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Environmental activists confirm that forestry and palm oil are not major causes of deforestation

Environmental activists confirm that forestry and palm oil are not major causes of deforestation

The US-based Union of Concerned Scientists recently published a blog post admitting that anti-forestry and -palm oil campaigns are not justified. The article, entitled Ending Tropical Deforestation: Have We Got Our Priorities Backwards?, pointed out that although the palm oil and forestry industries attract more attention from environmental activists than other agricultural sectors, they are far from the most important drivers of tropical deforestation. The number one driver of tropical deforestation is cattle ranching, followed by ...

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PNG’s Climate Change and Development Authority publishes report refuting decades of exaggerated estimates of deforestation in PNG

PNG’s Climate Change and Development Authority publishes report refuting decades of exaggerated estimates of deforestation in PNG

Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) recently published updated estimates of forest conversion in PNG that show the issue has been grossly exaggerated by activists. The Forest Reference Level Annual Report produced by the CCDA reports that just 200,000 hectares – or 0.71 percent – of PNG’s vast forest estate was converted over the past 15 years. These findings fly in the face of scientifically questionable estimates of forest loss that have been ...

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PNG government debates proposed increase to log export tax

PNG government debates proposed increase to log export tax

Papua New Guinea’s Department of Treasury has proposed a sharp increase to the log export tax, which – if implemented - would devastate PNG’s forest industries. Currently, all log exports are taxed at 28.5% of “free on board” (FOB) value. The proposed regime would see this flat rate replaced by a progressive tax based on the FOB value of the timber. Under the proposed new regime, a shipment of PNG logs sold at the 2015 average ...

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Update on Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition legislation – “soft start” extended indefinitely

Update on Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition legislation – “soft start” extended indefinitely

Australia’s Illegal Logging Legislation remains stalled. Requirements for Australian timber importers and processors to conduct exhaustive due diligence to establish the “legality” of each consignment of timber products came into force in November 2014. The legislation requires importers and processors to investigate whether timber was harvested in compliance with all applicable laws of the place of origin, including respecting the land use rights of local communities, and ensuring that foreign logging companies are up to ...

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PNG Forests Minister confirms validity of SABL agreements

PNG Forests Minister confirms validity of SABL agreements

In late December, PNG Minister for Forests the Hon Douglas Tomuriesa rejected claims of illegal logging that had been made by Oro Governor Gary Juffa. The Minister also clarified that Forest Clearance Authorities issued for areas held under Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABL) are legal. "Until and unless the SABL has been revoked by the DLPP or cancelled by a Court of Law any FCA issued to such SABL remains valid and is legal" declared ...

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Latest FAO Forest Resource Assessment confirms that PNG exhibits little to no deforestation

Latest FAO Forest Resource Assessment confirms that PNG exhibits little to no deforestation

UN report reveals that more than 80% of PNG remains forested, and that there has been negligible deforestation over the last 25 years. In September 2015, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) released the latest edition of the Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA). The FRA is released every five years, and is considered the best source of data regarding forest cover and land use change. According to FAO, "The Assessment is based on two primary ...

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Environmental activists confirm that forestry and palm oil are not major causes of deforestation

The US-based Union of Concerned Scientists recently published a blog post admitting that anti-forestry and -palm oil campaigns are not justified. The article, entitled Ending Tropical Deforestation: Have We Got Our Priorities Backwards?, pointed out that although the palm oil and forestry industries attract more attention from environmental activists than other agricultural sectors, they are far from the most important drivers of tropical deforestation.

The number one driver of tropical deforestation is cattle ranching, followed by soy farming, pig and poultry farming, and maize cultivation. Despite this, activists devote most of their time to pressuring palm oil and timber producers to make no-deforestation pledges. This demonstrates an ideological, rather than practical, basis for their campaigns.

As was stated in the article: “…the end result was that we concentrated on getting corporate zero-deforestation commitments relating to crops that weren’t the main causes of deforestation.”

As this publication has long argued, forest-rich countries and communities need to be able to set their own land use policies, balancing the need for economic development against the importance of protecting the environment. Environmental activists should seek to help inform these decisions, rather than attempting to pressure important national industries that are not even important drivers of forest conversion.

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PNG’s Climate Change and Development Authority publishes report refuting decades of exaggerated estimates of deforestation in PNG

Papua New Guinea’s Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) recently published updated estimates of forest conversion in PNG that show the issue has been grossly exaggerated by activists. Continue reading

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PNG government debates proposed increase to log export tax

Papua New Guinea’s Department of Treasury has proposed a sharp increase to the log export tax, which – if implemented – would devastate PNG’s forest industries. Continue reading

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Update on Australia’s Illegal Logging Prohibition legislation – “soft start” extended indefinitely

Australia’s Illegal Logging Legislation remains stalled. Requirements for Australian timber importers and processors to conduct exhaustive due diligence to establish the “legality” of each consignment of timber products came into force in November 2014. Continue reading

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Study reveals that human impact on the environment is decreasing

A study published in the Journal Nature in August this year shows that although the global population grew by 23% between 1993 and 2009, the human “footprint” increased by just 9%. In the same period, the global economy grew by 153%. Continue reading

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UNDP persisting with REDD+ in PNG, despite the concept’s proven failure

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) – a proposed system of locking up forest land in developing countries in order to offset greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries –  has been repeatedly demonstrated as a failed concept, however the UN Development Programme continues to hire highly-paid consultants to push the idea in PNG. Continue reading

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NGOs criticise China for protecting natural forest reserves

Environmental activists claimed in April that China’s significant success expanding national forest reserves had led to deforestation in other countries. Continue reading

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NGOs move to stop European banks from financing agricultural and forestry projects in the developing world

A briefing paper released in March by a consortium of NGOs including Global Witness, Greenpeace and WWF calls on the EU to impose  draconian controls on investors and providers of finance for agricultural and forestry projects in developing countries.   Continue reading

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Environmental activists try to cover over good news on global forest cover

Activists are ignoring major recent international studies which demonstrate that global deforestation has decreased markedly.   Continue reading

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