tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/forests1 forests news from mongabay.com 2015-07-04T12:38:00Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15082 2015-07-03T11:22:00Z 2015-07-04T12:38:00Z First Resources the latest palm oil giant to announce zero-deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5455.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant First Resources has committed to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain, making it the first palm producer operating primarily at the grower level to do so. The policy is the latest in a wave of sustainability commitments from corporations that produce, trade and use palm oil. To realize its new commitment, First Resources will have to resolve numerous land disputes its operations are involved in with local communities in Indonesia. Philip Jacobson -0.626800 116.030366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15081 2015-07-03T11:04:00Z 2015-07-04T14:32:59Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier still destroying forest for oil palm in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0680.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas has continued to bulldoze valuable forest in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem despite its most prominent customers’ zero-deforestation commitments and repeated exposés of its activities, according to a NGO report. Both Wilmar and Musim Mas have suspended their dealings with the company, Mopoli Raya. Philip Jacobson 4.293876 97.423365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15077 2015-07-03T00:06:00Z 2015-07-03T00:07:23Z How much is clean water worth? New report guides payments for ecosystem services <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/panama/150/pan01-0602.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The first-ever set of comprehensive guidelines for designing, implementing and managing mechanisms to facilitate payments for ecosystem services has been established by a group of experts and researchers. Morgan Erickson-Davis tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15062 2015-06-30T23:37:00Z 2015-07-01T05:55:12Z Dilma disappoints with weak rainforest target Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff disappointed environmentalists with what they call weak commitments on reducing deforestation and supporting renewable energy announced today during her visit to the White House. Rhett Butler -2.954589 -58.489989 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15059 2015-06-30T19:49:00Z 2015-06-30T19:54:10Z Palm oil plantations used to 'reforest' parts of Brazil despite being wildlife deserts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0630-thumb-Alexander%20C%20Lees_Red-breasted%20Blackbird_Sturnella%20militaris_typical%20of%20young%20plantations%20copy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent study systematically documented bird biodiversity within oil palm plantations, finding they contain fewer species than secondary forest and even cattle pasture. As oil palm grows as a commodity in Brazil – and can legally even be used to "reforest" land – how can a country that has made big gains in reducing deforestation in recent years balance this powerhouse industry with environmental welfare? Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.021837 -53.239355 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15058 2015-06-30T17:32:00Z 2015-06-30T17:38:10Z Into the great unknown: The ability of global forests to store carbon is at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/california/150/muir_woods_0102.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's tropical and subtropical forests absorb 1.1 trillion kg. of carbon from the atmosphere every year, storing it in soil and living and dead biomass. Amazonian forests alone store more carbon than any other ecosystem on earth. That's important because any carbon that is stored in biomass is carbon not being released to the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15051 2015-06-29T18:42:00Z 2015-06-30T21:02:54Z Big reserve expansion gives tigers a boost in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/1029-thumb-morgan-tiger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, there were thirteen times as many tigers in the world as there are today, ranging from Turkey across the Eurasian continent to the eastern coast of Russia. The 13 countries that contain the world’s last tigers today - a mere, 2,500 mature individuals - are challenged with increasing protected tiger habitat to prevent crowding and inbreeding, while facing extreme funding and space constraints. One state in India, however, has found a cost-effective way to give tigers more room. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.243857 75.764144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15049 2015-06-29T17:37:00Z 2015-06-29T17:52:59Z Corporations rush to make zero-deforestation commitments, but is it working? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/sabah/150/sabah_362.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Every year, more companies pledge to stop using ingredients whose production cause tropical deforestation. Retailers and brands making voluntary commitments – mostly involving palm oil – include Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Colgate and Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil trader. Among 2014 joiners were Cargill, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin's Donuts and Baskin' Robbins, with 2015 bringing the addition of McDonald's, Archer Daniels Midland and Yum! Brands (owner of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell). Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15048 2015-06-29T15:40:00Z 2015-06-29T15:57:57Z Chinese turtle heist sends rare Philippine species to brink of extinction, international rescue underway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0626_gs_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Friday, June 19, Philippine authorities raided a warehouse on the island of Palawan and confiscated more than 4,000 live, illegally harvested rare turtles, only days before they were to be shipped to foreign food and pet markets. The massive haul included over 3,800 critically endangered Philippine forest turtles – animals in very poor health and showing signs of severe neglect from long captivity. Tiffany Roufs 9.542699 118.496978 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15040 2015-06-26T12:24:00Z 2015-06-26T12:36:08Z Illegal forest clearing spotted in Aceh's biggest peat swamp <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dU3UVu78Sudu-lHiiFUxEVBq9y-3Y-kU-yKWru_6KtQ=w150-h93-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Encroachers have been clearing forest at three locations in Aceh's biggest peat swamp since February, the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, analysis of Landsat satellite imagery by environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia shows. The area is home to the densest population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser Ecosystem. Philip Jacobson 2.312313 97.920790 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15037 2015-06-25T17:29:00Z 2015-06-25T17:52:57Z Do we need to move 'beyond certification' to save forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past two years dozens of companies have established 'zero-deforestation' or 'deforestation-free' policies for the commodities they source, trade, and produce. The pace of adoption has been staggeringly fast for a business that have been historically slow-moving relative to other industries. Some sectors, like the Indonesian palm oil industry and the Brazilian soy industry, even appear to be nearing a critical mass where the majority of international buyers and traders are now bound by such agreements. Rhett Butler 19.461253 104.367470 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15032 2015-06-25T10:28:00Z 2015-06-30T20:51:29Z Status change to come for Indonesia's partial logging moratorium? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5109.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry might upgrade the partial logging moratorium from a presidential instruction to a government regulation, or PP, later this year, a ministry official said this week. The change would take place after the ministry completes its semiannual revision of the moratorium map for the ninth time in November, according to The Jakarta Post. Philip Jacobson 1.223711 101.677374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15030 2015-06-25T06:41:00Z 2015-06-25T07:09:29Z Indonesia's booming caged-bird trade is fueling trafficking and threatening extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P_4Zai35Vkmvv7G9xhR3SLWzSSbRNl5eoLFpIC30g0g=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia is a global hub for the wild bird trade, given its abundance of bird species and deep-seated tradition of bird-keeping. But while newspaper headlines regularly trumpet the most alarming examples of international smuggling, experts warn it’s the domestic pet trade that poses a bigger threat. Philip Jacobson -6.226289 106.877762 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15023 2015-06-23T19:04:00Z 2015-06-23T19:10:12Z Bunge: if you clear peatlands, we won't buy your palm oil Palm oil growers who plan to convert peatlands and rainforests for new plantations have been warned: one of the world's largest agribusiness companies is not interested in your palm oil. Rhett Butler 3.1882077 113.0389871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15018 2015-06-23T11:09:00Z 2015-06-23T13:35:05Z Indonesia to revive controversial sugarcane plan in Aru? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/A7Esc688zLMTzyj8D5BWuXzQvxaAzdqde9Xqfgkz4Tc=w150-h99-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian agriculture minister's recent comments that the Aru archipelago in the country's eastern waters will be one of three sites for a major new sugarcane initiative has sparked an outcry among civil society groups, as a similar controversial plan was shelved only last year after activists waged a long battle against it. Philip Jacobson -6.153026 134.499430 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15017 2015-06-23T05:30:00Z 2015-06-24T20:01:03Z Controversy emerges over alleged deforestation policy breach by APRIL supplier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622gfw_ahl_satellite150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than three weeks after APRIL unveiled a sustainability policy that is supposed to protect natural forests, an environmental group is alleging that one of the Indonesian forestry giant's subsidiaries is already breaching the commitment. But APRIL refuted the claim and says it continues to stand by the policy. Rhett Butler 3.556065 117.073839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15016 2015-06-23T04:34:00Z 2015-06-23T05:00:38Z Bengkulu governor orders review of mining permits <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gWu0aVEV8dp8OI0l7UMPUxJqDuzawnjbBzMZzz2QkBY=w150-h96-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The governor of Indonesia's Bengkulu province reiterated his commitment to bringing mining in the province under control, as environmentalists urge his administration to crack down on rampant illegality in the sector and the threat it poses to protected areas. Philip Jacobson -3.097727 101.783284 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15015 2015-06-22T21:19:00Z 2015-06-23T19:11:02Z Bunge palm oil supplier plans to clear peatlands for plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622MIR10769_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>BLD Plantation Bhd, a Malaysian palm oil company, plans to clear some 14,000 hectares of peatlands in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, potentially putting it in conflict with the deforestation-free sourcing policy established by American agribusiness giant Bunge, say campaigners who filed a grievance over the matter. Rhett Butler 3.1882078 113.0389869 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15013 2015-06-22T05:16:00Z 2015-06-22T05:28:15Z Norway, Colombia target partnership to save rainforests Norway and Colombia are in talks to establish a partnership to protect the South American country's rainforests. Rhett Butler -3.457667 -70.056032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15008 2015-06-19T22:48:00Z 2015-06-19T22:53:02Z Many tropical species surprisingly resilient, if not actively persecuted <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_5138.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Richard Corlett is the current Director of the Center for Integrative Conservation at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a former president of ATBC, and one of the keynote speakers for this year’s conference in Hawaii. Dr. Corlett recently spoke with Mongabay.com about some of the insights he’s gained from his research in tropical ecology and conservation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15003 2015-06-19T14:25:00Z 2015-06-19T14:32:13Z New solidarity in struggle to protect Turkey's 'life spaces' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0526_jh_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Emerging regional and national networks seek to build connections between local communities and provide support to their fights against dams, mines, and other environmental threats. Rebecca Kessler 41.203944 41.820140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14999 2015-06-18T23:34:00Z 2015-06-19T03:34:59Z Palm oil giants to investigate company found razing Papuan rainforest Agribusiness giants Cargill and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are pledging to investigate a palm oil supplier after an Indonesian environmental group presented evidence of rainforest clearing in New Guinea. Rhett Butler 132.208966 -1.480129 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14998 2015-06-18T23:09:00Z 2015-07-01T05:36:17Z Has Amazon deforestation reached a 7-year high in Brazil? Analysis of satellite data suggests deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon may have reached a seven-year high. Rhett Butler -2.123224 -48.577349 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14996 2015-06-18T19:15:00Z 2015-06-18T19:19:03Z It can be done! – Building better dams in the Andean Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0618_lk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 150 dams are currently planned for five of the six major Andean tributaries of the Amazon River. Damming those large, free-flowing streams would provide hydropower to half a dozen South American countries – meeting their energy needs for decades to come, but with unknown, potentially calamitous environmental and social impacts. Tiffany Roufs -1.392745 -78.423564 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14980 2015-06-16T23:58:00Z 2015-06-17T00:14:30Z Gold miners invade Amazonian indigenous reserve Illegal miners have invaded an indigenous reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, reveals new analysis of satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -12.892302 -70.631447 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14968 2015-06-16T01:18:00Z 2015-06-16T01:22:11Z Bolivia opens protected areas to oil companies A new law has opened millions of hectares of protected areas in Bolivia to oil and gas extraction. Rhett Butler -12.996889 -68.809580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14967 2015-06-16T00:19:00Z 2015-06-16T00:31:06Z Rainforest parks cut malaria transmission Strictly protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon are associated with lower rates of malaria transmission than extractive reserves, mining zones, and areas with roads, reports a paper published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. The findings add to a growing body of data suggesting that conservation efforts contribute to human welfare. Rhett Butler -10.461996 -64.512468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14966 2015-06-15T22:42:00Z 2015-06-18T01:01:42Z Consumers willing to pay sharp premium for wildlife-friendly palm oil, claims study Shoppers may be willing to pay a 15 to 56 percent premium for palm oil produced without the destruction endangered species' habitat, asserts a study published today in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler -0.164061 101.455089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14957 2015-06-15T06:45:00Z 2015-06-23T04:23:50Z 'Trying to follow the money': Opacity rules in Southeast Asia's land rush, finds study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0016.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the rush for land in Southeast Asia continues at breakneck speed, often bringing with it social and environmental destruction, a new study by a major environmental research group explores how well investors really know where their money is going, and the possibilities and limits of existing data in achieving greater accountability. Philip Jacobson -1.949869 112.730140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14956 2015-06-13T07:40:00Z 2015-06-23T13:51:14Z Forest governance index shows Indonesia has long way to go <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5250.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Weak spatial planning and law enforcement, land tenure problems and a lack of transparency in licensing are some of the issues highlighted in an annual report on forest governance the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry presented to the president last week. The Forest Governance Index 2014, as it was packaged, gave Indonesia score of 35.97 on a scale of one to 100. Philip Jacobson -6.587861 106.791205 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14955 2015-06-13T03:05:00Z 2015-06-13T03:07:51Z 90% of Amazon deforestation occurs outside protected areas Ten percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2012 and July 2014 occurred in protected areas, reports new research from Imazon. Rhett Butler -5.721587 -52.901145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14954 2015-06-13T02:46:00Z 2015-06-13T02:54:56Z Rising seas, sinking peat to swamp Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0612_MIRI3691_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With global sea levels going up at a rate of about 9 millimeters per year, the livelihoods of many coastal people in the world look increasingly threatened, especially in those parts of the world with limited financial or technical means to adapt. A rate of a thumb-width of water per year may not sound like much, but the half to one meter higher water levels mean that many coastal people will have to abandon their homes and fields before the end of the century. Rhett Butler 2.069753 101.229649 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14952 2015-06-12T15:59:00Z 2015-06-12T20:19:23Z Inside The Toxic Tour: Not for prime-time Ecuador (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0612_bh_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ecuador spent $4 million to promote itself during the 2015 Super Bowl as an ecotourism destination. The ad was backed by the Beatles' booming anthem 'All You Need is Love.' The Toxic Tour offers a different perspective: taking visitors into the belly of the beast, the epicenter of Ecuador's petroleum exploitation grid, a trip best accompanied by REM's anti-anthem, 'It's the end of the World.' Tiffany Roufs -3.055813 -79.667354 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14948 2015-06-12T08:21:00Z 2015-06-23T14:00:59Z Palm oil giant announces deforestation freeze amid NGO campaign <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DkCK_BtGk99TIsU460hGedzBVazA_gKOv-m5eRAGUQw=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari has announced an immediate moratorium on land clearing, less than a month after the launch of an environmental campaign targeting one of its sister companies, the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain. The prohibition applies to Astra Agro's own plantations as well as to those of its suppliers. Astra Agro characterized the freeze as a major step toward bringing its operations into line with the standards of the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, a high-profile, joint sustainability commitment signed by palm giants Wilmar, Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri and Musim Mas as well as the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. Philip Jacobson -6.208987 106.916552 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14947 2015-06-11T18:22:00Z 2015-06-17T00:45:35Z Catch a whiff? Device aims to reveal age, gender, and identity of endangered wolves from the scent of their poop <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0611-RKessler_WolfScat_4_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Wolves use their noses to track their quarry by its scent. Now a scientist is turning the tables, building a handheld device to study endangered Mexican gray wolves based on the odor of their scat. Rebecca Kessler 33.727675 -108.602355 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14946 2015-06-11T17:53:00Z 2015-06-11T18:50:42Z Tapajós and other Amazon dams not sustainable development say reports <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0611_mg_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Plans to build hydroelectric dams globally -- especially in the Amazon and other tropical locales -- are often touted as 'sustainable development.' However, according to a trio of new reports, these large infrastructure projects will do enormous harm to rainforest ecosystems and indigenous peoples, while also emitting far more greenhouse gases than the U.N. and other organizations officially estimate, with potentially disastrous results. Tiffany Roufs -3.304500 -55.265448 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14941 2015-06-11T12:22:00Z 2015-06-23T14:03:36Z Oil palm company accused of violating RSPO, IPOP standards in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0065.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The reputation of oil palm business group Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, a holding of one of Indonesia's richest men, has in recent days taken hits on multiple fronts, with a pair of NGOs separately accusing the firm of violating various sustainability commitments it is party to. The criticism highlights holes in both the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile sustainability pact to which palm giants Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Musim Mas, Asian Agri and Cargill are signatories, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Philip Jacobson -1.923790 111.204341 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14940 2015-06-10T17:03:00Z 2015-06-10T17:05:51Z 151 dams could be catastrophic to Amazon ecological connectivity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0610_lk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As South American countries begin to move beyond fossil fuels, many are looking to hydropower. The rivers flowing from the Andes Mountains down into the Amazon basin could provide a wealth of liquid potential to meet the energy demands of expanding populations, economies, and development. Tiffany Roufs -1.392745 -78.423564 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14926 2015-06-08T20:43:00Z 2015-06-08T20:49:42Z Bolivia's aggressive agricultural development plans threaten forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0608_ae_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bolivia's government, supported by some small and most large producers, pushes to expand agricultural lands at the expense of the nation's environment. In April 2015, small-scale Bolivian farmers gathered for a summit with stakeholders from a very different part of the agricultural sector: commercial farmers who oversee vast farms and watch international exchange markets just as closely as the weather. Tiffany Roufs -17.826292 -63.029487 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14920 2015-06-08T09:29:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:07Z In Sumatra, an oasis in a sea of oil palm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YoDK2jfNhYCkCQxVIL7HEVLKuj68gUZlT4vMbLFDISM=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sumatra is estimated to have lost 85 percent of its forests in the past half century, primarily due to widespread conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations. In the village of Tangkahan, however, residents have managed to preserve their forests and create one of Indonesia's ecotourism hotspots. Philip Jacobson 3.666803 98.002513 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14912 2015-06-05T12:36:00Z 2015-06-17T23:06:32Z In Aceh, an illegal logger reformed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cB8365NF99IuncLr-keVYssdN177R-G7FTSxxOk8ckE=w150-h97-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mukhtar used to be an illegal logger. Now he coordinates community forest rangers in Indonesia's Aceh province. His job involves preventing dangerous human-elephant encounters and helping communities protect themselves from environmental offenders - like Mukhtar once was. Philip Jacobson 4.880249 95.619657 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14909 2015-06-04T16:43:00Z 2015-06-12T13:43:46Z Proposed Andean headwater dams an ecological calamity for Amazon Basin <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0604_lk_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>High in the Andes Mountains, countless minor streams begin their pilgrimage downward, joining forces with the rain to form the tributaries of the Amazon River. The sediments and organic matter they carry with them on their journey seaward are the nutrient-rich lifeblood that nurtures and sustains the vast aquatic and terrestrial web of life in the Amazon Basin. Tiffany Roufs -1.392745 -78.423564 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14908 2015-06-04T16:39:00Z 2015-06-17T00:39:33Z As mangroves disappear at 'an alarming rate,' conservationists urge more protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/panama/150/pan01-0602.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2010, the Jakarta Post reported that, according to a local NGO called People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries, Indonesia lost 2.2 million hectares of mangroves in less than 30 years. Conservationists hope Sri Lanka’s move to protect all its mangroves could help push other South and Southeast Asian mangrove range countries in the same direction. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.602338 81.757777 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14906 2015-06-04T15:37:00Z 2015-06-17T00:38:50Z Sri Lanka becomes first country to completely protect mangroves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/thumbnails/indonesia/sulawesi/sulawesi7517.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a press conference held in May 2015 in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, U.S.-based nonprofit Seacology, Sri Lanka-based NGO Sudeesa (formerly known as the Small Fisheries Federation of Sri Lanka) and the government of Sri Lanka announced a joint program that makes Sri Lanka the first country in the world to grant full protection to all its mangrove forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.405939 80.269129 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14898 2015-06-03T12:54:00Z 2015-06-23T14:17:06Z Pulp giant APRIL updates sustainability policy with Greenpeace's tentative approval <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1389.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's second-largest pulp and paper producer has announced a new sustainability policy it hopes will win it the good graces of NGOs like Greenpeace, which has campaigned with some success for a boycott of the company due to its destructive environmental practices. Unlike the previous policy, the new one protects carbon-rich peatlands and forests of high-carbon stock. Philip Jacobson 1.457106 101.523565 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14892 2015-06-02T07:25:00Z 2015-06-23T14:20:43Z Director-generals inaugurated as merger of Indonesian Environment, Forestry Ministries continues <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DHFEq__XWiMfi3yBHGXP3ZePJGnPRuhjKCx0_N5xstk=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's newly merged Environment and Forestry Ministry completed a major step in its restructuring last week with the inauguration of 13 director-generals, with important implications for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's agendas on climate change, land reform and more. Notable appointments include Climate Change Oversight Director-General Nur Masripatin, Environmental and Forestry Spatial Planning Director-General San Afri Awang and Social Forestry and Environmental Partnerships Director-General Hadi Daryanto. Philip Jacobson -6.206389 106.800687 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14884 2015-06-01T21:35:00Z 2015-06-01T21:35:27Z How many tree species are found in the world's rainforests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0601_NUMBER_OF_TREE_SPECIES150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's tropical rainforests are likely home to 40,000 to 53,000 tree species, argues a paper published this week in PNAS. Analyzing abundance data spanning 657,000 individual tress across 11,371 species, Ferry Slik and 140 other researchers developed estimates for each of the world's three major tropical regions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14883 2015-05-30T02:18:00Z 2015-05-30T02:24:26Z Malaysian state eyes 100% certified palm oil by 2025 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2396.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sabah, a state in Malaysian Borneo, is weighing a proposal to produce only palm oil certified under the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an eco-certification initiative, by 2025. The move, if approved, would represent the first time a sub-national or state entity has committed to 100% certified palm oil production. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14881 2015-05-29T19:18:00Z 2015-06-16T21:55:25Z Invasive predators, deforestation driving Tasmanian parrot over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529-thumb-swift-juvs-Swift%20and%20Dee-1303.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Tasmania lives the swift parrot (Lathamus discolour), a highly threatened bird found nowhere else in the world. New research published recently in Biological Conservation finds they are more at risk of extinction than previously thought, with introduced sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and logging dealing two big blows to their remaining numbers. Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.631093 148.212457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14880 2015-05-29T17:54:00Z 2015-05-29T17:55:01Z First-of-its-kind mapping technique sheds new light on tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3393.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts have developed vegetation height maps for the entire tropics at very fine spatial scales. These first-of its-kind high resolution maps can help researchers estimate forest cover, monitor biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and manage and monitor timber. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.572850 106.235590 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14876 2015-05-28T22:53:00Z 2015-06-16T21:57:03Z Proposed border checkpoint and road threaten critical Cambodian forest and wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0528-thumb-tiger-hzell.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A proposed border checkpoint at Kbal Damrei, on Cambodia’s border with Vietnam, together with a new road leading up to it, may harm Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Protected Forest. The proposed border crossing is slated to be developed within Mondulkiri Protected Forest, in Eastern Cambodia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.941064 107.389641 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14875 2015-05-28T20:52:00Z 2015-06-16T21:57:57Z New bird uncovered in South American conflict region, researchers urge protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0528-thumb-tapaculo-fjeldsa.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, study skins of a bird languished in a dusty drawer in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, classified hurriedly (and erroneously,) as Scytalopus atratus nigricans, a songbird found in lower montane forests. Recently, scientists rediscovered the bird on the Venezuelan slopes of the Perijá Mountains, and were able to use twenty-first century techniques to describe its genetics, ecology and appearance. In doing so, they identified it as a new species: the Perijá tapaculo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.283079 -72.837879 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14870 2015-05-28T12:59:00Z 2015-06-23T14:23:45Z GAR, Wilmar punish palm oil supplier for clearing rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0828.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil trader Golden Agri-Resources announced today that it would suspend purchases of crude palm oil from plantation developer Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri, which was outed in an NGO report last week for the third time in the past year for clearing forest in Indonesia's West Papua province, in violation of Golden Agri's no-deforestation commitment. Wilmar has also frozen its dealings with the company, though Asian Agri and Musim Mas, which also buy from it, have given no indication they will do the same. Philip Jacobson -1.767753 132.428972 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14868 2015-05-27T23:04:00Z 2015-06-16T21:59:18Z China unveils plans for huge railway in South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0298.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China is looking to add another rung to its investment presence in Latin America, with an announcement of plans to build an expansive railway bisecting the continent from Brazil to Peru. The bid has raised the hackles of conservation groups, which are concerned the railway will run through sensitive ecosystems, harm threatened wildlife, and affect indigenous communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.710885 -58.225280 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14866 2015-05-27T18:24:00Z 2015-05-27T19:20:09Z China defends trans-Amazon railway, says it will protect the environment Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has defended a plan to build a railway across the South American continent as a way to protect the environment and grow the region's economy, reports <i>AFP</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14865 2015-05-27T16:52:00Z 2015-06-01T19:42:51Z Amazon deforestation speeding global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/aerial-rainforest/Flight_1022_1554.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human activity has destroyed huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest's biomass as trees are cleared to make way for pasture, soy fields, and other developments. Now, a new study has determined how much that destruction has contributed to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.723046 -70.090514 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14864 2015-05-27T16:47:00Z 2015-05-27T20:16:32Z Greenpeace re-engages with APP after response to activist's killing Greenpeace is re-engaging with Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP) after the Indonesian forestry giant quickly responded to the killing of a community activist on one of its suppler plantations. Rhett Butler -1.209058 102.410036 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14858 2015-05-27T08:30:00Z 2015-06-23T14:46:13Z Can improved oil palm productivity and Indonesia's forestry moratorium go hand in hand? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0739.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An op-ed from Mongabay-Indonesia chief editor Ridzki R. Sigit, who calls for renewed efforts to boost smallholder productivity on Indonesia's oil palm plantations in the wake of the renewal of the country's moratorium on new concessions in primary forests and on peat. Philip Jacobson 1.344530 101.913580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14836 2015-05-21T08:35:00Z 2015-05-21T23:11:01Z Timber 'mass graves' uncovered as Malaysian authorities pursue illegal loggers A crackdown on illegal logging in Peninsular Malaysia's largest continuous forest complex has uncovered three timber 'mass graves' – burial sites where valuable logs have been stashed beneath tons of earth to hide evidence. The loggers apparently made haste in fleeing the hilly terrain where they left the timber. A joint operation by Malaysia's antigraft agency and Forestry Department found parts of logs sticking out of the ground and the red earth still unsettled, indications their quarry had hurriedly concealed the felled trees. Philip Jacobson 5.543306 101.341206 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14834 2015-05-20T20:51:00Z 2015-06-16T22:00:37Z Primary rainforest cleared for massive palm oil plantations in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0520-thumb-Nueva%20Requena%202%20Aerial-EIA-20150325-014.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 9,400 hectares of closed-canopy Amazonian rainforest has been removed for two oil palm plantations in the Peruvian region of Ucayali since 2011, according to scientists working for MAAP, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project. The two plantations are linked to Czech entrepreneur Dennis Melka. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.254681 -74.815350 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14833 2015-05-20T20:38:00Z 2015-06-18T16:28:56Z VICE’s 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb' presents a tragic view of palm oil driven deforestation from the frontlines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0519mikegriffths150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the sixth episode of its third season, HBO’s Emmy-winning news series, VICE, focused its lens on Indonesia’s palm oil industry. The episode, entitled, 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb', follows VICE correspondent, Ben Anderson, as he investigates the environmental and social impact of widespread (and, at times, illegal) deforestation on wildlife and indigenous communities in Sumatra. Rhett Butler 0.753238 100.984464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14832 2015-05-20T12:19:00Z 2015-06-23T14:51:38Z Sumatran tiger found dead in a pig trap <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-kb6bJTAyWi4/VVx85A60csI/AAAAAAAABnU/ceD70NjuvZU/w150-h100-no/harimau-padang-evakuasi.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Authorities in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra buried the rotting carcass of a critically endangered female tiger that died after being ensnared by a pig trap on a rubber plantation earlier this month. The creature, a mother who was probably teaching her young to hunt, was found covered in wounds, its neck entangled in wire. Philip Jacobson -0.852865 100.525781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14829 2015-05-20T04:05:00Z 2015-05-20T05:12:11Z Tennis star responds to rainforest advocates Roger Federer has responded to two Indonesian activists who asked the tennis star to use his influence to encourage Credit Suisse to end its relationship with a controversial logging company, reports the Bruno Manser Fund. Rhett Butler 1.0730227 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14828 2015-05-19T20:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:01:33Z High pressure: is U.S. policy deterring illegal wood imports? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2232.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some countries, such as the U.S., have imposed legislation at the consumer level, banning the import of illegally sourced wood through their borders. A new study finds that such legislation can be effective, with a 2008 amendment to the Lacey Act significantly reducing the influx of illegal wood into the U.S. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.580975 111.495203 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14827 2015-05-19T20:36:00Z 2015-05-20T05:09:33Z 62M ha of Latin American forests cleared for agriculture since 2001 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/colombia/150/colombia_0061.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over 62 million hectares (240,000 square miles) of forest across Latin America &#8212; an area roughly the size of Texas or the United Kingdom &#8212; were cleared for new croplands and pastureland between 2001 and 2013, find a study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -12.066663 -65.109455 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14820 2015-05-19T05:02:00Z 2015-06-23T14:57:45Z Luxury hotel chain linked to destruction of rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Mandarin Oriental hotel chain has landed in environmentalists' crosshairs for the practices of its sister company Astra Agro Lestari, a rapidly expanding palm oil producer with fully developed plantations on an area larger than Singapore. The new She's Not a Fan campaign – a play off Mandarin's celebrity-fan endorsement drive – launched yesterday with a petition calling on Astra to stop destroying forests and elephant habitat. Multinational conglomerate Jardine Matheson owns both firms. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14818 2015-05-18T21:04:00Z 2015-06-16T22:02:38Z China’s investment in Latin America taking toll on the environment, setting the stage for conflict <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brasil_055.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China has been investing heavily in Latin America’s natural resources and crude oil. Recently, the country even pledged to invest $250 billion over the next decade to strengthen its presence in the region, and compete with the U.S. But this increasing Chinese trade and investment in Latin America is also increasing environmental and social conflict, finds a new report published by Boston University. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.330873 -53.852581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14813 2015-05-15T23:44:00Z 2015-06-19T00:07:01Z What's the current deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, making it the biggest component in the region's deforestation rate. Helpfully, Brazil also has the best systems for tracking deforestation, with the government and Imazon, a national civil society organization, releasing updates on a quarterly and monthly basis using MODIS satellite data, respectively. Both the Brazilian government and Imazon release more accurate data on an annual basis using higher resolution Landsat satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -2.245333 -61.518783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14806 2015-05-14T20:01:00Z 2015-06-16T22:03:37Z Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514-thumb-greenpeace-chimp-cam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.240989 12.391278 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14801 2015-05-14T04:13:00Z 2015-06-23T15:03:06Z Indonesia's partial forest-clearing moratorium extended, but activists wanted more <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1190.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo extended the country's partial forest clearing moratorium yesterday on the day of its expiration, leaving largely intact a policy civil society groups had demanded be strengthened. The environment and forestry minister said the government greatly appreciated the calls from organizations like Greenpeace, Walhi, Kemitraan, Sawit Watch, World Resources Institute and others, and would address the proposed changes. Philip Jacobson 2.024851 100.536501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14800 2015-05-13T21:41:00Z 2015-06-16T22:04:21Z New mapping project uncovers road networks in Peru’s primary forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0991.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A research team unearthed a suspicious network of roads in northern Peru in early 2013. For two years, they watched the network grow to over 150 kilometers in length, split into two networks. The southern part of the network is located entirely in the protected buffer region of the Cordillera de Azul National Park, and is characteristic of roads meant for logging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.515847 -75.593051 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14799 2015-05-13T19:29:00Z 2015-05-14T16:05:10Z Zero deforestation commitments bearing fruit in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0513gibbs150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A high profile pledge by the world's largest meat company to limit deforestation for cattle production in the Amazon appears to be working, resulting in a dramatic increase in compliance with environmental registries and reduced forest clearing among supplier ranches, finds a comprehensive study published in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -1.254878 -47.981976 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14791 2015-05-12T19:38:00Z 2015-05-12T19:39:12Z Satellite data shows how deforestation is impacting our weather and our food <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4463.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The conversion of forests to cropland can drive local temperatures up or down by as much as a few degrees, according to a new report. Ironically, the authors write that these temperature fluctuations can lead to less productivity from the very same agricultural operations the forests were cleared to make way for. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.427806 -54.511761 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14789 2015-05-12T18:21:00Z 2015-05-12T20:09:03Z Scientists reconstruct what was in the Harapan Rainforest of Sumatra <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_v_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new study published in mongabay.com’s open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science describes how the Harapan Rainforest was prior to extensive logging and compares it to its current condition. The authors call for the Harapan's conservation because it is still very rich in species and holds rare habitats and many endemic plants. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14785 2015-05-12T05:00:00Z 2015-06-23T15:11:25Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier caught clearing elephant habitat for palm oil in Aceh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i3BU3Oulgt4/VVGKBSA_L4I/AAAAAAAABl0/0toVHnTHPko/w150-h100-no/sumatra_9219%2B%25281%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report provides evidence that a supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas is bulldozing valuable forests in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem in violation of the companies’ zero-deforestation policies as well as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile, joint sustainability pact that also includes Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). Philip Jacobson 4.520011 97.679989 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14782 2015-05-11T17:00:00Z 2015-05-11T17:21:07Z Indonesian forestry giant calls for stronger forest moratorium <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0217.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), an Indonesian forestry giant once targeted by environmentalists for its logging practices, has joined a growing chorus of voices calling for a stronger moratorium on deforestation and policies that enable companies to support conservation efforts. In a letter released Monday, Aida Greenbury, APP's Managing Director of Sustainability, asked Indonesian President Joko Widodo to extend the country's moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions. Rhett Butler -0.761952 102.201971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14777 2015-05-08T22:55:00Z 2015-05-08T23:19:54Z Peru considers fate of Amazon wildlife paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0509la-sierra-del-divisor150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The fate of La Sierra del Divisor, a 1.5 million hectare reserve lauded for its megadiversity of wildlife, will soon to be decided. According to <i>El Comercio</i>, next week the Peruvian government is expected to rule whether Divisor will be declared a national park. The designation, which was requested by local groups nearly a decade ago, would strengthen legal protection of the area, which faces logging, mining, coca cultivation, and agricultural encroachment. It would also establish rules for the buffer zone around the potential protected area. Rhett Butler -7.411416 -74.323620 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14776 2015-05-08T18:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:05:13Z World's critical habitats lost Connecticut-size area of forest in a decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0507-thumb-Madagascar_Nightjar_-_Tulear_-_Madagascar_S4E8596.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's endangered animals live in only one place, making them hugely susceptible to environmental upset. One fell swoop, and entire species could disappear from existence forever. New analysis shows that possibility may be edging closer and closer to reality in some areas, with forests known to harbor high-risk species losing an area of tree cover the size of Connecticut in a little over a decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.485384 29.077941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14775 2015-05-08T17:34:00Z 2015-06-16T22:31:35Z To improve food security, look to the forests, new report says <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0508_MGowarecki_Cashews_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With as many as 1.5 billion people worldwide dependent on forests for all or most of their diet and livelihood, tending forests wisely could help alleviate global hunger, according to a report released Wednesday. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14772 2015-05-08T14:25:00Z 2015-06-16T22:06:40Z Researchers find treasure trove of unique, threatened animals in Philippine forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0508-thumb-Schultz%20Pit%20Viper%203.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of more than 30 researchers is surveying the the forests of Cleopatra's Needle, on the Philippine island of Palawan. They have already found many endemic animals, and hope to use their findings to confer more protection to the region. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.189421 118.939178 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14765 2015-05-08T03:09:00Z 2015-05-08T03:25:07Z Indian fabric giant adopts forest policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/sabah_26440_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's largest fabric makers for the fashion industry today announced a policy to exclude fiber produced at the expense of endangered forests, reports Canopy, an environmental group that helped broker the commitment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14746 2015-05-05T19:37:00Z 2015-05-05T19:43:58Z Sarawak leader pledges no more logging, palm oil expansion Sarawak's leader has allegedly pledged to stop granting industrial timber and palm oil concessions in the Malaysian state's increasingly endangered rainforests, asserts the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14745 2015-05-05T18:51:00Z 2015-05-05T18:55:42Z Facing Future Storms: Poor Honduran Communities Unite to Protect Watersheds and Nature <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0505_gs_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There hasn't been much good news out of Honduras recently. One of the poorest Latin American nations, it has been afflicted by a series of natural and political calamities. There is, however, another Honduras, a place where -- despite adversity -- small, rural communities are getting on with the business of living sustainably and dealing effectively with the vagaries of extreme weather, all on a shoestring budget. Tiffany Roufs 15.127380 -86.868229 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14739 2015-05-04T19:43:00Z 2015-06-16T20:53:24Z Orangutan rescued amid sea of palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504orangutan-rescue150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rescue, which took place in early April, was conducted by the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) in response to a report of an adult male orangutan isolated in an fragment forest surrounded by oil palm plantations. The orangutan was found to be in poor health, according to Krisna, OIC's Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit field coordinator. Rhett Butler 4.101847 98.040986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14738 2015-05-04T16:43:00Z 2015-05-04T17:52:03Z Borneo's rainforest may get high-tech 3D scan to boost conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504CAO-Tambopata-Peru-DEM-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation efforts in Borneo's embattled rainforest may get a boost with the launch of the newest version of an advanced airplane-based monitoring and assessment system. On Friday, the Carnegie Institution officially unveiled the latest upgrade of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an airplane equipped with technologies that enable scientists to conduct extremely high resolution scans of forest structure, biomass, and biological diversity. The platform has generated a wealth of information in places where it has been flown before. Rhett Butler 37.513017 -122.252871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14726 2015-05-01T23:22:00Z 2015-06-16T22:26:20Z Brazilian Amazon nears deforestation threshold past which wildlife may crash, says study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study on the impact of forest loss on biodiversity, recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, shows that one-third of the Brazilian Amazon is headed toward or has just passed a threshold of forest cover beyond which species loss accelerates and is more damaging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.997211 -63.061583 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14724 2015-05-01T15:52:00Z 2015-05-01T16:03:47Z Sarawak increases fines for illegal logging After decades of intense logging that has left its rainforests degraded, fragmented, and stripped of valuable timber in many areas, the Malaysian state of Sarawak has passed a new forestry bill that could boost penalties for illegal logging. Rhett Butler 1.287446 111.010594 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14720 2015-05-01T11:37:00Z 2015-06-23T00:22:04Z Palm giants ask Indonesian gov't to clear path toward sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0742.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Executives from palm oil giants Wilmar, Cargill and Golden Agri Resources appeared at a green investment summit in Jakarta this week, providing a window into the nature of a high-profile, joint sustainability pact the companies have entered into together with Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The agreement, known as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, has been lauded in some quarters for its potential to transform the sector and dismissed in others as mere lip service to protecting the environment. Philip Jacobson -0.602662 102.358526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14716 2015-04-30T17:42:00Z 2015-06-16T22:08:25Z Lost and found, then lost again? Recently rediscovered hummingbird faces extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0430-thumb-closeup-rojas-proaves-Blue-bearded-Helmetcrest.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>No one had seen a single living blue-bearded helmetcrest since 1946, and the species was known only from preserved museum specimens. But that all changed last month when researchers rediscovered the bird in the mountains of Colombia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.054731 -73.675786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14712 2015-04-29T16:48:00Z 2015-05-22T16:20:25Z Featured video: the Uncharted Amazon trailer <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0430.Silky.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The up-coming documentary, Uncharted Amazon, promises to highlight both the little-seen wildlife and the people of the Las Piedras River system in the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most remote wildernesses on the planet. Jeremy Hance -11.902431 -70.133875 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14709 2015-04-29T16:13:00Z 2015-04-30T14:29:45Z Gov't officials permitted deforestation in Dominican Republic national park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423-thumb-burned-lizard-Miguel-Landestoy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In late 2014, an irregularity in the issuance of permits for agriculture-related deforestation was brought to light by an environmental conservation association working to curb deforestation within the park. On July 30, the Pedernales office of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources granted permission to local landowners to deforest an area within the National Park, close to an area that was being assessed for hutia and solenodon presence by a team of researchers. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.889287 -71.565668 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14708 2015-04-29T15:55:00Z 2015-06-18T02:14:09Z Kenya's Karura Forest, symbol of GreenBelt Movement, suffering death by 1,000 cuts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0326_protus_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The founder of Kenya's GreenBelt Movement, Wangari Maathai, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 because she talked environmental truth to power. She also walked the walk. Especially on a January morning in 1999 when she strode into the Karura Forest, Nairobi's flagship preserve, to plant trees to protest government approved plans to build a private golf course on protected land there. Tiffany Roufs -1.247121 36.813182 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14705 2015-04-28T23:25:00Z 2015-04-28T23:48:53Z Selective logging leaves more dead wood in rainforests Up to 64 percent of above-ground biomass in selectively logged forests may consist of dead wood left over from logging damage, argues a paper published this week in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler 4.632820 116.950086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14704 2015-04-28T21:22:00Z 2015-04-28T21:22:55Z EU votes to scale back on biofuels linked to deforestation The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly today on a new cap on biofuels derived from edible crops, which critics say not only compete with feeding a growing global population but also contribute to deforestation and release unacceptably high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The new legislation sets the cap on edible food crop biofuels&#8212;such as palm oil, corn, rapeseed, and soy&#8212;at seven percent. Jeremy Hance 50.860068 4.391183 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14703 2015-04-28T18:10:00Z 2015-04-30T12:52:09Z Rainforest communities can now report illegal logging with their mobile phones Communities in the rainforests of Central Africa can now report illegal logging in their territories as it happens, potentially enabling real-time law enforcement action. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14695 2015-04-28T05:27:00Z 2015-04-28T05:30:21Z Predicting deforestation before it happens The world's leading forest monitoring platform may soon help predict deforestation before it occurs, potentially enabling authorities to prevent it altogether. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14694 2015-04-27T23:57:00Z 2015-04-28T04:35:23Z 'Deforestation fronts' revealed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0427wwf_deforestation_pressure150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organization believes the bulk of global deforestation is likely to occur over the next 15 years. The analysis, published today, highlights eleven regions where 'the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take place' by 2030. Rhett Butler 1.386919 110.181317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14693 2015-04-27T19:55:00Z 2015-06-16T22:32:09Z Report: Borneo could save billions while still meeting conservation and development goals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The three nations that share Borneo could save themselves $43 billion by more closely coordinating their environmental conservation and economic development efforts, according to a report published in the journal Nature Communications. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.616066 114.725184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14690 2015-04-27T05:00:00Z 2015-04-27T05:02:03Z $100M study to look at how rainforests respond to climate change A new $100 million research project will examine how tropical forests interact with the planet's climate system. Rhett Butler