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09 October 2008 @ 08:48 am
Barcelona, Spain
– New hope was extended to some of the world's most diverse and endangered forests today as WWF, four Indonesian ministers and ten provincial governors announced a bold commitment to protect the remaining forests and critical ecosystems of Sumatra.

The agreement, announced to wide acclaim today at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Indonesian government and WWF today , is the first-ever comprehensive commitment to protect the world's sixth largest island and one of its major environmental hotspots..

Sumatra is the only place on earth where tigers, elephants, orangutans and rhinos co-exist, but all are under threat as are the island's indigenous peoples.  Deforestation and forest conversion for palm oil and acacia plantations in lowland deep peat forests is a major contributor to global carbon emissions. 

“This agreement commits all the Governors of Sumatra’s ten provinces, along with the Indonesian Ministries of Forestry, Environment, Interior and Public Works, to restore critical ecosystems in Sumatraand protect areas with high conservation values,” said Hermien Roosita, Deputy Minister of Environment.

“The Governors will now work together to develop ecosystem-based spatial plans that will serve as the basis for future development on the island.”

WWF, CI, FFI, WCS, and other conservation groups working in Sumatrahave agreed to help implement the political commitment to protect what remains of the island’s species-rich forests and critical areas.

“WWF is eager to help make this commitment a reality to protect the magnificent tropical forests across Sumatra. These forests shelter some of the world’s rarest species and provide livelihoods for millions of people," said Mubariq Ahmad, CEO of WWF-Indonesia.

The island has lost 48 percent of its natural forest cover since 1985. More than 13 percent of Sumatra’s remaining forests are peat forests, sitting over the deepest peat soils in the world which degrade when cleared and drained to produce stupendous emissions of carbon.

“By protecting these forests from deforestation, Sumatrawill provide a significant contribution to mitigate global climate change,” said Marlis Rahman, Vice Governor of West Sumatra Province.

“There are a lot of challenges in the future to ensure the successful implementation of the commitment,” said Noor Hidayat, Director of Conservation Areas at the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. “A broad-based effort involving local and national government officials, financial institutions, NGOs, and communities needs to work together to make this commitment a reality."

“We are calling international communities to support us in implementing the commitment on the ground,” Rahman said.

The Sumatra announcement comes a day Indonesia announced substantial measures to achieve a zero net deforestation by 2020 commitment made at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity conference in Bonn in May.

Indonesia Reaches Historic Agreement to Protect the World's Most Endangered Tropical Forests




With the new legislation, “We can send 17 million children to
school, build 250,000 classrooms, establish 135,000 health
centres, feed three million families and build 38,000
kilometres of farm-to-market roads.” Renewable Energy
Coalition spokesperson Catherine Maceda. © WWF/Philippines

Manila, Philippines
- With the passing of its Renewable Energy Act – legislation that spent 19 years in limbo - the Philippines can save over US$2.9 billion, a WWF and University of the Philippines study has found.

The savings would come from increasing the country’s renewable energy share in its power generation mix from 0.16 per cent to 41 per cent from wind, solar, ocean, run-of-river hydropower and biomass.

Today 26 per cent of the country’s power comes from burning imported coal, whilst 23 per cent comes from burning oil. Last year the country imported 101.4 million barrels of oil alone, costing US$7.5 billion.

“In passing this landmark legislation, the Senate has just paved the way for the country’s drive towards energy independence and low-carbon growth,” said WWF’s Asia Pacific Energy Policy Manager Raf Senga.

“By tapping our massive reserves of clean energy resources – a competitive advantage that was largely neglected in the past – the Philippines now stands a far better chance of attaining sustainable development whilst contributing to global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change.”

A separate Renewable Energy Coalition analysis says that renewable energy sources can reduce the country’s oil imports by half, and the savings can be used for social and infrastructure programs.

“We can send 17 million children to school, build 250,000 classrooms, establish 135,000 health centres, feed three million families and build 38,000 kilometres of farm-to-market roads,” said Renewable Energy Coalition spokesperson Catherine Maceda.

The landmark legislation aims to accelerate the development and use of the nation’s vast renewable energy resources through fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for investors. It also assures investors in wind, solar, ocean, run-of-river hydropower and biomass premium rates in electricity generated from these clean sources through feed-in tariffs.

Other incentives include duty-free importation of equipment, tax credit on domestic capital equipment and services, special realty tax rates, income tax holidays, net operating loss carry-over, accelerated depreciation and exemption from the universal charge and wheeling charges.

08 October 2008 @ 03:02 pm

Burning the rainforest                   
to clear land for oil
palm tree
(Elaesis guineensis)
plantations near the                   
Bukit Tigapuluh Nature
Reserve, Sumatra, Indonesia.
© WWF-Canon / Mark EDWARDS

Barcelona, Spain
- The governments of Paraguay and Indonesia today announced far-reaching actions to stop forest loss at a special WWF event held during the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Colombia also announced new measures to reduce Amazon Basin deforestation.

The Paraguayan and Indonesian announcements follow commitments made at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Conference of Parties in Bonn in May to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

The new measures will contribute to safeguarding biodiversity in some of the world’s most biologically diverse eco-regions, protect local livelihoods and are significant elements of climate change action by the three countries. Deforestation, particularly in the tropics, is the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, generating between 15-20 per cent of global carbon emissions.

Paraguay announced it will implement a policy to achieve and maintain zero net carbon emissions from land use changes by 2020. As part of this policy, it will extend the country’s Forest Conversion Moratorium, or Zero Deforestation Law, by another five years when it expires in December. Enacted in December 2004 and renewed in 2006 for another two years, the law prohibits the transformation and conversion of forested areas in Paraguay’s eastern region.

Implementation of the law has led to massive cuts in deforestation rates in the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest, one of the world’s richest forests, from between 88,000-170,000 hectares annually before the law came into force, to a current level of approximately 16,700 hectares annually, a reduction of more than 85 per cent.

“We will extend the moratorium on deforestation until each state has created a land-use plan showing how they will contribute to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions at a national scale by 2020,” said Dr José Luis Casaccia, Paraguay’s Minister of Environment.

Other initiatives announced by Dr Casaccia include establishing credible and transparent systems to measure, report and verify how much carbon is stored under different land uses, and promoting mechanisms that complement the country’s Payment for Environmental Services Law, integrating them in the national poverty alleviation strategy.

The Indonesian government announced it will no longer tolerate conversion of forests for establishing crop plantations such as oil palm. The government will also forge ahead with its forest-carbon initiative, aimed at conserving biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions from land-use changes, restoring ecosystem services and generating innovative incentives for sustainable development.

“New crop plantations such as oil palm will have to use idle lands,” said Mrs. Hermin Roosita, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Environment. “Also, starting with Sumatra, Indonesia will adopt a sustainable development model that uses ecosystem-based spatial planning.”

At the same event, Colombia’s Director General of National Parks, Mrs. Julia Miranda Lodoño, also announced a regional plan to develop a network of protected areas in the Amazon, which includes establishment of joint mechanisms for effective cross-country conservation actions. This process aims to achieve both representative protected area networks, and build resilience to climate change.

“We were very pleased with the commitments these key countries made in Bonn for achieving zero net deforestation by 2020 and we are delighted that they are following up in Barcelona with ambitious actions to implement those considerable commitments,” said Mr. James Leape, Director-General of WWF International. “It is now vital that the international community gets behind these efforts and lends all the support it can.

“WWF intends to be there to support Indonesia and Paraguay’s efforts, to urge other high deforestation nations to follow suit and to mobilise support from the rest of the international community.”

CURRENT MOOD: annoyedannoyed

Half to three-quarters of major Antarctic penguin colonies face decline or disappearance if global temperatures are allowed to climb by more than 2°C.

A new WWF report – 2°C is Too Much – shows that 50 per cent of the iconic emperor penguins and 75 per cent of the Adélie penguins are under threat.

Climate change models forecast that a 2°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels
could be a reality in less than 40 years, producing a strong reduction in the sea ice cover of the Southern Ocean which is an essential nesting and feeding ground for Emperor and Adélie penguins.

A reduction in the sea ice will also have knock-on effects on the abundance of krill, which is a vital food source for penguins.

Juan Casavelos, WWF Antarctica Climate Change Coordinator said: “Penguins are very well adapted to living in the cold and extreme conditions of Antarctica, so the continued increase in global temperature and resulting loss of feeding areas and nesting zones for their chicks has already led to notable reductions in their populations.

“If temperatures increase by another two degrees these icons of the Antarctic will be seriously threatened.”

A rise in global average temperatures of 2°C is regarded as a threshold level for unacceptable risks of catastrophic climate change. Many recent climate models forecast likely temperatures rises in excess of this.

Risks to penguins were underlined this week, when hundreds of penguins were washed up on the Brazilian coast, thought to have been carried north on warmer ocean currents.

Environmentalists say it is not known why the penguins became stranded so far north, but suggest they could have been carried beyond their usual range by a flow of warm water.

The penguins were airlifted home, using a huge airforce cargo plane. Almost 400 that had strayed on to beaches, including Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, were saved.

Onlookers cheered as the young Magellanic penguins were set free on a beach in southern Brazil and scampered into the ocean.

Experts hope a small group of older penguins released along with the young ones will help to guide them south to Patagonia.

The stranded birds were among nearly 1,000 penguins that have washed up on Brazil's north-eastern coast in recent months. The others have either died or were not healthy enough to send back.

While the global average temperature rise currently sits at 0.74 degrees, temperatures are rising much more rapidly at the poles. Temperature measurement in Antarctica has only been conducted with some precision for about 50 years, with one station showing a rise of 2.5 °C in that time, indicating that Antarctic temperatures may be rising at four times the global rate.

Rapid emissions reduction is the key to significantly reduce the impacts of climate change in Antarctica.

WWF is calling for all nations to work together to agree on a new global deal that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol and tackle climate change beyond 2012.

This should include an obligation on developed countries to cut 25-40 per cent of their emissions by 2020 and 80-90 per cent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

WWF also proposes the establishment of a network of marine protected areas to reduce pressure on the species, and the implementation of precautionary management measures that ensure the future of the krill and finfish fisheries and all Southern Ocean species – including penguins – that are dependant on them.

Juan Casavelos said: “The predicted threat to Emperor and Adélie penguin populations is a clear incentive for the world to agree on a set of measures to reduce global emissions.

“It is imperative that the international community analyses all possible ways to limit climate change and improve the resilience of the penguin population.”

CURRENT MOOD: worriedworried
08 October 2008 @ 02:43 pm
Any questions you may have or concerns you can post in a comment here and I will reply quickly.
For problems with other members in the community contact me directly and I will handle the situation.
Much of the information posted here is directly from the WWF site itself which is : http://www.panda.org/

I will most likely be posting discussion questions for the week on an article that was posted for that week. that anyone can freely write about.


But our most important partnership is with you.

  • Your support means we have the necessary strength to engage with national governments and global agencies like the World Bank.
  • Your support means we have the network to reach out to isolated tribes in the Congo and the Amazon.
  • Your support means we can have real successes and lasting breakthrough in the conservation efforts for our one and only planet. Realistically?  We are nothing without you. 

WWF's Mission Statement:

To stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by:

  • conserving the world's biological diversity
  • ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
  • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
WWF's Guiding Principles:



To guide WWF in its task of achieving the mission, the following principles have been adopted. WWF will:



  • be global, independent, multicultural and non party political
  • use the best available scientific information to address issues and critically evaluate all its endeavors
  • seek dialogue and avoid unnecessary confrontation 
  • build concrete conservation solutions through a combination of field based projects, policy initiatives, capacity building and education work
  • involve local communities and indigenous peoples in the planning and execution of its field programs, respecting their cultural as well as economic needs
  • strive to build partnerships with other organizations, governments, business and local communities to enhance WWF’s effectiveness
  • run its operations in a cost effective manner and apply donors’ funds according to the highest standards of accountability.
Actual World Wildlife Fund Website: http://www.panda.org/

For Direct Contact: You will be contacting WWF International  based in Switzerland.

If you have a question for your local WWF office (such as concerning a donation, adoption or membership question) please try and contact them directly. The information pertaining to contact can be found by copying and pasting the link below.


CURRENT MOOD: hopefulhopeful

WWF is a non-profit (charity) foundation with its Secretariat based in Gland, Switzerland.

WWF was born into this world in 1961.
It was the product of a deep concern held by a few eminent gentlemen who were worried by what they saw happening in our world at that time.
Since then
WWF has grown up to be one of the largest environmental organizations in the world. The vast majority of these focus on local issues.
We team up with local non-profit agencies and other global NGOs. We form relationships with village elders, local councils and regional government offices. And in this day and age of globalization, critically, we work with businesses who are willing to change.

In almost 5 decades, WWF (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund) has become one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. With almost 5 million supporters distributed throughout 5 continents, WWF has offices in over 90 countries and can safely claim to have played a major role in the evolution of the international conservation movement. Since 1985, WWF has invested over US$1 billion in more than 12,000 projects . All these projects and activities play a part in the campaign to stop the accelerating degradation of Earth's natural environment, and to help its human inhabitants live in greater harmony with nature.

This section explains how the organization grew from being a small group of committed wildlife enthusiasts into a global network, supported by people from all walks of life, who, like WWF, care about the welfare of our planet.
CURRENT MOOD: hopefulhopeful