Conley scores 22 to lead Memphis past Kings 112-98

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley (11) Troy Daniels, left, and Zach Randolph celebrate the team’s win over the Sacramento Kings in an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016. APSACRAMENTO, California—Mike Conley had 22 points and eight rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies used a big third quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 112-98 on Saturday.JaMychal Green made four of Memphis’ 17 3-pointers and finished with 18 points. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter each scored 14, and Tony Allen and Troy Daniels had 11 points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT EDITORS’ PICK Senators to proceed with review of VFA Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes PH among economies most vulnerable to virus MOST READ Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter The Grizzlies went 17 for 35 from long range while avenging an earlier home loss to the Kings.DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, eight assists and five steals for Sacramento, which has dropped two in a row after winning a season-high four straight. A frustrated Cousins, who finished with just four rebounds, got called for his eighth technical this season in the third quarter.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliSPORTSWe are youngMatt Barnes made five 3-pointers and scored 20 points for the Kings, and Anthony Tolliver and Darren Collison each had 16 points.Marc Gasol, Memphis’ leading scorer, missed his first six shots and connected on two free throws late in the second quarter for his only points of the game. He departed with a tweaked ankle after getting tangled up with Cousins in the third, but the injury is not considered serious. We are young Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Conley sparked the Grizzlies in the third, scoring 11 points. Memphis used 11 unanswered points to outscore the Kings 32-22 in the quarter and carried an 82-67 lead into the final period.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town NBA: LeBron, Harden, Westbrook sparkle in triumphant efforts Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PLAY LIST 01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award01:05SEA Games: Agatha Wong defends wushu title, scores 2nd gold for PH00:40Trending Articles01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND View commentslast_img read more

Combining aerial imagery and field data estimates timber harvest and carbon emissions

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri Researchers used images from LiDAR, a remote sensing technique that produces 3-D depictions of forest structure, to map logging areas—including roads, skid trails, gaps under the canopy, and decks used to store timber—for four timber concessions in Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.Pairing the LiDAR data with statistics on the number of trees felled and damaged, the researchers established equations relating the logging area data to both the volume of timber harvested and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.The equations explained up to 87 percent of the variation in the volume of timber extracted.Using this method, governments, NGOs, and private organizations can verify timber harvests, formulate future management plans, and estimate harvest volumes and greenhouse gas emissions in other tropical forests, including areas of illegal logging. Selective logging—where specific high-value trees are cut—in tropical forests affects biodiversity, forest structure, and carbon storage. According to a 2009 study, timber was removed from over 20 percent of the area of humid tropical forests during the 2000s. Notably, more than half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from forest degradation in the tropics have come from selective timber harvests.Forest laws determine the areas, volumes, and maximum and minimum diameters of trees that can be extracted from a concession in any given year. Unlike forest clearing, selective logging is not easily quantified using satellite imagery.Most previous logging estimates rely on data from governments and timber companies, which are not independent and do not include illegal logging, for which there are few reliable, globally consistent assessments. Research suggests that illegal logging accounts for roughly 40 percent of all logging in the tropics, with figures as high as 72 percent for the Amazon.Illegally logged rainforest tree in Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesia. Image by Rhett A. Butler/MongabayNow, a pair of studies present a method using models to detect selective logging areas and estimate volumes of timber harvested, both legal and illegal, along with the resulting GHG emissions, from high-resolution aerial images. Relating forest structure from the images with timber harvest volumes and GHG emissions, the researchers state, enables future studies to deduce harvest volumes elsewhere from remote sensing alone.“Those wanting to know greenhouse gas emissions finally have an independent means to examine the impact of timber harvesting,” said Timothy Pearson, director of Arkansas-based non-profit Winrock International’s Ecosystem Services, and lead author of the study.Peering under the canopy through LiDARTraditional moderate-resolution (30-meter) satellite imagery can be ineffective at detecting a group of trees plucked out from the dense forest canopy by poachers. Resolutions greater than 1 meter can capture primary logging roads, the researchers state in their paper, but not skid trails created beneath the canopy by dragging logs or gaps exposed in the canopy by felled logs. Even high-resolution (1m) satellite images cannot peer through the canopy, where most of the damage from selective logging occurs.So how can we independently determine how much selective logging has occurred?Researchers have turned to aerial surveys that use LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), a remote sensing method that measures the return time of many thousands of pulsed laser beams sent to Earth’s surface from an aircraft. The return time of each pulse represents its distance from the airborne sensor. Some pulses penetrate the canopy, enabling scientists to generate high-resolution (sub-1 meter) three-dimensional images from the ground to top of the canopy and detect changes inside the forest.A pair of LIDAR images compare the structure of old-growth forest (right) to that of a new plantation of trees (left). Image by Sarah Frey, Oregon State University, CC 2.0.“What LiDAR allows us to do is not just see the canopy but also look underneath so we can see pockets and tunnels that are caused by the timber extraction,” said Pearson and co-author Stephen Hagen, a senior scientist at Applied GeoSolutions.Looking beneath the forest canopy is “really important for logging because when you are just removing a few trees you sometimes cause minimal damage to the canopy,” Pearson and Hagen said.For example, gaps created above the stump of a felled tree may be smaller than the tree’s crown, and branches from surrounding trees will partially cover where the felled tree stood.With LiDAR, we “don’t have to rely on being granted access to areas by companies or governments,” stressed Hagen.Pairing of LiDAR data with field data to estimate harvest volumes and emissionsA team of researchers, including Pearson and Hagen, recently developed automated algorithms based on commercial LiDAR data from Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo, that can detect and generate fine-scale 3D maps of logging roads, skid trails, gaps, and decks used to store the logs.The four concessions used in this study, located in the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo. Figure 1 of Pearson et al. 2018, Remote assessment of extracted volumes and greenhouse gases from tropical timber harvest, Environ Res Lett., 13, 065010. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aac1fa licensed under CC BY 3.0.For the current study, funded by NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System, the team paired these maps with ground data on 188 trees cut from two logging concessions, Roda Mas and Timberdana.By pairing the LiDAR data with the known extracted timber, the researchers gleaned relationships between the roads, skid trails, and gaps and the volumes of timber extracted and formulated equations to estimate harvest volumes elsewhere based solely on remotely sensed LiDAR data.In addition, the team linked the volumes extracted with emissions factors to calculate the resulting GHG emissions. These factors included emissions arising from the 963 trees damaged incidentally (i.e. snapped or uprooted) during felling, storage, and extraction of the timber.On the left side is a high-resolution aerial photo of a portion of the Timberdana concession. The image on the right shows the same area with roads/decks in orange, skid trails in red, and canopy gaps in blue obtained by analyzing the LiDAR data. Images courtesy of Stephen Hagen.Relating forest structure to timber extractionThey developed three equations to estimate the volume of timber harvests and GHG emissions from the LiDAR data under different scenarios. The first equation, includes roads, gaps, and skid trails as predictors, and explained 87 percent of the variation in volume of timber extracted. According to Pearson, “that is a very strong relationship for an equation to have that much predictive power.”Damage caused by logging generated greater emissions in both concessions than either log extraction or infrastructure. Because the emissions factors were similar in both concessions, they combined them to allow for extrapolation to other concessions.When the researchers used the equation to calculate the volumes of timber extracted from the two surveyed concessions, Roda Mas and Timberdana, their estimates (59,452m3) were similar to the actual reported volumes (60,827m3).Next, they applied the equation to two other concessions for which LiDAR data were available but ground data were not. Sari Bumi Kasuma emerged with the highest carbon dioxide emissions, while Roda Mas came second. But per hectare, Timberdana had the highest rate of emissions, followed by Roda Mas.Estimated greenhouse gas emissions, in tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (t CO2e), associated with timber extraction in the four concessions due to logging infrastructure, incidental damage, and extraction. The error bars represent the 95% confidence interval of the total emissions of the concession. Figure 2 of Pearson et al. 2018, licensed under CC BY 3.0.A second equation was developed to estimate the volume of illegal logging where rivers, instead of roads, are used to extract timber. As a result, roads data were omitted from the equation, which still explained 86 percent of the variation in the timber harvest data.But what happens when both on-the-ground data and LiDAR are unavailable? Since LiDAR data are costly to obtain, the team created a third equation that considered only road length, which they found could predict 78 percent of the variation in the timber volume. Road lengths can be obtained from freely-available moderate resolution imagery.There is a linear relationship between the length of roads and the volume of timber extracted, the study found. Longer roads in an area are associated with more timber extracted. Figure 4 of Pearson et al. 2018, licensed under CC BY 3.0.The case of illegal logging Pearson explained that there are two types of illegal logging. The first occurs within legal concessions when “timber is extracted outside the area of the granted concession or goes beyond the maximum area that can be harvested in a given year or too many trees are extracted from the allowed area.” All three equations can be used for this case, he said, “but if only moderate resolution satellite data are available, the road equation could be used.”In the second type of illegal logging scenario, operators extract high-value trees from pristine or protected forests. “In this case,” Pearson said, “it would be very rare for roads to be built.” Instead, these logs are extracted by floating them out on rivers. Consequently, the second equation, based on only gap areas and skid trails, would be suitable to estimate the volume of extraction.Using the airborne LiDAR maps, the team identified an illegal logging site in Central Kalimantan, located outside of the concessions, which lacked roads and consisted only of skid trails and logging gaps. By applying the second equation, they estimated 730m3 of timber harvested (20 m3 per hectare) resulting in emissions of 45 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per hectare, roughly half of the average rate of emissions of the legal concessions. They believe that relatively smaller trees harvested might explain the lower volumes and emissions.Using the approach to estimate logging in other areas The method can be applied to other upland forests in Kalimantan, whereas swamp forests have a different structure, leading to different relationships, said Pearson and Hagen.Application to tropical forests elsewhere will require both LiDAR and field data to create relationships. “It will be interesting going forward to examine how much the relationships vary in different forests and if there are patterns that will allow us to predict relationships for forests we haven’t visited,” they added.“We know for example that the Indonesia sites use bulldozers to skid the logs out of the forest, while many other logging operations use skidders, which have a smaller footprint,” Pearson noted.LiDAR image of an illegal logging site in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia showing skid trails in green and logging gaps in blue. These damaged areas are very difficult to detect with satellite imagery. Figure 5 of Pearson et al. 2018, licensed under CC BY 3.0.The researchers suggested that governments can use the approach to independently monitor concessionaires’ adherence to harvesting plans and apply appropriate taxes. Buyers, investors, and non-governmental organizations can use the approach to independently verify harvests to guide future management actions. Emissions data on timber harvests could inform countries’ commitments to international climate change and REDD+ programs.Limitations of the method One of the main downsides of the method is the high cost of obtaining LiDAR data, which usually limits data collection to a single set of overflights, said Michael Palace, associate professor at the University of New Hampshire, who was involved in the earlier automated algorithms study. Moreover, flying may be restricted in some areas.Apart from obtaining LiDAR images, there is the cost of collecting field data that links the forest structure variables to timber volumes and emissions, explained Pearson. However, he said, “the cost of collecting data in the field on an ongoing basis (let alone the issues of access) will make a remote method cost-effective, and where application is broad, this potentially would even cover the initial development costs.”“Ultimately, relationships could be created for all relevant regions, at which point the new imagery would be all that is needed,” he envisioned.Estimating timber volumes and emissions in areas without LiDAR flight data still requires field sampling, which can be even more costly than LiDAR over the long term. If timber harvest volumes can be estimated using remote sensing and equations, which can be done in hours, versus days, it can save time and money. Remote sensing can cover any area of land, eliminating the need for permission to visit a site and measure wood of logged trees, thereby offering a way to monitor illegal logging.Like other methods, estimation with LiDAR data paired with equations derived from ground data also has uncertainties, Pearson and Hagen said, but for purposes of an approximate estimation, it gives an “immediate value where none currently exist.”Citations Melendy, L. et al (2018). Automated method for measuring the extent of selective logging damage with airborne LiDAR data. Int. Soc. Photogra. Remote Sens, 139, 228–40. doi.org/10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2018.02.022Pearson, T.R.H., Bernal, B., Hagen, S.C., Walker, S.M., Melendy, L.K., Delgado, G. (2018). Remote assessment of extracted volumes and greenhouse gases from tropical timber harvest. Environmental Research Letters, 13, 065010. doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aac1fa Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Forests, LiDAR, Mapping, Monitoring, Remote Sensing, Technology, Wildtech last_img read more

Connect the dots: Cerrado soy drives inequality to provide EU with chicken

first_imgFor nearly a century, traditional communities in the Brazilian Cerrado raised small livestock herds and planted sustainably on lands to which they lacked deeds. The savanna was largely ignored by industrial agribusiness, which lacked the technology to farm and water the semi-arid land.That changed about 30 years ago, when agricultural advances made large-scale soy production possible there. Wealthy entrepreneurs flocked to the Cerrado and began laying claim to the lands worked by traditional communities. Deprived of their livelihoods, and sometimes forced from their homes, many people moved to cities newly built to service the soy boom.Campos Lindos was one of those new cities. While many large-scale soy growers say they’ve brought prosperity to the Cerrado, Campos Lindos has poverty levels far higher than the Brazilian average, lacks many basic social services such as clean water and basic healthcare, and suffers high infant and maternal mortality rates.Some blame these worsening social problems on the soy growers, whose crops analysts have traced to transnational commodities companies like Cargill and Bunge, and on to soy-fed chicken in the U.K., retailers like McDonalds, Tesco and Morrisons, and ultimately to consumers in the developed world. Seu Raimundo de Miranda’s family, deprived of their livelihood and health, sold their land in 2014 for less than it was worth and moved to the city of Campos Lindos, an urban center newly built to cater to the needs of the soy boom, and also a place infamous across Brazil for its high levels of poverty and dire living conditions. Image by Thomas Bauer.This is the fourth in a series by journalist Anna Sophie Gross who traveled to the Brazilian states of Tocantins and Maranhão in Legal Amazonia for Mongabay to assess the impacts of agribusiness on the region’s environment and people. CAMPOS LINDOS, Brazil — Seu Raimundo de Miranda used to grow rice, beans and cassava with his wife, Brigida, on a smallholding in the rural countryside of Tocantins state in Brazil. His life there was gratifying, simple and self-reliant: living off the animals he raised and crops he planted, and dependent on almost nothing from the outside world.Many families in the surrounding area lived by similar sustainable means. Most had been on the land for nearly a century, though none held official land titles.Twenty years ago, things began to change as agricultural entrepreneurs started arriving from the south of the country to the north of Tocantins, dubbed the agricultural “filet mignon” of the Cerrado. Much of the untitled land that Seu Raimundo and other members of the traditional community had used to cultivate crops, raise cattle and bury their dead was claimed for industrial agribusiness production, taken over by huge soy monocultures.For Seu Raimundo, the most painful impact of this usurpation came in the form of health declines: regular and severe bouts of pesticide intoxication suffered by his family. (The industrial model for growing soy requires massive doses of herbicides, often sprayed from planes.) Two of Seu Raimundo’s nephews were hospitalized and eventually died of pesticide poisoning. Inquests followed, but no verdict ever came. Seu Raimundo’s wife also became severely ill.Deprived of its livelihood and health, the family sold its land in 2014 for less than it was worth and moved to the city of Campos Lindos, an urban center newly built to cater to the needs of the soy boom, and also a place infamous across Brazil for its high levels of poverty and dire living conditions.“We’re producing a lot less, we’re persecuted, and locals from the city steal from us,” Seu Raimundo tells Mongabay. “It’s not easy at all.”last_img read more

EU customers warned over possible illegal timber from the Congo

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored In a briefing paper released March 14, Global Witness accused ten companies from the EU of importing timber harvested illegally from the DRC.Industrie Forestiere du Congo (IFCO) logged outside of its approved operational area in a remote DRC forest, the watchdog group said.According to Global Witness, the IFCO acquired the concession from company owners or shareholders whose identities have not yet been confirmed. Ten European companies have been accused of importing illegally-harvested timber from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by Global Witness. The watchdog group said earlier this month that the timber was brought to market by a company called Industrie Forestiere du Congo (IFCO), which operates in a densely-forested, remote area of the central African country.“[The report] shows that certain companies based in the EU are probably not doing adequate due diligence to screen out any potentially illegal timber from their supply chains,” said Colin Robertson, a campaigner with Global Witness. “Secondly it points to a weak enforcement in some EU member states of the [European Union Timber Regulation].”The report provides satellite and other evidence that suggests IFCO harvested timber outside the boundaries of the area it was approved to operate in, which “directly contravenes DRC forest law and the company’s own management plan.”In addition, the report cites a letter written by Congolese authorities in Tshuapa province, where IFCO’s concession lies, ordering the company to suspend its operations for more than six months in 2018. According to evidence presented by Global Witness, IFCO did not comply with the order, and logs harvested during that period may have wound up in EU markets.IFCO is a major player in the DRC’s timber industry, with clients in countries across the EU, including France, Spain, and Italy. Between June and October 2018, the company brought logs into the EU that had a market value of around 2 million euros. According to Robertson, that timber was an expensive good that may have been used to make high-end furniture or flooring.“It’s very much a luxury product, and it retails for very high prices,” he said.The rainforest in the DRC. Image via Flickr.IFCO controls two concessions in the DRC, including one that the report lists as an area the size of Luxembourg. The company has only owned the concession since early 2018, when it was acquired from another logging company called Cotrefor, which was previously called Trans-M. According to the report, the largest shareholder in Trans-M was a Lebanese businessman named Ahmed Tajideen. Three members of Tajideen’s family have previously been placed on a terrorism sanctions list by the U.S. Treasury, due to alleged links to the Hezbollah militia group.The report describes how after Trans-M changed its name to Cotrefor, a representative of the company denied ongoing links to Tajideen. However, most of the Trans-M staff remained, and many are now employed by IFCO.“We don’t know who the owners or shareholders of IFCO are,” Robertson said, adding that EU buyers of the company’s timber should ask it to disclose that information.The report also alleges that IFCO has not been following sustainability principles that should mark areas that were logged within the past 25 years as off-limits, which would give them a chance to regenerate. While not technically a violation of DRC laws, the failure to adhere to the company’s management plan is an indication that its operations are potentially more environmentally harmful than it has led buyers to believe.Rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo courtesy of A.P.E.S. database“The Congo Basin is one of the most climate critical forest on earth,” Robertson said. “It’s the second-largest rainforest, it’s home to incredible biodiversity, and it supports the livelihoods of millions of people. It’s also one of the most remote places on earth where sometimes governance or oversight of the behavior of companies is weak.”The report calls on companies in the EU to cease purchasing timber from IFCO until they can verify that its operations are in compliance with the EU Timber Regulation. In addition, it urges the government of the DRC to investigate any illegal harvesting of logs by IFCO outside of its agreed-upon boundaries, and to sanction the company if it is found to have violated its management plan.While IFCO itself hasn’t responded publicly to the report, on March 21 the company published a statement in French from the Congo-based Federation of Wood Manufacturers on its website. It called the allegations “defamatory.” The statement denied that logs were harvested from off-limits areas and asserted that IFCO and Cotrefor are “distinct entities.”Banner image: The landscape of Garamba National Park in DRC. Photo by Thomas Nicolon for Mongabay.Ashoka Mukpo is a freelance journalist with extensive experience living and reporting in Liberia. You can find him on Twitter at @unkyoka.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Forests, Illegal Timber Trade, International Trade, Rainforests, Supply Chain, Timber, Timber Laws, timber trade, Tropical Forests center_img Article published by Genevieve Belmakerlast_img read more