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Waters Of The United States
Part Four: Writing The New Rule

The Trump administration wants to “repeal and replace” a rule for defining which waterways are and are not protected by the Clean Water Act, and environmentalists say Trump’s proposal would leave 80 percent of all US waters unprotected. In this fourth installment of a five-part series, we see how the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers forged the current rule over four arduous years.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


$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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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When Your Day Job Is Restoring Streams And Saving Species

More than 220,000 Americans work in the $25 billion Restoration Economy, but few outside the sector understand how it works. Here’s how one Texas rancher tapped environmental finance to pay off debt from the expansion of his ranch and revive a degraded river that runs through it.


How Nature-Based Systems Can Slash Wastewater This World Water Day

Contaminated water has long been part of every urban area’s growing pains, and it’s a major health hazard in rapidly industrializing parts of the developing world, which is why it’s the theme of this year’s World Water Day. Here’s how people are using nature-based solutions to manage it.


Suits, Greens, And Govs Forge Green Supply Chains On International Day Of Forests

Deforestation still generates about 10 percent of all greenhouse gasses, and it’s also concentrated in certain countries, districts, and provinces. That’s why the Tropical Forest Alliance is marking the UN’s International Day of Forests with a deep dive into efforts to create forest-friendly jurisdictions.


How Trump’s Budget Hits The Environment, Agency-By-Agency

US President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget deals the environment death by a thousand cuts scattered across at least seven and probably more agencies. Here is a list of the cuts we’ve identified so far, and an open invitation to let us know if we’ve missed anything or gotten anything wrong.


Dramatic Surge In Corporate Reporting On Deforestation Commitments

Hundreds of the world’s largest companies have publicly committed to remove deforestation from their commodity production and supply chains, but until recently they only disclosed progress on one out of three pledges. New findings from Supply Change, a Forest Trends initiative, shows a dramatic increase in disclosure and clear recognition on their part for the need to work with small farmers.


Register For Wednesday Webinar On No Deforestation Supply Chain Commitments

As the deadline for the lion’s share of corporate deforestation commitments looms ever closer, consumers and investors among other groups are wondering how companies are faring. Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative and the Tropical Forest Alliance attempt to answer this question with new analyses and a webinar this Wednesday showcasing key findings.


Of Milk And Money, Part Five:
The Art Of The Conservation Deal

The Forest Trends Supply Change initiative has identified more than 100 companies that plan to include smallholder farmers in their sustainability efforts, but such inclusion is easier to conceive than to achieve. Here’s how Danone, Mars, and a handful of other companies are teaming up with regional NGOs to deliver on that promise.


Investors With $600 Billion Assets Under Management Launch Latin America Forest Protection Initiative

Thirty-eight investors representing $617.5 billion in assets have ratcheted up pressure on companies to make zero-deforestation commitments, while the UK government has seen a threefold increase in sustainable palm purchases, and the French National Assembly recently adopted a corporate supply-chain monitoring law. Here is a quick round-up of supply-chain stories you may have missed.


The Infrastructure Opportunity Nobody Is Talking About – Yet

While there isn’t much disagreement that America’s infrastructure needs fixing, determining which areas to prioritize remains a challenge. Which investments will deliver the most bang for our buck? Steve Cochran of the Environmental Defense Fund says investing in coastal restoration presents huge cost-effective opportunities to create new jobs and safeguard national security.


Lima Kicks Off Development Of 30-Year Green Infrastructure Plan

In 2015, the Peruvian capital of Lima made a significant financial commitment to restore the region’s natural infrastructure to help manage its many water woes. Committing is one thing, however, deploying the finance and implementing nature based projects is quite another. To help them figure out how this should work, Lima’s water utility continues to enlist help and is creating a first-of-its-kind master plan for green infrastructure.


Note To Congress: Climate Change Is Real, And It’s Expensive

Two key committees of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on the “social cost of carbon” this week, but they ended up focusing more on the cost of fixing the mess than on the cost of letting it run rampant. Rachel Cleetus of the Union of Concerned Scientists explains why that’s a big mistake that could cost us all dearly.


Soil Carbon in Africa: Potentials and Pitfalls

Imagine a world where African farmers raise their standard of living by shifting towards sustainable agriculture that mitigates climate change – while cashing in on this shift via ecosystem service payments. If you can’t imagine it, drop in on the real deal: in the Kiambu District of Central Kenya, where a groundbreaking pilot project is testing new financing mechanisms that capture carbon in soil.


Of Milk and Money, Part Four: How Impact Investing Links Big Business And Small Farming

From 2010 through 2015, environmental NGO VI Agroforestry leveraged carbon finance to help 30,000 Kenyan farmers develop more sustainable practices. With millions of others still in poverty, however, the organization needed to scale up further, yet it was leery of taking on market risk to do so. Could a for-profit impact investment fund be the solution?


To Protect Our Planet’s Resources, Look No Further Than Indigenous Peoples

Tata Yawanawa was a spiritual leader of Brazil’s Yawanawa indigenous people championing conservation and sustainability while maintaining cultural and spiritual traditions. He passed away in December at the age of 103. Here, Forest Trends’ President Michael Jenkins reflects on his life and legacy.


Of Milk And Money, Part Three: Pitching The Neighbors, Planting The Trees

Makanda Khisa needed to recruit 60,000 farmers for the new Kenya Agricultural Carbon Project, and he knew that the early movers would set the tone for those to follow. Here’s how two of those early movers, Ignatius Sifuna Nabutola and Prisca Mayende, helped him get the project off the ground.


Of Milk And Money, Part Two: Soil, Silage, And The Carbon Conundrum

Aggressive farming devours topsoil and depletes the naturally-occurring carbon and nitrogen, while agroforestry infuses those nutrients into the ground. In 2010, the environmental NGO VI Agroforestry embarked on a groundbreaking experiment to see if it could tap carbon markets to promote sustainable agriculture.


Analysis: A Price On Carbon Is Neither Liberal Nor Conservative. It’s Just Practical

A group of leading Republicans, including former secretaries of State and Treasury, have called for a carbon tax on fossil fuels, and they even had a meeting last week with President Trump, whose own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, also advocated a carbon tax while running Exxon. The president himself hasn’t weighed in on the issue, and Congressional Republicans don’t seem enthused, but it’s a proposal we should all be reading.


Corporate Procurement Officers Say Sustainability Now Key Criteria For Purchases

Almost all procurement managers now look for sustainably-produced material in their purchases, according to a new survey – which comes as analysis of corporate deforestation commitments shows a dramatic rise in disclosure. Also, companies that hopped early onto the sustainability bandwagon say it’s paying off financially.


Social Entrepreneurs Urge Trump To Abandon Muslim Ban

The Skoll Foundation is enlisting leading social entrepreneurs to sign an open letter to President Trump urging him to rescind his Executive Order banning individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. Here is the letter, and how you can sign.


Environmental Rollback Could Kill 220,000 Jobs And Eradicate Dozens of Species

President Donald Trump and many Congressional Republicans say they’ll create jobs by rolling back environmental regulation, but their current trajectory could have the opposite effect: killing more than 220,000 jobs while eradicating endangered species, poisoning water, and accelerating climate change. There is, however, a proven way to reduce regulations without hurting jobs or the environment.