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New Analysis Reveals Substantial Economic Benefits of Securing Community Rights to Rainforests in Brazil and Guatemala



Study Finds Modest Investments to Ensure Forest Rights for Indigenous People and Communities Will Avert 5.4 Billion Tons of Carbon Dioxide Emissions.

The relatively modest investments needed to secure the forest rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities will generate significant returns—economically, socially and environmentally—according to new research by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The working paper, The Economic Costs and Benefits of Securing Community Forest Tenure: Evidence from Brazil and Guatemala, finds that one of the biggest impacts is in global benefits realized through avoided CO2 emissions from deforestation.

For the two areas studied in Brazil and Guatemala, secure rights to community forests are expected to prevent the release of over 5.4 billion tons of CO2 over 20 years—equal to the emissions of more than one billion cars in a year.

“Secure rights in community forests of Brazil and Guatemala are a positive investment for both countries, which carries important implications for many other countries,” said Erin Gray, an economist at WRI and lead author of the paper. “Similar investments would provide government officials, climate negotiators and donor agencies the opportunity to pursue a cost-effective and powerful climate change mitigation strategy.”

Across the Indigenous Territories in the Brazilian Amazon, which cover 13 percent of the country, the benefits from carbon capture and averted emissions amount to $161.7 billion over 20 years. In the much smaller Community Forest Concessions of Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, the benefits amount to $605 million over the same period.

“The global implications are huge,” said Juan-Carlos Altamirano, economist at WRI and report co-author. “Indigenous Peoples and communities have some legal rights to about one-eighth of the world’s forests although they actually hold and use much more under customary arrangements. When we invest in strengthening their rights, we now know we are not only doing the right thing, we are also making a smart investment in a more climate-stable world.”

Previous WRI research has shown that community forest rights that are legally recognized and protected by governments often translate into healthy forests with high forest carbon storage, and reduced deforestation. But achieving secure rights requires investments to strengthen legal protections and ensure their implementation, as well as to strengthen the capacity of local people to sustainably manage and benefit from forest resources.

WRI’s new analysis finds that the estimated annual costs per hectare of securing community forest tenure are low compared to the benefits from reducing carbon emissions and avoided deforestation. In Brazil, a US $19 per hectare investment today, would yield the equivalent of US $1,473 in benefits in 20 years. In Guatemala, a US $63 investment today, would yield US $1,899 in benefits. In Guatemala, the calculation includes economic benefits to communities through sustainably harvesting and marketing forest products.

In addition to carbon storage, secure community forest rights are known to produce a suite of other economic, social and environmental benefits, including reduced conflict, improved biodiversity and water regulation, increased job creation, reinvestment in local communities, and reduced out-migration, as well as avoided deforestation.

The working paper suggests that the development of such methods will ultimately demonstrate even higher net benefits of secure rights to community forests.

“This paper sheds important new light on the multiple benefits of securing land rights,” said Peter Veit, Director, Land and Resource Rights Initiative, WRI. “However, it’s clear that further research is needed to more fully understand the economic benefits. We expect that as we expand our understanding of this issue, decision makers will take more actions to strengthen community land rights.”

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A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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