By Roger Bales and Martha Conklin

Many of California’s 33 million acres of forests face widespread threats stemming from past management choices. Today the U.S. Forest Service estimates that of the 20 million acres it manages in California, 6-9 million acres need to be restored.

Forest restoration basically means removing the less fire-resistant smaller trees and returning to a forest with larger trees that are widely spaced. These stewardship projects require partnerships across the many interests who benefit from healthy forests, to help bring innovative financing to this huge challenge.

The California Wildfires in Photos

california wildfires

We are engineers who work on many natural resource challenges, including forest management. We’re encouraged to see California and other western states striving to use forest management to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire.

But there are major bottlenecks. They include scarce resources and limited engagement between forest managers and many local, regional and state agencies and organizations that have roles to play in managing forests.

However, some of these groups are forming local partnerships to work with land managers and develop innovative financing strategies. We see these partnerships as key to increasing the pace and scale of forest restoration.

Under contemporary conditions, trees in California’s forests experience increased competition for water. The exceptionally warm 2011-2015 California drought contributed to the death of over 100 million trees. As the forest’s water demand exceeded the amount available during the drought, water-stressed trees succumbed to insect attacks.

Funding is a significant barrier to scaling up treatments. Nearly half of the Forest Service’s annual budget is spent on fighting wildfires, which is important for protecting communities and other built infrastructure. But this means the agency can restore only a fraction of the acres that need treatment each year.

The Benefits of Restoration

Forest restoration provides many benefits in

An empty restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey.

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

The U.K. risks losing jobs to the Covid crisis that could be resilient to automation while giving a short-term boost to sectors that have no long-term future.

Jobs in supermarkets, residential care and couriering have all been lifted by the crisis. Yet they face a high risk of replacement by new technology in future, according to a report by the Royal Society for Arts published Monday. That disruption is also being accelerated by the pandemic, it said.

For workers in entertainment and the arts, massive cuts are likely in coming months as the virus keeps venues shuttered. However, the industry faces little destruction from automation and had provided some of the fastest employment growth over the past decade, the analysis found.

Technology could land a second blow to a labor market already reeling from a nationwide lockdown sooner than anticipated. Five years of digital transformation occurred in just five months this year for sectors such as retail, with online sales growing as much between February and July as between 2015 and 2020, the RSA said.

Risk level Industries
High Covid 19, high automation Hospitality, sports and recreation. Parts of manufacturing, construction
High Covid 19, low-med automation Air travel, tourism, creative arts and entertainment, architecture, film production, museums and culture
Low-med Covid 19, high automation Some key worker industries such as retail, food production, residential care, postal and courier activities
Low Covid-19, low automation Scientific research, healthcare and education as well as some male dominated industries such as computer programming

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last week announced new support for jobs in coronavirus hot spots that may help some. The government will pay two-thirds of the wages of workers in companies forced to close as

Ripple Executive Chairman Chris Larsen

Chris Larsen, Ripple co-founder and chairman of the payments technology company’s board of directors, said China’s “itching” to be the one that designs the next financial system and that the U.S. is “woefully behind.”

  • Speaking at the LA Blockchain Summit last week, Larsen said the U.S. needs to face up to that it’s in a tech cold war with China with the fate of control of the world’s financial system at stake. Right now, China’s winning, he said.
  • “China is just itching to be the one that designs this next system,” Larsen said. “They’ve committed $1.4 trillion to a variety of technologies and blockchain is right at the top of their list.” 
  • It’s not just that China’s pumping money into technology, the regulatory environment in the U.S. is actively discouraging financial innovation, he said.
  • “I just have to say it, in the U.S., all things blockchain, digital currency, they start and end with the SEC, Larsen said. “Instead of pivoting to encouraging U.S. innovation to keep up, they’ve done the opposite.”
  • “We’re going to have to change up here or we’re going to lose our leadership, stewardship of the global financial system,” he said. “That would be a tragedy.”
  • As CoinDesk reported at the time, Larsen also said his company could leave the U.S. if the regulatory environment doesn’t improve.

See also: SEC Will Be Forced to Give Crypto Guidance Despite Bureaucracy, Risk-Avoidance: Peirce

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source Article

Ripple Executive Chairman Chris Larsen

Chris Larsen, Ripple co-founder and chairman of the payments technology company’s board of directors, said China’s “itching” to be the one that designs the next financial system and that the U.S. is “woefully behind.”

  • Speaking at the LA Blockchain Summit last week, Larsen said the U.S. needs to face up to that it’s in a tech cold war with China with the fate of control of the world’s financial system at stake. Right now, China’s winning, he said.
  • “China is just itching to be the one that designs this next system,” Larsen said. “They’ve committed $1.4 trillion to a variety of technologies and blockchain is right at the top of their list.” 
  • It’s not just that China’s pumping money into technology, the regulatory environment in the U.S. is actively discouraging financial innovation, he said.
  • “I just have to say it, in the U.S., all things blockchain, digital currency, they start and end with the SEC, Larsen said. “Instead of pivoting to encouraging U.S. innovation to keep up, they’ve done the opposite.”
  • “We’re going to have to change up here or we’re going to lose our leadership, stewardship of the global financial system,” he said. “That would be a tragedy.”
  • As CoinDesk reported at the time, Larsen also said his company could leave the U.S. if the regulatory environment doesn’t improve.

See also: SEC Will Be Forced to Give Crypto Guidance Despite Bureaucracy, Risk-Avoidance: Peirce

Related Stories

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source Article

BUDAPEST, Oct 9 (Reuters)Central European currencies firmed on Friday, with the Hungarian forint extending gains after a lower-than-expected September inflation reading took pressure off the central bank and the trade balance posted a sizeable surplus in August.

While the decline in inflation temporarily relieves the National Bank of Hungary, which is battling inflation and deepening recession worries, risks in Central European and emerging markets are high as COVID-19 cases spike.

“The slowing pace of recovery in CEE and the rising number of new COVID-19 cases will likely keep risks elevated,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note.

“While we think that the benign September inflation print will ease some of the pressure for the (Hungarian) central bank to deliver tighter monetary conditions, we think that it is too early for it to consider realigning the one-week depo rate to the base rate at 0.60%.”

The bank hiked the one-week depo rate by 15 basis points to 0.75% on Sept. 25, which helped shore up the weakening forint and reverse a negative trend.

On Friday, the forint EURHUF= was up 0.1% at 357.20 to the euro, after it outperformed peers on Thursday.

Hungary posted a foreign trade surplus of 251 million euros ($295.98 million) in August, above analyst forecasts for 140 million.

The Czech crown EURCZK= was also 0.1% firmer, even though the Czech Republic’s daily cases of the novel coronavirus rose to 5,394 on Thursday, the third record tally in a row.

“Thursday was a bad day for the CZK rates, (on) the long end dropping by 6 bps on disappointing retail sales, a record number of new COVID-19 cases and tighter government restrictions announced in the afternoon,” Komercni Banka trader Marek Lesko said in a morning note on Friday.

The Czech government will tighten anti-coronavirus measures from