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Could Feminism Save the Earth?

GFIS - Sun, 05/08/2018 - 06:45

Feminism is all about human rights and equality, right?  It’s not about the environment or social conflict or economic and political stability.

Wrong.

Feminism has far more wide-ranging effects than most of us realize.  It influences our society and economy like rainfall affects flowers.  Like oxygen affects our survival.

And that’s crucial because we are living on a planet that is veering out of control in terms of its population growth, consumption of Earth’s finite resources, and environmental impacts.

According to the United Nations, Africa’s population could quadruple by 2100.  South Asia and parts of the Middle East are also on rapid population-growth trajectories, as are many other poorer developing nations.  We could have 10 or 11 billion people by the of this century and still have more coming, because the population has not yet stabilized.

We’re Far from Feminism

Feminism means different things to different people and cultures, but it’s unified by a view that women deserve equal opportunities for education, employment, financial benefits, and human rights.

Globally, we’re a heck of long way from achieving gender equality, and the disparities vary a lot among cultures and societies.

In broad terms, the Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia rank lowest in gender equality, Western Europe the highest, and other regions are in between.

In Saudi Arabia, for instance, women have only recently been granted the right to drive a car.  In parts of Africa, women are still being circumcised.  Some ultra-extremist Muslim groups have kidnapped and even murdered young women trying to get an education.  The list goes on...

Feminism is the Key

Many folks don't realize just how crucial the empowerment of women and girls is for the world.  The most urgent goal is Let Girls Learn — allow girls and young women an opportunity to gain an education.

In demographic terms, this consistently raises the age at which women have their first child — because instead of bearing children they’re studying and developing a career first.

For instance, an uneducated girl might have her first child in her teens, whereas a young woman whose had some educational and career opportunities might wait until her early 20s.

And that one change is magical — it makes all the difference in the world.

Population Stabilizes

Population growth slows dramatically because women who start their families later almost always have fewer children.  At the same time, the generation time (the interval between birth and reproduction) increases.

We can illustrate this using a simple online tool:

Let’s imagine two Earths, each of which have 1 billion people.  On Unstable Earth, girls begin their families at age 16 and have 6 children each.  After one century, how many people would that Earth have?

About 73 billion — an incredible increase.

But on Stable Earth, girls begin their families later, at age 23, and have just 3 children each.  After one century, how many people would it have?

Half a billion.  About 150 times less.

We can make this ultra-simple example more realistic by including the fact that, in smaller families, a larger fraction of the children will survive — as they’ll be better-off financially, with better food and health care.

If we assume child survival increases from 70 percent in large families to 90 percent in smaller families, then Unstable Earth will have 8.6 billion people after a century, whereas Stable Earth will have one-third of a billion people — still about 25 times less.  Amazing.

The point is to demonstrate the incredibly powerful effect of allowing young girls to get an education.  It’s a complete world-changer.  Doing so slams the brakes on runaway population growth.  And it works fast — we start seeing the benefits almost immediately.

Fertility rates can potentially drop very rapidly, bringing almost immediate benefits where population pressures are high.

But Wait — There’s More!

As if that weren’t enough, allowing a young woman to get an education and choose when she starts her family has a bunch of other positive effects:

·      It increases the health and education of her children

·      It reduces the likelihood that she will be divorced

·      It increases the likelihood that her children will get jobs later in life, and it makes them less likely to commit crimes or be socially disenfranchised

·      And societies with lower population growth (which therefore are not drowning in young people) have less crime and violent conflict — and are less vulnerable to having their young people radicalized by extremist groups

Why Aren’t We Doing More?

Given the astonishing and immediate benefits of educating young women, why aren’t we pushing this harder?

Why aren’t Western Europeans investing every spare penny in Africa and the Middle East — to reduce the social conflicts, wars, and intense immigration pressures Europe is having to endure each year?  Why wait until there are four times as many Africans as today?

And why aren’t North Americans doing the same thing for rapidly growing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean?

And Australians for burgeoning nations in the Asia-Pacific?

Bottom line: We should all be pushing hard to promote education of young women worldwide because it’s the right thing to do.

And just as importantly — for our societies, economies, environment, and planetary stress — it’s the smart thing to do.

Groundbreaking poplar study shows trees can be genetically engineered not to spread

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 22:02
The largest field-based study of genetically modified forest trees ever conducted has demonstrated that genetic engineering can prevent new seedlings from establishing.

Each tropical tree species specializes in getting the nutrients it needs

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 18:19
Researchers looking for general patterns in the way tropical trees capture nutrients were surprised to find that every species has its own way of getting the nutrients it needs. The concept of biodiversity extends to their behavior.

Tropical forest seeds use three strategies to survive

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 16:33
From tiny banana seeds to giant coconuts, it's tough for seeds to survive in tropical soils where they are under constant attack by fungi, bacteria, insects and animals. By understanding how seeds defend themselves, tropical biologists contribute to reforestation, crop management and sustainable agriculture in the tropics.

Abandoned farmlands enrich bird communities

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 16:33
Abandoned farmlands hold potential for the preservation of wetland and grassland birds as rehabilitation zones.

CPAWS Statement on Changes to Western Brook Pond Trail and Infrastructures in Gros Morne

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 15:39
Over the past several weeks, many have spoken out in traditional media and on social media regarding the changes to the boardwalk trail at Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador.

SNS researchers help stopping devastating tree disease

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 13:54
Researchers revealed the genome sequence of a devastating tree pathogen. The disease threatens the Scandinavian broadleaf forests and this new knowledge can help stop it!   The new genome resource can be used in future population genomic studies for identification of haplotypes and alleles, and in identifying which effectors may…

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Russian Timber Journal 07-2018: WhatWood interview with Ali Kiliç, General Director of Kastamonu in Russia; the minimum growth rate of sawnwood exports from Russia in the last seven years; and sawn softwood exports from Russia to China, Japan, Europe...

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 13:32
The devaluation of the ruble has led to a deplorable state of the already unsteady economy in our country. However, the reliance on import substitution stimulates domestic enterprises not to stop in development. And while large companies continue to operate in Russia, there probably isn’t a huge crisis in the furniture market. We asked the […]

NZ log market getting ‘nervy’

International Forest Industries - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 12:12

New Zealand’s booming export log market is starting to catch the jitters as concerns mount about the impact of US President Donald Trump’s trade war.

Demand for New Zealand logs has been strong over recent years as local sawmills compete with the export market to source logs for local construction, at a time when demand in China has stepped up after Asia’s largest economy clamped down on the harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market. However, trade tensions between the US and China are creating nervousness in the market, as traders fear tariffs will hurt economic growth and dampen demand.

“Positivity has permeated the industry, at least for those selling logs, for upwards of two-years,” AgriHQ analyst Reece Brick said in his latest monthly report on the forestry market. “However, it’s getting a bit nervy all of the sudden. That’s not to say everyone’s panicking, but there are certainly more reasons to frown than we’ve seen for a long-while.

“The export scene, along with the rest of the world, is trying to figure out what the outcomes will be of the tiff between the US and China. Economic growth data, stock exchange indices and foreign exchange rates have all made unfavourable movements in the past month, and there’s little sign that the relations between the two countries is on the mend.”

Brick’s comments about nervousness in the log market echo similar concerns noted by industry watchers in the dairy and wool industries recently, where demand is said to have weakened as buyers are concerned that tariffs on end products will flow back to dent demand for New Zealand commodities.

“If there’s a common enemy for NZ log traders it’s President Trump,” said AgriHQ’s Brick. “Another month of the US and China passing tit-for-tat trade tariffs is creating global economic uncertainty, understandably causing some nerves given log values are highly reliant on macro-economic strength.”

The US and China this month imposed tariffs of 25 percent on US$34 billion of each other’s exports and US tariffs on an additional US$16 billion of Chinese goods are coming soon. The US government also said last week it was readying new tariffs on Chinese goods worth an additional US$200 billion.

Brick noted the latest set of economic data out of China indicates the trade war is already impacting China’s economy, with second-quarter growth slowing to 6.7 percent, its slowest rate of growth in almost two years, and expectations for a further decline in the third quarter.

“The consensus in the market place is that the trade tension between China and the United States could cause an economic downturn,” Brick said. “The International Monetary Fund condemned President Trump’s trade policy and advised governments to bulk up savings. The escalating trade tension may hinder global growth and delay foreign investments worldwide.

“The main issue is the nervousness that is reverberating throughout the globe, slowly rippling into NZ. Sentiment within the NZ market is mixed – the more risk averse are preparing for a drop beyond the short-term, while quite a few others are thinking this is a temporary, storm-in-a-teacup situation. Either way, no-one can be certain.”

AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers showed the average price for structural S1 logs in the New Zealand market edged up to $136 a tonne this month, from $135 a tonne last month, and marking the highest level since 1993. The average price for New Zealand A-grade export logs held steady at a four-year high of US$145/JAS.

Source: BusinessDesk

The post NZ log market getting ‘nervy’ appeared first on International Forest Industries.

How do internet searches plant trees?

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 11:34

  Right now, we have an incredible project underway in northern Ghana that will help thousands of people. This community is reliant on a river that’s now running dangerously dry for months on end. Planting trees will help protect the river, so that’s exactly what we are going to do, on a huge scale. And

The post How do internet searches plant trees? appeared first on TREE AID.

CEPI is proud to support Industry4Europe for an ambitious EU industrial strategy

GFIS - Fri, 03/08/2018 - 11:10

Industry4Europe is a coalition of around 130 manufacturer associations committed towards the achievement of an ambitious EU industrial strategy.

#Industry4Europe initiative, CEPI's a part of, has released four documents in the past months.

A governance structure
1. Ensuring an informed and permanent dialogue between the industry and policy decision-makers in association with civil society stakeholders (trade unions, consumers organisations, NGOs, academia) and;
2. A structure of European Institutions which allows for an Industrial Strategy to be addressed and implemented at highest level.

The governance structure document is available here.

Setting indicators
The aim is to propose a short list of indicators that can be used to both assess the health of the European industry and monitor the progress made by the EU on the implementation of its industrial strategy.

The indicators document is available here.

Declaration on industrial on EU industrial strategy
The representatives of the European manufacturing industry call on the European Commission to, among other things, refirm the commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline and.

The full declaration is available here.

Joint reaction paper
Industry4Europe initiative  has also released a paper to react to "Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry. A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy" published by the European Commission.

The full document is available here.
 

 

 

 

Earth Overshoot Day: World Consumes Annual Resources Budget in Seven Months

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 19:30
The costs of ecological “overspending” include deforestation, collapsing fisheries, water scarcity, soil erosion, biodiversity loss and CO2 buildup in the atmosphere. The carbon footprint is the most rapidly growing component of the global ecological footprint, of which it comprises approximately 60%. The Global Footprint Network has identified four areas with the most potential to address ecological overshoot and move back Earth Overshoot Day, namely cities, energy, food and population.

Mapping blue carbon in mangroves worldwide

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 17:56
Mangroves are tropical forests that thrive in salt water and found in a variety of coastal settings worldwide. Mangroves store greater amounts of carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem, which helps reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. When carbon is stored in the ocean or coastal ecosystems, it is called blue carbon. However, a more precise estimate of how much blue carbon is stored by mangroves has not been available until recently.

Final call! Early bird tickets for Paper & Beyond, 2018 available until 5 August only

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 17:10

We are getting closer to Paper & Beyond, 2018 – the reformatted version of CEPI’s annual event, previously known as European Paper Week.

The early bird tickets of EUR 520 with 20% discount are on sale here until 5 August only. The regular fee is EUR 650.

 

 

What to expect from Paper & Beyond, 2018. Where the bioeconomy and circularity meet? 

Paper & Beyond will unite top industry professionals together with the EU's leading policymakers.
Join one of Europe's most innovative industries as we discuss how to bridge circularity with the bioeconomy.

Don't miss your chance to meet the leaders that are framing the future of Europe's circular bioeconomy!

 

 

For further information, contact Katarzyna Dylag, CEPI's Events and Communications Officer at k.dylag@cepi.org or visit our event website www.paperandbeyond.com

 

 

Companies can benefit from PEFC to demonstrate impact towards the SDGs

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 17:05
“PEFC helps companies report on the contribution of sustainable forestry towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but this is just the very first step,” said Peter Latham, Chair of PEFC International, speaking at the SGEC/PEFC Forum in Tokyo, Japan. “PEFC is much more...

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Holistic approach essential for tropical forestry, says ITTO

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 17:00
A holistic approach to sustainable forest management (SFM) in the tropics is needed to maximize the contribution of the tropical forest sector to global needs, according to Shemala Satkuru, ITTO Assistant Director of Operations. Ms Satkuru was speaking at the 18th Malaysian Forest Conference: Advancing Sustainable Forestry through Digitalization and Technology, held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, on 31 July?2 August 2018. The increasing global population will demand more timber, more forest products and more food, said Ms Satkuru. “A cross-sectoral approach between forestry and agriculture needs to be enhanced to enable concerted solutions on land-use management to meet current and future challenges.”

WhatWood interview with Ali Kiliç, General Director of Kastamonu in Russia

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 13:50
The devaluation of the ruble has led to a deplorable state of the already unsteady economy in our country. However, the reliance on import substitution stimulates domestic enterprises not to stop in development. And while large companies continue to operate in Russia, there probably isn’t a huge crisis in the furniture market. We asked the […]

Good governance is key to community forestry

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 10:46
By Dr. David Gritten, Senior Program Officer | RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests My grandparents in Scotland would often give me a concerning look and ask me the same two questions when I would visit: 1. Where was I working? and 2. What work do I do? After seven years, I can […]

How Oregan is turning kids towards forestry

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 03:05
Pursuing a livelihood in the forest products industry opens one up to being a sounding board for these and so many other misconceptions about this work. Conversations around renewability, reforestation, and forest management are few and far between: unless we start them. Source: Building Products Digest For us, working at the collegiate level at Oregon State University highly-regarded for its forestry program, affords the opportunity to both educate students about our business and to hear first-hand what the next generation of labor, both those interested in renewable materials and those in other fields of study, believe to be true about the forest products industry. We consider ourselves at the forefront of breaking many of those misconceptions, by educating the students in our programs. Mika Donahue is an undergraduate student at Oregon State, studying renewable materials. She is smart, enthusiastic and insightful. Mika grew up in Canada at her family’s business, RLD Company, a provider of independent timber and glulam fabrication. Founded in 1984 by her grandfather, RLD has manufactured product for notable and impressive projects in its relatively short history, like the Hiroshima Bridge and the Pavilion at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Interestingly, though, it wasn’t growing up in the lumber yard that solidified a future in forest products for Mika. It was a TED Talk. “While I have always loved the structural aesthetic of wood structures, it wasn’t until I watched a TED Talk from Vancouver-based architect Michael Green regarding the environmental necessity of mass timber building that I really found my spark. Learning about wood’s ability to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions added a whole new level of importance to my understanding of forestry and wood construction; it set the stage for my academic pursuits,” she said. Mika now finds herself talking with her peers about this perception vs. reality problem our industry tends to have, and she’s encouraged that the up-and-coming generation is so open-minded. “My generation is acutely aware of environmental impact. When I take even a few moments to explain reforestation, or phasing out concrete and steel for wood products, the light bulb goes on for them.” Nearing graduation, Mika is encouraged, but realistic. She recognizes the lofty role she plays in educating her peers both to understand the forest products industry, and to recruit them to the field. “People looking for a fancy, big-city work environment might be disappointed to end up in a rural part of Washington or Oregon in their 20s,” she said. It’s important to ensure these people see the long-term potential in a career in forest products. That drive to make the world a better place is a common theme among students enrolled in our undergraduate program at Oregon State University. For the most part, our students come in knowing very little about what’s possible in the industry. It’s up to us to help them forge a path to working in a field where they view their company as sustainable and working to preserve the environment. Our undergraduate program provides four tracks from which to choose: science and engineering; marketing and management; art and design; and advanced wood manufacturing. Selecting the most enticing track means each student is on the path to a very distinct part of the lumber products business. Ten years ago, we found that most of our students were heading toward the manufacturing side. Today, we see people going toward all four of these disciplines, to corners of the wood products industry they may not have even known existed. How do we identify and recruit these students to help fill the next generation of forest products industry professionals? It’s a very organic, boots-on-the-ground sort of approach. Our location in Oregon means we’re in the middle of one of the most active forest production regions of the country. Still, this doesn’t always translate to kids like Mika becoming young adults who know what we do and why. Much of our time is invested in career technical education (CTE) students at the high school level all across Oregon and Washington. These students have already demonstrated an interest in hands-on work, and a willingness to learn outside of the traditional classroom setting. The teachers of these CTE programs are integral to our student recruitment efforts. They will invite us to visit their classes to present about careers in the forest products industry. They will participate in professional development opportunities that we offer for CTE teachers, during which they learn what the OSU College of Forestry is, and enhance their own knowledge and careers. Taking the message of our program back to their students results in heightened interest, and ultimately, more students enrolling than in the past. We’re still working to overcome the public perception that the forest product industry is clearcutting. It doesn’t take long for our students to become stewards of the truth, but it remains an uphill battle to educate the public at large. One student at a time, they grab onto the beauty of what we do, and we hope, spread the word. We’re finding it vital to begin educating children long before they consider a major in the College of Forestry. At OSU, we host an interactive program on wood as a resource, designed to educate third and fourth graders about science and technology relative to wood and wood products. Hosted both on-campus and in underserved areas of Portland, Oregon Wood Magic is a 3.5 hour program where kids work through 13 stations, each with a different theme (eg common forest products, wood burning, protection from termites, durability, basic engineering concepts). The 10-minute stations are taught by volunteers: professors, grad students, and top-tier undergrads in our program. The students learn basics of wood production and renewability, often correcting misconceptions they may have picked up prior to our program. The faculty and OSU student volunteers really enjoy these days as much as the kids do. A ‘controlled chaos’ environment is a welcome break from the usual day-to-day of campus life. For many of these […]

UK Accord between Forestry Commission and National Parks

GFIS - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 03:03
A new Accord that aims to expand and enhance woodland in National Parks to protect wildlife and connect people with nature has been launched at the New Forest Show in the UK. Source: Timberbiz The Accord, a statement of a shared ambition between the Forestry Commission and National Parks England, will bring together decision makers to ensure woodland is managed sustainably and in line with a natural capital approach. This will take into account the environmental, social and economic impact of trees and forests and the statutory purposes of our National Parks.  National Parks are already home to a third of the Public Forest Estate in England, and the Accord will also consider how woodland creation grants can be used to sensitively expand wooded areas across these landscapes. The partnership ensures all woodland will be managed to the highest standards so they are rich in wildlife and protected for future generations to enjoy.  The Accord was launched at the New Forest National Park, where National Parks Minister Lord Gardiner joined Margaret Paren, Chair of National Parks England and Ian Gambles, Director of Forestry Commission England to plant a tree and demonstrate the benefits woodland can bring.  Its launch comes during ‘Discover National Parks Week 2018’ which celebrates the UK’s 15 National Parks. With more than half of people living within an hour of a National Park, it encourages people to get outside and discover them for themselves.  Margaret Paren, Chair of National Parks England, said: Our National Parks are cultural landscapes cherished for their nature and beauty. This Accord provides the basis for strong partnership working between the Forestry Commission and National Parks. By working closely together we can ensure public forests in our National Parks are at the forefront of sustainable forest management.  And through adopting high-quality decision-making on woodland creation, design, management, protection and removal we can also ensure trees and woods contribute to the beauty of our National Parks for years to come.  There is a strong synergy between the aims in the Accord and the goals in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, which sets ambitious plans for enhancing beauty and landscapes and more and better managed woodland as a key way to improve the environment for the next generation.  Lord Gardiner, Minister for National Parks and Forests, said: Woods and forests make an immense contribution to our enjoyment of our National Parks, as well as providing important habitats for wildlife. Our 25 Year Environment Plan sets out ambitious targets for tree planting and connecting people with nature. This Accord will help realise the full potential of woodland in our National Parks.  Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of the Forestry Commission, said: Forestry is a leading player in the story of the National Parks and of their landscapes. The Forestry Commission may be the largest single holder of land across the network of National Parks. Nowhere is the relationship more apparent than here in the New Forest where the Forestry Commission and National Park Authority’s roles are deeply intertwined. At this time of change in agriculture and land management, forestry and afforestation are important components of the discussion. The Forestry Commission and National Parks must work together not only to create new resilient and multi-purpose woodlands but also to enable existing ones adapt to a changing environment.  This will benefit National Park landscapes, provide rural employment and support local communities and allow the delivery of Natural Capital benefits like carbon absorption, water management and public access.  The Accord agrees a pragmatic and deliverable national framework for the Forestry Commission and National Parks’ shared ambitions for woods and forests, with local priorities for individual National Parks to be determined according to their specific needs.  It sets out five shared priorities for delivering a range of benefits that protect and enhance natural and cultural heritage:  1. Decision-making that enhances National Park landscapes and their woodlands;  2. Woodland creation and expansion in National Parks;  3. Highest standards of forest management in line with natural capital approach;  4. Woodland grant schemes that contribute to the delivery of the shared ambition;  5. Engage and connect people with woodlands and forests. 

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by Dr. Radut