From CNN: The battle for land here has pitched environmentalists against ranchers and farmers. A new Forest Code being debated in Congress has further heightened tensions.
In the News
From Environmental Leader:BioMass Packaging has added modular, single-serve cups and lids to its line of compostable food service products.
Greenware cups (pictured) and lids are made entirely from NatureWorks Ingeo biopolymer, a polylactic acid-based material. The range consists of a basic cup, an insert with a secure lid, and either a flat or domed lid that snaps on tight. Cups and inserts are sold in cases of 1,000 units and are available for immediate delivery.
From Science Daily: Scientists from Binghamton University and Cardiff University, and New York State Museum researchers, and have reported the discovery of the floor of the world’s oldest forest in a cover article in the March 1 issue of Nature.
From Science Daily: Brazil is exporting more and more agricultural produce: soya beans and beef in particular, but also corn, rice and sugar. Taken together, these exports represent half of Brazil’s total today. The increase in the export of commodities brings both a higher degree of economic dependency and a threat to the Amazon rainforest, as outlined by an IRD geographer and his Brazilian counterparts (1). Agricultural produce is actually the cause of almost all deforestation in Brazil, where 750,000 km² of forest have disappeared — and 80% of that was converted into grazing land for cattle. Recently, the increase of single-crop farming, especially of soya beans, has pushed herds further and further into forested areas, and so accelerated the process of deforestation.
From High Country News: Strontia Springs Reservoir, 30 miles south of Denver, Colo., looks like water you’d want to scoop up in your dipper. Sunshine and pine reflect off its aqua-blue surface. But 16 years ago, it looked more like a latte clogged with cinnamon bark. In 1996 and 2002, major forest fires scorched the Upper South Platte River watershed. In the aftermath, heavy rains washed debris, burned logs and more than 750,000 cubic yards of sediment into the reservoir, which supplies over 7,000 acre-feet of drinking water annually to Denver.
From Sustainable Business News: For 2010, the US recycling rate inched up to 34.1%, reports the US EPA.
That’s a slight rise from the 33.8% recycling rate in 2009, but still nothing to get excited about. The amount of garbage Americans produce is also inching down, from a high of 4.57 pounds per person a day in 1990 to 4.43 pounds today.
From the BBC: For years, the story told about the Amazon has been one of destruction – the world’s largest rainforest, a region of amazing biodiversity, key to the fight against climate change, being remorselessly felled. But that is no longer the whole truth.
From National Geographic: A recent reporting assignment concerning Sweden’s forest industry took me from Stockholm to areas far to the north and west, where the country’s forestry model, trumpeted as the most sustainable forest cutting system in the world, was on full display.
From Science Daily: Wildfires cause tragic losses to life, property, and the environment. But even after the fire rages, the damage is far from done. Without vegetation, bare, burnt soil lies vulnerable to erosion, which can impede efforts towards natural forest regeneration.
From Science Daily: Forest thinning to help prevent or reduce severe wildfire will release more carbon to the atmosphere than any amount saved by successful fire prevention, a new study concludes.