Fête du Musée Océanographique - Celebration at the Oceanographic Museum

The association of friends of the Oceanographic Museum will organise an event at the museum this Saturday, 27th of April. It is the first time that this kind of festivity takes place and will commence at 10h. There will be a variety of activities, sustainable food and drinks. Carbon Habitat's founder, Axel Engelmann, will also participate at this event and talk about how terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems are intertwined.
For more info please visit the association's facebook page.

In Katowice, Indigenous Leaders Call For Wider Uptake Of REDD+

For over 20 years, indigenous people of the Amazon have been using “Life Plans” to manage their forests sustainably, but most of them struggled to find the money needed to get the plans off the ground. Forest-carbon finance seemed to offer an answer, but REDD as initially structured in the voluntary markets didn’t always match indigenous values. Now, it does.

6 December 2018 | KATOWICE | Poland | “RIA lives!” said Peruvian indigenous leader Fermín Chimatani Tayori, referring to a private-public partnership called “Amazon Indigenous REDD ”, an eight-year effort to develop protocols and projects that use carbon finance to support indigenous development plans called “Life Plans” (Planes de Vida).

RIA was initiated in 2010 by the Peruvian indigenous association AIDESEP (Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Rainforest), and it blends the carbon accounting of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) with traditional indigenous agroforestry strategies that conserve forest while producing fruits and other non-timber forest products. It also layers in recognition of collective land rights specific to indigenous peoples.

Indigenous leader Juan-Carlos Jintiach formally announced RIA in 2011 at year-end climate talks in Durban, South Africa, and championed it in global climate talks as head of the Coordinated Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA). When Jintiach stepped down, Tayori, who is President of Peru’s National Association of Communal Reserve Leaders (ANECAP), became its champion in global talks.

The two men appeared together this week in Katowice, Poland, to outline the progress to date and to urge further expansion into forests beyond indigenous territories.

Tayori says that his own people, the Amarakaeri, have implemented the REDD program across their territory, the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve (RCA), which covers more than 400,000 hectares in the Peruvian state of Madre de Dios.

Critically, he adds, the project was implemented jointly with the state and federal government as part of Peru’s Climate Action Plan, or Nationally-Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement. That, he says, had knock-on benefits for territorial governance beyond climate.

“By working together with the government on the project, we opened a dialogue that has led to us co-administering the territory on equal footing with the government,” he says. “The Amarakaeri governing structure is now a regional government within Peru.”

Berioska Quispe Estrada, a specialist in Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry within Peru’s Federal Ministry of Environment (MINAM), agreed, and said RIA could serve as a template for conservation projects across the country.

“We included community management of forests in our NDC, and we want to develop community-based mechanisms for conservation,” she said. “We have 54 million hectares that are committed for conservation, and RIA is one of the most important pillars of this effort, because we can create similar mechanisms.”

Jintiach said the template could be spread beyond Peru, to indigenous territories across the Amazon.

“Indigenous people are currently protecting 200 million hectares of forest across the Amazon,” he said, displaying a map that overplayed indigenous territories with deforestation rates. “We need your support if we are to prevent the planet from reaching the 1.5 degrees Centigrade threshold, and RIA offers a mechanism though which you can offer that support.”

The Peruvian government hopes to attract carbon-based payments based on reduced rates of deforestation, and she says the money will go directly to the communities.

“In developing this program, we have developed a system for making conditional direct transfers to communities,” said Estralda. “The Amarakaeri have always been good stewards of the land, but they have been able to reduce deforestation even further in the last few years thanks to this program.”


Within Decades, Floods May Render Many Islands Uninhabitable

National Geographic, written by Michael Greshko

For the Marshall Islands, climate change isn't some distant, future danger: It is already wreaking havoc across the Pacific country's more than 1,100 low-lying atolls.

Now, a new study claims that climate change may soon deal the country's water supplies a death blow. As sea levels rise around the islands, bigger waves will flood farther inland than ever before. If enough of these waves hit in succession, flooded saltwater will irreparably taint the islands' freshwater supplies.

Under reference scenarios for sea-level rise used by the U.S. Department of Defense, one of the Marshall Islands' atolls—and potentially thousands of other islands—could become uninhabitable when sea levels rise by 16 inches, which could happen as soon as mid-century.

“We hope the managers and governments take these forecasts into account to help more effectively plan restoration, mitigation, or relocation in a manner that saves dollars and lives,” says U.S. Geological Survey scientist Curt Storlazzi, the study's lead author.

Outside researchers say that the study, published on Wednesday in Science Advances, is best viewed as a worst-case scenario. That said, researchers praised the study for its modeling—and the grave warning it gives.

“This study shows just how significant wave action is to the effective inundation of coastal locations,” says Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists who has researched climate change's effects on recurrent flooding in cities. “With sea-level rise alone, the island studied here would be habitable through late century. But with wave action added in, the time frame for habitability is significantly shortened.” (See what the world would look like if all the ice melted.)

Continue reading full story...

Natural climate solutions

According to an article by Mongabay, an environmental news website, research has shown that natural solutions should be considered a crucial element in the strategy for reducing the severity of climate change.

It was found that 20 different “natural climate solutions” have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 23.8 billion metric tons every year — and that nearly half of that potential, or some 11.3 billion metric tons of emissions, represent what the study’s authors call “cost-effective climate mitigation.”
The World Resources Institute’s Susan Minnemeyer, a co-author of the study, noted in a blog post that halting deforestation, restoring forests that have already been logged or degraded, and improving forest management could cost-effectively remove seven billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere every year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions generated by 1.5 billion cars.
This study joins a growing body of research that demonstrates just how crucial forests will be to our efforts to halt global warming. More...

Forests combat climate change

OSLO (Reuters) - Planting and protecting forests and other activities that harness the power of nature could play a major role in limiting global warming under the 2015 Paris agreement, an international study showed on Monday.
Natural climate solutions, also including protection of carbon-storing peat lands and forests and better management of soils and grasslands, could account for 37 percent of all actions needed by 2030 under the 195-nation Paris plan, it said.

Combined, the suggested “regreening of the planet” would be equivalent to halting all burning of oil worldwide, it said.

“Better stewardship of the land could have a bigger role in fighting climate change than previously thought,” the international team of scientists said of findings published in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When talking about forest protection, the prevention of destruction of existing ecosystems and their carbon stocks should play a key role in leveraging earth's natural systems as a means of climate protection.

The estimates for nature’s potential, led by planting forests, were up to 30 percent higher than those envisaged by a U.N. panel of climate scientists in a 2014 report, it said.

Trees soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they burn or rot. That makes forests, from the Amazon to Siberia, vast natural stores of greenhouse gases. Mechanisms such as REDD+ (the protection of existing forests) thus contribute to harnessing nature's potential to act as a carbon sink and to conserve biodiversity.

Overall, better management of nature could avert 11.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year by 2030, the study said, equivalent to China’s current carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use.

The Paris climate agreement, weakened by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in June to pull out, seeks to limit a rise in global temperature to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

Current government pledges to cut emissions are too weak to achieve the 2C goal, meant to avert more droughts, more powerful storms, downpours and heat waves.

“Fortunately, this research shows we have a huge opportunity to reshape our food and land use systems,” Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said in a statement of Monday’s findings.

Climate change could jeopardize production of crops such as corn, wheat, rice and soy even as a rising global population will raise demand, he said.

The study said that some of the measures would cost $10 a ton or less to avert a ton of carbon dioxide, with others up to $100 a ton to qualify as “cost-effective” by 2030.

“If we are serious about climate change, then we are going to have to get serious about investing in nature,” said Mark Tercek, chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy, which led the study.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-land/plant-more-trees-to-combat-climate-change-scientists-idUSKBN1CL2PPReporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Gareth Jones

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Hurricanes and typhoons cause more and more havoc around the the world. According NOAA it is highly likely that increasing temperatures will result in higher wind speeds. An analysis of different models suggest a correlation between SST (sea surface temperatures) and wind speeds. Additionally it is anticipated that higher temperatures will lead to storms with higher rainfall.

Natural hazards experts at Re-insurers such as Swiss Re and Munich Re agree that damages from tropical storms and their accompanying storm surges is expected to increase in severity.

Climate change and coral reefs

According to an article published by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Climate change is the greatest global threat to coral reef ecosystems. Scientific evidence now clearly indicates that the Earth's atmosphere and ocean are warming, and that these changes are primarily due to greenhouse gases derived from human activities.

As temperatures rise, mass coral bleaching events and infectious disease outbreaks are becoming more frequent. Additionally, carbon dioxide absorbed into the ocean from the atmosphere has already begun to reduce calcification rates in reef-building and reef-associated organisms by altering seawater chemistry through decreases in pH. This process is called ocean acidification.

Climate change will affect coral reef ecosystems, through sea level rise, changes to the frequency and intensity of tropical storms, and altered ocean circulation patterns. When combined, all of these impacts dramatically alter ecosystem function, as well as the goods and services coral reef ecosystems provide to people around the globe. Source: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coralreef-climate.html

At Carbon Habitat, we pursue the protection of forests as a means to combine protect climate and biodiversity. This, in turn, also provides benefits to coral reefs, as their survival strongly depends on climate change action. Consequentially, the best strategy to limit climate change is to minimise your emissions and offset the rest.

Impacts of Deforestation on coral reefs

An article recently published by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) illustrates how impacts from land-based sources of pollution—including coastal development, deforestation, agricultural runoff, and oil and chemical spills—can impede coral growth and reproduction, disrupt overall ecological function, and cause disease and mortality in sensitive species. It is now well accepted that many serious coral reef ecosystem stressors originate from land-based sources, most notably toxicants, sediments, and nutrients.

Within the U.S., there are numerous locations where coral reef ecosystems are highly impacted by watershed alteration, runoff, and coastal development. On U.S. islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, significant changes in the drainage basins due to agriculture, deforestation, grazing of feral animals, fires, road building, and urbanization have increased the volume of land-based pollution released to adjacent coral reef ecosystems.

Many of these issues are made worse because of the geographic and climatic characteristics found in tropical island areas. Together they create unique management challenges. Source of text and image: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral-pollution.html

At Carbon Habitat, we strive to offer offsets where environmental benefits are key. Many of our projects are located on the coast and the protection of their forests is essential to the health of coral reef systems with their unique flora and fauna.

Endangered coconut crabs

Due to human predation and habitat loss, the mighty coconut crabs (Birgus latro), are endangered in much of their distribution range. In recent years, a growth in demand by hotels and restaurants increases population pressure further. In addition, their long reproduction cycle further complicates conservation efforts. Coconut crabs reach their sexual maturity after around five years and can live up to 60 years. Specimens with a leg span of 1 metre and weighing 4 kg have been reported.
Deforestation on pacific islands is also to blame for the deteriorated prospect for these magnificent animals.


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