tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/deforestation1 deforestation news from mongabay.com 2014-10-30T17:58:04Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13965 2014-10-30T17:54:00Z 2014-10-30T17:58:04Z Dissolving pulp: a growing threat to global forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1030-leaf-monkey-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dissolving pulp is not just a threat to the forests of Indonesia. It is a growing industry across the globe, and it’s putting several of the world’s endangered forests in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis -27.756190 29.509802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13958 2014-10-29T22:43:00Z 2014-10-29T22:47:32Z Destroyed habitat, fewer resources, Ebola: the many repercussions of Liberia's deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-thumb-pygmy-hippo-public-domain.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Liberia is one of the last strongholds of intact forest in West Africa. These forests are the home of many unique species of plants and animals, and many Liberians rely on the forests for direct economic benefits. The presence of intact forests may even be important for preventing the future outbreak of disease such as Ebola, which can be transmitted to people from animal vectors displaced by deforestation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.357207 -8.300532 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13955 2014-10-29T18:19:00Z 2014-10-29T20:59:28Z Tigers vs. diamonds: India’s protected areas rampantly downgraded to make room for people, industry (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-5-thumb-tiger-capture.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh lie 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) of protected land demarcated as the Panna Tiger Reserve. Recently, however, its protection status has been questioned, and global-scale analyses show Panna is far from alone among India’s many threatened Protected Areas. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.589963 79.941666 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13950 2014-10-28T17:00:00Z 2014-10-28T18:03:30Z How protected are they? Report finds world's Protected Areas may relax, shrink, even completely disappear (PART I) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1028-oryx-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On March 1, 1872, the United States Congress declared 3,400 square miles of land spanning three states as the country’s - and the world’s - first national park. We call it Yellowstone. Today, there are over 160,000 PAs spanning 12.7 percent of the planet’s land surface. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.077659 -56.315393 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13947 2014-10-27T18:19:00Z 2014-10-27T20:42:09Z Between the forest and the sea: life and climate change in Guna Yala - Part I <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0904_04_guerra_kuna_yala150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The island-dwelling Guna people of Panama are one of the most sovereign indigenous communities in the world, but now severe weather and sea level rise are causing regular flooding on many of the islands, and will likely force the Guna to have to abandon their island homes for the mainland. This multimedia piece offers an introduction to everyday life and customs in Guna Yala and touches upon the uncertain future the Guna are now facing thanks to the impacts of climate change. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13944 2014-10-27T12:46:00Z 2014-10-27T12:55:10Z Scientific association calls on Nicaragua to scrap its Gran Canal ATBC&#8212;the world's largest association of tropical biologists and conservationists&#8212;has advised Nicaragua to halt its ambitious plan to build a massive canal across the country. The ATBC warns that the Chinese-backed canal, also known as the Gran Canal, will have devastating impacts on Nicaragua's water security, its forests and wildlife, and local people. Jeremy Hance 11.456933 -85.501372 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13943 2014-10-24T20:29:00Z 2014-10-24T20:30:35Z Conservationists propose Dracula Reserve in Ecuador <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024-dracula-felix-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deep in the dark, cool forests of Ecuador and Colombia live strange and mysterious organisms. Some inhabit the trees and others stay to the ground, and many are threatened by human encroachment. Because of this threat, Rainforest Trust has launched a Halloween fundraising drive to help pay for the creation of the Dracula Reserve--named for its dramatic inhabitant, the Dracula orchid. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.969756 -78.257737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13942 2014-10-24T17:22:00Z 2014-10-24T20:49:33Z Google's new Gombe Street View lets users 'walk' along chimp trails and into Jane Goodall's house <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1024-gsw-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Google Maps is now available for Tanzanian forest paths. Users can walk virtually along the same trails Jane Goodall has used for her decades of chimpanzee monitoring -- and even into her house. Morgan Erickson-Davis -4.719503 29.616324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13941 2014-10-23T20:23:00Z 2014-10-23T21:35:02Z Beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products from 8 countries responsible for 1/3 of forest destruction Four commodities produced in just eight countries are responsible for a third of the world's forest loss, according to a new report. Those familiar with the long-standing effort to stop deforestation won't be surprised by the commodities named: beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products (including timber and paper). Nor will they be very surprised by most of the countries: Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Jeremy Hance 5.505705 101.755097 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13940 2014-10-23T18:27:00Z 2014-10-23T18:36:52Z Brazil declares new protected area larger than Delaware <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1023-Chiropotes-albinasus-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Earlier this week, the Brazilian government announced the declaration of a new federal reserve deep in the Amazon rainforest. The protections conferred by the move will illegalize deforestation, reduce carbon emissions, and help safeguard the future of the area’s renowned wildlife. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.741395 -58.248986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13936 2014-10-22T19:45:00Z 2014-10-24T15:23:16Z Gold mining expanding rapidly along Guiana Shield, threatening forests, water, wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1022-thumb-ppithecia-hans-hillewaert.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Gold mining is on the rise in the Guiana Shield, a geographic region of South America that holds one of the world’s largest undisturbed tract of rainforest. A new mapping technology using a radar and optical imaging combination has detected a significant increase in mining since 2000, threatening the region's forests and water quality. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.175769 -55.766076 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13933 2014-10-21T21:11:00Z 2014-10-21T21:14:35Z Colombia reports drop in deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1021-colombia-forest-loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Colombia has for the first time released an annual report on deforestation, revealing that forest loss during 2013 was lower than the recent average. The government says some 120,933 hectares of natural forest were cleared between January and December 2013. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13932 2014-10-21T18:31:00Z 2014-10-22T20:40:25Z 'No forests, no cash': palm oil giants commit to sustainability, but will they follow through? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0473.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Four of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers signed a landmark commitment in New York in September to further implement sustainable practices across one of the country’s largest commercial sectors. Then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) witnessed the undertaking, which is hoped to expand the country’s palm oil industry while making it more environmentally friendly. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.060740 101.624061 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13930 2014-10-21T17:14:00Z 2014-10-22T20:40:51Z Coal, climate and orangutans – Indonesia’s quandary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0126.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>What do the climate and orangutans have in common? They are both threatened by coal - the first by burning it, and the second by mining it. At the recent United Nations Climate Summit in New York, world leaders and multinational corporations pledged a variety of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation to avert a looming disaster caused by global warming. Tiffany Roufs -0.299076 117.110975 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13928 2014-10-21T17:05:00Z 2014-10-21T17:30:04Z Top scientists raise concerns over commercial logging on Woodlark Island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.beach.IMG_0163.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A number of the world's top conservation scientists have raised concerns about plans for commercial logging on Woodlark Island, a hugely biodiverse rainforest island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The scientists, with the Alliance of Leading Environmental Scientists and Thinkers (ALERT), warn that commercial logging on the island could imperil the island's stunning local species and its indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -9.1579 152.779 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13927 2014-10-21T14:47:00Z 2014-10-22T20:42:18Z Saving Asia's other endangered cats (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/LC_Ronglarp_HKK.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It's no secret that when it comes to the wild cats of Asia&#8212;and, really, cats in general&#8212;tigers get all the press. In fact, tigers&#8212;down to an estimated 3,200 individuals&#8212;arguably dominate conservation across Asia. But as magnificent, grand, and endangered as the tigers are, there are a number of other felines in the region that are much less studied&#8212;and may be just as imperiled. Jeremy Hance 5.395824 117.268519 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13926 2014-10-21T03:15:00Z 2014-10-21T13:50:53Z Indonesian law bars palm oil companies from protecting forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1020-gar-concessions150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A law passed by the Indonesian government last month makes it even more difficult for palm oil companies to conserve tracts of wildlife-rich and carbon-dense forests within their concessions, potentially undermining these producers' commitments to phase deforestation out of their supply chains, warns a new report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group. Rhett Butler 0.348127 111.743953 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13925 2014-10-20T18:00:00Z 2014-10-20T18:03:04Z Indonesia developing mega coal mine five times larger than Singapore <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1020-L1050236-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Global miner BHP Billiton and Indonesian partner PT Adaro are developing what could become the single largest mine in Indonesia in terms of land area, with BHP owning 75 percent. The IndoMet mine complex in Central and East Kalimantan provinces on Borneo comprises seven coal concessions, which cover 350,000 hectares, or about five times the size of Singapore. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.060110 114.873573 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13920 2014-10-17T20:44:00Z 2014-10-17T20:52:12Z Indonesia’s tough choice: capping coal as Asian demand grows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1017-fogarty-L1050446-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> Indonesia cannot build power stations fast enough. And neither can most of its Asian neighbors. Rapid economic and population growth are driving equally rapid demands for electricity as the region builds out power grids to connect up millions of people to fuel prosperity. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.325944 115.733651 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13919 2014-10-17T18:55:00Z 2014-10-21T14:54:03Z Push to undermine Indonesia's new president could stymie environmental progress, say NGOs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0500.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table> concerted push by political elites to undermine Indonesia's president before he even takes office could stymie progress on social and environmental issues in the country, say Indonesian civil society groups. On July 9, former Surakarta (Solo) and Jakarta mayor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo beat ex-general Prabowo Subianto in Indonesia's presidential election by 8.4 million votes. Yet despite the wide margin, Jokowi has been stung by a series of political setbacks that will hinder his ability to govern once he assumes office Monday. Rhett Butler -0.582265 114.409904 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13915 2014-10-16T18:12:00Z 2014-10-22T20:41:15Z To become less damaging, target non-forest lands for palm oil, says book <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1016-top-palm-oil-producers150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil production has been spectacularly profitable but ecologically disastrous across Southeast Asia, consuming millions of hectares of indigenous lands, rainforests, and peatlands in recent decades. That paradox has made the crop highly controversial despite its importance in providing a high-yielding source of vegetable oil. A new book, published freely online by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), weighs in on the debate and concludes &#8212; like many before it &#8212; that the problem is not the crop itself, but how it is produced. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13914 2014-10-16T16:00:00Z 2014-10-16T22:19:11Z Indonesia tries to clamp down on coal sector’s worst excesses <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/fogarty2-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Out of the jungles of East Borneo in Indonesia comes the fire that fuels Asia’s burgeoning economies: coal. Miners dig deep open pits, clearing forests and farmlands to extract coal from thick black seams, which is then crushed and loaded onto trucks and barges for shipment to China, India, Japan and other destinations in Asia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.325944 115.733651 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13911 2014-10-14T23:56:00Z 2014-10-15T16:12:22Z Researchers create global map of world's forests circa 1990 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/global-forest-map-1990_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers have created a global map of the world's forests in the year 1990, enabling accurate comparisons between past and current deforestation rates. The GIS data underpinning the map is available at LandCover.org. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13910 2014-10-14T23:11:00Z 2014-10-16T16:59:04Z As Amazon deforestation falls, small farmers play bigger role in forest clearing <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1014Recent-deforestation-in-the-Brazilian-Amazon150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Smallholder properties account for a rising proportion of overall deforestation in Brazilian Amazon, suggesting that Brazil’s progress in cutting forest loss through stricter law enforcement may be nearing the limits of its effectiveness, finds a new study published in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler -2.605951 -54.844834 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13907 2014-10-14T20:11:00Z 2014-10-16T18:58:39Z Rogue palm oil company appeals deforestation case to Indonesia's supreme court Oil palm company PT. Kallista Alam has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court continuing the closely-watched legal battle set to redefine Indonesia's commitment to environmental justice. Lawyers for the company filed the new appeal on October 6, claiming the initial case is invalid because it failed to include all relevant parties as defendants—including the governor of Aceh, who issued the concession permit in 2011. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13899 2014-10-10T18:12:00Z 2014-10-10T18:14:48Z Forest restoration commitments: driven by science or politics? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1010-gorilla-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During September's UN Climate Summit, three African nations were recognized for their commitments to restore collectively millions of hectares of forest. But several organizations declined invitations to sign the pact because they say it fails to lay out “concrete action” to fight climate change, and some experts in the field worry that the announcements are little more than political posturing. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.190025 28.289514 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13896 2014-10-09T19:12:00Z 2014-10-09T22:53:35Z 'A remarkable conservation achievement': Ecuador reserve expands as forest disappears <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1009-cephalopterus-penduliger-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A strip of rainforest running along the northwestern Ecuadorian coast and up through Colombia is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Yet, less than 10 percent of Ecuador’s portion remains intact, with more forest lost every year to human development. But a little more has been saved for now, with 500 hectares added to an area reserve. Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.635037 -79.096360 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13893 2014-10-09T13:13:00Z 2014-10-23T17:18:30Z Forest fragmentation's carbon bomb: 736 million tonnes C02 annually Scientists have long known that forest fragments are not the same ecologically as intact forest landscapes. When forests are slashed into fragments, winds dry out the edges leading to dying trees and rising temperatures. Biodiversity often drops, while local extinctions rise and big animals vanish. Now, a new study finds another worrisome impact of forest fragmentation: carbon emissions. Jeremy Hance -2.918691 -44.748354 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13892 2014-10-09T02:17:00Z 2014-10-14T04:57:34Z Brazil unlikely to sustain gains in reducing deforestation without new incentives for ranchers, says study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0588.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cattle ranchers that drive the vast majority of forest clearing in the Brazilian Amazon are unlikely to be held at bay indefinitely unless they are afforded new incentives for keeping trees standing, argues new analysis published by an economic research group. The findings suggest that Brazil's recent progress in reducing deforestation &#8212; annual forest loss in the region has dropped by roughly 80 percent since 2004 &#8212; could easily be reversed. Rhett Butler -6.358975 -52.505379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13876 2014-10-05T22:37:00Z 2014-10-09T02:17:26Z Report rates palm oil companies on sustainability commitments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0913.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report published Forest Heroes, an advocacy campaign pushing for an end to deforestation, ranks global palm oil companies on their sustainability commitments. The Green Tigers, authored by Glen Hurowitz, reviews the recent history of environmental policies in the palm oil sector, beginning with the formation of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004 through the wave of comprehensive zero deforestation commitments in 2013-2014. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13874 2014-10-05T06:01:00Z 2014-10-05T06:12:19Z Central Kalimantan to set up palm oil monitoring system to in bid cut deforestation 80% <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/kalimantan/kali9753.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian province of Central Kalimantan is moving forward on an oil palm plantation monitoring system it hopes will help meet a commitment to reduce deforestation 80 percent by 2020. The online monitoring system will include "information on the performance of plantation concessions such as productivity, the number of smallholder farmers, deforestation and other land cover change, and fire occurrence," according to Earth Innovation Institute which designed and is helping the provincial government implement the system. Rhett Butler -2.487964 111.863086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13873 2014-10-04T00:43:00Z 2014-10-04T00:53:47Z Companies hire local communities to evade palm oil restrictions in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5460.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As more palm oil companies are held accountable for deforestation in Indonesia, a growing number are hiring local communities to do their dirty work. According to the Oil Palm Farmers Union (SPKS), companies promise to buy mature fruits at attractive rates from smallholders and local villages who agree to clear and plant in protected forest areas. Through these agreements, companies distance themselves from the process, leaving the locals to bear responsibility for the destruction. Rhett Butler 4.149286 98.018425 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13861 2014-10-02T15:23:00Z 2014-10-03T04:05:48Z Despite high deforestation, Indonesia making progress on forests, says Norwegian official <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-stig-traavik150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite having a deforestation rate that now outpaces that of the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia is beginning to undertake critical reforms necessary to curb destruction of its carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands, says a top Norwegian official. Speaking with mongabay.com in Jakarta on Monday, Stig Traavik, Norway's ambassador to Indonesia, drew parallels between recent developments in Indonesia and initiatives launched in Brazil a decade ago, when deforestation was nearly five times higher than it is today. Rhett Butler 5.252333 95.678852 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13851 2014-09-30T23:40:00Z 2014-10-01T02:50:35Z High Court denies appeal by palm oil company that cleared protected peat forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0435.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Furthering Indonesia's renewed commitment to environmental justice, the High Court of Banda Aceh denied an appeal by PT. Kallista Alam, the oil palm company found guilty of destroying over 1,000 hectares of protected peat forest in Gunung Leuser ecosystem. The Court upheld the previous ruling, which fined the company 366 billion rupiah ($30 million) in penalties and restoration fees. Rhett Butler 4.143465 96.128556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13849 2014-09-30T15:40:00Z 2014-09-30T16:15:45Z Malaysian palm oil company destroys Borneo forests, despite buyer's zero deforestation commitment Malaysian palm oil company Genting Plantations is continuing to destroy forests despite a high-profile pledge by one of its customers to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain, alleges a report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group. Rhett Butler 1.1897898 110.790518 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13833 2014-09-29T16:17:00Z 2014-09-29T16:29:07Z Climate change to boost farmland, diminish harvests, says new study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon-15610.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Climate change is likely to alter how we humans grow adequate amounts of food for a swelling global population. Assessing just how much and where those changes will occur has been difficult. But a new study takes aim at those very questions and could provide a guide for the debate over feeding the planet while also preserving biodiversity and the forests that filter out the carbon we produce. Brittany Stewart -1.617103 17.101189 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13841 2014-09-26T17:41:00Z 2014-09-26T22:28:35Z Diverse, deceptive, declining: orchids threatened by deforestation in South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0926-orchid-lithograph-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Pushing past a thick fern leaf, Crain stopped short, overcome by joy. As he broke into dance, his assistant peered curiously at the tiny lentil-shaped fruit dangling from a stem, and resolutely decided Crain was mad. After more than two years studying a rare Puerto Rican endemic orchid species, Crain had finally found his first specimen bearing fruit. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.333539 -76.954968 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13840 2014-09-26T09:37:00Z 2014-10-01T02:39:36Z Coal mine has heavy impact in Indonesian Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0926-indonesia-coal-mine150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Baharuddin should be happy. The rambutan and durian trees flanking his home are heavy with fruit. Two hectares of chilies stretch before his house. The price of chili — a staple commodity in Indonesia — has been stable for six months. From his 2,000 plants he hopes to earn 40 million rupiah ($3,400), much of which he wants to invest in expanding his crop. That is, if his farm can survive the threats that have destroyed so many of his neighbor's. Rhett Butler -0.531027 117.2387 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13838 2014-09-25T23:01:00Z 2014-09-25T23:54:13Z Reintroduction program ups Mexico's scarlet macaw population by 34 percent in one year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0925-macaw-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, the scarlet macaw has disappeared from almost all of its native range in Mexico, is very rare in most Central America countries, and is locally extinct in El Salvador. A new paper published this week finds a reintroduction program was hugely successful in its first year of operation, with a 92 percent survival rate for released birds. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.481431 -92.044834 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13837 2014-09-25T21:33:00Z 2014-09-25T21:41:22Z Four countries pledge to restore 30 million hectares of degraded lands at UN Summit In 2011, Germany and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature launched the Bonn Challenge, which pledged to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020. Several countries have already made commitments&#8212;including the U.S.&#8212;but this week at the UN Climate Summit four more jumped on board. Jeremy Hance 8.964736 38.828945 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13834 2014-09-25T15:48:00Z 2014-09-25T16:16:37Z Termites suffer in logged forests and palm oil plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-termites-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ants appear more resilient to forest degradation than termites. Scientists have long studied how birds, mammals, and amphibians respond to forest degradation, but what about the most abundant animals in the forest? Insects. A new study in <i>Biodiversity and Conservation</i> looks at how ants and termites reacted to forest changes in Malaysian Borneo. Tiffany Roufs 3.535145 114.288557 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13832 2014-09-24T20:56:00Z 2014-09-24T21:41:00Z Turning point for Peru's forests? Norway and Germany put muscle and money behind ambitious agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0728.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From the Andes to the Amazon, Peru houses some of the world's most spectacular forests. Proud and culturally-diverse indigenous tribes inhabit the interiors of the Peruvian Amazon, including some that have chosen little contact with the outside world. And even as scientists have identified tens-of-thousands of species that make their homes from the leaf litter to the canopy. Jeremy Hance -13.256860 -68.993973 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13821 2014-09-24T09:34:00Z 2014-09-24T14:35:40Z Cargill commits to zero deforestation across entire global supply chain: all commodities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cargill, one of the world's largest agricultural companies, has extended its zero deforestation commitment for palm oil to all commodities it produces. The commitment, announced Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, is the most far-reaching zero deforestation policy ever established, covering Cargill's sprawling global empire of businesses, including palm oil, sugar, soy, cattle, and cocoa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13820 2014-09-23T23:50:00Z 2014-09-24T14:13:39Z Norway to pay Liberia to stop deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-diana-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In one of the many major announcements that have come out of the UN Climate Summit in New York this week, Norway says it will pay Liberia to stop cutting down its forests. Norway’s payment will come on the form of development aid for the war-torn, impoverished, and now Ebola-ridden West African nation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.281362 -9.936618 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13819 2014-09-23T20:18:00Z 2014-09-23T20:35:06Z Fragmented forests hurt some bat species, may benefit others <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0922.bats.TCS.sept.2014.360-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Development of roads and other structures disturb large, continuous patches of habitat for wildlife. This habitat fragmentation is one of the biggest contributors to species extinction, as the local ecology and species interactions are altered. A new study finds that leaf-nosed bat abundances in Mexico are closely linked to how sensitive each species is to habitat fragmentation. Tiffany Roufs 17.163800 -96.689228 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13817 2014-09-23T18:13:00Z 2014-09-25T22:00:57Z Dissolving pulp: the threat to Indonesia’s forests you’ve probably never heard of <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923-orang-thumb-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If the term “dissolving pulp” evokes nothing for you, you’re not alone. Not many people have heard of it, and the very term “dissolving pulp” is so generic it’s hard to imagine it could be a threat to anything. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.438037 99.996098 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13813 2014-09-22T13:52:00Z 2014-09-22T14:07:42Z Feeding the planet while saving forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0094.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cattle ranching, palm oil production, soy cultivation, and other forms of commercial agriculture drive more than 70 percent of tropical deforestation worldwide, but a global transition could enable the world to produce more food, fuel and fiber without destroying more forests, argues a new report published by the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), a group of philanthropic organizations working to slow climate change. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13811 2014-09-22T13:36:00Z 2014-09-23T00:10:27Z Extinction island? Plans to log half an island could endanger over 40 species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/plullulaeopti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Woodlark Island is a rare place on the planet today. This small island off the coast Papua New Guinea is still covered in rich tropical forest, an ecosystem shared for thousands of years between tribal peoples and a plethora of species, including at least 42 found no-where else. Yet, like many such wildernesses, Woodlark Island is now facing major changes: not the least of them is a plan to log half of the island. Jeremy Hance -9.038617 152.610839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13799 2014-09-18T19:26:00Z 2014-09-18T19:28:15Z Legislation protecting Indonesia's indigenous communities is not good enough, says advocacy group <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0918-fronds-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Approaching final legalization, an advocacy group for Indonesia’s indigenous communities has asked to postpone passing a bill granting protections to indigenous people, stating some demands still need to be addressed. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.471485 100.315548 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13794 2014-09-18T15:35:00Z 2014-09-18T15:45:50Z The cheap option on climate change: recognize indigenous rights to forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/colombia_1160.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since 2008, governments have invested $1.64 billion in funds to kick-start REDD+, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, the global effort to conserve the world's forests in order to better mitigate climate change. However, a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) finds that same amount of money could have secured the legal rights of indigenous and local people to 450 million hectares of forest, an area 40 percent larger than India. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13793 2014-09-17T19:46:00Z 2014-09-17T19:53:51Z 'The green Amazon is red with indigenous blood': authorities pull bodies from river that may have belonged to slain leaders Peruvian authorities have pulled more human remains from a remote river in the Amazon, which may belong to one of the four murdered Ashaninka natives killed on September 1st. It is believed the four Ashaninka men, including renowned leader Edwin Chota Valera, were assassinated for speaking up against illegal logging on their traditional lands. Jeremy Hance -10.433375 -71.573146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13789 2014-09-17T08:55:00Z 2014-09-18T12:26:49Z Activists urge outgoing Indonesian president to protect key forest area before he steps down Activists have launched an urgent appeal calling upon outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to step up protection of the only ecosystem that houses Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13784 2014-09-16T18:03:00Z 2014-09-16T18:04:31Z From 'production' forests to protected forests, groups work to save Sumatran orangutan habitat. But will it be enough? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/north_sumatra_0584.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The orangutan is native exclusively to the islands of Borneo and Sumatra — two regions that have seen the brunt of Indonesia's recent forest destruction due primarily to logging and plantation development. Although there are anywhere from 45,000 to 69,000 Bornean orangutans remaining in the wild, the Sumatran species numbers only about 7,300 according to a 2004 survey, and is dwindling further every year. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.096116 97.700802 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13781 2014-09-14T23:08:00Z 2014-09-15T00:31:41Z Brazil's planned Tapajós dams would increase Amazon deforestation by 1M ha A plan to build a dozen dams in the Tapajós river basin would drive the loss of an additional 950,000 hectares of rainforest by 2032 by spurring land speculation and mass migration to the region, suggests a new study published by Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13778 2014-09-12T18:58:00Z 2014-09-12T19:05:18Z As Bolivia plans dramatic agro-expansion, forests may pay the price (PART II) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0912-giant-otter-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an August 14 announcement, Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, laid out an ambitious plan to increase the country’s cropland by 250 percent, and triple its agricultural output. The proposal is touted as way to increase both food and economic security for the inland South American country, but what will it mean for its forests? Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.849774 -66.966144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13777 2014-09-12T18:31:00Z 2014-09-12T18:35:36Z Palm oil company continues to operate illegal plantation despite court ruling A palm oil company in Central Kalimantan continues to operate business as usual, despite a Supreme Court ruling confirming it has no legal permit to do so. Since 2009, PT Hati Prima Agro (HPA), a subsidiary of palm oil giant Bumitama Gunajaya Agro Group (BGA), has cleared over 7,000 ha of land in Central Kalimantan, even though their permits were revoked by the Ministry of Forestry in 2008. Rhett Butler -1.480243 112.530012 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13774 2014-09-12T00:57:00Z 2014-09-12T01:03:10Z Brazil confirms last year's rise in Amazon deforestation Brazil's National Space Agency INPE has officially confirmed last year's rise in Amazon deforestation. Rhett Butler -1.933227 -66.283264 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13773 2014-09-11T21:23:00Z 2014-09-12T17:37:09Z Illegal tropical deforestation driven globally by “agro-conversion” <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0911-gorilla-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 50 percent of tropical deforestation to make room for commercial agriculture between 2000 and 2012 was done so illegally. That’s a key finding of a report published by the U.S.-based nonprofit organization Forest Trends looking at the global tide of tropical forest “agro-conversion.” Morgan Erickson-Davis 0.492965 16.863132 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13772 2014-09-11T18:17:00Z 2014-09-12T00:59:31Z FSC meeting weighs old-growth forest protection, smallholder participation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a body that sets social and environmental certification criteria for forestry products, is weighing measures that could step up protection for old-growth forests and make it easier for indigenous people and traditional forest communities to qualify for certification. The measures are set for a vote this week at the body's General Assembly, which is held every three years to establish and revise criteria that underpin the standard. Rhett Butler -6.948239 142.379379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13765 2014-09-10T19:45:00Z 2014-09-12T19:03:42Z Bolivian vice president proposes unprecedented agricultural expansion (PART 1) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-dinomys-branickii-frable-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On August 14, the Bolivian Vice President, Alvaro Garcia Linera, made a startling announcement: by 2025, Bolivia was going to make two striking developments - first, it would expand all cultivated land to 2.5 times its present area, and second, it would triple food production from 15 to 45 million tons. Morgan Erickson-Davis -16.141641 -66.036958 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13764 2014-09-10T18:27:00Z 2014-09-22T13:58:56Z Elephants pay the price for palm oil in Malaysian Borneo, impact may reach far beyond reported kills <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0810-borneo-elephants-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than a dozen elephant kills were reported in Sabah in 2013 alone, but it is unknown exactly how many have lost their lives in recent years as palm plantations encroach further and further into the rainforest. What is clear is that if the loss of their forest habitat continues to drive conflicts with humans at the rate it is now, Borneo elephants’ long-term survival may be in jeopardy. Morgan Erickson-Davis 6.180661 116.893646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13763 2014-09-10T02:36:00Z 2014-09-10T02:55:11Z Malaysian palm oil chief misleads on deforestation One of Malaysia's top palm oil officials has once again misled the public on the state of forests in Malaysia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13748 2014-09-05T21:03:00Z 2014-09-05T21:17:39Z Companies at risk of sourcing illegal palm oil despite zero deforestation commitments, finds investigation Major palm oil suppliers may be continuing to buy tainted palm oil despite high-profile commitments to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains, reports a new investigation published by Eyes on the Forest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13746 2014-09-05T19:01:00Z 2014-09-05T19:04:14Z Canada, Russia, Brazil lead world in old-growth forest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0905-log-road-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every day, the world loses about 50,000 hectares of forest to agricultural clearing, road development, and other human activities, constricting true wilderness into smaller and smaller areas – along with the species that inhabit them. New analysis and maps released this week show these last vestiges are disappearing at a quick pace, with more than 104 million hectares degraded from 2000 to 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.952080 -52.828939 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13737 2014-09-04T16:45:00Z 2014-09-08T16:42:57Z REDD+ versus indigenous people? Why a tribe in Panama rejected pay for their carbon-rich forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0904_04_guerra_kuna_yala150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There isn’t a word or phrase in the Kuna language for "carbon trading,” and much less for something as complex as REDD+. Standing for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, REDD+ is the worldwide UN-backed climate change mitigation scheme that relies on carbon trading within forest landscapes to fund forest conservation programs. And yet, since 2008, the Kuna people have been hearing lots about it and referring to it often in their private conversations. Tiffany Roufs 9.548827 -78.839226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13733 2014-09-01T21:21:00Z 2014-09-02T17:22:59Z The last of her kind: centennial of the death of the world's last passenger pigeon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0901-pass-pigeon-audubon-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>They once numbered in the billions, flying 60 miles per hour in flocks that darkened the sky. But on September 1, 1914, one hundred years ago today, the last member of what may have been the most numerous bird species on the planet died in a cage in the Cincinnati zoo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 39.104330 -84.400978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13731 2014-08-29T22:25:00Z 2014-08-31T19:27:04Z 'A global tragedy' in the making? Thailand plans highway expansion through World Heritage Site <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0829-banteng-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dong Phayayen Khao Yai Forest Complex (DPKY-FC) is the largest tract of surviving forest in central Thailand, renowned for its biodiversity. Now, the Thai government is planning major expansions to a road that bisects the complex – which scientists say will bar animal movement throughout their natural ranges, result in higher rates of road kill, and give hunters and loggers increased access to the forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 14.189639 102.102929 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13730 2014-08-29T18:51:00Z 2014-08-30T01:41:10Z More trouble with tar sands: oil extraction leading to big forest loss in Alberta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0829-tar-sands-op-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tar sands operations have been the subject of much controversy over the past few years as expected economic gains for Canada the may come at the cost of environmental damage from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Now another negative impact has come to light - deforestation of the boreal forest overlying the oil deposits. Morgan Erickson-Davis 57.694984 -111.396673 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13727 2014-08-28T19:31:00Z 2014-08-28T19:57:02Z Authorities stop 'greatest destroyers of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0828-brazil-lone-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A criminal organization involved in the illicit deforestation of large portions of Brazil's forests has been stopped, with at least six members of the organization arrested as of Aug. 28 and warrants issued for others. The gang has been accused of committing crimes worth over $220 million. Morgan Erickson-Davis -5.670855 -55.858498 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13723 2014-08-27T23:55:00Z 2014-09-03T00:20:53Z Meeting an Illegal Logger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827logger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'I make six times the amount of money logging as I would working my small plot of land or even working legally in a pulp and paper or palm oil plantation.' An illegal logger explains the economic conditions in South Sumatra. Mongabay Special Reporting Fellow Robert S. Eshelman interviews an illegal logger in Indonesia on the topic of cleaning up commodity supply chains. Tiffany Roufs -3.483145 104.340247 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13722 2014-08-27T22:35:00Z 2014-08-27T22:43:40Z Where should the roads go? New map offers a solution to the 'Pandora's Box of environmental problems' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0827-roads3-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Roads make it possible to bring goods to market, to get to the office, to log a forest, to hunt its wildlife. Without roads, human society as we know it could not exist. However, to build roads, trees must be cleared and swamps drained, shrinking valuable wildlife habitat and fragmenting populations in the process. A new study unveils an innovative map that defines which areas of the world would be best used to build roads – and which should be left alone. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.349126 -57.198830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13719 2014-08-27T18:52:00Z 2014-10-26T18:35:54Z The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people. Jeremy Hance 11.392321 -85.465667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-08-27T16:58:24Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13716 2014-08-26T19:35:00Z 2014-08-27T21:00:18Z What lies within, we may never know: deforestation threatening Sulawesi’s unique wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/sulawesi/sulawesi6483.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For 10 million years the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been disconnected from other landforms, almost inviting evolution to color outside the lines. Despite a growing population and limited space, Sulawesi has managed to provide a safe haven to hundreds of unique species as they evolved over millennia. But that haven may soon be lost to uncontrolled extraction of forest products from Sulawesi’s many pristine ecosystems. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.460181 120.146481 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13715 2014-08-25T19:43:00Z 2014-08-27T18:09:37Z Can it be stopped? Ghana's forests 'could completely disappear in less than 25 years' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0825-chimp-butler-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ghana contains forests that are biologically unique and important both for the wildlife they contain and the human communities that depend on them. However, the country is experiencing one of the greatest rates of deforestation in West Africa. At its current rate of forest loss, a study estimates that Ghana could be devoid of major forest cover in less than a quarter-century. Morgan Erickson-Davis 5.667530 -2.420482 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13706 2014-08-22T19:08:00Z 2014-08-22T19:12:29Z Greenpeace alleges SLAPP suit tactic by logging company Greenpeace Canada has filed a Statement of Defense in response to a $7 million lawsuit by Resolute Forest Products (NYSE:RFP) over allegations that the logging company destroyed forests in Quebec and Ontario. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13699 2014-08-21T21:51:00Z 2014-08-27T19:09:19Z Have scientists discovered a new primate in the Philippines? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/Tarsier.from.Dinagat.Isl.photo.Andrew-Cunningham.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite some media reports, scientists have not yet discovered a new species of big-eyed, nocturnal primate&#8212;known as tarsiers&#8212;in the Philippines. Instead what they have discovered is an intriguing population that is genetically-distinct even from nearby relatives, according to a new open-access paper in PLOS ONE. Jeremy Hance 10.168583 125.594253 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13698 2014-08-21T17:17:00Z 2014-08-21T18:44:37Z Running to reforest: communities, NGOs work to save Ugandan reserve in the midst of massive deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821-bugoma-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Stung by massive loss of forest cover in Bugoma central forest reserve, part of a vast chimpanzee habitat in the western part of Uganda, seven private local and international organizations in the east African country have joined hands to raise awareness of forest issues and money for reforestation efforts -- by launching a conservation-themed quarter-marathon. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.326440 30.922604 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13694 2014-08-21T01:02:00Z 2014-08-21T02:10:16Z Indonesia's forests so damaged they burn whether or not there's drought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1070.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Air pollution caused by fires set for land-clearing on Sumatra has become a regularly occurrence in Southeast Asia. While these fires are often termed forest fires, the reality is much of the area that burns each year has already been deforested and today mostly consists of grass, scrub, and remnants of what was once forest. But the impacts are nonetheless very substantial, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>. Rhett Butler 1.974402 100.630431 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13692 2014-08-20T22:17:00Z 2014-08-20T22:20:58Z Looming mining ‘tsunami’ set to take Africa by storm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa remains something of an untapped mineral resource, as the vast majority of extraction occurs elsewhere. However, a new report documents a surging tide of foreign interest in mining in Africa and cautions that the sector’s unchecked development and expansion could devastate the environment. Morgan Erickson-Davis -1.603479 27.070837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13689 2014-08-20T16:03:00Z 2014-08-27T15:53:22Z Challenging the 'tragedy of the commons': new documentary explores how humans and nature can coexist (VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0820-cantones-2-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Guatemala, a vast community forest has prospered for centuries despite an ever-growing population, challenging the idea that human inhabitation of an area will inevitably lead to its ecological degradation. Morgan Erickson-Davis 15.723830 -91.570518 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13681 2014-08-18T16:49:00Z 2014-08-18T16:52:56Z When forests aren't really forests: the high cost of Chile’s tree plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0818-pudu-jimenez-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At first glance, the statistics tell a hopeful story: Chile’s forests are expanding. On the ground, however, a different scene plays out: monocultures have replaced diverse natural forests while Mapuche native protesters burn pine plantations, blockade roads and destroy logging equipment. At the crux of these two starkly contrasting narratives is the definition of a single word: “forest.” Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.079512 -73.035033 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13678 2014-08-16T19:43:00Z 2014-08-27T21:01:07Z Indonesian govt reiterates plan to clear 14M ha of forest by 2020 The Indonesian government is pressing forward with plans to clear 14 million hectares of forest between 2010 and 2020 despite a commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Rhett Butler -3.118576 102.90576 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13676 2014-08-15T18:00:00Z 2014-08-17T17:35:49Z Nothing else left to log: are eco-certified timber companies stripping Russia of its last old growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0815-siberian-tiger-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among Russia’s forested lands lie intact forest landscapes (or IFLs). These IFLs are large swaths of unbroken, old growth forests that encompass at least 50,000 hectares, harbor high biodiversity, and have remained mostly undisturbed by development. However, less than 10 percent of the world’s IFLs are currently protected. Now, a new report reveals Russia's IFLs may be threatened by certified sustainable logging companies. Morgan Erickson-Davis 63.712223 40.854324 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13669 2014-08-14T23:15:00Z 2014-09-23T01:56:10Z Elephant poaching soars as Sumatran forests turn into plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-sum-elephants-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There has been a spike in elephant deaths in Sumatra this year, and conversion of rainforest to plantations is one of the main causes. The number of Sumatran elephants poached in the province of Riau so far this year is staggering, with 22 reported kills in the first six months of 2014 compared to 14 for the entirety of 2013. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.410429 101.647161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13668 2014-08-14T19:36:00Z 2014-08-14T19:46:06Z China and Europe's outsourcing of soy production impacts the Amazon Soy consumption in China and Europe is having significant ecological impacts in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, finds a study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -11.544616 -54.803238 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13667 2014-08-14T18:52:00Z 2014-08-14T19:18:04Z Indonesia cracks down on illegal burning, investigates more suspect companies <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0814-burn-riau-rhett-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, thousands of hectares of Indonesian forest are illegally burned by development companies. However, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya, is optimistic that legal charges over such fires can be completed – even though he has just three months left in office. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.331012 101.394371 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13663 2014-08-13T20:44:00Z 2014-08-16T03:36:31Z 'Natural Reserves' no more: illegal colonists deforest huge portions of Nicaraguan protected areas <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813-watsa-tapir-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In southeastern Nicaragua, abutting the coastal Caribbean town of Bluefields, lie two nature reserves - Cerro Silva and Punta Gorda - that are embroiled in a bitter battle for survival against the speedily encroaching agricultural frontier. The forest is all but decimated here, with disconnected patches whose very existence rests precariously in the hands of its occupiers - both legal and illegal. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.435397 -84.015472 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13661 2014-08-13T19:38:00Z 2014-08-13T19:41:47Z Aceh backtracking on mining moratorium, continues to issue permits <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0813JUNAIDI_TAMBANG-EMAS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Governor of Aceh Province, Indonesia appears unwilling to implement a mining moratorium, despite repeated statements he intends to do so. Governor Zaini Abdullah, a co-founder of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), has said on several occasions that he believes there should be a moratorium on mining licenses, however watch-groups claim no official policy has been enacted. Rhett Butler 4.409398 97.175231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13658 2014-08-13T12:22:00Z 2014-08-13T12:36:35Z Forgotten species: the exotic squirrel with a super tail <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0813.Central-Kalimantan,-Erik-Meijaard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With among the world's largest tails compared to body-size, the tufted ground squirrel just might be the most exotic squirrel species on the planet. Found only on the island of Borneo, this threatened species is also surrounded by wild tales, including the tenacity to take down a deer for dinner. New research explores the squirrel's monster tail and whether other tales about it may be true. Jeremy Hance 1.187729 114.549402 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13656 2014-08-12T20:43:00Z 2014-09-24T21:07:42Z A paradise being lost: Peru's most important forests felled for timber, crops, roads, mining <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0812-watsa-9-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1988, when British environmentalist Norman Myers first described the concept of a “biodiversity hotspot," he could have been painting a picture of the highly threatened Peruvian Andes mountain range. Today, the Andes are an immediate and looming portent of the fate of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.229730 -70.769231 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13652 2014-08-12T03:52:00Z 2014-08-12T03:57:02Z China failing to take effective action against timber smugglers Voluntary guidelines established by the Chinese government won't be enough to curb rampant timber smuggling by Chinese companies, putting 'responsible' actors at risk of having their reputations tarnished, argues a new campaign by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13651 2014-08-12T01:18:00Z 2014-08-12T03:08:13Z Half of Riau's oil palm plantations are illegal Half of the oil palm plantations in Sumatra's Riau Province are illegal, said Indonesia's top forestry official. Rhett Butler 0.065918 101.5874 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13644 2014-08-11T04:23:00Z 2014-08-11T04:33:31Z Aceh's largest peat swamp at risk from palm oil Oil palm plantations and other developments are threatening Rawa Singkil Wildlife Preserve—Aceh's largest peat swamp, and home to the densest population of Sumatran orangutan in the Leuser Ecosystem. The lack of clear boundaries, and construction of roads bisecting the area has fostered encroachment by local and outside entrepreneurs, including some former local officials, reports Abu Hanifah Lubis, Program Manager of Yayasan Leuser Internasional (YLI). Rhett Butler 2.60355 97.807059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13641 2014-08-08T03:56:00Z 2014-08-08T04:13:59Z NASA: Forest loss leaps in Bolivia, Mekong region New satellite data from NASA suggests that deforestation is sharply increasing in Bolivia and Mekong countries during the second quarter of 2014. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13639 2014-08-07T17:56:00Z 2014-08-07T22:42:06Z The 90 Percent Diet: reducing our environmental impact by eating less meat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0807-machovino4-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Brian Machovina’s life, a serendipitous influence of people and places have all contributed to his current passion for inspiring people to eat less meat. With fewer grazing animals, Machovina’s studies show that we could make better conservation and production choices with land that would otherwise be used to raise or feed livestock. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.470387 -83.342319 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13633 2014-08-05T22:10:00Z 2014-08-05T22:15:17Z 95% of Amazon deforestation happens near roads or major rivers 94.9 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon occurs on land less than 5 kilometers from a road or navigable river, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Biological Conservation</i>. Rhett Butler -10.281393 -63.27886 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13631 2014-08-05T19:17:00Z 2014-08-06T17:19:17Z Yellow spots, orange stripes: vivid new frog species discovered in Malaysia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0805-new-frog-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have identified a new species of frog on the Malay Peninsula. The newly named <i>Hylorana centropeninsularis</i> was discovered in a peat swamp and genetic analyses revealed that it is evolutionarily distinct from its stream-dwelling cousins. Morgan Erickson-Davis 4.348802 102.729721 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13624 2014-08-04T20:13:00Z 2014-08-04T20:19:09Z Tin mining, palm oil plantations wreaking havoc on small Indonesian island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-tarsier-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Belitung, a picturesque island off the east coast of Sumatra, has experienced an uptick in tourism recently due to its unspoiled white sand beaches and turquoise waters. But next to all of the beauty, an environmental tragedy is quietly unfolding: the island’s primary forests are being cut down at an alarming rate in favor of mining and palm oil plantations. Morgan Erickson-Davis -2.939268 107.975917