Experts believe that the end of the world’s “war on trees” is in sight amid what is being labelled as the green revolution as governments finally break the link between an increasing human population and a drop in the number of trees.

At a United Nations meeting set to be held late in September, many countries are expected to agree to restore between 10 and 15 million hectares of woodland and to safeguard large significant areas of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.

Although deforestation continues, the rate has dramatically slowed in the last decade, with a decrease of 3 million hectares lost every year. According to Tim Christophersen of the UN Environment Programme (Unep) this change in attitudes is partly due to the worldwide realisation of how valuable forests are to the survival and growth of humanity.

Mr Christopherson believes that the agreement should promote cautious optimism within the forestry industry and around the world. He said: “I think we are seeing a real sea change in the way deforestation is being addressed and prioritised.”

Company’s like Greenwood Management are already working with the government to ensure that the rainforests are preserved and safeguarded against excessive deforestation.

Bookmark and Share

The Corporate Services Corps (CSC) from technology giant IBM is being sent to Brazil in a bid to help preserve the Amazon rainforest.

The CSC is partnering up with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to carry out its work in Brazil, following reports from the TNC that no other location in the world is more essential to the survival of the human race than the Amazon rainforest.

Steve Hamm, a writer for IBM, took to the Smarter Planet blog to write that the Amazon rainforest “harbours one-third of the planet’s biodiversity, produces one-fourth of the fresh water and plays a key role in warding off the worst effects of climate change.”

Deforestation, illegal logging and forest fires have all played a major part in the ongoing destruction of the Amazon River basin region, which covers more than 2.7 million miles of land. The Brazilian Government has said that almost 20 per cent of the Amazon rainforest has been lost over the course of the last 40 years, and this is only set to continue.

Mr Hamm confirmed that that was exactly why IBM’s CSC was helping to “make it easier for municipalities in the Brazilian Amazon to establish land-ownership records, monitor land use and, potentially, stop illegal deforestation in its tracks.”

The CSC programme is hoping to develop IBM staff members into skilled personnel able to offer assistance to both local Governments and non-Government organizations (NGOs) in emerging markets. Employees from across the globe with skills in certain areas are sent to locations where they can help to address issues including health care, economic development and transportation.

Stanley S. Litow, vice president for IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, said in a statement: “This partnership with The Nature Conservancy provides an opportunity for IBM to exert environmental leadership on the ground that will balance the need for economic growth with the need to provide sustainable performance in the environmental space.”

Firms such as Greenwood Management, who are already working to help save the rainforest, are delighted to see companies such as IBM taking the initiative to preserve such a crucial part of our future.

Bookmark and Share

A previously uncontacted tribe has emerged from the Amazon rainforest, claiming to have been shot at and contracted the flu virus.

Speaking at the Envira River on the border between Brazil and Peru, interpreters were able to translate due to the tribes Panoan dialect being similar to that of nearby tribes.

The tribal people communicated that non-natives had fired at them, and more had died due to contracting the flu, which has the potential to have devastating effects, as isolated tribes such as this one have no immunity to the virus.

They further added that many of the elderly had been slaughtered, and homes set alight. The tribespeople indicated that so many had died they were unable to bury all of the bodies. Following the intrusion it is believed that the tribe now holds 40-50 members.

At first, the tribal people were “afraid and wary”, noted Carlos Travassos of Brazil’s National Indian Foundation while speaking to Forbes. But the medical team treated them before they went back in to the rainforest.

It is widely believed that illegal loggers or drug traffickers disturbed the tribe, forcing them out of the rainforest. Growing concern of occurrences like this has led to calls for the governments of Brazil and Peru to protect the indigenous groups living in the Amazon rainforest from outsiders.

Companies, such as Greenwood Management, are recognising the importance of preserving the rainforest and allowing isolated tribes such as these to continue their natural existence without intrusion by developing sustainable alternatives for wood sources.

Bookmark and Share

New research has suggested that strengthening communities’ sense of ownership and control in forests could cut deforestation and climate change.

Analysts say that Governments are failing to take full advantage of the opportunities to combat climate change and empower communities that strengthened tenure rights and laws could offer.

The data from the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) reveals that in forestry areas officially overseen by local communities, deforestation rates can be up to hundreds of times lower than areas which are managed privately or by the state.

For example, in Brazil and Guatemala, local tenure has seen deforestation fall by 12 per cent. In areas of Mexico, community management has led to deforestation rates being up to 350 times lower.

The researchers analysed satellite images and deforestation rates and were able to map these against different tenure approaches to create the report. If taken on board, the implications could be significant, given that 10 to 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions each year come from deforestation.

The analysis report finds: “This approach to mitigating climate change has long been undervalued. Governments, donors and other climate change stakeholders tend to ignore or marginalise the enormous contribution to mitigating climate change that expanding and strengthening communities’ forest rights can make.”

Companies such as Greenwood Management ensure their work in the Brazilian rainforest is sustainable and supports the environment.

Bookmark and Share

Members of the Amazon’s ‘lost tribe’ of indigenous people have made contact with the outside world for what is believed to be the first time.

It’s reported that ‘a few dozen’ members of the unnamed tribe have contacted people living in the Brazilian village of Sympatico in the state of Acre, which is itself more than a week’s travel from the closest road.

The indigenous people are thought to belong to the same tribe that was filmed from the air back in 2010. It is not known how many are in the tribe but estimates suggest there are around four communities with a population in the region of 600, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

The contact by the tribe was confirmed by Brazil’s Indian affairs department, which said the people had asked for food and clothing.

Actual facts about the people are thin on the ground, but it is believed they originate from across the border in Peru. However, increasing activity by illegal loggers in the Peruvian Amazon and possibly drug trafficking, is thought to have driven them off their traditional lands and into the Brazilian Amazon. Gangs of heavily-armed illegal loggers have been spotted taking mahogany and teak, which is exported to make garden furniture.

Greenwood Management supports the sustainable use of rainforest resources to ensure both the rights of indigenous people and to ensure the environment is protected.

Bookmark and Share

Brazil no longer has the dubious title as the world’s largest rainforest destroyer, according to information from a former forestry leader in Indonesia.

The amount of forest cleared in Brazil in 2012 stood at 460,000 hectares but Indonesia cut down more tropical forest, with an estimated clearance of 840,000 hectares in the same period.

The new figures mean Indonesia has now overtaken Brazil, according to the former head of Indonesia’s government forestry data gathering department. Belinda Arunarwati Margono headed the division for seven years and says that Indonesia radically under-reported the true extent of the problem.

She calculated that Indonesia lost almost double the amount of forest as Brazil in 2012, even though its tropical forests are only a quarter of the size of the Amazon. Indonesia is the third biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, the majority of which is due to forest clearances.

Ms Margono blamed the problems with the figures on red tape and technical problems. She said that better information is being made available but Indonesian laws make it impossible to fully share data with the rest of the world, The Guardian reported.

Greenwood Management supports the sustainable use of rainforest resources.

Bookmark and Share

An estimated one Amazon environmental campaigner has been killed every week since 2002.

A further four will die while the eyes of the world are on Brazil during the World Cup, if the trend continues, but there is likely to be little publicity about the murders, The Guardian said.

The report into the deaths, by Global Witness, found that campaigners in the Amazon are more likely to be murdered than all their counterparts elsewhere in the world put together. The majority of the deaths happen in remote parts of the forest where illegal logging businesses take land from small farmers and local tribes, often in places where the police are too weak to deal with them.

It also found that activists do not have support because those moving in to exploit the land often accuse of them of preventing valuable economic development.

Nilcilene Miguel de Lima was beaten, her home was burned down and her dog was killed in efforts to intimidate her. Then others in her campaign group were murdered and she finally fled from Lábrea in the centre of the forest.

She told The Guardian: “I’ll be hiding for the rest of my life. The people who killed my friends and destroyed nature should be the ones in prison, but I’m the one who has no liberty.”

Greenwood Management only supports the legal and sustainable use of rainforest resources.

Bookmark and Share

The rainforest-based Brazil nut trade can benefit from joining a range of certification schemes, according to the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

A CIFOR study looked at producers based in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru and assessed the difference made to the trade when the groups had fair trade, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or organic certification for the nuts they sold.

In the Peruvian and Bolivian cases, producers benefited from the schemes, but those studied in Brazil had a different tale to tell. In order to be classed as fair trade, the producers had to join a local co-operative but the Brazilian group studied in Acre were part of a co-operative which went bankrupt. As a result, there was no extra financial benefit for members of the group and they viewed certification much less positively.

Amy Duchelle from CIFOR said: “There were some pretty well-functioning co-operatives in Pando, Bolivia, at the time, and because of that you had producers really gleaning the benefits of certification.

“But when a cooperative fails, as it did in Acre, it really does have big ramifications, including for how likely producers are to embrace certification schemes in the future.”

Greenwood Management supports the sustainable uses of forestry products from the Brazilian Amazon.

Bookmark and Share

The chief executive of Fibria, one of Brazil’s leading wood pulp producers, has been named 2014 Latin American CEO of the year.

Marcelo Castelli earned the title from RISI, which provides information on the worldwide forest products sector. He will receive his award in August at RISI’s Latin American Pulp and Paper Outlook Conference in Sao Paulo.

He was chosen from a list of his contemporaries for his success in improving Fibria’s markets and financial position. Mr Castelli has worked in the industry for more than a quarter of a century and has headed Fibria since 2011. He previously worked for other large pulp and paper firms including VCP and Aracruz.

RISI has been presenting the Latin American CEO of the Year Award since 2007 and also organises annual competitions to find the best chief executives in North America, Asia and Europe. An overall global CEO will be selected from the four regional winners ahead of the group’s major awards ceremony, held in Boston in October.

Sustainable pulp and paper production plays a key role in ensuring the survival and profitability of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. Companies such as Greenwood Management are part of the efforts to make sure that products from the rainforest are harvested and used properly.

Bookmark and Share

Major clothing brands have pledged to work to change their supply chains in order to avoid endangering forests.

Removing deforestation from the supply chain is the crux of the agreements between brands including Zara and H&M and non-profit Canopy. The agreement will see efforts made to remove endangered and ancient forests from dissolvable pulp supply chains, the Guardian reported.

These pulp chains currently go into the creation of viscose and rayon fabrics and the companies will be aiming to find alternative sources within three years.

Henrik Lampa, H&M’s environmental sustainability manager, told the Guardian: “I don’t know anyone buying a garment who would like knowing that the fabric was sourced from an endangered or ancient forest.

“The sustainability issue is a big learning curve for fashion companies. Consumers are expecting us to make good choices for them — and yet we can only make good decisions with good awareness of what is going into our products.”

Currently, around 30 per cent of the viscose and rayon which makes up clothing comes directly from dissolvable pulp from endangered and ancient forests, said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy founder and executive director.

Ethical companies such as Greenwood Management are among those working on a global level to reduce deforestation and it is essential that we all do our bit to ensure that the forest is protected for generations to come.

Bookmark and Share

According to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest forecast, Costa Rica and the rest of Latin America face a number of complex challenges over the coming years.

The challenges include water scarcity, deforestation, the collapse of wildlife habitats and animal extinction, the research – which was one of the IPCC’s follow-ups to September’s global climate change assessment.

Latin America has the highest biodiversity on the planet, but is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change, the report said, noting: “Coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, rocky reefs and shelves, and seamounts have few to no areas left in the world that remain unaffected by human influence.”

The region’s tropical forests will be replaced by savannas before too long, said the research, with existing savannas, grasslands and shrub lands already at risk from forest fires and agricultural grazing.

Latin America’s largest and most populous country, Brazil, was singled out as a result of its forest management, which the report said has contributed to the climate change in the region.

“Tropical deforestation is the second largest driver of anthropogenic climate change on the planet, adding up to 17-20 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions during the 1990s”, Tico Times reported the IPCC as saying.

The IPCC confirmed that 39 per cent of all the world’s annual deforestation takes place in Brazil, with nearly 22,000 square kilometres of forest cover cleared each year.

Ethical companies such as Greenwood Management already play an important role in ensuring rare trees are protected in the Brazilian rainforest and it is essential to ensure we all do our bit, especially in the light of the IPCC research.

Bookmark and Share

The lives of indigenous people in the Brazilian rainforest will come under the spotlight in a BBC documentary featuring former England football captain David Beckham.

The star travelled to the Amazon with three friends to film the 90-minute TV show which will be broadcast by the BBC in June in the run-up to this year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Beckham’s trip to the Amazon took place in secret and he spent two weeks finding out about life in the Amazon. It aims to give viewers a taste of life in the rainforest and the challenges faced by people who rely on the Amazon for their lifestyle and livelihoods.

Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC1, told the Guardian: “In this special documentary for BBC1, David Beckham embarks on a top-secret expedition to the Amazon that will see him encounter the other side of Brazil and journey through the tropical rainforest, a TV first for the global icon.”

The importance of managing the Brazilian Amazon and its products in a sustainable way for future generations is key to companies such as Greenwood Management. Greenwood’s work plays a vital role in ensuring the forest is both a useful economic resource, while conserving its vital global environmental role and the habitats it provides for rare wildlife.

Bookmark and Share

Researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science have studied thousands of canopy tree species in the Amazon in order to uncover traits they believe will help to predict the response of the rainforest to climate change and human activity.

The team from the institution’s Department of Global Ecology studied the trees located in the western Amazon and discovered “geographically nested patterns of chemical traits”, according to Red Orbit.

The researchers wrote about their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ edition, which was published yesterday, 3 March.

The focus of their research was to discover how much variation there was in the chemicals that plants produced when they converted sunlight into energy. In order to find their data, the researchers entered the Amazonian canopy and found a large pattern of chemical assembly across many thousands of trees.

The Institute said: “The western Amazon harbours thousands of plant species that grow at different elevations and in different soils on different geologies.

“Amazonian canopy trees are of particular interest because they create the habitat occupied by a tremendous diversity of other plants and animals. They are also at great risk due to climate change and other human interference such as mining, cattle ranching, and agriculture,” added the Institute.

More than 3,500 tree canopies were analysed across 19 forests throughout Peru, and it was found that the chemical traits belonging to the canopies were organized in a mosaic, which was altered by changes in the soils and elevation levels of the trees.

The study’s lead author, Greg Asner, told the publication: “We discovered that this incredible region is a patchwork mosaic of trees with chemical signatures organized into communities to maximize their growth potential given their local soils and elevation – two geological factors they must negotiate as living organisms.

“Within these communities, the trees have evolved chemical portfolios that are different from one another, maybe to help each species take a place in its community – what we call a niche,” he added.

The research has helped to shed light on how the forests have evolved over the years, and also of the impact that how global warming and human activity could have on them in the future, the Institute said. The evidence of the impact of humans on forest cover is further proof of the need for environmentally conscious firms such as Greenwood Management, to ensure the rainforest is managed responsibly for future generations.

Bookmark and Share

British model Lily Cole has received an award for her work to highlight the plight of the Brazilian rainforest to a global audience.

She was recognised by the All-Party Parliamentary British-Latin American Group and Latin American Travel Association for using her celebrity to bring problems in the Amazon to the public’s attention via the media.

Ms Cole made the short film Wild Rubber in the Brazilian Amazon and appeared in a Sky Arts documentary Amazon Adventure. She also works as an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund and Sky Rainforest Rescue. The two organisations are aiming to ensure the survival of one billion trees in the rainforest as part of a campaign to encourage eco-friendly business.

Ms Cole said: “I am committed to our project in saving one billion trees in the Brazilian Amazon. By raising awareness and through creating sustainable projects where we can put the profits back into the hands of the local people we hope to encourage them to protect the Amazon rainforest not only in Brazil but across Latin America.”

The model has designed a range of fashion accessories made from wild Amazon rubber with Vivenne Westwood and the Ethical Justice Foundation, which she is the patron of.

Ethical companies such as Greenwood Management are among those working on a global level to reduce deforestation.

Bookmark and Share

A Brazilian tribal chief has travelled to Canada as part of efforts to protect the rainforest from illegal loggers, farming, miners and dam building projects.

Grand Chief Megaron of the Kayapo tribe spoke to a public meeting of the International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC) as part of efforts to raise more money to protect his tribal lands. The group has already raised more than $1.6-million to help the fight to conserve the 11 million hectare areas of rainforest, which contains 34 villages and around 9,000 Kayapo people.

The land is the world’s biggest tropical reserve and the majority of the funds have been spent patrolling the area seeking illegal operations. The reserve is currently under threat through the development of a dam on the Xingu River and proposed changes to Brazilian legislation that protects indigenous people’s land rights and their right to carry on their traditional lifestyles.

The tribe has moved from physically confronting intruders to working with politicians and non-governmental organisations to protect its lands. But there are concerns that the authorities will not act against rich corporate invaders.

Chief Megaron told the Globe and Mail: “It’s a proposed constitutional amendment being pushed by big industry and big mining interests which, as in so many countries, control our government.”

Ethical companies such as Greenwood Management are among those working on a global level to reduce deforestation.

Bookmark and Share

An US entrepreneur is aiming to stop deforestation in the Amazon by purchasing parcels of rainforest to protect areas that are still intact.

Thomas Murray founded Cuipo, named after the tallest growing tree in the rainforest, with the idea that people could make a make a big difference to conservation in small steps.

The business buys areas of forest in forest in Brazil and Panama which has not been industrialised and retains its timber and mining rights.

Mr Murray told Tech Cocktail San Diego: “We want to protect what’s already there. We don’t want to fix the painting after the fire, but get the painting out of there before there ever is a fire.”

Cuipo donates all the land to One Meter at a Time, a non-profit making organisation it set up at the same time, which has a foundation charter stating the land can never be exploited or monetised. Goods made on the land are sold by Cuipo to pay for the purchase of more areas of forest.

“We’re not tree huggers, we’re just business people who saw deforestation firsthand and acted,” said Mr Murray.

Like Cuipo, Greenwood Management is working for a sustainable future for the rainforest.

Bookmark and Share

Brazil’s Environmental Minister Izabella Teixeira has said that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has increased by 28 per cent in the past year.

Provisional statistics suggest that the increase has seen 5,843 sq km of rainforest suffer from deforestation between August 2012 and July 2013, compared to 4,571 sq km in the previous 12 months.

Although the statistics are still significantly below those of 2004, which saw the destruction of 27,000 sq km of the Amazon, the Brazilian Government is still concerned that the rate of deforestation is now on the rise.

Many environmentalists blame the upwards trend on a forest protection law reform in 2012, which reduced the protected areas in farms and declared an amnesty for all areas destroyed before 2008.

Ms Teixeira has disputed these claims, suggesting that President Dilma Rousseff’s legislation changes were not to blame. She instead highlighted the 4,000 criminal actions taken against deforesters in the past year, all of which have helped to reduce the threat of deforestation.

Despite the recent rise, the Brazilian Government, along with environmentalists and firms such as Greenwood Management, are standing by their commitment to fighting deforestation, aiming to reduce rainforest destruction by 80 per cent by 2020 based on the average that was recorded between 1996 and 2005.

Bookmark and Share

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), at least 441 new species of animals and plants have been found in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest, highlighting the importance of working ever harder to protect the forests from damage including illegal logging.

Researchers investigating the region for three years between 2010 and this year have discovered 258 previously undiscovered species of plants, 84 fish, 22 reptiles, 18 birds and one new mammal, a monkey.

Many of the newly discovered species are thought not to be living anywhere else in the world other than the Amazon rainforest, making it key to ensure that they do not die out as a result of lost forest cover caused by deforestation or on-going climate change. While companies such as Greenwood Management are already doing their bit to boost sustainability to ensure the protection of the Amazon for years to come, it is important that others get involved and make the conservation of this vital ecosystem a top priority.

Some of the most notable new discoveries included a large number of new orchid species, such as the bright pink Sobralia imavieirae, and a vegetarian pirana, Tometes camunani, which can weigh up to nine pounds, and is strictly herbivorous. The freshwater fish lives in rocky rapids and feeds on the seedlings of plants.

Damian Fleming, head of programmes for Brazil and the Amazon at WWF, said: “With an average of two new species identified every week for the past four years, it’s clear that the extraordinary Amazon remains one of the most important centres of global biodiversity. The more scientists look, the more they find. The richness of the Amazon’s forests and freshwater habitats continues to amaze the world. But these same habitats are also under growing threat.

“The discovery of these new species reaffirms the importance of stepping up commitments to conserve and sustainably manage the unique biodiversity and also the goods and services provided by the rainforests to the people and businesses of the region,” added Mr Fleming.

Bookmark and Share

United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) has confirmed that it is to plant one million trees across the globe and deliver £142 million in environmental grants as part of its 10th annual Global Volunteer Month.

The month aims to work to protect the environment and encourage people to realise the importance of working together to do so – something which firms such as Greenwood Management are already well aware.

The grants will go to Earth Day Network, which will use the money to support the Trees for Communities project. This project will see 390,000 trees being planted across five countries and in the beautiful Boreal Forest in Canada.

Funding will also go to Keep America Beautiful Inc, where it will be used to put towards “community and post-recovery tree planting grants and support of the 2014 Vision for America Awards,” Biz Journals reported.

The National Arbor Day Foundation will also receive a grant to support the UPS Employee Forest Program, which focuses on reforestation in priority areas across the United States and abroad, while The Nature Conservancy for the UPS Global Forestry Initiative will also receive funding. The Nature Conservancy will use the money for reforestation efforts in the Brazil, the United States, Guatemala, Haiti and China, as well as for forest conservation in Canada. It will also support the Healthy Cities Healthy Trees initiative as well as climate policy in Europe.

The remaining funding will go to the World Resources Institute for them to put towards the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which works to lower methane emissions from natural gas systems.

Atlanta-based UPS began its global forestry initiative to help plant, protect and preserve trees back in 2011. Over 1.3 million trees have already been planted as a result of the package delivery giant’s efforts.

Bookmark and Share

A coffee farmer who initially set up his business by destroying part of the rainforest is now part of a Brazilian scheme that has created an agribusiness model based on using old deforested land.

Luiz Martins Neto, who has been growing coffee in Sao Felix do Xingu in the northern state of Para for 25 years, has joined a project that concentrates on available land without resorting to further deforestation. The change in attitudes has largely come about because of policies introduced by the Brazilian and state governments to preserve the rainforest.

Para introduced new legislation last year to ensure that up to 80 per cent of land that is privately owned in the Amazon rainforest remains untouched. Around two-thirds of Brazil’s rainforest is either in private hands or has ‘undefined’ ownership. The new regulations also limit how much land can be used for farming.

In 2007, Brazil made an international promise to prevent towns considered the biggest deforestation offenders from accessing credit. Companies buying goods from deforested areas also faced penalties.

In 2008, a Brazilian government list of towns which carried out the most deforestation was topped by Sao Felix do Xingu but the town has taken steps to reverse that trend. In 2000, it was responsible for 965 square miles of deforestation but by 2012, the figure was down to 65 square miles.

Companies such as Greenwood Management are already working to encourage sustainable use of the rainforest and these policies will encourage others to do likewise.

Bookmark and Share