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25th May 2020 Newsletter
I have recently been involved, with other members of Council and the incoming President, in preparing a submission on the Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill. The Bill was released publicly at a Zoom meeting on Friday 15th May. The announced submission deadline was extremely tight and NZIF had no prior knowledge of the contents of the Bill.
NZIF immediately started work on a submission. The following week a number of members representing forest owners made contact requesting NZIF not submit, or not offer any support for the Bill. In the phone discussions I personally had on this topic, I offered drafts of our submission and carefully explained our position. I felt these conversations were very constructive, and led to an increased level of understanding. I made it clear the NZIF submission has offered qualified support for the Bill. Here is the text of our submission in this area:
“…NZIF supports the Purpose (s63A) of the Bill, improving professionalism in forestry. However its support is conditional on a clear understanding of how the regulations and Practice Standards of Registration are to be formed. The support is also conditional on the formation (and any future changes) of the regulations and Practice Standards being consulted with the sector for a minimum period of at least 3 months.
- NZIF supports Registration and has run a Registration Scheme since 1966…”
The full submission is available to members at https://www.nzif.org.nz/members-only-area/nzif/ Our initial draft submission was revised based on valuable feedback received from members. Since the submission was sent to the Environment Select Committee, I have been informed by a concerned member emails are circulating containing misinformation about NZIF’s actions and motivations with respect to this Bill, and calling for members to resign from the Institute in protest. This purpose of this message is to ensure members are fully informed on the activities that have been undertaken by Council on their behalf.
- MPI initially contacted NZIF in mid-2019 seeking information on our Registration scheme. We met with MPI officials in June 2019. At the meeting MPI officials advised us some kind of regulation of the log market was being contemplated.
- I also attended a public consultation meeting on this topic, convened in Rotorua by MPI in December 2019.
- MPI officials have also met with the Registration Board (I also attended) in February 2020. Since then there has been further communication between MPI, the Chair of the Registration Board, and the Registrar.
There have been claims of secret meetings and negotiations relating to the use of NZIF’s registration scheme with MPI or Minister Jones. These claims are untrue. My meetings and the meeting with the Registration Board were reported to Council. The Chair of the Registration Board has kept members up to date on discussions with MPI via the newsletter. No negotiations have taken place. We are fully aware any commitment to use the resources of NZIF for the purposes outlined in the Bill would require member engagement and agreement, as they would entail changes to the operation of NZIF and changes to our rules.
The NZIF objects include:
6.1. Establishing, maintaining and improving standards of professional forestry;
6.2. Contributing to the development and recognition of good forestry practice;
6.3. Recognising, regulating and supporting those demonstrating competence in the forestry profession;
- 4. Supporting forestry professionals in their career development;
- 5. Representing the forestry profession;
- 6. Acting as an independent advocate for forestry;
Given these aims, full participation by NZIF in discussions on the regulation of forestry advice is essential. NZIF’s role as an independent advocate for forestry also requires it. If there are any questions or comments, please contact me on President@nzif.org.nz
This is my last contribution to the newsletter, as the term of this Council ends on 31st May. In the past two years, my focus as President has been to strengthen the decision-making and governance role of the Council, to encourage more members to participate in the running of the NZIF, to support and promote the Registered Member category and to adopt a project management approach to identifying and managing the delivery of new benefits to members. It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve the members of the New Zealand Institute of Forestry over the past 10 years as a Council member, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and most recently as President.
I would like to thank the Council, local section chairs and members, working party and special interest group chairs and participants, Fellows and the Fellows’ Committee, the Registration Board and its Registrar, the journal and newsletter editors, conference organising committees, staff and contractors and all those who have contributed through commitment, effort and enthusiasm to the success of the Institute over the last two years. And finally, I would like to offer my best wishes to the incoming Council.
NZIF Members are invited to share their COCID-19 experiences and any relevant insights they may have learned to other members through the NZIF Newsletter. This a members’ forum. All comments are welcome.
From the Registrar
There are no registrations this fortnight.
REGISTRATION REVIEWS 2020
The following members are due for 5-year review of their status as a Registered Member during 2020;
- Owen Springford
- Nigel Chandler
- Brian Johnson
- Paul Molloy
- Peter Brown
- Peter Clark
- John Hornby
- Allan Laurie
- Brian Rawley
USE OF NZIF WEBSITE FOR APPLICATIONS, ANNUAL DECLARATIONS AND CPD.
As from today all applications for 5-year Reviews and New Applications for Registered Member status should be made using the online facility on the NZIF website. Login and go to the Dashboard and click on Registered Member Application & Review Form. Note that if you do not have time to complete the application in one session there is a “Save” facility that allows you to come back and complete it before submitting.
The annual declaration for Code of Ethics/Professional Indemnity/Real Estate experience can now be entered online. Go to your Profile and click on APC (Annual Practising Certificate) and populate the boxes appropriately – very simple. Those RM’s who have not yet emailed their forms for YE 31 May 2020 should use the online facility. Next year all RM’s will need to use the online entry.
CPD – is still entered online but is Submitted only once each year, as at the end of December. Saving your CPD is not the same as Submitting it. Once it has been Submitted you cannot edit it but if something goes awry please get in touch and we will get the expert (Jay) to assist. The CSV upload facility is available for bulk data and if you require this please get in touch.
Alan Bell, Registrar
NZIF Registration Board
+64 27 444 7779
Nomination of new NZIF Fellows
The deadline for nominating NZIF Fellows this year is May 28th 2020. Fellows are members who have achieved eminence in the profession.
Rules for the election of Fellows are:
- A Fellow of the Institute shall be a Member who has achieved eminence in the profession.
A member should be considered eminent if they have made a substantial contribution to forestry, resulting in large benefits to a region, the nation or the world through forestry. Generally Fellows will be widely known in the sector for their contributions, but in rare cases their contributions, while important, may not be widely known prior to their nomination. These contributions may include such things as exemplary leadership, extensive work in voluntary organisations that benefit people, research resulting in important new knowledge, or major contributions to forest policy and legislation.
- For recognition as a Fellow:
121.1. The Member must have been nominated by two Members who shall be Full Voting Members;
121.2. The Member must be a Full Voting Member other than an Honorary Member at the time of nomination and must have been such a member for at least five years immediately prior to the nomination;
121.3. The Member, at the time of nomination, must have had at least 15 years’ experience in the practice, administration or teaching of, or research in, some branch of forestry, of which at least five years must have been in New Zealand;
121.4. The nomination must have been considered by Council and, if in the opinion of Council, the nominated member fulfils the requirements for a Fellow set out in section 121.3, included in an annual ballot in which all Full Voting Members who are financial when the ballot is held may participate. Any nominated Member who receives a minimum of 100 votes of which a minimum of 80% are in favour of the election of the member as a Fellow will be elected as a Fellow. The ballot must be held prior to the Annual General Meeting of the Institute with the elected Fellows announced at that meeting.
Details of the upcoming national and international events of interest to members of NZIF have obviously been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and shut down.
In particular, the Conference and Celebration for 50 years Canterbury School of Forestry has been postponed, and the NZIF Annual Conference 2020 in Masterton has been cancelled.
Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread. Find out what help is available, FAQs and get the latest updates.
Death of Bob Tennent
Bob Tennent passed away 20th April 2020, in his 70th year. A deeply intelligent, independent and well-respected man. He confronted his illness with strength, dignity and a scientist’s resolve to face facts without letting them overwhelm him. His family gained inspiration in his last months from his dignity, grace, refusal to feel sorry for himself, his openness to receiving and offering love and his joy in time spent with family and friends.
Stephen Eagle has these words to say regarding Bob.
“I first met Bob in Cambodia in the mid 1990’s, where he was working with the FAO. It was a time when Cambodia was ‘opening up’ to international involvement in the forestry sector (and others) and there was a great shortage of information. There was a need for quantitative forestry services (which was also the name of Bob’s business – QFS Ltd) to set up inventory systems, make best use of what data was available, train local foresters and more. Bob’s skill and efficiency, as well as his knack for problem solving, had him in demand. We collaborated on a number of projects, also outside Cambodia (in Mauritius). Over that period he also worked in St Lucia, Kenya, Sri Lanka and other countries. Back in New Zealand I was one of a group of friends that would go fishing with Bob on the Firth of Thames.
While in Cambodia his talents were recognized by the international firm SGS, who had a forest harvest monitoring contract in which Bob played a key role. In 2010 he moved to SGS’s office in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and I would often catch up with him there too. He busied himself with diving and the “hash” runs outside work. Entries on the Herald guestbook, in which is obituary is published, show how respected he was for his abilities and intellect, as well as appreciated for being great company. Many of us in the forestry sector in New Zealand will remember him similarly.”
Latest NZ Journal of Forestry is On-line
Find latest journal here.
MPI Sustainable Forestry Bulletin
MPI’s Sustainable Forestry Bulletin is available through the subscription link. The bulletin outlines new information, upcoming requirements etc relating to the ETS, etc.
Forestry Career Portal
For career options, jobs are available advertised on this site
Institute of Chartered Foresters (UK)
The ICF provides a newsletter with news and blogs as well as relevant information for members through this link.
Royal Society New Zealand
The NZ Institute of Forestry is affiliated with the Royal Society, with many co-memberships. For those interested in finding out what is happening, receiving newsletters and other alerts, please follow the link here.
RSNZ Rutherford Medal now to include Humanities.
It is important NZIF has up-to-date contact details for members so we can stay in touch and keep you informed of news, events and our journal. If you have changed your residential and/or postal address, or any other contact details, please let the office know. You can email us at email@example.com.
In the News
NZ: Jones moves to protect sawmills
Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards.
The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in Parliament on Thursday night, and will now go to the Environment Select Committee.
"The Covid-19 crisis showed us how an over-reliance on log exports to a small number of markets makes our forestry industry less resilient and more susceptible to global forces," Jones told the Northland Age.
"An enhanced domestic wood processing sector will play an important part of the recovery for our regional economies, helping create new export products, new jobs for Kiwis and a renewed sense of ownership of our forests.
NZ Budget 2020: $1.1b towards saving environment while creating jobs
Almost $1.1 billion from the Budget will be put towards restoring the environment and the Government expects that investment to create about 11,000 jobs.
Waterways, wildlife, wallabies and wilding pines are particular focuses of three different initiatives to create more jobs in nature and the regions.
The spending is broken down into:
- $433 million to be injected into a new regional environmental projects programme,
- $315m for pest eradication and management
- $200m to the Department of Conservation for more jobs
- $154m to create 1800 regional jobs to restore biodiversity.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the $1.1b investment would support thousands of jobs "and pay dividends for generations by giving nature a helping hand".
Aus: Wildfires increasing in size and frequency across Victoria
A new study by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) has shown for the first time the full extent of the areas burned by Victorian bushfires over the past two decades.
Co-author Professor David Lindenmayer says the results indicate a major overhaul is needed when it comes to fire and land management.
The study maps where wildfires took place across Victoria between 1995, the start of the millennium drought, and 2020.
"This is the first time we've seen the full spatial extent of bushfires dating back 25 years," Professor Lindenmayer said.
"What we found is the state is burning more and more. Prior to 2000 we had one mega-fire in Victoria in 150 years of records. Since 2000 we've already had three.
"We can also see the extensive and frequent re-burning of previously fire-damaged areas -- sometimes with a gap as short as five or six years.?
"These results make a compelling case for a major policy shake-up, with the aim of reducing mega-fires, protecting unburnt areas and managing repeatedly damaged ecosystems."
Everything you need to know about the Amazon rainforest: an interview with Mark Plotkin
- As Earth’s largest rainforest, the Amazon is the planet’s single greatest repository of biodiversity, houses the largest number of uncontacted indigenous tribes, and is home to the world’s mightiest river. Yet the Amazon faces a range of dire threats.
- A new book, The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know succinctly summarizes these issues but also adds important context, color, and factoids on why we should care about the fate of the Amazon.
- The book is written by Mark Plotkin, one of the world’s most foremost experts on ethnobotany and the co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Team, a non-profit that works with indigenous communities to conserve rainforests in the Amazon and northern Colombia.
- Plotkin talked about his new book during a May 2020 interview with Mongabay’s founder Rhett A. Butler.
As Earth’s largest rainforest, the Amazon is the planet’s single greatest repository of biodiversity, houses the largest number of uncontacted indigenous tribes, and is home to the world’s mightiest river. It is also the engine that generates rainfall that sustains regional economies, sequesters upward of a hundred billion tons of carbon, and helps prevent hurricanes from striking the east coast of South America — services worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually to humanity.
Yet the Amazon faces a range of dire threats, including rising deforestation and anti-environment policies in Brazil, widespread fragmentation and degradation, and the effects of climate change which scientists warn could tip the wet rainforest ecosystem to something much drier. Large-scale Amazon die-off could be devastating to the planet.
Mongabay. Mist rising from Amazon at Dawn. Rhett Butler.
World must undergo huge social and financial transformation to save future of human life, major report finds
‘It’s time to rethink how we grow food, travel and look after the countryside: it may mean hard choices but the rewards are enormous’
The world’s social and financial systems must undergo a huge transformation to revive the natural world that is vital for human life, a major UN report has concluded.
There should be an end to the focus on economic growth, international scientists warn.
They also say consumers in wealthy countries should waste less food, while world leaders should introduce urgent reforms including creating more green space in cities, bring in wildlife-friendly farming and curb wasteful consumption.
In the first comprehensive report on biodiversity by the UN, governments are also called on to:
- restore habitats such as native forests
- grow more food on less land
- crack down on illegal logging and fishing
- create marine protected areas
- reduce pollution and the flow of heavy metals and untreated wastewater into the environment
Amazon deforestation increases for 13th straight month in Brazil
- Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon over the past 12 months has reached the highest level since monthly tracking began in 2007, according to official data released Friday by the country’s national space research institute INPE.
- INPE’s deforestation monitoring system, DETER, detected 406 square kilometers of forest loss in the “legal Amazon” during the month of April, bringing the extent of deforestation to 9,320 square kilometers for the year ended April 30, 2020, 40% higher than where it stood a year ago.
- Forest loss in Earth’s largest rainforest has now risen 13 consecutive months relative to year-earlier figures.
- The combination of rising forest clearance and abnormally dry conditions across vast swathes of Brazil is setting up the region for an active fire season.
Despite the global economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon appears to be continuing largely unabated with forest clearing over the past 12 months reaching the highest level since monthly data started being released publicly in 2007, according to official data released Friday by the country’s national space research institute INPE. Forest loss in Earth’s largest rainforest has now risen 13 consecutive months relative to year-earlier figures.
World: Consider what’s below the canopy, too, when counting up forest areas (commentary)
- More and more of the world’s forests are becoming “empty” or “silent,” as wildlife populations decline.
- This has many ecological consequences, but notably hinders a forests’ ability to regenerate and hence its ability to absorb and store carbon. It has been a challenge, however, to put a global measure on this worsening trend for forest wildlife.
- WWF’s Will Baldwin-Cantello argues we need to measure forest biodiversity better to fix our imbalanced relationship with forests and nature, which has tipped ecosystems out of balance.
- This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.
The screech of scarlet macaws high overhead. The dawn rumble of howler monkeys. The hammering of a greater spotted woodpecker.
These are some of the sounds I have had the pleasure of hearing in forests and woodlands I have visited. But sounds like these cannot be taken for granted. It is long established that more and more of the world’s forests are becoming “empty” or “silent.” This has all kinds of ecological consequences, but notably hinders a forests’ ability to regenerate and hence its ability to absorb and store carbon.
It has been a challenge, however, to put a global measure on this worsening trend for forest wildlife. This is one reason that global goals and targets on forests, including for example the New York Declaration on Forests, the Sustainable Development Goals and even the Aichi Targets on biodiversity, have only focused on areas of forest gained or lost and not the health of those forests. Indeed, the recently released UN figures on forest cover show a consistent slowing in the loss of forest cover, but commentators have highlighted that these statistics reflect only quantity of forest and not quality.
Killing off animals and plants now threatens humanity itself, UN experts warn in urgent call for action
Up to a million species facing extinction in the world’s sixth mass die-off – as big a risk as climate change, say scientists
The future of humanity is under threat from the widespread destruction of the Earth’s plants and animals by people, leading scientists have warned in a dramatic report.
Loss of biodiversity threatens the human race just as much as climate change, the experts believe, with up to a million species facing extinction in the world’s sixth mass die-off.
The UN’s global assessment on the state of nature – published on Monday, and the most comprehensive of its kind – says that without urgent action, the wellbeing of current and future generations of people will be at risk as life-support systems providing food, pollination and clean water collapse.
The 1,800-page report lays out a series of future scenarios based on decisions by governments and other policymakers, and recommends a rescue plan.
It highlights how man-made activity has destroyed nature, such as forests, wetlands and other wild landscapes, damaging Earth’s capacity to renew breathable air, productive soil and drinkable water.
EU plan for 3bn trees in 10 years to tackle biodiversity crisis
Concern that new strategy, which also includes protecting primeval forests, ‘lacks tools’
The European commission will launch a sweeping effort to tackle the global biodiversity crisis on Wednesday, including a call for 3bn trees to be planted in the EU by 2030 and a plan to better protect the continent’s last primeval forests.
The draft policy document, published online by an environmental NGO, admits that to date in the EU, “protection has been incomplete, restoration has been small-scale, and the implementation and enforcement of legislation has been insufficient”.
Scientists and environmental groups, commenting on the leaked draft of the strategy, say that while the new goals are welcome and impressive, there is a still distinct lack of tools with which to implement them.
“It’s a good and ambitious document, but what is also obvious is the lack of strategy of how to implement it, and a lack of discussion of why previous documents of this type failed,” said Przemysław Chylarecki of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
Intact forests can retain high levels of carbon in high temperatures, study shows
Cut emissions to avoid pushing too many forests beyond the safety zone
Projecting how the planet will react to environmental change as the atmosphere warms is no straightforward matter.
In a new study, scientists detail the reaction of intact tropical forests, which host a vital 40 percent of carbon stored in vegetation, to climate variability in an effort to understand exactly how sensitive they are to temperature change over time.
The research, published in Science, indicates that tropical forests can retain their capacity to store high levels of carbon under high temperatures, demonstrating that they can sustain temperatures up to an estimated threshold of 32 degrees Celsius in daytime temperature.
Yet this positive finding is only possible if forests have time to adapt, they remain intact, and if global greenhouse gas emissions are curtailed to avoid pushing global temperatures into the danger zone beyond the critical threshold, said the report, which involved an international team of 225 scientists measuring and monitoring more than half a million trees in more than 800 tropical forests.
NY Times Opinion: Will the Pandemic Make the West More Vulnerable to Wildfires?
The fight against Covid-19 has disrupted preparations for the fire season.
The last thing we need right now is another risk to worry about. But across much of the American West, wildfires should be a big concern as summer approaches. This is especially true in Northern California, where the winter of 2019-20 was exceptionally dry and has set the stage for a potentially frightening wildfire season.
To make matters worse, many of the preparations needed to manage the risk have been disrupted by the pandemic.
Tracking the tinderbox: Stanford scientists map wildfire fuel moisture across western US
Researchers have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states, opening a door for better fire predictions.
As California and the American West head into fire season amid the coronavirus pandemic, scientists are harnessing artificial intelligence and new satellite data to help predict blazes across the region.
Anticipating where a fire is likely to ignite and how it might spread requires information about how much burnable plant material exists on the landscape and its dryness. Yet this information is surprisingly difficult to gather at the scale and speed necessary to aid wildfire management.
Now, a team of experts in hydrology, remote sensing and environmental engineering have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states, from Colorado, Montana, Texas and Wyoming to the Pacific Coast.
The researchers describe their technique in the August 2020 issue of Remote Sensing of Environment. According to the senior author of the paper, Stanford University ecohydrologist Alexandra Konings, the new dataset produced by the model could "massively improve fire studies."
NZ: Charges against Horizons councillor John Turkington to be withdrawn
The charges brought against Marton businessman and Horizons Region councillor John Turkington have been withdrawn.
However similar charges against his land use and forestry company, John Turkington Ltd, are still before Whanganui District Court.
Long-Form Journalism. At the end of the forest: a former Vancouver Island mill town’s struggle for reinvention
Tahsis was built to support the province’s once-booming logging industry. Now, amid industry closures and layoffs, the scenic village and its ambitious mayor offer a glimpse of the challenges communities face as they try to carve out new economies
British Columbia: How the pandemic could be an opportunity to revive B.C.'s forestry industry
More disposable paper cups, masks, bags being used during pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Canadians to use more disposable products such as cups, bags and masks, which has created a unique opportunity for the B.C. forestry industry to make a comeback, according to Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.
Last year, the city lost its sawmill, which employed 150 people. Though Simpson doesn't necessarily see old mills being revived, he said the pandemic has created a situation where new mills producing different materials — like pulp and fibre board to help make single-use products — could be started in communities like his.
World: What happens when freshwater fish hook up with forests?
Sound land-use policies to conserve freshwater habitats in tropical forests can help maintain fish biodiversity, reduce the risk of food insecurity and bolster international restoration and biodiversity goals, scientists say.
Research indicates that forests play a key role in regulating the quality of aquatic habitats for fish, but concrete data that could help inform government and community management strategies are lacking, according to a new report published in the journal Bioscience.
“A better understanding of the relationship between forests and freshwater fish communities is urgently needed,” said Michaela Lo, lead author of the report, a scientific researcher with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a Ph.D. candidate at Britain’s University of Kent.
NZ: Illegal hunters putting lives at risk: foresters
Foresters fear someone could get seriously injured or even killed from illegal hunting that has been going on since the Covid-19 alert level restrictions came into force.
Two men were caught hunting illegally in a forest inland from Tolaga Bay on Sunday.
A forestry manager yesterday told The Herald the amount of illegal hunting on the Coast had increased since late March.
World: The secret to mindful travel? A walk in the woods
Visit these five destinations to practice the Japanese art of forest bathing.
Whether you call it a fitness trend or a mindfulness practice (or a bit of both), what exactly is forest bathing? The term emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). The purpose was twofold: to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire residents to reconnect with and protect the country’s forests.
The Japanese quickly embraced this form of ecotherapy.
Long-Form Journalism: The People’s Forest
Sustainable forest management journey of the Menominee, Wisconsin
They appeared as the last glacier retreated, twelve thousand years ago. It was the end of Earth’s last ice age, the Wisconsin Glaciation, when vast snowy sheets descended over much of the planet. As the ice drew back, it carved the landscape as it is today and made way for humans, who named themselves the Original People. Other tribes, in time, would come to call them the Ancient Ones.
The Menominee, as they are now known, evolved as the land did, moving with the seasons up and down the length of modern-day Wisconsin. As the tundra sprouted a seemingly infinite forest, trees became a cornerstone of life. The Menominee made wigwams from basswood bark and cedar, canoes and containers from birch. The tallest trees were revered as grandfathers, sheltering plants on the forest floor below as they reached high toward the Creator.
Thousands of years into this way of life, early American colonizers invaded from the east. It took them a century to completely dismantle the world as the Menominee knew it; the tribe was forced to cede its territory in one treaty after another, and a booming logging industry grew up on the newly acquired land. The Menominee lost their remaining ancestral lands the year Wisconsin became a state. After refusing to move elsewhere, the tribe fought for a small piece of their homeland back, establishing what is now the Menominee reservation.
US NY Times Opinion: 7.7 Million Young People Are Unemployed. We Need a New ‘Tree Army.’
The Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps helped build America at a time of national crisis. Let’s do it again.
Nearly 7.7 million American workers younger than 30 are now unemployed and three million dropped out of the labor force in the past month. Combined that’s nearly one in three young workers, by far the highest rate since the country started tracking unemployment by age in 1948.
Nearly 40 percent worked in the devastated retail and food service sectors. And as the most recently hired, young workers are typically the first let go and often the last rehired, especially those of color.
As our country’s leaders consider a range of solutions to address this crisis, there’s one fix that will put millions of young Americans directly to work: a 21st-century version of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
PNG: Hardwood logging on Manus Island has not delivered promised local benefits, report finds
Global Witness says the Malaysian company Maxland has failed to plant millions of rubber trees
A Malaysian company that won a permit to clear tropical rainforest on Manus Island has been accused of failing to deliver on its promises to the local community, while reaping millions of dollars in profits from the logging of valuable hardwood timber.
According to licensing documents, the company, Maxland Ltd, secured a permit to clear land in the south of Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island in order to plant between three and five million rubber trees as part of the Pohowa Project. The project’s stated aim in documents was to “benefit smallholder rubber farmers [and] the surrounding communities”.
However, according to a new report produced by Global Witness, two years into the five-year contract, not a single rubber tree had been planted, but there was evidence that valuable hardwood timber had been felled by the company and was being exported.
As Australia’s logging ‘madness’ fuels more fires, will it hasten ecosystem collapse?
In the aftermath of the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires, logging has recommenced in the Australian state of Victoria, despite intense criticism from scientists and conservationists.
A thick, acrid scent of smoke marks the last summer season in Australia, which has become known as the “black summer.” Between June 2019 and March 2020, a series of bushfires ripped through more than 11 million hectares (27.2 million acres) of bushland, forest and parks in Australia, killing about a billion native animals, including scores of iconic species like koalas, kangaroos and wallabies.
During the worst months, December 2019 and January 2020, a dense, billowy haze glided over the country, and even across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, coloring midday skies an eerie shade of red, and filling lungs with fine particles that made breathing difficult. The recovery process for the country’s flora and fauna will take decades, or even centuries, experts say.
Yet, in Victoria and New South Wales, the two Australian states that were affected the most by the fires, logging companies have continued to saw down swaths of native trees to produce paper pulp for toilet tissue and paper towels.
Private Forests Tasmania opens expressions of interest for integrated farm forestry project
"The best time to plant trees is yesterday," according to Wynyard-based senior private forest advisor Stephen Clarke.
He's on the lookout for farmers with an eye to the future, who want to grow more trees on their property, and he is particularly interested in dairy farmers.
"They stand to benefit from improved farm productivity," he said.
Mr Clarke is leading a new project from Private Forests Tasmania, the government and primary producers, aimed at finding demonstration farms that show how well commercial tree stands can support the land.
Community forest enterprises provide win for forests and people: Study
- A new study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) looked at community natural resource management in Mexico, Guatemala, Nepal and Namibia.
- The research highlights the importance of government recognition of communities’ rights to manage natural resources and promoting investment in these initiatives.
- The communities still struggle to obtain sustained government support in some cases, and rights to consultation are often sidelined in favor of large infrastructure projects.
What do countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Nepal and Namibia have in common? All four are home to rich repositories of biodiversity. But each country has also developed models for community management of natural resources, demonstrating that sustainable and inclusive development is possible.
A study published by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) aimed to pick out the factors that contribute to the success of these projects. The authors say they have identified keys to support such community efforts as a way to conserve their forests and biodiversity.
Amazon fires may be worse in 2020 as deforestation and land grabbing spikes
- Nearly 800 square kilometers of forest were cut down during the first three months of this year — 51% more than during the same period in 2019. Those who cleared the rainforest will need to burn the downed trees during the upcoming dry season in order to make way for cattle pastures and croplands.
- A third of the devastation occurred on public lands, which are the preferred target for land grabbers. Recent firings at IBAMA, Brazil’s environmental agency, and a loosening of regulations for wood exports have paved the way for even more illegal public land thefts this year.
- After one of the driest rainy seasons in recent years, the soil in Amazonia is drier and the temperatures higher than normal — perfect conditions for fires to spread easily.
- More fires, should they occur in August and September of this year, could be problematic for the hard-pressed public healthcare system, as airborne soot adds to increased hospitalizations for respiratory complications. This scenario is especially worrisome as Amazonia’s health system is in collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s too early for a verdict, but at present, threats to the Brazilian Amazon are growing virtually unchecked while the COVID-19 pandemic deepens. As the virus spreads, creating dramatic scenes in the rainforest, land grabbing is advancing and there is no sign of deforestation slowing. On the contrary: numbers skyrocketed during the first quarter of 2020.
Forestry student encourages others to join sector
Nic Melvin is this year's recipient of the Southern Wood Council's Scholarship.
Many of Nic Melvin's ancestors were in the forestry and sawmilling business in New Zealand from the 1860s and he knew from an early age he wanted a career in the sector.
From a dairy farm at Dipton, Melvin (19) is in his second year of a four-year forestry science degree at the University of Canterbury.
He has been awarded this year's Southern Wood Council's Scholarship, worth $4500 over three years, which he'll put towards student fees.