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.
Greenpeace Netherlands activists confronted a container ship approaching Rotterdam as they believed it was carrying timber produced from illegal sources in the Amazon.
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.
A pledge has been made by the Indonesian Government regarding a reduction in the level of deforestation, after it was confirmed that the country now has a higher deforestation rate than Brazil.
Forestry Ministry secretary-general, Hadi Daryanto, has confirmed that the Government has taken steps to lower the levels, especially in areas that are particularly prone to the issue, such as Kalimantan and Riau.
The measures taken include the expansion and extension of the conversion of natural forests and peat land, as well as a compliance audit on numerous firms operating in Riau. The deletion of illegal logging and a provision of degraded-forest areas for economic activity will also help to stem the problem of deforestation, the Forestry Ministry said.
However, despite these measures, Hadi did say that the Ministry had so far fallen behind on its plans to clamp down on the issue in Sumatra, Jambi, West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan. He confirmed that the Ministry aimed to “continue to improve its performance.”
He was reported as saying in the Jakarta Post: “Today several parties, including the Forest Ministry, have signed a cooperation agreement to address haze issues under the coordination of the Coordinating Economic Ministry.”
Signing the agreement was Coordinating Economic Minister, Chairul Tanjung, Agriculture Minister Suswono, the Home Ministry’s law enforcement deputy Himsar Sirait, National Disaster Management Board chairman Syamsul Maarif,and the Environment Ministry’s disaster mitigation director Masduki.
Hadi went on to say that a further agreement would be signed later this week by the Ministry and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the Home Ministry, the National Land Agency (BPN) and the Public Works Ministry. It would aim to settle territorial conflicts relating to forest areas, he said.
Companies including Greenwood Management realise the importance of such a pledge and are already working to ensure that the globe’s rainforests are preserved and safeguarded against excessive deforestation.
As the fight for the Presidency rages on in Brazil, differing opinions regarding the issue of deforestation have come under the spotlight, with some prominent scientists believing that the problem is not in fact being tackled.
Philip M. Fearnside, researcher at the National Institute for Amazon Research in Manaus, told the New York Times: “The mantra in Brasília is that they have deforestation under control, but the evidence on the ground shows this is not true.”
While forest conservation is said to be a key part of both current President Dilma Rousseff and her rival, Marina Silva, Ms Rousseff’s plans include creating mining projects and dams in order to build on Brazil’s economic growth – plans that seem to undermine any environmental concerns.
Meanwhile, former environment minister Ms. Silva, argues that Ms Rousseff’s plans are the reason for the rise in deforestation in Brazil, as well as the country’s refusal to put its name to a UN declaration which aims to erase deforestation completely by 2030.
She told the news source: “Deforestation is rising again because of incompetence, inefficiency and a lack of commitment in protecting the Amazon.”
However, Brazil’s current environment minister, Izabella Teixeira, argued that “no country has done more than Brazil to fight illegal deforestation”. Despite the clearing of almost 20 per cent of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest since the 1960s, Ms Teixeira maintains that the country is a prime anti-deforestation example.
“I would love for the forests of Indonesia or the Congo River Basin to have the same levels of protection we have forged,” she added.
With so many factors working against the protection of Brazil’s precious forests, such as illegal logging and forest fires, it is more important than ever to ensure that the Brazilian Amazon and its products are managed in a sustainable way for future generations. Greenwood Management’s work plays a key role in ensuring the forest is a useful economic resource as well as a protected environmental gem.
Tropical rainforests of the future – including the Amazon – could become an ‘impoverished kind of savannah’ as a result of climate change, according to one of the top climate scientists in the world.
Brazil’s National Secretary for Research and Development Policies, Carolos Nobre said that, while progress had been made in terms of limiting deforestation in the Amazon, there was still a long way to go.
Mr Nobre – who is also a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability – said that the method of modelling had given insight into the potential negative impacts of climate change.
He told the Centre for International Forestry Research’s ‘Forests News’ blog: “We are in a good moment in terms of transforming land-use change in the tropics… but in the present there are areas in the Amazon in which a repeated cycle of deforestation, regrowth and fire has led to a landscape that is highly degraded.
“It’s an impoverished kind of savannah. And I think that’s what the forests of the future will look like if climate change is not checked.”
Mr Nobre is due to speak at the upcoming Colloqium on Forests and Climate, which is being held in New York on 24 September. He will speak along with six other world-renowned scientists and will focus on the key role that science plays in addressing the issue of climate change.
He told the blog: “Science is playing a very important role in fighting illegal deforestation, and also in finding sustainable solutions for the Amazon.”
Companies such as Greenwood Management ensure their work in the biodiversity hotspot of the Brazilian rainforest is always sustainable and supports the environment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.