tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/news Mongabay.com News 2015-04-28T18:38:53Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14703 2015-04-28T18:10:00Z 2015-04-28T18:38:53Z Rainforest communities can now report illegal logging with their mobile phones Communities in the rainforests of Central Africa can now report illegal logging in their territories as it happens, potentially enabling real-time law enforcement action. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14702 2015-04-28T17:39:00Z 2015-04-28T17:39:41Z Five tons of frozen pangolin: Indonesian authorities make massive bust <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0428,MR7A5347.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five tons of frozen pangolin, 77 kilograms (169 pounds) of pangolin scales, and 96 live pangolins: that's the grisly haul of the latest pangolin bust in Indonesia. Officials confiscated the illegal wildlife goods in Medan, Sumatra and busted the smuggler, who has only been identified as SHB. This is the largest pangolin bust in Indonesia since 2008. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14700 2015-04-28T16:39:00Z 2015-04-28T16:39:39Z Illegal ivory trade alive and well on Craigslist As it has become more difficult to buy illegal ivory from slaughtered elephants on places like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon.com, traders and buyers in the U.S. have turned to another venue: Craigslist. A new report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) finds that the ivory trade is thriving on Craigslist. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14697 2015-04-28T14:09:00Z 2015-04-28T14:38:23Z Peru's mega-dam projects threaten Amazon River source and ecosystem collapse <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0421_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Peru is planning a series of huge hydroelectric dams on the 1,700-kilometer (1,056-mile) Marañón River, which begins in the Peruvian Andes and is the main source of the Amazon River. Critics say the mega-dam projects could destroy the currently free-flowing Marañón, resulting in what Peruvian engineer Jose Serra Vega calls its 'biological death'. Tiffany Roufs -3.518783 -71.806600 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14696 2015-04-28T07:45:00Z 2015-04-28T07:53:46Z Leuser Park authorities still trying to move thousands of squatters <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0994.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian government will take another stab at relocating thousands of squatters from Mount Leuser National Park, most of whom were dispaced by the decades-long insurgency in Aceh province and whose presence has fueled deforestation in the protected area. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14695 2015-04-28T05:27:00Z 2015-04-28T05:30:21Z Predicting deforestation before it happens The world's leading forest monitoring platform may soon help predict deforestation before it occurs, potentially enabling authorities to prevent it altogether. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14694 2015-04-27T23:57:00Z 2015-04-28T04:35:23Z 'Deforestation fronts' revealed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0427wwf_deforestation_pressure150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organization believes the bulk of global deforestation is likely to occur over the next 15 years. The analysis, published today, highlights eleven regions where 'the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take place' by 2030. Rhett Butler 1.386919 110.181317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14693 2015-04-27T19:55:00Z 2015-04-27T19:58:07Z Report: Borneo could save billions while still meeting conservation and development goals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The three nations that share Borneo could save themselves $43 billion by more closely coordinating their environmental conservation and economic development efforts, according to a report published in the journal Nature Communications. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.616066 114.725184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14691 2015-04-27T12:50:00Z 2015-04-27T13:17:28Z Two more Sumatran elephants found dead in Aceh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/---E_hm__EwE/VT4xvoOSSPI/AAAAAAAABf0/g8Kwd0Y8lCM/w150-h101-no/11139639_10206130801447578_1020840274_n.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A pair of critically endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead this month in Indonesia's Aceh province, just the latest casualties for a species that has been brought into increasing conflict with humans amid the country's oil palm boom. One was shot through the head by a poacher. The other was injured by a snare trap and perished shortly thereafter. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14690 2015-04-27T05:00:00Z 2015-04-27T05:02:03Z $100M study to look at how rainforests respond to climate change A new $100 million research project will examine how tropical forests interact with the planet's climate system. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14689 2015-04-27T04:03:00Z 2015-04-27T04:10:34Z 'Zero Deforestation' not necessarily the answer, environmentalists warn <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3271.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the London-based think tank Innovation Forum convened a two-day conference on the subject of sustainable forestry in Washington, D.C. Titled 'How Business Can Tackle Deforestation,' the conference brought together leaders from both public and private spheres, including forest commodities companies, NGOs and think tanks. Though the topics of discussion were diverse, ranging from the role of 'green' certification to the viability of GMO crops, there was widespread agreement that significant changes need to be made to current supply chain policies if we are to avoid further damaging the world’s forests. Rhett Butler -12.237206 -52.025719 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14688 2015-04-27T03:05:00Z 2015-04-27T03:13:14Z NASA reveals rise in deforestation in remote Peruvian parks New NASA data shows a jump in forest loss in two remote parks in the Peruvian Amazon during the first three months of 2015. Rhett Butler -10.430320 -71.572400 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14687 2015-04-27T00:53:00Z 2015-04-27T01:00:26Z Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon continues to accelerate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/sad150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon &#8212; the planet's largest rainforest &#8212; continues to pace well ahead of last year's rate, reveals data released by Imazon, a Manaus-based nonprofit. Rhett Butler -3.090972 -60.730691 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14686 2015-04-25T09:17:00Z 2015-04-25T10:12:29Z Jokowi must strengthen Indonesia's forest moratorium, not just extend it: activists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1090.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than a month before the expiry of a moratorium on new licenses for land-based exploitation in primary forests and on peat, environmentalists are calling for the Indonesian president to not only prolong the policy but strengthen it too, hampered as they say it has been by chaotic implementation, weak enforcement, standards that don’t go far enough and, some suggest, a lack of political will to see it through. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14685 2015-04-24T19:54:00Z 2015-04-25T14:50:05Z Fracas over Costa Rican shark-fin exports leads American Airlines to stop shipping fins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0424_MWatsa_HammerheadSchool_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On December 24, an American Airlines plane carried 411 kilos of dried hammerhead shark fins from Alajuela, Costa Rica, to Hong Kong, touching down partway through the journey in Miami. The shipment, valued at nearly $53,000, contained fins from around 411 animals, more than seven times the number on its export permit from the Costa Rican government. Rebecca Kessler 10.055211 -84.213172 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14684 2015-04-24T18:48:00Z 2015-04-27T01:00:39Z Ocean contributes $2.5 trillion to economy annually A new study attempts to place a value of goods and services afforded by the ocean, estimating that if the planet's seas were classified as a country, it would rank as the world's seventh largest economy. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14683 2015-04-24T17:24:00Z 2015-04-24T17:29:02Z Conservation in Myanmar: a cause for optimism? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0424-thumb-brending-irrawaddy-dolphin.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifty years of relative political and economic isolation have yielded slow economic growth and contributed to the conservation of many of Myanmar’s native species. However, the dissolution of Myanmar’s military junta in 2011 marked the beginning of a new age of increasing political and economic liberalization and international engagement. Many experts fear that possible rapid development fueled by international investment, improved infrastructure and expanded transport networks, pose a grave risk to Myanmar’s biodiversity and forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 20.582989 96.906613 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14682 2015-04-24T07:38:00Z 2015-04-24T07:45:08Z Thailand, Indonesia join forces against illegal fishing amid EU ultimatum Amid EU threats to blacklist Thai seafood if the industry fails to clean up its act by October, the Southeast Asian country and its neighbor Indonesia agreed on Thursday to form a joint task force</a> to combat illegal fishing, which remains in the spotlight in the wake of an Associated Press investigation into slavery aboard Thai-run ships in Indonesian waters. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-04-23T19:54:45Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14678 2015-04-23T05:22:00Z 2015-04-24T03:04:51Z In Indonesia, making REDD+ about carbon won't help biodiversity: study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-azgBZw0XxGA/VTiCy3TuTKI/AAAAAAAABec/17YmGkGM0qQ/w150-h100-no/north_sumatra_0473.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Areas important for carbon correlate poorly with areas important for biodiversity in the country, a reality future REDD+ planning must take into account, a new study contends. The research was meant to address claims that REDD+ offers huge opportunities for biodiversity conservation. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14677 2015-04-22T23:48:00Z 2015-04-25T14:46:22Z Activists target Roger Federer as brand ambassador for bank linked to deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422federer_cs_brand_ambassador150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists are asking tennis star Roger Federer to deliver a message to Credit Suisse over the banking giant's continued financing of a logging company linked to ongoing destruction of wildlife habitat in Indonesia. According to the Bruno Manser Fund two members of a rainforest community in Sumatra have written to Federer to ask for his help in persuading Credit Suisse to stop financing logging of peat forests. Rhett Butler 0.993473 102.401074 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14676 2015-04-22T22:01:00Z 2015-04-22T22:01:15Z Photo essay: the flying fox show <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422.flyingfoxessay.IMG_7594.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rain or clear, wind or still, full moon or no. Every night thousands of flying foxes rise from a small mangrove island among the lesser Sunda islands of Indonesia. Around sunset the Sunda flying fox begin to stir in their roots&#8212;their stomachs waking them&#8212;until the boldest among them takes off into the sky. Jeremy Hance -8.606811 119.767311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14674 2015-04-22T17:03:00Z 2015-04-22T17:11:33Z 50 nature pictures for Earth Day <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/usa/150/ca_big_basin_00171.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Here at Mongabay we've developed a bit of a policy of not making a big deal for Earth Day. We believe that people should respect the planet on a daily basis. Nonetheless, below are a few pictures I've taken since Earth Day 2014 that remind me of why I started Mongabay nearly 16 years ago. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14673 2015-04-22T16:38:00Z 2015-04-22T17:34:56Z Can shade-grown cocoa help conserve sloths? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422.thumb.780px-Choloepus_hoffmanni_(Puerto_Viejo,_CR)_crop.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical forests support the greatest diversity of species in the world, yet we are rapidly destroying them. Most deforestation in the tropics is due to agricultural development and livestock production, the two greatest causes of declines in terrestrial biodiversity. However, one strategy that has been gaining attention for its potential to preserve biodiversity is shade-grown agriculture. Jeremy Hance 10.651773 -83.855896 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14672 2015-04-22T15:37:00Z 2015-04-23T14:43:41Z Of leopards and lemons: Superstition aids wildlife researchers in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422_b_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many Westerners see science and superstition as lying at extreme ends of the logic spectrum. However, those familiar with India know that these two seeming strangers can walk hand-in-hand: Information technology companies are inaugurated with the breaking of the ceremonial coconut and pumpkin. Tiffany Roufs 14.099344 75.224076 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14670 2015-04-22T07:57:00Z 2015-04-22T13:25:50Z Indonesian ombudsman asks minister to offer fishermen ‘exit strategy' from seining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eChcUex9398/VTdrB5OlhhI/AAAAAAAABd8/D8STOPsBmeI/w150-h99-no/t8RHxwaeL15Q0-vjpmTl1DnzpHvsyXB1zqodFSs-JEo%3Dw133-h88-no.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Sunday, the Indonesian ombudsman asked the maritime affairs minister to help fishermen adapt to the government's new ban on seine and trawl fishing, a response to locals' complaints that they had already made big investments in procuring and installing the now-prohibited gear. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14669 2015-04-22T02:19:00Z 2015-04-22T02:32:21Z World's largest sovereign wealth fund takes stand against deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2344.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Norway's Government Pension Fund Global &#8212; the world's largest sovereign wealth fund &#8212; is adopting standards to avoid investing in companies linked to tropical deforestation, sending a strong signal that forest destruction is not an acceptable practice for responsible businesses, reports Rainforest Foundation Norway. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14668 2015-04-21T21:45:00Z 2015-04-21T23:48:13Z McDonald's to address deforestation across all commodities it sources <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0421mcdonalds150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fast food giant McDonald's will combat deforestation across its main commodity supply chains, including palm oil, beef, paper and packaging, coffee, and poultry. The commitment is the most comprehensive of any major restaurant chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14667 2015-04-21T17:02:00Z 2015-04-21T17:26:43Z Dam proposals for Salween River threaten tentative ceasefire between Myanmar government and minority groups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0421_MGaworecki_Villagers%20participation_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A conference showcased the natural and cultural heritage of Myanmar's Salween River, where proposed dams have contributed to conflict between the government and ethnic groups that would be displaced if the dams go forward. Rebecca Kessler 16.936617 97.637613 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14666 2015-04-21T15:04:00Z 2015-04-21T15:04:34Z Camera traps catch rare Amazon bird following peccaries Although a large, attractive bird found across Latin America, scientists know almost nothing about the rufous-vented ground cuckoo (<i>Neomorphus geoffroyi</i>). Renzo Piana, the director of science and research with the Amazon Conservation Association, described the bird as "rare," "cryptic," "mainly solitary," and "mostly silent"&#8212;much of which explains why so little is known about it. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14665 2015-04-21T15:01:00Z 2015-04-21T19:00:52Z Keeping up with the climate: efforts to reduce African crop losses face the extra hurdle of climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0421_RCernansky_Farmer_Flickr_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The loss of crops to insects, rodents, and mold before they ever reach consumers is a newly recognized problem that governments and development organizations are just starting to address. But as climate change begins to unfold, this job is only getting harder. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14659 2015-04-20T22:42:00Z 2015-04-21T04:07:35Z Woman defeats mine, saves wilderness, wins $175,000 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0420-thumb-2015_MarilynBaptiste_011.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When a huge open-pit mine threatened a pristine lake and surrounding forest in British Columbia, Canada, Marilyn Baptiste jumped into action, spearheading efforts to collect environmental impact data and even physically turning away construction crews. Today, Baptiste was honored for her work when she was presented the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize at a ceremony in San Francisco. Morgan Erickson-Davis 51.460438 -123.625628 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14658 2015-04-20T20:46:00Z 2015-04-20T20:51:57Z Earth Day call to double native forest canopy by 2035 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0420dry_creek_bed150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of prominent researchers, philanthropists, and activists are calling for a doubling of the planet's native forest canopy by 2035 as a way to make a 'U-turn' on global environmental degradation. The Earth Day Declaration to Double Native Forests was initiated by Randy Hayes, the head of Foundation Earth and the co-founder of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler 39.957380 -77.834461 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14657 2015-04-20T19:31:00Z 2015-04-20T19:31:29Z Killings of environmental activists jumped by 20 percent last year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0415.murders.activists.gwreport.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The assassination, murder, and extrajudicial killing of environmental activists rose by 20 percent last year, according to a new grim report by Global Witness. The organization documented 116 killings in 2014 across 17 countries with the highest number in Brazil, which saw 29 environmental and land defenders killed. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14656 2015-04-20T18:47:00Z 2015-04-20T19:11:24Z Commercial bushmeat hunters put previously undetected pressure on Central Africa's large birds <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_birds_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While conducting a bird survey in the Ebo Forest Reserve of Cameroon, Scottish ornithologist Robin Whytock noted two uncommon forest raptors in a camp regularly used by commercial bushmeat hunters. The birds, a crowned eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) and a Cassin's hawk-eagle (Aquila Africana) were notable sightings not only because they are infrequently spotted. Both raptors were dead, and their stripped carcasses lay discarded on the ground. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14655 2015-04-20T11:35:00Z 2015-04-20T11:58:14Z Farmers fall short in legal challenge to Java cement plant <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ntpWArT0F_U/VTTl52WDX0I/AAAAAAAABcw/nL6xiXg9aeQ/w150-h98-no/AutTB6AtbFdW8zE7m-QFkZ8lo6JCE4Gb66lA8QkNiLU%3Dw811-h533-no.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A grassroots movement to halt construction of a cement factory and mine in Indonesia's Rembang regency suffered a major setback last week when a Central Java court rejected a lawsuit against a permit held by state-owned Semen Indonesia, the country's largest cement producer. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14654 2015-04-18T15:53:00Z 2015-04-20T15:41:31Z Growing need for deforestation-free rubber as tire demand destroys native forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_0448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surging demand for natural rubber is decimating some of the world's most endangered forests, putting wildlife and critical ecosystem services at risk, warn scientists writing in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. Reviewing a large body of published research, Eleanor Warren-Thomas of the University of East Anglia and colleagues detail the crop's expansion across across Southeast Asia in recent decades. Rhett Butler 20.888908 101.326675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14653 2015-04-17T20:09:00Z 2015-04-19T00:39:53Z Your name here: auctioning the naming rights to new species to fund conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-cactopinus-rhettbutleri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Meg Lowman is on a mission to save northern Ethiopia's church forests, one at a time. Numbering around 3,500, these small "sacred" patches of forest surrounding churches are isolated natural oases in Ethiopia's otherwise mostly agricultural terrain, and they are losing ground to human activity at an alarming rate. Church forests are considered critical conservation areas. They are home to hundreds of species found nowhere else in the world, with new discoveries still being made. Brittany Stewart 16.799834 -96.176380 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14652 2015-04-17T17:57:00Z 2015-04-17T18:32:37Z Recently discovered 'punkrocker' frog changes skin texture in minutes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-thumb-Skin%20texture%20variation%20in%20mutable%20rainfrog.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, two scientists discovered a tiny new frog species in the Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve in north-central Ecuador. They took its photograph and nicknamed it the "punkrocker" frog because of spine-like projections coming out of its skin. For the next three years, they did not find the punkrocker again. But when they did re-discover it in 2009, the team found that the punkrocker had more tricks up its sleeve. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.107630 -78.806133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14651 2015-04-17T16:41:00Z 2015-04-17T17:16:05Z Photo Essay: Geopolitical pawns, the fishermen of Lý Sơn, Vietnam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417_vietnam_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'When they came, what could we do?' 46-year-old fisherman Nguyên Phú asks, crouching down like a frog with his hands above his head. 'We just put our hands up like this, and said, 'Don't shoot! Don't shoot!'' Their caution is warranted. If they venture too deeply into Vietnam's claimed territorial waters, a Chinese patrol boat will swoop down on them. Tiffany Roufs 16.062429 108.258376 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14650 2015-04-17T14:26:00Z 2015-04-20T12:00:03Z Indonesia's public water movement consolidates after two of its biggest wins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh4.googleusercontent.com/uADNTyJ65rqJxdyoV-eji-WhZdqqQ_zmuzLKIHNz31Q=w149-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the tide of privatized water in Indonesia as close to turning since the dictator Suharto was president, an entire spectrum of stakeholders is scrambling to chart a path forward on the heels of two landmark – and unexpected – court decisions. First, the Constitutional Court struck down the main governing law on water resources. Then a Jakarta court annulled the city's contract with private operators Palyja and Aetra, which have run the city's piped network since 1998 amid continual allegations of corruption and mismanagement. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14649 2015-04-17T14:13:00Z 2015-04-17T14:24:44Z Zimbabwe selling baby elephant calves to China, says environmental group <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-montoro-zimbabwe-elephant-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred thousand African elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory between 2010 and 2012. Now a new threat looms: a growing wildlife trade in baby animals to satisfy international tourism. Zimbabwe has reportedly taken 80 elephant calves from their mothers and families in the wild, and is currently holding them in two heavily guarded facilities in Hwange National Park and near Victoria Falls. The baby animals await transport overseas for sale to unidentified buyers, possibly in China or other countries, says the international elephant rights organization, Global Action Ending Wild Capture (GAEWC). Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14648 2015-04-16T18:06:00Z 2015-04-17T13:04:51Z Court rules deforestation of Peruvian rainforest for chocolate was legal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-thumb-iquitos-2.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A regional court in Loreto, Peru recently ruled that the clearing of more than 2,000 hectares of forest by Cacao del Peru Norte for a plantation to grow cacao, the raw material behind chocolate, was legal, reported the investigative news site OjoPúblico on April 9. The ruling rejects contentions brought by Forestry Department that the company should have sought approval to clear the trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.981594 -73.054271 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14647 2015-04-16T16:44:00Z 2015-04-16T17:26:37Z Lima to restore pre-Incan aqueducts to alleviate its water crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416_am_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>To tackle a looming water crisis, the city of Lima, Peru, is planning a series of green infrastructure projects, including the restoration of an ancient network of aqueducts in the mountains above the city. With a rapidly growing population of around 8.75 million Lima is the world's second largest desert city, and no stranger to water shortages. Tiffany Roufs -12.047496 -77.043125 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14646 2015-04-16T16:21:00Z 2015-04-20T04:15:00Z Empowering women in order to save the harvest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-RCernansky-Thresher-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are plenty of technological challenges to reducing food waste in sub-Saharan Africa, but a challenge that might prove more important to overcome is gender inequality. Women are responsible for nearly half of agricultural labor in sub-Saharan Africa, with some estimates reaching up to 90 percent. But they often don't have the authority to make financial decisions for their families, even when it comes to managing or selling the crops they've grown themselves. Tiffany Roufs -4.214622 35.751786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14644 2015-04-16T07:46:00Z 2015-04-20T00:00:42Z Criticism of GAR and Wilmar African oil palm projects highlight global ‘no-deforestation' challenges <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh6.googleusercontent.com/-DY88_1sdoN0/VS9oXXzyNAI/AAAAAAAABbM/i0TyrnAVQAw/w150-h99-no/1029-pygmy-hippo-public-domain.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite high-profile no-deforestation policies, palm oil giants Golden Agri-Resources and Wilmar have attracted criticism recently over their projects in Africa, particularly regarding the correct implementation of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of affected communities. Some NGOs have suggested these persistent problems indicate no lessons have been learned from years of bad practice in Indonesia. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14643 2015-04-15T17:39:00Z 2015-04-16T16:24:26Z The crop-saving champion of Tanzania: Bertha Mjawa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0415-RCernansky-Bertha-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the late 1980s, Bertha Mjawa remembers seeing endless quantities of fruits and vegetables getting thrown out across Tanzania because rot or insects had gotten to them. Years later, she has helped turn Tanzania into a model for reducing food waste. Rebecca Kessler -3.228140 36.699185 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14641 2015-04-15T14:50:00Z 2015-04-17T13:26:11Z Featured video: 'A river in dispute' documentary explores how a planned dam in the Amazon is affecting traditional communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0415_Mdk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Under the threat of losing their lands to a hydroelectric power plant project strategic to the Brazilian government, communities along the Tapajós River, one of the most pristine in Brazil, prepare to defend what is theirs. A video documentary tells their story. Rebecca Kessler -4.180831 -55.934658 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14640 2015-04-15T14:27:00Z 2015-04-20T21:58:49Z Expert panel rebukes Japan's new whaling proposal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0415.thumb.800px-AustralianCustoms-WhalingInTheSouthernOcean_3.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Japan must halt its whaling activities in the Southern Ocean as it found no evidence that the killing of hundreds of Antarctic minke whales was scientifically justified. The ruling sent Japan scrambling for a new plan to continue its 'scientific' whale hunt. But, now an expert panel has rebuked Japan's latest plan as well. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14639 2015-04-15T08:22:00Z 2015-04-15T08:38:36Z Fishermen's ire over trawler ban pushes Indonesia to form special task force <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FcBxoAgI19E/VS4g2H_zMGI/AAAAAAAABas/0mXhQ9C26OA/w150-h100-no/mongabay-nelayan-kapal-June-July-2009-079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo will form a new task force to deal with fishermen’s concerns about the new ban on trawlers and seine nets, the result of a meeting between him and fishermen’s representatives who stated their case against the swiftness of its imposition. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14636 2015-04-14T15:37:00Z 2015-04-17T13:25:50Z Unique center trains Tanzanian farmers to preserve their fruits and veggies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414-RCernansky-ZECC-thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Farmers and traders throughout sub-Saharan Africa lose nearly half of their fruits and vegetables before they reach the consumer. To get more food to people who need it, the Postharvest Training and Services Center teaches them better methods of storing, processing, and transporting their crops. Rebecca Kessler -3.373646 36.805498 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14634 2015-04-14T15:11:00Z 2015-04-14T15:27:54Z Americans join in protesting reclamation of Bali's Benoa Bay <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Sa2yIg8r-AI/VS0vZ7gKfSI/AAAAAAAABaY/VujpGAmK6so/w150-h84-no/reklamasi.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Americans and Indonesians demonstrated in Washington D.C. last week in protest of a massive land reclamation project in Bali’s Benoa Bay, to which opposition, activists say, is coming from increasingly international circles. Meanwhile, the governor of East Java rejected a proposal to dredge sea sand for the project off the coast of his province. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14632 2015-04-13T23:30:00Z 2015-04-18T21:51:34Z Innovative community fisheries initiative wins top social entrepreneurship prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414bs_octopus150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A program that helps restore overfished areas through community-based marine conservation has won the Skoll Foundation's top prize for social entrepreneurship. Today the Skoll announced Blue Ventures, which piloted its approach in Madagascar a decade ago before expanding to other regions, was one of four organizations to be honored with the $1.25 million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Rhett Butler -22.078898 43.237865 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14631 2015-04-13T20:25:00Z 2015-04-14T14:05:14Z A tale of two maps: Brazilian state won’t use new atlas to close Cerrado deforestation loophole <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0413_bb2_IMG_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Farmers in north-central Brazil, where the savanna meets the Amazon rainforest, are clearing land at an unprecedented rate. The government hasn’t stopped the cutting, partly because it is using inaccurate, outdated maps that hugely underestimate the extent of its endangered dry forests. Tiffany Roufs -6.390783 -48.131177 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14630 2015-04-13T19:43:00Z 2015-04-13T19:54:13Z Conservation and carbon storage goals collide in Brazil's Cerrado <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0413_bb_IMG_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists are raising the alarm about the disparity between biodiversity goals and carbon goals in Brazil's Cerrado. New research is beginning to challenge the idea that the Cerrado is irrelevant to the battle to reduce atmospheric carbon. Tiffany Roufs -24.086285 -49.948627 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14629 2015-04-13T18:38:00Z 2015-04-13T18:39:52Z Anti-mining activist shot dead in Guatemala Earlier this month, environmental activist, Telésforo Odilo Pivaral Gonzalez, was killed by unknown assailants who shot him five times. The father of six children (ages 1-11), Pivaral Gonzalez had actively opposed a conflict-ridden Escobal silver mine project run by Canadian company, Tahoe Resources, and its local subsidiary, Minera San Rafael SA. Jeremy Hance 14.477550 -90.177974 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14628 2015-04-13T17:15:00Z 2015-04-17T13:26:22Z New solutions aim to deliver more grain from farm to table in sub-Saharan Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0413-RCernansky-Farmer-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Corn is an integral part of many meals in Tanzania and its neighboring East African countries, but much of the harvest is lost to insects, rats, or mold. Researchers are developing ways to help farmers keep their harvest fresh longer in storage. Rebecca Kessler -4.184726 35.748095 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14622 2015-04-10T17:31:00Z 2015-04-10T21:26:59Z Scientists find new monkey with unique penis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0410-wl-macaque-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers were in for a surprise when they viewed footage from a remote and little-explored area of southeastern Tibet. Among the more than 700 photos of macaques, they spotted several with physical characteristics that hadn't been documented before; namely, genitals that were shaped and colored differently than other known macaques in the region. The scientists say these differences may make these macaques a new species. Morgan Erickson-Davis 29.371931 95.367662 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14618 2015-04-10T05:56:00Z 2015-04-10T06:10:48Z Faulty impact assessments plague Indonesian mines: Komnas HAM <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Fxvt93wQujw/VSdoAHYWBwI/AAAAAAAABZs/MpiwRF6NdRI/w150-h100-no/Pegunungan-karst-Kendeng-sebagai-sumber-air-bagi-pengairan-irigasi-sawah-warga-di-Kayen-Tambakromo-dan-Sukolilo-Pati.-Photo-by-Tommy-Apriando.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A member of Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission held up the Rembang cement factory case as an example of how environmental impact assessments are frequently manipulated by the companies required to undertake them. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14617 2015-04-10T03:43:00Z 2015-04-15T13:37:12Z Scientists raise concern over road proposed through protected forest in Cambodia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/cambodia-FOREST-LOSS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of scientists have expressed 'strong concerns' about mounting threats to wilderness and wildlife in Cambodia. In a resolution issued at the conclusion of their annual gathering in Phnom Penh, the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) urged the Cambodian government to carefully evaluate the impacts of a proposed road in Eastern Cambodia. Rhett Butler 13.250159 105.561705 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14616 2015-04-09T23:59:00Z 2015-04-10T00:23:16Z Platform provides near-real time analysis of deforestation in non-Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/0409uc150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new platform will provide critical near-real time information and analysis on emerging threats to forests in the non-Brazilian Amazon. Officially announced today, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) in an initiative launched by the Amazon Conservation Association and Conservación Amazónica-ACCA. Rhett Butler -3.991457 -73.032384 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14615 2015-04-09T22:34:00Z 2015-04-09T22:35:12Z Study finds abandoned pasture is 'a huge resource that is not being harnessed' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0409-thumb-Chimborazo_sheep.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As tropical forests around the world are cleared for human development, scientists and conservationists are trying to find ways to both stem their loss and reclaim areas already deforested. In a recent study, researchers investigated restoration of abandoned agricultural land in Ecuador, finding that planting trees and even re-establishing pasture may help limit conversion of more forest to farmland. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.106545 -78.252244 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14614 2015-04-09T19:17:00Z 2015-04-17T13:26:36Z Combating food waste in sub-Saharan Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0409-RCernansky-Market-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In sub-Saharan Africa, a sizeable portion of essential food crops are lost before they can be eaten or sold. Long a neglected aspect of the agricultural system, this waste stream of food is starting to attract attention from global agriculture organizations and financial institutions, offering hope that the losses can be reduced, and with them rates of rural hunger and malnutrition. Rebecca Kessler -3.365242 36.688199 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14613 2015-04-09T18:57:00Z 2015-04-09T18:58:37Z Australia becomes first country to ban lion trophies Last month, Australia became the world's first country to ban the import or export of lion trophies, often taken from so-called canned hunting where lions are raised solely to be shot by foreign hunters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14611 2015-04-09T17:24:00Z 2015-04-09T17:50:06Z Long considered tree-killers, lianas may actually help rainforest restoration <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0409-JDulaney-Lianas-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the 1970s, research into climbing woody vines called lianas has focused primarily on the harm they inflict on rainforest trees, but a new paper suggests that if they are judiciously planted, they might help, rather than hinder, rainforest recovery. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14610 2015-04-09T06:28:00Z 2015-04-09T06:44:20Z Indonesia recognizes bribery might have enabled slavery in eastern waters <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dxhJOJEw118/VSYdeTY_cXI/AAAAAAAABZQ/oA9kkgYIbyE/w150-h99-no/abk-benjina2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The composition of Indonesia's special team tasked with investigating slavery allegations against fishing company Pusaka Benjina Resources reflects the government's acknowledgement that the crimes might have happened with the assent of corrupt officials. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14609 2015-04-08T20:16:00Z 2015-04-08T20:29:08Z New group hopes to raise global profile of the peace-loving bonobo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0408.bonobo.IMG_0595.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Of the world's six species of great ape (not including us), it's safe to say that bonobos (<i>Pan paniscus</i>) are the least studied and least known publicly. But a new organization, the Bonobo Project, is hoping to change that. To the untrained eye, a bonobo looks little different from their closest relative, the chimpanzee. But the differences between these two cousins are actually quite large. Jeremy Hance -2.337877 21.242508 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14606 2015-04-07T20:19:00Z 2015-04-09T18:18:16Z Condition of tropical forests 'worsening', could become 'critical' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/tropical-forest-loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>World leaders are continuing to overlook the worsening condition of tropical forests despite the biome's vast potential to help mitigate climate change, support local livelihoods and ecosystem services, and stabilize global agriculture, warns a comprehensive review published by a body founded by Prince Charles. Rhett Butler 1.940683 18.371643 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14605 2015-04-07T20:08:00Z 2015-04-07T20:08:56Z Tiny Brazilian opossum could be farmers’ friend <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324_possum_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>André Mendonça pops open the spring-loaded door on the shoebox-sized trap and peeks inside. Two bulging, black eyes glare back at him. He pulls the trap off the tree limb and shakes the stunned, sopping wet creature into a clear plastic bag. “One more!” he says excitedly. Morgan Erickson-Davis -15.890689 -47.843013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14604 2015-04-07T17:33:00Z 2015-04-07T17:37:12Z Brazilian farmers urge return of big cats to Cerrado to protect crops from rampaging peccaries <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0407-co06-1366.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Margie Peixoto was driving her pickup across her farm in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul one February afternoon when she spotted some broken corn stalks and a trio of white-lipped peccaries ambling along the red-clay road as if they owned it. The moment these wild pig relatives spotted the truck, they snorted, snarled and disappeared into the head-high crop, where dozens more likely hid. Morgan Erickson-Davis -17.888114 -54.308152 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14603 2015-04-07T15:24:00Z 2015-04-07T15:27:10Z Overfishing leads to crashes in sardines and other forage fish <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0406-sardines-marine_0067_thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some of the smallest fish in the sea play an outsize role in marine ecosystems. Populations of sardines, anchovies, and other so-called &quot;forage fish&quot; have undergone stupendous crashes whose effects ripple outward across the food web. New research shows that overfishing has caused or worsened these crashes and suggests some simple tweaks to fisheries management that could help fishermen and fish alike. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14599 2015-04-06T23:27:00Z 2015-04-07T01:55:11Z Who's to blame for forest loss in Borneo timber concession? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0406greenomics_bmh150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The apparent loss of some 4,000 hectares of forested peatland in Indonesian Borneo is raising questions on who bears responsibility for forest clearing in un-utilized concessions. On Monday, Greenomics-Indonesia issued a report revealing the loss of significant tracts of peat forest in a West Kalimantan concession held by PT Bumi Mekar Hijau (BMH), a plantation company whose operation in South Sumatra supplies Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) with woodpulp for its mills. Rhett Butler 1.410215 109.137487 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14598 2015-04-06T23:23:00Z 2015-04-07T01:31:30Z Where the wild things aren’t: study says U.S. protected lands aren’t where most biodiversity is found <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0406-thumb-salamander.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The United States has one of the oldest, best-established park systems in the world. But what if those public lands -- mostly created to preserve scenic natural wonders -- are in the wrong place to conserve the lion’s share of the nation’s unique biodiversity? Morgan Erickson-Davis 38.867612 -79.159060 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14597 2015-04-06T22:40:00Z 2015-04-06T22:48:41Z Palm oil companies, NGOs endorse new deforestation-limiting toolkit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0727.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forests not only house many of the world's species, but also much of its carbon. Now, a toolkit has been developed by a group of companies and organizations with the aim of helping other companies and NGOs identify High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests. The toolkit was endorsed last week by major NGOs and plantation companies in Singapore. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.788594 110.702850 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14596 2015-04-06T21:25:00Z 2015-04-06T21:39:38Z Restoration of artificial swamps could be a key to restoring rainforest health in Sumatra The term "artificial" has acquired negative connotations in recent years. However, a recent study in Sumatra's Harapan rainforest details not only the ecological benefits, but rather the necessity, of improving artificial wetlands found along waterways in this rainforest ecosystem. Brittany Stewart -2.233333 103.316667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14595 2015-04-06T17:49:00Z 2015-04-06T18:28:54Z Paper or paperless? Navigating the ecological impact strait between Scylla and Charybdis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0406_aus16_MINING_TRUCK150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Where would we be without cell phones? According to the United States Census Bureau, the USA has about as many cell phones as people. Such electronic devices are only one of many technological products, such as tablets, laptops, desktops, and television sets that are nearly ubiquitous in today's world. All of these gizmos and gadgets, as well as electronic and hybrid vehicles, cannot operate without rare earth elements. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14594 2015-04-06T17:21:00Z 2015-04-06T18:04:43Z Fighting fire with money: can finance protect Indonesia’s forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0551.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In previous articles, we have seen an overview of the problems with the Indonesian palm oil industry. Such problems are largely caused by rent-seeking politicians and businessmen, who are willing to sacrifice endangered wildlife, the health of their countrymen and long-term environmental stability in the pursuit of profit. These actors exert a significant influence on and within the Indonesian government. As a result, Indonesia remains conflicted between the opposing goals of conservation and economic growth. Rhett Butler -2.904811 112.032508 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14593 2015-04-06T14:48:00Z 2015-04-06T16:21:00Z Kaiduan dam in Borneo meets fierce opposition <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0403-MountKinabalu-thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Activists are calling on the government of Sabah, Malaysia, to reconsider the proposed Kaiduan dam, saying it has not considered other solutions to Sabah's looming water crisis and has failed to consult with the indigenous people who will be displaced if the project proceeds. Rebecca Kessler 6.174876 116.138874 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14591 2015-04-06T12:38:00Z 2015-04-06T12:56:09Z Aceh's purge of illegal oil palm at 3,000 hectares and counting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q34fgypNdQ4/VSJ_hqdqwpI/AAAAAAAABYs/QMYnyMdF9ps/w150-h100-no/LAHAN-SAWIT-YANG-TELAH-DIMUSNAHKAN-5.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A joint effort to eradicate illegal oil palm in an area of Indonesia's Aceh province that was devastated by flash flooding in 2006 has passed the 3,000-hectare mark. The plantations lie within the protected Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on earth where the Sumatran rhino, elephant, tiger and orangutan coexist in the wild. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14589 2015-04-03T23:11:00Z 2015-04-04T00:19:20Z KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut adopt zero deforestation policy for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0526.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yum! Brands, the company that owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, on Thursday announced a zero deforestation policy for its palm oil sourcing. The move came after aggressive campaigns by environmental groups that argued the chains weren't doing enough to ensure the palm oil they used to fry foods wasn't linked to human rights abuses, destruction of peatlands, and logging of rainforests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14588 2015-04-03T17:36:00Z 2015-04-04T02:43:04Z Kenya crackdown on terrorism threatens NGOs, wildlife, media <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0224-kenya-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The terrorist attack that killed at least 147 people at Garissa University on April 2nd was another tragic milestone in Kenya’s ongoing battle with the al-Shabab terrorist group based in Somalia. In response to several other brutal attacks on civilians, Kenya’s government recently passed and proposed harsh new laws that are alarming environmental activists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the media, opposition politicians and the public. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.582480 35.245744 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14587 2015-04-03T14:45:00Z 2015-04-03T17:51:28Z 'Lazy' sea lion sons rely on mothers' milk while diligent daughters learn to hunt <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0402-thumb-Galapagos-Sea-Lion-Feeding.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Young male Galápagos sea lions barely lift a flipper to hunt, new research from the Galápagos Islands shows. By comparison, young females are much more independent, providing many of their own calories by hunting at sea long before their mothers wean them. Rebecca Kessler 0.253246 -90.934719 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14583 2015-04-03T11:42:00Z 2015-04-03T12:27:47Z Blockade at Wilmar mill could erupt into full-blown strike <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/x5JaES8-6jzWmdTd0VzBYArUUJDMF3xQnFSFsCAr8dc=w150-h112-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Local people blocked the road to a Wilmar palm oil mill in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan province, demanding the release of nine day laborers who were arrested during an earlier protest over delayed wages. Trucks carrying fresh fruit bunches from nearby plantations were unable to deliver their cargo. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14582 2015-04-03T04:41:00Z 2015-04-06T17:49:15Z Common ground: balancing rights and responsibilities for natural resource investments and community development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar/150/madagascar_6044.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Given globalization and rising demands for energy and raw natural resources, extractive industries and their investors deepen the search to the last reaches of the planet for fuel and material. Despite rapid urbanization, millions of people in remote and underserved regions from Colombia to Zambia increasingly come into contact if not conflict with mining, timber or agribusiness interests every day. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14581 2015-04-02T20:04:00Z 2015-04-02T20:12:04Z Turning prairies into gas: study finds U.S. biofuel production has big impacts on grasslands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0402-thumb-colombia_4379.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Corn and soybean cultivation soared in the late 2000s, as U.S. agribusiness rushed to respond to federal legislation rewarding biofuels production. Debate since the institution of the program has centered on the question of whether biofuel crop expansions have come at the expense of plowed-under biodiverse grasslands and prairie ecosystems. Morgan Erickson-Davis 33.094995 -98.846374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14578 2015-04-02T16:14:00Z 2015-04-03T18:24:12Z Could inland aquaculture help save the oceans and feed the world? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0323_grouper_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mark Kwok has always loved the ocean. An avid diver and spear fisherman, he has travelled the planet in search of exotic fish and undersea adventure. Born into a wealthy Hong Kong family, he had the freedom to explore the world’s oceans. But in the last decade or so, he hasn’t been content just looking at fish. He’s been growing them. In a squat, unassuming cluster of buildings in an industrial suburb north of Hong Kong, Kwok is experimenting with a potentially revolutionary technology. Morgan Erickson-Davis 22.260480 114.132678 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14577 2015-04-02T11:36:00Z 2015-04-02T11:49:06Z Reservations about Indonesian 'land reform' as details unclear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/bali_0289.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian civil society groups and experts welcome President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's campaign promise to redistribute nine million hectares of land to farmers – in principle. But they remain wary of what the program, whose details have yet to be made clear, might look like in practice. These reservations were expressed at a discussion on the plan held in Jakarta on April 1. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14575 2015-04-02T06:22:00Z 2015-04-04T22:52:11Z Russia and Canada lead the world in forest loss in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0402loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Russia and Canada led the world in forest loss, accounting for nearly forty percent of the 18 million hectares of forest lost globally in 2013, reveals a new analysis based on high resolution satellite imagery. The research &#8212; released today on Global Forest Watch, a forest monitoring and research platform &#8212; was led by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland and involved Google, World Resources Institute (WRI), and other institutions Rhett Butler 54.492706 126.115233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14574 2015-04-01T23:59:00Z 2015-04-02T03:05:36Z Domino's, DairyQueen, Taco Bell, Burt's Bees score terribly on eliminating deforestation from supply chains <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401aceh_1169_orange150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a worldwide trend of companies establishing social and environmental safeguards for palm oil sourcing, some of America's best-known brands are still failing to adopt policies to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, concludes a updated assessment from The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14573 2015-04-01T23:24:00Z 2015-04-07T01:33:54Z Illegal deforestation driven by EU appetite for beef, palm oil, soy, say new reports <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401-thumb-amazon-sunset-2.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report finds that the European Union is driving international trade in commodities grown on land cleared outside of the law. In 2012 alone, the report says, the EU imported $6.5 billion worth of illegally sourced beef, leather, palm oil and soy, which amounts to nearly one-fourth of all global trade and some 2.4 million hectares (59.3 million acres) of forest illegally cleared. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.212795 -53.643841 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14572 2015-04-01T22:44:00Z 2015-04-01T23:08:07Z Tropical soundscapes offer clues to forest and animal community health <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0828.atlantic.S._flavius_SP_Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Marine biologists were the first to continuously eavesdrop on marine mammals using a technique called passive acoustic monitoring (PAM). By simply listening to these animals' sounds, researchers could collect valuable information about animal population density and distribution, population health, and responses to human disturbance. Given the challenges of studying animal communities as they migrate across the sweep of the world's oceans, acoustic surveys gained popularity as a tool for gathering data from otherwise inaccessible study sites. Brittany Stewart -15.785149 -40.520196 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14571 2015-04-01T17:06:00Z 2015-04-01T17:08:18Z Pollution from East Asia affecting air quality in Borneo's rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401-thumb-sabah_kinabatangan_0375.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds that industrial activities in East Asia are polluting the air in the rainforests of Borneo and that, once there, the pollutants could be traveling into the upper atmosphere and impacting Earth’s ozone layer. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.234472 116.230311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14570 2015-04-01T15:40:00Z 2015-04-01T23:36:50Z Indonesia, Brazil subsidizing forest loss far more than REDD+ slows it <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0401-thumb-riau_5576.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>International aid to protect forests in Indonesia and Brazil pales in comparison to domestic subsidies for commodities driving deforestation there. A study finds that while the countries received an annual average of $1 billion via REDD+, their agricultural and biofuel subsidies for palm oil, timber, soy and beef amounted to $41 billion per year. Philip Jacobson -5.633962 -52.828939 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14564 2015-03-31T23:28:00Z 2015-04-01T00:36:20Z Archer Daniels Midland to demand suppliers stop chopping down forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0345.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) will establish a zero deforestation policy for its global commodity supply chains, potentially forcing its soy, palm oil, and cattle suppliers to also eliminate deforestation from their operations or face losing business with the firm. The move, announced today and expected to be formally approved in May, came after a campaign by institutional investors and environmentalist groups. Rhett Butler -16.636361 -54.883979 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14563 2015-03-31T17:09:00Z 2015-04-26T18:43:49Z Here comes progress: what will planned megaprojects mean for an Amazon city? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0331-thumb_Publica_MVI_3574-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The city of Itaituba, in western Pará state, is home to several construction projects of strategic interest for the Brazilian government. However, with local infrastructure fragile, residents are worried they will not share in the spoils. Rebecca Kessler -4.043855 -55.995083 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14562 2015-03-31T06:02:00Z 2015-03-31T21:02:30Z Chinese-backed smelter plan causes concern among Sulawesi fishermen <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0331sulaw150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a pair of Chinese-owned miners companies proceed with plans to construct nickel smelters in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province, in line with a national edict to increase in-country mineral processing capacity, locals fear the factories will only intensify environmental degradation from the same firms' mining operations and harm fishing communities that rely on the area. Philip Jacobson -1.837566 121.269851 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14561 2015-03-31T01:05:00Z 2015-04-01T00:27:57Z Tracking companies' zero deforestation commitments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/brazil/150/brazil_155134lr.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past three years dozens of companies have made 'zero deforestation commitments', establishing policies that set social and environmental safeguards for commodity sourcing and production. However these agreements are highly variable &#8212; some policies are quite strong, while others aren't worth the paper they're printed on. Furthermore, no one knows whether there will be follow through on the pledges. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14560 2015-03-30T23:13:00Z 2015-03-30T23:14:46Z Big surprise in the greenhouse: study finds economic costs of climate change hugely underestimated <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330-egypt_1003.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Look at most climate change projection graphs and you will see a smoothly rising red line of increasing temperature, melting ice and other impacts. But climate does not work that way. Studies of the paleoclimate record indicate that when heat energy is rapidly added to the atmosphere -- as humans are doing today -- the climate can experience “tipping points,” with abrupt shifts and potentially disastrous results. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.895595 33.345588 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14559 2015-03-30T21:44:00Z 2015-04-26T18:44:16Z Nobody listened to them: fishing communities to be displaced by dams want a say in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_Publica_MG_3833_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hydroelectric dams planned along the Brazil’s Tapajós River will evict over 2,500 people from small fishing communities and kill the fish they depend upon for survival, but the government is refusing to consult them about its plans. Rebecca Kessler -4.551988 -56.253970