‘Joujou’ is another name for hope in the Brazilian wetlands

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A male jaguar named Joujou has returned to his home sweet home in the wild.

In Brazil he has become a symbol of the efforts of environmentalists, volunteers and firefighters to protect and restore a much affected strip of the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area, which was ravaged by the fires last year.

Little by little, vegetation returning to the Serra do Amolar, a chain of mountains considered an environmental treasure because of the large number of species it houses.

Before the fires, 62 jaguars had been monitored in the region. Today, researchers are unable to say how many have survived and how many have returned to their habitat, which was scorched in the worst sequence of fires in 14 years. Between January and September of 2020, 2.3 million acres have been on fire, an area which is two times as big as the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Joujou the catJoujou has become a symbol of hope because he was shown on national TV with his paws burned. Some Brazilians said they cried in front of the screen when they saw the big cat suffering so much. In November, two jaguars were rescued. They could barely move. One of them didn’t make it. Joujou was taken to a center for housing and treatment of wild animals in the city of Campo Grande, capital of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

After months of intensive care, this example of the Americas’ biggest feline has recovered entirely and was flown back to Pantanal. Joujou now has a tracking collar and will be monitored for a year. He reached the hospital weighing just a hundred pounds. He now weighs almost 180 pounds.

Many other animals – including anteaters, armadillos, snakes, alligators and other jaguars – did not survive the blaze. However, Joujou, beautiful and strong, has been returned home safe and sound.

By Jorge Valente

Brazilian rainforest land for sale on Facebook’s Marketplace

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Plots as large as 2000 acres are being sold on the hyperlocal Marketplace section of the platform.

The Bolsonaro administration has taken criticism for looking the other way on encroachment into protected areas and deforestation, and indigenous groups have told the BBC that it is unwilling to stop these sales. “A common strategy is to deforest the land and then plead with politicians to abolish its protected status, on the basis it no longer serves its original purpose,” said the BBC report.

Illegal deforestation for timber often clears the land for cattle grazing, increasing its value as much as three-fold, and the practice is creating a growing land rush investment opportunity with Marketplace as its platform.

Facebook, for its part, says that its policies require users to follow the law, and reportedly said it is “willing to work with authorities,” but that it would not take unilateral action to take down the ads.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Commodity demand growth will go up, due to low-income households and green energy – Goldman Sachs

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Global head of commodities research at Goldman, Jeff Currie, stated his position on the future of the sector this week, citing two big factors why commodities would continue to go up.

One was that while historically stimulus benefited high-income households, current stimulus benefits low-income, who spend a lot more on commodities.

The second factor was the future prospects of oil. Because oil will be less in demand in the future, companies won’t be investing in bringing more oil to the market, even if oil prices rise.

Demand growth for oil, Currie said, would start to slow in 2024-2025 and after 2030 would decline. “What that means, the stimulus effect of all this green spending actually amplifies oil demand,” Curry posited, but, “If we know we have a blueprint for energy transition in the U.S., Europe and China, and the clock is ticking on oil, are you going to invest in long-lived oil production? The answer is ‘no.’ So the only thing you’re going to invest in is short cycle production in the U.S., Middle East and Russia. Everything else is too risky to make investments. The hurdle rate to get investment in this sector is substantially higher than what it was historically.”

Currie saw some potential inflation risk accompanying the demand-pull factors that are driving commodity prices. Commodities prices increases, he said, are in part due to the hedging of bond-holding portfolio managers dealing with inflation possibly creeping up into the 2% range.

By Sid Douglas

There is now a blueprint for energy transition in the US, Europe, and China

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Something that didn’t exist eight weeks ago.

With U.S. President Joe Biden rejoining 190 other countries in the Paris Climate Agreement, basically all countries on Earth are participating in a unified movement to combat global warming.

Under the agreement the U.S. plans to cut carbon emissions 25% from it’s 2005 levels by 2025 and contribute $3b to the cause. The U.S. is the world’s second biggest polluter after China, which last October announced a net-zero target for 2060. The EU is aiming at climate neutrality by 2050.

Biden’s election, as well as the stated goals of other world powers, have caused green energy companies to see significantly increased investment over the past months, a trend investors see continuing.

Global Sachs head of commodities research, Jeff Currie, spoke on the subject this week and said Goldman believed the green capex is going to be worth around $16t over the next decade. He compared that figure with the $10t China spent on green capex in its boom 2000’s, which in real terms is about the same amount.

By Sid Douglas

Switzerland endangering plant species – U of Bern research

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A recent study by U of Bern researchers has identified the major causes of increasing endangerment of plant species in the country.

Anne Kempel, author of the study that involved 420 botanists and worked together with the Swiss data and information center Info Flor, said that micropollutants, fertilizer pollution, the loss of natural flow dynamics due to river straightening, the use of rivers as a source of electricity, and the draining of bog areas are all troublesome for these plants.

By Milan Sime Martinić

European public opinion puts pressure on Brazil to decrease deforestation of the Amazon

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SAO PAULO – Recently, London-based YouGov conducted the poll that surveyed people in several European countries and reported that only 12% of those interviewed supported moving forward with the pact if the current rate of Amazon deforestation continues.

Unfavorable European public opinion may, it is thought, threaten the loss of the EU-Mercosur commercial accord, worth around $19t total. Brazil deforests it’s land more than the other three Mercosur members — Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay — combined.

By Milan Sime Martinić

 

 

French bank will stop financing companies that exploit deforested land in the Amazon

Amazon deforestation
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Continuing a trend of European businesses moving independently to protect the Amazon, France’s BNP Paribas announced it will no longer finance companies that buy cattle or soy produced on deforested or converted Amazon lands after 2008. The measure also applies to deforested lands in Brazil’s Cerrado region, a threatened tropical savanna eco-region covering 20% of Brazil that has lost half its land to agricultural clearing.

PNB said it will only finance those who adopt a Cerrado strategy of Zero Deforestation by 2025, promoting criticism from environmentalists that it is weak action that gives deforesters a 5-year free pass in an area they see spiraling into a collapse of its biodiversity.

The immediate move to fight Amazon deforestation, however, will also affect Ecuador, Venezuela, Suriname, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Guyana, and French Guiana, which hold parts of the Amazon forest along with Brazil. An area the size of the state of Maryland was lost to deforestation in 2020.

By Milan Sime Martinić

Farmer accidentally kills 2.5% of country’s condor population with poison

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A Bolivian farmer accidentally killed 35 condors with strychnine while trying to protect his livestock from a puma living in the area, according to Bolivian authorities after a slow and much-criticized investigation.

The large number of deaths was likely due to the behavior of the species at the time of feeding, with sometimes as many as 40 condors feeding on one carcass, according to Huascar Bustillos Cayoja, a researcher with the University of Bern in Switzerland and a professor of Ecology and Protected Areas at Udabol University in Bolivia.

By Milan Sime Martinić

“The United States Will Withdraw” – Trump

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“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement,” said Trump this week.

Trump said he wants to negotiate for better terms, and that other countries are given an economic edge by the current accord. The U.S., he said, suffers lost jobs, lower wages, closed factories, and diminished economic production because of the agreement.

European countries said that the agreement could not be renegotiated, and China reaffirmed its commitment to the deal.

The U.S. entered the agreement under Obama, who decided to say yes to it without submitting it to the Senate for confirmation — analysts believe it wouldn’t have passed the Senate.

Guatemalan Indigenous Land Rights Activist Wins the Goldman Environmental Prize

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For standing up to the government and nickel miners expanding into the land of his 270-member farming and fishing village, Rodrigo Tot, 60, won the largest award going for grassroots environmental activists.

“An indigenous leader in Guatemala’s Agua Caliente, Rodrigo Tot led his community to a landmark court decision that ordered the government to issue land titles to the Q’eqchi people and kept environmentally destructive nickel mining from expanding into his community,” summarized Goldman Prize.

2017 winners: mark! Lopez (sic) of the U.S.; Uroš Macerl, Slovenia; Prafulla Samantara, India; Wendy Bowman, Australia; Rodrigue Katembo, Democratic Republic of Congo; and Tot.

How Much B.C. Land Is Protected? Now We Know

BC
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Environmental Reporting BC recently published a report on protected lands and water in the province which shows in detail areas are protected environments.

In B.C., 15.4% of land is protected. 3.2% of marine areas are also protected.

Of particular note when it comes to marine areas is Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), as well ass a large area of the Pacific to the west of Haida Gwaii.

This data shows that the amount of land has doubled in 20 years.

The protected areas are spread across the provinces various ecoregions and biogeoclimactic zones.

BC