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RECOFTC: August People and Forests E-Newsletter
I'd like to introduce myself as the new editor of the People and Forests e-News. As always, we remain very interested in your reactions to our monthly news, publications, events, and commentary coverage. I’d be happy to receive them at the email below.
This e-News comes to you a bit later than usual, as we wanted to share the highlights of the Second Regional Forum for People and Forests hosted by RECOFTC, the Thai government and partners in Bangkok on August 8 and 9, 2011. Some 200 delegates from 25 countries issued a strong Call for Action, currently being ratified. The Forum was launched with a Press Conference by Dr R.K. Pachauri, who received the Nobel Prize on behalf of UNIPCC in 2007.
July and early August witnessed exciting developments for community forestry in Asia: the Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise Conference in Lombok, Indonesia included a pledge by the Indonesian government to move forward with land tenure reform, and was followed closely by a joint declaration between the U.S. and Indonesian governments emphasizing cooperation on a wide range of environmental priorities, including community forestry.
At RECOFTC, we're pleased to announce the release of our Training Courses Catalog, with 17 programs available for the upcoming year, as well as a new publication on REDD+, Governance, and Community Forestry.
Until next month,
Editor, People and Forests E-News
Indonesia: Joint statement with US on commitments made at Lombok
Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. R. M. Marty M. Natalegawa and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met in Bali on July 24, 2011, to co-chair the second meeting of the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Commission under the bilateral Comprehensive Partnership. Among the issues discussed was the Indonesian government's recent pledge of forest tenure reform made during the recent Lombok Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise.
Indonesia: Government pledges to resolve forestland conflicts
Konturo Mangkusubroto, head of the Indonesian President’s special delivery unit, said at the International Conference on Forest Tenure, Governance and Enterprise held in Lombok, Indonesia that Indonesia’s President supports protecting the land of indigenous communities and will work together with local communities to prevent and resolve land conflicts. Experts see this as an important step for the Indonesian government, which has been criticized for lagging behind other Asian countries in granting land rights to local people.
Laos: Environmental group links Vietnam's military to timber smuggling
The Environmental Intelligence Agency released a report implicating the Vietnamese military in a multi-million dollar timber smuggling scheme in Laos. The report charges the Vietnamese military with bribing Lao officials and then smuggling timber to factories in Vietnam to support its booming timber industry, worth $4 billion a year in exports. Laos has some of the last intact tropical forests in the Mekong region.
Myanmar: Abuse of environment destroys livelihoods, fuels conflict
A report released by the Burma Environmental Working Group (BEWG) argues that the regime’s use and abuse of the country’s ecosystems is destroying the environment and livelihoods, and calls for foreign investors to refrain until a sound policy framework for environmental protection and sustainable development is in place. Poor policies are fueling conflict in Burma’s ethnic areas, where the majority of the country’s economically viable natural resources are located.
Pakistan: Poverty pushing people to join timber mafia
A hike in prices of firewood, liquefied petroleum gas and construction material has been forcing poverty-stricken people in the Upper and Lower Dir districts of Pakistan to join hands with traditional timber smugglers, who officials and locals report have intensified their activities in this area. The severe poverty in this area makes cracking down on smuggling extremely difficult, as even law enforcement personnel are in on the illegal activity.
Vietnam: Dong Nai grows greener - and greener
Authorities in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai are working to expand forest cover to restore indigenous forest ecosystem in the Dong Nai River basin, extend the natural conservation area to Cat Tien National Park, and conserve the habitat and migration places of wildlife. Since the government closure of the forest in 1997, green cover has spread to 54 per cent of the province, and forest cover to 30 per cent.
International: Community, not government, control helps forests recover
A new study by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) says that giving local communities control over forest resources can help slow and even reverse deforestation. The RRI study confirms previous research suggesting that forest communities — provided they are accorded rights over land and resources — are better stewards of forests than governments.
International: WWF accused of failing to regulate sustainable timber scheme
Investigative group Global Witness has produced a report accusing the World Wildlife Fund of failing to adequately regulate the activities of timber companies belonging to its sustainable timber trade network.
Read the rest of the newsletter here.
Posted By Adam Houston at 12:31pm on August 16, 2011
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