Tree Frog Forestry News

Region Archives: International

Froggy Foibles

People from all over the world are sending emails to Melbourne’s trees

By Margaret Burin
ABC News, Australia
January 16, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

The City of Melbourne gave 70,000 trees email addresses so people could report on their condition. But instead people are writing love letters, existential queries and sometimes just bad puns. …These emails were sent as part of Melbourne City Council’s Urban Forest Visual, an interactive map that allows the public to find out more about any tree in the council area. …But the response was completely unexpected. Since the project started it’s received more than 4,000 emails from around the world… people often think technology removes us from nature but actually the opposite can be true.

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World’s ‘loneliest’ frog gets a date

By Helen Briggs
BBC News
January 15, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A frog believed to be the last of his kind in the world has been granted a reprieve from solitude. Romeo, known as the world’s loneliest frog, has spent 10 years in isolation at an aquarium in Bolivia. Scientists say they have found him a Juliet after an expedition to a remote Bolivian cloud forest. Five Sehuencas water frogs found in a stream were captured, with the goal of breeding and re-introducing the amphibians back into the wild. The five frogs – three males and two females – are the first Seheuncas water frogs to be seen in the wild for a decade, despite previous searches in the Bolivian wilderness. Romeo was collected 10 years ago when biologists knew the species was in trouble, but was not expected to remain alone for so long. He attracted international attention a year ago over his search for a mate, and was even given a dating profile.

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Business & Politics

Why Mercer International Stock Popped 19% Today

By Rich Smith
The Motley Fool
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Shares of Mercer International, a maker of bleached softwood kraft pulp used in paper products and biofuel, were turbocharged today when the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that the stock will replace Green Dot stock on the S&P SmallCap 600 index before market open on Friday, Jan. 18. Mercer stock was up 18.7% on the news as of 2:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday. What does the one event have to do with the other? Simply put, in order to accurately reflect the new composition of the S&P SmallCap 600 index, a lot of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that track the performance of the index will soon have to purchase a small amount of Mercer International stock. Momentum investors today are trying to get ahead of those changes in fund and ETF purchases by buying Mercer stock themselves.

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Stora Enso completes negotiations on possible temporary layoffs at Oulu

By Richard Stuart-Turner
PrintWeek
January 15, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Stora Enso has completed co-determination negotiations on possible temporary layoffs with employees at its Oulu Mill in Finland. As a result of the negotiations, Stora Enso can, if needed, temporarily lay off employees at the mill, excluding the personnel at its adjacent Oulu pulp mill, for a maximum of 90 days during the first half of 2019. “Basically, there are 500 employees in the scope of the temporary layoffs, which can be used as a precautionary measure to adapt production to possible fluctuations in market demand,” a Stora spokesperson told PrintWeek. …The co-determination negotiations were initiated in November as the business looked to reduce its production in response to weak market conditions for woodfree papers, while prices of the most important raw materials for paper production simultaneously continued to rise.

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Building on market momentum

By Patrizio Antonicoli, CEI-Bois
The Timber Trade Journal
January 16, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Patrizio Antonicoli

According to latest figures, the general conditions in the EU wood products market were positive during 2017. Reported timber consumption increased by 4%, reaching €123bn. Extra-EU28 imports of wood products amounted to €8.8bn, reflecting a 4% increase compared to 2016, with the key suppliers being China, Russia and the US. Exports also increased in 2017, exceeding €11.8bn. These trends are in line with general acceleration in the pace of economic activity in the EU, which continued into 2018, driven by internal demand recovery and good performance in exports. The growth of the construction sector, in particular, picked up in the EU, and the industry’s provisional forecast for 2018 into 2019 is also moderately optimistic. …Our key priority is to ensure a level-playing field for European woodworking industries, both for their wood raw material procurement and their sales of semi-fi nished and finished wood-based products. 

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Brexit drives creation of new forestry body

By Claire Fox
The Independent
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Fergal Leamy

A NEW trade association has been created for the forestry and timber industry, amid growing fears over the impact of Brexit. Forestry Industries Ireland (FII), which has been set up by Ibec, was launched in Dublin yesterday and comprises 22 member companies from across the island which cover the entire forestry chain. Coillte CEO Fergal Leamy stated at the launch that Brexit was the main driving force behind forestry companies deciding to come together at this time. …”The UK is going to be a crucial market for us and the more we can work together as an industry and meet that challenge, the better it is,” he said. …FII aims to increase the combined turnover of the industry from the current €800m to €1.6bn by 2035.

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Forest fire insurance costs soar

Reuters in CNBC
January 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

MUNICH – Forest fires caused by climate change are costing insurers more than ever, with the deadly fire that ravaged northern California the single most expensive natural disaster in 2018, Munich Re said in its catastrophe report on Tuesday. The California wildfire that devastated the small town of Paradise in November caused losses of $16.5 billion, of which $12.5 billion were insured. Worldwide natural disasters caused $160 billion in economic damage in 2018. That was down from $350 billion the previous year, but a number of devastating hurricanes had contributed to the high losses in 2017. Insurers and reinsurers paid out $80 billion for natural disaster claims last year, down from $140 billion a year earlier but almost double the 30-year average of $41 billion, the reinsurer said.

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Bright outlook for radiata pine earnings

By Andrea Fox
New Zealand Herald
January 7, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Built-in colour could be the next big export and interior decor thing for New Zealand radiata pine as scientists eye markets for their technology breakthrough. Crown research institute Scion has developed “full thickness” colour technology which fixes non-leaching dyes in the sustainably-grown timber, offering an alternative to painting and staining. Scion wood and fibre science leader Doug Gaunt said the breakthrough is that the technology colours every fibre in a piece of timber, whereas attempts by others have produced patchy, inconsistent results. Not only can we put away the paintbrush, but built-in colour means if the wood gets scratched or dented the colour isn’t lost. “But the big one is if you machine the timber, the colour is still there. It offers flexibility,” said Gaunt. The new technology also ticks the sustainability box.

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Ipe Woods USA acquires Buy Ipe Direct Exotic Hardwood

Lesprom
January 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Ipe Woods USA, the leading online direct to consumer wholesaler of exotic wood announces its official acquisition of. Buy Ipe Direct, a direct to consumer website, has been a leader in the Ipe and Garapa markets since they began entering the online market in 2014 and launched its website in 2015, selling specifically Ipe and Garapa and accessories to online consumers.  “It is an exciting time in our company as we go into 2019 with a clear vision of our mission to provide the highest quality exotic lumber such as Tigerwood, Ipe and Cumaru to customers all over the USA. With this newest acquisition we will not only be able to reach more customers, but also to help distribute faster and more efficiently,” saidSteven Rossi, President of Ipe WoodsUSA.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Australia to become self sufficient in engineered timber by 2020

By Jenny Brown
Commercial Real Estate News
January 17, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

“What,” asks Sydney architect James Fitzpatrick, “has our generation added to new technology and ways of building?” Since the 1970s, argues the founder of Fitzpatrick + Partners, “nothing substantial has been added to the architectural oeuvre. “But suddenly there is a technology and material that is of our time. So what we will leave, I think, will be engineered timber construction”. With several Fitzpatrick-authored CLT buildings already up and with a decade-deep investment in researching the scope of the various engineered timber products, Fitzpatrick is a passionate promoter of a sustainable and beautiful building material that has, to this point, been largely sourced from Europe. But courtesy of two new Australian-based manufacturing plants – one that commenced construction on Thursday, January 17, in Maryborough, Queensland – by the end of the year Australia should be able to supply its own needs for what is already termed “the GLT (Glue Laminated) Revolution”.

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Researchers make an ear with 3D printer using cellulose

By David Jones
Market Business News
January 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Scientists at Empa have used cellulose to 3D print an ear. …The cellulose that the scientists used to 3D print the ear comes from wood. The researchers are currently equipping cellulose with additional functionalities to 3D print implants for cartilage diseases. …Michael Hausmann, an Empa researcher, removes an object with a human ear shape from the 3D printer, and then explains: “In viscous state cellulose nanocrystals can easily be shaped together with other biopolymers into complex 3-dimensional structures using a 3D printer, such as the Bioplotter.” …At this point, the 3D printed ear is completely and solely made of a biopolymer and cellulose nanocrystals. However, the goal is to incorporate both therapeutic and human cells into the base structure in order to create biomedical implants. A new study is underway to find out how to integrate chondrocytes into the scaffold to yield cartilage tissue.

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LIGNIA Wood Company signs distribution agreement with Timber Connection

Timber Trades Journal
January 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

LIGNIA Wood Company, the modified timber manufacturer, has signed a distribution agreement with a leading UK timber distributor – Timber Connection. The exclusive five-year agreement will see Timber Connection distributing LIGNIA’s products across the UK and the Republic of Ireland from its 150,000ft2 base in Kirkby, near Liverpool. LIGNIA is a natural, modified FSC-certified softwood timber designed to match, and in some cases exceeds hardwoods such as European oak and Ipe in performance. The company’s manufacturing process is also designed to enhance the wood to include greater durability, with a 50-year warranty offered against rot and decay in above-ground applications, plus improved performance for shrinkage and swelling. The product is aimed at both indoor and outdoor applications, including general joinery such as cladding, flooring and decking, as well as for use in windows and doors.

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Wood for your health!

Timber Trades Journal
January 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

TTJ’s Wood and Wellness Conference will be an opportunity for wood industry sectors and specifi ers/construction companies to learn more about timber’s potential in the health and well-being megatrend. Stephen Powney reports. Changes in the construction and building design industries are opening up new potential for the specification of wood. The health and well-being megatrend is set to be one of the biggest factors in coming years, with a renewed focus on natural material use in homes, workplaces, healthcare facilities, education and a host of other environments. How wood fits into this will be explored in TTJ’s Wood and Wellness Conference in central London on February 13, bringing together both the wood industries and construction/design/specification sectors at the Hilton London Tower Bridge.

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How Illegally Harvested Timber Is ‘Greenwashed’ in China

Sixth Tone
January 16, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SHANDONG, East China — Even when Europeans buy certified sustainable wood, the environment pays the price. …[In] the factory of Shandong Xingang Group in the city of Linyi, few employees wear masks, despite signs saying they are required. Throughout the hall lie boxes adorned with tree-shaped logos, which should mean that the wood inside is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to have been produced under good labor conditions and come from sustainable forests. But like so much timber that passes through China, their sourcing is unclear and likely anything but sustainable. “These are poplar and eucalyptus cores, but they’re not FSC-accredited,” a company manager explained, standing in front of a box sporting the FSC logo. “Everyone does it. We’re just following suit because of the market.” …However, an investigation by Sixth Tone shows that, in China, the logo has become… a tool for “greenwashing” — allowing illegally harvested timber to …enter global markets.

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Cross laminated timber the future for Sabah

Malaysia Daily Express
January 15, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

KOTA KINABALU: Research has found that cross laminated timber (CLT) could be the future of the wood and building industry in Sabah; although it appears there is a mountain to climb before proponents see a wooden skyline in the state. The eight-month joint research between a team of University Malaysia Sabah wood technology and industry final year students and Sapulut Forest Development Sdn Bhd has shown promising results to suggest that tall buildings can be built using timber. CLT however is not a new concept for it has been used in other countries, most notably in Vancouver, Canada, where the world’s tallest building with a timber structure, Brock Commons Tallwood House, is standing at the height of 53 metres.
Closer to home is Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. It will be Asia’s largest wooden building when completed.

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All construction fires should be made reportable

By Stephen Mackenzie
Construction News
January 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

UK — The number of construction-site fires is soaring – but data gaps and reporting issues stand in the way of tackling the problem. Home Office construction-fire statistics indicate a 43 per cent rise in deliberately caused fires between 2015-17; this is a significant cause for concern for the sector. …We simply do not have the data for all near-misses and small fires, which is preventing us from understanding their root causes. We are unable to fully grasp the factors that influence the rate of fire-incident growth, which is preventing the industry from putting in place mitigation measures. …The subject of construction-site fires has been much debated since an alarming number of significant construction fires took place between 1970-80, and then again following a spate of significant timber-frame construction fires during the 1990s. [to access the full story, a subscription may be required]

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Shigeru Ban Architects burnishes its status as a leader in mass timber

By Jack Balderrama Morley
The Architect’s Newspaper
January 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA), …has sought out some of the less heroic products of our age, sometimes using trash as inspiration for the next big thing in structural solutions; the firm works with humble materials, but its final creations are no less accomplished for it. Wood is one of these seemingly humdrum materials that SBA has long played with, but in the past decade or so, it has skillfully taken advantage of the material’s flexibility. SBA is quite literally taking timber structures to new heights, and is currently at work on both the tallest hybrid timber structure and the largest mass timber development in the world. With work around the world, the firm has pushed the possibilities of what glulam, cross-laminated timber, and other wood products can do—both formally and functionally—proving to skeptical local administrators that timber is a material that can meet and even exceed their building codes.

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IKEA is betting on cellulose. What does it mean for the future of fabric?

By Fred Nicolaus
Business of Home
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

IKEA is a paradox. As the world’s largest “fast furniture” brand, the Swedish giant’s business model has had an undeniable environmental impact. On the other hand, few megacorporations have been as aggressive in pursuing sustainable practices. Last summer, IKEA made an ambitious pledge: By 2030, it would use only renewable and recyclable materials in its products. Reaching the target will require across-the-board innovations in wood, metals, plastic and, of course, fabric. To that end, in 2014, IKEA partnered with H&M and Swedish inventor Lars Stigsson to develop a sustainable wood-based fiber. Now the initiative, called TreeToTextile, has a new partner: Finnish pulping conglomerate Stora Enso. The news signals a gear shift—the project has moved out of the test phase and into production. 

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Students eager to know about wood without trees

By Avneet Kaur
The Tribune India
January 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

INDIA – Can wood be made without tree really? This was the question being asked from almost every student who visited the stall of the Central Building Research Institute (CBRl), Roorkee, which displayed the sample of wood made using natural fiber derived from agricultural waste such as husk and straws in combination with recycled plastics during an expo of the Indian Science Congress at the LPU. …Amit Prakash of the CBRI said: “Our technology for wood without trees is a step towards saving forests. Natural wood is replaced by manufacturing rice husk plastic wood.” Companies had manufactured door/window frames using this technology. The material has wood like surface appearance, having features of replacement to natural wood, meeting requirements of the National Building Code, he said.

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Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designs Swedish “vertical village” built from CLT

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Stockholm-based architecture practice Tham & Videgård Arkitekter has unveiled designs for a new housing typology in Gothenburg, Sweden, that will be built from cross-laminated timber. Named the “vertical village,” the project is a “solid timber” iteration of the firm’s previous development by the same name that had been designed for Stockholm in 2009. Like its predecessor, the Gothenburg “vertical village” champions a dense and family-centric development built around a series of connected garden spaces. …“The houses represent a new vertical typology that minimizes the footprint in order to leave as much land as possible for cultivation,” the architects said of the housing typology. For visual variety, the 140-square-meter row homes will be finished in different colors ranging from red, green, black and gray. The buildings will be constructed with cross-laminated timber and prefabrication construction methods to meet the highest environmental and energy standards.

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Why more buildings should be made of wood

The Economist
January 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The second little pig was unlucky. He built his house from sticks. …The fairy tale could have been written by a flack for the construction industry, which strongly favours brick, concrete and steel. However, in the real world it would help reduce pollution and slow global warming if more builders copied the wood-loving second pig. In 2015 world leaders meeting in Paris agreed to move towards zero net greenhouse-gas emissions in the second half of this century. That is a tall order, and the building industry makes it even taller. Cement-making alone produces 6% of the world’s carbon emissions. …A race is on to build the world’s tallest fully wooden skyscraper. But such edifices are still uncommon. Industry fragmentation, vicious competition for contracts and low profit margins mean that most building firms have little money to invest in greener construction methods beyond what regulation dictates. [A digital subscription to the Economist may be required to access full story]

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Efforts to make buildings greener are not working

The Economist
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…In March the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper, 85 metres high, will open in Norway. …The Mjostarnet tower [is special because] all of its supporting columns are made of glulam… “This is the future of construction,” says Harald Liven, Moelven’s project manager for Mjostarnet. But is it? Many governments in the rich world want to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from constructing and using buildings. With some wonderful exceptions, they are failing. …If zero-carbon standards were changed to include the emissions from building and demolishing structures, many of the perverse incentives in the building regulations would disappear. It would probably lead to more building with wood. Many mature forests do little to take extra carbon out of the atmosphere. Chopping some of them down, storing the carbon in wooden buildings, and planting new trees in their place could well increase forestry’s contribution towards actually removing carbon from the air. …Mjostarnet may be the world’s tallest wooden tower, “but we hope not to hold the record for long,” says Mr Liven. They do little more than demonstrate a possibility. But even that is useful. [A digital subscription to the Economist may be required to access full story]

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Forestry

Booming forestry industry struggling to find workers

Newstalk ZB
January 17, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New Zealand forestry industry is struggling to find enough workers, even with pay of up to $300 a day on offer. A shortage of people willing to work as planters could put the Billion Trees Project at risk. Forest Management Limited director Dave Janett told Tim Dower the problem is the industry at the moment is doing too well. He says there is so much growth at the moment there are not enough workers to keep up with demand. “If there aren’t enough local people to do the work, we may have to look elsewhere. In the last two years the amount of trees has doubled, so its simply a supply and demand issue as well. We are experiencing really good times, but we need more workers which is proving to be a difficult task.”

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The U.S. Should Get Tough on Timber With Peru

By Richard Conniff
The New York Times
January 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

When the trade deal between the United States and Peru went into effect in 2009, proponents touted it as a shining example of environmental good sense. It was the first time the main text of any trade deal included detailed protections for the environment and for labor. …As part of the deal’s Forest Sector’s Annex, the United States provided $90 million in technical assistance … to create an electronic system intended to track every log from stump to export. (That system does not appear to be working so far, because of software issues, according to rumors.) Peru in turn agreed, among other things, to ensure the independent status of its forest watchdog agency, called Osinfor, which sends its agents into the field to check that loggers have actually harvested the trees reported in their export documents. (That system works all too well, repeatedly demonstrating that logging companies lie.) 

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Twentieth century redistribution in climatic drivers of global tree growth [Wonkish]

By Flurin Babst et al
Science Advances
January 16, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Global variations in plant growth have been attributed to interactions between temperature, precipitation, and radiation budgets, rather than to a single driver, as suggested by Liebig’s law of the minimum. Basic physiological processes such as photosynthesis and cell division are tempered where plant-available energy and water are low. …Understanding this interplay is thus essential to anticipate climate change impacts on the combined biogeochemical and energy cycles and to quantify their feedbacks within the climate system. …This large-scale study demonstrates that the relatively mild shift in baseline climate over the 20th century has already triggered observable changes in the climate response of temperate and boreal tree growth. We find that water availability has replaced energy as the dominant limiting factor across large portions of the boreal zone. …This trend is projected to continue.

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Forget Brexit and fear the beetle invasion

By Sam Manning (Forester), Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
The Guardian
January 15, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

On a chilly morning last week, I was bussed to a confidential location in Kent to witness the first confirmed outbreak of Ips typographus, the European spruce bark beetle, on British soil. I joined a collective of forestry professionals and government officials to discuss a problem that has ravaged forests on the European continent for decades. In Sweden alone, this species has led to the loss of 9 million cubic metres of Norway spruce timber since the 1960s. Once infected, Ips beetles can kill a tree in a single year. The invasion of the UK by non-native pests and diseases has become profoundly worse in recent years. There has been a 400% increase in the rate of new plant pathogens entering the country since the 1960s, with 10 added to the list every month.

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Illegal Logging in Chihuahua is Now Mexico Cartel Territory

Deborah Bonello
InSight Crime
January 10, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Among the most vibrant criminal markets in Mexico is illegal wood, and in the northern state of Chihuahua, there is increasing alarm that drug trafficking organizations are fighting for control of the trade. …The scene was typical of the violence that has long played out during Mexico’s drug war, now more than a decade old. But the message taped to one of the bodies referred not to drug trafficking, but the local illegal wood market. Indeed, the groups involved in black-market logging and drugs now appear to be one and the same. …Local wisdom dictates that drug trafficking groups embraced illegal logging in part as a collateral benefit of their territorial control, and as a way to diversify their criminal portfolio, which had suffered after a drop in market prices for poppy paste and marijuana.

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Revised Brazilian forest code may lead to increased legal deforestation in Amazon

By Flavio Freitas
Phys.org
January 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Up to 15 million hectares of tropical rainforest in the Brazilian Amazon could lose protection and be clear-cut because of an article in the country’s new Forest Code. The warning comes from Brazilian researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP) and Swedish researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. They recently published a paper on the subject in Nature Sustainability. “The 15 million hectares that could become deprotected as a result of this rule in the new Forest Code,” said Gerd Sparovek , a professor at ESALQ-USP. …Sparovek explained that until 2012, the Forest Code required private landowners in the Amazon region to set aside 80 percent of their property with intact native vegetation in what the law terms a “legal reserve.”

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Forestry owners to wear greater compliance costs

By Tracy Neal
Radio New Zealand
January 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Owners of forestry blocks more than a hectare in size might soon be up for thousands of dollars in extra costs to harvest their trees. The introduction of new National Environment Standards for plantation forestry has altered how councils monitor forestry-based activities, and their impact on the environment. Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne says the council is among others around the country now responsible for monitoring permitted activities that address forestry-related earthworks, (stream) crossings, quarrying and harvesting. It is currently consulting the public on its own tailored proposal, which includes charges of $650 per inspection before, during and after each harvest, and $120 for each test of stream water. The new standard applies to forest blocks of more than one hectare, and allows councils to charge once it has fixed fees.

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Bushfires across Victoria could burn for weeks

By Rachael Dexter, Liam Mannix, Rachel Wells
Sydney Morning Herald
January 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Firefighters will use a brief reprieve from the hot weather to try to get on top of a major bushfire in Gippsland – before temperatures start to rise again. The bushfire at Rosedale, suspected to be deliberately lit, ripped through more than 10,000 hectares of scrub and forest before it was brought under control about 2.30am Saturday. After a cool change following one of the hottest days in years on Friday, the mercury is forecast to rise to 31 degrees on Tuesday. Another cool front will  bring relief Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures of 23 and 25 degrees. But the fire, which is burning through a state park and pine plantation, could take weeks to extinguish. Gippsland will get a week of cool weather, before the temperature starts to get into the 30s next weekend. Firefighters hope to have it well under control by then.

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Top US trade official voices concern over Peru logging

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LIMA, PERU — The top U.S. trade official contends Peru’s government is not living up to its commitment to combat illegal logging in a case that could have broader implications as Washington debates ratifying a new North American free trade deal. In a letter sent Dec. 21 to a congressman, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he considered it “unacceptable” that Peru recently decided to move an independent agency monitoring the logging trade under the Environment Ministry. He added in the letter to Rep. Richard Neal that the U.S. had “forcefully communicated” its position to Peru and said he would request consultations if the decision was not reversed, a first step toward potential sanctions.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

A Mexican model for offsetting carbon

By Tani Colbert-Sangree
The Baltimore Sun
January 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Walking through a pine forest in Mexico’s Sierra Norte mountains, I see peaks through a blanket of clouds. …I’ve spent the last 10 years working exclusively in carbon offsets, first as the lead for the Tomorrow’s Climate Solutions consulting group and currently as the strategic coordinator for Duke University’s Carbon Offsets Initiative. I have created training materials and project protocols, as well as developed and marketed offset projects throughout the U.S., and established research connections to these projects. This project in Oaxaca is a shining example of what a carbon offset can look like if done right. …The forest that has grown from those saplings has created positions for 20 salaried workers, communal revenue through the sale of carbon offsets, future sustainable timber production and a reliable water source thanks to the forest cover that increases and stabilizes water availability.

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Climate change mitigation with boreal forests and wood-based products

By University of Eastern Finland
SciTech Europa
January 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Dr Antti Kilpeläinen and Professor Heli Peltola explain how boreal forests and forestry play a crucial role in climate change mitigation. Boreal forests and forestry play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and climate change mitigation. The use of boreal forests and forest-based biomass (timber and energy biomass) responds to the increasing demand for renewable energy and wood-based materials. Using wood-based materials and energy biomass from sustainably managed forests has great potential for the long-term reduction of carbon emissions. Sustainable climate change mitigation requires increases in carbon sequestration and carbon stocks in forest ecosystems (soil and tree biomass) and related technosystems (i.e. outside forests).

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VTT develops a new sustainable way to turn forestry waste into transport fuels and chemicals

By VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
EurekAlert
January 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed a new technique based on gasification, which offers a sustainable way to turn forest industry byproducts, such as bark, sawdust and forestry waste, into transport fuels and chemicals. The new technique reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 90% compared to fossil fuels. …According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), modern bioenergy plays a key role in building a cleaner and more sustainable energy system. …the IEA estimates that bioenergy will be the most rapidly growing form of renewable energy between 2018 and 2023. …Bioenergy is needed, in particular, for reducing emissions from air transport and shipping and as a back-up fuel for road transport as more electric cars are introduced. The use of forest industry by-products… as raw materials does not impact on the carbon sink effect of forests, and they do not compete against forest industry raw material procurement or food production.

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Subsidies of up to £1billion given to firms for burning wood in power stations could be axed – as critics argue it creates same CO2 as coal

By Colin Fernandez
The Daily Mail
January 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Controversial subsidies for burning wood in power stations could be scrapped in the drive to clean up Britain’s air. Firms that burn wood pellets currently receive about £1billion a year because, unlike coal, these are considered renewable sources of energy. But critics say burning wood produces similar amounts of carbon dioxide to coal, contributing to air pollution. It also increases the logging of forests in the US, while shipping them to Britain in vast quantities has a further negative effect on the environment. The U-turn comes after years of state support for ‘biomass’ such as wood pellets… The clean air strategy includes proposals to scrap some subsidies paid under so-called ‘contracts for difference’. 

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How much can forests fight climate change?

By Gabriel Popkin
Nature, International Journal of Science
January 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

When it comes to fighting global warming, trees have emerged as one of the most popular weapons. …Forest schemes got a big boost from the 2015 Paris climate accord, which for the first time counted all countries’ efforts to offset their carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use and other sources by planting or protecting forests. …Many scientists applaud the push for expanding forests, but some urge caution. …Such concerns have prompted vigorous debate among scientists about how forests in different regions have warming or cooling effects. …If tree-planting programmes work as advertised, they could buy precious time for the world to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and replace them with cleaner sources of energy. One widely cited 2017 study estimated that forests could provide more than one-third of the total CO2 reductions required. …Such schemes required firm data on how much carbon is locked up in forests.

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4th Biomass Trade and Power Europe Summit Probes Record Price Rise, High Demand, Supply Crunches

Alternative Energy Magazine
January 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Major European utilities and global pellet suppliers return to Copenhagen on 12-13 February 2019 for CMT’s 4th Biomass Trade and Power Europe Summit to assess biomass price trends, capacity increases, and supply projections to satisfy the rising biomass demand in Europe. The acclaimed annual summit on Europe’s biomass power market trends makes a comeback in 2019 with a refreshed program featuring three panel discussions: A Utility and Trader Panel; The growth of the wood chip market; and Global Producer Panel. …Organized by Centre for Management Technology (CMT), the summit also focuses on: Overview of the European Wood Pellet Market; The Next Frontier for the Wood Pellet Market: A Look at Future Markets for the Wood Pellet Industry; Overview of the International Wood Chip Market – Hawkins Wright…

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Plant pines, not natives to make money from carbon farming, says consultant

By Heather Chalmers
Stuff.co.nz
January 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Landowners planting forests for carbon credits should plant pine trees rather than natives to achieve the best returns, a carbon consultant says. Ollie Belton, a partner of Permanent Forests NZ a Christchurch-based carbon consultancy, said that the rate that natives absorb carbon dioxide was much lower than for pinus radiata. Sequestration calculations used by the Emissions Trading Scheme for forests under 100 hectares showed that pinus radiata absorbed almost 1000 tonnes of carbon over 25 years, while native forests absorbed less than 300 tonnes. Belton said measurements he had done on native forests of more than 100ha showed most performed less than the ETS calculations, some only achieving a half to a third of this. In contrast, many pine forests performed better than the default figures.

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COP24: Green groups warn of pitfalls in ‘forests for climate’ deal

By Hans Nicholas
Mongabay
January 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

KATOWICE, Poland — A plan adopted by delegates at last month’s climate summit in Poland to weaponize forests in the fight against global warming could have a disastrous outcome, environmentalists say. …Paola Deda, chief of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) forestry and timber section, said the forest declaration was made not only to keep forests healthy, but also to promote the use of sustainable forest products. …But observers say the wording of the declaration… presents an opportunity for wide-scale logging — effectively going against the call to expand forest cover to fight climate change. …“The role of forest products and forest-related climate actions are the main call to action in this declaration,” said Christoph Thies, of Greenpeace Poland in Katowice. “The forest declaration could turn quickly to be a logging declaration, which will be disastrous for the climate, biodiversity, soil, water circulation and the welfare of the local communities.”

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Health & Safety

Researchers race against extinction to uncover tree’s cancer-fighting properties

By Purdue University
Science Daily
January 17, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Three Chinese fir trees on a nature reserve in Southeastern China are the last of their kind. As their existence is threatened by human disturbance and climate change, researchers are hurrying to learn everything they can about the tree — [including] ways to treat various cancers. Chemists in China were initially studying the tree, Abies beshanzuensis, to …treat diabetes and obesity. …The tree’s healing powers looked grim until Mingji Dai, an organic chemist at Purdue University, started tinkering with some of its molecules in his lab. His team created synthetic versions of two, and then a few analogs, which have minor structural modifications. In collaboration with Zhong-Yin Zhang, a distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry at Purdue, he found that one of the synthetic analogs was a potent and selective inhibitor of SHP2, an increasingly popular target for cancer treatment. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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