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"I appeal to all people everywhere to raise their voices. Speak out on behalf of this planet, our only home. Let us care for Mother Earth so she can continue to care for us as she has done for millennia. "
(UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon)

Today is Earth Day: an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to show support for environmental protection. It is celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. Earth Day was firstly organized in 1970, which was widely viewed as the beginning of the contemporary environmental movement. It is organised by the Earth Day Network.

Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever.

Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

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Since the early nineties we have been working on the VCS project “Restoring Kibale National Park” in Uganda. Since that time we have been regularly monitoring the carbon that is stored within the trees.

Last month we have started our 4th carbon monitoring campaign, together with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). In the coming two months, UWA staff from Kibale National Park and two other Ugandan national parks (Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Elgon) will work together to measure the carbon stock in the 6,200 hectares of restored forest. With this campaign we are working towards a second issuance of VCS carbon credits, in the third quarter of 2014. 

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March 21st is the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Forests. This day is celebrated at an international level. It aims to increase public awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees, but also on matters like deforestation.

Worldwide, the International Day of Forests encourages countries to make local, national and international efforts to organize events involving forests and trees. Activities that are organized are - for instance - tree planting campaigns, or celebrations including art, photo and film as well as social media (check their facebook-page for example).

United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has a special message for this day:
"As we deliberate on the post-2015 development agenda, let us acknowledge the vital role of forests and pledge to work together to protect and sustainably manage these vital ecosystems."

At Face the Future, we too value the importance of forests. That is why we commit ourselves to establishing and developing sustainable forestry projects around the world.

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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.

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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.

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