tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/rainforest%20people1 rainforest people news from mongabay.com 2015-03-30T18:30:40Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14558 2015-03-30T18:16:00Z 2015-03-30T18:30:40Z 9 months after Amazonian oil pipeline spill, effects and fears linger <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0330cuninco150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Peru's state-run oil company pulled out of this small Kukama Indian village in mid-December after cleaning up an oil pipeline spill, residents thought life could slowly return to normal. But more than three months later, wisps of oil floating down the Cuninico River—along with a larger spill in the neighboring community of San Pedro—are a reminder that the problems are not over. Rhett Butler -4.801399 -75.216092 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14530 2015-03-24T21:11:00Z 2015-03-25T01:04:20Z Photos: expedition to Amazon’s white sands may have found new primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0324.thumbnail.photo-8A.by-giussepe-gagliardi-urrutia.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most people think of the Amazon rainforest as one massive, homogenous ecosystem&#8212;a giant castle of green. However, within the Amazon rainforest lie a myriad of distinct ecosystems, sporting unique characteristics and harboring endemic species. One of the rarer ecosystems in the Amazon is the white sands forest. Jeremy Hance -6.343298 -74.026909 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14507 2015-03-18T16:15:00Z 2015-03-19T16:59:30Z Discovery of 'Lost City' spurs conservation pledge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1366.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Earlier this month, National Geographic made big news: the discovery of what it called a 'lost city' below the thick jungles of Honduras. While the coverage has led to scientists crying sensationalism, it also resulted this week in a commitment of protection by the Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernández, for a long-neglected portion of the country. Jeremy Hance 15.744008 -84.675660 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14468 2015-03-09T19:46:00Z 2015-03-09T19:52:52Z Photo essay: filming in the remote Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0309.A-silky-anteater.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>You wake up at 4:30 AM, a little before the first rays of tropical sun begin to dance behind the treetops. You put on your wet clothes from the previous day, pack your bag, and pick up your tripod. The jungle is shrouded in a thick mist from the previous nights rain. As you walk, you recognize many of the strange calls that echo between the trees. Jeremy Hance -12.318441 -69.260806 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14393 2015-02-18T14:15:00Z 2015-02-18T14:48:17Z Brazilian indigenous populations grow quickly after first contact devastation Indigenous communities in South America have long experienced devastating impacts from contact with Western society. In the Sixteenth Century, European colonists brought slavery, war, and violence, but disease proved the most devastating. In all, European contact destroyed over 95 percent of the native population. Jeremy Hance -9.891064 -70.165365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14391 2015-02-18T01:35:00Z 2015-02-18T01:49:10Z Drones to scan the Amazon rainforest for hidden civilizations Researchers are planning to use drones equipped with vegetation-penetrating lasers to scan the Amazon rainforest for signs of past civilizations, reports the University of Exeter. Rhett Butler -2.980036 -59.701752 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14349 2015-02-05T13:25:00Z 2015-02-05T13:29:23Z World Bank's forest carbon program falls short on indigenous peoples' rights, argues report <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_5249.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Countries poised to receive World Bank funds for achieving reductions in deforestation have insufficient safeguards for ensuring that local communities don't lose out in the rush to score money from the forest carbon market, argues a new report published by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14341 2015-02-04T17:50:00Z 2015-02-06T15:10:31Z The Amazon's oil boom: concessions cover a Chile-sized bloc of rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_303.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hungry for oil revenue, governments and fossil fuel companies are moving even further into one of the world's last great wildernesses, according to a new study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The total area set aside for oil and gas in the Western Amazon has grown by 150,000 square kilometers since 2008, now totaling more than 730,000 square kilometers&#8212;an area the size of Chile. Jeremy Hance -14.057138 -68.658039 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14330 2015-02-02T20:13:00Z 2015-02-02T20:22:26Z Mercury fish: gold mining puts downstream communities at risk in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Artisanal, often illegal gold-mining, has swept across portions of the Peruvian Amazon over last decade, driven in part by a rising price in gold. The unregulated industry has resulted in widespread deforestation leading to an environmental disaster. Now a new study finds that mercury pollution has moved rapidly downstream and could be impacting communities at least 560 kilometers away. Jeremy Hance -13.095034 -70.395907 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14268 2015-01-15T23:07:00Z 2015-01-16T03:17:18Z Amazon tribe attacks oilfield in Ecuador Indigenous leaders are calling for the release of six tribesmen implicated in a raid on an oilfield in Eastern Ecuador that left six soldiers injured, reports <i>Andina</i> and <i>El Comercio</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14260 2015-01-14T16:55:00Z 2015-01-14T17:13:44Z Did palm oil expansion play a role in the Ebola crisis? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/15/0114.Eidolon_helvum_fg01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Ebola outbreak in West Africa may have been the result of complex economic and agricultural policies developed by authorities in Guinea and Liberia, according to a new commentary in Environment and Planning A. Looking at the economic activities around villages where Ebola first emerged, the investigators analyzed a shift in land-use activities in Guinea's forested region, particularly an increase in oil palm. Jeremy Hance 8.571239 -10.128214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14188 2014-12-23T16:23:00Z 2015-01-21T20:13:49Z Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2014 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2297.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2014, the unimaginable happened: companies representing the majority of palm oil production and trade agreed to stop cutting down rainforests and draining peatlands for new oil palm plantations. After years of intense campaigning by environmentalists and dire warnings from scientists, nearly two dozen major producers, traders, and buyers established zero deforestation policies. Jeremy Hance -2.391216 -64.166830 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14180 2014-12-22T14:35:00Z 2014-12-23T15:38:52Z Edited Reality: What I Learned from Filming Eaten Alive <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/2332.pr.eatenalive.4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On November 3, 2014, I woke up to check my flight status from Bangalore to New York. What I found when I opened my laptop was a mindboggling amount of emails, hate mail, death threats, and interview requests. The numbers were staggering. The night before, the Discovery Channel had aired the first trailers for the show they decided to call Eaten Alive. Jeremy Hance -12.546168 -69.339244 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14144 2014-12-11T17:10:00Z 2014-12-11T21:33:52Z New film highlights local resistance to Nicaragua's canal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1211.grancanal._DSC0638.150jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This fall, filmmakers Tom Miller and Nuin-Tara Key with Pretty Good Productions found themselves in Nicaragua where they heard about a stunning project: the Gran Canal. Approved last year, the canal is meant to compete with the Panama Canal to the south. Built by a Chinese company, it will cut through 278 kilometers, destroying forests and driving through the largest freshwater body in Central America. Jeremy Hance 12.163097 -83.692639 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14135 2014-12-10T06:38:00Z 2014-12-10T06:51:34Z Deforestation puts cultural survival of forest-dependent peoples at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1210-peru-massacre150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Forest-dependent peoples face grave threats from deforestation and other depredations, warns a new report that urges greater recognition of traditional land use and support of community-led initiatives to fight forest loss. The report, published Monday during climate talks in Lima, is based on research by dozens of indigenous and forest communities from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14128 2014-12-08T17:06:00Z 2015-06-18T02:12:51Z Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1207.Hombre_Shuar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River. Jeremy Hance -3.576019 -78.485306 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14115 2014-12-04T21:26:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:03Z Giant stone face unveiled in the Amazon rainforest (video) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1204.stoneface.1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new short film documents the journey of an indigenous tribe hiking deep into their territory in the Peruvian Amazon to encounter a mysterious stone countenance that was allegedly carved by ancient peoples. According to Handcrafted Films, which produced the documentary entitled The Reunion, this was the first time the Rostro Harakbut has been filmed. Jeremy Hance -12.820287 -71.013726 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14110 2014-12-04T16:11:00Z 2014-12-11T16:37:27Z Is the Gran Canal really a 'big Christmas present' for Nicaraguans? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>"A big Christmas present"&#8212;that is how Paul Oquist, an advisor to Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, described the country's plan to build a mega-canal across the nation. Preliminary construction on the canal is set to begin December 24th, despite major concerns over environmental destruction, forced removal of thousands of people, and a lack of transparency. Jeremy Hance 11.973290 -83.883255 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14106 2014-12-03T18:53:00Z 2014-12-30T22:26:16Z New survey finds surprisingly large population of endangered owl <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1202.Anjouan-Scops-owl---A.-Van-Norman.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Anjouan scops owl&#8212;an elusive owl found only on its tiny eponymous island&#8212;was once considered among the world's most endangered owls, and even the most threatened birds. However, the first in-depth survey of the owls on the island finds that, in fact, the population is far larger than initially estimated. Jeremy Hance -12.227030 44.417853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14077 2014-11-26T23:06:00Z 2014-12-01T17:36:27Z What we can learn from uncontacted rainforest tribes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1126-mark-plotkin-ted150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you have ever wondered about the connection between hallucinogenic frogs, uncontacted peoples, conservation, and climate change &#8212; and who hasn't? &#8212; check out this TED talk from ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin. An ethnobotanist by training, Plotkin serves as President of the Amazon Conservation Team. Plotkin took a few minutes from his busy schedule to answer a few questions from Mongabay. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14062 2014-11-24T03:05:00Z 2014-11-24T03:28:01Z Sarawak chief calls state's logging industry 'corrupt' In a surprising statement, Sarawak's new chief minister called the state's logging sector 'corrupt'. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14041 2014-11-18T22:39:00Z 2015-06-18T02:13:10Z A tale of 2 Perus: Climate Summit host, 57 murdered environmentalists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/1118.800px-Asha%CC%81ninka.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On September 1st, indigenous activist, Edwin Chota, and three other indigenous leaders were gunned down and their bodies thrown into rivers. Chota, an internationally-known leader of the Asháninka in Peru, had warned several times that his life was on the line for his vocal stance against the destruction of his peoples' forests, yet the Peruvian government did nothing to protect him&#8212;or others. Jeremy Hance -14.153426 -69.134704 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13983 2014-11-06T02:51:00Z 2014-11-12T03:23:37Z Brazilian tribes demarcate territory in bid to block dams <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1105brazil150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous communities in Brazil have taken the unusual step of demarcating their own land &#8212; without the approval of the Brazilian government &#8212; in a bid to block two dams they say threaten their territory and traditional livelihoods, report International Rivers and Amazon Watch, advocacy groups that are fighting the projects. Last week the Munduruku people annexed the 178,000-hectare Sawré Muybu territory after authorities failed to recognize their claims. Rhett Butler -5.216776 -56.9245 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13944 2014-10-27T12:46:00Z 2014-10-27T12:55:10Z Scientific association calls on Nicaragua to scrap its Gran Canal ATBC&#8212;the world's largest association of tropical biologists and conservationists&#8212;has advised Nicaragua to halt its ambitious plan to build a massive canal across the country. The ATBC warns that the Chinese-backed canal, also known as the Gran Canal, will have devastating impacts on Nicaragua's water security, its forests and wildlife, and local people. Jeremy Hance 11.456933 -85.501372 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13928 2014-10-21T17:05:00Z 2014-11-06T17:55:34Z Top scientists raise concerns over commercial logging on Woodlark Island <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.beach.IMG_0163.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A number of the world's top conservation scientists have raised concerns about plans for commercial logging on Woodlark Island, a hugely biodiverse rainforest island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The scientists, with the Alliance of Leading Environmental Scientists and Thinkers (ALERT), warn that commercial logging on the island could imperil the island's stunning local species and its indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -9.1579 152.779 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13895 2014-10-09T16:27:00Z 2015-01-20T03:29:35Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Empower youth leaders <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_0717.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save forests? Don't forget the youth, says Pedro Walpole, the Chair and Director of Research for the Environmental Science for Social Change, a Jesuit environmental research organization promoting sustainability and social justice across the Asia Pacific region. 'Youth leadership in environmental management is key,' Walpole told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 8.495517 123.303646 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13884 2014-10-07T17:14:00Z 2015-01-20T03:29:21Z An impossible balancing act? Forests benefit from isolation, but at cost to local communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923_anna_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The indigenous people of the Amazon live in areas that house many of the Amazon’s diverse species. The Rupununi region of Guyana is one such area, with approximately 20,000 Makushi and Wapishana people living in isolation. According to a recent study published in Environmental Modelling & Software, a simulation model revealed a link between growing indigenous populations and gradual local resource depletion. Tiffany Roufs 3.930703 -59.092860 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13832 2014-09-24T20:56:00Z 2014-11-06T17:52:52Z Turning point for Peru's forests? Norway and Germany put muscle and money behind ambitious agreement <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_0728.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>From the Andes to the Amazon, Peru houses some of the world's most spectacular forests. Proud and culturally-diverse indigenous tribes inhabit the interiors of the Peruvian Amazon, including some that have chosen little contact with the outside world. And even as scientists have identified tens-of-thousands of species that make their homes from the leaf litter to the canopy. Jeremy Hance -13.256860 -68.993973 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13811 2014-09-22T13:36:00Z 2014-09-23T00:10:27Z Extinction island? Plans to log half an island could endanger over 40 species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/plullulaeopti.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Woodlark Island is a rare place on the planet today. This small island off the coast Papua New Guinea is still covered in rich tropical forest, an ecosystem shared for thousands of years between tribal peoples and a plethora of species, including at least 42 found no-where else. Yet, like many such wildernesses, Woodlark Island is now facing major changes: not the least of them is a plan to log half of the island. Jeremy Hance -9.038617 152.610839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13802 2014-09-19T05:16:00Z 2014-09-19T05:42:12Z Brazil cancels Tapajos dam auction due to indigenous concerns Brazilian authorities have suspended the auction of the centerpiece of the massive Tapajos hydroelectric complex, reports Agencia Brasil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13793 2014-09-17T19:46:00Z 2015-06-18T02:13:29Z 'The green Amazon is red with indigenous blood': authorities pull bodies from river that may have belonged to slain leaders Peruvian authorities have pulled more human remains from a remote river in the Amazon, which may belong to one of the four murdered Ashaninka natives killed on September 1st. It is believed the four Ashaninka men, including renowned leader Edwin Chota Valera, were assassinated for speaking up against illegal logging on their traditional lands. Jeremy Hance -10.433375 -71.573146 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13755 2014-09-08T21:03:00Z 2014-09-09T16:25:14Z 4 Ashaninka tribesmen killed by loggers in Peru One of those killed was Edwin Chota, the leader of the Alto Tamaya-Saweto indigenous community who won fame for fighting illegal loggers. As such, Chota was a top target for assassination, according to a conservationist familiar with the situation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13738 2014-09-04T16:43:00Z 2014-09-04T19:41:56Z Indonesia to verify ownership of 66M ha of disputed forest land <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0536.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian government has declared it will verify ownership of 66.3 million hectares of disputed forest land by the end of the year. Through the development of a Recognition and Verification of Rights scheme (PPH), the Forestry Department will inventory and evaluate the status of all government land where indigenous people and other groups hold conflicting claims of ownership. Indonesia currently considers 122.2 million hectares of forested land—almost 64% of the country—to be state-owned. They hope to resolve all conflicting claims to the area by the end of 2015. Rhett Butler -0.4779 111.505337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13719 2014-08-27T18:52:00Z 2014-11-06T17:48:27Z The Gran Canal: will Nicaragua's big bet create prosperity or environmental ruin? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0827.800px-Volcanic_Island.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, the Panama Canal reshaped global geography. Now a new project, spearheaded by a media-shy Chinese millionaire, wants to build a 278-kilometer canal through Nicaragua. While the government argues the mega-project will change the country's dire economic outlook overnight, critics contend it will cause undue environmental damage, upend numerous communities, and do little to help local people. Jeremy Hance 11.392321 -85.465667 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-12-30T22:34:37Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/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/13645 2014-08-11T14:30:00Z 2014-08-12T13:18:37Z Indonesia's children see ravaged environment in their future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0811.children.4-Future.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A generation ago, Borneo was one of the wildest places on the planet. But decades of logging and oil palm plantations has changed the landscape of Borneo forever: in fact a recent study found that the island has lost 30 percent of its total forest cover since 1973. In the face of this large-scale environmental destruction, a new study finds that Indonesian Borneo's children have a pessimistic view of their future. Jeremy Hance -0.910536 114.307703 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13618 2014-07-31T19:44:00Z 2014-07-31T19:46:19Z Brazil releases video showing first contact with rainforest tribe The Brazilian government has released footage showing 'first contact' with an isolated group of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13575 2014-07-23T07:01:00Z 2014-07-23T09:05:12Z Phone-based logging alert system eyes expanding to the Amazon After exceeding an ambitious fundraising target to launch a near-real time forest monitoring system in the Congo Basin, a San-Francisco based start-up is now eyeing expansion in the Amazon where it hopes to help an indigenous rainforest tribe fight illegal logging. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13523 2014-07-10T15:08:00Z 2014-07-10T15:26:56Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Rewards for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0710.louis.Dr.-Ed-Louis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr. are the powerhouse team behind the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), an NGO that involves local residents&#8212;both human and primate&#8212;in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. A conservation geneticist and veterinarian by training, Ed Louis has discovered 21 lemur species and successfully reintroduced two species of locally extinct lemurs back into the wild. Jeremy Hance -21.380746 47.867042 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13500 2014-07-07T19:50:00Z 2014-12-30T22:39:34Z Booming populations, rising economies, threatened biodiversity: the tropics will never be the same <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1059.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For those living either north or south of the tropics, images of this green ring around the Earth's equator often include verdant rainforests, exotic animals, and unchanging weather; but they may also be of entrenched poverty, unstable governments, and appalling environmental destruction. A massive new report, The State of the Tropics, however, finds that the truth is far more complicated. Jeremy Hance 1.231376 14.923358 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13412 2014-06-19T13:10:00Z 2014-06-19T13:25:25Z Using Google Earth to protect uncontacted tribes in the Amazon rainforest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0619.uncontactedribe.govbrasil.closeup.72099.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2008, images of an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil created ripples. With bodies painted in bright colors, members of the tribe aimed their arrows at a Brazilian government plane flying overhead, occupants of which were attempting to photograph the tribe to prove their existence. Now, a new study has found another way to survey such tribes safely and remotely&#8212;using satellite images. Jeremy Hance -5.525416 -72.670248 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13326 2014-06-02T16:40:00Z 2014-06-02T16:54:29Z After throwing out referendum, Ecuador approves oil drilling in Yasuni's embattled heart By 2016, oil drilling will begin in what scientists believe is the most biodiverse place on the planet: remote Yasuni National Park. Late last month, Ecuador announced it had approved permits for oil drilling in Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputinin (ITT) block, an untouched swathe of primary rainforest covering around 100,000 hectares or about 10 percent of the park. Jeremy Hance -1.088304 -75.487242 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13321 2014-06-02T13:27:00Z 2014-06-03T14:18:01Z Of jaguars and loggers: new film to showcase one of the least-known regions in the deep Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0529.tristan.movie.light-trees.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In August, three young filmmakers will go on the expedition of a lifetime. They plan to spend six months filming in one of the most remote, most spectacular, and most endangered ecosystems on the planet: the Las Piedras River system. This unprotected swathe of Amazon jungle contains massive anacondas, prowling jaguars, and even uncontacted indigenous people. Jeremy Hance -12.184542 -69.374536 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13232 2014-05-15T20:29:00Z 2014-05-15T20:44:56Z 53 indigenous activists on trial for police-protester massacre in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_1639.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the summer of 2009, on a highway in Peru known as Devil's Curve: everything went wrong. For months, indigenous groups had protested new laws by then President Alan Garcia opening up the Amazon to deregulated logging, fossil fuels, and other extractive industries as a part of free trade agreements with the U.S. Jeremy Hance -12.050560 -77.039993 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13150 2014-04-29T15:58:00Z 2014-04-29T19:01:13Z Papua New Guinea pledges to cancel massive land grabs by timber companies Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, released a statement last week saying that hugely controversial land leases under the country's Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs) will be cancelled if they are found to be run for extracting timber. Jeremy Hance -4.076401 141.427226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13145 2014-04-28T18:39:00Z 2014-09-25T18:57:30Z Loggers plan to clear 20 percent of tropical island paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0428.woodlark.tree.Forest.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Seven years ago, a palm oil company set its eyes on Woodlark Island&#8212;a small rainforest island nearly 200 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea&#8212;but was rebuked by the local populace. But locals and conservationists who spoke to mongabay.com at the time felt that wouldn't be the end of it: they were right. Recently, a company, Karridale Limited, has landed machinery on the island. Jeremy Hance -9.145404 152.812027 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/13103 2014-04-21T16:28:00Z 2014-04-23T19:17:34Z Small monkeys take over when big primates have been hunted out in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/colombia_0864.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The barbecued leg of a spider monkey might not be your idea of a sumptuous dinner, but to the Matsés or one of the fifteen tribes in voluntary isolation in Peru, it is the result of a successful hunt and a proud moment for the hunter's family. However, a spider monkey tends to have only a single infant once every 30 months, which necessarily limits the number of adult monkeys available to subsistence hunters. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13095 2014-04-17T15:37:00Z 2014-04-17T15:45:19Z Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/deadokapi.okapi.unesco.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012. Jeremy Hance 1.402597 28.573283 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13086 2014-04-16T16:20:00Z 2014-04-16T16:38:58Z Ecuador will have referendum on fate of Yasuni after activists collect over 700,000 signatures In what is a major victory for environmentalists, campaigners with United for Yasuni have collected 727,947 signatures triggering a national referendum on whether or not oil drilling should proceed in three blocs of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. Jeremy Hance -1.438883 -76.068026 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13023 2014-04-02T19:46:00Z 2014-04-02T19:55:09Z Featured video: celebrities speak out for Yasuni A group of celebrities, including recent Academy Award winner Jared Leto, <i>Law and Order</i>'s Benjamin Bratt, and <i>Kill Bill</i>'s Daryl Hannah, have lent their voices to a new Public Service Announcement to raise signatures to protect Ecuador's Yasuni National Park from oil drilling. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13010 2014-03-30T14:10:00Z 2014-03-31T03:37:20Z Study warns of possible REDD+ land grab <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/papua/150/papua_5249.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A UN program to reduce global carbon emissions may be putting indigenous communities at risk, jeopardizing local land rights and laying the groundwork for large-scale “carbon grabs” by governments and private investors, argues a new report. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12978 2014-03-25T01:03:00Z 2014-03-25T01:07:07Z Indigenous communities demand forest rights, blame land grabs for failure to curb deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous and forest-dependent peoples from Asia, Africa and Latin America have called for increased recognition of customary land rights in order to curb deforestation and ensure the survival of their communities. The Palangkaraya Declaration on Deforestation and the Rights of Forest Peoples calls on governments to uphold forest peoples’ rights to control and manage their customary lands and to halt rights-violating development projects being carried out without consent from local communities. Rhett Butler -2.302732 113.872063 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12958 2014-03-21T00:45:00Z 2014-03-27T22:01:55Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Offer health care for forest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0320.health.Danzer_027545.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Kinari Webb has a superpower: the ability to provide high-quality health care in a remote and rural landscape. And she uses her power not only to save lives, but also to protect the remaining Bornean rainforests. Twenty-one years ago, Kinari Webb traveled to Borneo to work with orangutans. She witnessed the faltering health of both the people and the environment and saw that the two issues were inseparable. When families must choose between the health of their children and the health of the forest that supports them, everyone loses. But in the region of Gunung Palung National Park &#8212; where an estimated 10 percent of the world's orangutans live &#8212; illegal logging and slash and burn farming methods paid the bills and locals saw few alternatives. Kinari vowed to study medicine and return with more to offer. Jeremy Hance -0.961310 109.975687 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12959 2014-03-20T19:27:00Z 2014-03-21T13:42:24Z Oil or rainforest: new website highlights the plight of Yasuni National Park A new multimedia feature story by Brazilian environmental news group, ((o))eco, highlights the ongoing debate over Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, arguably the most biodiverse place on the planet. Jeremy Hance -1.425451 -75.992689 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12950 2014-03-19T17:28:00Z 2014-03-19T17:31:10Z Featured video: indigenous tribe faces loggers, ranchers, and murder in bid to save their forests A new short film, entitled <i>La Trocha</i>, highlights the plight of the Wounaan people in Panama, who are fighting for legal rights to their forests even as loggers and ranchers carve it up. The conflict turned violent in 2012 when local chief, Aquilo Puchicama, was shot dead by loggers. Jeremy Hance 8.041062 -81.577309 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12939 2014-03-17T13:53:00Z 2014-12-03T06:29:27Z Mother of God: meet the 26 year old Indiana Jones of the Amazon, Paul Rosolie <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0316.rosolie.interview.10.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Not yet 30, Paul Rosolie has already lived a life that most would only dare dream of&#8212;or have nightmares over, depending on one's constitution. With the Western Amazon as his panorama, Rosolie has faced off jaguars, wrestled anacondas, explored a floating forest, mentored with indigenous people, been stricken by tropical disease, traveled with poachers, and hand-reared a baby anteater. It's no wonder that at the ripe age of 26, Rosolie was already written a memoir: Mother of God. Jeremy Hance -12.418030 -69.268917 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12938 2014-03-16T21:14:00Z 2014-03-19T03:09:26Z Controversial Amazon dams may have exacerbated biblical flooding <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0319bolivia-flood150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmentalists and scientists raised howls of protest when the Santo Antônio and Jirau Dams were proposed for the Western Amazon in Brazil, claiming among other issues that the dams would raise water levels on the Madeira River, potentially leading to catastrophic flooding. It turns out they may have been right: last week a federal Brazilian court ordered a new environmental impact study on the dams given suspicion that they have worsened recent flooding in Brazil and across the border in Bolivia. Jeremy Hance 9.1600 64.3857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12917 2014-03-12T16:24:00Z 2014-03-12T18:28:23Z New web tool aims to help indigenous groups protect forests and navigate REDD+ A new online tool, dubbed ForestDefender, aims to help indigenous people understand and implement their rights in regard to forests. The database, developed by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), brings together vast amounts of legal information&#8212;both national and international&#8212;on over 50 countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12909 2014-03-11T13:42:00Z 2014-03-11T13:55:23Z Cocaine: the new face of deforestation in Central America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/thumb.cut.roatan_forest_burning_0.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, Mexico intensified its security strategy, forming an inhospitable environment for drug trafficking organizations (also known as DTOs) within the nation. The drug cartels responded by creating new trade routes along the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Soon shipments of cocaine from South America began to flow through the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC). This multi-national swathe of forest, encompassing several national parks and protected areas, was originally created to protect endangered species, such as Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguar (Panthera onca), as well as the world's second largest coral reef. Today, its future hinges on the world's drug producers and consumers. Jeremy Hance 15.667404 -86.826363 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12820 2014-02-24T22:29:00Z 2014-02-25T00:17:26Z New forest map for Sarawak reveals large-scale deforestation, encroachment on indigenous territories <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0224-sarawak-land-use-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new online platform released by the Bruno Manser Fund reveals large-scale destruction of Sarawak's rainforests, peatlands, and traditional lands. Drawing from a variety of sources, the Sarawak Geoportal includes data on logging concessions, oil palm plantations, existing and proposed dams, historical forest cover, the extent of indigenous cultivated areas, election results, and area where there are current native customary rights (NCR) disputes. Rhett Butler 4.186181 115.146117 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12793 2014-02-20T19:14:00Z 2015-02-24T21:05:22Z The lemur end-game: scientists propose ambitious plan to save the world's most imperiled mammal family <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0220.madagascar_0066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Due to the wonderful idiosyncrasies of evolution, there is one country on Earth that houses 20 percent of the world's primates. More astounding still, every single one of these primates&#8212;an entire distinct family in fact&#8212;are found no-where else. The country is, of course, Madagascar and the primates in question are, of course, lemurs. But the far-flung island of Madagascar, once a safe haven for wild evolutionary experiments, has become an ecological nightmare. Overpopulation, deep poverty, political instability, slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging for lucrative woods, and a booming bushmeat trade has placed 94 percent of the world's lemurs under threat of extinction, making this the most imperiled mammal group on the planet. But, in order to stem a rapid march toward extinction, conservationists today publicized an emergency three year plan to safeguard 30 important lemur forests in the journal <i>Science</i>. Jeremy Hance -18.659257 48.441009 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12776 2014-02-14T18:36:00Z 2014-02-20T19:09:32Z Local communities key to saving the Critically Endangered Mexican black howler monkey <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0214Monkey150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For conservation initiatives around the world, community involvement is often crucial. An additional challenge is how to conserve species once their habitats have become fragmented. A primatologist in Mexico is bringing these together in a celebration of a Critically Endangered primate species: the Mexican black howler monkey. In 2013 Juan Carlos Serio-Silva was part of a team that not only helped to secure the establishment of a protected area for the Mexican black howler monkey, but also engaged local communities in a week of festivities, dubbed the First International Black Howler Monkey Week. Tiffany Roufs 17.805899 -91.536226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12762 2014-02-11T20:33:00Z 2014-02-20T19:01:55Z Helping the Amazon's 'Jaguar People' protect their culture and traditional wisdom <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/matses150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tribes in the Amazon are increasingly exposed to the outside world by choice or circumstance. The fallout of outside contact has rarely been anything less than catastrophic, resulting in untold extinction of hundreds of tribes over the centuries. For ones that survived the devastation of introduced disease and conquest, the process of acculturation transformed once proud cultures into fragmented remnants, their self-sufficiency and social cohesion stripped away, left to struggle in a new world marked by poverty and external dependence Rhett Butler -9.524914 -73.478279 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12718 2014-02-04T12:57:00Z 2014-02-20T19:10:42Z Gas company to drill in Manu National Park buffer zone, imperiling indigenous people The Peruvian government has approved plans for gas company Pluspetrol to move deeper into a supposedly protected reserve for indigenous peoples and the buffer zone of the Manu National Park in the Amazon rainforest. The approval follows the government rescinding a highly critical report on the potential impacts of the operations by the Culture Ministry (MINCU), the resignation of the Culture Minister and other Ministry personnel, and repeated criticism from Peruvian and international civil society. Jeremy Hance -11.813588 -72.499695 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12693 2014-01-28T07:09:00Z 2015-01-14T05:38:37Z Through careful management, indigenous people have shaped Asian rainforests for 11,000 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4089.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Humans have been actively managing vast areas of Southeast Asia's forests for longer than previously believed, according to research by paleoecologists from the United Kingdom presented in the current <i>Journal of Archaeological Science</i>. Strong evidence suggests that humans in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Vietnam have engaged in agricultural practices for the last 11,000 years. These findings may help bolster the claims of local indigenous peoples under threat of eviction from their traditional lands. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12646 2014-01-17T02:53:00Z 2015-01-13T05:53:01Z Land conflicts complicate effort to spare forests from palm oil in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0117-warning-dilarang150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A widely-heralded effort to spare carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands from palm oil development in Indonesian Borneo is facing new criticism after an investigation by rights groups found evidence of unresolved conflicts over community land. The report, published Friday by the Forest Peoples Program and TUK-Indonesia, looked at a carbon conservation pilot project run by Golden Agri Resources (GAR), a Singapore-based agribusiness giant that is one of Indonesia's largest palm oil producers. Rhett Butler 0.718899 112.26918 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12596 2014-01-06T13:35:00Z 2014-02-20T19:13:53Z Brazil begins evicting illegal settlers from hugely-imperiled indigenous reserve Months after closing sawmills on the fringes of an indigenous reserve for the hugely-imperiled Awá people, the Brazil government has now moved into the reserve itself to evict illegal settlers in the eastern Amazon. According to the NGO Survival International, Brazil has sent in the military and other government agents to deal with massive illegal settlements on Awá land for logging or cattle. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12579 2013-12-26T23:48:00Z 2014-01-08T22:33:36Z Rainforest news review for 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1827.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests. Rhett Butler -3.118576 -60.076675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12540 2013-12-19T15:01:00Z 2014-12-28T19:57:07Z Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1101olinguito.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's. Jeremy Hance 39.906576 116.413665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12528 2013-12-16T22:30:00Z 2015-02-12T00:00:13Z Scientists make one of the biggest animal discoveries of the century: a new tapir <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.newtapir.SUNP0052.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what will likely be considered one of the biggest (literally) zoological discoveries of the Twenty-First Century, scientists today announced they have discovered a new species of tapir in Brazil and Colombia. The new mammal, hidden from science but known to local indigenous tribes, is actually one of the biggest animals on the continent, although it's still the smallest living tapir. Described in the Journal of Mammology, the scientists have named the new tapir Tapirus kabomani after the name for 'tapir' in the local Paumari language: Arabo kabomani. Jeremy Hance -4.609278 -69.810333 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12504 2013-12-10T21:14:00Z 2014-01-16T20:00:57Z Indonesia urged to implement decision recognizing indigenous rights to land <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_1022.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indigenous rights groups are circulating a petition asking the Indonesian government to immediately implement a court ruling that would take management of million of hectares of customary forest out of the hands of the Ministry of Forestry and turn it over to traditional communities. The petition was posted on Change.org by Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN). Rhett Butler -4.861101 105.675888 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12500 2013-12-10T16:38:00Z 2013-12-10T17:06:59Z Ecuador's government shuts down indigenous rights organization over oil battle Last Wednesday, the government of Ecuador shutdown the indigenous rights NGO, Fundación Pachamama, in Quito over the group's opposition to oil drilling in indigenous areas. More than a dozen government officials showed up at Pachamama's office with a resolution by the Ministry of Environment that officially dissolved the organization, the first such moved by the government which in June passed an Executive Decree that tightened governmental oversight of the country's NGOs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12357 2013-11-13T06:45:00Z 2014-02-20T19:19:50Z Flawed from inception? Ecuador’s Yasuní-ITT initiative threatened indigenous groups with simple mapping errors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1113-yasuni-map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The plan from Ecuador’s government was simple: Pay us and we won’t destroy the planet's most extraordinary ecosystem. Dubbed the Yasuni-ITT initiative, the plan called upon developed nations to pay for protecting Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park from oil companies. Now, a recent study claims the plan was fraught with flaws as basic as drawing lines on a map. Rhett Butler -1.065269 -75.736706 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12362 2013-11-12T16:25:00Z 2013-11-12T16:42:13Z Murum dam blockaders may be suffering human rights violations warns NGOs A coalition of nearly 30 organizations has sent a letter to top authorities in Sarawak and Malaysia warning them of possible human right violations against a group of indigenous Penan who are blocking roads to the construction site for Murum Dam. Over 100 indigenous people have been blocking a road for over a month as they demand more compensation and land after being forced to move from their traditional lands to make way for the 900 megawatt dam. Jeremy Hance 2.135659 111.27697 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12353 2013-11-11T21:49:00Z 2013-11-11T22:00:56Z Redeeming REDD: a conversation with Michael Brown <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_2601.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In Redeeming REDD: Policies, Incentives and Social Feasibility for Avoided Deforestation, anthropologist Michael Brown relays a constructive critique of the contemporary aims, standards and modalities for mitigating climate change by reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Brown advocates for REDD as a viable mechanism for the long-term pro-poor conservation and restoration of tropical forests as well&#8212;but only if local forest dwellers and Indigenous. Peoples can join the negotiating table and act as forest stewards. Local people must first be empowered to make 'socially feasible' decisions that are necessary for their livelihoods and well-being. In other words, there can be no environmentalism without credible local leadership, which requires investment in capacity building at the local level for sustainable institutions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12324 2013-11-07T15:54:00Z 2014-02-22T01:56:15Z Could camera trap videos galvanize the world to protect Yasuni from oil drilling? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1107.Mosquera-Jaguar.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Even ten years ago it would have been impossible to imagine: clear-as-day footage of a jaguar plodding through the impenetrable Amazon, or a bicolored-spined porcupine balancing on a branch, or a troop of spider monkeys feeding at a clay lick, or a band of little coatis racing one-by-one from the dense foliage. These are things that even researchers who have spent a lifetime in the Amazon may never see. Now anyone can: scientists at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park have recently begun using camera trap videos to take movies of animals few will ever view in their lifetimes. The videos&#8212;following years of photo camera trapping&#8212;provide an intimate view of a world increasingly threatened by the oil industry. Jeremy Hance -0.638117 -76.149784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12318 2013-11-05T23:59:00Z 2013-11-06T18:16:46Z Indigenous groups expel workers, blockade another dam in Sarawak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1105-baram-protest150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hundreds of tribal people in Sarawak have started blockading a second big hydroelectric dam project being built by a government, which critics accuse of nepotism and corruption. Late last month around 200 native Kenyah, Kayan and Penan people chased away workers and set up a blockade on a road leading to the site of the proposed 1200 megawatt Baram dam. Rhett Butler 3.920301 114.290854 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12287 2013-10-30T17:52:00Z 2013-10-30T18:19:02Z Rebranded as the Rainforest Trust, green group launches push to protect 6M acres of Amazon rainforest The Rainforest Trust, which from 1988 until last month was known as the World Land Trust-US, has kicked off an effort to preserve some 2.4 million hectares (5.9 million acres) of rainforest in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon. Rhett Butler -7.411495 -74.15308 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12254 2013-10-24T22:33:00Z 2014-02-20T19:23:18Z 'Sustainable' tropical timber trade a misnomer, says group The production and trade in 'sustainable' timber products in Southeast Asia is mostly 'a mirage' due to questionable forestry practices and loopholes in import regulations, alleges a new report from Friends of the Earth International. Rhett Butler 1.817932 113.784542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12182 2013-10-10T13:19:00Z 2015-02-11T23:44:10Z Tapirs, drug-trafficking, and eco-police: practicing conservation amidst chaos in Nicaragua <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/jordan.PICT0021.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nicaragua is a nation still suffering from deep poverty, a free-flowing drug trade, and festering war-wounds after decades of internecine fighting. However, like any country that has been largely defined by its conflicts, Nicaragua possesses surprises that overturn conventional wisdom. Not the least of which is that the Central American country is still home to big, stunning species, including jaguars, giant anteaters, pumas, and the nation's heaviest animal, the Baird's tapir (<i>Tapirus bairdii</i>). Still, not surprisingly given the nation's instability, most conservationists have avoided Nicaragua. But tapir-expert Christopher Jordan, who has worked in the country for over four years, says he wouldn't have it any other way. Jeremy Hance 13.982629 -83.465123 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12135 2013-09-27T09:34:00Z 2013-09-27T09:38:03Z Borneo tribesmen block road as controversial rainforest dam impoundment begins Indigenous leaders have set up roadblocks in Malaysian Borneo to protest Sarawak's newest dam, report environmental activists who oppose the project. Rhett Butler 2.745874 114.079921 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12050 2013-09-10T23:51:00Z 2013-09-11T05:09:03Z Japanese firms buying illegal timber from Malaysia’s endangered rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0910sarawak-man150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Japanese companies are failing to keep illegally logged timber from entering their supply chains, international human rights and environmental watchdog Global Witness said in a report released today. The report links several major Japanese firms to logging companies that are destroying tropical rainforests in Malaysian Borneo through illegal and destructive logging practices in Sarawak province. Rhett Butler 2.775708 113.798704 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12048 2013-09-10T22:17:00Z 2013-09-10T23:13:24Z Amazon rainforest tribe sells REDD+ credits to Brazilian cosmetics giant The Paiter-Suruí, a rainforest tribe that in June became the first indigenous group to generate REDD+ credits under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), has now closed their first deal. As reported by Ecosystem Marketplace, Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura Cosméticos has purchased 120,000 tons of carbon offsets from the the Surui Forest Carbon Project in Rondônia, Brazil. Rhett Butler -3.381824 -57.619171 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12044 2013-09-10T05:25:00Z 2015-01-20T03:31:36Z Large-scale opposition among Borneo villagers to deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0910plos150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of villagers surveyed across rainforests in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo are against large-scale deforestation due to the adverse impacts on livelihoods and the environment, finds a comprehensive new study across 185 communities. The research, conducted over a one-year period by an international team of scientists, is published in this week's issue of the journal PLOS ONE. The study found that people who live near forests place the greatest value on the benefits they afford, including medicinal plants, game, clean water, and fiber. Rhett Butler 0.780005 112.728996 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11962 2013-08-26T18:47:00Z 2015-02-11T23:16:42Z Isolated Amazonian tribe makes another appearance in Peru (video) Over 100 members of a voluntarily isolated tribe emerged from the jungles of Peru in a rare appearance on the Las Piedras River across from the a Yine Indian community in late June. Belonging to the Mascho-Piro Indians, members of the "uncontacted" tribe are occasionally seen on riverbanks during the dry season, but appearances in such numbers and so close to a local community was unprecedented. Jeremy Hance -12.246747 -69.2799 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11961 2013-08-26T16:41:00Z 2013-08-26T17:01:55Z Yasuni could still be spared oil drilling <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_149.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Ecuadorean President, Rafael Correa, announced on August 15th that he was abandoning an innovative program to spare three blocs of Yasuni National Park from oil drilling, it seemed like the world had tossed away its most biodiverse ecosystem. However, environmental groups and activists quickly responded that there may be another way to keep oil companies out of Yasuni's Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) blocs: a national referendum. Jeremy Hance -1.183693 -75.605621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11928 2013-08-16T17:31:00Z 2013-08-16T18:11:23Z Colombia establishes giant rainforest park to protect 'uncontacted' tribes Next week the Colombian government will officially double the size of its largest national park, reports <i>El Espectador</i>. Rhett Butler 1.341583 -72.853303 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11898 2013-08-08T18:02:00Z 2013-08-08T21:26:39Z Endangered chimps and forest elephants found in rainforest to be logged for palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0808.GP0MDS.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A biological survey of forests slated for destruction for a palm oil project in Cameroon has uncovered 23 species of large mammals, including the world's most endangered chimpanzee subspecies, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti). The project in question, operated by U.S.-based company Herakles Farms, has come under stiff criticism both locally and abroad for threatening one of Africa's most biologically rich forest lands and arguably undercutting local peoples' access to traditional lands. Jeremy Hance 5.101887 9.118423 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11879 2013-08-05T13:57:00Z 2013-08-05T14:20:14Z Featured video: Sumatra's last elephants versus palm oil A new video by The Ecologist documents the illegal destruction of the Leuser protected area in Sumatra for palm oil production, a vegetable oil which has become ubiquitous in many mass-produced foods and cosmetics. The destruction of the forest has pushed elephants and people together, leading to inevitable conflict with casualties on both sides. Elephants are increasingly viewed as agricultural pests for crop-raiding while locals&#8212;some of them squatting in protected land&#8212;lack the means and resources to keep elephants at bay. Meanwhile, palm oil plantations often see elephants as a threat to the palms. Jeremy Hance 4.707828 96.293335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11799 2013-07-22T14:12:00Z 2015-01-20T03:31:47Z Weak laws governing Malaysia's indigenous people complicate conservation efforts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0722.orangasli.P1000684.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The balance between biodiversity conservation, land acquisition, natural resource utilization and indigenous peoples is often wrought with conflict. Legislation governing the use of natural resources should ideally protect biodiversity and address the needs of indigenous peoples, but in many places, falls short of these ambitions. In a recent study published in Biodiversity Conservation, researchers examined the weaknesses in select natural resource laws that affect the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia, and compared these laws with data on a specific group of indigenous people’s use of natural resources, collected through questionnaires. In addition to suggesting potential solutions to address legislative weaknesses, the researchers make a strong case for why natural resource legislation is a matter of concern for conservationists. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11788 2013-07-18T19:37:00Z 2013-07-20T00:32:32Z Brazil's military takes on illegal loggers to protect nearly-extinct tribe Brazil has launched a military campaign to evict illegal loggers working from the fringes of an indigenous reserve home to the Awá people, reports Survival International. Inhabiting the Amazon rainforest in northeastern Brazil, only around 450 Awá, also known as Guajá, survive today, and around a quarter of these have chosen voluntary isolation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11770 2013-07-15T14:57:00Z 2015-02-11T23:10:33Z Forgotten species: the arapaima or 'dinosaur fish' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0715.arapaima.IMG_6174.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Let's go back some 14,000 years (or up to 50,000 depending on who you talk to), since this is the first time humans encountered the meandering, seemingly endless river system of the Amazon. Certainly, the world's first Amazonians would have been astounded by the giant beasts of the region, including ground sloths and mastodons (both now extinct), as well as giant anteaters, armadillos, and tapirs, currently the biggest land animal on the continent. But these first explorers might have been even more surprised by what dwelled in the rivers: anaconda, caiman, and the arapaima. Wait, the what? Jeremy Hance 3.664936 -58.700556 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11768 2013-07-15T13:47:00Z 2013-07-15T14:04:28Z Featured video: Indonesian community uses mapping to fight palm oil takeover Communities across Indonesia are facing the questions: palm oil or no? A new short documentary <i>Mapping our Future</i> explores the issue through one community's efforts in West Kalimantan to map our their ancestral lands as they attempt to take control of their future. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11759 2013-07-10T23:31:00Z 2013-07-11T01:42:50Z Activists raise alarm over park that will dispossess Borneo tribe of land Rights activists are warning that a proposal to classify islands forming in the midst of the Bakun Dam reservoir will further deprive indigenous forest people of their traditional land. Rhett Butler 2.752389 114.065337 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11712 2013-07-03T14:14:00Z 2013-07-03T14:36:18Z Making movies to save Uganda's great apes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0630.Silverback-Mountain-gorilla-in-Bwindi-Impenetrable-National-Park.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new series of films aims to protect Uganda's great ape species (mountain gorillas and chimpanzees) by bringing entertaining and educational movies to a rural audience living on the edges of Kibale National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Produced with heavy input from locals, these films are acted with an all-Ugandan task to teach those living near great apes about the species and their conservation-needs. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11694 2013-07-01T17:47:00Z 2013-07-07T16:45:29Z Amazonian students help monitor threatened frog populations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0627.frogeyes.DSC_0074.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, amphibians are the most threatened group of animals on Earth: currently around 30 percent of the world's amphibians are listed as threatened with extinction. However this percentage doesn't include those species about which too little is known to evaluate (26 percent). Amphibians face many threats but two of the largest are habitat loss and the lethal chytrid fungus, which has rapidly spread worldwide and is likely responsible for numerous extinctions. But conservationists are coming up with innovative and creative ways to keep amphibians from disappearing, including a program from the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) that is working with students in the Peruvian Amazon to monitor frog populations. Jeremy Hance -2.065154 -74.370089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11639 2013-06-24T22:13:00Z 2013-06-26T18:13:38Z Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region&#8212;plans that are currently pending approval by Peru's Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). Jeremy Hance -11.697962 -71.85379 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11621 2013-06-20T16:50:00Z 2013-06-20T17:06:55Z Building a new generation of local conservationists: how improving education in Uganda may save one of the world's great forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/kibale.IMG_3752.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation work is often focused on the short-term: protecting a forest from an immediate threat, saving a species from pending extinction, or a restoring an ecosystem following degradation. While short-term responses are often borne of necessity, one could argue that long-term thinking in conservation and environmental work (as in all human endeavors) is woefully neglected, especially in the tropics. This is why programs like the Kasiisi Project are so important: by vastly improving education for primary kids near a threatened park in Uganda, the project hopes to create a "generation of committed rural conservationists," according to founder and director, Elizabeth Ross. Jeremy Hance 0.443569 30.417652