The world's intact forest landscapes, vast swaths of unbroken wilderness largely unaffected by human activity, are shrinking. That's troubling because these regions are key to fighting climate change.
Intact forest landscapes (IFLs), or vast stretches of unbroken forest wilderness, are some of the most important ecosystems in the world. The fact that the world lost an area of IFLs twice the size of California over the past decade spells trouble for nature, the climate and human well-being.
Israel is joining a global movement towards holistic forest management that values ecosystem services.
Grappling with Brazil's longest recession since the 1930s, government officials are under enormous pressure to combat rising unemployment, address corruption and control inflation. Yet two recent bills designed to solve the problem are misguided attempts that could degrade the environment, diminish human rights and hurt the economy.
WRI convened governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to inform new rules on community forest rights that go beyond subsistence use of natural resources. The resulting decree completes the legal framework for forest-dependent communities to obtain rights to manage large areas of land over the long term.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), commercial forestry concessions have historically received precedence over community development due to a lack of legally-recognized property rights, limiting communities’ ability to control and profit from the natural resources on their customary lands. DRC’s Forest Code of 2002 gave local communities the right to community forestry concessions, but lacked necessary regulations for implementing these rights, including rules to govern allocation and management of these concessions.
WRI worked alongside a wide range of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to advance regulations on community forestry concessions. In 2015, WRI conducted a situation analysis of how community forest rights were allocated and managed in DRC to identify obstacles and common ground among the competing visions for community forestry management. WRI collaborated with the Ministry of Environment to design and carry out a multi-stakeholder consultation on crafting the new regulation, served on the validation committee responsible for ensuring the proposed regulation integrated stakeholder views, and provided technical input on language and content.
DRC Ministerial Decree No. 025, signed into law in February 2016, provides rules governing concession management by forest communities. The final regulation incorporates some of the safeguards proposed by civil society actors and WRI throughout the consultation process, such as language on including women and indigenous peoples in the community institutions governing concessions. The legal framework advances community forestry rights in DRC, granting forest-dependent communities significantly more autonomy to manage areas of land up to 50,000 hectares (124,000 acres) and to benefit from a range of uses, such as conservation, ecotourism, small-scale timber extraction, production of wood energy, or the harvest of non-timber forest products.
WRI will continue to support the implementation of community forestry rights in DRC. Next steps include working with the government and other partners to develop a national community forestry strategy and creating an operational guide for how communities should produce required concession management plans.
The recent forest fire in the Great Smoky Mountains is tragic, but it’s hardly unique. It mirrors a spate of unusual fires that have devastated many parts of the world over the past two years—blazes that may become more common as climate change increases temperatures.
The Brazilian government announced an unforeseen increase in deforestation last week -- a 29 percent rise in 2016 compared to the previous year -- at a time when the nation has been seeking to eliminate deforestation in the Amazon as part of its plan to curb climate change, conserve biodiversity and protect indigenous rights.
Our podcast team sat down with Chip Barber and Austin Clowes of the Forest Legality Initiative to learn how to build a sustainable guitar.
The best guitar necks are made of mahogany, and the most sustainable guitar companies are finding innovative ways to source the wood without destroying its stock.
To date, 21 African nations have signed onto the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) and committed to restore 63.3 million hectares (156 million acres) of degraded land.