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Gisele Bundchen Named Goodwill Environmental Ambassador


She’s not just another pretty face. Super hot model Gisele Bundchen has been named Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program.

Bundchen told reporters that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva should propose better laws to stop Amazon deforestation. Her comments were published Monday in major Brazilian newspapers. However, Silva argued that he is committed to the preservation of the Amazon and that his new proposal to limit sugarcane production in the Amazon exemplifies that.

“The environment has always been my passion,’’ Bundchen said. “I grew up in a small town and I had the opportunity to live surrounded by nature. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood. We must act now, so future generations have the same opportunity. Mother Earth is our fundamental life-support system, and by becoming aware and responsible now, we can assist in preserving the planet.’’

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Seedbombs Fight Deforestation


The seedbomb is the new warfare against deforestation.

Seedbombs, which are comprised of compressed clod of soil containing live vegetation that may be thrown or dropped onto arid soils, introduces vegetation to the otherwise inhospitable land.

The seeds are housed inside capsules made of artificial soil: they provide nourishment and moisture to the seed. As the sapling matures, the capsule degrades leaving only the new plant. Seed bombs were first introduced in New York City, when people filled condoms with wildflower seeds, water and fertilizer and threw them into empty lots, which were called seed grenades.

Since then, technology has obviously evolved, and now we have seedbombs, where seeds are placed inside capsules made of artificial soil. As the sapling matures, the capsule degrades leaving only the new plant.

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Disney to Plant Tree for Every Ticket Sold for ‘EARTH’ Premiere


It’s no secret that Disney has been jumping on the Green bandwagon lately. And now, they’re really living up to their promise by announcing they will plant a tree for every person who attends the premiere of their first film EARTH on opening weekend.

Disney claims they will plant the trees in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, which is considered the most endangered rain forest in the world and also ensure care for the trees is ongoing.

EARTH is a spectacular film from the world’s most acclaimed nature filmmakers, and we couldn’t think of a better way to launch the new Disneynature banner, and to celebrate the spirit of the film and Earth Day at the same time,” said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “The film gives moviegoers an entertaining and unprecedented view of our planet, with some of the most astonishing imagery and exciting natural drama ever presented on the big screen.”

EARTH opens on Earth Day, April 22nd. You can get your pre-sale tickets to the EARTH premiere here.

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Greenpeace Claims Activists Beaten in Indonesia


Greenpeace is claiming that members of their organization were beaten at a peaceful demonstration against alleged illegal land-clearing by logging and palm oil company, Sinar Mas, in Indonesia’s vast eastern Papua region and on Borneo island.

Activists claim that guards punched and kicked them as they tried to protest.

“The excessive violence today by Sinar Mas security is testament to the way this company does business,” Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said in a statement.

“Sinar Mas may think they are above the law, but the right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the Indonesian constitution.”

The activists say that Sinar Mas has demolished huge areas of peatland and forests near the town of Lereh, as well as in Lake Sentarum National Park. Greenpeace apparently has photographic evidence that Sinar Mas had cleared carbon-rich peatland breaking a three-metre depth threshold, which is against Indonesian law.

Deforestation is a huge problem in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, a major contributor to climate change.

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U.N. report: 10 Million Jobs From Forestry


A report being released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization this week will urge countries to invest in green jobs. It claims that at least 10 million jobs could be created in the sustainable forest management industry.

Not only would this help curb growing levels of unemployment on a global scale but would also help curb the reduction of forest in countries that are not currently replanting the trees they are harvesting.

The report is aimed primarily at “ regions with substantial rural unemployment and degraded land areas,” according to C.T.S. Nair, the chief economist in the U.N. Forestry Department and one of the key contributors to the report.
The goal of sustainable forestry is to stop the destruction of forests through strategic management while ensuring that their exploitation does not impede any potential natural benefits or the local environment.

With next week being World Forest Week, the report will be analyzed at the U.N. Committee on Forestry in Rome.

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Greenpeace Rallies During Clinton’s Indonesia Meeting


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during a meeting in Jakarta. With Indonesia and the U.S. being the world’s second and third largest greenhouse gas emitters, members of Greenpeace rallied outside the presidential palace during the meeting to bring attention to reducing emissions.

“We call on the US leadership to handle the issue of climate change seriously and we ask developed countries like the US to provide funds to countries like Indonesia to save their forests and support their efforts to reduce emissions,” Greenpeace forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said.

For Indonesia, forest-clearing is the main cause of emissions and Clinton told Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda that she “applauded” Indonesian efforts to “integrate deforestation into the broader climate negotiations.”

However, Greenpeace maintains that the United States needs to have stratedgies in place that would offer countries financial incentives to stop deforestation and offer environmentally friendly development alternatives.

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Old Growth Tree Death Doubles in the West


The beautiful old growth trees of the western United States and Canada are disappearing twice as fast as they were dying thirty years ago, and climate change is most likely to blame, say scientists.

Philip van Mantgem of the US Geological Survey collected data from 76 plots on the west coast without any direct human management, so that any tree loss was not due to logging. They looked at old forests, where many of the trees were at least 200 years old, and sometimes as old as 1000 years. In 87% of the plots, the trees were disappearing faster than new trees that are growing. Death rates varied, but the trend held whether the trees were old or young, and regardless of their location geographically.

The Pacific Northwest, including the pine trees of British Columbia, were the worst affected and death rates there are doubling every seventeen years. The team believes the rise in average temperatures across the region is the main cause of elements that are killing off the trees at this new alarming rate. “Warming can cause a lot of changes,” says van Mantgem. “It could [increase evaporation] in these stands and effectively dry them out, and it could make things that chew on trees much happier,things like bark beetles and fungi. The ultimate implications for our forests and environment are huge.”

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