Mozambique bans all exports of logs from January 2017

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The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, has unanimously passed the second and final reading of a government Bill which will ban all exports of unprocessed logs from the country in a bid to halt the devastation of Mozambique's hardwood forests. Since the Bill's first reading last week, it has been amended by the Assembly's Plan and Budget Commission to remove any ambiguity. The original version did not explicitly mention a ban on log exports, but simply revoked Article in a 2010 law which allowed such exports. The amended version, however, specifically states that the export of logs is forbidden, in order "to contribute to the sustainable management of forestry resources, and promote national industry"

Peru to plant 2 million hectares of trees to restore Amazon forest

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President Kuczynski of Peru announced (that) Peru will plant 2 million hectares of trees to restore Amazon forest. "We want to bridge gaps between valleys in Peru, between workers and businessmen, between people and leaders; we have to work together," the statesman said during the opening of Pachitea Bridge linking Puerto Sungaro and Puerto Inca districts in Huanuco region. Joined by Puerto Inca Mayor Daisy Heidinger Zevallos, Kuczynski said he will respond to her request for drinking water and sewage systems in favor of the population, who lack these resources even though they reside near a river. He went on to add his administration will coordinate the promotion of regional crops such as cocoa and coffee, as well as cattle —which offers many possibilities— and deforestation, "as we need forests to breathe, and because glaciers are melting."

Illegal logging decimating Vietnam Hà Giang forests

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Trees that are hundreds of years old as well as rare, valuable plants are at serious risk of being lost to rampant illegal logging and deforestation in northern mountainous Hà Giang Province. The Vietnamese Prime Minister has ordered the Phong Quang Special Use Forest (SUF) closed to commercial exploitation, but there has been no let up in the illegal harvesting of nghiến timber. Nghiến (Burretiodendron hsienmu) is an evergreen flowering tree, found in Việt Nam and China. Nghiến timber is highly valued for its hardness, toughness, and durability. A Vietnamplus last week said authorities are aware of the grave situation, but unable to curb the violations.

Nguyễn Văn Hưng, head of the Phong Quang rangers unit, said they do not have enough enforcement staff to cover this whole wide area that lies on the border with China. Another reason was given by Đặng Văn Công, from the legal office of Phong Quang rangers unit. He said given the complex terrain of the area, the only way to access the SUF was via a solitary trail on the rocky mountains, where illegal loggers constantly kept watch.

Corruption fuels illegal logging, destroying Ukraine’s forestland

Ukraine’s forests are rapidly disappearing as foreign corporations import thousands of tons of illegally cut timber through the nation’s western borders. Environmental and anti-corruption activists allege that companies operating sawmills near Ukraine’s border with Romania, Poland and Hungary are processing the illegally cut wood, in violation of Ukrainian forestry and customs law, as well as a recent moratorium on log exports. World Wildlife Fund Ukraine coordinator Bohdan Prots said the customs service is largely to blame. “Without the customs, none of this would be possible,” Prots said. “The state is losing tens of millions of hryvnias.” Illegal logging inflicts massive budgetary losses on the Ukrainian state through tax revenue lost to smuggling. But the sheer quantity of the logging is fast destroying the Carpathian forests: flooding and landslides have increased in the area as trees which would have normally sucked up water and prevented erosion are no more, while mud dragged into local rivers pollutes the water supply.

Namibia: conservation hunting should continue

The Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organizations (NACSO), recently voiced its full support for continued conservation hunting and trophies derived from it. This comes in opposition to calls to ban conservation hunting and trophy hunting as witnessed in Botswana.
The Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to actively campaign against any attempt to ban or restrict hunting and the export of wildlife products from Namibia. The Cabinet took note that a code of conduct for conservation hunting is being developed and supported the efforts of the MET to develop and intensify measures aimed at stopping wildlife crime,” said NACSO in a recent statement.
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Malaysian's Malayan banking is the top financier of forest-risk sectors in Southeast Asia

Malaysia’s Malayan Banking is the top financier of forest-risk sectors in Southeast Asia, according to the database, which details around $2.71 billion awarded to palm oil companies, including Felda Global Ventures and Salim Ivomas Pratama. Last year, a Wall Street Journal investigation exposed serious human rights abuses in Felda’s plantations, including human trafficking, forced labor, and withholding of wages, while the Salim Group has been linked to rainforest clearance and violations of community and worker rights. Read more

In Malaysia, more forest is set aside for timber production than for conservation

In Peninsular Malaysia, more forest is set aside for timber production than for conservation. Of the 5,674,128 hectares of forested areas, 56.2% or 3,185,830ha is designated as “production forest” – forest meant to be logged. “Protection forest”, set aside to safeguard water resources, biodiversity and soil, take up 31.1% or 1,763,663ha. The remaining 12.8% or 724,635ha is “stateland forest” which state governments can clear for other land use. Read more
How to stop deforestation? Make ‘good stuff' cheaper!

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