[DOC] How voluntary sustainability standards can help protect biodiversity

[DOC] How voluntary sustainability standards can help protect biodiversity

A new report from IISD’s State of Sustainability Initiatives  examines how voluntary standards can help protect biodiversity. It found that while the market for certified products is booming – nearly $300 billion for the top 10 commodities and 52.5 billion for agricultural products in 2015 – standards remain a negligible force across global agricultural production. “If voluntary standards are to play a major role in reducing the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity loss, they will have to, at a minimum, establish a significant presence among other crops—most notably, staple crops such as wheat, maize and rice,” said study author Jason Potts, a senior associate at IISD.

“The good news is that we can build political will to address biodiversity loss,” Potts added. “Parties of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are leading efforts to identify concrete solutions and immediate actions to achieve their biological diversity targets.” Continue reading

[LINK] Mammalian species abundance across a gradient of tropical land-use intensity: A hierarchical multi-species modelling approach

[LINK] Mammalian species abundance across a gradient of tropical land-use intensity: A hierarchical multi-species modelling approach

Sampling design across a gradient of land-use intensities in Borneo, showing the plots sampled using both camera traps and live traps (in red) and plots sampled only with camera traps (in orange).

Recent work in the tropics has advanced our understanding of the local impacts of land-use change on species richness. However, we still have a limited ability to make predictions about species abundances, especially in heterogeneous landscapes. Species abundances directly affect the functioning of an ecosystem and its conservation value. We applied a hierarchical model to camera- and live-trapping data from a region in Borneo, and estimated the relative abundance (controlling for imperfect detection) of 57 terrestrial mammal species, as a function of either categorical or continuous metrics of land-use change. We found that mean relative abundance increased (by 28%) from old-growth to logged forest, but declined substantially (by 47%) in oil palm plantations compared to forest. Abundance responses to above-ground live tree biomass (a continuous measure of local logging intensity) were negative overall, whilst they were strongly positive for landscape forest cover. From old-growth to logged forest, small mammals increased in their relative abundance proportionately much more than large mammals (169% compared to 13%). Similarly, omnivores and insectivores increased more than other trophic guilds (carnivores, herbivores and frugivores). From forest to oil palm, species of high conservation concern fared especially poorly (declining by 84%). Invasive species relative abundance consistently increased along the gradient of land-use intensity. Changes in relative abundance across nine functional effects groups based on diet were minimal from old-growth to logged forest, but in oil palm only the vertebrate predation function was maintained. Our results show that, in the absence of hunting, even the most intensively logged forests can conserve the abundance and functional effects of mammals. Recent pledges made by companies to support the protection of High Carbon Stock logged forest could therefore yield substantial conservation benefits. Within oil palm, our results support the view that “wildlife-friendly” practices offer a low potential for reducing biodiversity impacts.

Read more here.

Third Grade School?

Third Grade School?

Is the “homework” below of an acceptable level for Third Grade (Primary) School? While I appreciate the concept of letting kids explore words and find their meaning, I take issue with the large amount of errors in the assignments. Missing capitals and full stops, singular versus plural mix-ups, and double verbs are but a few examples. Is this normal for a third grade class, or for a third grade school? Seriously annoyed!

Theme 1. How We Express Ourselves
Continue reading

[LINK] Pengelompokan Jenis Kayu Perdagangan Indonesia

[LINK] Pengelompokan Jenis Kayu Perdagangan Indonesia

Tugas utama Badan Penelitian, Pengembangan dan Inovasi (BLI) berdasarkan Peraturan Menteri Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan Nomor P.18/MenLHK-II/2015 tentang Struktur Organisasi dan Tata Kerja Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan adalah menyeleng- garakan penelitian, pengembangan, dan inovasi di bidang lingkungan hidup dan kehutanan untuk mendukung eselon I teknis Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (KLHK) dan pemangku kepentingan lainnya. Sesuai dengan Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Nasional (RPJMN) 2015-2019, untuk memantapkan pembangunan secara menyeluruh dengan menekankan keunggulan kompetitif dan kemampuan IPTEK, BLI harus menghasilkan IPTEK yang inovatif dalam rangka menjawab berbagai permasalahan dan tantangan di sektor lingkungan hidup dan kehutanan.

Read more here.

[LINK]  No, palm oil is not responsible for 40% of global deforestation

[LINK] No, palm oil is not responsible for 40% of global deforestation

Forest of Gede Pangrango, Indonesia. Ricky Martin, CIFOR/Flickr, CC BY-ND

In just Indonesia, 25 million hectares of forest were lost, of which 7.5 million hectares were used for agricultural production. Of these 7.5 million hectares, 2.9 million correspond to oil palm plantations, about 40%. It is therefore responsible for 40% of deforestation – but only that caused by the agricultural sector and only in this one country, not the world.

Read more here.

[DOC] Soil Survey Manual

The 2017 Soil Survey Manual has been printed and is ready for distribution. The newly updated Soil Survey Manual, USDA Handbook No. 18, provides the major principles and practices needed for making and using soil surveys and for assembling and using related data. The Manual serves as a guiding document for activities of the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). Previously published in 1937, 1951, and 1993, the Soil Survey Manual is one of the defining documents for soil survey in the world.

Read more here.

[DOC] Infosylva 10/2017

[DOC] Infosylva 10/2017

Welcome to this latest edition of Infosylva.

We open this edition with news from the Forest and Landscape Investment Forum (FLIF), which was held in Kigali, Rwanda 16-17 May under the aegis of FAO. At the meeting, experts highlighted findings that show that not only can investing in forest and landscape restoration improve the livelihoods of millions of people, but that it can also help combat desertification and the negative impact of climate change. (In English – FAO’s webstory here)

FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific warns that managing forests sustainably, one of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), might not be achieved by 2030 unless more drastic measures are taken to contain indiscriminate deforestation. That practice seems to be out of control in many Asian countries and harms the efforts these countries are making to reduce hunger and poverty. (In English)

Risk management in agriculture in Caribbean countries needs to integrate a clearer gender focus in protecting small producers who are victims of disasters, as such events can affect men and women producers in different ways. In the Caribbean area, women are reported to be responsible for 43 percent of agricultural production. (In Spanish)

At the 2nd International Conference on Environment, hosted by the Italian national police force the Carabinieri in Rome earlier in May, the manager of the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme illustrated the environmental loss caused by illegal logging. Robert Simpson also pointed out the loss of tax revenues to governments, money which should benefit citizens and forest communities. (In English)

New research carried out in the United States maintains that forests around electric power lines seem to enhance the protection of the birds that live in the area. (In French)

In the Spanish city of Malaga, 30 experts in communicating forest issues were meeting at the end of May to discuss different techniques put in place and lessons learned in Europe and other regions in relation to disseminating themes related to forests and climate change. (In Spanish – FAO’s webstory in English here)

And don’t forget to leaf through our new publications. Agroforestry in rice production landscapes in Southeast Asia: a practical manual (In English), will guide you in designing viable agroforestry solutions in rice production areas of Southeast Asia, while the Yearbook of Forest Products 2015 (In English), our yearly statistical update on timber and other forest products, will provide you with comprehensive data on forest products worldwide.