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Google-backed database steps up fight on deforestation

Google, environmentalists and governments on Thursday unveiled a state-of-the-art database to track deforestation, hoping to ramp up enforcement of a major culprit behind climate change. The website, www.globalforestwatch.org, will show tree loss around the world in high resolution and with frequent updates. The data -- aimed both at policymakers and companies buying from forest areas -- will be available for free and not require much technical skill to use.

Earth's green canopy gets an online protector

By Marcelo Teixeira SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A new online monitoring system will make it possible to quickly check the condition of tropical forests around the globe that were previously under no surveillance, potentially increasing pressure on governments to stop deforestation. Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) will provide public access on Thursday to the new tool to evaluate forests worldwide. Global Forest Watch (GFW) was developed by dozens of institutions with the help of Google Inc's Earth Engine.

Drug trafficking ravages Central American forests

Drug trafficking in Central America is emerging as a major threat to forests, as smugglers cut trees for secret roads, landing strips and fake farms to launder money, researchers said Thursday. This widespread environmental abuse in remote regions of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua is a direct result of US anti-drug policies, experts wrote in the journal Science.

Ottawa investing another $600,000 to help spur lumber exports to India

MONTREAL - The federal government is investing an additional $600,000 to spur efforts to boost lumber exports to India, a potentially large market that's home to about 1.2 billion people. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced the funding to Forest Innovation Investment India (FII India) during a trade mission. Ottawa has already provided $1.6 million to FII India, which is also funded by the B.C. government. The initiative showcases the use of Canadian wood to makers of office furniture, doors and window manufacturers, and builders.

Ottawa investing another $600,000 to help spur lumber exports to India

MONTREAL - The federal government is investing an additional $600,000 to spur efforts to boost lumber exports to India, a potentially large market that's home to about 1.2 billion people. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced the funding to Forest Innovation Investment India (FII India) during a trade mission. Ottawa has already provided $1.6 million to FII India, which is also funded by the B.C. government. The initiative showcases the use of Canadian wood to makers of office furniture, doors and window manufacturers, and builders.

Climate scientists bark up the big tree

Despite their greater age, big, old trees do more than small, young ones to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, said a study Wednesday that explores how well forests slow global warming. The findings overturn the conventional view that old, large trees are relatively unproductive in absorbing heat-trapping greenhouse gases. In more than 400 tree species studied, it was the bigger and older specimens that grew fastest and trapped most carbon, the scientists found.

Indonesia struggles to clean up corrupt forestry sector

Deep in the forests of Borneo island, workmen from an Indonesian timber company fell a tree with a chainsaw, stick a red tag with a serial number onto it and attach a corresponding stub to the stump. This is all part of an arduous auditing process, one of many government attempts to clamp down on illegal logging and clean up one of the country's most corrupt and mismanaged sectors as Western countries demand proof their timber imports are legal.

Greenpeace urges Indonesian palm oil producers to stick with zero deforestation commitment

Greenpeace urges Indonesian palm oil producers to stick with zero deforestation commitment JAKARTA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- International environment campaigner organization Greenpeace called on Indonesian palm oil producers which convene annual conference at present to stick with zero deforestation and push for responsible production, a statement issued by Greenpeace said here Thursday.

U.N. agrees multi-billion dollar framework to tackle deforestation

By Stian Reklev WARSAW (Reuters) - U.N. negotiators on Friday agreed rules on financing forest projects in developing nations, paving the way for multi-billion dollar investments from governments, funding agencies and private firms in schemes to halt deforestation.

Norway, UK, U.S. allocate $280 million to stop deforestation

By Stian Reklev WARSAW (Reuters) - The governments of Norway, Britain and the United States on Wednesday said they will allocate $280 million of their multi-billion dollar climate change finances to a new initiative aimed at halting deforestation. The announcement was made at U.N. talks in Warsaw, where more than 9,000 delegates are meeting to hammer out the foundations of a new global treaty to combat climate change.
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