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Illegal logging in the lowland rainforest. Loggers with illegally cut, highly quoted cedro tree (Cedrela odorata). Lowland rainforest along the Rio Las Piedras, near the Alto Purus Reserved Zone, department Madre de Dios, Peru.

Europeans Importing More Timber From Conflict Zones

War-torn countries need money, but illegal timber purchases often end up fueling warlords and accelerating conflict. A new analysis shows that European countries are importing more and more timber from 35 countries listed as fragile and conflict-related, and that much of that timber could be illegally-harvested.

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Can Europe Tap The Private Sector To Protect Its Environment?

The European Commission has set some of the most ambitions environmental targets on the planet, but states have struggled to achieve them. Fortunately, the Commission and member states have also created an impressive set of mechanisms for getting users and polluters to pay for restoration. Now they just have to teach people to use them.

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Consuming Deforestation: Where Are Your Standards?

These days, everything from coffee to cornflakes has somebody’s stamp of approval, letting you know its ingredients have been sustainably harvested or that its producers have been treated fairly. But what do these standards mean? Here’s a quick look at four (soon to be three) of the most popular.

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Andrew Mitchell: Forest Utility Meter Man

Andrew Mitchell’s Global Canopy Programme has helped people around the world understand the role that rainforests play in regulating the environment and promoting rainfall well beyond their boundaries. Now, as a senior adviser to impact investment group Ecosphere Plus, he’s helping to funnel investment dollars into conservation projects around the world.

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How Peru’s Pepper District Became An Organic Hotspot

Peruvian cuisine is the ultimate fusion of the indigenous and the exogenous, and it’s sparked a demand for exotic and diverse fruits and vegetables. Here’s how the region of Caserio Pimental – Peru’s pepper district – is meeting part of that demand with agroforestry and sustainable farming.

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It’s Time To Start Prosecuting Climate Criminals

Countries around the world are implementing new laws and developing new mechanisms to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, while while several organizations have filed civil suits to force government action. But one mechanism has been sorely under-utilized: namely, prosecuting climate scofflaws as criminals under laws that already exist, argues Reinhold Gallmetzer of the International Criminal Court.

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One Month On, Innovate4Climate Continues To Yield Stories

Ecosystem Marketplace participated in last month’s Innovate4Climate Summit as a media partner, and it proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. Here are some of the stories we generated from that event – and a look at those to come.

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Bertrand Piccard Wants You (And Your Climate Solutions)

Ten years ago, Swiss psychologist Bertrand Piccard vowed to fly around the world in a solar-powered airplane – not just to do it, but to show that it could be done, and to inspire others to seek new solutions to the climate challenge. Last year he succeeded, and now he plans to find and help fund 1000 climate-change solutions.

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Climate Tops Agenda For US Mayors Meeting In Miami Beach

With the Trump administration leaving the federal government essentially neutered on climate change as hurricane season gets underway, this annual meeting of mayors is set to assume an unusually high profile. Mayors from more than 250 cities will meet to discuss climate, crime, and other issues.

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How Marks & Spencer Is Helping To Build A Global ‘Sustainability Tribe’

Marks & Spencer has been recognized as one of the most sustainable retailers on the planet, second only to Finland’s much smaller Kesko OYJ, but the company – and other sustainable enterprises like Unilever and Tesco – are tiny drops in the ocean of our modern and still unsustainable economy. Can their joint efforts improve the global ecosystem in which they operate?

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Can This Swiss Feed Supplement Do For Cows What Tesla Is Doing For Cars?

When Elon Musk started Tesla Motors in 2003, he didn’t aim to end our car culture – just to make it cleaner. Likewise, pescatarian businessman Michael Mathres doesn’t aim to end our global love of beef and milk – but with a new product called “Mootral” he does want to reduce their impact on climate change by cleaning up cow burps.

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US Farms And Rural Communities Lose Big If Trump Pulls Out Of Paris Agreement

US President Donald Trump is expected to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement today – ostensibly to save jobs. Unfortunately, he’ll be killing more jobs than he saves, and mostly in parts of the country that can least afford to lose them – namely, those parts that propelled him into the White House.

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Is The World Better Off If Trump Bails On Climate?

US President Donald Trump has officially begun the process of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement – even as business leaders outside the Koch/DeVos/Coors vortex call for steep emission-reductions. Here’s why that might not be such a bad thing.

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As Costs Rise, Green Infrastructure Looks Better And Better

Addressing stormwater runoff and other water-related challenges is getting insanely expensive, which is why cost-effective green interventions are on the rise. This month’s Water Log features several efforts aiming to showcase innovative and nature-based water financing ideas. It also highlights a new project aiding nature-based businesses and a potential nutrient market in California’s East Bay.

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Unlocking Carbon Market Potential In a Post-Paris World

Activity in the voluntary markets in 2016 pushed us over the 1 billion tonnes transacted mark, according to Ecosystem Marketplace’s newly released State of Voluntary Carbon Markets 2017. Expect more market-based data next month as partners introduce a Europe-focused initiative. Meanwhile, the BioCarbon Fund announces new finance for Ethiopia’s REDD+ project and Australian tour buses go carbon neutral.

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New Initiative Lends A Helping Hand To Europe’s Green Entrepreneurs

Organic farmers and other environmental entrepreneurs are a romantic lot, but they don’t have the opportunities for training and finance that providers of solar and wind technologies do. That’s set to change with the launch of ECOSTAR, a university-business hub that links the world of markets to that of ecosystem services science. The project launches on June 15th with a call for nature-based start-ups interested in learning the ropes.

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Climate Hangs Over Trump Like Sword Of Damocles Ahead of G-7

The Trump Show has once again mopped up media attention that should be going to issues more important but less entertaining – like the flurry of mid-year talks designed to turbocharge national commitments to end climate change. They began in Bonn on the 8th of May, continue next week in Barcelona, and culminate next Friday with Trump’s arrival in the Sicilian town of Taormina.

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The Dutch Government Is Piloting A Voluntary Carbon Program, And It’s Not Alone

Countries that vowed to slash their greenhouse-gas emissions under the Paris Agreement are now supposed to be looking for ways to slash them even deeper, and the Dutch government says it will “Bring Paris Home” by actively supporting home-grown voluntary carbon projects. It’s a program with precedent – and promise.

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With “Plan A”, Marks & Spencer Redefined Corporate Social Responsibility

Ten years ago, UK retailer Marks & Spencer launched “Plan A” – a massive effort to completely restructure its operations and become the world’s most sustainable retailer. It’s close to succeeding, if it hasn’t already, but one man can’t stop a tidal wave, and the hard part is getting others on board.

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Indigenous Leaders Find Voice In Global Climate Talks

Seven years ago, indigenous people were seldom seen and even more seldom heard at global climate talks. Today, they’re actively involved in talks, with organizations like AIDESEP and COICA ensuring that indigenous practices are a part of forest-related solutions implemented under the Paris Climate Agreement.

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China, India To Beat Climate Pledges As Trump Drags US Backwards

The Paris Climate Agreement lets countries set their own emission-reduction targets and then encourages a “race to the top” as countries learn from each other and incrementally improve their self-set targets. China and India – two coal-rich countries that long kept climate scientists up at night – are beating their initial targets and have room to improve.

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Leveraging Carbon Finance For Wetland Restoration In California

Ecosystem Marketplace is wrapping up data collection for its State of Biodiversity Markets report with a final flash poll offering anyone who’s interested a chance to weigh in on the future of biodiversity offsets. In other news, carbon market practitioners eye wetland restoration and rewilding initiatives in Europe get a loan.

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How To Track Climate Legislation Around The World

One hundred and forty-four countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, and 143 of them say they’ll stay in it – even if Donald Trump pulls the United States out. But staying in and delivering what you stayed in to do are two different things. One way to track progress is to track laws, and a newly-updated database makes it surprisingly easy – and fun – to do.

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$25 Billion Ecological Restoration Industry Gathers In Sacramento To Talk Business

As the ecological restoration industry convenes for its flagship meeting this week, two restoration players highlight the sector’s role as a big economic driver. They also stress the need for consistent standards and strong policy in order to craft truly efficient and effective projects that benefit biodiversity and people.

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World Bank Climate Boss Wants To “Activate Trillionaire Investments” Under Paris Agreement

UN Negotiators are gathering this week and next in Bonn, Germany to move the Paris Agreement forward. After that, the World Bank is hosting a one-week meeting in Barcelona called “Innovate4Climate”, which is designed to get money flowing towards the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. World Bank boss James Close says the aims and objectives are nothing short of massive.

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Climate Negotiators Roll Up Their Sleeves in Bonn, With or Without the U.S.

President Donald Trump’s decision to either pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement or remain in it are looming over global climate talks underway in Bonn. Both outcomes involve significant risks, say Forest Trends’ Gustavo Silva-Chávez and Brian Schaap. They explore these risks in a new blog post that lays out a conference to-do list, which negotiators will press forward on with or without the US.

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Will New French President Keep Pledge To Hire US Climate Workers?

The United States has always been a leader in green technologies, despite the best efforts of the Bush and now Trump administrations to undermine them. During the French Presidential election, eventual winner Emmanuel Macron made a direct and audacious appeal to US climate workers. Will he keep it?

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If Trump Bails On Paris Agreement, At Least He’ll Be Out Of The Way

Climate negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany, the next two weeks to move the Paris Climate Agreement forward – even as Republicans in the United States seem intent on moving it backward. Most countries say they want the US to stay in the agreement, but there’s reason to believe it will be better off without us.

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New State Of Voluntary Carbon Markets Report Set To Launch At Innovate4Climate

Innovate4Climate is two short weeks away, and Ecosystem Marketplace will be on-the-ground not only to cover key climate finance developments but to launch this year’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report. Details are featured in the latest Carbon Chronicle, which also covers corporate efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and a big court ruling for California’s carbon market.

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Forest Footprint aims to Reward Companies that Save Trees

The Carbon Disclosure Project has arguably reduced greenhouse gas emissions by creating an incentive for companies to examine and disclose their carbon footprints – an act that often leads them to realize how easy and economical reductions can be. Can the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project do the same for deforestation?

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Setting The Rules Of The Game At Bonn Climate Change Talks

US President Donald Trump may have neutered federal action on climate change, but the Paris Agreement lives on. Next week, it reaches a critical juncture as negotiators from around the world meet in Bonn, Germany, to establish ground-rules for moving forward. Former negotiator Paula Caballero, who now runs the World Resources Institute’s Climate Program, explains what’s at stake and how she expects talks to proceed.

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Can California Tap Carbon Markets To Save Its Delta (And Its Drinking Water)?

The inland marshes that provide half of California’s drinking water and support its massive agriculture sector are sinking into the ground and drowning in fertilizer running off from farms. They’re also emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change. Here’s how that could be the key to their salvation.

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Message From Tashka Yawanawa On Importance of Indigenous Life Plans

The Yawanawa, an indigenous people living in the Brazilian Amazon, are on a journey toward sustainability and a way of life that economically supports them while maintaining their traditions and keeping the forest intact. Here, Tashka, chief of the Yawanawa, describes efforts to develop a Life Plan to carve out this sustainable existence – and why such efforts are critical not just for indigenous folks but the entire world.

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Carbon Offsetting: Buyers’ Guide 1.0

Donald Trump may have neutered the federal government’s ability to fight climate change, the world is still engaged in the fight, and you as an individual have plenty of options beyond switching to renewable energy and getting politically engaged. For one, you can support activities that reduce emissions elsewhere, which offsets those emissions you can’t eliminate. Here’s how.

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Brazil’s Indigenous Leaders Convene To Shore Up Eroding Rights

Brazil’s constitution guarantees indigenous control over indigenous lands, but critics of President Michel Temer say his administration is neglecting those provisions and intentionally sabotaging institutions charged with protecting indigenous rights. Next week, a massive meeting of indigenous peoples will convene to change that.

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Amazonian Tribe Shares The Secret Of Treating Snake Bites

The Amazonian Yawanawa tribe has successfully fought off deadly snake bites with medicinal plants for generations. This knowledge is in danger of disappearing, however, which has community health and climate ramifications. That’s why the Yawanawa, with help from Forest Trends and partners, are working to preserve this traditional knowledge with living pharmacies and other activities.

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Here Are The Eight New Projects The Green Climate Fund Is Supporting

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) on Thursday agreed to support eight projects after its first board meeting of 2017. The projects are valued at $755 million, and most are focused on hydropower and renewable energy, with one – in Tanzania – focused on sustainable land management.

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What Trump’s Lawyers And Bill O’Reilly Can Teach Us About Green Investing

From the day Donald Trump was elected, we’ve heard that states and the private sector would counterbalance his efforts to undo environmental regulations. It’s an argument that comforted many but yielded little action – until last week, when The Wallace Global Fund fired Donald Trump’s law firm and a Sleeping Giant started shaking up Fox News. Here’s what these developments mean for efforts to slow climate change.

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Cleansing Forest Loss From Supply Chains Easier Said Than Done

This month’s edition of the Carbon Chronicle features new research from Supply Change, which reveals that a growing number of companies are sharing their progress on their no deforestation commitments. Meanwhile, a British insurance company launched a new carbon offsetting program, and beef producers of Manitoba explore a carbon pricing policy.