Reduced-Impact Forest Management: A Pragmatic Solution for Conservation in the Tropics

In November of 2017, I had the incredible experience of participating in a week-long renowned forest management course in the northeastern Brazilian Amazon. The intensive field course is offered by the Tropical Forest Institute (IFT – Instituto Floresta Tropical), whose reduced-impact forest management system is widely held to be Brazil’s gold standard. IFT trains participants in all stages of its system, with an emphasis on practical, on-site experience. Over the course of the week I developed a comprehensive understanding of tropical forest management, and was challenged to face a conflict that arose within me regarding the use of pristine forests for timber production in the name of conservation.

On November 18, I arrived in Belém, the capital of the state of Pará, where I met the 25 forestry…

How São Paulo State Bill can be a turning point for Brazil’s waste management policies

As Brazil struggles to balance environmental leadership and economic growth, São Paulo State took an important step towards shifting the burden of post-consumer waste management from taxpayers to manufacturers. This could be a watershed moment for expanding infrastructure for post-consumer recycling in Brazil.

Starting this week, manufacturers located in São Paulo that don’t incorporate post-consumer recycling through “take-back” policies could be punished with heavy fines and even have their operation suspended. For example, if LG produces smartphones in São Paulo and the company fails to create a system to collect part of the discarded smartphones from consumers — and then recycle or dispose of them — the whole LG plant could be shut down in São Paulo State. This becomes relevant as not only is the state the biggest…

Financing Climate Change Adaptation: insights from Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

At a time when global climate change negotiations are aiming to determine the world’s priorities, 2018 and 2019 have become landmark years to decide on the future of finance, adaptation, technology transfer, capacity-building, nationally determined contributions, and the future of the Paris Agreement as a whole.