The COP21 talks are drawing to a close in Paris this Friday, probably ending with the now ‘traditional’ all-night negotiating session. The optimism in the air is palpable but there are still some important last minute debates to be had that will ultimately determine how ambitious and legally binding the agreement is.
Great news from Trees for Water in India – a project funded by UBoC with generous donations from The Lions Clubs of Scotland and North East England.
“Greetings from CIRHEP. Thank you very much for your support and guidance. We gave 200 seedlings to School Children from CIRHEP contribution. The students have planted around School Building. The students and teachers are maintaining the seedlings. We hope it would give good result . Herewith we have attached some photos for your kind perusal.”
Professor Piers Forster asks: “What will the Paris climate conference mean for trees – and for me?”
Many will be aware that the UN is gearing up for a big climate change conference in Paris at the end of the month http://newsroom.unfccc.int/.
At this meeting international leaders will, hopefully, agree on the most important set of measures ever taken to lessen future climate change, and make the world more resilient to its effects.
It’s easy to get frustrated about the glacial rates of progress towards an agreement, but progress is being made. The first such meeting, at Kyoto in 1997, was successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from most developed countries, and we’ve learned lessons after the disastrous Copenhagen meeting in 2009. Paris is deliberately set up so that it cannot fail, so we can all look forward to watching François Holland on our TV screens on 8th December announcing great successes.
And we already know what most of these will be.
Together with our academic parters at the University of Leeds (the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest Centre; LEAF), we have produced a summary booklet of the impacts of urban green spaces:
Feedback from planners, urban designers, landscape architects and local groups has been very positive.
“A good-looking tract to throw at sceptical decision makers or policy makers!” said one admirer.
UBoC’s Dominick Spracklen has been awarded a 2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of his research in understanding interactions between the Earth’s biosphere, atmosphere and climate and the way that these are being altered by human activity.
Dom’s recent work includes a Nature article which relates lowering deforestation rates in Brazil to improvements in air quality. This improved air quality can also be linked with improved human health (Reddington et al., 2015).
Leverhulme prizes are awarded to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their particular field of study, recognised at an international level and whose future contributions are held to be of correspondingly high promise.
Philip Leverhulme Prizes commemorate the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of the Founder. Each Prize has a value of £100,000 which can be used for any purpose which can advance the Prize holder’s research.
A new study led by UBoC scientists at the University of Leeds shows that the recent drop in Brazilian deforestation rates has improved air quality across South America, saving thousands of lives.
Each year in the Amazon, thousands of fires are lit to clear trees and vegetation in order to prepare the land for agriculture. Smoke from these fires causes a polluted haze over large areas of southern Brazil with serious consequences for human health.
UBoC’s long-standing partners, Size of Wales – a unique Welsh initiative tackling climate change by helping to preserve tropical forests – have made a bold decision to double their commitment – and protect an area double the size of the Principality.
‘The size of Wales’ is a term often used as a measure of tropical forest destruction, and UBoC worked with this Cardiff-based charity in 2012, on the Tongwe Trust’s Ten Million Trees in Tanzania project.
Size of Wales have spent the last 5 years successfully raising funds to help sustain approximately 2 million hectares, (4.9m acres) in both Africa and South America – supporting 15 local forest projects which ensure that forests are kept standing – to benefit local communities and also tackle climate change. This downloadable report details their recent work.
Unhealthy air quality in Singapore is back in the news again this week. In the last few days, the Pollutant Standards Index in Singapore reached 148 meaning that the air quality was “very unhealthy”. Unlike most cities in the world, this poor air quality is not caused by cars or industry but by forest fires.
One of UBoC’s friends at the University of York, Dr Andy Marshall, has discovered a new 20-metre tall tropical tree in East Africa – and he’s inviting schools to choose a name for this new species, through the Schools for Forests campaign.
Last week, members of the UBoC team visited Flamingo Land theme park and zoo to meet with members of the Collaboration for Integrated Research, Conservation and Learning (CIRCLE).
CIRCLE, a partnership between the University of York and Flamingo Land, carries out ground-breaking scientific research into conservation at both the local and global scale. UBoC have helped with CIRCLE’s conservation efforts by funding aspects of the Udzungwa Forest Project (UFP) in Tanzania. The UFP is based in the Magombera Forest and aims to conserve and research threatened species and their habitats, whilst improving the livelihoods of, and educating, local communities.