tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/rainforests1 rainforests news from mongabay.com 2015-07-04T12:38:00Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15082 2015-07-03T11:22:00Z 2015-07-04T12:38:00Z First Resources the latest palm oil giant to announce zero-deforestation commitment <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5455.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant First Resources has committed to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain, making it the first palm producer operating primarily at the grower level to do so. The policy is the latest in a wave of sustainability commitments from corporations that produce, trade and use palm oil. To realize its new commitment, First Resources will have to resolve numerous land disputes its operations are involved in with local communities in Indonesia. Philip Jacobson -0.626800 116.030366 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15081 2015-07-03T11:04:00Z 2015-07-04T14:32:59Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier still destroying forest for oil palm in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0680.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas has continued to bulldoze valuable forest in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem despite its most prominent customers’ zero-deforestation commitments and repeated exposés of its activities, according to a NGO report. Both Wilmar and Musim Mas have suspended their dealings with the company, Mopoli Raya. Philip Jacobson 4.293876 97.423365 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15059 2015-06-30T19:49:00Z 2015-06-30T19:54:10Z Palm oil plantations used to 'reforest' parts of Brazil despite being wildlife deserts <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0630-thumb-Alexander%20C%20Lees_Red-breasted%20Blackbird_Sturnella%20militaris_typical%20of%20young%20plantations%20copy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A recent study systematically documented bird biodiversity within oil palm plantations, finding they contain fewer species than secondary forest and even cattle pasture. As oil palm grows as a commodity in Brazil – and can legally even be used to "reforest" land – how can a country that has made big gains in reducing deforestation in recent years balance this powerhouse industry with environmental welfare? Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.021837 -53.239355 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15058 2015-06-30T17:32:00Z 2015-06-30T17:38:10Z Into the great unknown: The ability of global forests to store carbon is at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/california/150/muir_woods_0102.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's tropical and subtropical forests absorb 1.1 trillion kg. of carbon from the atmosphere every year, storing it in soil and living and dead biomass. Amazonian forests alone store more carbon than any other ecosystem on earth. That's important because any carbon that is stored in biomass is carbon not being released to the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15052 2015-06-30T09:27:00Z 2015-06-30T09:34:04Z 'Sea change' in clothing industry means more protections for forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1169.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sateri has become the latest major viscose producer to adopt a new wood- and pulp-sourcing policy aimed at removing deforestation from its supply chain. The company, the world's third-largest viscose producer, joins Aditya Birla and Lenzing, the two biggest, in making commitments to stop buying wood pulp from natural or endangered forests. Philip Jacobson 1.302414 114.332741 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15051 2015-06-29T18:42:00Z 2015-06-30T21:02:54Z Big reserve expansion gives tigers a boost in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/1029-thumb-morgan-tiger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, there were thirteen times as many tigers in the world as there are today, ranging from Turkey across the Eurasian continent to the eastern coast of Russia. The 13 countries that contain the world’s last tigers today - a mere, 2,500 mature individuals - are challenged with increasing protected tiger habitat to prevent crowding and inbreeding, while facing extreme funding and space constraints. One state in India, however, has found a cost-effective way to give tigers more room. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.243857 75.764144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15047 2015-06-29T11:29:00Z 2015-06-30T21:02:40Z After two decades, Indonesia publishes plan for tackling invasive species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0753.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Twenty years after ratifying a legally binding UN convention which obligates parties to deal with invasive alien species, considered to be main direct drivers of biodiversity loss across the globe, Indonesia has drawn up a national strategic plan on the matter. The plan outlines steps to mitigate invasive species through policy, institution-building, information management, research and education, capacity-building and public awareness. Philip Jacobson -6.758784 105.353136 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15040 2015-06-26T12:24:00Z 2015-06-26T12:36:08Z Illegal forest clearing spotted in Aceh's biggest peat swamp <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dU3UVu78Sudu-lHiiFUxEVBq9y-3Y-kU-yKWru_6KtQ=w150-h93-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Encroachers have been clearing forest at three locations in Aceh's biggest peat swamp since February, the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, analysis of Landsat satellite imagery by environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia shows. The area is home to the densest population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser Ecosystem. Philip Jacobson 2.312313 97.920790 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15037 2015-06-25T17:29:00Z 2015-06-25T17:52:57Z Do we need to move 'beyond certification' to save forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1148.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past two years dozens of companies have established 'zero-deforestation' or 'deforestation-free' policies for the commodities they source, trade, and produce. The pace of adoption has been staggeringly fast for a business that have been historically slow-moving relative to other industries. Some sectors, like the Indonesian palm oil industry and the Brazilian soy industry, even appear to be nearing a critical mass where the majority of international buyers and traders are now bound by such agreements. Rhett Butler 19.461253 104.367470 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15032 2015-06-25T10:28:00Z 2015-06-30T20:51:29Z Status change to come for Indonesia's partial logging moratorium? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5109.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry might upgrade the partial logging moratorium from a presidential instruction to a government regulation, or PP, later this year, a ministry official said this week. The change would take place after the ministry completes its semiannual revision of the moratorium map for the ninth time in November, according to The Jakarta Post. Philip Jacobson 1.223711 101.677374 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15030 2015-06-25T06:41:00Z 2015-06-25T07:09:29Z Indonesia's booming caged-bird trade is fueling trafficking and threatening extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/P_4Zai35Vkmvv7G9xhR3SLWzSSbRNl5eoLFpIC30g0g=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia is a global hub for the wild bird trade, given its abundance of bird species and deep-seated tradition of bird-keeping. But while newspaper headlines regularly trumpet the most alarming examples of international smuggling, experts warn it’s the domestic pet trade that poses a bigger threat. Philip Jacobson -6.226289 106.877762 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15018 2015-06-23T11:09:00Z 2015-06-23T13:35:05Z Indonesia to revive controversial sugarcane plan in Aru? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/A7Esc688zLMTzyj8D5BWuXzQvxaAzdqde9Xqfgkz4Tc=w150-h99-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Indonesian agriculture minister's recent comments that the Aru archipelago in the country's eastern waters will be one of three sites for a major new sugarcane initiative has sparked an outcry among civil society groups, as a similar controversial plan was shelved only last year after activists waged a long battle against it. Philip Jacobson -6.153026 134.499430 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15017 2015-06-23T05:30:00Z 2015-06-24T20:01:03Z Controversy emerges over alleged deforestation policy breach by APRIL supplier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622gfw_ahl_satellite150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Less than three weeks after APRIL unveiled a sustainability policy that is supposed to protect natural forests, an environmental group is alleging that one of the Indonesian forestry giant's subsidiaries is already breaching the commitment. But APRIL refuted the claim and says it continues to stand by the policy. Rhett Butler 3.556065 117.073839 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15016 2015-06-23T04:34:00Z 2015-06-23T05:00:38Z Bengkulu governor orders review of mining permits <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gWu0aVEV8dp8OI0l7UMPUxJqDuzawnjbBzMZzz2QkBY=w150-h96-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The governor of Indonesia's Bengkulu province reiterated his commitment to bringing mining in the province under control, as environmentalists urge his administration to crack down on rampant illegality in the sector and the threat it poses to protected areas. Philip Jacobson -3.097727 101.783284 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15015 2015-06-22T21:19:00Z 2015-06-23T19:11:02Z Bunge palm oil supplier plans to clear peatlands for plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0622MIR10769_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>BLD Plantation Bhd, a Malaysian palm oil company, plans to clear some 14,000 hectares of peatlands in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo, potentially putting it in conflict with the deforestation-free sourcing policy established by American agribusiness giant Bunge, say campaigners who filed a grievance over the matter. Rhett Butler 3.1882078 113.0389869 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15013 2015-06-22T05:16:00Z 2015-06-22T05:28:15Z Norway, Colombia target partnership to save rainforests Norway and Colombia are in talks to establish a partnership to protect the South American country's rainforests. Rhett Butler -3.457667 -70.056032 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14997 2015-06-19T12:58:00Z 2015-06-19T14:13:55Z Can we save the Sumatran rhino? Indonesia holds out hope <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0619.THUMB.Andatu-DCandra-DSC_0221.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'One percent of the world's population,' veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram, 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole. A gentle and easygoing rhino, pink-hued Bina doesn't seem to mind the two-legged hominids snapping pictures and awing at her every move at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Jeremy Hance -5.016160 105.758490 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14999 2015-06-18T23:34:00Z 2015-06-19T03:34:59Z Palm oil giants to investigate company found razing Papuan rainforest Agribusiness giants Cargill and Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) are pledging to investigate a palm oil supplier after an Indonesian environmental group presented evidence of rainforest clearing in New Guinea. Rhett Butler 132.208966 -1.480129 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14998 2015-06-18T23:09:00Z 2015-07-01T05:36:17Z Has Amazon deforestation reached a 7-year high in Brazil? Analysis of satellite data suggests deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon may have reached a seven-year high. Rhett Butler -2.123224 -48.577349 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14980 2015-06-16T23:58:00Z 2015-06-17T00:14:30Z Gold miners invade Amazonian indigenous reserve Illegal miners have invaded an indigenous reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, reveals new analysis of satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -12.892302 -70.631447 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14968 2015-06-16T01:18:00Z 2015-06-16T01:22:11Z Bolivia opens protected areas to oil companies A new law has opened millions of hectares of protected areas in Bolivia to oil and gas extraction. Rhett Butler -12.996889 -68.809580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14967 2015-06-16T00:19:00Z 2015-06-16T00:31:06Z Rainforest parks cut malaria transmission Strictly protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon are associated with lower rates of malaria transmission than extractive reserves, mining zones, and areas with roads, reports a paper published this week in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. The findings add to a growing body of data suggesting that conservation efforts contribute to human welfare. Rhett Butler -10.461996 -64.512468 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14966 2015-06-15T22:42:00Z 2015-06-18T01:01:42Z Consumers willing to pay sharp premium for wildlife-friendly palm oil, claims study Shoppers may be willing to pay a 15 to 56 percent premium for palm oil produced without the destruction endangered species' habitat, asserts a study published today in the <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i>. Rhett Butler -0.164061 101.455089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14957 2015-06-15T06:45:00Z 2015-06-23T04:23:50Z 'Trying to follow the money': Opacity rules in Southeast Asia's land rush, finds study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0016.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the rush for land in Southeast Asia continues at breakneck speed, often bringing with it social and environmental destruction, a new study by a major environmental research group explores how well investors really know where their money is going, and the possibilities and limits of existing data in achieving greater accountability. Philip Jacobson -1.949869 112.730140 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14956 2015-06-13T07:40:00Z 2015-06-23T13:51:14Z Forest governance index shows Indonesia has long way to go <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_5250.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Weak spatial planning and law enforcement, land tenure problems and a lack of transparency in licensing are some of the issues highlighted in an annual report on forest governance the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry presented to the president last week. The Forest Governance Index 2014, as it was packaged, gave Indonesia score of 35.97 on a scale of one to 100. Philip Jacobson -6.587861 106.791205 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14955 2015-06-13T03:05:00Z 2015-06-13T03:07:51Z 90% of Amazon deforestation occurs outside protected areas Ten percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between August 2012 and July 2014 occurred in protected areas, reports new research from Imazon. Rhett Butler -5.721587 -52.901145 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14948 2015-06-12T08:21:00Z 2015-06-23T14:00:59Z Palm oil giant announces deforestation freeze amid NGO campaign <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DkCK_BtGk99TIsU460hGedzBVazA_gKOv-m5eRAGUQw=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari has announced an immediate moratorium on land clearing, less than a month after the launch of an environmental campaign targeting one of its sister companies, the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain. The prohibition applies to Astra Agro's own plantations as well as to those of its suppliers. Astra Agro characterized the freeze as a major step toward bringing its operations into line with the standards of the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, a high-profile, joint sustainability commitment signed by palm giants Wilmar, Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri and Musim Mas as well as the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. Philip Jacobson -6.208987 106.916552 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14941 2015-06-11T12:22:00Z 2015-06-23T14:03:36Z Oil palm company accused of violating RSPO, IPOP standards in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/kalimantan_0065.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The reputation of oil palm business group Sawit Sumbermas Sarana, a holding of one of Indonesia's richest men, has in recent days taken hits on multiple fronts, with a pair of NGOs separately accusing the firm of violating various sustainability commitments it is party to. The criticism highlights holes in both the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile sustainability pact to which palm giants Wilmar, Golden Agri-Resources, Musim Mas, Asian Agri and Cargill are signatories, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Philip Jacobson -1.923790 111.204341 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14924 2015-06-08T19:03:00Z 2015-06-08T19:11:24Z Well grounded: orangutans are more terrestrial than previously thought <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0204_orang_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For years scientists have believed that orangutans are primarily arboreal. Indeed, most photographs and videos of orangutans depict them up in the trees. But a recent study challenges that thinking with photographic evidence that orangutans spend a lot more time on the ground than previously thought. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14920 2015-06-08T09:29:00Z 2015-06-17T23:03:07Z In Sumatra, an oasis in a sea of oil palm <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YoDK2jfNhYCkCQxVIL7HEVLKuj68gUZlT4vMbLFDISM=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Sumatra is estimated to have lost 85 percent of its forests in the past half century, primarily due to widespread conversion for oil palm and pulp plantations. In the village of Tangkahan, however, residents have managed to preserve their forests and create one of Indonesia's ecotourism hotspots. Philip Jacobson 3.666803 98.002513 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14912 2015-06-05T12:36:00Z 2015-06-17T23:06:32Z In Aceh, an illegal logger reformed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cB8365NF99IuncLr-keVYssdN177R-G7FTSxxOk8ckE=w150-h97-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mukhtar used to be an illegal logger. Now he coordinates community forest rangers in Indonesia's Aceh province. His job involves preventing dangerous human-elephant encounters and helping communities protect themselves from environmental offenders - like Mukhtar once was. Philip Jacobson 4.880249 95.619657 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14908 2015-06-04T16:39:00Z 2015-06-17T00:39:33Z As mangroves disappear at 'an alarming rate,' conservationists urge more protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/panama/150/pan01-0602.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2010, the Jakarta Post reported that, according to a local NGO called People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries, Indonesia lost 2.2 million hectares of mangroves in less than 30 years. Conservationists hope Sri Lanka’s move to protect all its mangroves could help push other South and Southeast Asian mangrove range countries in the same direction. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.602338 81.757777 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14906 2015-06-04T15:37:00Z 2015-06-17T00:38:50Z Sri Lanka becomes first country to completely protect mangroves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/thumbnails/indonesia/sulawesi/sulawesi7517.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a press conference held in May 2015 in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, U.S.-based nonprofit Seacology, Sri Lanka-based NGO Sudeesa (formerly known as the Small Fisheries Federation of Sri Lanka) and the government of Sri Lanka announced a joint program that makes Sri Lanka the first country in the world to grant full protection to all its mangrove forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.405939 80.269129 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14898 2015-06-03T12:54:00Z 2015-06-23T14:17:06Z Pulp giant APRIL updates sustainability policy with Greenpeace's tentative approval <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1389.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's second-largest pulp and paper producer has announced a new sustainability policy it hopes will win it the good graces of NGOs like Greenpeace, which has campaigned with some success for a boycott of the company due to its destructive environmental practices. Unlike the previous policy, the new one protects carbon-rich peatlands and forests of high-carbon stock. Philip Jacobson 1.457106 101.523565 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14892 2015-06-02T07:25:00Z 2015-06-23T14:20:43Z Director-generals inaugurated as merger of Indonesian Environment, Forestry Ministries continues <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DHFEq__XWiMfi3yBHGXP3ZePJGnPRuhjKCx0_N5xstk=w150-h100-no" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's newly merged Environment and Forestry Ministry completed a major step in its restructuring last week with the inauguration of 13 director-generals, with important implications for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's agendas on climate change, land reform and more. Notable appointments include Climate Change Oversight Director-General Nur Masripatin, Environmental and Forestry Spatial Planning Director-General San Afri Awang and Social Forestry and Environmental Partnerships Director-General Hadi Daryanto. Philip Jacobson -6.206389 106.800687 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14884 2015-06-01T21:35:00Z 2015-06-01T21:35:27Z How many tree species are found in the world's rainforests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0601_NUMBER_OF_TREE_SPECIES150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's tropical rainforests are likely home to 40,000 to 53,000 tree species, argues a paper published this week in PNAS. Analyzing abundance data spanning 657,000 individual tress across 11,371 species, Ferry Slik and 140 other researchers developed estimates for each of the world's three major tropical regions. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14881 2015-05-29T19:18:00Z 2015-06-16T21:55:25Z Invasive predators, deforestation driving Tasmanian parrot over the edge <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0529-thumb-swift-juvs-Swift%20and%20Dee-1303.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the forests of Tasmania lives the swift parrot (Lathamus discolour), a highly threatened bird found nowhere else in the world. New research published recently in Biological Conservation finds they are more at risk of extinction than previously thought, with introduced sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and logging dealing two big blows to their remaining numbers. Morgan Erickson-Davis -41.631093 148.212457 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14880 2015-05-29T17:54:00Z 2015-05-29T17:55:01Z First-of-its-kind mapping technique sheds new light on tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3393.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts have developed vegetation height maps for the entire tropics at very fine spatial scales. These first-of its-kind high resolution maps can help researchers estimate forest cover, monitor biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and manage and monitor timber. Morgan Erickson-Davis 9.572850 106.235590 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14876 2015-05-28T22:53:00Z 2015-06-16T21:57:03Z Proposed border checkpoint and road threaten critical Cambodian forest and wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0528-thumb-tiger-hzell.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A proposed border checkpoint at Kbal Damrei, on Cambodia’s border with Vietnam, together with a new road leading up to it, may harm Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Protected Forest. The proposed border crossing is slated to be developed within Mondulkiri Protected Forest, in Eastern Cambodia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.941064 107.389641 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14875 2015-05-28T20:52:00Z 2015-06-16T21:57:57Z New bird uncovered in South American conflict region, researchers urge protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0528-thumb-tapaculo-fjeldsa.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, study skins of a bird languished in a dusty drawer in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, classified hurriedly (and erroneously,) as Scytalopus atratus nigricans, a songbird found in lower montane forests. Recently, scientists rediscovered the bird on the Venezuelan slopes of the Perijá Mountains, and were able to use twenty-first century techniques to describe its genetics, ecology and appearance. In doing so, they identified it as a new species: the Perijá tapaculo. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.283079 -72.837879 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14870 2015-05-28T12:59:00Z 2015-06-23T14:23:45Z GAR, Wilmar punish palm oil supplier for clearing rainforest in New Guinea <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/indonesia/150/aceh_0828.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Palm oil trader Golden Agri-Resources announced today that it would suspend purchases of crude palm oil from plantation developer Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri, which was outed in an NGO report last week for the third time in the past year for clearing forest in Indonesia's West Papua province, in violation of Golden Agri's no-deforestation commitment. Wilmar has also frozen its dealings with the company, though Asian Agri and Musim Mas, which also buy from it, have given no indication they will do the same. Philip Jacobson -1.767753 132.428972 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14868 2015-05-27T23:04:00Z 2015-06-16T21:59:18Z China unveils plans for huge railway in South America <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0298.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China is looking to add another rung to its investment presence in Latin America, with an announcement of plans to build an expansive railway bisecting the continent from Brazil to Peru. The bid has raised the hackles of conservation groups, which are concerned the railway will run through sensitive ecosystems, harm threatened wildlife, and affect indigenous communities. Morgan Erickson-Davis -12.710885 -58.225280 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14865 2015-05-27T16:52:00Z 2015-06-01T19:42:51Z Amazon deforestation speeding global warming <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/aerial-rainforest/Flight_1022_1554.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human activity has destroyed huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest's biomass as trees are cleared to make way for pasture, soy fields, and other developments. Now, a new study has determined how much that destruction has contributed to climate change. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.723046 -70.090514 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14858 2015-05-27T08:30:00Z 2015-06-23T14:46:13Z Can improved oil palm productivity and Indonesia's forestry moratorium go hand in hand? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0739.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An op-ed from Mongabay-Indonesia chief editor Ridzki R. Sigit, who calls for renewed efforts to boost smallholder productivity on Indonesia's oil palm plantations in the wake of the renewal of the country's moratorium on new concessions in primary forests and on peat. Philip Jacobson 1.344530 101.913580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14848 2015-05-23T14:39:00Z 2015-06-18T02:11:35Z Palm oil activist murdered in Jakarta <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yOsxwSw-cVE/VWCRap0GchI/AAAAAAAABpI/QIdnNoO1xEQ/w150-h100-no/11099993_10152901494684862_3956272262438267001_n%2B%25282%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An Indonesian activist who opposed unbridled oil palm expansion was stabbed to death by a group of men before dawn this morning outside a nightclub in South Jakarta. Whether the attack was related to his activism or the spontaneous result of a barroom brawl is not yet clear. But Indonesian media are reporting that one of the assailants shouted that he was a soldier as he brandished the knife that killed Jopi Peranginangin, the 39-year-old head of campaigns for Sawit Watch, which strives for social and ecological justice in the palm oil industry. Philip Jacobson -6.266200 106.818030 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14836 2015-05-21T08:35:00Z 2015-05-21T23:11:01Z Timber 'mass graves' uncovered as Malaysian authorities pursue illegal loggers A crackdown on illegal logging in Peninsular Malaysia's largest continuous forest complex has uncovered three timber 'mass graves' – burial sites where valuable logs have been stashed beneath tons of earth to hide evidence. The loggers apparently made haste in fleeing the hilly terrain where they left the timber. A joint operation by Malaysia's antigraft agency and Forestry Department found parts of logs sticking out of the ground and the red earth still unsettled, indications their quarry had hurriedly concealed the felled trees. Philip Jacobson 5.543306 101.341206 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14834 2015-05-20T20:51:00Z 2015-06-16T22:00:37Z Primary rainforest cleared for massive palm oil plantations in Peru <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0520-thumb-Nueva%20Requena%202%20Aerial-EIA-20150325-014.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>More than 9,400 hectares of closed-canopy Amazonian rainforest has been removed for two oil palm plantations in the Peruvian region of Ucayali since 2011, according to scientists working for MAAP, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project. The two plantations are linked to Czech entrepreneur Dennis Melka. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.254681 -74.815350 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14833 2015-05-20T20:38:00Z 2015-06-18T16:28:56Z VICE’s 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb' presents a tragic view of palm oil driven deforestation from the frontlines <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0519mikegriffths150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For the sixth episode of its third season, HBO’s Emmy-winning news series, VICE, focused its lens on Indonesia’s palm oil industry. The episode, entitled, 'Indonesia's Palm Bomb', follows VICE correspondent, Ben Anderson, as he investigates the environmental and social impact of widespread (and, at times, illegal) deforestation on wildlife and indigenous communities in Sumatra. Rhett Butler 0.753238 100.984464 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14832 2015-05-20T12:19:00Z 2015-06-23T14:51:38Z Sumatran tiger found dead in a pig trap <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-kb6bJTAyWi4/VVx85A60csI/AAAAAAAABnU/ceD70NjuvZU/w150-h100-no/harimau-padang-evakuasi.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Authorities in the Indonesian province of West Sumatra buried the rotting carcass of a critically endangered female tiger that died after being ensnared by a pig trap on a rubber plantation earlier this month. The creature, a mother who was probably teaching her young to hunt, was found covered in wounds, its neck entangled in wire. Philip Jacobson -0.852865 100.525781 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14831 2015-05-20T10:04:00Z 2015-06-17T23:37:46Z Golden Agri takes another hit as sustainability guru suspends its membership <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0079.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The charity that Indonesia's Golden Agri-Resources has enlisted to devise and implement its zero-deforestation and community-engagement commitments suspended its cooperation with the palm oil giant yesterday, following breaches of the policies they had designed together. A few hours later, Golden Agri announced the resignation of its chief sustainability officer. Philip Jacobson 0.600217 112.076059 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14829 2015-05-20T04:05:00Z 2015-05-20T05:12:11Z Tennis star responds to rainforest advocates Roger Federer has responded to two Indonesian activists who asked the tennis star to use his influence to encourage Credit Suisse to end its relationship with a controversial logging company, reports the Bruno Manser Fund. Rhett Butler 1.0730227 132.477214 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14828 2015-05-19T20:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:01:33Z High pressure: is U.S. policy deterring illegal wood imports? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2232.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Some countries, such as the U.S., have imposed legislation at the consumer level, banning the import of illegally sourced wood through their borders. A new study finds that such legislation can be effective, with a 2008 amendment to the Lacey Act significantly reducing the influx of illegal wood into the U.S. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.580975 111.495203 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14827 2015-05-19T20:36:00Z 2015-05-20T05:09:33Z 62M ha of Latin American forests cleared for agriculture since 2001 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/colombia/150/colombia_0061.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over 62 million hectares (240,000 square miles) of forest across Latin America &#8212; an area roughly the size of Texas or the United Kingdom &#8212; were cleared for new croplands and pastureland between 2001 and 2013, find a study published in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -12.066663 -65.109455 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14820 2015-05-19T05:02:00Z 2015-06-23T14:57:45Z Luxury hotel chain linked to destruction of rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0035.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Mandarin Oriental hotel chain has landed in environmentalists' crosshairs for the practices of its sister company Astra Agro Lestari, a rapidly expanding palm oil producer with fully developed plantations on an area larger than Singapore. The new She's Not a Fan campaign – a play off Mandarin's celebrity-fan endorsement drive – launched yesterday with a petition calling on Astra to stop destroying forests and elephant habitat. Multinational conglomerate Jardine Matheson owns both firms. Philip Jacobson tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14818 2015-05-18T21:04:00Z 2015-06-16T22:02:38Z China’s investment in Latin America taking toll on the environment, setting the stage for conflict <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brasil_055.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China has been investing heavily in Latin America’s natural resources and crude oil. Recently, the country even pledged to invest $250 billion over the next decade to strengthen its presence in the region, and compete with the U.S. But this increasing Chinese trade and investment in Latin America is also increasing environmental and social conflict, finds a new report published by Boston University. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.330873 -53.852581 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14813 2015-05-15T23:44:00Z 2015-06-19T00:07:01Z What's the current deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/06/braz_defor_88-05-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, making it the biggest component in the region's deforestation rate. Helpfully, Brazil also has the best systems for tracking deforestation, with the government and Imazon, a national civil society organization, releasing updates on a quarterly and monthly basis using MODIS satellite data, respectively. Both the Brazilian government and Imazon release more accurate data on an annual basis using higher resolution Landsat satellite imagery. Rhett Butler -2.245333 -61.518783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14806 2015-05-14T20:01:00Z 2015-06-16T22:03:37Z Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0514-thumb-greenpeace-chimp-cam.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land. Morgan Erickson-Davis 3.240989 12.391278 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14801 2015-05-14T04:13:00Z 2015-06-23T15:03:06Z Indonesia's partial forest-clearing moratorium extended, but activists wanted more <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1190.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo extended the country's partial forest clearing moratorium yesterday on the day of its expiration, leaving largely intact a policy civil society groups had demanded be strengthened. The environment and forestry minister said the government greatly appreciated the calls from organizations like Greenpeace, Walhi, Kemitraan, Sawit Watch, World Resources Institute and others, and would address the proposed changes. Philip Jacobson 2.024851 100.536501 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14800 2015-05-13T21:41:00Z 2015-06-16T22:04:21Z New mapping project uncovers road networks in Peru’s primary forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0991.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A research team unearthed a suspicious network of roads in northern Peru in early 2013. For two years, they watched the network grow to over 150 kilometers in length, split into two networks. The southern part of the network is located entirely in the protected buffer region of the Cordillera de Azul National Park, and is characteristic of roads meant for logging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -7.515847 -75.593051 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14799 2015-05-13T19:29:00Z 2015-05-14T16:05:10Z Zero deforestation commitments bearing fruit in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0513gibbs150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A high profile pledge by the world's largest meat company to limit deforestation for cattle production in the Amazon appears to be working, resulting in a dramatic increase in compliance with environmental registries and reduced forest clearing among supplier ranches, finds a comprehensive study published in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. Rhett Butler -1.254878 -47.981976 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14791 2015-05-12T19:38:00Z 2015-05-12T19:39:12Z Satellite data shows how deforestation is impacting our weather and our food <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug3-4463.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The conversion of forests to cropland can drive local temperatures up or down by as much as a few degrees, according to a new report. Ironically, the authors write that these temperature fluctuations can lead to less productivity from the very same agricultural operations the forests were cleared to make way for. Morgan Erickson-Davis -11.427806 -54.511761 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14785 2015-05-12T05:00:00Z 2015-06-23T15:11:25Z Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier caught clearing elephant habitat for palm oil in Aceh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i3BU3Oulgt4/VVGKBSA_L4I/AAAAAAAABl0/0toVHnTHPko/w150-h100-no/sumatra_9219%2B%25281%2529.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report provides evidence that a supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas is bulldozing valuable forests in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem in violation of the companies’ zero-deforestation policies as well as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge (IPOP), a high-profile, joint sustainability pact that also includes Golden Agri-Resources, Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). Philip Jacobson 4.520011 97.679989 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14784 2015-05-11T20:50:00Z 2015-05-16T18:58:09Z Videos reveal rare birds, wild monkeys, and jaguar family in oil-exploited park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0511.THUMB.cameratrapvids.sloth.salt.Screen-Shot-2015-05-11-at-3.26.58-PM.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A compilation of new camera trap videos from Yasuni National Park shows off rarely seen species like the rufuos-vented ground cuckoo and the short-eared dog as well as odd behavior, like sloths licking salt from the ground. The compilation is produced by Diego Mosquera, manager and head of the camera trap program at Tiputini Biodiversity Station. Jeremy Hance -0.575146 -76.077377 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14782 2015-05-11T17:00:00Z 2015-05-11T17:21:07Z Indonesian forestry giant calls for stronger forest moratorium <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0217.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Asia Pulp &amp; Paper (APP), an Indonesian forestry giant once targeted by environmentalists for its logging practices, has joined a growing chorus of voices calling for a stronger moratorium on deforestation and policies that enable companies to support conservation efforts. In a letter released Monday, Aida Greenbury, APP's Managing Director of Sustainability, asked Indonesian President Joko Widodo to extend the country's moratorium on new logging and plantation concessions. Rhett Butler -0.761952 102.201971 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14777 2015-05-08T22:55:00Z 2015-05-08T23:19:54Z Peru considers fate of Amazon wildlife paradise <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0509la-sierra-del-divisor150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The fate of La Sierra del Divisor, a 1.5 million hectare reserve lauded for its megadiversity of wildlife, will soon to be decided. According to <i>El Comercio</i>, next week the Peruvian government is expected to rule whether Divisor will be declared a national park. The designation, which was requested by local groups nearly a decade ago, would strengthen legal protection of the area, which faces logging, mining, coca cultivation, and agricultural encroachment. It would also establish rules for the buffer zone around the potential protected area. Rhett Butler -7.411416 -74.323620 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14776 2015-05-08T18:57:00Z 2015-06-16T22:05:13Z World's critical habitats lost Connecticut-size area of forest in a decade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0507-thumb-Madagascar_Nightjar_-_Tulear_-_Madagascar_S4E8596.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many of the world's endangered animals live in only one place, making them hugely susceptible to environmental upset. One fell swoop, and entire species could disappear from existence forever. New analysis shows that possibility may be edging closer and closer to reality in some areas, with forests known to harbor high-risk species losing an area of tree cover the size of Connecticut in a little over a decade. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.485384 29.077941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14772 2015-05-08T14:25:00Z 2015-06-16T22:06:40Z Researchers find treasure trove of unique, threatened animals in Philippine forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0508-thumb-Schultz%20Pit%20Viper%203.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of more than 30 researchers is surveying the the forests of Cleopatra's Needle, on the Philippine island of Palawan. They have already found many endemic animals, and hope to use their findings to confer more protection to the region. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.189421 118.939178 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14765 2015-05-08T03:09:00Z 2015-05-08T03:25:07Z Indian fabric giant adopts forest policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/sabah_26440_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's largest fabric makers for the fashion industry today announced a policy to exclude fiber produced at the expense of endangered forests, reports Canopy, an environmental group that helped broker the commitment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14739 2015-05-04T19:43:00Z 2015-06-16T20:53:24Z Orangutan rescued amid sea of palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504orangutan-rescue150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The rescue, which took place in early April, was conducted by the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) in response to a report of an adult male orangutan isolated in an fragment forest surrounded by oil palm plantations. The orangutan was found to be in poor health, according to Krisna, OIC's Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit field coordinator. Rhett Butler 4.101847 98.040986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14738 2015-05-04T16:43:00Z 2015-05-04T17:52:03Z Borneo's rainforest may get high-tech 3D scan to boost conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0504CAO-Tambopata-Peru-DEM-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Conservation efforts in Borneo's embattled rainforest may get a boost with the launch of the newest version of an advanced airplane-based monitoring and assessment system. On Friday, the Carnegie Institution officially unveiled the latest upgrade of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, an airplane equipped with technologies that enable scientists to conduct extremely high resolution scans of forest structure, biomass, and biological diversity. The platform has generated a wealth of information in places where it has been flown before. Rhett Butler 37.513017 -122.252871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14726 2015-05-01T23:22:00Z 2015-06-16T22:26:20Z Brazilian Amazon nears deforestation threshold past which wildlife may crash, says study <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/colombia/150/co06-1376.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study on the impact of forest loss on biodiversity, recently published in the journal Conservation Biology, shows that one-third of the Brazilian Amazon is headed toward or has just passed a threshold of forest cover beyond which species loss accelerates and is more damaging. Morgan Erickson-Davis -8.997211 -63.061583 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14724 2015-05-01T15:52:00Z 2015-05-01T16:03:47Z Sarawak increases fines for illegal logging After decades of intense logging that has left its rainforests degraded, fragmented, and stripped of valuable timber in many areas, the Malaysian state of Sarawak has passed a new forestry bill that could boost penalties for illegal logging. Rhett Butler 1.287446 111.010594 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14720 2015-05-01T11:37:00Z 2015-06-23T00:22:04Z Palm giants ask Indonesian gov't to clear path toward sustainability <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0742.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Executives from palm oil giants Wilmar, Cargill and Golden Agri Resources appeared at a green investment summit in Jakarta this week, providing a window into the nature of a high-profile, joint sustainability pact the companies have entered into together with Asian Agri, Musim Mas and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The agreement, known as the Indonesia Palm Oil Pledge, has been lauded in some quarters for its potential to transform the sector and dismissed in others as mere lip service to protecting the environment. Philip Jacobson -0.602662 102.358526 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14716 2015-04-30T17:42:00Z 2015-06-16T22:08:25Z Lost and found, then lost again? Recently rediscovered hummingbird faces extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0430-thumb-closeup-rojas-proaves-Blue-bearded-Helmetcrest.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>No one had seen a single living blue-bearded helmetcrest since 1946, and the species was known only from preserved museum specimens. But that all changed last month when researchers rediscovered the bird in the mountains of Colombia. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.054731 -73.675786 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14709 2015-04-29T16:13:00Z 2015-04-30T14:29:45Z Gov't officials permitted deforestation in Dominican Republic national park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423-thumb-burned-lizard-Miguel-Landestoy.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In late 2014, an irregularity in the issuance of permits for agriculture-related deforestation was brought to light by an environmental conservation association working to curb deforestation within the park. On July 30, the Pedernales office of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources granted permission to local landowners to deforest an area within the National Park, close to an area that was being assessed for hutia and solenodon presence by a team of researchers. Morgan Erickson-Davis 17.889287 -71.565668 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14705 2015-04-28T23:25:00Z 2015-04-28T23:48:53Z Selective logging leaves more dead wood in rainforests Up to 64 percent of above-ground biomass in selectively logged forests may consist of dead wood left over from logging damage, argues a paper published this week in <i>Environmental Research Letters</i>. Rhett Butler 4.632820 116.950086 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14703 2015-04-28T18:10:00Z 2015-04-30T12:52:09Z Rainforest communities can now report illegal logging with their mobile phones Communities in the rainforests of Central Africa can now report illegal logging in their territories as it happens, potentially enabling real-time law enforcement action. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14695 2015-04-28T05:27:00Z 2015-04-28T05:30:21Z Predicting deforestation before it happens The world's leading forest monitoring platform may soon help predict deforestation before it occurs, potentially enabling authorities to prevent it altogether. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14694 2015-04-27T23:57:00Z 2015-04-28T04:35:23Z 'Deforestation fronts' revealed <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0427wwf_deforestation_pressure150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organization believes the bulk of global deforestation is likely to occur over the next 15 years. The analysis, published today, highlights eleven regions where 'the bulk of global deforestation is projected to take place' by 2030. Rhett Butler 1.386919 110.181317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14693 2015-04-27T19:55:00Z 2015-06-16T22:32:09Z Report: Borneo could save billions while still meeting conservation and development goals <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3950.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The three nations that share Borneo could save themselves $43 billion by more closely coordinating their environmental conservation and economic development efforts, according to a report published in the journal Nature Communications. Morgan Erickson-Davis 1.616066 114.725184 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14690 2015-04-27T05:00:00Z 2015-04-27T05:02:03Z $100M study to look at how rainforests respond to climate change A new $100 million research project will examine how tropical forests interact with the planet's climate system. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14689 2015-04-27T04:03:00Z 2015-04-27T04:10:34Z 'Zero Deforestation' not necessarily the answer, environmentalists warn <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3271.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last week, the London-based think tank Innovation Forum convened a two-day conference on the subject of sustainable forestry in Washington, D.C. Titled 'How Business Can Tackle Deforestation,' the conference brought together leaders from both public and private spheres, including forest commodities companies, NGOs and think tanks. Though the topics of discussion were diverse, ranging from the role of 'green' certification to the viability of GMO crops, there was widespread agreement that significant changes need to be made to current supply chain policies if we are to avoid further damaging the world’s forests. Rhett Butler -12.237206 -52.025719 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14688 2015-04-27T03:05:00Z 2015-06-16T20:54:40Z NASA reveals rise in deforestation in remote Peruvian parks New NASA data shows a jump in forest loss in two remote parks in the Peruvian Amazon during the first three months of 2015. Rhett Butler -10.430320 -71.572400 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14687 2015-04-27T00:53:00Z 2015-04-27T01:00:26Z Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon continues to accelerate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/sad150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon &#8212; the planet's largest rainforest &#8212; continues to pace well ahead of last year's rate, reveals data released by Imazon, a Manaus-based nonprofit. Rhett Butler -3.090972 -60.730691 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14683 2015-04-24T17:24:00Z 2015-06-16T22:09:24Z Conservation in Myanmar: a cause for optimism? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0424-thumb-brending-irrawaddy-dolphin.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fifty years of relative political and economic isolation have yielded slow economic growth and contributed to the conservation of many of Myanmar’s native species. However, the dissolution of Myanmar’s military junta in 2011 marked the beginning of a new age of increasing political and economic liberalization and international engagement. Many experts fear that possible rapid development fueled by international investment, improved infrastructure and expanded transport networks, pose a grave risk to Myanmar’s biodiversity and forests. Morgan Erickson-Davis 20.582989 96.906613 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14681 2015-04-23T19:15:00Z 2015-06-10T18:31:55Z Officials: Sumatran rhino is extinct in the wild in Sabah <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0423_r_IMG_8536_Small.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are no Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in the Malaysian state of Sabah, confirmed Masidi Manjun, the Tourism, Culture and Envi­ronment Minister, over the weekend. In 2008, conservationists estimated there were around 50 rhinos in the state. Five years later, it dropped that estimate to just ten. Now, it's admitted the awful truth: the wild rhino is very likely gone. Jeremy Hance 5.194121 117.002418 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14669 2015-04-22T02:19:00Z 2015-04-22T02:32:21Z World's largest sovereign wealth fund takes stand against deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2344.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Norway's Government Pension Fund Global &#8212; the world's largest sovereign wealth fund &#8212; is adopting standards to avoid investing in companies linked to tropical deforestation, sending a strong signal that forest destruction is not an acceptable practice for responsible businesses, reports Rainforest Foundation Norway. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14668 2015-04-21T21:45:00Z 2015-04-21T23:48:13Z McDonald's to address deforestation across all commodities it sources <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0421mcdonalds150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fast food giant McDonald's will combat deforestation across its main commodity supply chains, including palm oil, beef, paper and packaging, coffee, and poultry. The commitment is the most comprehensive of any major restaurant chain. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14658 2015-04-20T20:46:00Z 2015-04-20T20:51:57Z Earth Day call to double native forest canopy by 2035 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0420dry_creek_bed150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of prominent researchers, philanthropists, and activists are calling for a doubling of the planet's native forest canopy by 2035 as a way to make a 'U-turn' on global environmental degradation. The Earth Day Declaration to Double Native Forests was initiated by Randy Hayes, the head of Foundation Earth and the co-founder of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Rhett Butler 39.957380 -77.834461 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14654 2015-04-18T15:53:00Z 2015-04-20T15:41:31Z Growing need for deforestation-free rubber as tire demand destroys native forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/laos/150/laos_0448.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Surging demand for natural rubber is decimating some of the world's most endangered forests, putting wildlife and critical ecosystem services at risk, warn scientists writing in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>. Reviewing a large body of published research, Eleanor Warren-Thomas of the University of East Anglia and colleagues detail the crop's expansion across across Southeast Asia in recent decades. Rhett Butler 20.888908 101.326675 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14652 2015-04-17T17:57:00Z 2015-06-16T21:52:39Z Recently discovered 'punkrocker' frog changes skin texture in minutes <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0417-thumb-Skin%20texture%20variation%20in%20mutable%20rainfrog.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 2006, two scientists discovered a tiny new frog species in the Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve in north-central Ecuador. They took its photograph and nicknamed it the "punkrocker" frog because of spine-like projections coming out of its skin. For the next three years, they did not find the punkrocker again. But when they did re-discover it in 2009, the team found that the punkrocker had more tricks up its sleeve. Morgan Erickson-Davis -0.107630 -78.806133 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14648 2015-04-16T18:06:00Z 2015-06-16T21:53:36Z Court rules deforestation of Peruvian rainforest for chocolate was legal <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0416-thumb-iquitos-2.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A regional court in Loreto, Peru recently ruled that the clearing of more than 2,000 hectares of forest by Cacao del Peru Norte for a plantation to grow cacao, the raw material behind chocolate, was legal, reported the investigative news site OjoPúblico on April 9. The ruling rejects contentions brought by Forestry Department that the company should have sought approval to clear the trees. Morgan Erickson-Davis -3.981594 -73.054271 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14633 2015-04-14T13:50:00Z 2015-04-15T19:36:12Z Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0414.thumb.Piliocolobus_bouvieri_-_Lieven_DEVREESE.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier's red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct&#8212;a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an expedition to find out if Bouvier's red colobus still survived. Jeremy Hance 2.650827 16.554496 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14622 2015-04-10T17:31:00Z 2015-06-16T21:54:35Z Scientists find new monkey with unique penis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0410-wl-macaque-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Researchers were in for a surprise when they viewed footage from a remote and little-explored area of southeastern Tibet. Among the more than 700 photos of macaques, they spotted several with physical characteristics that hadn't been documented before; namely, genitals that were shaped and colored differently than other known macaques in the region. The scientists say these differences may make these macaques a new species. Morgan Erickson-Davis 29.371931 95.367662 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14617 2015-04-10T03:43:00Z 2015-04-15T13:37:12Z Scientists raise concern over road proposed through protected forest in Cambodia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/cambodia-FOREST-LOSS150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A group of scientists have expressed 'strong concerns' about mounting threats to wilderness and wildlife in Cambodia. In a resolution issued at the conclusion of their annual gathering in Phnom Penh, the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) urged the Cambodian government to carefully evaluate the impacts of a proposed road in Eastern Cambodia. Rhett Butler 13.250159 105.561705 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14616 2015-04-09T23:59:00Z 2015-04-10T00:23:16Z Platform provides near-real time analysis of deforestation in non-Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/graphics/0409uc150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new platform will provide critical near-real time information and analysis on emerging threats to forests in the non-Brazilian Amazon. Officially announced today, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) in an initiative launched by the Amazon Conservation Association and Conservación Amazónica-ACCA. Rhett Butler -3.991457 -73.032384 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14611 2015-04-09T17:24:00Z 2015-04-09T17:50:06Z Long considered tree-killers, lianas may actually help rainforest restoration <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0409-JDulaney-Lianas-Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since the 1970s, research into climbing woody vines called lianas has focused primarily on the harm they inflict on rainforest trees, but a new paper suggests that if they are judiciously planted, they might help, rather than hinder, rainforest recovery. Rebecca Kessler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14606 2015-04-07T20:19:00Z 2015-04-09T18:18:16Z Condition of tropical forests 'worsening', could become 'critical' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/tropical-forest-loss150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>World leaders are continuing to overlook the worsening condition of tropical forests despite the biome's vast potential to help mitigate climate change, support local livelihoods and ecosystem services, and stabilize global agriculture, warns a comprehensive review published by a body founded by Prince Charles. Rhett Butler 1.940683 18.371643 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14599 2015-04-06T23:27:00Z 2015-04-07T01:55:11Z Who's to blame for forest loss in Borneo timber concession? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0406greenomics_bmh150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The apparent loss of some 4,000 hectares of forested peatland in Indonesian Borneo is raising questions on who bears responsibility for forest clearing in un-utilized concessions. On Monday, Greenomics-Indonesia issued a report revealing the loss of significant tracts of peat forest in a West Kalimantan concession held by PT Bumi Mekar Hijau (BMH), a plantation company whose operation in South Sumatra supplies Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) with woodpulp for its mills. Rhett Butler 1.410215 109.137487 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14596 2015-04-06T21:25:00Z 2015-04-06T21:39:38Z Restoration of artificial swamps could be a key to restoring rainforest health in Sumatra The term "artificial" has acquired negative connotations in recent years. However, a recent study in Sumatra's Harapan rainforest details not only the ecological benefits, but rather the necessity, of improving artificial wetlands found along waterways in this rainforest ecosystem. Brittany Stewart -2.233333 103.316667