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Earthgauge radio podcast January 12, 2012: International Year of Forests in review

On Earthgauge radio this week, we’ll be talking about forest conservation. 2011 was the United Nations International Year of Forests so now that the year has passed, we are taking stock to reflect on the state of forests both here in Canada and around the world. Right click here to download the entire program.

We have 3 interviews on our special show today:

  • Will Turner, VP of Conservation Priorities and Outreach for Conservation International
  • Tenille Bonogoure, publisher of Alternatives Journal
  • Ken Wu, co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance

The UN said the promotion of 2011 as a special Year of the Forest was meant to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests. Why are forests so important? Will Turner explains the importance of forests in considerable detail in our interview but as a primer, according to the World Bank, more than 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. Over 40% of the world’s oxygen is produced by rainforests. 80% of terrestrial biodiversity is found in forests and as we lose them, it becomes increasingly difficult to solve problems such as reducing poverty and limiting climate change impacts. Forests also provide food, medicine, shelter, jobs to name just a few benefits. It is said that more than one quarter of modern medicines originate from tropical forest plants worth $108 billion annually. Yet the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that every year 130,000 km2 of the world’s forests are lost due to deforestation.

So now that the 2011 Year of the Forest has passed, just how are we doing? Well, to help answer this question I spoke with Will Turner who is is VP of Conservation Priorities and Outreach for the environmental NGO Conservation International based in Arlington Virginia. CI is an environmental organization that has identified the 10 most threatened global forest hotspots. To kick off the program today, Will talks to us about these hotspots and discusses the state of the world’s forests more generally.

For Canadian perspectives on forestry conservation, we hear from Tenille Bonogoure who is the publisher of Alternatives Journal. She wrote an article in this month’s edition of the magazine on the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, which was a 3-year deal negotiated in 2010 between forest companies and environmental organizations. Tenille gives us an update on the agreement now that we’re halfway through the deal. Finally, I talk with Ken Wu who is the co-founder of a new B.C. organization called Ancient Forest Alliance. He has some very interesting things to say about forest conservation campaigns both in BC and in Canada.

Also on today’s show, we’ll be starting a new, regular segment in which we’ll hear from the local environmental organization Ecology Ottawa about some of the work they’re doing on local environmental initiatives and some upcoming environmental events around town. I’ve listed a few of the upcoming events below and you can click here to see a complete list with full details.

Contact us at . Please do get in touch if you have story ideas, a comment on something you’ve heard or want to get involved or contribute to the show. You can also download our podcasts on iTunes. Just type “earthgauge” into the search bar and you’ll find us.

Upcoming environmental events in Ottawa (see full list here)

Meeting – City of Ottawa Environmental Advisory Committee
Meeting Date: Thursday 12 January 2012
Meeting Location: Andrew S. Haydon Hall
Meeting Time: 18:30
Contact: Joël Monfils 613-580-2424 ext 26837,

Green Drinks Ottawa
Thursday January 12th, 2012 @ 5:30 pm
Location: Fox @ Feather Pub & Grill, 283 Elgin Street
Green Drinks is an open invitation to anyone interested/working/studying all things environmental.  Come and join us for interesting, and inspiring conversation.  We’re an informal, self-organizing network and meet every second Thursday of the month.  For more information, contact: [email protected]

Building Community Power Meeting in Orleans
Thursday January 12th, from 6:30 – 8:00pm
Orleans United Church, Lounge, 1111 Orleans Blvd. (entrance at rear)
We will discuss actions we can take to improve the environment in Orleans: renewable including solar energy, energy efficiency, and transportation. Please RSVP to: [email protected] and feel free to spread the word and invite other people interested in making Ottawa the green capital of Canada. For more information please contact: Janice Ashworth, Community Organizer:

Surviving Progress at the Bytowne
Sunday January 15th – Wednesday January 18th, 2012 (see Bytowne website for show times)
325 Rideau St
This film explores the concepts of progress in our modern world and the idea of progress traps. It explores technology, economics, consumption, and the environment. For more information visit: http://www.survivingprogress.com

City Council Meeting – Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee
Meeting Date: Monday 23 January 2012
Meeting Location: Colonel By Room
Meeting Time: 18:30
Contact: Jodi Collins 613-580-2424 ext. 15899, [email protected]

Transition Ottawa Peak Oil Discussion Group
Tuesday January 24th, 2012
Montgomery Legion, 330 Kent street (downstairs)
Meet nearby advocates for peak oil awareness. Come to our informational monthly discussion group meeting to discuss ideas and actions on how to survive the consequences of the inevitable decline in oil production and economic collapse. Please RSVP to ensure the meeting is not cancelled. To RSVP or for more information please visit (http://transitionottawa.ning.com/group/peakoildiscussiongroup) or contact the moderator, Ron at 613-852-5063, [email protected]

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