Furniture giant IKEA has made a substantial forestry investment thought to be in the region of 100 million euros.

The Swedish company announced this past week that it has bought 33,600 hectares of forests in Romania, where it already has investment heavy in sustainable forestry. While the cost of this investment has not been revealed, market data available on the price of forest land in Romania suggests it could be around 100 million euros.

The woodland that has been bought is located in central and north-eastern Romania. It means that Romania is now the first country to house the full life cycle of an IKEA product; the furniture items are made from Romanian timber, manufactured in the country and then sold in the nation’s outlets.

IKEA’s acquisition not only demonstrates a commitment to sustainable forestry, which Greenwood Management fully endorses, but also the financial sense in forestry investments.

Frederik de Jong, chairman of the board at IRI Investments SRL, which is the IKEA subsidiary that manages this investment, commented: “The investment in woodland is a way for us to diversify our assets. We are happy to expand our forestry activities to Romania, a country that’s important for our furniture production.”

Violeta Nenita, operations manager of South East Europe purchasing at IKEA, added: “More than 14,000 people work for our suppliers in Romania, and the value of products purchased by IKEA Group in Romania rose to 400 million euros per year. We have over 15 years of collaboration with our existing suppliers, during which most of them have registered increased sales and have significantly improved their production capacities.”

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The pace of deforestation in India has reached a faster pace in the past year than it has in decades, according to one activist.

Eminent environment activist Rajendra Singh is well known in India, having carried out extensive work in water harvesting and water management, for which he won Ramon Magsaysay award in 2001. He has also been awarded the Stockholm Water Prize this year in recognition of his innovative water restoration efforts in Indian villages.

Mr Singh has alleged that since Narendra Modi became Indian Prime Minister in May 2014, the problem of deforestation has worsened in the country. Speaking at an afforestation programme organised by the Indian forest department, the activist stated that the past 12 months have been the worst for deforestation since the 1980s.

Specifically, Mr Singh says forest land that ought to be protected has instead been given to coal miners and thermal power projects. He added that areas of forest which had formed part of the Tadoba Tiger Project has been given to the Adani Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate company.

As India’s population and economy grows rapidly, protecting the nation’s forests is of utmost importance, and Greenwood Management supports any attempts to shed light on worrying deforestation practices.

Mr Singh issued a warning to the country, saying that the government’s current behaviour of giving off areas of forests to private companies, which they subsequently cut down for commercial reasons, illustrates how “insensitive” they are towards environment and our future.

Mr Singh, or ‘the water man’ as he is otherwise known, did however praise recent efforts to clean the Ganges.

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Food processing giant JBS has announced that it has made remarkable progress in its own battle to help prevent deforestation in the Amazon, but these claims have been questioned.

The Brazilian company publicly committed to not purchasing beef from any cattle ranchers that had been responsible in any way for deforestation in the Biome region of the Amazon rainforest. This month the firm has said that just four of 12,221 sales the company achieved in 2014 were connected with irresponsible cattle farms.

The pledge made from JBS came in response to Greenpeace’s 2009 report ‘Slaughtering the Amazon’, and the company’s sustainability director Marcio Nappo said: “We are very happy with the results of the audit. It shows that our suppliers monitoring system presented a 99.97 per cent level of assertiveness last year within a massive universe of procurement operations.”

However, Greenpeace wrote a blog that was published just one day after the audit results in which the organisation states that “the world’s biggest meat producer has failed to stick to its promises”. While the charity acknowledges that progress has been made and that these figure are positive, Greenpeace says JBS “hasn’t even got off the starting blocks”.

In particular, the blog says that JBS is guilty of continuing to shirk its own responsibilities and fully commit to eradicating all deforestation and “environmental crimes” from its supply chain. The article concludes: “JBS needs to stand up and stop driving Amazon destruction. If it doesn’t, more of its customers will find alternative suppliers and we will continue to expose its role in deforestation!”

Greenwood Management supports efforts such as those made by Greenpeace to hold companies to account and ensure that corporations take responsibility in the fight to protect the world’s forests.

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The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has praised the decision made by APRIL to eliminate deforestation from across its entire supply chain.

APRIL Group is one of the largest, most technologically advanced and efficient makers of pulp and paper products in the world. The company announced at the start of June to not undertake any new development on forested land or forested peatland.

The Indonesian firm also said that it has added High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessments to existing High Conservation Value (HCVF) assessments. APRIL will also look to strengthen its cooperation with NGOs and other conservation groups to ensure Indonesia’s rainforest does not fall victim to deforestation.

WWF has welcomed the updated Sustainable Forestry Management Plan, otherwise known as SFMP 2.0.

Dr Efransjah, CEO of WWF-Indonesia, commented: “The enhanced Sustainable Forest Management Policy announced today is APRIL’s response to longstanding calls to quit deforestation by civil society groups. WWF hopes APRIL can fully implement this commitment considering its potentially positive environment and social impacts.”

However, the conservation charity is also calling on APRIL to include more representation from civil society groups and to commission an independent review of its progress in implementation of SFMP 2.0.

Companies elsewhere in the world, such as Greenwood Management, are already working to support sustainable forestry and doing their part to reduce deforestation.

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A new study has found that zero-deforestation commitments made by large businesses could lead to an increase in anti-deforestation pledges by suppliers and ranchers within Brazil’s beef industry supply chain.

Published in the journal of Conservation Letters, the study has found that public agreements made by beef suppliers in Brazil have had a significant impact on the behaviour of ranchers and slaughterhouses within the Amazon.

Following the zero-deforestation promises made by large companies such as McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, the research aimed to highlight the changes in behaviour caused by the rising awareness.

Lead research Holly Gibbs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the data on land use within the state of Para before and after a 2009 agreement signed by a number of major meat packing companies and found that the deforestation rate among associated ranch owners has since reduced by half.

This particular agreement prompted change by imposing a moratorium on buying any cattle that could be linked to deforested land in Brazil, which has already sees around two thirds of its deforest land used for cattle pasture.

According to Gibbs, the success of such pledges has seen the agreements rise in popularity, with many large businesses now using them as an incentive to avoid bad publicity.

Many other companies, such as Greenwood Management, have already made launched similar policies to protect land from deforestation.

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International environmental forum Riau has found that Indonesia is still lacking in the required legal basis to support zero-deforestation commitments.

The Riau forum, which was attended by representatives of the Riau administration, NGOs and agroforestry companies, was used by many to urge Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his administration to issue additional acts to provide a legal basis for zero-deforestation commitments currently not being met around the country.

One legal act quoted as holding back the fight for conservation was Law No.39/2014 on plantations, which requires palm oil companies to use all of their land to plant oil palms, which means they are unable to allocate any land for the purposes of conservation.

According to Tiur Rumondang of the Indonesian Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD), who attended the forum, these regulations are against the commitments made by the government.

“For example, if a company decides not to plant palm oil trees in 10 per cent of its 10,000 hectares of permitted land to reduce carbon, then the 10 per cent will be taken back by the government because it considers it abandoned land,” she said.

Gary W. Dunning, executive director of The Forests Dialogue at Yale University, has also encouraged the Indonesian government to cooperated with NGOs and corporations to eradicate deforestation across the country, stating that such a move may be the strongest tool for fighting Indonesia’s illegal forestry industry.

Companies elsewhere in the world, such as Greenwood Management, are already working to support sustainable forestry and doing their part to reduce deforestation.

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The Environmental Finance Award of the Year 2015 in the Sustainable Forestry category has been awarded to climate fund Athelia for the projects developed in the natural protected areas in Peru.

Together with Peru’s National Service for Protected Areas (Sernanp) and the Peruvian Association for the Research and Comprehensive Development (AIDER), Althelia has completed projects aimed at preserving landscapes in the areas characterised by high biodiversity.

The first project was conducted between Althelia Ecosphere and Credit Suisse to issue “Nature Conservation Notes”, which are financial products for the conservation of nature. The notes allow investing in the market by subscribing “tickets”, after which the money is invested in REDD+ projects conducted in a number of national parks.

Such projects include forest conservation and the recovery of degraded soils and the development of sustainable organic agriculture, which can benefit local farmers and allow for the production of around 3,200 tons of cocoa.

According to Andina, the natural protected areas that currently exist around the world demonstrate the opportunities available to invest in conservation. These investment projects promote the sustainable use of these areas and mitigate any threats that could boost deforestation and harm the environment.

A number of companies including Greenwood Management have already pledged their support for such projects, helping to reduce deforestation and protect the environment.

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A new platform will provide vital near-real time information and analysis on growing threats to forests in the non-Brazilian Amazon.

Entitled the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), the initiative has been launched by the Amazon Conservation Association and Conservación Amazónica-ACCA to allow the public to view activities taking place in the world’s most diverse forest.

According to MAAP, the ultimate goal of the project is to publicly distribute all important information in as close to real time as possible to provide policy makers, society and the media with an easy-to-understand view of Amazon threats.

They continued: “We hope that sharing such information with these actors will contribute to changes in policy and practice that minimise future deforestation and promote conservation in the Andean Amazon.”

The platform is part of a growing number of forest monitoring tools that are currently being developed by civil groups such as Global Forest Watch, which has developed the largest of the deforestation platforms.

With the help of these new transparency tools, the organisations hope to help environmental groups, the media and the public to hold companies and governments accountable for their approach to forest management and conservation.

Many companies that have already pledged their support to forestry conservation, including Greenwood Management, will also benefit from the tools, which highlight those who are upholding their commitment to reducing deforestation.

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A team of citizen scientists have helped create a highly accurate map of global forest cover, allowing researchers to gain insight into deforestation and the world wide effects of deforestation.

Although there are currently a large number of sources of data available of forest distribution, many provide conflicting information, according to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

The new maps rely on a combination of the latest multi sensory remote sensing data, statistics and crowdsourcing to provide a more accurate picture of the global effect of deforestation.

Commenting on the accuracy of the results, the lead author of the study said: “By combining different data sources, and incorporating the input of trained citizen scientists, we were able to produce new maps that are more accurate than any existing data source.”

As part of the study, the authors have created two brand new global forest maps that help create a clearer picture of the state of the world’s forests.

The first of the maps is a “best-guess” map that combines eight different data sources, relying on a network of citizen scientists to double-check land cover classifications by searching through high-resolution imagery of different locations.

The second map has been calibrated using regional and country-level forest statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which has been revealed to be consistent with FAO statistics and highlights the countries containing the most dramatic data discrepancies.

These maps highlight the importance of global cooperation when it comes to forestry conservation. Companies such as Greenwood Management are already working to safeguard the world’s forests and reduce levels of deforestation across the globe.

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A new body aiming to develop a national forest certification system and formulate standards in India has been set up to promote “responsible” trade within the forestry sector for better management of Indian forestry resources.

The Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) is set to have representation from a number of stakeholders including government and industry names, and is expected to complete formulation of certification standards within one year.

According to NCCF, the certification body will create standards that reflect the “plurality” of the forests and the link they have with the people of India.

NCCF chairman K K Singh said: “Though India-specific, the national forest certification system and standards shall align with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification’s globally-recognised sustainability benchmarks.”

Commenting on the new certification system, the NCCF stated that the idea behind the launch was to ensure that responsible forestry practice was encouraged throughout India, whilst ensuring that it is socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally friendly.

The system is also endorsed by the PEFC-International, who have stated that the national certification will have a “positive impact on forest management far beyond India”, particularly when taking into account the country’s position in international markets.

Elsewhere in the world, many other companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged their support for the conservation of worldwide forests and the reduction in deforestation.

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The arrest of Brazil’s “king of deforestation” is set to help prompt a breakthrough in the effort to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Ezequiel Antônio Castanha was arrested in February along with 15 associates in what has been labelled as a major breakthrough for environmental enforcement and conservation in the Amazon rainforest.

According to environment ministry Ibama, Castanha and his gang were responsible for around 10 per cent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon last year.

Prosecutors are now requesting that Castanha be kept in protective custody throughout what is expected to be a long legal process to prevent him from reoffending.

According to Daniel Azeredo, the lead prosecutor in the case, there has never been an investigation that has uncovered such a large amount of land and money within one group.

He continued: “If he remains in prison, we expect a fall in deforestation rates. If he is released however, it is very likely that he will continue with the same activities, due to a sense of impunity and of course, because it is a very lucrative business.”

Castanha’s arrest has already had an impact on deforestation rates, with levels falling by 65 per cent since his arrest was warranted in August 2014.

Unlike Castanha’s forestry firms, Greenwood Management are devoted to protecting the forests through sustainable operations.

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The forest department in India has signed a deal to work with corporate houses, both private and public, to achieve 33 per cent green cover in Jharkhand by 2015.

The department had approached Tata Steel, Uranium Corporation of India, and Hindustan Copper to conduct a survey of their land and submit the status report by 31 March 2015.

According to Sanjeev Kumar, conservator of forest (working plan) in Jamshedpur, the aim for the project is to ensure that the region achieves its 33 per cent green cover goal, an aim established by the Tree Outside Forest Land (TOF) plan to promote green conservation on the land.

Mr Kumar continued: “To check REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation) and carbon sequestration (process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir) are the two guiding points of the working plan aimed at green conservation.”

As part of the conservation project, the corporate bodies have been asked to survey the available land, nature and status of the land in their command area and submit a report to the forest department before following up and taking action suggested by the results to boost green coverage and reduce deforestation.

Some companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged to support to the fight against excessive deforestation in the world’s forests.

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Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has openly welcomed the Rainforest Alliance independent evaluation of its Forest Conservation Policy, which concluded that the company has made moderate progress towards meeting its commitments towards a reduction in deforestation.

The Forest Conservation Policy was announced by the firm on 5 February 2013 and marked an immediate end to natural forest clearance by Asia Pulp & Paper’s pulpwood suppliers, as well as a range of other methods that are aimed at preventing deforestation.

According to the firm, engaging with the Rainforest Alliance has provided a valuable perspective on its climate change efforts and increases transparency within the industry.

Commenting on the evaluation, APP’s managing director of sustainability Aida Greenbury, said: “We’re pleased that the Rainforest Alliance has recognised the progress we are making. We believe today’s report shows that our efforts to achieve Zero Deforestation are on the right track.”

Following the evaluation, APP has pledged to improve the policy implementation measure and work hard on the areas that were marked by the Rainforest Alliance as requiring additional focus.

Ms Greenbury also highlighted the benefits of the evaluation in bringing to light the issues currently plaguing Indonesia’s forests, and called on other stakeholders to support the APP Zero Deforestation Policy.

Companies such as Greenwood Management have already pledged to support such causes and are working hard to safeguard forests against excessive deforestation.

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Former US vice president Al Gore has revealed a $90 trillion (£59.6 trillion) plan to cut deforestation to zero and eradicate the need for cars in the world’s cities.

Working with former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, they argue that redesigning all of the world’s cities so people live in more densely packed neighbourhoods could save the planet.

Outlining their plan in Davos at the World Economic Forum this month, the pair claim that around $90 trillion is set to be spent on infrastructure investment in the coming years anyway.

Speaking to Business Insider, Mr Calderon said: “We cannot have these cities with low density, designed for the use of cars. We recommend those cities should have more density and more mass transportation.”

By reforming land use, Mr Calderon stated that it would be possible to bring deforestation down to zero, which would have a major impact on climate change around the world.

“The mistake we made in Mexico was to let cities develop however they want, and it’s a mess,” said Mr Calderon, who noted one of the key challenges would be to persuade city mayors that the new way of designing cities is beneficial for everyone.

According to the New Climate Economy, fewer than 500 cities are set to account for more than 60 per cent of global income growth and half of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions growth between now and 2030.

Companies such as Greenwood Management realise how important it is to protect the world’s forests and they are working together to ensure they are preserved and safeguarded against excessive levels of deforestation.

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Climate change has seen many a drought in Brazil, and the latest one is beginning to have a major impact on one of the country’s most lucrative exports – coffee.

Coffee growing regions across the country are predicted to see around 50 per cent of the normal amount of rainfall this month and next month, meteorologist at Somar Meteorologia in Sao Paulo, Celso Oliveira said.

As the biggest grower and exporter of coffee in the world, a shortage in the amount of beans grown could have a catastrophic impact on the country’s economy.

The dry weather has sparked concerns over damage to flowering coffee trees, with John Stephenson, chief executive officer of Toronto-based Stephenson & Co. Capital Management, telling Bloomberg: “Coffee is very weather-dependent. You’ve seen a massive drawdown in stockpiles in Brazil. When that’s coupled with the drought, supply is tight-to-constrained.”

While northern regions of Brazil will stay “almost completely dry” over the coming few weeks, a smattering of light rain is predicted in southern Minas Gerais and most of Sao Paulo, according to another meteorologist. The expert also confirmed that as much as 40 per cent of the crop is at risk as water is needed in order to allow the ‘cherries’ containing the precious coffee beans to develop.

It was also feared that this level of continued dryness could compound last year’s crop damage.

Companies such as Greenwood Management welcome the focus on climate change as it is already ensuring that its work in the biodiversity hotspot of the Brazilian rainforest is always sustainable and supports the environment.

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Environmental group Greenpeace has stated that the world is waking up to the impact excessive levels of deforestation can have on climate change.

Rolf Skar, who helps lead forest conservation work for the body, explained that the public should take heart from recent developments.

Speaking to the New York Times, he stated that a “potentially historic moment” has arrived “where the world is starting to wake up to this issue, and to apply real solutions”.

Mr Skar was commenting after Brazil took strong action to restrict the destruction of the Amazon rainforest in a bid to slow the impact of global warming on the planet.

Glenn Hurowitz, a managing director at Washington-based consultancy Climate Advisers, noted that the march of civilisation has for thousands of years “been associated with converting natural ecosystems to crops that serve only man”.

He added: “What’s happening now is that we are trying to break that paradigm. If that succeeds, it’s going to be a major development in human history.”

Nigel Sizer, director of forest programmes at the World Resources Institute, added that new and recovering forests could hold the key to battling climate change as they help to pull dangerous emissions out of the air.

He said: “Every time I hear about a government program that is going to spend billions of dollars on some carbon capture and storage programme, I just laugh and think, what is wrong with a tree? All you have to do is look out the window, and the answer is there.”

Companies including Greenwood Management realise the importance of protecting the world’s forests and are already working to ensure that they are preserved and safeguarded against excessive deforestation.

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Information and data regarding the status of their greenhouse gas releases in the forest sector was recently submitted by countries including Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico, in order to help build a forest reference emission level.

The countries submitted the required information to the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the recent UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Lima, Peru.

By analysing this data, benchmarks will be able to be established which will help to assess the performance of these countries in the implementation of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). It will also help to see how developing countries are contributing towards the boosting of forest carbon stocks as well as the sustainable management of forests.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, president of the UN Climate Change Conference and Environment Minister of Peru, said: “The knowledge of forest inventories and their carbon stocks is essential to be able to take action on forests. Countries are not only recognising the economic value of forests, but also their value for biodiversity, their cultural value and their ability to provide people with a better quality of life.”

Brazil was the first country to submit its information regarding greenhouse gas emission reductions in the forest sector, and the technical assessment of the emission level was finished last week. The data from the other countries will now be assessed by forestry experts coordinated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Companies such as Greenwood Management welcome the focus on climate change and continue their work to ensure that the Brazilian rainforest is protected for generations to come.

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As representatives of nearly 200 global governments gather in Lima, Peru, for a major UN climate change summit, new limits for global warming are being decided upon and the issue of the destruction of forests is also under the microscope.

Countries are tipped to agree to a deal that would see the limit for global warming set to two degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial age. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, each country would need to slash emissions between 40 and 70 per cent prior to 2050.

Mauro Fernández, from Greenpeace’s Weather and Energy campaign, told the Buenos Aires Herald newspaper: “Whatever happens in Peru will set the foundation for the Paris summit in 2015. It’s a great opportunity for all countries to move forward with an effort to stop climate change. Argentina could be one of the leaders in Lima considering its potential in renewable energy sources.”

In terms of the worst climate change offenders, in Argentina, climate change is being felt most directly in the Patagonia region. The average temperature has risen by one degree Celsius over the last 50 years, marking the biggest rise in the country. Overall, the average rise during the 50 years has been 0.5 of a degree, it was confirmed.

Soledad Aguilar, head of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences’ climate change career, told the newspaper: “Argentina hasn’t done its homework on climate change and has a cynical view about the issue. There’s no national strategy and other countries of the region like Uruguay and Chile have done much more.”

However, the Argentine Government’s new director for climate change, Laura Juárez, argues that numerous initiatives have been rolled out in a bid to tackle global warming: “One of Argentina’s strong points is the Forest Law. Even though it has been subject to mistakes and it needs to be amended, it’s positive legislation. We have also carried out an inventory of greenhouse gases and use energy-efficiency criteria in housing programmes. We want all provinces to have climate change in their agenda.”

Companies such as Greenwood Management welcome the focus on climate change as it is already ensuring that its work in the biodiversity hotspot of the Brazilian rainforest is always sustainable and supports the environment.

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Greenpeace Netherlands activists confronted a container ship approaching Rotterdam as they believed it was carrying timber produced from illegal sources in the Amazon.

Soured from the Brazilian sawmill and exporter Rainbow Trading by the Belgian timber company Leary Forest Products, and heading for Belgian companies Lemahieu and Omniplex, the timber is thought to have been bought from a sawmill well known for trading illegal wood.

Greenpeace is urging EU authorities to enforce the law against illegal timber in Europe (EUTR) by removing the timber prior to it being allowed to enter the European marketplace unchecked. Rainbow Trading was one of the main subjects of a recent investigation by Greenpeace Brazil regarding the processing and trading of illegal timber in the Amazon.

Daniela Montalto, senior forests campaigner, Greenpeace International, said: “Official documentation used by loggers in the Amazon is not worth the paper it is written on. These documents are being used to launder illegal timber from Brazil. Buying from companies like Rainbow Trading is risky business. Their timber must be seized, not sold.”

Greenpeace is calling for companies that are not complying with the requirements of the EUTR to be penalised.

Companies such as Greenwood Management realise the importance of cutting out this illegal timber production as part of the drive to ensure that the globe’s rainforests are preserved and safeguarded against excessive deforestation.

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There has been a decrease in rainfall across almost 70 per cent of the Amazon rainforest since the start of the new millennium, according to a major new study.

Researchers deployed a more accurate system to assess rainfall by using satellite technology that is able to cut through the cloud cover to see the true picture. The area of the Amazon that has suffered declining rainfall covers 5.4 million sq km.

The report, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the uptake of carbon by the Amazon’s trees is slowing and therefore the rainforest is becoming less able to cope with climate change, the Epoch Times reported.

The report said: “Our results provide evidence that persistent drying could degrade Amazonian forest canopies, which would have cascading effects on global carbon and climate dynamics.”

A number of studies have suggested that forest clearances for agriculture and by illegal loggers are among the factors responsible for causing drought in areas of the rainforest. Sufficient rainfall in the area is essential to produce many of the crops Brazil relies on, including the coffee harvest.

Greenwood Management supports the sustainable use of rainforest resources to guard against excessive deforestation.

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