Translation

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Florida Issues "Flesh-Eating Bacteria" Public Health Warning!

Dahboo77 | Jul 30, 2014


http://www.undergroundworldnews.com

As Ebola spreads mercilessly across the world, it appears Florida has a problem that sounds just as awful. As CBS reports, Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes to cause flesh-eating disease. At least 11 Floridians have contracted Vibrio vulnificus so far this year and two have died, according to the most recent state data.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07...

Why are massive numbers of sea creatures dying along the west coast right now?


End of the American Dream | Jul 30, 2014 | Michael Snyder

Never before have we seen so much death along the west coast of North America.  Massive numbers of sea stars, bluefin tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring, oysters, salmon, marine mammals and marine birds are dying, and experts are puzzled.  We are being told that we could even see “local extinctions” of some of these sea creatures.  So are all of these deaths related?  If so, what in the world could be causing this to happen?  What has changed so dramatically that it would cause massive numbers of sea creatures to die along the west coast?

The following are 15 examples of this phenomenon.  Most scientists do not believe that these incidents are related.  But when you put them all together, it paints quite a disturbing picture…

#1 A “mystery plague” is turning sea stars all along the west coast of the United States and Canada into piles of goo…
Sea stars, commonly referred to as starfish, have been dying off in alarming numbers along the entire West Coast, from Baja, Mexico, to Alaska. According to reports from the Seattle Aquarium, some parts of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands have seen population declines of up to 80 percent.

On the Oregon coast, according to CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer, “Last December, we had less than 1 percent of sea star wasting. By May 1, more than 5 percent of sea stars were affected. Now, I would say, in some areas, it is up to 90 percent.”
A marine epidemiologist at Cornell University says that this is “the largest mortality event for marine diseases we’ve seen“.

#2 The population of bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean has declined by 95 percent.  Mexico has already banned fishing for bluefin tuna for the rest of the year, and the U.S. government is considering doing the same thing.

#3 Sardine, anchovy and herring populations have dropped dramatically along the west coast in recent years…
Pacific sardine populations have shown an alarming decline in recent years, and some evidence suggests anchovy and herring populations may be dropping as well.

The declines could push fishermen toward other currently unmanaged “forage fish,” such as saury, smelt and sand lance, stealing a critical food source relied on by salmon and other economically important predators.

In response, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering an ecosystem-based management approach that recognizes the fundamental role of forage fish in the Pacific marine food web. Tiny, but abundant, these small schooling fish feed on plankton and, in turn, fill the bellies of Oregon’s iconic marine species, including salmon, sharks, whales, sea lions and sea birds.
#4Record numbers of distressed sea lions have washed ashore in California” for the second year in a row.  One news report described these distressed sea lions as “malnourished and dehydrated, too weak to find food on their own“.

#5 Marine birds are “disappearing” in the Pacific northwest…
From white-winged scoters and surf scoters to long-tailed ducks, murres, loons and some seagulls, the number of everyday marine birds here has plummeted dramatically in recent decades.

Scoters are down more than 75 percent from what they were in the late 1970s. Murres have dropped even more. Western grebes have mostly vanished, falling from several hundred thousand birds to about 20,000.
#6 Those that work in the seafood industry on the west coast are noticing some very “unusual” mutations.  For example, a red king crab that was recently caught in Alaska was colored bright blue.

#7 Pelicans along the California coastline are “refusing to mate“.  This is being blamed on a lack of fish for the pelicans to eat.  As a result, we are seeing less than one percent of the usual number of baby pelicans.

#8 The oyster population in the Pacific is falling so fast that it is being called “the great American oyster collapse“.

#9 The population of sockeye salmon along the coast of Alaska is at a “historic low“.

#10 Something is causing herring off the coast of British Columbia to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.

#11 Scientists have discovered very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.

#12 Back in May, more than six tons of anchovies died in Marina Del Ray over a single weekend.

#13 Just a few days ago, thousands of dead fish were found on Capitola Beach.  Authorities are trying to figure out what caused this.

#14 Earlier this month, thousands of dead fish were found on Manresa Beach.

#15 According to a study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, radiation levels in tuna caught off the coast of Oregon approximately tripled in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Could it be possible that at least some of these deaths are related to what has been happening at Fukushima?

We do know that fish caught just off the shore from Fukushima have been tested to have radioactive cesium that is up to 124 times above the level that is considered to be safe.

And we also know that a study conducted at the University of South Wales concluded that the main radioactive plume of water from Fukushima would reach our shores at some point during 2014.

Is it so unreasonable to think that the greatest nuclear disaster in human history could have something to do with the death of all of these sea creatures?

Just consider what one very experienced Australian boat captain discovered when he crossed the Pacific last year.  According to him, it felt as though “the ocean itself was dead“…
The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.

“After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.

“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

“I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen.”

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.

“Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it’s still out there, everywhere you look.”
What do you think?

Is Fukushima to blame, or do you think that something else is causing massive numbers of sea creatures to die?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Freak flood footage: Romania ravaged by deadly deluge

RT | Jul 30, 2014

Two people died and several hundreds were forced to evacuate as surging floodwaters submerged villages in Romania on Tuesday. Footage filmed in Arges County on Wednesday showed emergency workers rescuing people stranded by the floods, wrecked buildings and overflowing rivers.

Asteroid Vesta Shatters Planet Formation Theory | Space News

Thunderbolts.info | Jul 29, 2014

In the previous Space News, we discussed astronomer’s recent admission that they now need a whole new theory to explain how planets form. Today yet another discovery has shattered conventional ideas about planet formation and the so-called early solar system. Scientists studying data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft have learned some astonishing details about the asteroid Vesta. The Standard Model states that the asteroid came into existence at the same time as the solar system. However, key predictions of this model have been falsified by the Dawn data.


Source story: Asteroid Vesta to reshape theories of planet formation

Previous Space News on planet formation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YypyHEgEYzw

Previous Space News on asteroid formation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGZ_jQLrIXg

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Win! U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Ban Use of Bee, Bird and Butterfly-Killing Neonicotinoids

© Natural Society
Natural Society | Jul 28, 2014 | Christina Sarich

Due in part to a petition submitted by the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one government agency has come to its senses, agreeing to eliminate bee and butterfly-toxic neonicotinoids in the Pacific Region of the NW Wildlife Refuges.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) very quietly announced that it will phase out neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) in wildlife refuges in the Pacific Region, including Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Within the new policy, all refuge managers will be asked to exhaust all alternatives before allowing the use of neonics within the lands of the National Wildlife Refuge System. This will be the first US government agency to actually move toward a complete ban that is needed to protect our pollinating insects and birds from possible extinction due to pesticide use.

This monumental step has happened due to a February, 2014 petition filed by CFS asking FWS to ban the use of neonicotinoids on wildlife refuges. (You can see more than 10 other wildlife refuges on the FWS site, here.) The remaining sites will still be unprotected from neonic use. This is; however, a step which could be built upon itself.

Paige Tomaselli, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety states:
“FWS has taken a responsible and necessary first step in the Pacific region, but the agency must permanently institute this policy on all refuge lands across the country. As our legal challenges have repeatedly stated, the costs of these chemicals severely outweigh the benefits; we must eliminate their use immediately.”
The FWS admits to “broad-spectrum adverse effects” of using neonicotinoids, and found the practice at odds with FWS’s policy of Integrated Pest Management (IMP). A study released by CFS earlier this year found that neonicotinoid seeds treatment rarely improved yields for corn and soybeans, corroborating the findings of FWS. Perhaps they can submit their findings to the US Agricultural Department for their review.

The phase out of neonics is to occur by 2016, and refuge managers will have to have an approved Pesticide Use Proposals (PUP) and completed Endangered Species Act consultation documentation before using neonicotinoid pesticides, including the planting of neonicotinoid-treated seed to grow agricultural crops. This is far from a complete ban, but again, a step in the right direction.

Worldwide Water Shortage by 2040?

© Activist Post
Activist Post | Jul 29, 2014 | Kevin Sampson

New study concludes that water shortages may be a bigger problem than we thought.

Fresh water supplies are under assault on multiple fronts. We are seeing the continuing fallout from the droughts in the Western U.S. and Brazil - both are incredibly important areas to the global food supply.

At the same time, corporate hoarding of fresh water is on the rise. Nestle's former CEO clearly stated that water supplies should be privatized and that the right to fresh, clean water is not an essential human right.

Knowing that both the climate and corporate influence are converging to restrict and/or dramatically increase the cost of fresh water, two new reports reinforce that there isn't much time left to find solutions. In fact, for an increasing number of people, water might not be available at any cost. 

Three years of research show that by the year 2040 there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the world population and keep the current energy and power solutions going if we continue doing what we are doing today. It is a clash of competing necessities, between drinking water and energy demand. Behind the research is a group of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark, Vermont Law School and CNA Corporation in the US.
[...]
The team of researchers conducted their research focusing on four different case studies in France, the United States, China and India respectively. Rather than reviewing the situation on a national level, the team narrowed in and focused on specific utilities and energy suppliers. The first step was identifying the current energy needs, and then the researchers made projections as far as 2040, and most of the results were surprising. All four case studies project that it will be impossible to continue to produce electricity in this way and meet the water demand by 2040.

"If we keep doing business as usual, we are facing an insurmountable water shortage – even if water was free, because it's not a matter of the price. There will no water by 2040 if we keep doing what we're doing today. There's no time to waste. We need to act now", concludes Professor Benjamin Sovacool. (emphasis added)
It is becoming impossible to say that it is fear-mongering to suggest a near-term calamity, and that the way our water supply is currently managed is a guaranteed-to-fail system. However, these new reports focus purely on the failures of the energy sector; recommendations from the researchers highlight the need for increased investment into wind and solar, while increasing energy controls:

  • Improve energy efficiency 
  • Better research on alternative cooling cycles 
  • Registering how much water power plants use 
  • Massive investments in wind energy 
  • Massive investments in solar energy 
  • Abandon fossil fuel facilities in all water stressed places (which means half the planet)
While it is true that wind and solar do not require cooling cycles and would reduce power consumption and overall water usage, these industries have other deficiencies, as well as being susceptible to the same level of government control and corruption. On a mass scale they are still centralized systems prone to manufactured shortages and extreme inefficiency.

The reports' conclusions actually wind up highlighting the problems of regulations and control, rather than making a strong case for new regulations and even more control.

Perhaps it is time to quickly seek out local solutions, such as the ingenious model being developed in one of the world's most permanently drought-stricken places: Ethiopia. Inventor Arturo Vittorini calls his device Warka Water. It is easy and fast to assemble ... and inexpensive. Each tower can provide 25 gallons of water per day harvesting water directly from the air.

Singapore is another place that was presented with unique challenges and could be a microcosm of solutions to the greater problem.

In the ’60s and ’70s, Singapore was heavily reliant on imported water from Malaysia and faced urbanisation challenges such as polluted rivers, water shortages and widespread flooding.
They instituted the following 4 measures, which highlight how the situation might be handled in heavily populated, modern urban environments. While these might not be permanent solutions that could apply everywhere, such measures have certainly extended the timetable for Singapore, giving them time to develop even better technological solutions with the goal of complete self-sufficiency.
  1. Local catchments - With separate systems for drainage and sewerage, Singapore’s rainwater is collected via a comprehensive network of drains, rivers and canals, and stored in 17 reservoirs.
  2. Recycling - NEWater (or recycled water) is produced from treated used water that is further purified using membrane technologies (microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet disinfection).
  3. Desalination - Desalination is the process of treating seawater with reverse osmosis. Last year, Singapore’s second desalination facility opened – Tuaspring Desalination Plant. Boasting a combined capacity of 100 million gallons of water a day, the two plants meet up to 25 per cent of the current water demand.
  4. Importing - One of the earliest solutions to Singapore’s water problems was to import water from nearby Johor in Malaysia. To facilitate this, two bilateral agreements were signed in 1961 and 1962 and, since then, water has been piped in via the Johor-Singapore Causeway. While imported water once comprised a significant portion of Singapore’s water supply, by the time the second agreement runs out in 2061, it is expected that Singapore will have progressed significantly towards self-sufficiency.
Read entire account here.
In another study, 1200 experts in 80 countries offered their solutions to water scarcity (read here).  Predictably, many focused on regulations, mitigation of climate change, and population control, but other solutions focused on grassroots local community organization with a heavy emphasis on new technology.

Water scarcity is an alarming prospect for all of us. The extended droughts, cumulative aspects of general human pollution, and corporate hoarding are just some of the challenges creating a global problem in the coming decades. With each new report coming from disparate sources, we can all at least agree upon the need for a solution. Please tell us yours in the comment section below.

Source:

http://www.cna.org/ewc

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Earth is headed for its sixth mass extinction - study

AFP Photo / NASA
RT | Jul 28, 2014

The rapid depletion of Earth’s biodiversity indicates that the planet is in the early stages of its sixth mass extinction of life since becoming habitable 3.5 billion years ago, according to a new study published in Science.

Human activity, including a doubling of its population in the past 35 years, has driven the decline of animal life on Earth, the researchers concluded.

There has been a 25 percent average decline rate of remaining terrestrial vertebrates, and a 45 percent decline rate in the abundance of invertebrates. These losses will continue to have innumerable impacts on species that depend on the delicate balance of life on Earth for their own survival.

“We tend to think about extinction as loss of a species from the face of Earth, and that’s very important, but there’s a loss of critical ecosystem functioning in which animals play a central role that we need to pay attention to as well,” said Rodolfo Dirzo, lead author of the study and a biology professor at Stanford University.

“Ironically, we have long considered that defaunation is a cryptic phenomenon, but I think we will end up with a situation that is non-cryptic because of the increasingly obvious consequences to the planet and to human wellbeing.”

The “Anthropocene defaunation,” as some researchers have dubbed this era, is hitting large animals such as elephants, polar bears, and rhinoceroses the hardest, as these megafauna are the subject of some of the highest rates of decline on Earth. This trend matches previous mass die-offs of the Big Five extinction periods.

Megafauna usually have lower population growth rates that need larger habitat areas to maintain their populations, thus they are particularly affected by human growth and desire for their meat mass. Losses among these animals often mean dire impacts for other species that depend on them within an ecosystem.

Past studies have found that the loss of larger animals means a spike in rodents, as grass and shrubs proliferate and soil compaction decreases, all while the risk of predation also declines, Futurity.org notes. As rodent populations increase, so do the disease-transporting ectoparasites that come with them.

“Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents, and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission,” said Dirzo.

“Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle.”

About 16 to 33 percent of all vertebrate species are considered threatened or endangered, the review found.

Invertebrate loss also has far-reaching ripple effects on other species. For example, the continued disappearance of vital honeybee populations across the globe will have bleak consequences for plant pollination, and thus on the world’s food production, as RT has previously reported.

Insects pollinate about 75 percent of the world’s food crops, according to Futurity.

Overall, of the world’s more than 71,000 species, 30 percent of them are threatened, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Based on this assessment - and without drastic economic and political measures to address the current die-off - the sixth mass extinction could be cemented by 2400 A.D., University of California, Berkeley geologist Anthony Barnosky told Harper’s magazine.

Solutions to the die-off are complicated, the study posits, as reducing rates of habitat change and overexploitation of lands must come through regional and situational strategies.

"Prevention of further declines will require us to better understand what species are winning and losing in the fight for survival and from studying the winners, apply what we learn to improve conservation projects," said Ben Collen, a lecturer at the University College of London and a co-author of the study. "We also need to develop predictive tools for modelling the impact of changes to the ecosystem so we can prioritize conservation efforts, working with governments globally to create supportive policy to reverse the worrying trends we are seeing."

Researchers from University of California, Santa Barbara; Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil; Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in England; and University College London are coauthors of the new study.

Gulf of Mexico dying from polluted and poisoned bioterrain, thanks to BigAg, Big Oil and BigPharma

Sott.net | Jul 28, 2014
The State Of The Bioterrain Always
Dictates The Most Likely Outcomes
"Countless kinds of harmful contaminants and toxic chemicals find their way into the Gulf via the Mississippi which comes from many different sources. ...This mighty river and it's many tributaries carry a tremendous chemical burden in the form of industrial waste, as well as rain runoff laden with every chemical imaginable from suburbia and cityscapes alike. Agribusiness has seen to it that enormous amounts of chemical fertilizers and soil fortifiers, pesticides and insecticides, mosquitocides and larvicides, fungicides and herbicides, weedkillers and defoliants, bovine growth hormone and animal antibiotics end up in the Mississippi. Likewise, a whole assortment of pharmaceutical drugs, over-the-counter medications, nutraceutical products, as well as all the chemical compounds utilized in the typical American household eventually find their way into the sewers of the nation's midsection."
There have been several significant developments over the past few decades in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) which now require special and immediate attention. The multitude of oil spills - both large and small - require extraordinary remediation measures, as well as the application of safe and proven technologies which will not make the existing hydrocarbon pollution worse. There are other major sources of water pollution in the GOM which have also became apparent, particularly since the eye-opening 2010 BP oil spill.

The Gulf of Mexico is Dying: A Special Report On The BP Gulf Oil Spill

The BP Gulf Oil Spill drew the world's attention to the GOM for a variety of reasons. The sheer volume of oil spilt was unprecedented, as were its profound and lasting effects on a large geographic area. Because it occurred in such a large body of water, many population centers were adversely impacted as they continue to be up to this very day. However, it was the incompetent and negligent oil spill response from BP that received the justified scrutiny of the entire world.

Some have since advanced the notion that global oil spill response has been forever changed for the better, because of how profoundly BP mismanaged the spill for all to see. In this regard, they speak of a literal sea change regarding the methodologies and modalities, process and procedure, science and technology that are now accepted by many of the nations of the world.

The entire world watched in horror as millions of gallons of the dispersant Corexit were used to 'disappear' the gushing oil in the Macondo Prospect throughout 2010 and beyond. Disappearing the oil actually meant sinking it, after micronizing it, so that both BP and the US Federal Government could be 'applauded' for a successful response. However, the known health risks/dangers and environmental damage caused by Corexit became so well publicized that it has now been banned in those countries which have learned from the BP fiasco.

Read more..

Monday, July 28, 2014

Martial Law and the Global Energy Clampdown with Zero Point Author Nafeez Ahmed

TheLipTV | Jul 27, 2014

Zero Point, author Nafeez Ahmed speaks about the energy and economic crisis that faces the world, and how martial law and political clampdown is looming by the globe’s governments. Sustainable energy, the fossil fuel recessions, protests (both through peaceful social media as well as more violent measures), and the need for optimism that will transform society for the better is all dealt with in this Lip News interview hosted by Mark Sovel.


GUEST BIO:

Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is a bestselling author, investigative journalist, international security scholar, policy expert, filmmaker, strategy & communications consultant, and change activist.The focus of Ahmed's work is to catalyse social change in the public interest by harnessing radical, systemic approaches to understanding the interconnections between the world's biggest problems, while developing and highlighting holistic strategies for social transformation. Whether it be foreign policy and terrorism, climate change and energy, or food and the economy, Nafeez deploys the techniques of critical, rigorous and interdisciplinary analysis to join the dots and challenge power, with a view to bring forth constructive change.

Nafeez is an environment writer for The Guardian, the world's third most popular newspaper website, where he reports, comments and analyses the geopolitics of interconnected environmental, energy and economic crises at his Guardian hosted blog, Earth Insight.

He is founding Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRD), an independent nonprofit digital transmedia think tank for the public interest. Currently, he is also Co-Director of The Concordia Forum, an independent nonprofit think tank and leadership network working to strengthen trans-Atlantic civil society partnerships.

Nafeez's journalistic work combines insider information from senior government, intelligence, industry and other sources with interdisciplinary analysis of specialist literature. Over the last decade, he has broken exclusives on FBI whistleblowers and pre-9/11 intelligence warnings; the role of energy in the 2003 Iraq War; pre-7/7 intelligence failures; the 2006 liquid bomb plot; the link between the 'Arab Spring' and ecological, economic and energy crises in the Middle East and North Africa; the depletion of strategic mineral energy resources; cutting-edge climate science; counter-terrorism strategy in the AfPak region; sustainable rural development in Pakistan; the role of energy crisis in the Israel-Palestine conflict; among many others.

Nafeez is co-producer, writer and presenter of the critically-acclaimed documentary feature film, The Crisis of Civilization (2011), adapted by director and producer Dean Puckett from Nafeez’s latest book, A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (Pluto, Macmillan, 2010). Nafeez's other books include The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry(Duckworth, 2006); The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Interlink, 2005); Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq (New Society, 2003) and The War on Freedom: How & Why America was Attacked, September 11, 2001 (Progressive, 2002). The latter is archived in the ‘9/11 Commission Materials’ Special Collection at theUS National Archives in Washington DC – it was among 99 books made available to each 9/11 Commissioner of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States to use during their investigations.

ADD’L LINKS:
http://www.nafeezahmed.com/
http://www.nafeezahmed.com/2014/05/ze...
[...]

Protecting Community Forests Important Key in Biodiversity and a Healthy Planet - Study Says

In the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation rates
are 11 times lower in community forests
than in other forested areas.
Environment360 | Jul 24, 2014

Expanding and strengthening the community forest rights of indigenous groups and rural residents can make a major contribution to sequestering carbon and reducing CO2 emissions from deforestation, according to a new report. The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Rights and Resources Initiative said that indigenous people and rural inhabitants in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have government-recognized rights to forests containing nearly 38 billion tons of carbon, equal to 29 times the annual emissions of all the world’s passenger vehicles. By enforcing community rights to those forests, the study said, governments can play a major role in tackling climate change. In the Brazilian Amazon, for example, deforestation rates are 11 times lower in community forests than in forests outside those areas. In areas where community forest rights are ignored, deforestation rates often soar. The report made five major recommendations, from better enforcement of community forest zones to compensating communities for the climate and other benefits their forests provide.

WRI and the Rights and Resources Initiative studied 14 forest-rich countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. Indigenous people and other local communities currently have legal or official rights to 513 million hectares of forest, or about one-eighth of the world’s forest cover. But the report said those rights are frequently ignored by national or local governments, leading to severe deforestation. The report cited the example of three indigenous forest lands in the Amazon region of northwestern Peru. Despite supposed recognition of those rights, the Peruvian government allocated indigenous lands to mining and oil and gas drilling, leading to deforestation rates of 24 to 51 percent in those three community forest areas from 2000 to 2010.

In Papua New Guinea, the report said, all forests are owned by communities, but the Papuan government has given leases to private companies — often for oil palm plantations — on about 4 million hectares, an area the size of Switzerland. Indonesia, which has one of the world’s worst deforestation records, legally recognizes only 1 million of the 42 million hectares of forest reputedly controlled by local communities.

By contrast, Brazil, which has half of the world’s remaining tropical forests, is more rigorous about recognizing and protecting community forests, the report said. Roughly 300 indigenous territories have been legally recognized in Brazil, and protection of these areas, while not perfect, is far better than in some other countries, according to the report. That protection is crucial: The report noted that from 2000 to 2012, forest loss was 0.6 percent inside indigenous territories, compared to 7 percent outside.

In parts of the Mexican Yucatan, deforestation rates are 350 times lower than in unprotected areas, the report said. In Guatemala’s Peten region, deforestation rates are 20 times lower.

“The bottom line is clear,” said Jennifer Morgan, director of the Climate and Energy Program at WRI. “Strengthening community forest rights is a critical policy approach to mitigate global climate change through reduced deforestation and carbon sequestration.”

For example, the report said that fully protecting indigenous territories and government forest reserves in the Brazilian Amazon could prevent 27.2 million hectares from being deforested by 2050 — an area larger than the United Kingdom. If the carbon in those forests were released as CO2, it would amount to 12 billion tons of carbon dioxide — equivalent to three years of CO2 emissions from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report made five major recommendations to enhance the ability of community forests to slow climate change:
  • Give communities legal recognition of their forest rights.
  • More rigorously enforce community forest rights, including mapping boundaries and evicting trespassers.
  • Provide forest communities with technical assistance to sustainably manage their forests and get forest products to market.
  • Involve forest communities in decisions involving investments in their forests.
  • Compensate communities for the benefits provided by their forests, including mitigating climate change.