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Just last week Global Forest Watch - a new monitoring and alert system for forest management - was launched. It is an interactive website, which provides near-real time, reliable data about what is happening in forests worldwide.
GFW enables people to see where forest clearing is happening almost instantly. They can sign up for automatic alerts that would allow them to take action when forest loss is detected, warning law enforcement to intervene in illegal logging operations. Also, nongovernmental organizations can identify deforestation hotspots and collect evidence to hold those responsible accountable. In addition, businesses purchasing commodities such as soy, palm oil and beef can use the tool to see if suppliers are clearing forests that they committed to preserving. In turn, suppliers can credibly demonstrate that their products are “deforestation free” and legally produced.
The website uses the latest satellite technology, open data and crowdsourcing information to identify where trees are growing and disappearing. The data can be viewed and analysed within a couple of seconds, which previously would have taken years.
Global Forest Watch was created by the World Resources Institute with over 40 partners in governments, scientists, and environmental groups. Some major commercial companies have also provided early input.
At Face the Future, we have started on our newest project. For the government of Nepal, we are conducting a national level analytical study in Nepal. This study is part of the Nepal REDD Readiness Preparation Program, for which the Nepalese government has received the FCPF grant from the World Bank.
Assessing strategic options and developing programs to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation (DD) will be a key activity during this REDD readiness phase. The objective of the study is threefold:
1. To provide a comprehensive assessment of the value of Nepal's forests.
2. To analyse the political economy of land use in Nepal.
3. To assess the carbon emissions from the key drivers of DD identified by R-PP and other relevant studies of Nepal.
As the year draws to an end, we at Face the Future can look back on a busy year. In March this year, we have relocated our office from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. Also, we introduced a completely new logo and a fantastic new website. And, last but not least, we have a new Carbon Footprinting Service and new team members.
We plan to keep busy next year. For example, there will be yet another new service: Investment Management. Moreover, we have some new forest carbon projects to develop, and we'll introduce a new team member.
For now, we want to wish you a merry Christmas and happy and green 2014.
From November 11th to 22nd the 19th UN Climate Conference was held in Warsaw. Although expectations for outcome were not too high, the results are generally being seen as meagre.
The conference was set to set to close on Friday, but it took the delegates 24 hours more to reach a consensus. This compromise states that countries can make contributions toward addressing global warming. But, even though there were no concrete commitments on cutting greenhouse gasses, there were two successes to be pleased with.
One decision from Warsaw was that the UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) will set up a new branch to deal with "loss and damage" from climate change. This the so-called Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage is to provide some sort of help to poorer countries for dealing with the impacts of climate change "including extreme events and slow onset events".
Another success at the conference was the completion of a new mechanism to protect the world's tropical forests. Called REDD+, for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, this mechanism has already be been in effect for most of the last decade.
Global CO₂emissions from burning fossil fuels are set to rise again in 2013 (by 2.1%), reaching a record high of 36 billion tonnes! This results from a study by the Global Carbon Project, co-led by researchers from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Most emissions are from coal (43%), then oil (33%), gas (18%), cement (5.3%) and gas flaring (0.6%).The study found that 8% of all CO₂ emissions come from deforestation and other land-use change.
The report was released as U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, enter their second week of negotiations in how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Prof Corinne Le Quéré of the Tyndall Centre led the Global Carbon Budget report. She said: "Governments meeting in Warsaw this week need to agree on how to reverse this trend. Emissions must fall substantially and rapidly if we are to limit global climate change to below two degrees. Additional emissions every year cause further warming and climate change."
Source: University of East Anglia