliance has launched a media advisory highlighting ten of civil society's most pressing concerns to be discussed at the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity. Almost all of the world's governments will gather in Bonn, Germany to debate, negotiate, and hopefully take decisive action for life - both human and non-human - on earth. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the leading United Nations agreement for ecological governance, covering many areas of environmental, economic and social policy, involving thousands of participants and producing large amounts of policies, guidelines and international law. The media advisory, which can be viewed and downloaded at http://undercovercop.org/media/ intends to cut through the jargon of the official CBD process and to highlight what many civil society groups believe will be the key fights at the Bonn negotiations this month. "The CBD process produces large amounts of written information that is not readily accessible to the average layperson and negotiations are often difficult to follow," explains Jessica Dempsey, co-ordinator of the CBD Alliance. "Civil society organizations - including nongovernmental organizations, Indigenous organizations, local communities, and social movements - play a crucial role at the CBD in highlighting the biggest threats and the most urgent issues that governments need to address," she continued. Civil society brings expertise and voices of those who are not always represented at intergovernmental conferences, voices with stories to tell about ecological devastation, corporate theft, wrong-headed governmental policies, and the spiraling decline of both cultural and biological diversity. Hundreds of civil society groups from the Global South and the North will be present in Germany to ensure negotiators face up to some of the most pressing issues for the equitable and socially just survival of life on this planet. ecoglobalization@lists.riseup.net


Costa Rica:


21) "Project Pacific" is led by the Monteverde Conservation League of Costa Rica and its American counterpart, the Monteverde Conservation League U.S. (MCLUS), two non-profits dedicated to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest - one of the greatest success stories in the history of rainforest preservation. Established in 1987 through the creative fundraising efforts of a classroom of young children in Sweden, the Children's Eternal Rainforest is the largest private reserve in Central America, protecting 54,000 acres of reclaimed rainforest habitat. Join green business executives, entertainment industry leaders and environmental advocates committed to rainforest preservation for an evening celebration benefiting the Monteverde Conservation League U.S. and new efforts to protect the Children's Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica. This inaugural fundraiser launches the "Project Pacific" campaign, a venture devoted to raising $10 million for the purchase and reforestation of a critical rainforest corridor extending from the mountain tops in Monteverde to the Pacific Ocean, creating an undisturbed passage and habitat for migrating animals. http://www.csrwire.com/News/11929.html


Brazil:

22) Environment Minister Marina Silva resigned Tuesday, ending an often stormy six-year term that put her in conflict with developers in the Amazon rain forest. Silva did not say why she was stepping down, according to her spokeswoman, Jandira de Almeida Gouveia. But Sergio Leitao, director of public policy for Greenpeace in Brazil, said the minister "is leaving because the pressure on her for taking the measures she took against deforestation has become unbearable." "Brazil is losing the only voice in the government that spoke out for the environment," Leitao said. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva picked Carlos Minc, the environment secretary for Rio de Janeiro state, to be the new national environmental minister, according to the government's official Agencia Brasil news service. The president's office has yet to comment on Marina Silva's resignation. Denise Hamu, secretary-general of the Worldwide Fund for Nature in Brazil, said Marina Silva tried unsuccessfully to coordinate environmental defense with health and transportation. The tipping point for her resignation, Hamu said, was the government's decision to give priority to a multibillion-dollar development plan and put the Ministry of Cities in charge of its Sustainable Amazon project. "The environmental area was relegated to no priority. She got tired of the thankless struggle," Hamu said. "It's a tremendous loss for Brazil, at home and abroad." Silva was a colleague of the late rain forest activist Chico Mendes, who was shot to death in 1988 in the western Amazon state of Acre. She earned a reputation for defying developers and setting stringent conditions for logging permits and environmental licenses. Her positions antagonized pro-development ministers within the government, giving rise to rumors that President Silva wanted to fire her but feared she would gain martyr status. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080513/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/brazil_minister_resigns

23) Hailed as Brazil's first "green president" when he took office, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appears to have thinner environmental credentials than ever after the resignation of Amazon defender Marina Silva. The former rubber tapper and union activist was one of the fresh faces who marked a break from Brazil's conservative past when she was appointed environment minister in Lula's first cabinet. Her departure on Tuesday underlines Lula's long journey from firebrand union leader to business-friendly president more than 5 years after he became Brazil's first working-class leader. "He is increasingly conservative," said Christopher Garman, head of the Latin America practice at Eurasia Group. "He has caved in to the view that the Amazon has to be developed in some form or fashion." The government named Silva's replacement on Wednesday as Carlos Minc, a co-founder of the Green Party in Brazil. Environmentalists said he was well respected but could run into the same problems as Silva without stronger support from Lula. "After Marina Silva, I think anyone who takes this position will face a lot of pressure from different sectors in Brazilian society, especially from agri-business," said Paulo Moutinho, research coordinator at the Amazon Research Institute. Silva's resignation comes at a critical moment for the world's largest rain forest. Pressure on its resources from high world food prices and growing energy demands are pushing it closer to what environmentalists warn is a "tipping point" of destruction where its rain-making capacity could start to fail and affect the regional climate. Silva had become increasingly isolated inside Lula's team, analysts say, over issues ranging from the government's support for biofuels, to genetically modified crops and nuclear power. A major clash with business interests and other ministries came with her opposition to the expansion of hydroelectric power from dams in the Amazon region at a time when fast-growing Brazil is hungry for energy. http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/48350/story.htm


24) The Brazilian government will provide 1 billion Brazilian reals ($597 million) to tackle deforestation in the Amazon, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the government news agency Radiobras Monday. Lula said the BRL1 billion will be used to tackle deforestation, allow for reforestation and control the environment. In January, the government reported a surprising 3,200 square kilometers of forest were cut down over the last five months, with a record-breaking 1,922 square kilometers clear-cut in November and December combined. Lula also said the government will establish a rural environmental register. "This is important. Producers will need to be registered if they want to receive technical assistance or credit," Lula told Radiobras. The government will also train 4,000 technical specialists to work on the initial phase of the project with 100,000 rural producers, said Lula. The Amazon biome constitutes nearly 45% of Brazil's land mass and is home to various topographies, including virgin rainforest. Most of the area is full of small landowners and indigenous Amazon tribes. Amazon deforestation could pose a serious problem to Brazilian agricultural trade, mainly with European Union nations, who have charged that Brazilian agriculture is cheap and ever-expanding because of illegal deforestation. Brazil is the No 1 exporter of sugar and coffee and the No. 2 exporter of soybeans. http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=99363
25) The Amazon, 65% of it in one country, Brazil, is now home to millions of people drawn to this last frontier by the money to be made from logging, ranching and growing new crops. The huge surge in the price of food increases the incentive for replacing forest with crops, and offers Brazil a way out of poverty and a way of responding to new demands for food. On Thursday, 15 May, BBC World Service and the BBC News website will be providing special coverage from Brasilia and various parts of the Amazon. We talk to all those involved in logging - legal and illegal - in farming and in policing and governing this vast area. We explore their lives, their motives and their concerns - and how they consider the pressure on them from across the world. We ask whether there is a way to both exploit the forest and save the forest? And we look at new ways of trying to balance the economic development of Brazil with the calls for more protection of the forest. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/7393136.stm

Pakistan:


26) The Kalash Community is economically weak, backward and illiterate. To make both ends meet, they sell their lands as well as some other precious goods. Walnut trees are also very valuable trees. During the price-hike and inflation, they have sold these trees to contractors from all over the country and these people have started cutting these trees to carry away to sell in the market. Because walnut trees are considered suitable for the making of furniture, these trees are the only beauty of these valleys and because of their natural beauty attract tourists from all over the world. The same situation took place during the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Through an executive order Bhutto stopped the cutting of the walnut trees and allocated funds after paying to contractors all trees were returned to the Kalash people and he further imposed a ban on the cutting and selling of walnut trees. As these people have a very unique cultural and tradition for many centuries, they did not change their lifestyle and still follow their centuries-old customs and traditions, and because of their customs and traditions, they attract million of tourists, so our government as well as civil society, including NGOs, should strive to protect their community. http://thepost.com.pk/LetNews.aspx?dtlid=160493&catid=4

India:

27) Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) has undertaken an initiative to enhance Sri Lanka’s biodiversity by converting the company’s Eucalyptus plantations into natural forests.Addressing the media, CTC Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager Senaka De Fonseka revealed that although the company will be making a loss out of this project they will be serving the country through the boosting of the ecosystem in the dry zone. “In 1981 CTC established a Eucalyptus plantation to combat deforestation. We covered 500 hectares in quite a number of places. This initiative was also taken to grow our own firewood and reduce depending on other trees”, he said. De Fonseka also said that CTC has become self sufficient for firewood and has also discovered that paddy husks can be utilized as a substitute for firewood. By 1997 CTC was only using paddy husks and had converted the 3000 eucalyptus barns to paddy husk storages. “Then we discovered that eucalyptus was not the best tree to plant for forests and therefore in 2004 CTC evaluated the 500 hectares of eucalyptus plantations and undertook the initiative ot transform these to natural forests”, he stated. De Fonseka added that CTC spends Rs.2 million per annum on this biodiversity project and also has assistance from institutions such as the British American Tobacco Partnership (BATP), Earthwatch Europe, Fauna and Flora International, The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, Tropical Biology Association and the Department of Zoology. The BATP has todate invested Rs. 2 million in seed corn funding and will continue to invest until June 2009 after which it will hand it over to the University of Peradeniya. Delving into the benefits of this project De Fonseka pointed out that it will increase the natural forest with its fauna, minimize erosion and support the wildlife in the area. CTC has eucalyptus plantations in the districts of Matale, Nuwara-Eliya, Badulla and Kandy. University of Peradeniya Zoology Department Senior Lecturer Dr. Kithsiri Ranawana noted that research in the eucalyptus plantations revealed that the indigenous plant species of Sri Lanka are unable to grow due to the Monocrop. http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView.aspx?ARTID=14471

28) Chipko is a movement that was originally conceived of and followed by women peasants in Uttarakhand, to prevent the felling of trees in the region by the forest department. Launched in 1973, this movement by the end of the seventies, had spread like wildfire throughout the Uttarakhand Himalayas . The good news is that the movement continues to inspire people from all over the country and the latest Chipko slogans I've been reading about have been raised in my own neighbourhood. A whole lot of residents living around Haji Ali have decided to battle against the municipality which wants to chop down 84 trees as part of a plan to beautify the promenade at Haji Ali. The idea is to get rid of all these trees and replace them with Zodiac signs. Huh? Concrete Zodiac signs as part of a beautification programme?! Are there any sane people left in the municipality or are we dealing with a bunch of complete morons? Neither probably. Somebody somewhere is going to be walking away with a bulging wallet and a fat smile on his face, on account of the so-called beautification programme which according to many of us will result in a seriously hideous promenade. Anyway the Chipko movement at Haji Ali has been apparently spearheaded by one Jayashree Desai who has also agreed to adopt a tree. Several people have now said they will adopt and look after a tree and that they will stand between the tree and the axe if the municipality comes along to further its idiotic ideas. I feel tempted myself to go join them so I'm going to be finding out more about this protest, very soon. http://laidbackrebel.blogspot.com/2008/05/chipko-at-haji-ali.html


Bangladesh:


29) Chevron, US-based one of the world's largest energy companies, has completed its 3D seismic survey in Lawachhara forest in Moulvibazar amid various allegations. Chevron will complete its survey works in other two forests in Moulvibazar gas field area within this week. About 60 per cent of the total survey works and the rest would be concluded next month, according to the officials of the Chevron. About 9,000 holes, each 70-feet deep, were dug over 150 square kilometres where the total forest area accounts for 16 per cent, they said. There are three forests - Lawachhara, Chowtoli and Kalachhara - in close proximity on the Moulvibazar gas field. About 1,400 holes were dug in the three forests and of them 700 in the sensitive Lawachhara forest, they added. Chevron have successfully set off blasts in all the 700 holes until Saturday last and now the blasts are being carried out in the remaining areas of Chowtoli and Kalachhara forests, said Chevron officials. An official of the local forest department, who was present on the spot during the blast as part of his duty, said that they recorded with a machine the sounds ranging from 65 dB to 75 dB caused by the blasts. Normally the sound range remains below 70 dB. But in some places it varies up to 75 dB, which is allowable under the forest and environment rule. The forest official, wishing anonymity, said, "Chevron was conducting the survey works in compliance with the rules although initially there were some flaws as more people than required were working in the forest. But, now they are 'ok' as they reduced their manpower to allowable 7," he said. Chevron has not conducted any work that could disturb the flora and fauna of the forest. It is also not true that birds and animals are deserting the forest due to the survey activities, he said. About the allegation of cracks in mud-houses alongside the areas where the survey was is going on, he said that he was aware of such an allegation. "But I should not comment before investigation," he said. Moreover, villagers, however, alleged that the cracks on their mud-houses developed after the blasts. http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/05/13/news0616.htm


New Zealand:

30) A public meeting will be held today in Rotorua to discuss logging that opponents say is destroying iconic 90-year-old trees and may ruin the pristine waters of Tikitapu, the Blue Lake. National Party candidate Todd McClay has called the meeting in response to concerns about the razing of decades-old Douglas firs beside the lake's walking track. The meeting also follows warnings by a water-quality expert that felling the trees is likely to harm the sensitive lake. The Government has begun investigating whether the logging breaches a protective covenant on the forest. Forestry management company Timberlands began cutting down the trees after resource consent was issued by the Rotorua District Council, and in the past few days locals have reported seeing logs helicoptered out of the area. Mr McClay said the Douglas firs, though not native, had "iconic status" for Rotorua in terms of their scenic value for locals and economic value for tourism. "These are 90-year-old trees," he said yesterday. "It's going to take 90 years for these trees to get back to what they are now." Mr McClay wants the Government to step in and buy the cutting rights from Timberlands to save the trees. But Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick, who is also Rotorua MP, said his stance was ironic given that National usually opposed Government intervention in business. "It's not for the public to tell a private company how to forest-farm an asset," she said. Ms Chadwick said a lot of emotion and misinformation was circulating about the logging, despite it being selective rather than wholesale logging, and being done on condition the area would be replanted. However, she said the Government was investigating whether the felling breached a covenant put in place under the Crown Forests Act 1989. The covenant is designed to protect the scenic, environmental and recreational amenities of the area. The land being logged is part of the Whakarewarewa Forest and therefore also subject to the $400 million Treelord Treaty deal being negotiated with central North Island iwi. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10509896

World-wide:

31) More than two billion trees were planted around the world as part of the UN's campaign to combat climate change, the world body's environment programme (UNEP) said Tuesday in a statement. The Nairobi-based agency said the tree planting campaign, inspired by Kenyan Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai, will help mitigate the effects of pollution and environmental deterioration. The campaign launched in 2006 saw two billion trees planted, double the original target, with Ethiopia leading the count at 700 million, Turkey at 400 million, Mexico at 250 million and Kenya at 100 million trees. The campaign set a new target of seven billion by late 2009, when governments gather in Copenhagen for a crucial climate change conference. "The goal of planting seven billion trees -- equivalent to just over a tree per person alive on the planet -- must therefore also be do-able given the campaign's extraordinary track record and the self-evident worldwide support," UNEP chief Achim Steiner said in a statement. "It is a defining issue of our era that can only be tackled through individual and collective action. I am convinced that the new target will be met -- one tree at a time," he added. Heads of state participated in the campaign, as did corporations, cities, faiths and communities, but individuals accounted for over half of all participants, UNEP said. Experts say that trees are the most cost-effective way of containing carbon that accumulates the heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change. "Trees and forests play a vital role in regulating the climate since they absorb carbon dioxide," UNEP said. "Deforestation, in turn, accounts for over 20 percent of the carbon dioxide humans generate, rivaling the emissions from other sources." http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Two_billion_trees_planted_in_UN_campaign_999.html


32) Professor Downing found that constructed ponds and lakes on farmland in the United States bury carbon at a much higher rate than expected; as much as 20-50 times the rate at which trees trap carbon. In addition, ponds were found to take up carbon at a higher rate than larger lakes. "Aquatic ecosystems play a disproportionately large role in the global carbon budget," Downing said. "Despite being overlooked in the past, it's small bodies of water that are important because they take up carbon at a high rate and there are more of them than previously thought. The combined effect is that farm ponds could be burying as much carbon as the world's oceans, each year." Ponds capture carbon in two main ways: 1) Algae and plants take carbon dioxide out of the air as they grow and the carbon remains in the pond when the plants die. 2) Water run-off brings in carbon from surrounding farmland soil. - The research estimated there are 304 million natural lakes and ponds in the world, covering an area of 4.2 million square kilometers, twice the area previously thought. As many as 90 percent of these water bodies are one hectare (two acres) or less in area. Downing's research team published its most recent findings in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles in a paper titled, "Sediment organic carbon burial in agriculturally eutrophic impoundments over the last century." The team included members from Europe, the United States and Canada. The work was sponsored by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Downing has presented invited seminars on this research to the International Society of Limnology, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and at several major research institutions in North America and Europe. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ponds_Found_To_Take_Up_Carbon_Like_World_Oceans_999.html

33) Governments are set to miss a self-imposed goal of slowing the rate of extinctions by 2010 and as a result are putting long-term food supplies at risk, a top environmentalist said before a U.N. biodiversity conference. Jim Leape, Director General of the WWF, told Reuters that countries at the May 19-30 U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in the German city of Bonn must admit they are doing too little and step up their commitments. "Biodiversity is essential to life and this is the only international global convention singularly focused on that precious resource -- on the need to conserve biodiversity," Leape said in a telephone interview. "There is no question that the long-term sustainability of the world's food supply depends in no small part on how we take care of the world's biodiversity," he said, noting that all crops from rice to wheat depend on wild stocks. A recent surge in food prices, due partly to booming demand in fast-growing economies such as China and India, has sparked concern among politicians all over the world. U.N. experts warn the planet is facing the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Some estimates say a species vanishes every 20 minutes, due mainly to human activity and greenhouse gas emissions. About 4,000 experts and officials aim to agree at the Bonn meeting on how to slow the rate of loss of plants and animals. A United Nations summit in 2002 set a goal of slowing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 but experts bemoan a lack of progress. "We're not now on track as a planet to meet that target," said Leape. "There is no question that there needs to be a clarion call at the conference to governments, not just environment ministries, to step up their commitments." He said measures to conserve life had to be an integral part of policy across government and there was a need for national leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to make a stand to get the issue higher on the global agenda. Leape said countries including Brazil, Costa Rica and Borneo had taken significant steps to improve conservation. "The industrialized world needs to be supporting the global effort to achieve these targets, not just in their own territories where a lot of biodiversity has already been lost, but also globally," he said. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/5/14/worldupdates/2008-05-14T170135Z_01_NOOTR_R
TRMDNC_0_-335704-1&sec=Worldupdates

34) How many tree species are there in the world? I have read estimates that go all the way up to 100,000 but the number that looks most believable to me is 10,000. I got this number in a article by James E. Reeb entitled "Scientific Classification of Trees: An Introduction for Wood Workers". Another estimate that sounded interesting was to take the total number of known plant species and then make an estimate of what percentage of these are trees based on smaller sample areas. Using this method one person that I read had estimated that there are 25,000 tree species (10% of the 250,000 plant species). The number of tree species in North America is estimated at around 1,000 (also from the article by James E. Reeb). Europe is one of the continents with the least number of tree species. http://tree-species.blogspot.com/2008/05/how-many-tree-species-in-world.html