Biomass is to play a significant role in the future of energy.
In a recent @farmersjournal article they described a forestry fund seeking to purchase 18,000 hectares
Global forest loss amounted to 18.7 million hectares (46 million acres) in 2014, a decline of about 9 percent relative to 2013 Read More and 20 percent compared to 2012, according to data released today by a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and Google.
The much-anticipated data, published this morning on Global Forest Watch, a platform for mapping ‘big data’ related to forests, reflects changes in tree cover, including deforestation, harvesting of tree plantations, fire damage, and forest die-off from disease and pests. It will be used by analysts, policymakers, conservationists, and others to track progress — or lack there of — on efforts to conserve forests ahead of November climate talks in Paris, where forests are expected to play a major role in the development of an emissions mitigation framework.
The data, which does not include forest gain including reforestation and forest recovery, reveals some interesting trends including persistently high forest loss in boreal regions — where most forest loss is linked to logging, fires, and beetle outbreaks — and the tropics, which is dominated by outright deforestation, typically for pasture, agriculture, or plantations. Among the planet’s biomes, the tropics accounted for the largest share of loss at 10 million hectares in 2014.
The usual suspects topped the 2014 list: Russia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia and the United States. But coming in at number six was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which surpassed a million hectares of forest loss for the only time in the 14-year data set. Annual forest loss in the Central African nation has roughly doubled since the early 2000s, according to the data.
Both Brazil (a 317,000 ha increase or 16 percent relative to 2013) and Indonesia (350,000 ha / 31 percent) showed significant increases in forest loss in 2014 after sharp drops the prior year.
The most significant one-year declines globally occurred in Russia (1.7 million ha decline representing a 33 percent drop compared with 2013), Canada (732,000 / 26 percent), and the U.S. (257,000 ha / 15 percent).
The biggest one-year increases in forest loss among major forest countries occurred in Cameroon (66 percent increase), Cote d’Ivoire (53 percent), Malaysia (48 percent), Papua New Guinea (47 percent), and the Philippines (40 percent).
In a blog post on World Resources Institute’s site, the researchers pointed out some other notable hotspots, including spikes in forest loss in the Mekong region, especially Cambodia, for rubber plantations; the Gran Chaco in Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia for cattle and soy production; and West Africa, the Congo Basin and Madagascar for small-scale agriculture, industrial oil palm plantations, and logging. They note that Madagascar — a country that doesn’t have much forest left to lose — lost almost two percent of its total forest cover in 2014.
Nigel Sizer, head of WRI’s Global Forest Watch, called the findings “alarming”.
“This analysis identifies a truly alarming surge in forest loss in previously overlooked hotspots,” said Sizer in a statement. “In many of these countries, we’re seeing accelerating clearing associated with commodities such as rubber, beef, and soy, along with palm oil. To slow this forest loss, we need improved forest governance to prevent illegal clearing, more balanced land use planning, and greater demand from major importers and trading countries for sustainable commodity production.”
Global Forest Watch is supporting those goals by radically improving transparency around forests, which is fostering greater accountability in the forestry sector. Planned features — including more accurate and timely data, incorporation of tree cover gain, and better analysis of tree cover dynamics that could distinguish between deforestation and other types of forest cover change — will make it ever more difficult to carry on with business-as-usual approaches that are decimating global forests.
“Data can help,” write the blog authors, including Sizer, WRI’s Rachael Petersen, the University of Maryland’s Matt Hansen and Peter Potapov, and Google’s David Thau. “As the world of forest information gets richer, everyone from government officials to researchers to everyday citizens can get more involved helping monitor and manage our forest resources.”
Article published by Rhett Butler on September 2, 2015.
At these live demonstrations and presentations, you will learn first hand about the value that exists in your forest and the benefits of thinning and managing your plantation through to clearfell.
Like any crop or asset you own, the more you are involved and understand about the entire process, the better you will be able to make informed and worthy decisions and ultimately make the most you can from your timber.
Dates are 8th of September in the McWilliam Park hotel, Claremorris and the 15th of September in Mount Wolseley Hotel, Co Carlow. The Talking timber events begin at 9:30 am and finish by 2 pm.
The Teagasc link to the event is: http://www.teagasc.ie/forestry/events/talking_timber_2015.asp
We'll see you there.
Green Belt will be hosting a stand at the Irish Woodland & Bioenergy Show this weekend.
Please come along and visit our stand to learn about how Green Belt can maximise the profits from your land and your forestry. We have a team of professional foresters on hand all weekend to discuss all the options available to you.
Green Belt atended the Teagasc reforestation event in Feakle on March 4th.
At this event, there were showcases of the quality work completed by Liam Cleare, now of Green Belt, who harvested and clearfelled the site for Denis. It was a high yielding site and an average tree size of 0.4m3 was harvested at clearfell - which is impressive after a 26 year rotation. The landowner is now looking at replanting and used brash bailing to help clear up the site and to generate a little extra income.
Green Belt has clearfelled a numbver of sites across the country. Whether as a result of wind throw from storm damage or of naturally reaching clearfell age, our team of harvesters and hauliers will work to achieve the very best result from your harvest.
Contact the harvesting team to discuss the options available to you.
Dendrophobia is the fear of trees - it's hard to imagine why you might be but everyone is different and isn't that what makes the world interesting?
At Green Belt we want to help you get over your fear - we'll introduce you to a tree, you can get to know it and soon, you might even embrace one - but we'll draw the line at tree hugger!
Once your fear is conquered, you might then realise that forestry is an incredible asset and one that offers strongs returns on investment, is a hedge versus inflation and is consistently less volatile than traditional equities. It also benefits greatly from favourable tax treatment.
Call Maurice on 087 675 3097 or email to learn more on how to make your life easier.