Current International Update
Volume 44, Issue 30
The Brazilian government announced on Tuesday, October 21, the designation of a new federal reserve in the Amazon rainforest encompassing an area the size of Delaware. The new Alto Maues Reserve will confer federal protection from deforestation to 668,000 hectares of pristine forest, most of which has been untouched by human presence, according to the Brazilian Environment Ministry. The area contains hundreds of species of animals and 13 primate species, several of which are considered threatened with extinction.
A law amended by the Indonesian government in September makes it more difficult for palm oil companies to conserve carbon-dense, high-biodiversity areas within their forest concessions, according to a report published on October 21, 2014, by Indonesian environmental group Greenomics. The report examined efforts that Golden-Agri Resources (GAR), Indonesia’s largest palm oil producer, is taking to eliminate the deforestation of high carbon stock and high conservation value forests.
On Friday, October 24, European Union leaders agreed upon a binding target to reduce emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, scaling up its previous commitment to reduce emissions to 20% of 1990 levels by 2020. EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in an interview that the move was intended to challenge other big economies ahead of climate talks in Lima in December, and ultimately Paris in 2015.