tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/deforestation1 deforestation news from mongabay.com 2015-07-03T14:18:17Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15082 2015-07-03T11:22:00Z 2015-07-03T14:18:17Z First Resources the latest palm oil giant to announce zero-deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5455.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant First Resources has committed to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain, making it the first palm producer operating primarily at the grower level to do so. The policy is the latest in a wave of sustainability commitments from corporations that produce, trade and use palm oil. To realize its new commitment, First Resources will have to resolve numerous land disputes its operations are involved in with local communities in Indonesia. Philip Jacobson -0.626800 116.030366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15081 2015-07-03T11:04:00Z 2015-07-03T14:01:36Z Wilmar, Musim Mas ex-supplier still destroying forest for oil palm in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0680.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas has continued to bulldoze valuable forest in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem despite its most prominent customers’ zero-deforestation commitments and repeated exposés of its activities, according to a NGO report. Both Wilmar and Musim Mas have suspended their dealings with the company, Mopoli Raya. Philip Jacobson 4.293876 97.423365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15062 2015-06-30T23:37:00Z 2015-07-01T05:55:12Z Dilma disappoints with weak rainforest target Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff disappointed environmentalists with what they call weak commitments on reducing deforestation and supporting renewable energy announced today during her visit to the White House. Rhett Butler -2.954589 -58.489989 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15052 2015-06-30T09:27:00Z 2015-06-30T09:34:04Z 'Sea change' in clothing industry means more protections for forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1169.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sateri has become the latest major viscose producer to adopt a new wood- and pulp-sourcing policy aimed at removing deforestation from its supply chain. The company, the world's third-largest viscose producer, joins Aditya Birla and Lenzing, the two biggest, in making commitments to stop buying wood pulp from natural or endangered forests. Philip Jacobson 1.302414 114.332741 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15049 2015-06-29T17:37:00Z 2015-06-29T17:52:59Z Corporations rush to make zero-deforestation commitments, but is it working? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/sabah/150/sabah_362.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, more companies pledge to stop using ingredients whose production cause tropical deforestation. Retailers and brands making voluntary commitments – mostly involving palm oil – include Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Colgate and Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil trader. Among 2014 joiners were Cargill, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin's Donuts and Baskin' Robbins, with 2015 bringing the addition of McDonald's, Archer Daniels Midland and Yum! Brands (owner of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell). Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15042 2015-06-26T20:12:00Z 2015-06-30T14:53:30Z Satellite-based forest mapping platform hits its stride Global Forest Watch, a young online forest monitoring and alert system, provides free, near real-time data on deforestation and tree-cover loss around the world. It allows users to create customized interactive maps detailing forest change, concession areas for natural resource extraction and agricultural production, conservation areas, and community land boundaries. The system acts as a research platform, providing country profiles and rankings based on forest statistics, and allowing users to crowdsource forest data and stories. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15040 2015-06-26T12:24:00Z 2015-06-26T12:36:08Z Illegal forest clearing spotted in Aceh's biggest peat swamp <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dU3UVu78Sudu-lHiiFUxEVBq9y-3Y-kU-yKWru_6KtQ=w150-h93-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Encroachers have been clearing forest at three locations in Aceh's biggest peat swamp since February, the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, analysis of Landsat satellite imagery by environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia shows. The area is home to the densest population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser Ecosystem. Philip Jacobson 2.312313 97.920790 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15037 2015-06-25T17:29:00Z 2015-06-25T17:52:57Z Do we need to move 'beyond certification' to save forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past two years dozens of companies have established 'zero-deforestation' or 'deforestation-free' policies for the commodities they source, trade, and produce. The pace of adoption has been staggeringly fast for a business that have been historically slow-moving relative to other industries. Some sectors, like the Indonesian palm oil industry and the Brazilian soy industry, even appear to be nearing a critical mass where the majority of international buyers and traders are now bound by such agreements. Rhett Butler 19.461253 104.367470 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15032 2015-06-25T10:28:00Z 2015-06-30T20:51:29Z Status change to come for Indonesia's partial logging moratorium? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5109.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry might upgrade the partial logging moratorium from a presidential instruction to a government regulation, or PP, later this year, a ministry official said this week. The change would take place after the ministry completes its semiannual revision of the moratorium map for the ninth time in November, according to The Jakarta Post. Philip Jacobson 1.223711 101.677374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15022 2015-06-23T18:34:00Z 2015-06-26T17:10:31Z Social-media firestorm defends popular man-eating tiger in India, raising conservation questions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0624_AJoshi_Ustad_Ustad1_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 8, 56-year-old forest guard Rampal Saini was attacked and killed by a tiger named Ustad with a bite to the neck. Ustad was hugely popular with tourists and had gained a massive online following. But Saini was Ustad's fourth victim in a span of five years, and his death unleashed a heated debate — especially online — about whether the ensuing decision to banish him to captivity was the right one. Rebecca Kessler 26.017578 76.502612 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15017 2015-06-23T05:30:00Z 2015-06-24T20:01:03Z Controversy emerges over alleged deforestation policy breach by APRIL supplier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622gfw_ahl_satellite150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than three weeks after APRIL unveiled a sustainability policy that is supposed to protect natural forests, an environmental group is alleging that one of the Indonesian forestry giant's subsidiaries is already breaching the commitment. But APRIL refuted the claim and says it continues to stand by the policy. Rhett Butler 3.556065 117.073839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14998 2015-06-18T23:09:00Z 2015-07-01T05:36:17Z Has Amazon deforestation reached a 7-year high in Brazil? Analysis of satellite data suggests deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon may have reached a seven-year high. Rhett Butler -2.123224 -48.577349 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14980 2015-06-16T23:58:00Z 2015-06-17T00:14:30Z Gold miners invade Amazonian indigenous reserve Illegal miners have invaded an indigenous reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, reveals new analysis of satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -12.892302 -70.631447 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14974 2015-06-16T14:00:00Z 2015-06-17T00:44:09Z $4.5 Billion Spent On Voluntary Carbon Offsets Over Past Decade: Report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0616_Gaworecki_CarbonMarket_WindFarm_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly one billion carbon offset credits were voluntarily purchased over the past decade, which netted conservation and clean energy projects almost $4.5 billion, according to a recent report by the Washington D.C.-based conservation group Forest Trends. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14966 2015-06-15T22:42:00Z 2015-06-18T01:01:42Z Consumers willing to pay sharp premium for wildlife-friendly palm oil, claims study Shoppers may be willing to pay a 15 to 56 percent premium for palm oil produced without the destruction endangered species' habitat, asserts a study published today in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler -0.164061 101.455089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14964 2015-06-15T18:16:00Z 2015-06-15T18:18:06Z A toad's relationship with its prey endures in the face of deforestation for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0611_dulaney_toads_toad_thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Biologists and conservationists have studied the effects of habitat degradation on individual species, but have rarely investigated how logging and conversion of rainforests to oil palm agriculture change interspecies relationships. A study of a toad and its ant prey found that while the toad dwindled in disturbed habitats, a shortage of food was not the reason. Rebecca Kessler 8.008197 116.118019 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14955 2015-06-13T03:05:00Z 2015-06-13T03:07:51Z 90% of Amazon deforestation occurs outside protected areas Ten percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2012 and July 2014 occurred in protected areas, reports new research from Imazon. Rhett Butler -5.721587 -52.901145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14954 2015-06-13T02:46:00Z 2015-06-13T02:54:56Z Rising seas, sinking peat to swamp Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0612_MIRI3691_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With global sea levels going up at a rate of about 9 millimeters per year, the livelihoods of many coastal people in the world look increasingly threatened, especially in those parts of the world with limited financial or technical means to adapt. A rate of a thumb-width of water per year may not sound like much, but the half to one meter higher water levels mean that many coastal people will have to abandon their homes and fields before the end of the century. Rhett Butler 2.069753 101.229649 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14948 2015-06-12T08:21:00Z 2015-06-23T14:00:59Z Palm oil giant announces deforestation freeze amid NGO campaign <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DkCK_BtGk99TIsU460hGedzBVazA_gKOv-m5eRAGUQw=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari has announced an immediate moratorium on land clearing, less than a month after the launch of an environmental campaign targeting one of its sister companies, the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain. The prohibition applies to Astra Agro's own plantations as well as to those of its suppliers. Astra Agro characterized the freeze as a major step toward bringing its operations into line with the standards of the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, a high-profile, joint sustainability commitment signed by palm giants Wilmar, Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri and Musim Mas as well as the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. Philip Jacobson -6.208987 106.916552 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14941 2015-06-11T12:22:00Z 2015-06-23T14:03:36Z Oil palm company accused of violating RSPO, IPOP standards in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0065.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The reputation of oil palm business group Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, a holding of one of Indonesia's richest men, has in recent days taken hits on multiple fronts, with a pair of NGOs separately accusing the firm of violating various sustainability commitments it is party to. The criticism highlights holes in both the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile sustainability pact to which palm giants Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Musim Mas, Asian Agri and Cargill are signatories, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Philip Jacobson -1.923790 111.204341 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14938 2015-06-10T16:01:00Z 2015-06-10T16:13:05Z Satellite images provide new view of uncontacted Amazonian communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0610-freedberg-remote-sensing-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A laundry list of dangers threaten Amazonia’s few remaining uncontacted indigenous communities. Colonists and industry workers often grab tribal land for mining, logging, drug trafficking, or hydrocarbon extraction, which damage the groups’ environment and bring them into conflict with armed settlers. Careless encroachment by outsiders can also bring diseases to which uncontacted groups have no immunity. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14920 2015-06-08T09:29:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:07Z In Sumatra, an oasis in a sea of oil palm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YoDK2jfNhYCkCQxVIL7HEVLKuj68gUZlT4vMbLFDISM=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sumatra is estimated to have lost 85 percent of its forests in the past half century, primarily due to widespread conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations. In the village of Tangkahan, however, residents have managed to preserve their forests and create one of Indonesia's ecotourism hotspots. Philip Jacobson 3.666803 98.002513 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14898 2015-06-03T12:54:00Z 2015-06-23T14:17:06Z Pulp giant APRIL updates sustainability policy with Greenpeace's tentative approval <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1389.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's second-largest pulp and paper producer has announced a new sustainability policy it hopes will win it the good graces of NGOs like Greenpeace, which has campaigned with some success for a boycott of the company due to its destructive environmental practices. Unlike the previous policy, the new one protects carbon-rich peatlands and forests of high-carbon stock. Philip Jacobson 1.457106 101.523565 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14881 2015-05-29T19:18:00Z 2015-06-16T21:55:25Z Invasive predators, deforestation driving Tasmanian parrot over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529-thumb-swift-juvs-Swift%20and%20Dee-1303.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Tasmania lives the swift parrot (Lathamus discolour), a highly threatened bird found nowhere else in the world. New research published recently in Biological Conservation finds they are more at risk of extinction than previously thought, with introduced sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and logging dealing two big blows to their remaining numbers. Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.631093 148.212457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14877 2015-05-29T13:27:00Z 2015-05-29T13:29:20Z Community conservation increases endangered monkey population in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529_parkman_monkey_thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Community conservation projects — initiatives that actively involve local people in conservation efforts — have gained increasing attention in recent years. Yet few studies have examined their success in protecting natural resources. A recent study on a project to conserve yellow-tailed woolly monkeys shows that they can work. Rebecca Kessler -4.939593 -77.857394 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14870 2015-05-28T12:59:00Z 2015-06-23T14:23:45Z GAR, Wilmar punish palm oil supplier for clearing rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0828.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil trader Golden Agri-Resources announced today that it would suspend purchases of crude palm oil from plantation developer Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri, which was outed in an NGO report last week for the third time in the past year for clearing forest in Indonesia's West Papua province, in violation of Golden Agri's no-deforestation commitment. Wilmar has also frozen its dealings with the company, though Asian Agri and Musim Mas, which also buy from it, have given no indication they will do the same. Philip Jacobson -1.767753 132.428972 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14858 2015-05-27T08:30:00Z 2015-06-23T14:46:13Z Can improved oil palm productivity and Indonesia's forestry moratorium go hand in hand? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0739.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An op-ed from Mongabay-Indonesia chief editor Ridzki R. Sigit, who calls for renewed efforts to boost smallholder productivity on Indonesia's oil palm plantations in the wake of the renewal of the country's moratorium on new concessions in primary forests and on peat. Philip Jacobson 1.344530 101.913580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14848 2015-05-23T14:39:00Z 2015-06-18T02:11:35Z Palm oil activist murdered in Jakarta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yOsxwSw-cVE/VWCRap0GchI/AAAAAAAABpI/QIdnNoO1xEQ/w150-h100-no/11099993_10152901494684862_3956272262438267001_n%2B%25282%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian activist who opposed unbridled oil palm expansion was stabbed to death by a group of men before dawn this morning outside a nightclub in South Jakarta. Whether the attack was related to his activism or the spontaneous result of a barroom brawl is not yet clear. But Indonesian media are reporting that one of the assailants shouted that he was a soldier as he brandished the knife that killed Jopi Peranginangin, the 39-year-old head of campaigns for Sawit Watch, which strives for social and ecological justice in the palm oil industry. Philip Jacobson -6.266200 106.818030 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14836 2015-05-21T08:35:00Z 2015-05-21T23:11:01Z Timber 'mass graves' uncovered as Malaysian authorities pursue illegal loggers A crackdown on illegal logging in Peninsular Malaysia's largest continuous forest complex has uncovered three timber 'mass graves' – burial sites where valuable logs have been stashed beneath tons of earth to hide evidence. The loggers apparently made haste in fleeing the hilly terrain where they left the timber. A joint operation by Malaysia's antigraft agency and Forestry Department found parts of logs sticking out of the ground and the red earth still unsettled, indications their quarry had hurriedly concealed the felled trees. Philip Jacobson 5.543306 101.341206 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14833 2015-05-20T20:38:00Z 2015-06-18T16:28:56Z VICE’s 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb' presents a tragic view of palm oil driven deforestation from the frontlines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0519mikegriffths150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the sixth episode of its third season, HBO’s Emmy-winning news series, VICE, focused its lens on Indonesia’s palm oil industry. The episode, entitled, 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb', follows VICE correspondent, Ben Anderson, as he investigates the environmental and social impact of widespread (and, at times, illegal) deforestation on wildlife and indigenous communities in Sumatra. Rhett Butler 0.753238 100.984464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14831 2015-05-20T10:04:00Z 2015-06-17T23:37:46Z Golden Agri takes another hit as sustainability guru suspends its membership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The charity that Indonesia's Golden Agri-Resources has enlisted to devise and implement its zero-deforestation and community-engagement commitments suspended its cooperation with the palm oil giant yesterday, following breaches of the policies they had designed together. A few hours later, Golden Agri announced the resignation of its chief sustainability officer. Philip Jacobson 0.600217 112.076059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14829 2015-05-20T04:05:00Z 2015-05-20T05:12:11Z Tennis star responds to rainforest advocates Roger Federer has responded to two Indonesian activists who asked the tennis star to use his influence to encourage Credit Suisse to end its relationship with a controversial logging company, reports the Bruno Manser Fund. Rhett Butler 1.0730227 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14827 2015-05-19T20:36:00Z 2015-05-20T05:09:33Z 62M ha of Latin American forests cleared for agriculture since 2001 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/colombia/150/colombia_0061.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over 62 million hectares (240,000 square miles) of forest across Latin America &#8212; an area roughly the size of Texas or the United Kingdom &#8212; were cleared for new croplands and pastureland between 2001 and 2013, find a study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -12.066663 -65.109455 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14820 2015-05-19T05:02:00Z 2015-06-23T14:57:45Z Luxury hotel chain linked to destruction of rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Mandarin Oriental hotel chain has landed in environmentalists' crosshairs for the practices of its sister company Astra Agro Lestari, a rapidly expanding palm oil producer with fully developed plantations on an area larger than Singapore. The new She's Not a Fan campaign – a play off Mandarin's celebrity-fan endorsement drive – launched yesterday with a petition calling on Astra to stop destroying forests and elephant habitat. Multinational conglomerate Jardine Matheson owns both firms. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14814 2015-05-17T14:47:00Z 2015-05-18T04:54:08Z Malaysian palm oil body encourages fiction over fact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In this commentary, David Dellatore, Program Manager at the Sumatran Orangutan Society, questions the value of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council's essay-writing contest which will pay contributors to conclude that palm oil is not a driver of deforestation Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14813 2015-05-15T23:44:00Z 2015-06-19T00:07:01Z What's the current deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, making it the biggest component in the region's deforestation rate. Helpfully, Brazil also has the best systems for tracking deforestation, with the government and Imazon, a national civil society organization, releasing updates on a quarterly and monthly basis using MODIS satellite data, respectively. Both the Brazilian government and Imazon release more accurate data on an annual basis using higher resolution Landsat satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -2.245333 -61.518783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14809 2015-05-15T15:02:00Z 2015-05-15T15:08:40Z New genetic analysis aims to guide restoration of overharvested Myanmar teak forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_teak_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Teak is one of the most valued tropical hardwoods for its beauty, durability, and versatility. Teak trees naturally occur in the Indo-Pacific region, where a long history of exploitation, along with deforestation, has led to declines in the species. A recent study published in mongabay.com's open-access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, analyzes the genetic makeup of teak in Myanmar, its largest stronghold, and uses the results to offer advice about how Myanmar teak should be conserved. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14806 2015-05-14T20:01:00Z 2015-06-16T22:03:37Z Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514-thumb-greenpeace-chimp-cam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.240989 12.391278 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14789 2015-05-12T18:21:00Z 2015-05-12T20:09:03Z Scientists reconstruct what was in the Harapan Rainforest of Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_v_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published in mongabay.com’s open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science describes how the Harapan Rainforest was prior to extensive logging and compares it to its current condition. The authors call for the Harapan's conservation because it is still very rich in species and holds rare habitats and many endemic plants. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14782 2015-05-11T17:00:00Z 2015-05-11T17:21:07Z Indonesian forestry giant calls for stronger forest moratorium <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0217.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), an Indonesian forestry giant once targeted by environmentalists for its logging practices, has joined a growing chorus of voices calling for a stronger moratorium on deforestation and policies that enable companies to support conservation efforts. In a letter released Monday, Aida Greenbury, APP's Managing Director of Sustainability, asked Indonesian President Joko Widodo to extend the country's moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions. Rhett Butler -0.761952 102.201971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14748 2015-05-06T04:50:00Z 2015-06-23T16:08:14Z West Papua 'oil palm atlas' portrays industry's explosion in region <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_0347.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's a saying in the Indonesian palm oil industry: Sumatra is yesterday, Kalimantan is today, and Papua is tomorrow. Tomorrow might well have arrived. A new report sheds light on the industry's rapid expansion in Indonesia's Papua and West Papua provinces – and on the companies behind the plantation drive. The result is a portrayal of a frontier region's early encounters with a crop that has come to dominate the Sumatran and Bornean landscapes – a portrait made that much starker by the central government's foreign media blackout in the territory. Philip Jacobson -7.425468 139.725488 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14747 2015-05-06T04:31:00Z 2015-05-06T04:47:39Z Using freely available tools to monitor forest cover in critical chimpanzee habitat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0506ug3-4440_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Think of it as trying to help the long-lost cousins who never left your home town. Researchers and friends at the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) are doing just that for chimpanzees. Our closest living relatives still live in their hometown African forests but these forests are under increasing threat. Rhett Butler -1.764782 27.593462 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14726 2015-05-01T23:22:00Z 2015-06-16T22:26:20Z Brazilian Amazon nears deforestation threshold past which wildlife may crash, says study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study on the impact of forest loss on biodiversity, recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, shows that one-third of the Brazilian Amazon is headed toward or has just passed a threshold of forest cover beyond which species loss accelerates and is more damaging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.997211 -63.061583 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14724 2015-05-01T15:52:00Z 2015-05-01T16:03:47Z Sarawak increases fines for illegal logging After decades of intense logging that has left its rainforests degraded, fragmented, and stripped of valuable timber in many areas, the Malaysian state of Sarawak has passed a new forestry bill that could boost penalties for illegal logging. Rhett Butler 1.287446 111.010594 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14720 2015-05-01T11:37:00Z 2015-06-23T00:22:04Z Palm giants ask Indonesian gov't to clear path toward sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0742.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Executives from palm oil giants Wilmar, Cargill and Golden Agri Resources appeared at a green investment summit in Jakarta this week, providing a window into the nature of a high-profile, joint sustainability pact the companies have entered into together with Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The agreement, known as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, has been lauded in some quarters for its potential to transform the sector and dismissed in others as mere lip service to protecting the environment. Philip Jacobson -0.602662 102.358526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14709 2015-04-29T16:13:00Z 2015-04-30T14:29:45Z Gov't officials permitted deforestation in Dominican Republic national park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423-thumb-burned-lizard-Miguel-Landestoy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In late 2014, an irregularity in the issuance of permits for agriculture-related deforestation was brought to light by an environmental conservation association working to curb deforestation within the park. On July 30, the Pedernales office of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources granted permission to local landowners to deforest an area within the National Park, close to an area that was being assessed for hutia and solenodon presence by a team of researchers. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.889287 -71.565668 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14708 2015-04-29T15:55:00Z 2015-06-18T02:14:09Z Kenya's Karura Forest, symbol of GreenBelt Movement, suffering death by 1,000 cuts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_protus_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The founder of Kenya's GreenBelt Movement, Wangari Maathai, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 because she talked environmental truth to power. She also walked the walk. Especially on a January morning in 1999 when she strode into the Karura Forest, Nairobi's flagship preserve, to plant trees to protest government approved plans to build a private golf course on protected land there. Tiffany Roufs -1.247121 36.813182 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14704 2015-04-28T21:22:00Z 2015-04-28T21:22:55Z EU votes to scale back on biofuels linked to deforestation The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly today on a new cap on biofuels derived from edible crops, which critics say not only compete with feeding a growing global population but also contribute to deforestation and release unacceptably high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The new legislation sets the cap on edible food crop biofuels&#8212;such as palm oil, corn, rapeseed, and soy&#8212;at seven percent. Jeremy Hance 50.860068 4.391183 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/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 2015-06-16T20:54:40Z 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/14686 2015-04-25T09:17:00Z 2015-06-23T03:21:37Z 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/14683 2015-04-24T17:24:00Z 2015-06-16T22:09:24Z 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/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z 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/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/14644 2015-04-16T07:46:00Z 2015-06-23T03:36:31Z 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/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/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/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/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/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/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/14594 2015-04-06T17:21:00Z 2015-06-18T01:08:54Z 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/14575 2015-04-02T06:22:00Z 2015-06-16T20:58:55Z 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/14557 2015-03-30T17:18:00Z 2015-03-30T23:16:08Z Chocolate company, NGO work together to save lemurs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330-thumb-2-Madecasse-LCF.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite its biodiversity and unique plants and animals, Anjanaharibe-Sud Special Reserve hosts only around a dozen tourists each year. In an effort to increase tourism and research opportunities, the Lemur Conservation Foundation will be using the money raised during the Madécasse promotion to develop Camp Indri - the reserve’s only authorized tourist site. Morgan Erickson-Davis -14.709753 49.462983 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14550 2015-03-28T23:58:00Z 2015-03-29T01:01:27Z APRIL suspends contractor after environmentalists expose ongoing deforestation Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) has suspended a contractor and a plantation manager after environmentalists exposed deforestation that violates the logging giant's sustainability policy. Rhett Butler 0.993471 102.401073 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14541 2015-03-26T23:39:00Z 2015-03-27T02:52:11Z APRIL violates sustainability policy by clearing peat forest after Jan cut-off <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326rapp_greenomics150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New data shows Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) is continuing to destroy rainforests on deep peat despite a high profile pledge to clean up its operations. Today Greenomics-Indonesia released an analysis of two NASA Landsat images confirming that APRIL's subsidiary PT Riau Andalan Pulp Paper (RAPP) has cleared significant tracts of peat forest on Pulau Pedang island off Sumatra's coast since January 2015. Rhett Butler 0.993470 102.401072 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14540 2015-03-26T19:21:00Z 2015-06-18T01:11:22Z Why palm oil expanded, and what keeps it growing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326pdxn150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, oil palm is Indonesia’s most important cash crop. In 2014, Indonesia produced 33.5 million tons of palm oil, generating $18.9 billion in export revenue. This makes palm oil Indonesia’s third most valuable export, behind only coal and petroleum gas. However, the rise of Indonesian palm oil is only a relatively recent phenomenon. The chart below shows the remarkable growth that the industry has displayed over the past 30 years. Rhett Butler -2.705168 114.378027 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14537 2015-03-26T08:05:00Z 2015-06-23T04:19:57Z Indonesia's biodiversity-protected areas no match for encroachers, finds study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_9166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's biodiversity-focused protected areas are failing to slow deforestation, while other categories have achieved mixed results, finds a new study. The coupling of poor law enforcement with the presence of high-value timber seems to be the main culprit. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14535 2015-03-25T18:41:00Z 2015-06-16T22:33:55Z Destruction of elephant, tiger, and orangutan habitat doubles <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0257.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rate of forest loss in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem &#8212; the only place on Earth where rhinos, orangutans, tigers, and elephants live in the same habitat &#8212; has more than doubled due to logging, encroachment, and conversion to industrial plantations, warn conservationists. In a statement issued Tuesday, the Sumatran Orangutan Society reported that 80,316 hectares of forest were lost between 2008 and 2013, a sharp increase from the 30,830 hectares cleared between 2002 and 2008. Rhett Butler 3.786964 97.242060 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14533 2015-03-25T14:29:00Z 2015-03-25T16:30:50Z Illegal cocoa plantations threaten Côte d’Ivoire’s parks and primates <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0325_roloway_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest producer of cocoa, also boasts an ecosystem of great biological richness and species diversity, with over 2,250 endemic plants and 270 vertebrate species. Unfortunately, it also has the highest deforestation rate in all of sub-Saharan Africa, largely due to its rise as a significant player in the global agricultural economy after years of civil unrest. Brittany Stewart 8.779826 -3.509581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14530 2015-03-24T21:11:00Z 2015-03-25T01:04:20Z Photos: expedition to Amazon’s white sands may have found new primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324.thumbnail.photo-8A.by-giussepe-gagliardi-urrutia.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most people think of the Amazon rainforest as one massive, homogenous ecosystem&#8212;a giant castle of green. However, within the Amazon rainforest lie a myriad of distinct ecosystems, sporting unique characteristics and harboring endemic species. One of the rarer ecosystems in the Amazon is the white sands forest. Jeremy Hance -6.343298 -74.026909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14518 2015-03-20T19:12:00Z 2015-03-27T19:07:29Z Seeing the trees but not the forest (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Understanding forest dynamics is necessary for the sound management of forests, for both production and conservation. This includes an understanding of the extent of forest area, information about what the forest contains and how the forest resource is managed. Forest monitoring provides this information. Rhett Butler 8.783012 -2.582475 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14509 2015-03-19T01:12:00Z 2015-06-18T16:32:17Z Who's funding palm oil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0319sabah_0587x150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil may be the single most important crop that you never heard of. A vegetable fat that resembles reddish butter at room temperature, palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Both nutritious and highly versatile, palm oil is now an important component of products ranging from biofuels and food to soaps and cosmetics. Estimates indicate that as much as 50 percent of the products used by the average Western consumer every day contain palm oil or its derivatives. Rhett Butler -1.687367 112.950424 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14508 2015-03-18T22:52:00Z 2015-06-23T04:21:59Z Indonesia's small islands being rapidly damaged by industrial activities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0318Kendawangan150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Intense exploitation of Indonesia's natural resources is taking a special toll on the country's small islands, with many subject to an outpouring of mining concessions that cover huge swaths of their tiny areas, often to the chagrin of local populations. Philip Jacobson -2.728779 110.100523 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14503 2015-03-17T17:15:00Z 2015-03-17T17:29:34Z Can voluntary sustainability standards survive in emerging markets? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223-thumb-aceh_0853.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) published a new edition of its The World in 2050 report. Confirming the findings of previous studies, the report describes a shift in economic power from the global north to the south. PwC projects that the US' and EU's share of world GDP will face a steady decline from around 33 percent in 2014 to about 25 percent by 2050. At the same time, emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey (the so-called E7 countries) are gaining in importance as both producers and consumers in the global economy. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14496 2015-03-14T03:09:00Z 2015-03-15T14:24:16Z Brazil confirms rising deforestation in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0515.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Brazilian government has officially confirmed that deforestation in the Amazon is pacing sharply higher than a year ago. Figures released last week by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) shows that forest clearing detected by DETER &#8212; a short term deforestation monitoring system based on coarse satellite imagery &#8212; is 63 percent higher for the twelve months ended January 31, 2015 relative to the year earlier period. Rhett Butler -12.038421 -56.151204 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14495 2015-03-14T01:58:00Z 2015-03-14T03:02:37Z Proposed law could decimate Indonesia's remaining forests A seemingly well-intended law that aims to turn forests over to traditional users could instead lead to large-scale destruction of Indonesia's native ecosystems, warns a prominent conservation biologist. Rhett Butler 0.430953 110.737270 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14463 2015-03-06T17:55:00Z 2015-03-06T18:04:06Z East Kalimantan reaffirms moratorium on new mining, logging concessions The governor of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, has reaffirmed his commitment to a 2013 moratorium on mining, logging, and plantation permits. The policy, which was originally outlined in a letter to the province's regents and mayors will be elevated to a higher status, he said. Rhett Butler -0.480325 117.072723 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14455 2015-03-05T15:07:00Z 2015-03-05T15:32:14Z Humans cause erosion one hundred times faster than normal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225_erosion_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Experts have long linked deforestation and intensive farming to worsening erosion rates around the world. Although studied extensively, determining erosion rates due to human-induced activities has rarely been quantified by scientists. However, new research conducted by geologists finds that erosion rates in the southeastern United States increased one hundred times after the arrival of European colonists in the 1700s due to tree clearing and unsustainable agriculture practices. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14450 2015-03-03T20:22:00Z 2015-03-30T22:38:33Z Researchers, locals work together to save Ethiopia's 'church forests' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0303-thumb-wall-builders.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Presenting a workshop on ecosystem services to a roomful of priests in Ethiopia may seem like an unlikely scenario for a conservation biologist to end up in, but for Meg Lowman, it’s an essential part of spreading her passion for bottom-up conservation. “Canopy Meg,” as she’s fondly referred to by her colleagues, believes in the power of local communities to be part of the solution, often in ways that are more effective than researchers can make alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.795124 37.676432 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14436 2015-02-26T19:25:00Z 2015-02-27T05:37:03Z Jokowi's environmental commitments in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0456.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last fall Indonesia elected its first president with no ties to the established political order or the military. Joko Widodo's election was widely heralded by reformers who hoped the politician's capable management in his stints as mayor of the town of Solo and metropolis of Jakarta could transform Indonesia's chronically underperforming bureaucracy, potentially ushering in a new era of improved human rights, better environmental stewardship, reduced corruption, and healthier economic growth. Rhett Butler -6.659257 106.131028 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14431 2015-02-25T21:34:00Z 2015-02-25T21:37:19Z Brazil arrests 'Amazon's biggest destroyer' Authorities in Brazil have arrested a man they claim to be the single biggest deforester in the Amazon, according to a statement issued by IBAMA, Brazil's environmental protection agency. Rhett Butler -6.395543 -55.385044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14427 2015-02-25T19:30:00Z 2015-02-26T19:21:38Z Rainforest loss increased in the 2000s, concludes new analysis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0225fao-vs-kim-pan_tropical150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Loss of tropical forests accelerated roughly 60 percent during the 2000s, argues a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings contradict previous research suggesting that deforestation slowed since the 1990s. The study is based on a map of 1990 forest cover developed last year by Do-Hyung Kim and colleagues from the University of Maryland. The map, which includes 34 countries that contain 80 percent of the world's tropical forests, enabled the researchers to establish a consistent baseline for tracking forest cover change across regions and countries over time. Rhett Butler -0.504437 27.230473 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14421 2015-02-24T23:59:00Z 2015-02-25T00:53:03Z Santander Bank cuts off APRIL due to deforestation Banking giant Santander says it will not extend further financing to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) due to evidence that the Singapore-based pulp and paper company is continuing to destroy rainforests in Indonesia. The move comes after Greenpeace launched a global campaign against the bank. Rhett Butler 1.013991 102.330548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14415 2015-02-23T23:35:00Z 2015-06-18T16:35:54Z New Guinea rainforest being leveled for palm oil, revealing gaps in zero deforestation pacts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0223ANJ_RSPO_WILMAR-POLICY_2FEB2015_BY_GREENOMICS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian palm oil firm is destroying rainforests in New Guinea despite high profile zero deforestation pledges from its customers, finds research by Greenomics-Indonesia. Landsat imagery acquired and analyzed by Greenomics shows that Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri (ANJ) is clearing high carbon stock forests in the southern part of West Papua's Bird's Head Peninsula in Indonesian New Guinea. Rhett Butler -1.807874 132.433094 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14394 2015-02-18T18:25:00Z 2015-02-18T18:26:54Z Chinese banks funding rainforest destruction in Indonesia While Santander Bank has made headlines in recent days for financing an Indonesian forestry giant's ongoing clearance of carbon-dense forests in Sumatra, Chinese banks among the largest funders of the company, reveals analysis conducted by BankTrack.org. Rhett Butler 1.013997 102.330555 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14390 2015-02-17T23:38:00Z 2015-06-18T16:40:32Z Indonesia to squander fuel savings on biofuel subsidies that may drive deforestation, say groups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/africa/150/congo_0021.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Instead of wisely investing the windfall generated by cutting petrol subsidies, Indonesia is poised to squander funds by increasing subsidies for biofuel production that could exacerbate social conflict and drive deforestation, warn environmental groups. Rhett Butler -1.639488 103.493185 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14376 2015-02-13T00:06:00Z 2015-02-13T16:42:42Z 'Sustainable' cacao company allegedly defies government's call to halt plantation development <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0212gfw-cacao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A company aiming to be the world’s largest producer of sustainable cacao, the bean used to make chocolate, appears to have ignored orders from the Peruvian government to cease operations for failing to provide justification for having razed what scientists say was more than 2,000 hectares of old-growth Amazonian rainforest. Rhett Butler -3.973468 -73.079946 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14369 2015-02-11T02:33:00Z 2015-02-11T02:35:57Z Banco Santander targeted over deforestation link Greenpeace has opened a new front in its campaign against a controversial Indonesian logging company by targeting one of its major financiers: Banco Santander. Rhett Butler 1.013995 102.330545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14367 2015-02-11T00:54:00Z 2015-02-11T02:02:35Z Ranking the best and worst companies in terms of deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1186.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While a number of high profile companies have adopted policies designed to exclude deforestation from their commodity supply chains, such commitments remain outside the norm, indicating that most companies still lack forest-friendly safeguards, finds a comprehensive survey conducted by the Global Canopy Programme. The assessment ranks 250 companies, 50 jurisdictions, 150 banks and investors, and 50 'powerbrokers' by the extent and scope of their souring policies for six 'forest risk commodities': soy palm oil, beef, leather, timber, pulp and paper. Rhett Butler -12.137512 -57.060600 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14363 2015-02-09T17:26:00Z 2015-02-20T15:10:29Z Norway sovereign fund drops coal, tar sands, gold-mining companies In its first-ever report on responsible investing, Norway's pension fund announced last week that it has divested from 114 companies in the past three years due to concerns over global warming, deforestation, and sustainability as well as long-term financial viability. Worth a staggering $861 billion, Norway's Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund. Jeremy Hance 59.912277 10.764517 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14361 2015-02-06T18:41:00Z 2015-02-06T18:58:01Z Scientists warn investors on cacao company's forest destruction in Peru A prominent group of scientists have sounded the alarm over forest clearing by a cacao company in the Peruvian Amazon. Rhett Butler -3.985407 -73.020396 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14341 2015-02-04T17:50:00Z 2015-02-06T15:10:31Z The Amazon's oil boom: concessions cover a Chile-sized bloc of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_303.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hungry for oil revenue, governments and fossil fuel companies are moving even further into one of the world's last great wildernesses, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The total area set aside for oil and gas in the Western Amazon has grown by 150,000 square kilometers since 2008, now totaling more than 730,000 square kilometers&#8212;an area the size of Chile. Jeremy Hance -14.057138 -68.658039