How sticks, signs and crucifixes help manage forests in Maluku, Indonesia
Dean Thomas Maness announced this week his intention to begin immediately an approximate six-month change in responsibilities to attend to personal matters. As a result, from January 17 to June 30, Executive Associate Dean Anthony S. Davis will serve as acting dean of the college(more)Additional Information: OSU Press ReleaseAnthony S. Davis
Making the call for tenure reform in Maluku, Indonesia
International symposium engages private sector in developing integrated, deforestation-free supply chains
As efforts to halt deforestation gather pace, an increasing number of private-sector companies are signaling their intent to join forces with leading global institutions to address deforestation and its key drivers, and to identify viable responses. At an international symposium in Tokyo, forestry experts and commercial stakeholders will join representatives of Japan’s forestry private sector in showcasing initiatives aimed at meeting international objectives, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sometimes conservation controversies explode so fast in one place that it becomes almost white-hot.
That’s what’s happening right now in the Amazon—with a cyclonic mix of good and bad news.
We summarize here some of the key highlights.GOOD NEWSBIG NEW PARK
First, Peru has just declared an expansive new national park in the Amazon. Yaguas National Park encompasses the biologically richest ecosystems on the planet, and will span about 870,000 hectares (nearly 2.2 million acres) along the Putumayo River in northeastern Peru.
The new park sustains two-thirds of Peru’s freshwater fish species as well as thousands of plants, birds, and other fauna.
From Mongabay.com (2018).
In addition to protecting nature, the park will benefit indigenous residents by helping to limit illegal logging and gold mining—which threaten their health and livelihoods.
ALERT’s John Terborgh, who has conducted research in Peru for over a half-century, heralds the good news but says, “Declaring a park is only the first step. The proof of the pudding will be in its implementation [by the government].”
Fingers crossed for this vital new park.MEGA-DAMS
Second, in what could become an earth-shaking precedent, Brazil has just backed away from its intensely controversial policy of building giant hydropower dams in the Amazon Basin.
Such dams not only flood large areas of forest—seriously harming biodiversity, generating major greenhouse-gas emissions, and displacing local peoples—but also require networks of new roads for dam construction and maintenance.
By cutting into intact forests, such roads often catalyze sharp increases in forest destruction and degradation—such as fires, illegal mining, poaching, and illicit logging.
The government of Brazilian President Michel Temer—facing possible impeachment for corruption allegations and barely clinging to political power—has traditionally favored the planned mega-dams. Why the sudden change in policy?
ALERT’s Philip Fearnside, a top Amazon expert, suggests the move has been prompted both by resistance from environmental and indigenous groups, and by the ongoing corruption allegations—particularly those involving hefty government contracts awarded to corporations for dam construction. Brazil’s suffering economy hasn’t helped either.
Whatever the reason, the Temer government has correctly decided—at least for now—to halt one of the most environmentally dangerous and financially risky policies in the Amazon.BAD NEWSROAD-BUILDING FRENZY
In terms of ‘bad news’, one need look only at the incredible spate of ongoing, planned, and proposed road projects in Amazonia. If constructed in their entirety, these projects would massively fragment and degrade the world’s largest rainforest.
For example, there is the massive Manaus-Porto Velho Highway (BR-319), which could help to chop the Amazon in half (see this recent ALERT video).
Beyond this, Peru is funding an avalanche of new roads near its border with Brazil. A recent study suggests these roads, if completed, would lead to the loss of over 270,000 hectares of forest (680,000 acres).
Potentially worse is a proposed highway between Iquitos and Saramiriza in northern Peru—a project that would cut a massive swath through the Peruvian Amazon, including key protected areas and indigenous reserves.
This proposal is not yet funded, but if it proceeds it would be incredibly dangerous environmentally and socially. Peru’s president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, is formally supporting it, although his own Ministry of Transport does not.
Keep your eyes on the Iquitos-Saramirizia highway—a potential disaster for the Peruvian Amazon.THE CLOSER ONE LOOKS...
And a final alarm bell: scientists have just learned that deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon are much higher than was previously thought.
The European Community’s new Sentinel satellites—which have much better spatial resolution than the U.S. Landsat satellites used for the past several decades—are finding much more destroyed or damaged forests on the ground.
With a more accurate picture, it turns out that the Amazon is in considerably worse shape than we thought before. Many forests that were formerly assumed to be intact are actually logged or fragmented.
This is important because degraded forests are particularly vulnerable to fire—as evidenced by large areas of damaged forest that are currently aflame in the Amazon.IN SUMMARY
One could list various other worries—a wild government plan to deforest much of Beni Province in Bolivia, or China’s massive railway scheme that would cut right across South America—but the examples above make the point.
The Amazon is boiling right now, with both good and bad news. It’s a crucial time for conservationists to raise their game.
Our federal forests suffer from the chicken and egg conundrum. The Forest Service has reduced its harvest volumes over the last 30 years, which drastically changed the landscape of the forest industry. Now we have large voids where mills used to dot the map. We currently face a forest health where the Forest Service needs … Continue reading "Right-sizing the Forest Industry"
Our thoughts today at Coast Forest are with all of those affected by this morning’s fire at Terminal Forest Product’s Mainland Sawmill Division. The well-being and safety of these men and women are foremost on our minds during this difficult time
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In Wood Markets’ new five-year softwood lumber forecast, the continuation of U.S. duties on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. is expected to cause more short-term market and price volatility. The preliminary duties launched earlier in 2017 rocked the U.S. market and more of the same is expected in 2018. The Wood Markets outlook report predicts more chaos and the chance of further record-breaking prices in North America, while global lumber supply tightens and exports grow.
The recent announcement of final countervailing (CVD) and anti-dumping (ADD) duties on Canadian lumber exports to the U.S. will cause lumber prices to remain near record levels in 2018 and even higher at various points over the next five years, Wood Markets/FEA Canada predicts. This is because Canadian lumber production and Canadian exports to the U.S. are forecast to ease in 2018.
“Simply put,” said Russ Taylor, managing director, Wood Markets/FEA Canada, “by restricting incremental Canadian lumber exports via import duties, there may not be enough lumber supplies to adequately balance with projected U.S. demand. There will need to be major increases in U.S. lumber capacity (which is starting to build), more offshore imports, and/or record-level prices to stimulate more supply. The question that we have seen coming for a number of years is: Where will the U.S. get all of the lumber it needs, and at what price?”
While the timing of supply and demand forces is always unpredictable, the group forecasts that the first real “supply gap” could occur as early as 2019. This is when there may not be enough incremental lumber supplies that are readily available to meet overall projected U.S. demand, without seeing an increase (versus the forecast decrease) in Canadian lumber imports.
“What this all could mean,” said Taylor, “is that ongoing price volatility can be expected again in 2018, and even more so in 2019 and/or 2020, when further record-level lumber prices are forecast in the U.S. market.”
Some of the regional trends for North America are summarized here:
– As the import duties on Canadian lumber imports will give many U.S. mills a substantial cost advantage, a surge of capacity expansions has already started and more are expected. This should allow American mills to increase their market share of its home market.
– From near 34 billion bf in 2017, total U.S. output is forecast to increase by around 10 billion bf by 2022, depending on the mill capacity increases in the U.S. This forecast production surge is considered to be a very aggressive and will be difficult to achieve, but it is considered possible given the improved competitive advantage of U.S. mills as lumber prices rise.
– Canadian lumber production is expected to dip slightly in 2018 and potentially in 2019 from the impact of U.S. import duties and tight timber supplies. Exports to China are forecast to increase slightly, but this will depend on lumber price levels as compared to the U.S. price, net of import duties.
– The B.C. Interior timber harvest will drop as import duties marginalize some sawmills, as well as from the impact of lower output from uneconomic mountain pine beetle-killed timber.
– As a higher cost region in Canada, Eastern Canadian mills could have difficulties, at times, to absorb import duties when lumber prices soften. However, is it expected that by 2020 (and maybe sooner), more exports will be required to fill the expected U.S. “supply gap”.
European structural softwood lumber imports are forecast to ramp up dramatically to take advantage of the pending supply gap, that should keep lumber prices at high levels. The magnitude of European softwood lumber exports to the U.S. is difficult to predict, but higher prices will attract more volumes to the U.S.
Source: Wood Markets/FEA Canada
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