Wednesday, March 21: it's the International Day of Forests

What if we took a little height on the occasion of the International Day of Forests, which takes place every year on March 21st? Planet, a company specializing in satellite imagery, compiled a video sequence of the 7134 images of forests it took in a single day. Thanks to a fleet of no less than 200 mini-satellites, the company has been photographing oceans, forests and various infrastructures from the atmosphere. These tools are very practical, for example, for evaluating forest area and attesting to deforestation phenomena

Compilation of 7134 images of forests covering 4 continents, captured in a single day. © Planet Labs 2018

For example, minisatellites captured these images near the Bolivian Andes. The disappearance of nearly 2,000 hectares of forest in just six months, in favor of sugar cane fields. The authors indicate that according to Mongabay, a website specializing in environmental science, it was an operation to prepare the extension of the San Buenaventura sugar refinery.

The images are striking, even for a phenomenon that has existed for decades. In its report entitled " Global Assessment of Forest Resources ", the United Nations measured between 2000 and 2010 an average annual deforestation of 13 million hectares. This represents the area of ​​Nicaragua! This frantic pace had already softened: in the 1990s, deforestation averaged 16 million hectares razed per year. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assessed global forest resources in 2015 at 3,999 million hectares. That is 30.6% of the planet's territory

FAO has conducted forest resource assessments since 1948. One might be tempted to compare the figures for each. This is not possible. First of all because the methodology has changed in 70 years, and thankfully. Institutional, financial and technical resources have evolved to better quantify the areas and types of forest. Then the very term "forest" has changed in seven decades. What is a forest, according to the FAO?

The forest, definitions

1948. " Earth with vegetative associations dominated by trees of any size, able to produce wood or other products, to influence the climate or the water regime."

1958 Same definition to a detail added: "lands providing shelter for livestock and wildlife."

1980. "All types of vegetation where trees cover more than 10% of the soil."

1990. Developed countries: "Ecological systems with a minimum crown cover of 10%, generally associated with wild flora, fauna and natural soil conditions, and not subject to agronomic practices. 100 hectares are considered. "
Developing countries: "Crown-planted land of more than about 20% of the area; […] with trees more than 7 meters high and capable of producing wood […]." [19659005] 2005 "Land covering more than 0.5 hectares with trees greater than 5 meters and a cover of more than 10% of the canopy […]and does not include land that is predominantly agricultural or urban."

In 70 years, our relationship with the forest has changed, semantics with. From a purely productivist definition, the forest becomes an ecosystem. It is gradually understood that it contains a fragile biodiversity to defend. The next FAO assessment will take place in 2020. While it is good to take a step back to evaluate a phenomenon, it will need to be looked after very closely.

The coldest day of winter, a fourth death in Ain

The cold attack that reached its peak on Tuesday caused a fourth death in France, that of a senior in the Ain while three quarters of the country were placed on alert Cold weather.

In the early hours of the day, the body of a nonagenarian, presumably dead from cold, was found by a delivery man in Belley (Ain) in front of the gate of the retirement home where she lived.

Most of the country remained frozen throughout the day with maximum temperatures of -4 ° C to 0 ° C in the plain.

For the authorities, in addition to people with fragile health, the priority remained the setting shelter from people living in the street.

Thus in Paris, on the night of Monday to Tuesday, 169 people were accommodated in an emergency center open door of La Villette.

– Call for citizenship –

Health Minister Agnès Buzyn has called for citizenship. "If I can ask for a service to the French, it is to call 115 (the number of Samu social, Ed) when they see a person in the street because it does not necessarily (this) reflex", she said.

About fifty elected officials of Ile-de-France have decided to spend the night from Wednesday to Thursday in the streets of the capital to symbolically claim a better care for the homeless , with a slogan: "no one out."

They intend to denounce a "denial of dignity and solidarity" and "the explosion (…) unacceptable" the number of homeless in France. At the end of January, the Secretary of State for the Cohesion of the territories Julien Denormandie had caused an uproar by speaking about a "fifty isolated men in Ile-de-France" while they would be several thousand.

Tuesday evening The Ministry of Territorial Cohesion has announced that the number of departments involved in the Cold Weather Plan has increased from 68 to 72 and that an additional 5,647 places for the homeless have been created, of which 1,926 in Paris.

many other cities in France, in Strasbourg, where mercury was -7 ° C in the night from Monday to Tuesday and up to -12 ° C felt, charities, Red Cross and Restos du Coeur, provide night maraudes

"The soup and the coffee are a pretext to go to meet the people.The objective n ° 1 is to be a social link with those who sleep outside", explains Gaëlle, 32 years old, volunteer of the Restos of the heart

– Snow and ice in the e sud –

On the forecast side, the flakes could take over. Nine southern departments have been placed in vigilance snow-ice for Wednesday by Météo-France: Aveyron, Gard, Herault, Landes, Lozere, Pyrenees-Atlantiques, Tarn, Var and Alpes-Maritimes.

Météo-France provides a mild "brutal" at the end of the week in the south which should spread gradually over the rest of the country before a spring weekend.

After snowfall on Bastia and the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on Monday, the bay of Ajaccio woke up the next day in a white coat, unprecedented since 1986, according to Météo-France.

Consequence: flights to and from Ajaccio and Figari were suspended momentarily.

the energy front, nuclear power plants remain in great demand. In Drôme, EDF decided to postpone, due to the cold snap, the maintenance visit of the Tricastin plant's production unit No. 4.

"The availability of the Tricastin plant, which contributes 6% to the production of electricity of French nuclear origin, is essential, "said EDF.

After a month of historically mild January and a snowy beginning of February, this episode of cold is significant because of his tardiness. France had not experienced such a cold spell at this time of the year since 2005.

The "Moscow-Paris phenomenon" as specialists call it, swept across Europe, making more than twenty of deaths for three days.

Japanese Citizens Enjoy "Chocolate Ruby" for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day this year, obese cowboys Japan can reward their spouses with the world's brightest pink chocolate.

KitKat's chocolate shop in Tokyo's sumptuous shopping district of Ginza looks luxurious with pink color covering the entire wall. The KitKat marketing department made a massive promotion of introducing KitKat's fourth variant of chocolate, having previously offered milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate.

And the sellers picked the right moment. Valentine's Day or Valentine's Day is a big business in Japan because there is a tradition of women giving gifts to their male partners.

"I love the pink color. I love chocolate. It's great for me, "said 24-year-old Natsuko Takeuchi, who is looking for a sweet snack in Ginza.

" After knowing that this chocolate is made naturally, with no added dye or flavor, I think it's great, "said Takeuchi operates a food trolley inside the Japanese super fast train, Shinkansen.

Over 80 years, when white chocolate was created, consumers in the world had to settle for 3 types of chocolate.

Then in September, the Swiss group Barry Callebaut launched the fruit brown "Ruby," a new type of chocolate after 10 years of research. Five months later chocolate bars went on sale in stores in Japan and South Korea

The red color is easily obtained naturally, with no additives or artificial coloring, said Akiko Hara, manager of Barry Callebaut in Japan, explaining. [19659002] The color comes from "ruby" cocoa, which can be found on ordinary plantations, "Hara told AFP.

The Research and Development section keeps the recipe meetings. Locked in a safe place

The result is a chocolate that not only feels soft and tastes fruits, with a flavor of raspberry flavor.

If Japan is chosen to be the test of new chocolate varieties, that choice is very appropriate.

Japan's chocolate market share is worth almost $ 5 billion per year, according to data from research company Euromonitor.

Japan is still far below the United States ($ 18.9 billion), but above other Asian countries. 19659002] In addition, Japanese consumers are also very fond of different types of products. And this can be seen from the various types of chocolate flavors that KitKat offers, ranging from the flavor of wasabi hinga green tea and sake. [fw/au]

Pakistan Banned Media Preach Valentine's Day

Pakistan banned Valentine's Day celebrations or Valentine's Day and media coverage surrounding the celebration for the second year in a row, after the court declared Valentine's Day un-Islamic.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Agency (Pemra) issued a warning on Wednesday 7/2), prohibits television and radio stations from celebrating Valentine's Day.

"There can be no official celebrations nor held in public places," said Pemra.

The author was adopted after the Islamabad High Court last year, following a petition from a citizen who said the February 14 holiday was an imported culture from the West and "incompatible with Islamic teachings."

More than 60 percent of Pakistan's Muslim-majority population is under 30 years old. Many young people and businesses celebrate Valentine's Day with flowers, chocolates and heart-shaped items.

But the country of 208 million people also witnessed a wave of ultra-religious political activism, which attacked similar celebrations. Some parties call the celebration immoral.

Some parties, including the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam that has ties to the Taliban, have in recent years been marching to protest the holiday.

"We are Muslims. Our religion forbids things like Valentine's Day, "said Taufeeq Leghari, who was waiting for a public transport near a fresh flower stall in Rawalpindi, adjacent to Islamabad.

Flower seller Salman Mahmood has a different view. "I do not know what danger the Islamists face, if I can profit marginally from selling flowers and someone has a chance to celebrate something," he said.

The young people did not seem to be too concerned about the ban.

"I will celebrate," said Abid Ansari, a 21-year-old student in Islamabad. "This is my choice," Abid said. [fw/au]

North Korea will hold a military parade a day before the opening of the South Korean Olympics

To underscore his defiance of international pressure, North Korea is expected to hold a massive military parade on Thursday, the day before the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

38 North, a North Korean monitoring group, analyzing photos of Pyongyang on Wednesday stated that 12,000 soldiers and 110 artillery devices, tanks and armored vehicles were training parades. There is also speculation that North Korea will deploy newly developed intercontinental intercontinental ballistic missiles this year and was tested last year as a show of strength.

South Korea's Unification Ministry declared that such a North Korean military parade would not affect the game. [uh]