tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/environmental_law1 Environmental Law news from mongabay.com 2014-10-16T18:58:39Z 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/13891 2014-10-08T21:01:00Z 2014-10-08T21:02:33Z INTERPOL launches African environmental crime unit To help fight illegal poaching and trafficking, INTERPOL, the world's largest international police organization, has launched an environmental crimes unit in Africa. Rhett Butler 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/13696 2014-08-21T14:56:00Z 2014-08-21T15:17:04Z Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0821.cannon.DSC_0527.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said. Jeremy Hance 15.038075 106.306014 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/13638 2014-08-07T16:44:00Z 2014-08-19T15:46:30Z Want to save Africa's elephants? Close all ivory markets <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0807.gabon-27820.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The only way to save the long-suffering elephants of Africa is to close every ivory market on the planet and destroy all ivory stockpiles, according to a bold new essay in Conservation Biology. Written by Elizabeth Bennett, the Vice President for Species Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the paper is likely to prove controversial. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13616 2014-07-31T15:14:00Z 2014-07-31T15:34:05Z World Ranger Day: honoring our wildlife protectors Like Memorial Day, when we honor our nation's military veterans, World Ranger Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the thousands of rangers who put their lives on the line as they protect wildlife and natural resources around the world. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13614 2014-07-31T12:53:00Z 2014-08-04T17:41:09Z Seeking justice for Corazón: jaguar killings test the conservation movement in Mexico <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0731.0731.2009-06-June-27---Corazon---Los-Pavos.ac.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eight years ago, a female jaguar cub was caught on film by a motion-triggered camera trap set in the foothills of canyons, oak forest, and scrubland that make-up the Northern Jaguar Reserve, just 125 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Three years later, in 2009, the jaguar reappeared on film as an adult. They called her 'Corazón' for the distinctive heart-shaped spot on her left shoulder. Jeremy Hance 29.056000 -109.231003 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13594 2014-07-28T23:03:00Z 2014-07-29T19:38:58Z Over a million pangolins slaughtered in the last decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0728.Phataginus_tricuspis_APWG_2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's most bizarre animal groups is now at risk of complete eradication, according to an update of the IUCN Red List. Pangolins, which look and behave similarly to (scaly) anteaters yet are unrelated, are being illegally consumed out of existence due to a thriving trade in East Asia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13576 2014-07-23T19:14:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:54Z Peru slashes environmental protections to attract more mining and fossil fuel investment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an effort to kickstart investment in mining and fossil fuels, Peru has passed a controversial law that overturns many of its environmental protections and essentially defangs its Ministry of Environment. The new law has environmentalists not only concerned about its impact on the country but also that the measures will undermine progress at the up-coming UN Climate Summit in December. Jeremy Hance -13.018651 -70.498686 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13424 2014-06-23T14:54:00Z 2014-06-23T15:07:27Z Regional court kills controversial Serengeti Highway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/tz_2210.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Serengeti ecosystem got a major reprieve last week when the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) ruled against a hugely-controversial plan to build a paved road through Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. The court dubbed the proposed road 'unlawful' due to expected environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance -1.795750 34.992381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13411 2014-06-18T19:41:00Z 2014-06-18T19:42:33Z Billy Joel welcomes New York Senate's approval of ivory ban Musician Billy Joel has weighed in on the ivory bill making its way through the New York State legislature. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13380 2014-06-13T18:07:00Z 2014-06-13T21:47:04Z New York State Assembly approves bill banning ivory trade The New York State Assembly has passed a bill that would ban the purchase and sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which played a key role in pushing the legislation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13232 2014-05-15T20:29:00Z 2014-05-15T20:44:56Z 53 indigenous activists on trial for police-protester massacre in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1639.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the summer of 2009, on a highway in Peru known as Devil's Curve: everything went wrong. For months, indigenous groups had protested new laws by then President Alan Garcia opening up the Amazon to deregulated logging, fossil fuels, and other extractive industries as a part of free trade agreements with the U.S. Jeremy Hance -12.050560 -77.039993 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13229 2014-05-15T15:36:00Z 2014-05-15T15:47:50Z Chinese poachers caught with 555 marine turtles, most dead (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0515.20140509-pawikan-fishing-vessel-pnp-01-carousel.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, eleven Chinese fishermen were caught by Filipino police with 555 marine turtles, 378 of which were dead. Officials in the Philippines have since released the 177 living turtles. But the incident has sparked an international standoff between the Philippines and China as the Chinese nationals were arrested in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Jeremy Hance 9.784405 118.175065 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13212 2014-05-12T17:19:00Z 2014-05-12T17:41:21Z Chinese luxury furniture linked to murder, near extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0512.eia.rosewood.table.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Intricately carved, meticulously designed, and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars: this is "hongmu," or Chinese luxury furniture reflecting the elite styles of the Ming and Qing dynasties. But while the red-colored furniture may be aesthetically beautiful, it comes with a blood price. Jeremy Hance 14.241349 102.996604 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13189 2014-05-06T19:49:00Z 2014-05-06T20:03:57Z Almost 90 percent of Republic of the Congo's lowland forests open to logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0506.brnxz_482.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Although the Republic of the Congo has opened up nearly 90 percent of its lowland forests to logging, the majority of the logging occurring in the country is still illegal, according to a new report from the Chatham House. In fact the UK policy institute finds that illegal logging in the Republic of the Congo may make up as much as 70-75 percent of the industry. Jeremy Hance 2.169665 17.210078 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13159 2014-05-01T13:05:00Z 2014-05-01T14:44:34Z Saudi Prince kills two percent of global population of endangered bird <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0501.712px-Prince_Sultan_bin_Abdulaziz_02.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a three week hunting safari between January 11th and 31st of this year, Saudi Arabian Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his party allegedly shot down 2,100 Asian Houbara bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in Balochistan, Pakistan. Scientists aren't certain how many Houbara bustards survive today, but their best estimate is around 100,000 and declining. Jeremy Hance 28.391298 65.162563 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13148 2014-04-29T14:28:00Z 2014-04-29T14:41:24Z Chinese who eat endangered species could face over ten years in jail It's well known that much of the world's massive illegal wildlife trade ends up in China, including poached tigers, pangolins, and bears. But now those who order pangolin fetuses, tiger blood, or bear bile at a restaurant or market may see significant jail time. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13130 2014-04-24T22:03:00Z 2014-04-24T22:18:30Z Brazil's new Forest Code a mixed bag for native ecosystems The revised Forest Code passed into law by Brazil in 2012 could authorize conversion of 400,000 square miles of native grassland for industrial agriculture, while granting amnesty for deforesters in the Amazon rainforest, argues a policy piece published this week in the journal <i>Science</i>. Rhett Butler -9.449062 -62.592775 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13128 2014-04-24T17:24:00Z 2014-04-24T17:31:21Z Brazil to test drones in monitoring the Amazon rainforest Brazilian municipalities are planning to use drones to map properties and monitor forest cover as they move to step up enforcement of the country's Forest Code, reports <i>The Financial Times</i>. Rhett Butler -3.145144 -52.085178 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13116 2014-04-22T15:30:00Z 2014-04-22T15:40:30Z Illegal logging makes up 70 percent of Papua New Guinea's timber industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_5011.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Corruption, weak governance, and powerful timber barons are illegally stripping the forests of Papua New Guinea, according to a new report from the Chatham House. The policy institute finds that 70 percent of logging in Papua New Guinea is currently illegal, despite the fact that 99 percent of land is owned by local indigenous communities. Jeremy Hance -6.843058 145.777812 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13083 2014-04-15T17:34:00Z 2014-04-15T17:52:51Z Nearly a thousand environmental activists murdered since 2002 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0415.murders.activists.gwreport.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At least 908 people were murdered for taking a stand to defend the environment between 2002 and 2013, according to a new report today from Global Witness, which shows a dramatic uptick in the murder rate during the past four years. Notably, the report appears on the same day that another NGO, Survival International, released a video of a gunman terrorizing a Guarani indigenous community in Brazil. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13057 2014-04-08T15:48:00Z 2014-04-09T13:29:11Z Nearly 90 percent of logging in the DRC is illegal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0408.754px-Congo_maluku.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The forestry sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is completely out of control, according to a new eye-opening report. Put together by the Chatham House, the report estimates that at least 87 percent of logging in the DRC was illegal in 2011, making the DRC possibly the most high-risk country in the world for purchasing legal wood products. Jeremy Hance -1.809386 21.981180 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/12950 2014-03-19T17:28:00Z 2014-03-19T17:31:10Z Featured video: indigenous tribe faces loggers, ranchers, and murder in bid to save their forests A new short film, entitled <i>La Trocha</i>, highlights the plight of the Wounaan people in Panama, who are fighting for legal rights to their forests even as loggers and ranchers carve it up. The conflict turned violent in 2012 when local chief, Aquilo Puchicama, was shot dead by loggers. Jeremy Hance 8.041062 -81.577309 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12935 2014-03-14T20:53:00Z 2014-03-15T00:19:35Z Indonesia's proposed peat law too weak to protect peatlands, stop haze, says Greenpeace A new regulation aiming to protect peatlands is likely to fall short of its goals, failing to stop peat degradation, emissions, and fires that are driving the current haze crisis in Southeast Asia, asserts a new analysis from Greenpeace. Rhett Butler 1.646349 101.686599 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12917 2014-03-12T16:24:00Z 2014-03-12T18:28:23Z New web tool aims to help indigenous groups protect forests and navigate REDD+ A new online tool, dubbed ForestDefender, aims to help indigenous people understand and implement their rights in regard to forests. The database, developed by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), brings together vast amounts of legal information&#8212;both national and international&#8212;on over 50 countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12872 2014-03-04T15:10:00Z 2014-03-04T15:28:57Z Europe not doing enough to stop illegal logging imports says Greenpeace Europe is failing to fully enforce its one-year-old EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), alleges Greenpeace, with illegally-logged wood still slipping into the continent, especially from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Jeremy Hance -6.970049 23.732758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12809 2014-02-21T19:49:00Z 2014-02-21T20:03:11Z Indonesian cop caught smuggling rare timber worth millions escapes with 2-year sentence <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_0616.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Green activists are crying foul after an Indonesian police officer believed to have laundered nearly $128 million in proceeds from illegal fuel and timber smuggling was sentenced to just two years in prison for illegal logging – a verdict described as 'shockingly lenient' and 'unbelievable' given the extent of his alleged crimes Rhett Butler -0.850036 131.325653 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/12767 2014-02-12T14:16:00Z 2014-02-12T14:20:44Z One person killed, two injured in elephant attacks in Indonesia this year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_9255.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It was near dawn on Jan. 4 when a critically endangered Sumatran elephant (<i>Elephas maximus sumatranus</i>) destroyed a small shack near a plantation in Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing a local farmer from West Aceh district and injuring his 13-year-old son. Yusmani, 59, was trampled to death while his son, Reverendi, escaped with a broken leg. Rhett Butler 5.10847 96.664053 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12766 2014-02-12T13:40:00Z 2014-02-12T16:33:49Z Obama announces new strategy to tackle wildlife trafficking, including toughening ivory ban Yesterday, the Obama administration announced an ambitious new strategy to help tackle the global illegal wildlife trade, including a near-complete ban on commercial ivory. The new strategy will not only push over a dozen federal agencies to make fighting wildlife trafficking a new priority, but will also focus on reducing demand for wildlife parts and actively engaging the international community. The U.S. is the world's second largest destination for illegal wildlife trafficking after China. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12695 2014-01-28T15:59:00Z 2014-01-28T16:32:18Z Over 2,500 wolves killed in U.S.'s lower 48 since 2011 Hunters and trappers have killed 2,567 gray wolves in the U.S.'s lower 48 states since 2011, according to recent data. Gray wolves (<i>Canis lupus</i>) were protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for nearly 40 years before being stripped of their protection status by a legislative rider in 2011. Last year total wolf populations were estimated at over 6,000 in the region. Jeremy Hance 44.510218 -110.611954 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12650 2014-01-17T13:53:00Z 2014-04-01T16:20:11Z Court orders logging company to clean up pollution disaster in Chile wetlands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0117.swans.2004-11-18-14.01.49.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Chile is probably best known for its volcanoes, earthquakes and the formidable peaks of the Andes, but as a country that spans 4,300 km (2,670 miles) from top to bottom, it also boasts a huge variety of bird life. And, until recently, it was home to what was thought to be the largest population of black-necked swans (Cygnus melancoryphus) in South America. Not long ago, these swans, as well as 100 other species of rare or vulnerable bird species, could be seen nesting in the Carlos Anwandter Nature Sanctuary in Valdivia, a Ramsar site that covers 12,000 acres in the south of Chile. But in 2004 the swans began to die. Jeremy Hance -39.691469 -73.207941 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/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/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/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/12471 2013-12-02T02:37:00Z 2013-12-02T02:53:41Z Hedge fund downgrades stock over company's links to illegal logging in Russian Far East <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1201-lumber-liquidators-stock-price-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hedge fund manager has downgraded Lumber Liquidators' stock over the company's alleged links to illegal logging in the Russian Far East, reports The Wall Street Journal. Speaking at the Robin Hood Investors Conference on November 22, Whitney Tilson, the founder of Kase Capital Management, said Lumber Liquidators' stock price may be inflated due to purchases of illegally sourced timber from Russia. Rhett Butler 47.171044 134.532223 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12469 2013-12-01T23:01:00Z 2013-12-01T23:03:42Z Illegal timber, rhino horn, elephant ivory seized in raids across Africa Raids in southern and eastern Africa yielded a stash of contraband linked to illegal poaching and logging, reports Interpol, which coordinated the operations. 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/12254 2013-10-24T22:33:00Z 2014-02-20T19:23:18Z 'Sustainable' tropical timber trade a misnomer, says group The production and trade in 'sustainable' timber products in Southeast Asia is mostly 'a mirage' due to questionable forestry practices and loopholes in import regulations, alleges a new report from Friends of the Earth International. Rhett Butler 1.817932 113.784542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12230 2013-10-23T14:23:00Z 2013-10-23T14:35:02Z Fishermen illegally killing dolphins for shark-bait in Peru (video) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1022.harpooneddolphin.peru.video.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Peruvian fishermen slaughtered dolphins to use as bait for shark fishing, an undercover investigation has revealed. Footage showed infant and adult dolphins being harpooned then stabbed and clubbed before, in some cases, being cut open and butchered while still alive. The slaughtered dolphins were cut up and used as bait. Dolphins are also killed for human consumption in Peru even though it is illegal. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12158 2013-10-02T18:57:00Z 2013-10-03T17:23:35Z Unlikely success: how Zimbabwe has become a global leader in rhino conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1002.LRT-rhino-monitor,-Hence,-tracking-a-black-rhino-cow.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With its collapsed economy, entrenched poverty, and political tremors, one would not expect that a country like Zimbabwe would have the capacity to safeguard its rhinos against determined and well-funded poachers, especially as just across the border South Africa is currently losing over two rhinos a day on average. And indeed, without the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT), rhinos in Zimbabwe would probably be near local extinction. But the LRT, which is centrally involved in the protection of around 90 percent of the country's rhinos in private reserves along with conservancy members, has proven tenacious and innovative in its battle to safeguard the nation's rhinos from the poaching epidemic. Jeremy Hance -20.541387 32.08162 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12193 2013-10-01T00:09:00Z 2013-10-12T13:37:18Z Australia officially bans imports of illegally-logged timber Australia has passed long-debated laws to prohibit the import and trade of illegally logged timber. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12145 2013-09-30T17:12:00Z 2014-02-22T02:07:18Z Has Brazil turned against its progressive environmental policies? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0507.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Brazil rolled back crucial parts of its landmark Forestry Code, potentially opening vast tracts of forest for destruction; it is also moving ahead on a number of Amazon dams, including the infamous Belo Monte, despite international condemnation and conflict with indigenous people. Meanwhile, a new law under consideration proposes allowing large-scale mining in protected areas. Given this a new paper in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science argues that Brazil has thrown off its once admired mantle of environmental legislation, imperiling hundreds of thousands of species in the most biodiverse country on Earth. Jeremy Hance -15.80001 -47.864525 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12134 2013-09-27T15:24:00Z 2014-02-22T01:57:50Z Forgotten species: the nearly extinct primate that can be shot on sight <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0926.Ppepieni9.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The attention paid to charismatic popular primates&#8212;such as gorillas, chimps, orangutans, lion tamarins, and even some lemurs&#8212;could make one suppose that conservationists have the protection of our closest relatives well in hand; the astounding fact that no primate species is known to have gone extinct in the last hundred years (despite large-scale destruction of their habitats) seems to confirm this statement. However, looking more closely at the data, one finds that not only are many of the world's primates slipping toward extinction, but a number of them have received little conservation attention. According to the IUCN Red List, a staggering 48 percent of the world's primates are threatened with extinction: that's a worse percentage than amphibians which have been ravaged by a global epidemic. And although a handful of the world's 600-plus primates have garnered conservation adoration, many remain obscure. Jeremy Hance 5.226349 6.29631 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12129 2013-09-26T02:43:00Z 2013-09-26T02:53:30Z Malaysia clearcutting forest reserves for timber and palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0925.perak.P7170360.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In July Bikam Permanent Forest Reserve in Malaysia's Perak state was degazetted, allowing the forest to be clearcut for an oil palm plantation. Only after the forest was lost, did the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) announce that it had contained the last stands of keruing paya (Dipterocarpus coriaceus) on the Malay peninsula, a large hardwood tree that's classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The species is now reportedly extinct in Malaysia, although may still be found in Indonesia. However, the degazettement of the 400-hectare Bikam Forest Reserve wasn't an abnormality, according to activists. Since 2009, over 9,000 hectares of Permanent Forest Reserves have been degazetted in northwestern state, wiping out not just trees, but undercutting protected mammals and birds while threatening watersheds. Jeremy Hance 5.140186 101.18866 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12040 2013-09-09T21:43:00Z 2013-09-10T13:28:17Z Loose laws threaten Australia's wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0909.antilopine-wallaroo-at-risk-of-extinction-(Euan-Ritchie).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Kookaburras, koalas and kangaroos&#8212;Australia is well known for its charismatic animals and vast, seemingly untamable, wild spaces. But throughout the country, the national parks and reserves that protect these unique animals and ecosystems have come under increasing threat. New rules and relaxed regulations, which bolster immediate economic growth, are putting pressure on Australia's already-threatened biodiversity. Jeremy Hance -19.508667 144.201679 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12020 2013-09-04T21:24:00Z 2013-09-15T15:20:58Z Tools against climate change: carbon tax and cap-and-trade Climate-conscious folk agree that atmospheric carbon concentration is a key greenhouse gas and a large factor in global climate change. However, there are discrepancies in the methods chosen to address the problem. Some say that carbon emissions should be banned. Some say fossil fuels should be priced. Others say that there are nuances within each. Which tools can we realistically use to mitigate climate change and the drastic effects it will have on our world? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11943 2013-08-20T14:36:00Z 2013-08-20T19:51:56Z Six smugglers sentenced to jail time over pangolin trafficking in Malaysia Six men have been sentenced to a year in jail after being convicted of smuggling 150 pangolins in peninsular Malaysia, reports Annamiticus. The men were also given fines totaling over $100,000. Jeremy Hance 6.126218 100.359993 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11905 2013-08-13T14:47:00Z 2013-08-13T15:06:47Z Two children given lifetime gag order on fracking impacts Two young children in Pennsylvania were banned from talking about fracking for the rest of their lives under a gag order imposed under a settlement reached by their parents with a leading oil and gas company. The sweeping gag order was imposed under a $750,000 settlement between the Hallowich family and Range Resources Corp, a leading oil and gas driller. It provoked outrage on Monday among environmental campaigners and free speech advocates. Jeremy Hance 40.149685 -79.543691 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11823 2013-07-24T14:57:00Z 2013-08-21T15:36:23Z Zoos call on governments to take urgent action against illegal wildlife trade (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.chimp.zaccBASKET_DB9F392FAD98F.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a single night in March, a band of heavily-armed, horse-riding poachers slaughtered 89 elephants in southern Chad, thirty of which were pregnant females. The carnage was the worst poaching incident of the year, but even this slaughter paled in comparison to the 650 elephants killed in a Cameroon park in 2012. Elephant poaching is hitting new records as experts say some 30,000 elephants are being killed every year for their ivory tusks. But the illegal wildlife trade&#8212;estimated at $19 billion&#8212;is not just decimating elephants, but also rhinos, big cats, great apes, and thousands of lesser-known species like pangolins and slow lorises. This growing carnage recently led to representatives of over 40 zoos and dozens of wildlife programs to call on governments around the world to take immediate action on long-neglected wildlife crime. Jeremy Hance 41.604661 -93.646889 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11813 2013-07-23T16:59:00Z 2013-07-24T14:09:27Z Dominican Republic sends bulldozers to destroy wildlife reserve, home to endangered species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0723.ricordisiguana.049.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last Wednesday, bulldozers entered the Loma Charco Azul Biological Reserve (LCABR) in the Dominican Republic and began clearing vegetation for agricultural development. The move stunned local conservationists who had not been notified ahead of time of the project. Although Charco Azul Biological Reserve is home to a wealth of threatened species&#8212;including the world's largest population of the Critically Endangered Ricordi's iguana (<i>Cyclura ricordi</i>)&#8212;the destruction of the reserve was signed off by the Dominican Republic's Minister of the Environment, Bautista Rojas Gómez. Jeremy Hance 18.466584 -71.35643 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11799 2013-07-22T14:12:00Z 2013-08-12T23:21:49Z Weak laws governing Malaysia's indigenous people complicate conservation efforts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.orangasli.P1000684.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The balance between biodiversity conservation, land acquisition, natural resource utilization and indigenous peoples is often wrought with conflict. Legislation governing the use of natural resources should ideally protect biodiversity and address the needs of indigenous peoples, but in many places, falls short of these ambitions. In a recent study published in Biodiversity Conservation, researchers examined the weaknesses in select natural resource laws that affect the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia, and compared these laws with data on a specific group of indigenous people’s use of natural resources, collected through questionnaires. In addition to suggesting potential solutions to address legislative weaknesses, the researchers make a strong case for why natural resource legislation is a matter of concern for conservationists. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11713 2013-07-03T15:07:00Z 2013-07-03T15:17:43Z Obama to take on elephant and rhino poaching in Africa Barack Obama launched a new initiative against wildlife trafficking on Monday, using his executive authority to take action against an illegal trade that is fueling rebel wars and now threatens the survival of elephants and rhinoceroses. The initiative, announced as the president visited Tanzania on the final stop of his African tour, was the second time in a week Obama has used an executive order to advance environmental policy, after announcing a sweeping new climate change plan. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11665 2013-06-28T17:47:00Z 2013-07-05T17:00:44Z World's biggest companies lay out path toward zero-deforestation commodities With a backdrop of fires raging across oil palm and timber plantations in Sumatra, business and political leaders convened in Indonesia to discuss a path forward for producing deforestation-free commodities by 2020. Rhett Butler -6.201312 106.833 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11659 2013-06-27T19:56:00Z 2013-06-30T16:31:36Z Colombian mining dispute highlights legislative disarray Colombian authorities have ruled that local environmental officials acted correctly in ordering South African mining giant AngloGold Ashanti to halt their work, following demands from the multinational corporation for their disciplining. Cortolima, the environmental authority of the department of Tolima in central Colombia, stopped AngloGold from conducting unsanctioned exploration activities in the Tolima municipality of Piedras in March. Jeremy Hance 4.498393 -74.915886 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11656 2013-06-27T15:03:00Z 2013-06-27T15:10:17Z Australia aims to end Japan's whaling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0627.800px-AustralianCustoms-WhalingInTheSouthernOcean_3.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Australia is hoping to put a permanent end to Japan's annual slaughter of hundreds of whales in the Southern Ocean, in a landmark legal challenge that begins this week. Australia, a vocal opponent of Japan's annual "scientific" hunts in the Antarctic, says it is confident that the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague will outlaw the hunts at the end of a highly anticipated case that is due to start on Wednesday. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11635 2013-06-24T18:24:00Z 2013-06-25T23:55:17Z 60 big cats killed in Brazilian parks in last two years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_1950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>At least 60 big cats have been killed within national protected areas in Brazil during the past two years according to a recent survey published in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science. The report, which focuses on jaguar (<i>Panthera onca</i>) and puma (<i>Puma concolor</i>) populations, within Brazilian protected areas shows that reserve management and use restrictions impact the level of big cat hunting. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11555 2013-06-06T18:12:00Z 2013-07-04T13:57:48Z Southern U.S. logging soars to meet foreign biofuel demand <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/louisiana/150/louisiana_0259.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In order to meet the European Union's goal of 20% renewables by 2020, some European utility companies are moving away from coal and replacing it with wood pellet fuel. The idea is simple: trees will regrow and recapture the carbon released in the burning of wood pellets, making the process supposedly carbon-neutral. But just like other simple ideas, it misses out important details that can turn it on its head. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11546 2013-06-04T19:13:00Z 2013-06-05T15:34:25Z Monitor lizards vanishing to international trade in pets and skins <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0603.57248_web.monitorlizards.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's monitor lizards remind us that the world was once ruled by reptiles: this genus (Varanus) includes the world's biggest lizards, such as the stunning Komodo dragon and many other island kings. A large number beautifully-colored and patterned, these lizards are known for their intelligence and their apex role in many island food chains. However, a new study finds that the world's monitors, especially those in Southeast Asia, are vanishing due to the international pet trade and for their skins, which are turned into handbags and straps for watches. Meanwhile the rapid destruction of their rainforest homes is exacerbating the situation. Jeremy Hance -8.561331 119.476891 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11507 2013-05-30T01:44:00Z 2013-05-30T18:38:29Z Indonesian official arrested for running $150m illegal logging ring A former police officer has been arrested in Indonesia for orchestrating a $150 million illegal logging ring in Indonesian New Guinea. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11506 2013-05-30T00:31:00Z 2013-05-30T00:46:24Z Bulk of Ghana timber exports may be illegal The bulk of timber produced from logging operations in Ghana fails to meet criteria set for import into the E.U. claims a new report from Global Witness. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11465 2013-05-22T12:04:00Z 2013-05-22T12:13:27Z Prince Charles: take the war to the poachers Prince Charles has warned that criminal gangs are turning to animal poaching, an unprecedented slaughter of species that can only be stopped by waging war on the perpetrators, in the latest of a series of increasingly outspoken speeches about the environment. Addressing a conference of conservationists at St James's Palace in London, the Prince of Wales announced a meeting of heads of state to take place this autumn in London under government auspices to combat what he described as an emerging, militarized crisis. Jeremy Hance 51.504739 -0.137142 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11453 2013-05-20T12:27:00Z 2013-05-20T12:44:12Z Peru delays oil drilling in the Amazon to consult with indigenous peoples Peru has delayed auctioning off 27 oil blocs in the Amazon in order to conduct legally-required consultations with indigenous groups in the region, reports the Guardian. Perupetro S.A., Peru's state oil and gas company, has announced it will auction 9 blocs off the Pacific coast, but will hold auctioning off the controversial oil blocs in the Amazon rainforest at least until later this year. Jeremy Hance -10.466206 -71.326905 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11443 2013-05-16T14:08:00Z 2013-05-19T03:58:31Z NGO: conflict of interests behind Peruvian highway proposal in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0516.map.highway.peru.globalwitness.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As Peru's legislature debates the merits of building the Purús highway through the Amazon rainforest, a new report by Global Witness alleges that the project has been aggressively pushed by those with a financial stake in opening up the remote area to logging and mining. Roads built in the Amazon lead to spikes in deforestation, mining, poaching and other extractive activities as remote areas become suddenly accessible. The road in question would cut through parts of the Peruvian Amazon rich in biodiversity and home to indigenous tribes who have chosen to live in "voluntary isolation." Jeremy Hance -9.688752 -70.695877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11393 2013-05-08T23:41:00Z 2013-05-09T05:53:25Z Brazil's satellite monitoring reduced Amazon deforestation by 60,000 sq km in 5 years Brazil's advanced satellite monitoring system, coupled with increased law enforcement, was responsible for nearly 60 percent of the 101,000 square kilometer-drop in deforestation observed between 2007 and 2011, argues a new study published an international think tank. Rhett Butler -10.271681 -64.286499 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11378 2013-05-06T16:26:00Z 2013-05-06T16:37:59Z Central America's largest forest under siege by colonists In the last four years, invading land speculators and peasants have destroyed 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) of rainforest in Nicaragua's Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, according to the Mayangna and Miskito indigenous peoples who call this forest home. Although Nicaragua recognized the land rights of the indigenous people in 2007, the tribes say the government has not done near-enough to keep illegal settlers out despite recent eviction efforts. Jeremy Hance 14.227113 -84.994583 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11370 2013-05-05T13:58:00Z 2014-05-10T14:00:39Z Court rules for palm oil company in controversial deforestation case <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0505tripafire150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Court orders Aceh governor to reverse decision to cancel palm oil concession in protected peatlands. An Indonesian court has ruled in favor of plantation company PT Kallista Alam in a lawsuit brought against the governor of Indonesia’s Aceh province for revoking the company’s license to develop palm oil plantations in a protected peat swamp forest. Rhett Butler 3.862884 96.60965 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11323 2013-04-30T16:22:00Z 2013-05-01T16:48:35Z Conservation without supervision: Peruvian community group creates and patrols its own protected area <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/Claud-forest-Andrew-Walmsley.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When we think of conservation areas, many of us think of iconic National Parks overseen by uniformed government employees or wilderness areas purchased and run from afar by big-donor organizations like The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF, or Conservation International. But what happens to ecosystems and wildlife in areas where there's a total lack of government presence and no money coming in for its protection? This is the story of one rural Peruvian community that took conservation matters into their own hands, with a little help from a dedicated pair of primate researchers, in order to protect a high biodiversity cloud forest. Jeremy Hance -7.013668 -77.476044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11317 2013-04-29T17:56:00Z 2013-04-29T19:24:37Z Obama Administration to propose stripping protection from all gray wolves The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is proposing to end protection for all gray wolves (<i>Canis lupus</i>) in the lower 48 states, save for a small population of Mexican wolves in New Mexico, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposal comes two years after wolves were removed from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in western states by a legislative rider on a budget bill, and soon after in the midwest. Since then hunting and trapping has killed over 1,500 wolves in these two regions. Jeremy Hance 48.056054 -93.275757 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11298 2013-04-24T19:12:00Z 2013-04-25T15:53:59Z Bizarre, little-known carnivore sold as illegal pet in Indonesian markets (photo) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0424.DSC_3186.javanferretbadger.250.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Few people have ever heard of the Javan ferret-badger, but that hasn't stopped this animal&#8212;little-known even to scientists&#8212;from being sold in open markets in Jakarta according to a new paper in <i>Small Carnivore Conservation</i>. The Javan ferret-badger (<i>Melogale orientalis</i>) is one of five species in the ferret-badger family, which are smaller than proper badgers with long bushy tails and elongated faces; all five species are found in Asia. Jeremy Hance -6.193803 106.828194 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11278 2013-04-22T13:24:00Z 2013-04-22T13:37:50Z 'Carbon bubble' could cause next global financial crisis The world could be heading for a major economic crisis as stock markets inflate an investment bubble in fossil fuels to the tune of trillions of dollars, according to leading economists. "The financial crisis has shown what happens when risks accumulate unnoticed," said Lord (Nicholas) Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics. He said the risk was "very big indeed" and that almost all investors and regulators were failing to address it. Jeremy Hance 40.707873 -74.009063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11275 2013-04-22T11:37:00Z 2013-07-04T13:58:49Z A new tool against illegal logging: tree DNA technology goes mainstream <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_2908.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Modern DNA technology offers a unique opportunity: you could pinpoint the origin of your table at home and track down if the trees it was made from were illegally obtained. Each wooden piece of furniture comes with a hidden natural barcode that can tell its story from a sapling in a forest all the way to your living room. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11267 2013-04-17T23:55:00Z 2013-04-18T01:03:16Z Brazil threatens $282m in fines for beef linked to Amazon deforestation Federal prosecutors in Brazil are threatening to fine 26 beef producers $282 million for buying cattle raised in illegally deforested areas and on Indian reservations, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler -11.480025 -55.722656 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11253 2013-04-17T15:05:00Z 2013-04-17T15:42:04Z Judge halts military-backed dam assessment in Brazil's Amazon A federal court in Brazil has suspended the use of military and police personnel during technical research on the controversial São Luíz do Tapajós Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. The military and police were brought in to stamp down protests from indigenous people living along the Tapajós River, but the judge decreed that impacted indigenous groups must give free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) before any furter studies can be done on the proposed dam. However, the decision is expected to be appealed. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11247 2013-04-16T21:00:00Z 2013-04-16T21:07:26Z Civet poop coffee may be threatening wild species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0416.Common-Palm-Civet.shepherd.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Popularization of the world's strangest coffee may be imperiling a a suite of small mammals in Indonesia, according to a new study in <i>Small Carnivore Conservation</i>. The coffee, known as <i>kopi luwak</i> (kopi for coffee and luwak for the civet), is made from whole coffee beans that have passed through the guts of the animal and out the other side. The coffee is apparently noted for its distinct taste, though some have argued it is little more than novelty. Jeremy Hance -6.210528 106.84164 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11239 2013-04-15T19:55:00Z 2013-04-15T20:01:33Z Double bad: Chinese vessel that collided with protected coral reef holding 22,000 pounds of pangolin meat What do you do when you're smuggling 22,000 pounds of an endangered species on your boat? Answer: crash into a protected coral reef in the Philippines. Last Monday a Chinese vessel slammed into a coral reef in the Tubbataha National Marine Park; on Saturday the Filipino coastguard discovered 400 boxes of pangolin meat while inspecting the ship. Pangolins, which are scaly insect-eating mammals, have been decimated by the illegal wildlife trade as their scales are prized in Chinese Traditional Medicine and their meat is considered a delicacy. Jeremy Hance 8.515836 120.419311 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11168 2013-04-04T18:57:00Z 2013-04-04T20:13:37Z Killings over land continues in the Amazon On Wednesday, in the Brazilian state of Pará, the trial begins of three men accused of murdering José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo, who had campaigned against loggers and ranchers for years. Their assassinations in May 2011 generated international outrage, just like that of Chico Mendes, 25 years ago, and that of the American-born nun Dorothy Stang in 2005. Jeremy Hance -5.178482 -51.818849 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11035 2013-03-13T19:06:00Z 2013-03-13T19:42:01Z Burning coal may be killing over 100,000 people in India every year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0313.coalhealthindia.70804_120952.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India's dependence on coal-fired power plants for energy may be leading directly to the deaths of 80,000 to 115,000 of its citizens every year, according to the first ever report on the health impacts of coal in the country. The report, commissioned by the Conservation Action Trust and Greenpeace-India, deals only with the direct health impact of coal and not climate change. But even ignoring the rising pain of global warming, the bleak report outlines that coal consumption in India is causing over 20 million asthma attacks, nearly a million emergency room visits, and killing some 10,000 children under five annually. Jeremy Hance 28.589345 77.205505 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11029 2013-03-11T19:51:00Z 2013-03-12T14:52:03Z Prayers for dying elephants: Buddhists hold prayer ceremony for elephants decimated by poachers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0311.merit_making_cites_wwf_thailand.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Buddhist leaders prayed for slaughtered African elephants in Bangkok, Thailand last week, reports WWF. During a special merit-making ceremony, often reserved for the recently deceased, Buddhist monks, abbots, and leaders prayed for the tens-of-thousands of elephants that have been killed for their ivory tusks. Bangkok is currently hosting an international meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), where the elephant crisis is being discussed. Jeremy Hance 13.74272 100.501013 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11023 2013-03-11T16:42:00Z 2013-03-12T14:52:42Z Sharks and rays win protections at CITES <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0311.traffic.Manta-ray.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, for the first time, sharks and rays have won the vote for better protection under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), the world's regulating body on trade in threatened species. Five shark species and manta rays, which includes two species, have received enough votes to be listed under Appendix II of CITES, which means tougher regulations, but not an outright ban. However, the votes could still be overturned before the end of the meeting. Jeremy Hance 13.743387 100.510941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10974 2013-03-04T20:15:00Z 2013-03-04T22:35:32Z New illegal logging ban in EU could sever all ties with companies working in DRC <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0304.greenpeace.2013-03-04-at-2.05.31-PM.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, the EU joined the U.S. and Australia in banning all timber that was illegally harvested abroad. The new regulation could have a major impact on where the EU sources its timber, and no where more so than the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to a new report by Greenpeace, the DRC's current moratorium on industrial logging is being systematically circumvented making all timber from the country suspect. Jeremy Hance -4.784469 18.960571 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10973 2013-03-04T19:18:00Z 2013-03-04T19:48:12Z CITES 40th Anniversary: Reflections of CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/animals/150/animals_01913.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is often hailed by scholars and conservationists as the most effective international environmental agreement. On March 3, CITES celebrates its 40th anniversary. What accounts for its success? In the following interview, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon reflects on the convention’s strengths and weaknesses. Rhett Butler 13.724961 100.557947 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10972 2013-03-04T18:37:00Z 2013-03-04T18:47:34Z Thailand's Prime Minister commits to ending ivory trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0304.800px-Loxodontacyclotis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Yesterday, Thailand's Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, committed to ending the ivory trade in her country. Her announcement came during the opening of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok, which seeks to regulate trade in biodiversity across borders. Wildlife groups say that Thailand's legal trade in domestic ivory&#8212;international ivory is illegal of course&#8212;has created an easy opening for smugglers from abroad. Currently the ivory trade in Thailand is estimated to be second only to that of China. Jeremy Hance 13.743387 100.51506 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10898 2013-02-20T18:09:00Z 2013-02-23T23:10:27Z First strike: nearly 200 illegal loggers arrested in massive sting across 12 countries One-hundred-and-ninety-seven illegal loggers across a dozen Central and South American countries have been arrested during INTERPOL's first strike against widespread forestry crime. INTERPOL, or The International Criminal Police Organization, worked with local police forces to take a first crack at illegal logging. In all the effort, known as Operation Lead, resulted in the seizure of 50,000 cubic meters of wood worth around $8 million. Jeremy Hance 45.782669 4.848661 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10896 2013-02-20T16:49:00Z 2013-02-20T16:57:10Z Biofuel company caught clearing elephant habitat in Sri Lanka <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/srilanka.bulldozing.AM-2.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A biofuel plantation near Yala National Park has landed Lanka Orex Leasing Company PLC (LOLC) in Sri Lanka's highest court. Environmentalists say the company is illegally bulldozing Asian elephant habitat, including scrubland and tree stands, near the buffer zone of Yala National Park for gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium) biofuel plantation. Jeremy Hance 6.566389 81.374817 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10859 2013-02-11T22:16:00Z 2013-02-24T00:12:51Z Rosewood in Belize: the truth behind the smoke In Belize, the uncontrolled and often illegal harvesting of rosewood has been, and still is, one of the major environmental issues in the country. In March of last year, the government established a moratorium on the export and extraction of rosewood, however illegal harvesting continued. On Friday 11 January, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development made the bold move of burning confiscated illegally cut rosewood flitches. Jeremy Hance 16.248462 -88.865318 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10856 2013-02-11T16:38:00Z 2013-02-24T00:14:07Z Pity the pangolin: little-known mammal most common victim of the wildlife trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0209.pangolin.Indonesia-exotic-meat-TRAFFIC.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year tens-of-thousands of elephants and hundreds of rhinos were butchered to feed the growing appetite of the illegal wildlife trade. This black market, largely centered in East Asia, also devoured tigers, sharks, leopards, turtles, snakes, and hundreds of other animals. Estimated at $19 billion annually, the booming trade has periodically captured global media attention, even receiving a high-profile speech by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, last year. But the biggest mammal victim of the wildlife trade is not elephants, rhinos, or tigers, but an animal that receives little notice and even less press: the pangolin. If that name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone. Jeremy Hance 18.359739 104.265747 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10818 2013-02-05T22:19:00Z 2013-02-05T22:28:20Z U.S. proposes to list wolverine under Endangered Species Act Arguably one of the toughest animals on Earth, the wolverine (Gulo gulo) may soon find itself protected under the U.S.'s Endangered Species Act (ESA) as climate change melts away its preferred habitat. Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced it was proposing to place the world's largest terrestrial mustelid on the list. Only 250-300 wolverines are believed to survive in the contiguous U.S. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10792 2013-01-31T15:11:00Z 2013-03-03T19:33:32Z Asian bear farming: breaking the cycle of exploitation (warning: graphic images) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0131.sunbear.cage.indonesia.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Asia, bears are being captured. These captives will be sent to bear farms, most unregulated and illegal, where they will be kept alive in a small cage, locked away for life. Their bodies will be used as renewable natural resources, from which profit will be made through the extraction of internal organs and fluids. By surgically inserting a permanent catheter into the bears' gall bladders, "farmers" extract several ounces of their bile. In a cycle of exploitation across east Asia, traditional medicine shops receive these daily shipments of bear bile products, while consumers support the industry through the purchase of these products, sustaining a supply-and-demand chain that puts more and more bears in cages as wild populations dwindle. Jeremy Hance 21.665724 100.019188 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10771 2013-01-28T00:50:00Z 2013-01-28T02:17:50Z Bolivia takes step to boost agriculture and curb surging deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0571.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bolivia has passed a land use law that aims to boost food security and slow deforestation in a region that is wracked by illegal forest clearing. Approved earlier this month, Ley 337 seeks to regulate land use in the Bolivian Amazon where deforestation for industrial agricultural production is surging. The law requires landowners who illegally deforested land prior to 2011 to either reforest or establish 'productive agriculture' on the land and pay reduced fines for past transgressions. Rhett Butler -18.255437 -62.410583 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10552 2012-12-10T18:34:00Z 2013-02-05T15:17:44Z Poaching in Serengeti seems worth the risk Illegal hunting in Tanzania's Greater Serengeti Ecosystem (GSE) remains a prevalent activity for local people, despite government regulation and grassroots movements to prevent it. A new paper from mongabay.com's open-access Tropical Conversation Science examines the factors that drive poachers to continue their activities, despite the high costs involved. By interviewing citizens involved with illegal hunting in the Western part of the Serengeti, they were able to identify key risks that are faced by the hunters as well as the perceived gains of a successful hunt. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10519 2012-12-04T23:21:00Z 2012-12-05T00:43:57Z Forests, farming, and sprawl: the struggle over land in an Amazonian metropolis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/IMG_1827.cowandfarmer.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The city of Parauapebas, Brazil is booming: built over the remains of the Amazon rainforest, the metropolis has grown 75-fold in less than 25 years, from 2,000 people upwards of 150,000. But little time for urban planning and both a spatial and mental distance from the federal government has created a frontier town where small-scale farmers struggle to survive against racing sprawl, legal and illegal mining, and a lack of investment in environmental protection. Forests, biodiversity, and subsistence farmers have all suffered under the battle for land. In this, Parauapebas may represent a microcosm both of Brazil's ongoing problems (social inequality, environmental degradation, and deforestation) and opportunity (poverty alleviation, reforestation, and environmental enforcement). Jeremy Hance -6.076377 -49.894524 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10487 2012-11-29T18:02:00Z 2012-11-29T18:14:26Z 'Exporting deforestation': China is the kingpin of illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/Logs-smuggled-across-the-land-border-from-Myanmar-into-Yunnan-province,-China,-April-2012-(c)-EIA.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Runaway economic growth comes with costs: in the case of China's economic engine, one of them has been the world's forests. According to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), China has become the number one importer of illegal wood products from around the world. Illegal logging&#8212;which threatens biodiversity, emits carbon, impoverishes local communities, and is often coupled with other crimes&#8212;has come under heavy pressure in recent years from the U.S., the EU, and Australia. Each of these has implemented, or will soon implement, new laws that make importing and selling illegal wood products domestic crimes. However, China's unwillingness to tackle its vast appetite for illegal timber means the trade continues to decimate forests worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10444 2012-11-21T21:05:00Z 2012-11-22T03:07:39Z Australia outlaws illegally-logged wood from abroad In another blow to illegal loggers, Australia has passed the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill, joining the U.S. in outlawing the importation of illegal logged timber from abroad. The new legislation makes it a criminal offense for Australian businesses to import timber from illegal operations. The Australian government estimates that $400 million worth of illegal timber products are sold in the country each year often as outdoor furniture and wood for decks Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10435 2012-11-19T17:22:00Z 2012-11-19T17:29:23Z BP fined $4.5 billion for Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but company may spend more buying its own stocks Last week the U.S. federal government fined BP $4.5 billion for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, which killed 11 workers and leaked nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil giant also plead guilt to 12 felonies and two misdemeanors. However, even this fine&#8212;the largest in U.S. history&#8212;failed to dampen shareholder support of BP: stocks actually rose one percent following the announcement. Meanwhile, according to the Sunday Times, BP plans to spend $5.9 billion (over a billion more than the fine) buying back its own shares in order to boost stock prices. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10411 2012-11-15T18:15:00Z 2012-11-15T18:19:02Z Featured video: on-the-ground look at Brazil's fight against deforestation A new video by the Guardian takes an on-the-ground look at Brazil's efforts to tackle deforestation in the Amazon. Using satellite imagery, an elite team of enforcement agents are now able to react swiftly to illegal deforestation. The crackdown on deforestation has been successful: destruction of the Amazon has slowed by around 75 percent in the last 8 years. Jeremy Hance