tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/new%20guinea1 new guinea news from mongabay.com 2015-06-19T03:34:59Z 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/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/14575 2015-04-02T06:22:00Z 2015-06-16T20:58:55Z Russia and Canada lead the world in forest loss in 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0402loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Russia and Canada led the world in forest loss, accounting for nearly forty percent of the 18 million hectares of forest lost globally in 2013, reveals a new analysis based on high resolution satellite imagery. The research &#8212; released today on Global Forest Watch, a forest monitoring and research platform &#8212; was led by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland and involved Google, World Resources Institute (WRI), and other institutions Rhett Butler 54.492706 126.115233 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14309 2015-01-27T03:06:00Z 2015-01-27T03:29:16Z Rogue cop missing from jail An Indonesian police official busted for illegal logging in West Papua has been missing from jail for nearly a year after being granted permission to seek medication treatment, reports the <i>The Jakarta Post</i>. Rhett Butler -0.816249 131.337449 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13709 2014-08-22T21:56:00Z 2014-08-22T22:07:08Z Indonesia to hear indigenous peoples' grievances on land disputes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_0709.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Public hearings into alleged violations of indigenous peoples' land rights will open next week in Palu on the island of Sulawesi. This is the beginning of a series of hearings by the Commission on Human Rights to explore conflicts affecting indigenous people in forest areas. The Commission will travel throughout Indonesia, providing concerned parties an opportunity to meet and discuss land disputes, before submitting the results of their findings to the next president. Rhett Butler -0.899125 119.834549 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13595 2014-07-29T02:18:00Z 2014-07-29T03:43:28Z Palm oil company clears rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_1423.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia's board has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia. The report is based on analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, NASA satellites, Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry, and company documents. Rhett Butler -1.830972 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13578 2014-07-24T06:07:00Z 2014-07-24T06:08:14Z Scientists ask PNG to support conservation research The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world's largest group of tropical researchers, is calling on the government of Papua New Guinea to increase support for biology training programs in the densely-forested and wildlife-rich country. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13562 2014-07-20T23:00:00Z 2014-07-20T23:10:07Z What is peat swamp, and why should I care? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3792.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Long considered an unproductive hindrance to growth and development, peat swamp forests in Southeast Asia have been systematically cleared, drained and burned away to make room plantations and construction. Now, as alternating cycles of fires and flood create larger development problems, while greenhouse gas emissions skyrocket, it is time to take a closer look at peat, and understand why clearing it is a very bad idea. Rhett Butler 0.20874 103.390732 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13282 2014-05-24T07:52:00Z 2014-05-24T08:06:12Z Malaysian palm oil giant loses PNG case, plantations declared illegal Papua New Guinea's National Court has declared two leases held by Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) null and void, and ordered the government to cancel the licenses to convert nearly 40,000 hectares of rainforest and community forest for oil palm plantations, reports the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13183 2014-05-05T18:09:00Z 2015-03-27T03:36:08Z Palm oil plan unlikely to help communities in Indonesian New Guinea Plans to rapidly expand palm oil production in Indonesian New Guinea are unlikely to boost livelihoods for local communities since most investors are outsiders and the bulk of workers will be migrants, argues a paper published in <i>Environment, Development and Sustainability</i>. Rhett Butler -8.004837 140.2561 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/12936 2014-03-14T23:33:00Z 2014-03-16T01:42:49Z Indonesian sugar company poised to destroy half of island paradise's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0314-aru-islands-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian plantation company may be preparing to destroy up to half of the natural forests on Indonesia's remote Aru Islands, reports Forest Watch Indonesia. Analyzing land use plans for Aru, Forest Watch Indonesia found that local government officials have turned over 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) to 28 companies held by PT. Menara Group, a plantation conglomerate. 76 percent of the area is currently natural forest. Converting the area to sugar plantations would cut Aru's forest cover by half, from 730,000 ha to 365,000 ha. Rhett Butler -6.189890 134.550242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12828 2014-02-26T06:24:00Z 2014-02-26T19:17:46Z Procter & Gamble's palm oil suppliers linked to deforestation (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/GP0STO8KS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A year-long investigation by Greenpeace has found companies that supply Procter & Gamble (P&G) (NYSE:PG) with palm oil are engaged in clearing of rainforests and peatlands in Indonesia, suggesting that Head &amp; Shoulders shampoo and other consumer products made by the company may be linked to forest destruction. Rhett Butler -1.930482 112.439146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/12765 2014-02-12T04:13:00Z 2014-03-04T22:43:23Z Indonesia rejects, delays 1.3m ha of concessions due to moratorium The Indonesian government has rejected nearly 932,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) of oil palm, timber, and logging concessions due to its moratorium on new permits across millions of hectares of peatlands and rainforests, reports Mongabay-Indonesia. Rhett Butler 1.055658 120.842472 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12524 2013-12-17T17:30:00Z 2015-02-12T00:00:21Z New Guinea animals losing vital tree cavities to logging, hunting practices <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.382px-Petaurus_breviceps_2_Gould.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Across New Guinea, deforestation is occurring at increasing levels. Whether it be industrial logging, monoculture plantations, hunters felling trees in pursuit of arboreal wildlife, or other forms of forest conversion, deforestation is depleting not only forest carbon stocks and understory environments, but habitats for species who call tree cavities "home." A new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal, Tropical Conservation Science, evaluated whether a variety of man-made nest boxes could function as suitable substitutes for tree cavities. Jeremy Hance -5.967034 147.190397 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12366 2013-11-12T22:19:00Z 2013-11-15T07:29:43Z 3.5 million ha of Indonesian and Malaysian forest converted for palm oil in 20 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1112-oilpalm-forest-malaysia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some 3.5 million hectares (8.7 million acres) of forest in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea was converted for oil palm plantations between 1990 and 2010, finds a comprehensive set of assessments released by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The research, conducted by an international team of scientists from a range of institutions, is presented in a series of seven academic papers that estimate change in land use and greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm expansion in the three countries, review the social and environmental impacts of palm oil production, forecast potential growth in the sector across the region, and detail methods for measuring emissions and carbon stocks of plantations establishing on peatlands. Rhett Butler -1.711553 103.395569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12322 2013-11-06T23:18:00Z 2013-11-07T04:46:02Z Palm oil giant to forgo development of New Guinea rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1106GAR150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) will forgo development of an oil palm plantation in an area of rainforest in Indonesian New Guinea in order to comply with its forest conservation policy. The decision by GAR &#8212; which is the parent company for PT SMART, one of Indonesia's largest private palm oil companies &#8212; was disclosed in a report on its high carbon stock pilot project, which is a key component of the company's forest conservation policy (FCP). Rhett Butler -3.109464 139.844328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12304 2013-11-01T21:22:00Z 2013-11-01T21:25:07Z Bolivia, Madagascar, China see jump in forest loss Loss of forest cover increased sharply in Bolivia, Madagascar, and Ecuador during the third quarter of 2013, according to an update from NASA scientists. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12004 2013-09-03T14:16:00Z 2013-09-05T12:45:40Z Agribusiness project leaves indigenous communities in Indonesian New Guinea hungry and in poverty, report says <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_5011.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Land grabs and environmental destruction linked to an agricultural megaproject in Indonesia’s Papua province are devastating indigenous communities and causing severe food shortages in some areas, alleges a coalition of NGOs. Agro-industrial development in Papua has left indigenous communities cut off from their traditional livelihoods and living in abject poverty, the coalition said in a report released on Monday calling for the suspension of the project. Rhett Butler -8.143529 140.064497 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11914 2013-08-14T13:40:00Z 2013-08-17T14:34:08Z Palm oil licenses provide cover for logging in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0814-png-palm-oil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Developers are seeking palm oil concessions to as a means to circumvent restrictions on industrial logging in Papua New Guinea, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. The research, led by Paul Nelson and Jennifer Gabriel of James Cook University, is based on analysis of 36 proposed oil palm concessions covering nearly 950,000 hectares in PNG. The study assessed the likelihood of the concessions coming to fruition. It found that only five concessions, covering 181,700 ha, are likely to be developed. Rhett Butler -5.480752 150.400722 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11858 2013-07-30T16:47:00Z 2013-07-30T19:43:17Z Former cop to face charges in illegal logging scandal, Indonesian police say Labora Sitorus, a former police officer accused of running a nearly $150 million illegal logging ring in Indonesian New Guinea, faces charges of money laundering, illegal logging and fuel smuggling, a police spokesman said in Jakarta on Friday. Rhett Butler -1.261952 130.870299 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11551 2013-06-05T22:41:00Z 2015-02-11T23:06:23Z Saving the Tenkile: an expedition to protect one of the most endangered animals you've never heard of <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0605.1367759602.tenkile.png.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The tenkile, or the Scott’s tree kangaroo (<i>Dendrolagus scottae</i>) could be a cross between a koala bear and a puppy. With it’s fuzzy dark fur, long tail and snout, and tiny ears, it’s difficult to imagine a more adorable animal. It’s also difficult to imagine that the tenkile is one of the most endangered species on Earth: only an estimated 300 remain. According to the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (TCA), the tenkile’s trouble stems from a sharp increase of human settlements in the Torricelli mountain range. Once relatively isolated, the tenkile now struggles to avoid hunters and towns while still having sufficient range to live in. Jeremy Hance -3.006813 141.901073 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11542 2013-06-03T15:17:00Z 2015-02-09T23:01:37Z Scientists describe over 100 new beetles from New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0603.54356_web.weevils.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a single paper, a team of researchers have succinctly described 101 new species of weevils from New Guinea, more than doubling the known species in the beetle genus, <i>Trigonopterus</i>. Since describing new species is hugely laborious and time-intensive, the researchers turned to a new method of species description known as 'turbo-taxonomy,' which employs a mix of DNA-sequencing and taxonomic expertise to describe species more rapidly. Jeremy Hance -6.8828 145.583495 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/11456 2013-05-20T16:36:00Z 2015-02-09T23:00:11Z Could the Tasmanian tiger be hiding out in New Guinea? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0520.ThylacineOslo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many people still believe the Tasmanian tiger (<i>Thylacinus cynocephalus</i>) survives in the wilds of Tasmania, even though the species was declared extinct over eighty years ago. Sightings and reports of the elusive carnivorous marsupial, which was the top predator on the island, pop-up almost as frequently as those of Bigfoot in North America, but to date no definitive evidence has emerged of its survival. Yet, a noted cryptozoologist (one who searches for hidden animals), Dr. Karl Shuker, wrote recently that tiger hunters should perhaps turn their attention to a different island: New Guinea. Jeremy Hance -4.140983 137.213287 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11440 2013-05-15T20:42:00Z 2013-05-16T00:22:44Z Four dead and dozens trapped after collapse at Freeport mine in Papua Four workers were found dead and 10 rescued after the collapse of a tunnel at Freeport-McMoran’s Grasberg mine in the highlands of Indonesia’s Papua province on Tuesday. Rhett Butler -4.052974 137.102108 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11399 2013-05-09T20:18:00Z 2013-05-10T00:55:18Z Indonesia welcomes Greenpeace ship 3 years after eviction Indonesia has welcomed Greenpeace's ship, the Rainbow Warrior, back into its waters for the first time since deporting the vessel in October 2010. The Rainbow Warrior arrived today in Jayapura, a major port in Indonesian New Guinea, as the first leg of a tour to raise environmental awareness across the archipelago, according to the activist group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11394 2013-05-09T04:55:00Z 2015-03-26T04:19:59Z UN report gives Indonesia low marks in forest governance <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0509UNDP-SCORE150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new UN report exposes serious flaws in Indonesia’s forest governance, serving as a wake up call to policy makers aiming to conserve forests in the country, which boasts the third largest area of tropical forest coverage in the world. On Monday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with the Government of Indonesia launched a comprehensive forest governance index, which evaluates forest governance at the central, provincial and district levels and offers policy recommendations designed to better equip the country to conserve forests and peatlands. Rhett Butler -2.254362 114.507751 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10936 2013-02-27T19:40:00Z 2013-02-27T19:52:09Z Leatherback sea turtles suffer 78 percent decline at critical nesting sites in Pacific <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/Suriname_067.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's largest sea turtle, the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), is vanishing from its most important nesting sites in the western Pacific, according to a new study in Ecosphere. Scientists found that leatherback turtle nests have dropped by 78 percent in less than 30 years in the Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea. Worryingly, these beaches account for three-fourths of the western Pacific's distinct leatherback population; globally the leatherback is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, the highest rating before extinction. Jeremy Hance -1.147994 132.527161 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10752 2013-01-23T20:27:00Z 2015-01-14T05:29:52Z Getting intimate with a giant, yet poorly known flightless bird: the cassowary <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0123cassowary150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For large, conspicuous, and somewhat notorious animals, relatively little is known about cassowaries, a group of flightless birds that roams the rainforests of Northern Australia and New Guinea. This fact is highlighted in <i>Cassowaries</i>, a recent documentary by Australian journalist and film producer Bianca Keeley. <i>Cassowaries</i> tells the story of cassowaries struggling to survive after a major cyclone destroyed their rainforest home. Rhett Butler -16.256867 145.235962 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10635 2013-01-03T15:29:00Z 2015-02-09T22:18:59Z Scientists: bizarre mammal could still roam Australia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/Helgen-and-long-beaked-echidna-in-New-Guinea-by-Tim-Laman.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The continent of Australia is home to a wide variety of wonderfully weird mammals&#8212;kangaroos, wombats, and koalas among many others. But the re-discovery of a specimen over a hundred years old raises new hopes that Australia could harbor another wonderful mammal. Examining museum specimens collected in western Australia in 1901, contemporary mammalogist Kristofer Helgen discovered a western long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijnii). The surprise: long-beaked echidnas were supposed to have gone extinct in Australia thousands of years ago. Jeremy Hance -18.032668 123.922325 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10495 2012-12-03T15:29:00Z 2015-02-09T22:16:32Z New Guinea singing dog photographed in the wild for the first time A rarely seen canine has been photographed in the wild, likely for the first time. Tom Hewitt, director of Adventure Alternative Borneo, photographed the New Guinea singing dog during a 12-day expedition up a remote mountain in Indonesian Papua. Very closely related to the Australian dingo, the New Guinea singing dog, so named for its unique vocalizations, has become hugely threatened by hybridization with domesticated dogs. Jeremy Hance -4.709881 140.290546 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10303 2012-10-24T15:06:00Z 2013-02-05T15:11:10Z Indonesia remains epicenter for illegal wildlife trade in reptiles and amphibians <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/12/IMG_3027.indonesianreps.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Demand for exotic pets is driving the illegal harvest and trade of herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) in Indonesian New Guinea, according to a recent study published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Between September 2010 and April 2011, Daniel Natusch and Jessica Lyons of the University of New South Wales surveyed traders of amphibians and reptiles in the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, West Papua and Papua. Jeremy Hance -3.107606 129.680786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10302 2012-10-24T00:43:00Z 2012-10-24T02:04:24Z Will designation of new administrative districts lead to more deforestation in Indonesia? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/kalimantan/kali9753.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On Monday Indonesia's House of Representatives moved to establish 'North Kalimantan', a new province in Indonesian Borneo. It also voted for four new districts: Pangandaran in West Java, South Coast in Lampung, and South Manokwari and Arfak Mountains in West Papua. While the moves aim to improve governance by boosting local autonomy, they could make it more difficult for Indonesia to meet its deforestation reduction goals if recent trends &#8212; detailed in a 2011 academic paper &#8212; hold true. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10094 2012-09-05T02:17:00Z 2012-09-05T17:54:42Z NASA images reveal rapid loss of Indonesia's glaciers Satellite images highlighted last week by NASA reveal the rapid disappearance of Indonesia's only glaciers. Rhett Butler -4.086192 137.18605 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9844 2012-07-15T21:12:00Z 2012-07-15T22:03:46Z Charts: deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia, 2000-2010 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/SEASIA-forest-cover-change150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia and Malaysia lost more than 11 million hectares (42,470 square miles) of forest between 2000 and 2010, according to a study published last year in the journal <i>Global Change Biology</i>. The area is roughly the size of Denmark or the state of Virginia. The bulk of forest loss occurred in lowland forests, which declined by 7.8 million hectares or 11 percent on 2000 cover. Peat swamp forests lost the highest percentage of cover, declining 19.7 percent. Lowland forests have historically been first targeted by loggers before being converted for agriculture. Peatlands are increasingly converted for industrial oil palm estates and pulp and paper plantations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9553 2012-05-23T14:22:00Z 2012-05-23T14:34:12Z Palm oil giant to produce 100% segregated, RSPO-certified palm oil 100 percent of New Britain Palm Oil Limited's palm oil will be eco-certified, segregated, and fully traceable by the end of the year, reports the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9551 2012-05-23T11:31:00Z 2012-05-23T11:39:28Z Indigenous group paid $0.65/ha for forest worth $5,000/ha in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/west-papua_5022.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A palm oil company has paid indigenous Moi landowners in Indonesian Papua a paltry $0.65 per hectare for land that will be worth $5,000 a hectare once cultivated, according to a new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Indonesian NGO, Telepak. The report outlines similar disadvantageous deals in timber with the same companies breaking their promises of bringing education and infrastructure. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9416 2012-04-18T21:02:00Z 2015-03-07T04:59:59Z Photo: New 'bumblebee' gecko discovered in New Guinea Researchers from the Papua New Guinea National Museum and the U.S. Geological Survey have discovered a new species of gecko on an island off the coast of New Guinea. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9398 2012-04-16T15:06:00Z 2012-04-16T15:09:46Z Police hired by loggers in Papua New Guinea lock locals in shipping containers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Pomio-pic_3.bulldozer.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Locals protesting the destruction of their forest in Papua New Guinea for two palm oil plantations say police have been sent in for a second time to crack-down on their activities, even as a Commission of Inquiry (COI) investigates the legality of the concession. Traditional landowners in Pomio District on the island East New Britain say police bankrolled by Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau (RH) have terrorized the population, including locking people in shipping containers for three consecutive nights. The palm oil concessions belongs to a company known as Gilford Limited, which locals say is a front group for RH. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9396 2012-04-16T12:19:00Z 2012-04-16T12:50:51Z Papua New Guinea halts controversial nickel mine - for now A massive, controversial nickel mine has been shut down in Papua New Guinea due to the environmental concerns of its slurry pipeline, reports Cultural Survival. Inspections of the 83 mile (134 kilometer) slurry pipeline found that it had been built too close to a major highway with spills already impacting traffic. Built by the Chinese state company Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC), the Ramu Nickel Mine has been plagued by land issues, labor disputes, and environmental concerns. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9124 2012-02-16T23:50:00Z 2012-02-17T00:12:12Z More than 1 million acres of New Guinea forest cut from Indonesia's forest moratorium More than 400,000 hectares of land &#8212; including 350,000 hectares of peatland &#8212; in Indonesian New Guinea lost their protected status during a November 2011 revision of Indonesia's moratorium on new forest concessions, reports a new analysis by Greenomics-Indonesia, a Jakarta-based NGO. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8965 2012-01-17T23:13:00Z 2012-01-18T17:54:48Z New book series hopes to inspire research in world's 'hottest biodiversity hotspot' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/telnov.interview.coastalvegetation.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Entomologist Dmitry Telnov hopes his new pet project will inspire and disseminate research about one of the world's last unexplored biogeographical regions: Wallacea and New Guinea. Incredibly rich in biodiversity and still full of unknown species, the region, also known as the Indo-Australian transition, spans many of the tropical islands of the Pacific, including Indonesia's Sulawesi, Komodo and Flores, as well as East Timor&#8212;the historically famous "spice islands" of the Moluccan Archipelago&#8212;the Solomon Islands, and, of course, New Guinea. Telnov has begun a new book series, entitled Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea, that aims to compile and highlight new research in the region, focusing both on biology and conservation. The first volume, currently available, also includes the description of 150 new species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8952 2012-01-12T19:32:00Z 2015-01-29T00:29:02Z New frog trumps miniscule fish for title of 'world's smallest vertebrate' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/smallestvertebrate.dime.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>How small can you be and still have a spine? Scientists are continually surprised by the answer. Researchers have discovered a new species of frog in Papua New Guinea that is smaller than many insects and dwarfed by a dime. The frog trumps the previously known smallest vertebrate&#8212;a tiny fish&#8212;by nearly 1 millimeter. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8862 2011-12-16T03:01:00Z 2011-12-16T03:08:38Z The world's tiniest frogs, the size of a Tic Tac, discovered in New Guinea Scientists have discovered the world's tiniest frogs in Papua New Guinea. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8718 2011-11-21T05:10:00Z 2011-11-21T18:58:47Z Snake laundering rampant in the Indonesian reptile export market <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/animals/080923/150/brnxz_734.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Breeding farms in Indonesia are being used to launder illegally caught wildlife, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Biological Conservation</i>. The research is based on surveys of traders who supply the market for green pythons, a non-venomous snake popular in the pet trade for its many color forms. The authors tracked pythons from their point of capture in Indonesian New Guinea and Maluku to breeding farms in Jakarta where the snakes are exported for the pet trade as 'captive-bred'. They found that 80 percent of snakes exported annually from Indonesia are illegally wild-caught. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8671 2011-11-10T14:31:00Z 2015-01-29T00:10:02Z Photos: bizarre shell of new snail baffles researchers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Ditropopsis-mirabilis-HT-1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new species of snail with a bizarre shell has surprised scientists. Discovered near massive waterfalls in pristine lowland rainforest in New Guinea, the tiny new species' shell is shaped like a cornucopia, spirals flying freely instead of fused together like most shells. Latvian malacologist (one who study molluscs) Kristine Greke, who described the new species, named it Ditropopsis mirabilis, meaning miraculous or extraordinary. To date, scientists are uncertain why the super small snail&#8212;2 to 6 millimeters (0.07 to 0.23 inches)&#8212;would have evolved such a strange shell. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8657 2011-11-08T15:31:00Z 2015-01-29T00:09:41Z Beetle bonanza: 84 new species prove richness of Indo-Australian islands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Macratria-moluccense-HT-M.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Re-examining beetle specimens from 19 museums has led to the discovery of 84 new beetle species in the Macratria genus. The new species span the islands of Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, tripling the number of known Macratria beetles in the region. "Species of the genus Macratria are cosmopolitan, with the highest species diversity in the tropical rainforests. Only 28 species of this genus were previously known from the territory of the Indo-Australian transition," Dr. Dmitry Telnov with the Entomological Society of Latvia, who discovered the new species, told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8432 2011-09-26T22:21:00Z 2015-01-28T23:59:15Z Primary forest best for birds in Papua New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/png.tcs.birdsurvey.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new survey recorded 125 birds in Papua New Guinea's Waria Valley, of which an astounding 43 percent were endemic to the island. The survey, published in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science, was the first of its kind for the rainforest-studded valley and found that bird populations were most diverse and abundant in primary forests. The bird surveys were carried out in four different habitats including primary forest, primary forest edges, secondary forest edges, and agricultural landscape. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8164 2011-07-15T05:28:00Z 2011-07-15T05:38:36Z Animal picture of the day: spectacular blue and turquoise beetle in New Guinea Eupholus schoenherri weevil near Manokwari in West Papua. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8079 2011-06-28T18:24:00Z 2011-06-28T18:26:50Z Logging company fined $100 million for illegal logging in Papua New Guinea In a landmark court decision a judge has slapped a logging company with a nearly $100 million (K225.5 million) fine for large-scale illegal logging. Last week, Malaysian timber company, Concord Pacific, was sentenced to pay four forest tribes for environmental destruction in the first ruling of its kind for Papua New Guinea. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8065 2011-06-27T06:07:00Z 2011-06-28T00:06:34Z Pictures: Turquoise 'dragon' among 1,000 new species discovered in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0627-blue-monitor150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists discovered more than 1,000 previously unknown species during a decade of research in New Guinea, says a new report from WWF. While the majority of 1,060 species listed are plants and insects, the inventory includes 134 amphibians, 71 fish, 43 reptiles, 12 mammals, and 2 birds. Among the most notable finds: a woolly giant rat, an endemic subspecies of the silky cuscus, a snub-fin dolphin, a turquoise and black 'dragon' or monitor lizard, and an 8-foot (2.5-m) river shark. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8057 2011-06-23T17:52:00Z 2011-06-23T18:14:38Z Indonesian sugar producers seek 500,000 ha of land exempted from moratorium Indonesia's sugar association is seeking 500,000 hectares of land for new sugar cane plantations in a bid to make the country self-sufficient in sugar production, reports <i>Tempo Interactive</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7836 2011-05-06T17:13:00Z 2011-05-06T23:19:24Z Papua New Guinea suspends controversial grants of community forest lands to foreign corps <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0506png.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The government of Papua New Guinea yesterday suspended its controversial Special Agricultural and Business Leases program which has granted logging and plantation development concessions to mostly foreign corporations across 5.2 million hectares of community forest land, reports the <i>Courier-Post</i Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7824 2011-05-03T20:44:00Z 2015-01-28T23:27:15Z Forgotten species: the endearing Tenkile tree kangaroo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/tenkile1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With their long snout, furry body, soft eyes, and, at times, upright stance, tree kangaroos often remind me of the muppets. Of course, if there were any fairness in the world, the muppets would remind me of tree kangaroos, since kangaroos, or macropods, have inhabited the Earth for at least 5 million years longer than Jim Henson’s muppets. But as a child of the 1980s, I knew about muppets well before tree kangaroos, which play second fiddle in the public imagination to their bigger, boxing cousins. This is perhaps surprising, as tree kangaroos possess three characteristics that should make them immensely popular: they are mammals, they are monkey-like (and who doesn't like monkeys?), and they are desperately 'cute'. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7760 2011-04-19T17:58:00Z 2011-07-25T13:40:45Z Scientists urge Papua New Guinea to declare moratorium on massive forest clearing Forests spanning an area larger than Costa Rica—5.6 million hectares (13.8 million acres)—have been handed out by the Papua New Guinea government to foreign corporations, largely for logging. Granted under government agreements known as Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs), the land leases circumvent the nation's strong laws pertaining to communal land ownership. Now, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), the world's largest professional society devoted to studying and conserving tropical forests, is urging the Papua New Guinea government to declare a moratorium on SABLs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7628 2011-03-23T19:28:00Z 2011-04-19T03:28:31Z 5 million hectares of Papua New Guinea forests handed to foreign corporations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/newguinea.tribal.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>During a meeting in March 2011 twenty-six experts—from biologists to social scientists to NGO staff—crafted a statement calling on the Papua New Guinea government to stop granting Special Agricultural and Business Leases. According to the group, these leases, or SABLs as they are know, circumvent Papua New Guinea's strong community land rights laws and imperil some of the world's most intact rainforests. To date 5.6 million hectares (13.8 million acres) of forest have been leased under SABLs, an area larger than all of Costa Rica. "Papua New Guinea is among the most biologically and culturally diverse nations on Earth. [The country's] remarkable diversity of cultural groups rely intimately on their traditional lands and forests in order to meet their needs for farming plots, forest goods, wild game, traditional and religious sites, and many other goods and services," reads the statement, dubbed the Cairns Declaration. However, according to the declaration all of this is threatened by the Papua New Guinea government using SABLs to grant large sections of land without going through the proper channels. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7532 2011-03-07T18:43:00Z 2011-03-07T18:53:40Z Stopping export logging, oil palm expansion in PNG in 2012 would cost $1.8b, says economist Stopping logging for timber export and conversion of forest for oil palm plantations would cost Papua New Guinea roughly $2.8 billion dollars from 2012 to 2025, but would significantly reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new analysis published by an economist from the University of Queensland. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7381 2011-02-01T21:54:00Z 2011-02-01T22:05:00Z Indonesia set to clear 3 million ha of rainforest in New Guinea Indonesia's Ministry of Forestry has approved conversion of some 3 million hectares of natural forest in Papua province, on the island of New Guinea, according to new analysis by Greenomics Indonesia, an environmental group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7344 2011-01-26T02:25:00Z 2013-09-01T14:59:17Z Greening the world with palm oil? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0126borneo_2813-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The commercial shows a typical office setting. A worker sits drearily at a desk, shredding papers and watching minutes tick by on the clock. When his break comes, he takes out a Nestle KitKat bar. As he tears into the package, the viewer, but not the office worker, notices something is amiss—what should be chocolate has been replaced by the dark hairy finger of an orangutan. With the jarring crunch of teeth breaking through bone, the worker bites into the 'bar'. Drops of blood fall on the keyboard and run down his face. His officemates stare, horrified. The advertisement cuts to a solitary tree standing amid a deforested landscape. A chainsaw whines. The message: Palm oil—an ingredient in many Nestle products—is killing orangutans by destroying their habitat, the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. Rhett Butler -2.33395 114.491909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7338 2011-01-25T06:49:00Z 2011-01-25T06:56:56Z Indonesia grants slew of last-minute logging concessions on eve of moratorium Indonesia's Minister of Forestry granted nearly 3 million hectares of plantation forestry concessions the day before the country's president was due to sign a decree establishing a two-year moratorium on new logging licenses, reports a new analysis by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7223 2010-12-28T01:12:00Z 2011-01-25T06:57:48Z Will Indonesia's big REDD rainforest deal work? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/1228sumatra_1469_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Flying in a plane over the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea, rainforest stretches like a sea of green, broken only by rugged mountain ranges and winding rivers. The broccoli-like canopy shows little sign of human influence. But as you near Jayapura, the provincial capital of Papua, the tree cover becomes patchier—a sign of logging—and red scars from mining appear before giving way to the monotonous dark green of oil palm plantations and finally grasslands and urban areas. The scene is not unique to Indonesian New Guinea; it has been repeated across the world's largest archipelago for decades, partly a consequence of agricultural expansion by small farmers, but increasingly a product of extractive industries, especially the logging, plantation, and mining sectors. Papua, in fact, is Indonesia's last frontier and therefore represents two diverging options for the country's development path: continued deforestation and degradation of forests under a business-as-usual approach or a shift toward a fundamentally different and unproven model based on greater transparency and careful stewardship of its forest resources. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7193 2010-12-20T00:16:00Z 2010-12-20T06:13:07Z Biodiversity and slash-and-burn agriculture in Papua New Guinea As pressures increase on the rich forests of Papua New Guinea, how will biodiversity fare? A new study in mongabay.com's <i>Tropical Conservation Science</i> attempts to answer this question by looking at how bird species are impacted by slash-and-burn agriculture. While locals have been practicing such agriculture for 5,000 years, rising populations and societal changes are expected to increase the pressure of slash-and-burn agriculture on forests and the species that live there. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6943 2010-10-25T00:38:00Z 2010-10-25T19:22:19Z Pictures: Indonesian New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/1022weevil.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian New Guinea is one of the planet's last frontiers: rugged mountains and rainforests conceal untold numbers of species and hundreds of cultures. But these forests—especially in the province of West Papua—are increasingly under threat from logging, mining, and conversion to plantations. The cultural heritage of the region is also at risk due to programs designed to encourage migration from other parts of the archipelago and placate restive native Papuan populations with special autonomy payments. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6934 2010-10-21T22:00:00Z 2010-10-25T21:32:32Z Foreign corporations devastating Papua New Guinea rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/newguinea.tribal.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>A letter in <i>Nature</i> from seven top scientists warns that Papua New Guinea's accessible forest will be lost or heavily logged in just ten to twenty years if swift action isn't taken. A potent mix of poor governance, corruption, and corporate disregard is leading to the rapid loss of Papua New Guinea's much-heralded rainforests, home to a vast array of species found no-where else in the world. "Papua New Guinea has some of the world's most biologically and culturally rich forests, and they’re vanishing before our eyes," author William Laurance of James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, said in a statement. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6886 2010-10-09T17:16:00Z 2010-10-10T01:58:16Z Death toll rises in New Guinea flash floods linked to deforestation The death toll from flash floods in Wasior, West Papua has now topped 100, reports the <i>Jakarta Post</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6579 2010-08-05T05:46:00Z 2010-08-05T05:49:21Z Timber barons linked to illegal logging in Indonesian New Guinea Timber barons are illegally exploiting Indonesia's increasingly threatened lowland rainforests on the island of New Guinea for merbau wood, found an undercover investigation conducted by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and its Indonesian partner Telapak. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6526 2010-07-22T09:39:00Z 2010-07-22T23:52:26Z Scientists sound warning on forest carbon payment scheme <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_1682.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists convening in Bali expressed a range of concerns over a proposed mechanism for mitigating climate change through forest conservation, but some remained hopeful the idea could deliver long-term protection to forests, ease the transition to a low-carbon economy, and generate benefits to forest-dependent people. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6409 2010-06-30T21:39:00Z 2013-12-06T23:33:22Z Papua New Guinea strips communal land rights protections, opening door to big business <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0630png_kanga.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 28th the parliament in Papua New Guinea passed a sweeping amendment that protects resource corporations from any litigation related to environmental destruction, labor laws, and landowner abuse. All issues related to the environment would now be decided by the government with no possibility of later lawsuits. Uniquely in the world, over 90 percent of land in Papua New Guinea is owned by clan or communally, not be the government. However this new amendment drastically undercuts Papua New Guinea's landowners from taking legislative action before or after environmental damage is done. Essentially it places all environmental safeguards with the Environment and Conservation Minister. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6249 2010-06-14T20:54:00Z 2010-06-15T15:25:46Z Indonesia's plan to save its rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0614agus_yani150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Late last year Indonesia made global headlines with a bold pledge to reduce deforestation, which claimed nearly 28 million hectares (108,000 square miles) of forest between 1990 and 2005 and is the source of about 80 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia would voluntarily cut emissions 26 percent &#8212; and up to 41 percent with sufficient international support &#8212; from a projected baseline by 2020. Last month, Indonesia began to finally detail its plan, which includes a two-year moratorium on new forestry concession on rainforest lands and peat swamps and will be supported over the next five years by a one billion dollar contribution by Norway, under the Scandinavian nation's International Climate and Forests Initiative. In an interview with mongabay.com, Agus Purnomo and Yani Saloh of Indonesia's National Climate Change Council to the President discussed the new forest program and Norway's billion dollar commitment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6087 2010-05-17T14:04:00Z 2010-05-17T14:23:56Z Photos: more new species found in Indonesia's 'lost world' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/08_BlossomBat_TimLaman.thumbnail.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Foja Mountains on the Indonesian side of New Guinea have proven a biological treasure trove that just keeps spilling riches. Two-and-a-half years ago the region—dubbed Indonesia's 'lost world'—made news globally when researchers announced the discovery of a giant rat: five times the size of the familiar brown rat. New amphibians, birds, and insects have also been found during past expeditions in 2005 and 2007. A collaborative team of Indonesia and international researchers have since returned to the Foja Mountains and found more spectacular species. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5729 2010-02-26T16:38:00Z 2010-02-26T20:10:45Z Cargill sells palm oil business in Papua New Guinea Cargill will sell off its palm oil holdings in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to focus on operations in Indonesia, reports the <i>Star Tribune</i>. The $175 million sale involves 62,000 ha of oil palm across three plantations and several mills. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5702 2010-02-22T16:58:00Z 2010-02-22T17:10:15Z Indonesia to target New Guinea for agricultural expansion Indonesia will target its last frontier &#8212; its territory on New Guinea &#8212; as it seeks to become a major agricultural exporter, reports the <i>AFP</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5482 2010-01-19T07:09:00Z 2010-01-23T17:35:46Z Indonesian government report recommends moratorium on peatlands conversion <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/kalimantan/kali9753.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study issued by Indonesian government recommends a moratorium on peatlands conversion in order to meet its greenhouse gas emissions target pledged for 2020, reports the <i>Jakarta Post</i>. The report, commissioned by the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), says that conversion of peatlands accounts for 50 percent of Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions but only one percent of GDP. A ban on conversion would therefore be a cost-effective way for the country to achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions 26 percent from a projected baseline by 2020. But the recommendation is likely to face strong resistance from plantation developers eager to expand operations in peatland areas. Last year the Agricultural Ministry lifted a moratorium on the conversion of peatlands of less than 3 meters in depth for oil palm plantations. Environmentalists said the move would release billions of tons of carbon dioxide. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5110 2009-11-10T16:40:00Z 2009-11-10T19:57:50Z Palm oil developers push into Indonesia's last frontier: Papua Oil palm developers in the Indonesian half of New Guinea are signing questionable deals that exploit local communities and put important forest ecosystems at risk, alleges a new report from Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Telapak. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4848 2009-08-17T22:31:00Z 2012-09-12T21:16:06Z World's rarest tree kangaroo gets help from those who once hunted it <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0817tenkile150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's rarest tree kangaroo is in the midst of a comeback in a remote part of Papua New Guinea. On the brink of extinction in 2001 with a population estimated at fewer than 100 individuals, Scott's Tree Kangaroo (<i>Dendrolagus scottae</i>), or the tenkile, is recovering, thanks to the efforts of the Tenkile Conservation Alliance to motivate local communities to reduce hunting and respect critical forest habitat. The tenkile Conservation Alliance, led by Australians Jim and Jean Thomas, works to provide alternative sources of protein and raise environmental awareness among local communities. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4754 2009-07-22T00:42:00Z 2009-07-22T01:25:24Z Palm oil companies trade plantation concessions for carbon credits from forest conservation Indonesian palm oil producers are eying forest conservation projects as a way to supplement earnings via the nascent carbon market, reports Reuters. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4722 2009-07-09T17:57:00Z 2009-07-09T18:02:35Z Credit Suisse, UBS, BNP Paribas to help finance cutting of rainforests for palm oil, say NGOs Swiss banks, Credit Suisse and UBS, together with the French BNP Paribas, are helping Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources raise up to 280 million Swiss francs ($258 million) to finance conversion of large areas of rainforest in New Guinea and Borneo for oil palm plantations, reports the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), a group that campaigns on behalf of forest people in Southeast Asia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4413 2009-03-25T14:46:00Z 2009-03-25T15:29:53Z Photos: Undocumented species discovered in Papua New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0325frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Colorful jumping spiders, a tiny frog with a "ringing song" and a striped gecko are among more than 50 previously unknown species discovered during a recent survey in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea. More than 600 species were documented during the 2008 expedition, which was led by Conservation International (CI) under its Rapid Assessment Program (RAP). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4395 2009-03-20T13:37:00Z 2009-03-24T01:37:27Z DR Congo, Indonesia, PNG, Tanzania, Vietnam win REDD funding for forest conservation The United Nation's REDD Program has approved $18 million in support of forest conservation projects in five pilot countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, and Viet Nam. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4347 2009-03-03T17:20:00Z 2015-01-08T01:09:00Z Papua New Guinea creates first nature reserve <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0303kanga150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Home to numerous endemic species and some of the Asia's last intact tropical forests, Papua New Guinea has created its first national conservation area. Unique in structure, the park is owned by 35 surrounding indigenous villages which have agreed unanimously to prohibit hunting, logging, mining, and other development within the park. The villages have also created a community organization that will oversee management of the park. The 10,000 villagers found partners in Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Conservation International, and National Geographic. The conservation organizations spent twelve years working with locals and the Papua New Guinea government to establish the YUS Conservation Area. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4323 2009-02-23T01:43:00Z 2015-02-14T05:45:14Z 24% of Papua New Guinea's rainforest destroyed or degraded by logging in 30 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0222png150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly one quarter of Papua New Guinea's rainforests were damaged or destroyed between 1972 and 2002, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Biotopica</i>. The results, which were <A href=http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0602-png.html>published in a report last June</a>, show that Papua New Guinea is losing forests at a much faster rate than previously believed. Over the 30-year study period 15 percent of Papua New Guinea's tropical forests were cleared and 8.8 percent were degraded through logging. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4321 2009-02-22T21:56:00Z 2009-02-23T00:25:01Z New fire record for Borneo, Sumatra shows dramatic increase in rainforest destruction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/09/0222palm_oil_price150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Destruction of rainforests and peatlands is making Indonesia more susceptible to devastating forest fires, especially in dry el Ni&ntilde;o years, report researchers writing in the journal <i>Nature Geoscience</i>. Constructing a record of fires dating back to 1960 for Sumatra and Kalimantan (on the island of Borneo) using airport visibility records to measure aerosols or "haze" prior to the availability of satellite data, Robert Field of the University of Toronto and colleagues found that the intensity and scale of fires has increased substantially in Indonesia since the early 1990s, coinciding with rapid expansion of oil palm plantations and industrial logging. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/4280 2009-02-10T13:16:00Z 2009-02-15T22:18:06Z Indonesian ecolabeling initiative providing cover for rainforest destruction The Indonesian Ecolabel Institute is facilitating rainforest destruction by issuing "sustainable forest management certificates" to companies that convert natural and peatlands into industrial timber estates, allege national environmental groups. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/21 2008-12-09T14:30:00Z 2009-12-16T00:16:47Z Drought and deforestation in southeast Asia linked to climate change Researchers have linked drought and deforestation in southeast Asia to climate change. Analyzing six years of climate and fire data from satellites, Guido van der Werf and colleagues report that burning of rainforests and peatlands in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea released an average of 128 million tons of carbon (470 million tons of carbon dioxide - CO2) per year between 2000 and 2006. Fire emissions showed highly variability during the period, but were greatest in dry years, such as those that occur during El Ni&ntilde;o events. Borneo was the largest source of fire emissions during the period, averaging 74 million tons per year, followed by Sumatra, which showed a doubling in emissions between 2000 and 2006. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3494 2008-11-19T14:30:00Z 2009-12-16T00:17:26Z California joins effort to fight global warming by saving rainforests California has joined the battle to fight global warming through rainforest conservation. In an agreement signed yesterday at a climate change conference in Beverly Hills, California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pledged financial assistance and technical support to help reduce deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia. The Memorandum of Understanding commits the California, Illinois and Wisconsin to work with the governors of six states and provinces within Indonesia and Brazil to help slow and stop tropical deforestation, a source of roughly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3368 2008-10-30T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:30Z Oil palm expansion in Indonesian Borneo increased 400-fold from 1991-2007 Annual forest conversion to palm oil plantations increased 400-fold from 1,163 hectares in 1991 to 461,992 hectares in 2007 in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, reports a new report published by Forest Watch Indonesia, a local NGO. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3285 2008-09-26T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:15:10Z Malaysian oil palm firms eye Papua for expansion Malaysian palm oil firms are looking to aggressively expand operations in Papua, the Indonesian part of New Guinea, reports Bernama. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3221 2008-08-17T14:30:00Z 2009-09-22T14:53:33Z Markets could save rainforests: an interview with Andrew Mitchell <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/08/0820AM_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Markets may soon value rainforests as living entities rather than for just the commodities produced when they are cut down, said a tropical forest researcher speaking in June at a conservation biology conference in the South American country of Suriname. Andrew Mitchell, founder and director of the London-based Global Canopy Program (GCP), said he is encouraged by signs that investors are beginning to look at the value of services afforded by healthy forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3238 2008-08-12T14:30:00Z 2009-06-29T21:45:08Z "Turtle carbon" could help protect rainforests and save endangered sea turtles Using carbon credits to promote rainforest conservation could help protect endangered sea turtles in some parts of the world, argues a carbon finance expert. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3107 2008-07-25T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:33Z Loggers, palm oil firms eye remote rainforests of Papua for development Commodity producers are eyeing one of the world's last relatively untouched tracts of rainforest for development, reports the <i>Wall Street Journal</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/3085 2008-06-02T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:29Z Papua New Guinea's rainforests disappearing faster than thought Logging is taking a heavy toll on the forests of Papua New Guinea, suggests a new study. Using satellite images to reveal changes in forest cover between 1972 and 2002, researchers from the University of Papua New Guinea and the Australian National University found that Papua New Guinea (PNG) lost more than 5 million hectares of forest over the past three decades &#8212; total forest cover declined from 38 million hectares in 1972 to 33 million hectares in 2002. Worse, deforestation rates may be accelerating, with the pace of forest clearing reaching 362,000 hectares (895,000 acres) per year in 2001. The study warns that at current rates 53 percent of the country's forests could be lost or seriously degraded by 2021. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2986 2008-05-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:10Z Papua signs REDD carbon deal to generate income from rainforest protection The government of the Indonesian province of Papua has entered into an agreement with an Australian financial firm to establish a forestry-based carbon finance project on the island of New Guinea. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2987 2008-05-14T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:14:10Z Al Gore's investment firm bets that rainforest conservation will be profitable Al Gore's investment firm has signaled an interest in the emerging market for ecosystem services by taking an equity position in an innovative Australian financial company. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2812 2008-03-17T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:24Z Papua New Guinea to ban log exports by 2010 Papua New Guinea (PNG) will phase out log exports by 2010 said Forest Minister Belden Namah last month. The move comes as the country seeks to gain greater control over illegal logging and promote expansion of oil palm cultivation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2836 2008-03-10T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:48:30Z New rule grants rainforest to mining firms in Indonesia for $80/acre A new Indonesian rule will grant concessions to mining companies operating in rainforests for as little as $200 per hectare ($80/acre) according to Mining Advocacy Network, a conservation group. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2752 2008-02-12T14:30:00Z 2013-12-06T23:35:04Z How activists and scientists saved a rainforest island from destruction for palm oil In mid-January, Mongabay learned that the government of Papua New Guinea had changed its mind: it would no longer allow Vitroplant Ltd. to deforest 70% of Woodlark Island for palm oil plantations. This change came about after one hundred Woodlark Islanders (out of a population of 6,000) traveled to Alotau, the capital of Milne Bay Province, to deliver a protest letter to the local government; after several articles in Mongabay and Pacific Magazine highlighted the plight of the island; after Eco-Internet held a campaign in which approximately three thousand individuals worldwide sent nearly 50,000 letters to local officials; and after an article appeared in the London Telegraph stating that due to deforestation on New Britain Island and planned deforestation on Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea had gone from being an eco-hero to an 'eco-zero'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2779 2008-02-04T14:30:39Z 2008-12-16T10:13:31Z Papua New Guinea's Environment Minister says foreign firms attempted to bribe him The Environment and conservation minister of Papua New Guinea, Benny Allen, has stated that three different foreign firms attempted to bribe him. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/2524 2007-12-16T14:30:39Z 2008-12-29T06:47:23Z Photos: Two unknown mammal species discovered in "lost world" Two mammal species -- a tiny possum and a giant rat &#8212; discovered on a recent expedition to Indonesia's remote Foja Mountains in New Guinea are likely new to science, report researchers from conservation International (CI) and Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI). The area won international fame after a December 2005 survey turned up dozens of new species and gave urgency to conservation efforts in a region where logging and forest clearing for agriculture are a serious concern. Rhett Butler