tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/borneo1 borneo news from mongabay.com 2015-01-27T03:00:31Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14307 2015-01-27T02:58:00Z 2015-01-27T03:00:31Z Company run Sarawak governor has amassed $1.4B in state infrastructure contracts Cahya Mata Sarawak, a publicly-listed infrastructure company run by relatives of Sarawak's former chief minister and current governor, has received over $1.4 billion in state contracts over the past 20 years, alleges an investigative report released by the Bruno Manser Fund. Rhett Butler 3.229565 114.797140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14300 2015-01-22T20:46:00Z 2015-01-22T20:59:52Z Half of Borneo's mammals could lose a third of their habitat by 2080 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_5424a.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Borneo consistently makes the list of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots” – areas full of a wide variety of forms of life found nowhere else, but which are also under threat. To better understand the hazards, a study published today in the journal Current Biology examines the effects of climate change and deforestation in the coming decades on mammals living on the island. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.605527 113.329920 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14273 2015-01-18T23:13:00Z 2015-01-19T01:31:35Z Facing legacy of deforestation and corruption, Sarawak may cease granting new logging concessions Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem says his government may stop granting new logging concessions, reports Malaysian state media. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14217 2015-01-06T05:06:00Z 2015-01-06T05:13:48Z Half of Indonesia's deforestation occurs outside concession areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0106-indonesia-forest-loss-concession150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Roughly half of Indonesia's natural forest loss occurs outside officially designated concession areas, concludes a new assessment that also finds higher deforestation rates in places with worse forest governance scores. The report, released last month by Forest Watch Indonesia, is based on analysis of satellite data spanning the archipelago. Unlike assessments by the Ministry of Forestry, the data includes areas outside the 'forest estate'. Rhett Butler 0.749575 121.290790 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14199 2014-12-26T16:21:00Z 2014-12-26T16:33:31Z Indonesia's silent wildlife killer: hunting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0255.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>By and large, Indonesia is a peaceful country. In fact, on the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime’s list of homicide rates, Indonesia ranks number 10, making Indonesians one of the least murderous people on Earth. A ban on gun ownership probably helps, although obviously there are many other ways to snuff out another person. Maybe Indonesia’s general tendency to avoid conflict helps, too. Whatever the reason why Indonesians are relatively unlikely to kill each other, such favors are not extended to Indonesia’s non-human wildlife. The relative safety of Indonesia’s people does not guarantee similar security for its animals. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14150 2014-12-16T14:29:00Z 2014-12-22T19:17:36Z Hunting is a greater threat than logging for most wildlife in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1216-sullender-gibbs-hunting-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Persistence is the key factor in the two most common human stressors on tropical wildlife. In Malaysian Borneo, hunting continually diminishes wildlife populations, whereas the negative impacts from selective logging are more transient, according to a recent study in Conservation Biology. Brittany Stewart 2.466958 113.456263 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14159 2014-12-16T05:40:00Z 2014-12-16T05:47:25Z Palm oil facilitates large-scale illegal logging in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0072.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Development of oil palm plantations is providing cover for large-scale illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo, driving destruction of some of the island's most biodiverse forests and undermining efforts to reform the country's forestry sector, alleges a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler -1.476897 113.648916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14138 2014-12-10T18:36:00Z 2014-12-11T15:15:53Z Huge swath of forest in Indonesian Borneo slated for clearing by 'sustainable' company <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1210-thumb-kalbar_2018.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A major wood fiber concession has moved ahead on developing a sizable chunk of forest in one of Indonesia’s most vulnerable provinces before a formal conservation assessment of the land could be completed, Greenomics Indonesia reports. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.796927 110.001526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14117 2014-12-05T04:56:00Z 2014-12-05T05:10:34Z Tradeoff: Sabah banks on palm oil to boost forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month Sabah set aside an additional 203,000 hectares of protected forest reserves, boosting the Malaysian state's extent of protected areas to 21 percent of its land mass. But instead of accolades, Sabah forestry leaders were criticized for how they went about securing those reserves: allowing thousands of hectares of deforested land within an officially designated forestry area to be converted for oil palm plantations Rhett Butler 4.471707 117.439298 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14102 2014-12-02T23:12:00Z 2014-12-02T23:51:18Z Embattled palm oil giant announces sustainability policy, but fails to win over critics Malaysian palm oil giant Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) has joined a growing list of companies committing to zero deforestation for commodity production. Rhett Butler 0.755443 101.186556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14062 2014-11-24T03:05:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:01Z Sarawak chief calls state's logging industry 'corrupt' In a surprising statement, Sarawak's new chief minister called the state's logging sector 'corrupt'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14051 2014-11-20T18:19:00Z 2014-11-20T18:21:29Z Indonesian government slow to reclaim lands damaged by coal mining Reclamation of over 830,000 hectares of abandoned mines has yet to begin in East Kalimantan, Indonesia--despite a provincial law passed over a year ago mandating the formation of commission to oversee the process. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13993 2014-11-10T02:25:00Z 2014-11-10T02:39:46Z Human infections by 'monkey malaria' increasing as forests disappear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1109-malaysia-macaque-02a.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>68% of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysia last year were caused by a once-rare strain of the disease traditionally limited to macaque monkeys. However, as deforestation has put humans and wild animals in closer proximity, <i>Plasmodium knowlesi</i> infections and deaths have increased rapidly. The strain is now responsible for three times the severe malaria infections in Malaysian Borneo than <i>P. falciparum</i>—the world's deadliest form of the parasite. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13982 2014-11-06T00:21:00Z 2014-11-06T00:28:45Z Another mining company found operating in flagrant violation of Indonesian law A Harita group mining company in West Kalimantan, Indonesia has been operating well outside of its permit boundary, reports local NGO, Forest Monitoring Volunteers of Borneo (RPHK). Their investigation found that PT. Karya Utama Tambang Jaya, is operating illegally on 78 hectares of land. The company holds permits to mine bauxite (aluminum ore) on 8,878 hectares. Rhett Butler -0.45331 110.128191 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13979 2014-11-05T01:13:00Z 2014-11-12T03:23:48Z Book detailing corruption allegations against Malaysian ruler moves forward A book alleging massive corruption by Sarawak's long-time ruler, Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, is being released despite apparent legal threats against the book's publisher and author. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13939 2014-10-24T15:41:00Z 2014-10-24T16:20:16Z When cute turns deadly – the story of a wildlife biologist who was bit by a venomous slow loris, and lived to tell the tale <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024_george_madani_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Slow lorises are YouTube stars. A quick search on the website will greet you with several videos of these endearing little primates--from a slow loris nibbling on rice cakes and bananas, to a loris holding a tiny umbrella. Lady Gaga, too, tried to feature a slow loris in one of her music videos. But the loris nipped her hard, and she dropped her plans. This was probably for the best, because the bite of a slow loris is no joke. Being the only known venomous primate in the world, its bite can quickly turn deadly. Brittany Stewart 3.679069 114.851374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13927 2014-10-21T14:47:00Z 2014-12-30T22:30:02Z Saving Asia's other endangered cats (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/LC_Ronglarp_HKK.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's no secret that when it comes to the wild cats of Asia&#8212;and, really, cats in general&#8212;tigers get all the press. In fact, tigers&#8212;down to an estimated 3,200 individuals&#8212;arguably dominate conservation across Asia. But as magnificent, grand, and endangered as the tigers are, there are a number of other felines in the region that are much less studied&#8212;and may be just as imperiled. Jeremy Hance 5.395824 117.268519 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13926 2014-10-21T03:15:00Z 2014-10-21T13:50:53Z Indonesian law bars palm oil companies from protecting forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1020-gar-concessions150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A law passed by the Indonesian government last month makes it even more difficult for palm oil companies to conserve tracts of wildlife-rich and carbon-dense forests within their concessions, potentially undermining these producers' commitments to phase deforestation out of their supply chains, warns a new report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group. Rhett Butler 0.348127 111.743953 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13925 2014-10-20T18:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:21Z Indonesia developing mega coal mine five times larger than Singapore <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1020-L1050236-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global miner BHP Billiton and Indonesian partner PT Adaro are developing what could become the single largest mine in Indonesia in terms of land area, with BHP owning 75 percent. The IndoMet mine complex in Central and East Kalimantan provinces on Borneo comprises seven coal concessions, which cover 350,000 hectares, or about five times the size of Singapore. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.060110 114.873573 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13922 2014-10-20T14:08:00Z 2014-10-21T15:05:26Z Walking the walk: zoo kicks off campaign for orangutans and sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/kalteng_0897.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you see people wearing orange this October, it might not be for Halloween, but for orangutans. Chester Zoo’s conservation campaign, Go Orange for Orangutans, kicks off this month for its second year. The campaign aims to raise money, and awareness, for orangutans in Borneo, which have become hugely impacted by deforestation often linked to palm oil plantations. Jeremy Hance 53.224664 -2.884033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13920 2014-10-17T20:44:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:08Z Indonesia’s tough choice: capping coal as Asian demand grows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1017-fogarty-L1050446-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> Indonesia cannot build power stations fast enough. And neither can most of its Asian neighbors. Rapid economic and population growth are driving equally rapid demands for electricity as the region builds out power grids to connect up millions of people to fuel prosperity. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.325944 115.733651 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13914 2014-10-16T16:00:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:56Z Indonesia tries to clamp down on coal sector’s worst excesses <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/fogarty2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Out of the jungles of East Borneo in Indonesia comes the fire that fuels Asia’s burgeoning economies: coal. Miners dig deep open pits, clearing forests and farmlands to extract coal from thick black seams, which is then crushed and loaded onto trucks and barges for shipment to China, India, Japan and other destinations in Asia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.325944 115.733651 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13890 2014-10-08T20:19:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:06Z Helping orangutans survive: new project aims to connect habitat fragments in Kalimantan (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1008-orang-outrop-5-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two decades ago, a project to convert one million hectares of forest to rice paddies was undertaken by the Indonesian government in southern Kalimantan. The project was a massive failure and was eventually abandoned, but not before it destroyed critical orangutan habitat. Now a new project is trying to knit together what's left and turn the area's isolated orangutan populations into one of Borneo's largest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.930780 112.637781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13885 2014-10-07T18:51:00Z 2014-11-06T17:53:33Z Marooned in shrinking forests, Bornean orangutans hang on as disaster looms (PART I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1007-oran-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The great apes are among some of the most endangered species on Earth, the targets of poachers and the victims of deforestation. However, from time-to-time there comes news of hope. A study published recently describes the dire situation faced by Bornean orangutans, as well as an ambitious project to help save them. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.930780 112.637781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13874 2014-10-05T06:01:00Z 2014-10-05T06:12:19Z Central Kalimantan to set up palm oil monitoring system to in bid cut deforestation 80% <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/kalimantan/kali9753.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan is moving forward on an oil palm plantation monitoring system it hopes will help meet a commitment to reduce deforestation 80 percent by 2020. The online monitoring system will include "information on the performance of plantation concessions such as productivity, the number of smallholder farmers, deforestation and other land cover change, and fire occurrence," according to Earth Innovation Institute which designed and is helping the provincial government implement the system. Rhett Butler -2.487964 111.863086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13849 2014-09-30T15:40:00Z 2014-09-30T16:15:45Z Malaysian palm oil company destroys Borneo forests, despite buyer's zero deforestation commitment Malaysian palm oil company Genting Plantations is continuing to destroy forests despite a high-profile pledge by one of its customers to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain, alleges a report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group. Rhett Butler 1.1897898 110.790518 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13840 2014-09-26T09:37:00Z 2014-10-01T02:39:36Z Coal mine has heavy impact in Indonesian Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0926-indonesia-coal-mine150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Baharuddin should be happy. The rambutan and durian trees flanking his home are heavy with fruit. Two hectares of chilies stretch before his house. The price of chili — a staple commodity in Indonesia — has been stable for six months. From his 2,000 plants he hopes to earn 40 million rupiah ($3,400), much of which he wants to invest in expanding his crop. That is, if his farm can survive the threats that have destroyed so many of his neighbor's. Rhett Butler -0.531027 117.2387 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13834 2014-09-25T15:48:00Z 2014-09-25T16:16:37Z Termites suffer in logged forests and palm oil plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-termites-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ants appear more resilient to forest degradation than termites. Scientists have long studied how birds, mammals, and amphibians respond to forest degradation, but what about the most abundant animals in the forest? Insects. A new study in <i>Biodiversity and Conservation</i> looks at how ants and termites reacted to forest changes in Malaysian Borneo. Tiffany Roufs 3.535145 114.288557 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13783 2014-09-15T16:52:00Z 2014-12-30T22:33:00Z Bizarre lizard newest victim of reptile pet trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0914.earless.monitor.Facebok-EML.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you've never heard of the earless monitor lizard, you're not alone: this cryptic lizard has long-escaped the attention of the larger public. But over the past couple years its bizarre appearance has been splashed across social media sites for reptile collectors. While this decidedly-quirky attention may seem benign, it could actually threaten the species' existence. Jeremy Hance 3.284402 114.791102 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13777 2014-09-12T18:31:00Z 2014-09-12T18:35:36Z Palm oil company continues to operate illegal plantation despite court ruling A palm oil company in Central Kalimantan continues to operate business as usual, despite a Supreme Court ruling confirming it has no legal permit to do so. Since 2009, PT Hati Prima Agro (HPA), a subsidiary of palm oil giant Bumitama Gunajaya Agro Group (BGA), has cleared over 7,000 ha of land in Central Kalimantan, even though their permits were revoked by the Ministry of Forestry in 2008. Rhett Butler -1.480243 112.530012 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13764 2014-09-10T18:27:00Z 2014-11-06T17:49:50Z Elephants pay the price for palm oil in Malaysian Borneo, impact may reach far beyond reported kills <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-borneo-elephants-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than a dozen elephant kills were reported in Sabah in 2013 alone, but it is unknown exactly how many have lost their lives in recent years as palm plantations encroach further and further into the rainforest. What is clear is that if the loss of their forest habitat continues to drive conflicts with humans at the rate it is now, Borneo elephants’ long-term survival may be in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.180661 116.893646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13711 2014-08-25T01:32:00Z 2014-08-25T20:58:49Z Scientists honor missing activist by naming a spider after him Swiss researchers have honored the memory of a missing indigenous peoples activist by naming an undescribed species of spider after him, reports the Bruno Manser Fund, the group he founded. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13709 2014-08-22T21:56:00Z 2014-08-22T22:07:08Z Indonesia to hear indigenous peoples' grievances on land disputes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_0709.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Public hearings into alleged violations of indigenous peoples' land rights will open next week in Palu on the island of Sulawesi. This is the beginning of a series of hearings by the Commission on Human Rights to explore conflicts affecting indigenous people in forest areas. The Commission will travel throughout Indonesia, providing concerned parties an opportunity to meet and discuss land disputes, before submitting the results of their findings to the next president. Rhett Butler -0.899125 119.834549 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13684 2014-08-19T01:44:00Z 2014-08-21T02:10:01Z 20 orangutan pictures for World Orangutan Day <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0909.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>August 19 is World Orangutan Day, a designation intended to raise awareness about the great red ape, which is threatened by habitat loss, the pet trade, and hunting. Once distributed across much of southeast Asia, today orangutans are only found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Both species of orangutan &#8212; the Sumatran and the Bornean &#8212; are considered endangered. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13658 2014-08-13T12:22:00Z 2014-12-30T22:35:41Z Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Central-Kalimantan,-Erik-Meijaard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the tenacity to take down a deer for dinner. New research explores the squirrel's monster tail and whether other tales about it may be true. Jeremy Hance 1.187729 114.549402 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13634 2014-08-06T00:57:00Z 2014-08-06T01:00:08Z Oil palm, mining prompts local govt in Borneo to declare water unsafe for drinking The Environment Ministry of Sintang Regency, West Kalimantan, Indonesia declared that the water in many rivers and lakes is unsuitable for consumption due to high levels of pollution. Rhett Butler 0.364606 111.641296 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13579 2014-07-24T07:22:00Z 2014-07-24T09:01:45Z Lush Cosmetics launches bid to protect pangolins Lush Cosmetics has agreed to support an effort to battle trafficking of the Sunda pangolin. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13564 2014-07-21T17:08:00Z 2014-11-25T22:28:21Z Surprising habitat: camera traps reveal high mammal diversity in forest patches within oil palm plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0721-orang-camtrap-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After more than four and a half years of camera trap footage, the results are encouraging: 36 mammal species, of which more than half are legally protected, are prospering in this most surprising of spots: an oil palm plantation in the province of East Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.946881 116.458530 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13562 2014-07-20T23:00:00Z 2014-07-20T23:10:07Z What is peat swamp, and why should I care? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3792.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Long considered an unproductive hindrance to growth and development, peat swamp forests in Southeast Asia have been systematically cleared, drained and burned away to make room plantations and construction. Now, as alternating cycles of fires and flood create larger development problems, while greenhouse gas emissions skyrocket, it is time to take a closer look at peat, and understand why clearing it is a very bad idea. Rhett Butler 0.20874 103.390732 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13554 2014-07-16T21:09:00Z 2014-08-10T18:23:18Z 30% of Borneo's rainforests destroyed since 1973 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/borneo-forest-cover-map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 30 percent of Borneo's rainforests have been destroyed over the past forty years due to fires, industrial logging, and the spread of plantations, finds a new study that provides the most comprehensive analysis of the island's forest cover to date. The research, published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, shows that just over a quarter of Borneo's lowland forests remain intact. Rhett Butler 0.900842 114.803696 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13556 2014-07-16T03:00:00Z 2014-07-17T03:14:18Z Forest loss rising in Borneo (caption) Forest loss is on the rise in Borneo, according to data from a team of researchers led Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland. The study, published last November in the journal <i>Science</i>, now underpins Global Forest Watch, a worldwide forest mapping platform. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13475 2014-06-30T21:54:00Z 2014-06-30T22:57:56Z Oil palm plantations degrade local water quality relative to community forests Oil palm plantations are not only encroaching on forests, they are also degrading water quality, finds a new study published in the <i>Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13465 2014-06-29T23:04:00Z 2014-07-04T17:33:22Z Despite moratorium, Indonesia now has world's highest deforestation rate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/ANNUAL-primary-forest-loss-indonesia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite a high-level pledge to combat deforestation and a nationwide moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions, deforestation has continued to rise in Indonesia, according to a new study published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Annual forest loss in the southeast Asian nation is now the highest in the world, exceeding even Brazil. Rhett Butler -4.127285 104.840697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13450 2014-06-26T04:45:00Z 2014-06-26T13:17:27Z Despite early headwinds, Indonesia's biggest REDD+ project moves forward in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0625-rimba-ryra-deforestation150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just over a year ago, the Indonesian government officially approved the country's first REDD+ forest carbon conservation project: Rimba Raya, which aims to protect more than 64,000 hectares of peat forest in Central Kalimantan. The approval came after years of delays from the Ministry of Forestry and a substantial reduction in the project's concession area. But InfiniteEarth, the firm behind the project, pressed on. Now a year later, Rimba Raya's is not only still in business, but is scaling up its operations. Rhett Butler -3.262548 112.030914 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13431 2014-06-23T22:02:00Z 2014-06-23T22:11:01Z Wilmar to investigate palm oil company allegedly destroying orangutan forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0623greenomicsgfw150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A Wilmar supplier is allegedly destroying orangutan habitat in Indonesian Borneo, potentially putting it in breach of the plantation giant's zero deforestation policy, reports Greenomics. According to analysis of satellite data by Greenomics, PT Sumatera Jaya Agro Lestari (SJAL) has cleared an area of forest that is classified as orangutan habitat. Rhett Butler -0.380742 110.379626 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:43:04Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13420 2014-06-20T20:08:00Z 2014-11-25T22:16:14Z The palm oil diet: study finds displaced orangutans have little else to eat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0620-orang-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a recent study, researchers assessed how orangutans have adapted to living among oil palm plantations on Borneo. They found that while orangutans have adapted to the island’s human-transformed landscapes better than expected, oil palm plantations are unable to sustain orangutan populations in the long-term. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.577829 118.213756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13417 2014-06-20T01:55:00Z 2014-06-20T14:43:04Z Apeidemiology: researchers model ape disease transmission for the first time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0619-chimp-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a nine-year-long study published recently in PLOS ONE, a team of researchers attempted to understand how diseases spread and differ among orangutans (<i>Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii</i>) and chimpanzees (<i>Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii</i>), creating the first-ever epidemiological model for great ape populations. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.155874 32.034076 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13394 2014-06-16T18:04:00Z 2014-06-17T20:41:53Z Stolen fruit may spur better palm oil traceability Rising theft may improve traceability in Malaysia's palm oil industry. Rhett Butler 3.31122 113.435791 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13347 2014-06-05T20:16:00Z 2014-06-05T21:55:57Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Work locally, relentlessly, and, if necessary, ignore the government <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0605.fredriksson.Gabriella_bear-skull.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1997, Gabriella Fredriksson, then a young PhD student, was studying sun bears in East Kalamantan, Indonesia, when massive forest fires broke out in the park. 'It quickly became clear that there was no government agency, NGO, or private company in the area interested in assisting putting out these fires, which were threatening to burn down the entire reserve,' Fredriksson told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 1.459166 117.013715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13329 2014-06-03T16:02:00Z 2014-11-25T22:14:56Z Newly discovered snails at risk of extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0603-P.christae-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A team of Dutch and Malaysian scientists has recently completed one part of a taxonomic revision of <i>Plectostoma</i>, a genus of tiny land snails in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, according to their article published recently in <i>ZooKeys</i>, it seems that these animals may be going extinct as fast as they are being discovered. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.861126 102.680811 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13314 2014-05-29T20:30:00Z 2014-05-29T20:38:06Z Facebook, Twitter to carry 24 hours of live rainforest animal sightings on Monday <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.orang.rhettbutler.mongabay.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Next week, the rainforests of Southeast Asia are going live. On June 2nd, 11 organizations in the region will be posting lives video, photos, and wildlife sightings over 24 hours on Facebook and Twitter (see #rainforestlive). Dubbed Rainforest: Live, the initiative hopes to raise awareness of quickly vanishing ecosystems and species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13285 2014-05-25T14:10:00Z 2014-05-25T14:13:09Z Brunei to limit agricultural land use to 1 percent The tiny, but densely forested country of Brunei Darussalam says it will limit agricultural conversion to one percent of its land mass, preserving much of the rest for biodiversity and other services afforded by healthy forest ecosystems. Rhett Butler 4.466904 114.411221 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13275 2014-05-23T01:29:00Z 2014-05-23T01:41:36Z WWF accuses APRIL of breaking sustainability commitment by logging rainforest in Borneo Environmental group WWF has accused Singapore-based pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) of breaking its recent conservation commitment by destroying rainforest in Indonesian Borneo. APRIL has denied the charges. Rhett Butler 3.554199 117.074726 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13271 2014-05-22T15:42:00Z 2014-06-25T15:48:50Z Zero-deforestation commitments pose acute challenges for commercial giants in the palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4062.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to zero-deforestation appears to be paved with good intentions, but how successful are these companies in staying on that path? A controversial proposal to construct a refinery in the wildlife-rich Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo highlights the challenges faced by both palm oil companies and conservationists in the face of zero-deforestation commitments. Jeremy Hance -1.127826 116.779421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13205 2014-05-11T18:22:00Z 2014-05-11T18:25:42Z Borneo bests Amazon in terms of giant tree growth rates Trees in the rainforests of Borneo have faster growth rates than those in the Amazon, finds a study published in the <i>Journal of Ecology</I>. Rhett Butler 4.54357 115.990448 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13176 2014-05-05T14:37:00Z 2014-12-30T22:47:01Z When the orangutan and the slow loris met - and no one was eaten <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0505.orangutanslowloris.Figure-1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2004 and 2012, scientists recorded rare encounters between two very different primates: southern Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) and Philippine slow loris (Nycticebus menagensis). But in neither case did the Bornean orangutan appear to attempt to kill the slow loris for consumption, which Sumatran orangutans are known to do, albeit very rarely. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13142 2014-04-28T03:41:00Z 2014-04-28T18:07:23Z APP commits to conserve, restore 1M ha of Indonesian forest; WWF pledges support <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1382.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), Indonesia's largest pulp and paper company and a long-time target of environmental campaigners, has committed to protect and restore a million hectares of forest across Indonesia. The pledge, which represents an area equivalent to the total plantation area from which it sourced pulp in 2013, was immediately welcomed by WWF, which until today has remained one of APP's staunchest critics. Rhett Butler 0.071068 102.396301 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13074 2014-04-14T13:32:00Z 2014-04-14T13:46:05Z Riddled with tumors: another blow to the Sumatran rhino species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0414.sumatranrhino.Pict4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation for Sumatran rhinos suffered another blow last week, only days after Suci&#8212;one of only ten rhinos in captive breeding efforts&#8212;died at Cincinnati Zoo. Scientists in the Malaysian state of Sabah revealed that a newly captured female, Iman, suffers from an assortment of tumors in her uterus, hugely complicating reproduction efforts. Jeremy Hance 5.171292 118.639881 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13014 2014-04-01T15:24:00Z 2014-07-21T19:57:54Z Death of young Sumatran rhino shouldn't discourage captive breeding efforts say conservationists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0331.Terri-and-Suci-2009.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just over two weeks ago, conservationists in the Malaysian state of Sabah managed to finally catch a wild Sumatran rhino female after months of failed attempts. But following such hopeful events, comes bad news thousands of miles away: a young female rhino, named Suci, died over the weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo. Jeremy Hance 39.142873 -84.508063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13011 2014-03-31T13:10:00Z 2014-03-31T13:47:57Z Schwarzenegger targeted by environmentalists for investments in forest-destroying companies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Former movie star and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger is facing criticism after Global Witness produced evidence that his investment company is profiting off rainforest destruction in Southeast Asia. The findings are significant because Schwarzenegger championed rainforest conservation while serving as governor of California. Rhett Butler 2.16242 112.654982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12981 2014-03-25T16:43:00Z 2014-11-25T23:16:08Z Alien trees use logging roads to invade Borneo forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0325-sabahlogroad-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The spiked pepper tree (<i>Piper aduncum</i>) is native to the American tropics, but has made itself at home in a variety of other locales where it can crowd out local vegetation and interfere with forest recovery. Although it’s been slow to spread through Borneo since its introduction to Indonesia in 1952, new logging roads appear to be driving the species farther afield. A study in mongabay.com’s open access journal Tropical Conservation Science raises concerns that these roads may bring unintended plant colonists to new areas – putting the biodiversity of forests at risk. Morgan Erickson-Davis 2.774354 115.763672 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12978 2014-03-25T01:03:00Z 2014-03-25T01:07:07Z Indigenous communities demand forest rights, blame land grabs for failure to curb deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous and forest-dependent peoples from Asia, Africa and Latin America have called for increased recognition of customary land rights in order to curb deforestation and ensure the survival of their communities. The Palangkaraya Declaration on Deforestation and the Rights of Forest Peoples calls on governments to uphold forest peoples’ rights to control and manage their customary lands and to halt rights-violating development projects being carried out without consent from local communities. Rhett Butler -2.302732 113.872063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12973 2014-03-24T13:29:00Z 2014-03-24T14:33:53Z Meet Iman: the Sumatran rhino's newest hope for survival <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0323.iman.Picture2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hopes for one of the world's most imperiled megafauna rose this month when wildlife conservationists succeeded in catching a female Sumatran rhino named Iman in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The female, which experts believe to be fertile, has since been successfully transferred via helicopter to the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary where experts plan to mate her with the local male, Tam. Located in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary is an uncompleted semi-wild enclosure and home to one of several last-ditch efforts to save the vanishing species from extinction. Jeremy Hance 4.936987 117.673531 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12958 2014-03-21T00:45:00Z 2014-03-27T22:01:55Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Offer health care for forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0320.health.Danzer_027545.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Kinari Webb has a superpower: the ability to provide high-quality health care in a remote and rural landscape. And she uses her power not only to save lives, but also to protect the remaining Bornean rainforests. Twenty-one years ago, Kinari Webb traveled to Borneo to work with orangutans. She witnessed the faltering health of both the people and the environment and saw that the two issues were inseparable. When families must choose between the health of their children and the health of the forest that supports them, everyone loses. But in the region of Gunung Palung National Park &#8212; where an estimated 10 percent of the world's orangutans live &#8212; illegal logging and slash and burn farming methods paid the bills and locals saw few alternatives. Kinari vowed to study medicine and return with more to offer. Jeremy Hance -0.961310 109.975687 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12918 2014-03-12T18:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:00:00Z Conservationists catch wild Sumatran rhino, raising hope for world's most endangered rhinoceros <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0312.crop.sabah_407.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservationists have succeeded in catching a wild Sumatran rhino in the Malaysia state of Sabah in Borneo, according to local media reports. Officials are currently transferring the rhino, an unnamed female, to a rhino sanctuary in Tabin National Park where experts will attempt to mate it with the resident male, Tam. The Sumatran rhino (<i>Dicerorhinus sumatrensis</i>) is one of the world's most imperiled species with less than 100 individuals left. Jeremy Hance 4.964906 117.690075 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12908 2014-03-10T23:33:00Z 2014-03-11T04:59:36Z Photos: Greenpeace stages protest in rainforest destroyed for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0310mpg150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Monday, Greenpeace activists in Indonesia staged a dramatic protest in an area of rainforest freshly cleared for a new oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan. The demonstration came under the group's campaign to push consumer products giant Proctor &amp; Gamble (P&amp;G) to strengthen its palm oil sourcing policy to include a zero deforestation commitment like those signed recently by Nestle, Neste Oil, and Kellogg's, among others. Rhett Butler -0.749109 114.740156 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12891 2014-03-07T14:06:00Z 2014-03-08T07:51:29Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Privatizing conservation management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0307.Sabah-2013-(6).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Is it possible to equitably divide the planet’s resources between human and non-human societies? Can we ensure prosperity and rights both to people and to the ecosystems on which they rely? In the island archipelago of Indonesia, these questions become more pressing as the unique ecosystems of this global biodiversity hotspot continue to rapidly vanish in the wake of land conversion (mostly due to palm oil, poor forest management and corruption. For 22 years, Dr. Erik Meijaard has worked in Indonesia. Now, from his home office in the capitol city, Jakarta, he runs the terrestrial branch of an independent conservation consultancy, People and Nature Consulting International (PNCI). Jeremy Hance -0.785983 112.680982 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12847 2014-02-27T23:15:00Z 2014-02-28T01:16:25Z Sarawak's top official accused of violating constitution Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has been accused of violating Sarawak's constitution by engaging in commercial activities while serving as the state's top official over the past thirty plus years, reports the Bruno Manser Fund, an NGO that campaigns on behalf of Sarawak's forest people. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12828 2014-02-26T06:24:00Z 2014-02-26T19:17:46Z Procter & Gamble's palm oil suppliers linked to deforestation (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/GP0STO8KS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A year-long investigation by Greenpeace has found companies that supply Procter & Gamble (P&G) (NYSE:PG) with palm oil are engaged in clearing of rainforests and peatlands in Indonesia, suggesting that Head &amp; Shoulders shampoo and other consumer products made by the company may be linked to forest destruction. Rhett Butler -1.930482 112.439146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12822 2014-02-25T01:58:00Z 2014-02-25T02:01:37Z Borneo monkeys lose a tenth of their habitat in a decade Four species of langurs monkeys that are endemic to Borneo lost more than a tenth of their habitat in just ten years, finds a study published in the journal <i>Biodiversity and Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler -2.163792 114.064495 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12820 2014-02-24T22:29:00Z 2014-02-25T00:17:26Z New forest map for Sarawak reveals large-scale deforestation, encroachment on indigenous territories <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0224-sarawak-land-use-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new online platform released by the Bruno Manser Fund reveals large-scale destruction of Sarawak's rainforests, peatlands, and traditional lands. Drawing from a variety of sources, the Sarawak Geoportal includes data on logging concessions, oil palm plantations, existing and proposed dams, historical forest cover, the extent of indigenous cultivated areas, election results, and area where there are current native customary rights (NCR) disputes. Rhett Butler 4.186181 115.146117 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12815 2014-02-23T00:08:00Z 2014-02-24T23:58:07Z If Indonesia can't protect its orangutans, why doesn't it just 'sell' them? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0922.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It is obvious that at the moment Indonesia neither has the political commitment nor ability to safeguard its dwindling populations of orangutans. Despite its Presidentially supported Action Plan to stabilize all remaining wild populations by 2017, orangutan habitats in Sumatra and Borneo are disappearing as rapidly as ever. Rhett Butler 0.727825 111.834898 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12782 2014-02-17T17:42:00Z 2014-02-17T22:48:42Z Wilmar refutes Sarawak govt's claims on palm oil ban Palm oil giant Wilmar has refuted a claim that it will stop buying crude palm oil from the Malaysian state of Sarawak due to its new 'no deforestation' policy. Rhett Butler 3.139145 113.182815 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12765 2014-02-12T04:13:00Z 2014-03-04T22:43:23Z Indonesia rejects, delays 1.3m ha of concessions due to moratorium The Indonesian government has rejected nearly 932,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) of oil palm, timber, and logging concessions due to its moratorium on new permits across millions of hectares of peatlands and rainforests, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. Rhett Butler 1.055658 120.842472 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12751 2014-02-10T13:47:00Z 2015-01-18T05:30:43Z Reduced impact logging failing to cut emissions in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Advocates for reduced impact logging in tropical forests often make a case that better forest management cuts carbon emissions relative to traditional forms of timber harvesting. While the argument for altering logging approaches to limit forest damage makes intuitive sense, a new study suggests that the carbon benefits may not bear out in practice. Rhett Butler 1.989156 117.350754 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12693 2014-01-28T07:09:00Z 2015-01-14T05:38:37Z Through careful management, indigenous people have shaped Asian rainforests for 11,000 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4089.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Humans have been actively managing vast areas of Southeast Asia's forests for longer than previously believed, according to research by paleoecologists from the United Kingdom presented in the current <i>Journal of Archaeological Science</i>. Strong evidence suggests that humans in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Vietnam have engaged in agricultural practices for the last 11,000 years. These findings may help bolster the claims of local indigenous peoples under threat of eviction from their traditional lands. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12646 2014-01-17T02:53:00Z 2015-01-13T05:53:01Z Land conflicts complicate effort to spare forests from palm oil in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0117-warning-dilarang150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A widely-heralded effort to spare carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands from palm oil development in Indonesian Borneo is facing new criticism after an investigation by rights groups found evidence of unresolved conflicts over community land. The report, published Friday by the Forest Peoples Program and TUK-Indonesia, looked at a carbon conservation pilot project run by Golden Agri Resources (GAR), a Singapore-based agribusiness giant that is one of Indonesia's largest palm oil producers. Rhett Butler 0.718899 112.26918 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12611 2014-01-08T14:46:00Z 2014-01-09T11:18:52Z Requiem or recovery?: the Sumatran rhino 200 years after its description <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0108.Sumatran-Rhino-Skull-Bell-1793.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1893, William Bell, a surgeon in the service of the Dutch East India Company stationed in Bencoolen, Sumatra, examined the body of a dead rhinoceros. The animal, a male, was relatively small as rhinoceroses go, measuring only four feet four inches at the shoulder and eight feet five inches from its nose to the tip of its tail. Dr. Bell noted that the animal resembled a large hog and judged it to be a young individual based upon the condition of the bones and teeth. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12579 2013-12-26T23:48:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:36Z Rainforest news review for 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler -3.118576 -60.076675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12561 2013-12-22T10:10:00Z 2013-12-27T15:09:10Z Unraveling the secrets of one of the world's most mysterious big cats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1226sundaleopard150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Sunda clouded leopard has always been shrouded in mystery. Only declared a separate species from its mainland cousin, the Borneo clouded leopard, in 2006, the IUCN lists the cat as Endangered. The distinction between the Borneo clouded leopard (<i>Neofelis nebulas</i>) and the Sunda clouded leopard (<i>Neofelis diardi</i>) was made by ground-breaking molecular coding technologies and anatomy studies of the two species. Although it is Borneo's largest predator, very little is known about the Sunda leopard. As a medium-sized, well-camouflaged and mostly nocturnal animal, the leopard has evaded researchers since its discovery eight years ago. Tiffany Roufs 5.238657 118.325043 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12542 2013-12-18T23:32:00Z 2014-02-20T19:15:17Z Ongoing deforestation reported in Borneo concession held by APP supplier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1218westapp150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Up to 1,400 hectares of forest have been cleared in a concession belonging to an Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) supplier in Borneo, potentially putting the company in breach of the forestry giant's zero deforestation commitment, reports a coalition of local NGO's. In a report released Tuesday, Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan (RPHK), a coalition of NGO's in part supported by WWF-Indonesia, said that blocks of natural forest have been cleared in a concession belonging to PT Daya Tani Kalbar (DTK), an APP supplier. The clearing has taken place since APP's moratorium went into effect February 1, 2013. Rhett Butler -0.760352 109.814773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12509 2013-12-11T21:19:00Z 2013-12-20T05:45:04Z Logging kingpin linked to kidnapping, violent assault seeks legitimacy via IPO <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0347.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A businessman whose company kidnapped and violently assaulted environmentalists investigating illegal logging in a national park is set to earn millions of dollars from Thursday's initial public offering of Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, a palm oil company with holdings in Indonesian Borneo. Environmentalists are warning responsible investors to steer clear of the IPO. Rhett Butler -3.148743 111.951857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12482 2013-12-04T23:44:00Z 2013-12-20T05:39:15Z APP's Borneo expansion to be constrained by forest conservation policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_0876.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) will not convert any blocks of forest found to have high conservation value or substantial carbon stocks as it expands in Indonesian Borneo, according the forestry giant's managing director of sustainability. Responding to a report published by Greenomics, Aida Greenbury said APP's 10-month-old forest conservation policy applies to four suppliers operating in East and West Kalimantan. Rhett Butler -0.745333 109.861883 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12466 2013-12-02T13:37:00Z 2013-12-02T17:37:38Z New project works to raise the profile of the world's littlest bear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1127.sun_bear_closeup.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's least-known bear also happens to be the smallest: sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), so called for the yellowish horseshoe mark on its chest, are found across Southeast Asia. But despite their telltale markings, super-long tongues, and endearing cuteness, sun bears remain little-studied and little-known compared to many of the region's other large mammals. Now, a new project is working to raise the profile of the sun bears of Borneo&#8212;Survival of the Sun Bears&#8212;which are a smaller subspecies of the mainland animals. Jeremy Hance 5.867777 117.94748 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12470 2013-12-02T00:44:00Z 2013-12-02T01:05:30Z Palm oil company Bumitama under fire for clearing rainforest, endangering orangutans <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1201buritama.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bumitama Agri, an Indonesian palm oil producer, is breaking the law by clearing forests and developing plantations without the proper licenses, a coalition of NGOs said in a report released on Nov. 21. The groups have called on financiers to either force Bumitama to shape up or cut ties with the company and with global palm oil traders such as Wilmar and IOI that do business with Bumitama. Rhett Butler -1.562826 110.326589 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12438 2013-11-22T20:14:00Z 2014-02-20T19:19:27Z Greenpeace photos expose palm oil giant's deforestation in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1122GP04Z5C150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A series of photos released this week by Greenpeace shows that an Indonesian palm oil company is continuing to clear orangutan habitat in Borneo despite a pledge to stop destroying the forest. Flyovers of a concession owned by PT Andalan Sukses Makmur, a subsidiary of Bumitama Agri Ltd, show excavators clearing peat forests and digging drainage canals just outside Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan. Tanjung Puting is famous for its population of orangutans that have been intensely studied by Birute Galdikas, a noted researcher and conservationist. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12414 2013-11-20T04:38:00Z 2013-11-20T22:10:23Z Mining the Heart of Borneo: coal production in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1119-top-coal-producers150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of coal – supplying energy to China, India, and elsewhere. Indonesia is also ranked the fourth top emitter of greenhouse gases in the world (after China, the USA, and the European Union), largely due to high deforestation rates and peatland fires. This ranking does not take into consideration the carbon emissions that Indonesia ‘exports’ in the form of coal. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12390 2013-11-15T23:08:00Z 2013-11-21T00:09:07Z Malaysia has the world's highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest map <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1115-malaysian-borneo150.gif" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Malaysia had the world's highest rate of forest loss between 2000 and 2012, according to a new global forest map developed in partnership with Google. Malaysia's total forest loss during the period amounted to 14.4 percent of its year 2000 forest cover. The loss translates to 47,278 square kilometers (18,244 square miles), an area larger than the country of Denmark. Rhett Butler 3.414725 114.223137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12366 2013-11-12T22:19:00Z 2013-11-15T07:29:43Z 3.5 million ha of Indonesian and Malaysian forest converted for palm oil in 20 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112-oilpalm-forest-malaysia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some 3.5 million hectares (8.7 million acres) of forest in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea was converted for oil palm plantations between 1990 and 2010, finds a comprehensive set of assessments released by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The research, conducted by an international team of scientists from a range of institutions, is presented in a series of seven academic papers that estimate change in land use and greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm expansion in the three countries, review the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production, forecast potential growth in the sector across the region, and detail methods for measuring emissions and carbon stocks of plantations establishing on peatlands. Rhett Butler -1.711553 103.395569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12362 2013-11-12T16:25:00Z 2013-11-12T16:42:13Z Murum dam blockaders may be suffering human rights violations warns NGOs A coalition of nearly 30 organizations has sent a letter to top authorities in Sarawak and Malaysia warning them of possible human right violations against a group of indigenous Penan who are blocking roads to the construction site for Murum Dam. Over 100 indigenous people have been blocking a road for over a month as they demand more compensation and land after being forced to move from their traditional lands to make way for the 900 megawatt dam. Jeremy Hance 2.135659 111.27697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12355 2013-11-11T23:00:00Z 2014-02-20T19:21:12Z HBSC financing deforestation for palm oil in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1111-eia-palm-oil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>HSBC, the world's third largest bank, continues to lend to companies linked to deforestation despite a policy explicitly prohibiting such practices, alleges a new report from the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). The report, published last week, looks at two Indonesian palm oil companies that recently received finance from HSBC: Bumitama Agri and Triputra Agro Persada. Rhett Butler 51.506646 -0.016869 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12329 2013-11-07T20:22:00Z 2013-11-07T20:25:14Z 8 tribesmen arrested in Borneo dam protest Malaysian authorities arrested eight indigenous protestors on Thursday in a crackdown on a long-running demonstration against a dam the tribesmen say will flood their homeland in Malaysian Borneo. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12323 2013-11-07T14:41:00Z 2013-11-08T00:07:13Z Palm oil companies ignoring community rights, new study shows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0022.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some of the largest palm oil companies are clearing forests and peatlands without seeking consent of local communities, leading to a spate of unresolved conflicts in plantation concessions around the world, warns a coalition of NGOs and researchers. Members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are violating the rights of local communities in tropical forests and failing to live up to social and environmental commitments, the coalition said in a report released on Thursday. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12318 2013-11-05T23:59:00Z 2013-11-06T18:16:46Z Indigenous groups expel workers, blockade another dam in Sarawak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1105-baram-protest150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hundreds of tribal people in Sarawak have started blockading a second big hydroelectric dam project being built by a government, which critics accuse of nepotism and corruption. Late last month around 200 native Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people chased away workers and set up a blockade on a road leading to the site of the proposed 1200 megawatt Baram dam. Rhett Butler 3.920301 114.290854 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12305 2013-11-04T22:23:00Z 2013-11-05T15:28:35Z World's most cryptic feline photographed in logging concession <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1104baycat150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The bay cat is arguably the world's least-known member of the cat family (Felidae). Although first described by scientists in 1874, no photo existed of a living specimen until 1998 and a wild cat in its rainforest habitat wasn't photographed until five years later. Given this, scientists with Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial College London were taken aback when their remote camera traps captured numerous photos of these elusive cats hanging out in a commercial logging concession in Sabah, a state in Malaysian Borneo. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12309 2013-11-04T17:43:00Z 2013-11-04T17:53:33Z New corruption allegations in Sarawak energy project An infrastructure company with ties to Sarawak's chief minister has just landed a $196 million contract to build transmission lines, sparking new complaints about cronyism and corruption in the Malaysian Borneo state. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12304 2013-11-01T21:22:00Z 2013-11-01T21:25:07Z Bolivia, Madagascar, China see jump in forest loss Loss of forest cover increased sharply in Bolivia, Madagascar, and Ecuador during the third quarter of 2013, according to an update from NASA scientists. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12254 2013-10-24T22:33:00Z 2014-02-20T19:23:18Z 'Sustainable' tropical timber trade a misnomer, says group The production and trade in 'sustainable' timber products in Southeast Asia is mostly 'a mirage' due to questionable forestry practices and loopholes in import regulations, alleges a new report from Friends of the Earth International. Rhett Butler 1.817932 113.784542