tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/deforestation1 deforestation news from mongabay.com 2014-04-22T19:15:51Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13118 2014-04-22T18:50:00Z 2014-04-22T19:15:51Z After widespread deforestation, China bans commercial logging in northern forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0422-hinggan-yalu-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forestry authorities in China have stopped commercial logging in the nation's largest forest area, marking an end to more than a half-century of intensive deforestation that removed an estimated 600 million cubic meters (21 billion cubic feet) of timber. The logging shutdown was enacted in large part to protect soil and water quality of greater China, which are significantly affected by forest loss in the mountainous region. Morgan Erickson-Davis 50.980009 123.533821 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13115 2014-04-21T22:19:00Z 2014-04-22T19:19:20Z NASA detects surge in deforestation in Malaysia, Bolivia during first quarter of 2014 Forest disturbance in Malaysia, Bolivia, Panama, and Ecuador surged during the first quarter of 2014, according to NASA data. Rhett Butler 0.887111 112.314209 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13101 2014-04-21T04:27:00Z 2014-04-21T04:31:31Z APRIL continued destroying high conservation rainforest up until January pledge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0421-ramin150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plantation giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) continued to source fiber produced by destruction of high conservation value forests in Sumatra right up until it committed to a new forest conservation policy, according to an investigation by Eyes of the Forest, a coalition of environmental groups in Riau. Rhett Butler 0.563727 102.946773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13100 2014-04-18T18:11:00Z 2014-04-20T15:59:38Z Behind the scenes of Showtime's blockbuster series on climate change <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0418-harrison-ford-baby-orangutans150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For years climate change activists and environmentalists have been clamoring for a high-profile, high-impact TV series about climate change to make Americans more aware of an issue that will affect billions of people around the globe in coming decades. This week they finally got it when Showtime released the first episode of <i>Years of Living Dangerously</i>, a big-budget TV series featuring a number of Hollywood's biggest stars as reporters and corespondents. Rhett Butler -0.078106 101.652189 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13099 2014-04-18T16:04:00Z 2014-04-18T16:58:38Z Rainforests on fire: climate change is pushing the Amazon over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0418-burning-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From 1999-2010, nearly three percent of the Amazon rainforest burned, and climate forecasts indicate dry conditions conducive to fire will only become more commonplace in the future. A new study indicates that rainforests are more vulnerable to fire than previously thought, and it warns the current combination of climate change and deforestation may be pushing Amazon forests past the breaking point. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.624371 -51.306233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13098 2014-04-18T14:04:00Z 2014-04-18T14:18:22Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Maps for the masses <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_3985.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mark Mulligan makes maps for the masses. In his work on tropical forests, Mulligan uses GIS, modeling, remote sensing, and lab experiments to turn research into datasets and policy support systems, which are available online for use in development, decision-making, and education. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13097 2014-04-17T20:55:00Z 2014-04-17T23:04:15Z Is Aru safe? Indonesia suspends plan to clear half the islands' forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0417-aru-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Aru, an area made up of about ninety-five low-lying islands in the Maluku province of eastern Indonesia, has suspended a plan to clear half of its total forest cover for sugar cane. However, the island paradise is still not safe from large-scale deforestation, according to a report from Mongabay-Indonesia. Morgan Erickson-Davis -6.120256 134.411539 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13096 2014-04-17T18:06:00Z 2014-04-17T18:37:50Z Legal logging concessions drive illegal logging in Peru, threatening forests and indigenous people <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0417Peru-Logging_Photo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 70 percent of "officially inspected" logging concessions in Peru have had their permits canceled or are under investigation for major breaches of forestry laws, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>. Worryingly, the research also concludes that forestry permits are being widely used to launder timber illegally logged from outside concession areas. Rhett Butler -11.199957 -70.359879 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13093 2014-04-17T04:14:00Z 2014-04-17T18:06:28Z Malaysia at risk of falling behind in push for more sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2201.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Malaysian state should play a more active role in supporting the transition toward less environmentally destructive palm oil production, says a coalition of Malaysian NGO's. In a statement issued Sunday, the Malaysian Palm Oil NGO Coalition (MPONGOC) urged Malaysian banks, palm oil associations, and other government-backed institutions to commit to 'improving social and environmental standards in the palm oil industry'. Rhett Butler 2.814114 114.496336 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13081 2014-04-14T18:08:00Z 2014-04-14T18:30:55Z Ants plant rainforests, one seed at a time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0414-antseed-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation is destroying forests around the world, but its effects are especially obvious in the Amazon Basin. Due to cattle ranching, soybean farming, logging, and slash-and-burn agriculture, the rainforest is disappearing at a rapid pace. But a recent study published in the Journal of Ecology offers a unique solution to replanting the deforested landscapes: ants. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.216606 -67.295734 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13069 2014-04-10T23:56:00Z 2014-04-11T02:14:47Z Forests in Indonesia's concession areas being rapidly destroyed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0410-indonesia-forest-cover150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forest clearing within areas zoned for timber, logging, oil palm, and mining accounted for nearly 45 percent of deforestation in Indonesia between 2000 and 2010, finds a new study that examined forest loss within industrial concessions. Rhett Butler -0.615223 114.322014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13068 2014-04-10T21:53:00Z 2014-04-10T22:14:00Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Empowering everyone to watch over forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0410.NigelSizer_image.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nigel Sizer has worked on the forefront of global forest issues for decades. Currently, he is the Global Director of the World Resource Institute's (WRI) Forests Program, whose projects include the Global Forest Watch, the Forest Legality Alliance, and the Global Restoration Initiative. These programs work with governments, businesses, and civil society with the aim of sustaining forests for generations to come. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13067 2014-04-10T19:00:00Z 2014-04-11T13:15:51Z A new face for palm oil? How a small co-op is changing the industry in Honduras <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0403-tanya-locals-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Expanding oil palm plantations are among the top reasons for deforestation globally, along with cattle ranching, timber, and soy. However, a small palm oil production outfit recently became the first cooperative in the world to achieve Rainforest Alliance certification for sustainable growth of African palms, employing a number of innovations to ensure the prosperity of both forests and local communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis 15.444187 -87.588480 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13065 2014-04-09T23:58:00Z 2014-04-10T05:30:41Z Cargill commits to zero deforestation, but environmentalists have questions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1847.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After years of criticism from environmental groups, Cargill says it will establish policies to eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. But activists aren't yet sure what to make of the agribusiness giant's pledge. On Tuesday Cargill released a letter it sent to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets eco-certification standards, in response to a Greenpeace Report linking it to deforestation. Rhett Butler 3.844511 103.339071 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13061 2014-04-08T22:47:00Z 2014-04-08T23:06:28Z Emissions from rainforest logging average 16% of those from deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon_2655.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Carbon emissions from selective logging operations in tropical rainforests are roughly a sixth of those from outright forest clearing, finds a new study that evaluated 13 forestry concessions in six countries. The study analyzed carbon losses from elements of logging operations, including timber extraction, collateral damage to surrounding vegetation, and logging infrastructure like roads and skid trails. Rhett Butler 2.742787 -57.467165 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13060 2014-04-08T19:55:00Z 2014-04-08T22:47:43Z Procter & Gamble, Cargill pledge to cut deforestation linked to palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0093.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Procter &amp; Gamble (P&amp;G) and Cargill today announced new measures to cut deforestation from their palm oil supply chains. P&amp;G (NYSE:PG), a consumer products giant that owns brands like Head & Shoulders and Oil of Olay, pledged to establish traceability of palm oil to supplier mills by the end of 2015. The policy commits it to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain by 2020. Rhett Butler 44.952066 -93.476831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13048 2014-04-07T18:36:00Z 2014-04-07T18:46:20Z Australia proposes banning environmental boycotts What do you do when a company is repeatedly caught trashing the environment and refuses to change its ways? Boycott! Activists and campaigners often use boycotting a company's products when other methods have failed, yet in Australia such boycotts could soon become illegal. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13024 2014-04-03T04:49:00Z 2014-04-03T05:00:44Z Malaysian palm oil giant tied to social conflict, deforestation, says report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1832.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Unlike other palm oil giants that have recently made strong commitments to eliminating deforestation and social conflict from their supply chains, Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) continues to source palm oil associated with forest destruction and community conflict, argues a new report published by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler -9.409097 149.120078 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/12990 2014-03-26T22:41:00Z 2014-03-26T23:18:02Z Just how bad is the logging crisis in Myanmar? 72 percent of exports illegal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0326.EIA.logging.myanmar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Just days before Myanmar, also known as Burma, implements a ban on exporting raw logs, the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) has released a new report that captures the sheer scale of the country's illegal logging crisis. According to the EIA, new data shows that 72 percent of logs exported from Myanmar between 2000-2013 were illegally harvested. Jeremy Hance 26.304355 97.194069 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12989 2014-03-26T21:50:00Z 2014-03-26T22:04:54Z Deforestation makes Indonesia hotter, reduces quality of life <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5113.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the reasons I like living in the tropics is that they are perpetually warm. A pair of shorts and a light shirt will comfortably get you through the day and night in most parts of Indonesia. Still there are the occasional unpleasant extremes. Even the most cold-blooded creature will likely break into a sweat walking for more than a few minutes in the sun filtering through Jakarta’s polluted skies. We consider such heat a normal part of the tropics. But is it really? Rhett Butler -1.730084 110.346465 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12985 2014-03-25T23:59:00Z 2014-03-26T18:10:12Z Grocery giant commits to zero-deforestation policy for palm oil sourcing Safeway has become the latest company to establish a policy that excludes deforestation-linked palm oil from its products. Rhett Butler 2.825773 114.489799 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12979 2014-03-25T15:00:00Z 2014-03-26T13:40:55Z Long lost mammal photographed on camera trap in Vietnam <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0325.rooseveltsmuntjac.SUNP0044.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1929, two sons of Theodore Roosevelt (Teddy Junior and Kermit) led an expedition that killed a barking deer, or muntjac, in present-day Laos, which has left scientists puzzled for over 80 years. At first scientists believed it to be a distinct species of muntjac and named it Roosevelts' muntjac (Muntiacus rooseveltorum), however that designation was soon cast into doubt with some scientists claiming it was a specimen of an already-known muntjac or a subspecies. The problem was compounded by the fact that the animal simply disappeared in the wild. No one ever documented a living Roosevelts' muntjac again&#8212;until now. Jeremy Hance 20.004510 105.065916 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/12976 2014-03-24T17:52:00Z 2014-03-24T18:04:47Z General Mills, Colgate-Palmolive announce deforestation-free policies for palm oil sourcing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0587.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Two consumer products giants have joined the wave of companies committing to deforestation-free palm oil. On Monday General Mills and Colgate-Palmolive both announced palm oil policies that go beyond standards set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the industry's main certification body. The policies include provisions to protect wildlife-rich rainforests and carbon-dense peatlands, while respecting the rights of local communities. Rhett Butler 39.275163 -84.349585 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12965 2014-03-21T18:43:00Z 2014-03-21T18:52:33Z Scientists urge ban on roads in intact wilderness areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.com/images/external/2006/satellite/sat_braz_104x.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of prominent scientists chose to mark the second International Day of Forests by urging the world to support an initiative that aims keep wild areas free of roads. Roadfree, an initiative led by Member of the European Parliament Kriton Arsenis, has been growing in prominence over the past year, gaining supporters ranging from indigenous rights leaders to deep ecologists. Now the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT) has thrown its weight behind the concept. Rhett Butler -5.140186 -56.102543 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12960 2014-03-20T19:44:00Z 2014-03-21T16:51:09Z Indigenous people witness climate change in the Congo Rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0320Acongo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities in the Republic of Congo are observing climate change even though they have no knowledge of the science, according to a unique collaboration between the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) and local communities. The environmental changes witnessed by the locals in the Congo rainforest include increased temperature, less rainfall and alterations to the seasons, much as expected under global climate change. Tiffany Roufs 1.653836 18.849670 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12956 2014-03-20T05:14:00Z 2014-03-20T05:52:08Z Community's push to clear forest for plantation challenges efforts to conserve in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0320SGP150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the swampy peatlands of Basilam Baru in Sumatra's Riau Province a conflict between a community and a woodpulp company is illustrating some of the intractable challenges of conserving forests and addressing deforestation in Indonesia. On first glance the story seems depressingly familiar. One actor wants to preserve the forest, which serves as critical habitat for endangered Sumatran tigers and clouded leopards. The other wants to clear it for a plantation. Rhett Butler 2.008027 101.173729 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12955 2014-03-19T23:44:00Z 2014-03-20T13:14:33Z Deforestation tracking system recognized with global innovation award A global deforestation tracking tool developed by Mongabay and NASA has been honored as a Finalist for the 2013 Katerva Award. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12954 2014-03-19T23:04:00Z 2014-03-20T05:29:04Z Photos: Forests, peatlands, plantations, and deforestation in Riau <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1232.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's Riau Province on the island of Sumatra has experienced rapid deforestation since the early 1990's, with primary forest cover plummeting by 85 percent in twenty years. Most of this forest loss has been driven by plantation development for timber, woodpulp, and palm oil production. Rhett Butler 1.391694 101.758018 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12949 2014-03-18T20:46:00Z 2014-03-19T15:02:30Z Leftover trees enhance the biodiversity of new forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/kenya/150/kenya_1247.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Trees left standing after deforestation have a discernible impact on the composition of local biodiversity in secondary growth forests, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE. Researchers working on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica discovered that remnant trees could affect species composition of regenerated forests up to 20 years after being logged. Tiffany Roufs 8.556451 -83.528839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12942 2014-03-18T05:16:00Z 2014-03-18T15:49:06Z APP pledges to restore forests, if given the opportunity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0318-bukit-tigapuluh_01_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past 20 years, Sumatra's lowland rainforests have been destroyed at a virtually unmatched rate and scale. Since 1990, the island's primary forests shrank by 40 percent while its overall forest cover declined by 36 percent, mostly the result of logging, agricultural expansion, and conversion for oil palm and timber plantations. What little forest does survive is often degraded &#8212; today less than 8 percent of Sumatra retains primary forest. Rhett Butler -0.955766 102.416897 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12940 2014-03-17T17:58:00Z 2014-03-18T04:35:19Z Will zero deforestation commitments save Indonesia's forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1088.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Skirting the Malacca Strait near the Indonesian city of Dumai the air is thick with haze from peat fires burning below. As the sky clears, a landscape of sharply-cut geometric shapes becomes apparent. What was once carbon-dense peat forests and rainforests are today massive oil palm and wood pulp plantations. Rhett Butler 1.417092 101.795096 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12937 2014-03-15T23:42:00Z 2014-03-16T01:55:45Z Logging giant suspends operations to fend off plantations from fires <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0315NASA150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian Pulp &amp; paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) says it has suspended operations at a concession in Riau Province in order to shift staff toward fighting back fires that threaten its plantations. In a statement issued Friday, APRIL said its plantations on Pulau Padang, a peat island off the coast of Sumatra, are at risk due to fires illegally set outside its concessions. Rhett Butler 1.145935 102.3032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12936 2014-03-14T23:33:00Z 2014-03-16T01:42:49Z Indonesian sugar company poised to destroy half of island paradise's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0314-aru-islands-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian plantation company may be preparing to destroy up to half of the natural forests on Indonesia's remote Aru Islands, reports Forest Watch Indonesia. Analyzing land use plans for Aru, Forest Watch Indonesia found that local government officials have turned over 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) to 28 companies held by PT. Menara Group, a plantation conglomerate. 76 percent of the area is currently natural forest. Converting the area to sugar plantations would cut Aru's forest cover by half, from 730,000 ha to 365,000 ha. Rhett Butler -6.189890 134.550242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12932 2014-03-13T23:33:00Z 2014-03-14T02:35:31Z Sumatra on fire: burning spikes in Indonesia Fires in Sumatra's Riau province have spiked to levels unseen since last June, finds new analysis from the World Resources Institute (WRI) that reveals widespread burning within concessions managed by pulpwood, palm oil, and logging companies. Rhett Butler 1.320466 102.022888 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12923 2014-03-13T13:56:00Z 2014-03-13T14:01:17Z Indonesia politician gets 14 years in jail for illegal permits, forest corruption <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0945.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The former governor of Indonesia’s Riau province has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay almost $90,000 in fines for illegally issuing logging permits in Riau and bribes linked to construction projects for sports facilities. On Wednesday, the anti-corruption court in Pekanbaru found former Riau Governor Rusli Zainal guilty of embezzlement relating to the illegal issuance of logging permits in the central Sumatran province, which has seen huge areas of forest lost to palm oil and pulp and paper companies in recent years. Rhett Butler 0.141449 102.689795 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12919 2014-03-12T20:20:00Z 2014-03-12T20:32:14Z Progressive palm oil group opens door to companies, NGO's adopting zero deforestation policies The Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG), an alliance formed last year, has opened its doors to new members who commit to social and environmental safeguards that go beyond the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) eco-certification standard. Rhett Butler 2.443717 99.902008 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12909 2014-03-11T13:42:00Z 2014-03-11T13:55:23Z Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/thumb.cut.roatan_forest_burning_0.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, Mexico intensified its security strategy, forming an inhospitable environment for drug trafficking organizations (also known as DTOs) within the nation. The drug cartels responded by creating new trade routes along the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Soon shipments of cocaine from South America began to flow through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). This multi-national swathe of forest, encompassing several national parks and protected areas, was originally created to protect endangered species, such as Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguar (Panthera onca), as well as the world's second largest coral reef. Today, its future hinges on the world's drug producers and consumers. Jeremy Hance 15.667404 -86.826363 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/12888 2014-03-06T19:23:00Z 2014-03-16T14:28:05Z Peatlands biosphere reserve facing severe encroachment in Sumatra An important reserve that contains a block of fast-dwindling lowland swamp forest in Riau Province is facing an onslaught of encroachment for illegal oil palm plantations, worsening choking haze in the region, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. Rhett Butler 1.180110 101.694468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12880 2014-03-05T23:58:00Z 2014-03-06T01:19:17Z Scientists blast Australian leader's proposed ban on parks <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0305australia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of prominent scientists have blasted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pledge to oppose the creation of any new protected areas in Australia. The Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers or ALERT, a coalition of conservation scientists, said Abbott is sending the wrong message to the world in promoting industrial logging over protection of the country's native forests. Rhett Butler -41.186922 145.116692 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12879 2014-03-05T23:50:00Z 2014-03-06T00:10:21Z Fast food companies are laggards on palm oil sourcing safeguards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0305Palm-Oil-2-6-14-150px.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fast food companies are lagging behind other consumer products companies in efforts to establish policies that favor deforestation-free and conflict-free palm oil, finds a new assessment published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group. The report, titled 'Donuts, Deodorant, Deforestation: Scoring America's Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments', looked at palm oil sourcing policies of 30 of the largest fast food, personal care, and packaged food corporations in the United States. It found leadership by a handful of firms. Rhett Butler 5.270794 117.69545 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12873 2014-03-04T23:51:00Z 2014-03-05T23:57:29Z Greenpeace stunt targets Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters over palm oil Several Greenpeace activists were arrested after they scaled Procter & Gamble's headquarters in a demonstration against the company's use of palm oil linked to deforestation in Indonesia. Rhett Butler 39.10319 -84.505251 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12859 2014-03-01T17:01:00Z 2014-03-06T00:11:05Z NASA photo reveals ongoing haze problem in Sumatra A new satellite image released by NASA highlights Indonesia's ongoing problem with haze caused by land-clearing fires set across carbon-dense peatlands on the island of Sumatra. Rhett Butler 1.752046 101.242919 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12858 2014-03-01T16:15:00Z 2014-03-06T00:11:12Z Sharp jump in deforestation when Amazon parks lose protected status Areas that have had their protected status removed or reduced have experienced a sharp increase in forest loss thereafter, finds a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. Rhett Butler -9.102097 -61.952333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12839 2014-02-27T14:43:00Z 2014-02-27T14:52:14Z Palm oil's climate impact worse than thought due to methane emissions Methane leaks from palm oil wastewater significantly increases the climate impact of palm oil production beyond emissions from land clearance, fire, and peatlands drainage, reports a new study published in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. The research, led by Philip. G. Taylor of the University of Colorado, finds that annual methane emissions from palm oil wastewater effluent amount to the equivalent of 115 million tons carbon dioxide in Malaysia and Indonesia alone, or roughly 15 percent of total emissions from peat oxidation and land use change in the two countries. Rhett Butler 2.010086 103.809013 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/12791 2014-02-20T14:36:00Z 2014-02-20T19:00:30Z Revolutionary Google-backed system unlocks power of 'big data' to save forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0220wri01_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>World Resources Institute (WRI) today announced the release of a tool that promises to revolutionize forest monitoring. The platform, called Global Forest Watch and developed over several years with more than 40 partners, draws from a rich array of big data related to the word's forests and translates it into interactive maps and charts that reveal trends in deforestation, forest recovery, and industrial forestry expansion. Global Forest Watch is the first tool to monitors global forests on a monthly basis, allowing authorities and conservationists to potentially take action against deforestation as it is occurring. Rhett Butler 38.899016 -77.008048 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12792 2014-02-20T00:30:00Z 2014-02-25T05:57:45Z APP, environmentalists talk future of Indonesia's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0220RI1_0553A150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In February 2013, one of the world's most notorious forestry companies announced it would no longer chop down rainforests and peatlands to produce pulp and paper. The move was met with considerable skepticism by critics who had seen the company break previous high profile commitments to end deforestation. Why would this time be any different? Rhett Butler 1.48848 101.776915 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12788 2014-02-19T15:42:00Z 2014-02-20T19:09:19Z The making of Amazon Gold: once more unto the breach <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0219.amazongold.Image-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Sarah duPont first visited the Peruvian Amazon rainforest in the summer of 1999, it was a different place than it is today. Oceans of green, tranquil forest, met the eye at every turn. At dawn, her brain struggled to comprehend the onslaught of morning calls and duets of the nearly 600 species of birds resounding under the canopy. Today, the director of the new award-winning film, Amazon Gold, reports that "roads have been built and people have arrived. It has become a new wild west, a place without law. People driven by poverty and the desire for a better life have come, exploiting the sacred ground." Jeremy Hance -11.867351 -70.764771 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12786 2014-02-18T14:02:00Z 2014-02-18T14:09:28Z Conservation groups launch new whistleblower site for wildlife and forest crimes Welcome to Wildleaks: a new website that aims to give the global public a secure and anonymous platform to report wildlife trafficking and illegal deforestation. The illegal wildlife trade has become one of the world's largest criminal activities in recent years, decimating elephants, rhinos, tigers, primates, and thousands of lesser known species. Meanwhile, illegal logging is rampant in many parts of the world, imperiling biodiversity, undercutting locals, and robbing governments of revenue. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12741 2014-02-07T10:08:00Z 2014-02-07T14:34:45Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Incentivizing keeping primary forests intact <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0207BradshawHeadshotFrog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Much of Dr. Corey Bradshaw's work has a singular aim: to keep primary habitats and functioning ecosystems intact. According to Bradshaw, the existing system of carbon trading rules needs to be changed so that primary forests are given a higher value than other forms of land use. 'Nothing, can replace primary vegetation, both in terms of biodiversity value and other ecosystem services.' Rhett Butler -34.920845 138.607095 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12733 2014-02-06T07:30:00Z 2014-02-06T07:38:06Z REDD+ could fail without near-term financial support <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0206RI1_0301_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An ambitious plan to save the world's tropical forests by valuing them for the carbon the store may fail to reduce deforestation unless governments and multilateral institutions significantly scale up financial commitments to the program, argues a new report published by the Global Canopy Programme, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, Fauna & Flora International, and UNEP Finance Initiative. Rhett Butler -10.833306 -56.614381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12726 2014-02-05T05:09:00Z 2014-02-07T10:20:58Z Peatland plantations drive steep GHG emissions in Indonesia's Riau Province <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0205RI0_8670150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Versatile is the best way to describe the reddish brown fruit born from oil palm trees. Both the flesh and seed of the fruit is used in many applications including cooking, cosmetics, and biofuel. In addition, the fruit is composed of 50 percent oil, making it a highly efficient product that requires less land than other oil producing crops. Rhett Butler 0.267791 102.200904 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12715 2014-02-03T13:26:00Z 2014-02-03T13:48:16Z Australia proposes removing old-growth forests from World Heritage Site Last year, after decades of fighting, environmentalists and the forestry industry reached a landmark agreement that added 170,000 hectares of old-growth forest in Tasmania as a part of a World Heritage Site. But less than a year later and that so-called peace agreement is in danger of unraveling. The new Australian government, under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is going ahead with removing 74,000 hectares (43 percent) from the World Heritage site. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12712 2014-01-31T16:28:00Z 2014-01-31T16:34:30Z L'Oreal pledges to wipe out forest destruction from its products by 2020 French cosmetics giant, L'Oreal, has pledged to stop using palm oil linked to deforestation for its products by 2020. Palm oil, which is found in both cosmetics and many food items, has been linked to widespread deforestation in places like Indonesia and Malaysia, decimating biodiversity and contributing to global warming. The crop, which is both high-yield and lucrative, is now becoming increasingly popular in Africa and Latin America as well. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12710 2014-01-31T06:25:00Z 2014-01-31T07:45:22Z APRIL's green pledge falls short, say environmentalists Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (APRIL), Indonesia's second-largest pulp and paper producer, has announced a new environmental policy that aims to stem criticism about its forestry practices, which include large-scale conversion of rainforests and peatlands in Sumatra. But environmentalists say the pledge falls far short of the commitment made by APRIL's biggest competitor, Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), last year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12705 2014-01-30T07:48:00Z 2014-01-30T14:36:23Z NASA data reveals impact of cyclones on forests in Vietnam, Madagascar Forest disturbance in Madagascar and Vietnam increased significantly in the aftermath of cyclones that hit the countries last year, according to a forest tracking tool developed by a team of NASA researchers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12653 2014-01-17T18:11:00Z 2014-02-22T01:52:32Z Indonesian logger faces expulsion from business sustainability group Indonesian pulp and paper giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (ARPIL) faces expulsion from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a body of 200 large companies that have made sustainability commitments, if it fails to stop clearing rainforests and peatlands on the island of Sumatra, reports Greenpeace. Rhett Butler 0.988034 102.711074 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12646 2014-01-17T02:53:00Z 2014-02-22T01:50:42Z 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/12644 2014-01-16T14:04:00Z 2014-01-16T16:01:41Z Environmental groups: top secret Pacific trade agreement to sacrifice wildlife, environment Environmental groups have blasted draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) released yesterday by WikiLeaks as potentially devastating to the environment and wildlife. The massive 12-nation free trade agreement has been negotiated in secret now for almost four years, and the information release by WikiLeaks shows that key environmental safeguards in the agreement are being stripped away, including a ban on shark finning and illegal logging, as well as legally-enforced pollution regulations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12643 2014-01-16T01:44:00Z 2014-01-16T02:06:20Z Population growth and associated food demand to take heavy toll on rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1209.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human population growth and associated food demand will likely take a heavy toll on tropical ecosystems unless major shifts occur in how crops are produced and consumed, warns a new review published in <i>Trends in Ecology & Evolution</i>. Noting that projections published by the U.N. now forecast the human population to swell to 11 billion before the end of the century, William F. Laurance, Jeffrey Sayer, and Kenneth Cassman highlight potential impacts of agricultural expansion on biodiversity in the tropics. Rhett Butler -1.043643 21.465569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12618 2014-01-09T19:47:00Z 2014-01-10T07:24:50Z In precedent-setting case, palm oil company fined $30M for destroying orangutan forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0109sumatra_0085_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a precedent-setting case, an Indonesian court has found a palm oil company guilty of violating environmental laws and ordered it to pay $30 million in fines and reparations for clearing an area of protected peat forest that is a stronghold for endangered orangutans in Indonesia's Aceh Province. In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the Meulaboh district court concluded that PT Kallista Alam illegally cleared and burned forest within the the protected Tripa peat swamp in northwestern Sumatra. Rhett Butler 3.862885 96.60964 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12605 2014-01-07T18:34:00Z 2014-01-07T18:59:06Z Company accused of logging endangered rainforest trees in breach of timber legality certificate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0107Triomas-FDI-Riau150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian wood supplier that was recently certified under the country’s legal timber verification scheme has been clearing natural forests – including stands of endangered ramin trees – and draining peat swamps on its concession, alleges a local environmental watchdog. The company, the group says, is also implicated in corruption linked to its concession permit. The organization is calling for the company’s legal timber certification to be revoked and urging auditors not to issue legality certificates to companies involved in corruption. Rhett Butler 0.564413 102.926574 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12596 2014-01-06T13:35:00Z 2014-02-20T19:13:53Z Brazil begins evicting illegal settlers from hugely-imperiled indigenous reserve Months after closing sawmills on the fringes of an indigenous reserve for the hugely-imperiled Awá people, the Brazil government has now moved into the reserve itself to evict illegal settlers in the eastern Amazon. According to the NGO Survival International, Brazil has sent in the military and other government agents to deal with massive illegal settlements on Awá land for logging or cattle. 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/12558 2013-12-20T18:45:00Z 2014-02-20T19:14:40Z Indonesia appoints head of REDD+ agency to implement forest conservation plan <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia has selected the first chief of its new REDD+ agency: Heru Prasetyo, an administrator and former private sector management consultant, reports Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's office. Prasetyo will take up the challenging task of implementing Indonesia's REDD+ program, which aims to steer the Southeast Asian nation away from business-as-usual management of its fast dwindling forests. The REDD+ program is part of the broader government plan to cut Indonesia's greenhouse has emissions by at least 26 percent from a projected 2020 baseline. Rhett Butler 4.072494 97.556877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12547 2013-12-19T23:39:00Z 2013-12-20T00:15:47Z UN raps Malaysia on palm oil abuses, risks Malaysia's push to join the ranks of rich countries shouldn't come at the expense of the environment or the vulnerable groups, warned a U.N. expert after a visit to the Southeast Asian nation. Rhett Butler 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/12539 2013-12-18T17:35:00Z 2013-12-18T17:49:47Z Madagascar's most famous lemur facing big threats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1218.MakiMom.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The ring-tailed lemur (<i>Lemur catta</i>), perhaps the most well-known of Madagascar’s endemic animals, is facing a "very high" risk of extinction in the wild. The Madagascar Section of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group reassessed the Red List status of ring-tailed lemurs and upgraded the species from Near-Threatened (2008) to Endangered (2012). Ring-tailed lemurs are facing extinction in some parts of Madagascar because of continued habitat loss, and more recently, species exploitation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12534 2013-12-17T19:57:00Z 2013-12-17T20:33:44Z Canada's biggest logger loses eco-certification <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1217.caribou.91957_148624.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Resolute Forest Products, the largest industrial logging company in Canada, suffered a major setback this week when the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) revoked three certifications for the forestry giant. According to Greenpeace, the company lost its certification in Quebec and Ontario due to several problems, including a lack of consent from the Crees nations and failure to safeguard high priority conservation areas. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12532 2013-12-17T17:36:00Z 2013-12-19T18:59:44Z Democratizing forest monitoring on a global scale <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1217PRAsnerCLASlite150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Efforts to map and analyze deforestation and forest degradation got a boost today when Stanford University announced a new online course that provides training on how to use advance forest monitoring software. The course, which is freely available via Stanford University Online Learning, could immediately increase the capacity of environmentalists, forest managers, and researchers to track changes in forest cover. Rhett Butler 37.428735 -122.179114 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12516 2013-12-13T15:03:00Z 2013-12-13T15:10:40Z Reforestation can't offset massive fossil fuels emissions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0104.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With the Australian, Japanese, and Canadian governments making an about-face on carbon-emissions reduction targets during the Warsaw climate summit, some experts are warning that the global need for solutions offsetting CO2 emissions is passing a "red line." Land-based mitigation practices comprise one of the solutions on the table as a result of both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol; however, a paper published in Nature Climate Change by an international team led by Brendan Mackey, has raised the looming question of whether or not land-based practices can actually improve CO2 levels as much as hoped. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12514 2013-12-12T19:51:00Z 2013-12-13T14:44:28Z Featured video: U.S. forests decimated for 'green' bio-energy in Europe Wetland forests in the southern U.S. are becoming the victims of a drive for so-called green energy in Europe, according to activist group Dogwood Alliance, which has produced a new video highlighting the issue. The activists contend that bio-energy that depends on chopping down forests not only devastates vital ecosystems, but actually emits more greenhouse gases than traditional fossil fuels. Jeremy Hance 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/12508 2013-12-11T21:17:00Z 2013-12-19T05:58:23Z Environmentalists call for recognition of orangutan, rhino habitat as heritage site Environmentalists in Indonesia's Aceh Province are calling upon the local governor to nominate the Leuser Ecosystem as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to help protect the area &#8212; one of the last places where rhinos, elephants, tigers, and orangutans share the same habitat &#8212; from new legislation that would grant large blocks of forest for logging concessions, mining, and industrial plantations. Rhett Butler 3.92728 97.441664 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12496 2013-12-10T14:09:00Z 2013-12-27T03:35:31Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/south-africa/150/south_africa_kruger_1126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12497 2013-12-10T00:17:00Z 2013-12-20T05:43:22Z Palm oil IPO presents environmental, financial risks <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_aerial_0245.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian palm oil company has failed to disclose all the financial and environmental risks to investors ahead of its December 12 initial public offering (IPO), alleges a new report from environmental groups. PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (SSMS), a palm oil company that operates plantations in Indonesian Borneo, aims to raise a trillion ($88 million) in this week's IPO. Rhett Butler -6.203512 106.821023 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12495 2013-12-09T18:46:00Z 2013-12-20T05:41:13Z Conventional satellite imagery may underestimate forest clearing for subsistence agriculture Analysis of forest cover using medium-scale satellite imagery may miss deforestation for small-scale subsistence agriculture, finds a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Rhett Butler -4.959615 21.878356 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12483 2013-12-04T23:59:00Z 2013-12-20T05:40:14Z Green investors urge companies to clean up palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1204-top-10-oilseeds150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A coalition of investors and asset managers is urging stakeholders in the palm oil industry to adopt policies that exclude deforestation and human rights violations from their supply chains. The call, coordinated by Green Century Capital Management, was issued in the form of letters sent to 40 major palm oil producers, financiers and buyers. Rhett Butler 42.359254 -71.054775 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12475 2013-12-03T01:55:00Z 2013-12-20T05:33:52Z Brazil could boost agriculture without destroying forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1203-brazil-deforestation150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Brazil could substantially boost its agricultural output while increasing protection of its native ecosystems, finds a new analysis published by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), an international think tank. Rhett Butler -11.501557 -53.48465 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12474 2013-12-02T21:09:00Z 2014-02-20T19:18:25Z Plantations used as cover for destruction of old-growth forests in Myanmar As Wild Burma: Nature's Lost Kingdom airs on the BBC, the forests documented in the series are increasingly being cut down, according to a new report by U.S. NGO Forest Trends. The report alleges that wide swathes of forest are being cleared in ethnic minority areas of Myanmar (also known as Burma), ostensibly for palm oil and rubber plantations. However after the lucrative timber is extracted, the report finds little evidence that the companies involved are serious about establishing plantations. Jeremy Hance 16.841348 96.178207 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/12467 2013-12-01T17:17:00Z 2013-12-01T17:23:42Z Journalism prizes explore community forestry, commodity supply chains, China's seafood consumption <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0884.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org announces three new $20,000 environmental reporting prizes under its Special Reporting Initiatives program. Three new environmental journalism prizes will enable journalists to do in-depth reporting on three important environmental topics: the role of community forest management in addressing climate change, cleaning up commodity supply chains, and the market for more sustainable seafood in China. The prizes come under Mongabay.org's Special Reporting Initiatives(SRI), a program that provides funding for environmental reporting. Mongabay.org will commit up to $20,000 to fund the top proposal. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12456 2013-11-27T00:42:00Z 2013-11-27T05:13:55Z Mangrove ecosystems being obliterated in Myanmar <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1126myanmarmangroves150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mangrove cover in Myanmar's Ayeyarwady Delta declined by nearly two-thirds between 1978 and 2011, leaving coastal areas more vulnerable to disasters like Cyclone Nargis, which killed 138,000 people in 2008, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Global Environmental Change</i>. The research, led by a team of scientists from the National University of Singapore and Mangrove and Environmental Rehabilitation Network in Yangon, is based on remote sensing and field data. Rhett Butler 15.996645 95.302223 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/12430 2013-11-21T20:26:00Z 2014-02-22T01:54:01Z Asia's most precious wood is soaked in blood <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1121.%C2%A9FREELAND-Foundation---Rosewood-Poachers-Photographed-by-Cameratrap-2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deep in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia grows a rare and beautiful tree whose wood is so highly prized that men will kill to possess it. Wild rosewood, famous since antiquity in China and Japan for its unique, blood-hued luster and intricate grain, was once only used for the finest religious statues and princely ornaments. Now, China's nouveau riche lust for decorative baubles and furniture made of rosewood as a sign of status leading to a massive surge in demand for this precious timber that shows no signs of abating. In just a few short years the price has skyrocketed from just a hundred dollars a cubic meter to over $50,000 today. Jeremy Hance 14.268376 102.060013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12425 2013-11-21T04:21:00Z 2013-11-22T20:25:16Z Govts pledge $280M to slow deforestation for agriculture <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1120-FOREST-LOSS-SHARE150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The governments of Norway, Britain and the United States pledged $280 million toward a new initiative that aims to reduce emissions associated with forest conversion for agriculture, reports Reuters. The money will come out of previously committed funds for climate change. The initiative, called the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes and administered by the World Bank, focuses on the 80 percent of deforestation that is driven by agriculture. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12420 2013-11-20T18:00:00Z 2013-11-20T18:03:06Z The emissions gap and the forest contribution (commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1982.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shortly before the Warsaw climate talks, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) released its Emissions Gap report, highlighting the growing gap between the emissions reductions that are needed to stay below 2 degrees and the trajectory the world is on at the moment. The report clearly identifies forests as one of the most important options to reduce emissions which can be delivered in the short term. While parties urgently need to start phasing out fossil fuels and stop emissions from fossil fuels no later than 2050, protecting forests now can help significantly to keep a realistic chance of staying below 2 degrees. 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/12392 2013-11-17T01:21:00Z 2014-01-22T20:16:28Z Why is Amazon deforestation climbing? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1116amazon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The 28 percent increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon over last year that was reported this week is bad news, but it is not surprising. It is bad news because the decline in deforestation since 2005 has given us the single largest contribution to climate change mitigation on the planet, far surpassing the reductions in emissions achieved by any Annex 1 country under the Kyoto Protocol. Brazil’s achievement is particularly noteworthy because it did not come at the expense of agricultural production; beef and soybean production continued to grow. 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/12385 2013-11-14T23:42:00Z 2013-12-24T15:53:10Z Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumps 28% in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumped 28% in 2013 sparking concerns that recent progress in reducing forest loss in the world's largest rainforest may be in danger of reversing. The preliminary data, released Thursday by the Brazilian government, shows that 5,843 square kilometers (2,256 sq miles) of rainforest was cleared across the 'Legal Amazon' between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12384 2013-11-14T21:31:00Z 2013-11-22T03:08:17Z Deforestation accelerates in Indonesia, finds Google forest map <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1114-INDONESIA-tree-cover150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forest loss in Indonesia has sharply risen over the past 12 years, reports a new study published in the journal <i>Science</i>. The study, led by Matt Hansen of University of Maryland, finds that Indonesia lost 15.8 million hectares between 2000 and 2012, ranking it fifth behind Russia, Brazil, the United States, and Canada in terms of forest loss. Some 7 million hectares of forest regrew during the period. Rhett Butler -0.362546 102.445678 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12383 2013-11-14T20:12:00Z 2013-11-15T07:30:06Z Zero net deforestation is the wrong target, warn experts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_2829.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental initiatives that target zero net deforestation may miss their mark when it comes to slowing climate change and protecting biodiversity, warns a commentary published in this week's issue of the journal <i>Science</i>. While zero net deforestation may seem like a worthy target in efforts to curb forest loss, Sandra Brown and Daniel Zarin argue that the goal is at best, ambiguous, and at worst, may lead to perverse outcomes for the world's forests. Rhett Butler 37.791019 -122.4085