tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/saving%20rainforests1 saving rainforests news from mongabay.com 2015-04-09T18:18:16Z 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/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/14423 2015-02-25T15:38:00Z 2015-02-26T16:57:05Z $7 million could save lemurs from extinction <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/madagascar_0591.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, scientists released an emergency three-year plan that they argued could, quite literally, save the world's lemurs from mass extinction. Costing just $7.6 million, the plan focused on setting up better protections in 30 lemur hotspots. However, there was one sticking point: donating to small programs in one of the world's poorest countries was not exactly user friendly. Jeremy Hance -13.846412 48.910876 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14392 2015-02-18T04:02:00Z 2015-02-18T04:22:28Z Campaign asks consumers to directly support forest conservation A new campaign is calling on consumers to directly support forest conservation with their wallets. Stand For Trees is an initiative launched by Code REDD, a marketing platform for a group of organizations running REDD+ forest conservation projects. Rhett Butler 8.4052892 -77.2588007 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14347 2015-02-05T04:48:00Z 2015-02-07T23:32:48Z Scientists, conservationists call for more inclusive efforts to save forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0205fsscas150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco brought together 167 scientists, educators, civil society leaders, artists, and interested members of the public at the Forest Solutions Summit to discuss approaches for bolstering protection and wiser use of global forests. Rhett Butler 37.770334 -122.466017 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14208 2014-12-30T19:40:00Z 2015-01-10T02:17:03Z 2014: the year in rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/YIR-sabah_sepilok_0390_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>2014 could be classified as 'The Year of the Zero Deforestation Commitment'. During 2014, nearly two dozen major companies, ranging from palm oil producers to fast food chains to toothpaste makers, established policies to exclude palm oil sourced at the expense of rainforests and peatlands. Rhett Butler 2.864823 17.489353 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14172 2014-12-18T17:36:00Z 2014-12-18T17:53:18Z Tropical deforestation could disrupt rainfall globally <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1802.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Large-scale deforestation in the tropics could drive significant and widespread shifts in rainfall distribution and temperatures, potentially affecting agriculture both locally and far from where forest loss is occurring, concludes a study published today in <i>Nature Climate Change</i>. Rhett Butler -9.015302 -62.634773 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14159 2014-12-16T05:40:00Z 2014-12-16T05:47:25Z Palm oil facilitates large-scale illegal logging in Indonesia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0072.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Development of oil palm plantations is providing cover for large-scale illegal logging in Indonesian Borneo, driving destruction of some of the island's most biodiverse forests and undermining efforts to reform the country's forestry sector, alleges a new report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA). Rhett Butler -1.476897 113.648916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14143 2014-12-11T00:14:00Z 2014-12-11T03:33:57Z 10 years following tsunami, Aceh aims to create its own, new, and totally preventable disaster <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/aceh_0459.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the run-up to the tenth anniversary of the devastating 2004 tsunami, that claimed the lives of around 200,000 of Aceh’s people, there is much concern that Aceh seems now to be deliberately steering itself towards yet another, entirely avoidable disaster. One that will harm yet more people and cause even more long-term economic damage to the province. Rhett Butler 4.510714 96.095695 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/14125 2014-12-05T18:55:00Z 2014-12-05T19:00:08Z Indonesia sets reference level for cutting deforestation The Indonesian government has established reference levels for measuring reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest and peatland degradation, reports <i>Antara</i>. Rhett Butler 1.966167 100.523186 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14091 2014-11-30T03:12:00Z 2014-12-01T03:15:53Z Indonesia to audit licenses of palm oil companies that clear peatlands <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_1373.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>New Indonesian president Joko Widodo has ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review licenses for companies that have converted peatlands for oil palm plantations, reports <i>Antara</i>. Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, announced the move after a visit last week to Sungai Tohor, a community in Riau that has been particularly affected by peatlands degradation and haze caused by fires set for land clearing. Rhett Butler 0.861708 102.920555 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/14020 2014-11-14T01:27:00Z 2014-11-14T14:09:06Z Surprising reasons to be optimistic about saving forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-peru_aerial_0795_rainbow150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1990s, the world watched with alarm as vast tracts of tropical rainforest were torn down for timber and croplands, dug up for minerals and energy, and flooded for hydroelectric projects. Conservation groups, governments, philanthropists, and institutions like the World Bank collectively spent billions of dollars on programs to stop the carnage. But as viewed from satellites high above Earth's surface, those efforts barely dented deforestation rates. Rhett Butler -4.287527 -70.002351 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14013 2014-11-12T22:09:00Z 2014-11-13T17:41:50Z Reducing deforestation is good for business, argues report Some of the world's largest companies are making progress in disclosing and addressing deforestation risk within their commodity supply chains, but much work is left to be done to shift to more sustainable practices, argues a new report from the Climate Disclosure Project. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14008 2014-11-12T01:40:00Z 2014-11-25T23:30:22Z Only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1111-gfw-leuser-ecosystem150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A forest that is the only place where rhinos, tigers, elephants, and orangutans coexist is under threat from planned infrastructure, mining, logging, and plantation projects, warns a new report from the Rainforest Action Network. The report looks at one of the last vestiges of wilderness on the island of Sumatra, which for the past three decades has been heavily ravaged by logging, fires, and conversion to industrial timber and oil palm plantations. This area, known as the Leuser Ecosystem, is today a battleground between business-as-usual interests seeking to mine its forests and a collection of conservationists, local communities, and a collection of companies seeking to steward its resources. Rhett Butler 4.15057 97.86737 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13926 2014-10-21T03:15:00Z 2014-10-21T13:50:53Z Indonesian law bars palm oil companies from protecting forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1020-gar-concessions150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A law passed by the Indonesian government last month makes it even more difficult for palm oil companies to conserve tracts of wildlife-rich and carbon-dense forests within their concessions, potentially undermining these producers' commitments to phase deforestation out of their supply chains, warns a new report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group. Rhett Butler 0.348127 111.743953 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13922 2014-10-20T14:08:00Z 2014-10-21T15:05:26Z Walking the walk: zoo kicks off campaign for orangutans and sustainable palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/kalteng_0897.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you see people wearing orange this October, it might not be for Halloween, but for orangutans. Chester Zoo’s conservation campaign, Go Orange for Orangutans, kicks off this month for its second year. The campaign aims to raise money, and awareness, for orangutans in Borneo, which have become hugely impacted by deforestation often linked to palm oil plantations. Jeremy Hance 53.224664 -2.884033 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/13861 2014-10-02T15:23:00Z 2014-10-03T04:05:48Z Despite high deforestation, Indonesia making progress on forests, says Norwegian official <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-stig-traavik150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Despite having a deforestation rate that now outpaces that of the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia is beginning to undertake critical reforms necessary to curb destruction of its carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands, says a top Norwegian official. Speaking with mongabay.com in Jakarta on Monday, Stig Traavik, Norway's ambassador to Indonesia, drew parallels between recent developments in Indonesia and initiatives launched in Brazil a decade ago, when deforestation was nearly five times higher than it is today. Rhett Butler 5.252333 95.678852 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/13822 2014-09-24T13:25:00Z 2014-09-24T13:35:11Z Leaders pledge to end deforestation by 2030 <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_1452.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dozens of companies, non-profit organizations, and governments pledged to work together to halve forest loss by 2020 and end it altogether by 2030. If implemented, the commitment could reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 4.5-8.8 billion tons annually, equivalent to removing a billion cars from the world's roads. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13821 2014-09-24T09:34:00Z 2014-09-24T14:35:40Z Cargill commits to zero deforestation across entire global supply chain: all commodities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2207.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Cargill, one of the world's largest agricultural companies, has extended its zero deforestation commitment for palm oil to all commodities it produces. The commitment, announced Tuesday at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, is the most far-reaching zero deforestation policy ever established, covering Cargill's sprawling global empire of businesses, including palm oil, sugar, soy, cattle, and cocoa. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13812 2014-09-22T08:39:00Z 2014-09-22T21:50:02Z Scientists rebut NYTimes op-ed 'To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_0226.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The following is a response from a group of scientists' -- including 6 members of the National Academy, 3 IPCC Lead Authors, and 1 IPCC Co-Chair -- to Dr. Nadine Unger’s September 21, New York Times Op-Ed, "To Save the Planet, Don’t Plant Trees" Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13750 2014-09-05T21:27:00Z 2014-09-06T02:54:54Z World's rainforests could be mapped in 3D at high resolution by 2020 for under $250M <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0905cao150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mapping the world's tropical forests with a fleet of airplanes outfitted with advanced LiDAR could rapidly and accurately assess global forest carbon stocks for a fraction of the cost of a typical Earth observation satellite mission &#8212; and far less than field-based sampling &#8212; argues a new paper published in <i>Carbon Balance and Management</i>. Rhett Butler -2.635788 -74.864044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13736 2014-09-03T16:00:00Z 2014-09-05T02:29:01Z Mongabay founder, Rhett Butler, wins Field Museum's top conservation prize <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/boston_091.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Field Museum has honored Rhett A. Butler, the founder of mongabay.com, with this year's prestigious Parker/Gentry Award. The award is giving annually to an 'individual, team or organization whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world's rich natural heritage and whose actions can serve as a model to others,' according to the museum. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13726 2014-08-28T19:19:00Z 2014-12-30T22:34:26Z Saving the Atlantic Forest would cost less than 'Titanic' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0828.atlantic.S._flavius_SP_Zoo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Want to save the world's most imperiled biodiversity hotspot? You just need a down payment of $198 million. While that may sound like a lot, it's actually less than it cost to make the film, Titanic. A new study published today in Science finds that paying private landowners to protect the Atlantic Forest would cost Brazil just 6.5 percent of what it currently spends ever year on agricultural subsidies. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13685 2014-08-19T05:18:00Z 2014-08-19T05:34:50Z Norway puts $1.6B into rainforest conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/i/australia/150/australia_mossman_gorge_071.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Since 2008 Norway has been the single largest foreign donor to tropical forest conservation, putting more than 10 billion Norwegian Krone, or $1.6 billion, toward programs in several countries under its International Climate and Forest Initiative. But how effective have those funds been in actually protecting forests? Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13657 2014-08-12T22:34:00Z 2014-08-13T04:13:32Z Governors pledge massive cuts in deforestation Governors from 13 states have pledged to reduce deforestation 80 percent by 2020 provided rich companies step forward with adequate levels of financial support. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13583 2014-07-24T16:34:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:27Z Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0724.Sacred-forest-grove-in-Kodagu-South-India.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia including numerous sacred groves in India well-known for their role in conservation of biological diversity,' Dr. Shonil Bhagwat told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 12.362197 75.693899 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/13494 2014-07-04T17:19:00Z 2014-07-04T17:35:05Z APP: Indonesia needs a new business model <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/riau/150/riau_0980.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In response to news that Indonesia has now surpassed Brazil as the world's top deforester, the head of sustainability at one of Indonesia's biggest forestry companies is calling for a new business model in how the Southeast Asian nation manages its forest. In a letter published Friday, Aida Greenbury, Asia Pulp & Paper's Managing Director Sustainability, said Indonesia needs to take a more comprehensive approach to tackling deforestation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13442 2014-06-24T23:41:00Z 2014-07-02T17:19:30Z Discarded cell phones to help fight rainforest poachers, loggers in real-time <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0624-topher-gear150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A technology that uses discarded mobile phones to create a real-time alert system against logging and poaching will soon be deployed in the endangered rainforests of Central Africa. Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a San Francisco-based non-profit startup, is partnering with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to install its real-time anti-deforestation technology at sites in Cameroon. 30 RFCx devices &#8212; recycled from old Android handsets &#8212; will monitor 10,000 hectares or nearly 40 square miles of rainforest, listening for audio signals associated with logging and poaching. Rhett Butler 3.967289 14.271044 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13423 2014-06-23T13:33:00Z 2014-12-30T22:43:04Z Broken promises no more? Signs Sabah may finally uphold commitment on wildlife corridors <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/HUTAN-Marc-Ancrenaz6.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Five years ago an unlikely meeting was held in the Malaysian state of Sabah to discuss how to save wildlife amid worsening forest fragmentation. Although the meeting brought together longtime adversaries&#8212;conservationists and the palm oil industry&#8212;it appeared at the time to build new relationships and even point toward a way forward for Sabah's embattled forests. Jeremy Hance 5.531846 118.292569 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13370 2014-06-11T16:54:00Z 2014-06-11T17:02:23Z Oil overthrow: Soco to suspend operations in Virunga National Park after sustained campaign by WWF <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.Rugendo_in_bukima.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a surprise announcement, British oil company Soco International has said it will suspend exploratory operations in Virunga National Park, home to half the world's Critically Endangered mountain gorillas as well as thousands of other species. The announcement follows several years of campaigning from conservation groups led by WWF. Jeremy Hance -0.176648 29.550871 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13347 2014-06-05T20:16:00Z 2014-06-05T21:55:57Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Work locally, relentlessly, and, if necessary, ignore the government <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0605.fredriksson.Gabriella_bear-skull.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1997, Gabriella Fredriksson, then a young PhD student, was studying sun bears in East Kalamantan, Indonesia, when massive forest fires broke out in the park. 'It quickly became clear that there was no government agency, NGO, or private company in the area interested in assisting putting out these fires, which were threatening to burn down the entire reserve,' Fredriksson told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 1.459166 117.013715 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13271 2014-05-22T15:42:00Z 2014-06-25T15:48:50Z Zero-deforestation commitments pose acute challenges for commercial giants in the palm oil industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_4062.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The path to zero-deforestation appears to be paved with good intentions, but how successful are these companies in staying on that path? A controversial proposal to construct a refinery in the wildlife-rich Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo highlights the challenges faced by both palm oil companies and conservationists in the face of zero-deforestation commitments. Jeremy Hance -1.127826 116.779421 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13263 2014-05-21T18:00:00Z 2014-05-25T14:22:02Z Happy Amazon: $215 million raised for world's largest protected area network <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0521.Aerial_1026_3240.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>By all standards the Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) program is gargantuan: the network includes over 90 parks, covers 51 million hectares, and comprises 15 percent of Brazil's Amazon. But protecting an area bigger than Spain isn't cheap or easy. Today, a broad coalition of government donors and private funders have announced $215 million to secure ARPA over the next 25 years. Jeremy Hance 1.291254 -53.169408 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/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/12995 2014-03-27T21:41:00Z 2014-03-27T22:04:32Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Quantifying the cost of forest degradation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0327.Phil-w-stump-clipped.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>How much is a forest really worth? And what is the cost of forest degradation? These values are difficult to estimate, but according to Dr. Phillip Fearnside, we need to do a better job. For nearly forty years, Fearnside has lived in Amazonia doing ecological research, looking at the value of forests in terms of environmental or ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water cycling, and biodiversity preservation. Fearnside then works to convert these services into a basis for sustainable development for rural populations. Jeremy Hance -3.094940 -59.989343 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/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/12917 2014-03-12T16:24:00Z 2014-03-12T18:28:23Z New web tool aims to help indigenous groups protect forests and navigate REDD+ A new online tool, dubbed ForestDefender, aims to help indigenous people understand and implement their rights in regard to forests. The database, developed by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), brings together vast amounts of legal information&#8212;both national and international&#8212;on over 50 countries. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12872 2014-03-04T15:10:00Z 2014-03-04T15:28:57Z Europe not doing enough to stop illegal logging imports says Greenpeace Europe is failing to fully enforce its one-year-old EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), alleges Greenpeace, with illegally-logged wood still slipping into the continent, especially from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Jeremy Hance -6.970049 23.732758 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12733 2014-02-06T07:30:00Z 2014-02-06T07:38:06Z REDD+ could fail without near-term financial support <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0206RI1_0301_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An ambitious plan to save the world's tropical forests by valuing them for the carbon the store may fail to reduce deforestation unless governments and multilateral institutions significantly scale up financial commitments to the program, argues a new report published by the Global Canopy Programme, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, Fauna & Flora International, and UNEP Finance Initiative. Rhett Butler -10.833306 -56.614381 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12623 2014-01-10T18:00:00Z 2015-01-06T05:29:39Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Integrating forest conservation, use, and restoration <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/cr/150/costa_rica_osa_0060.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The next big idea is to integrate the social and natural components of forest conservation, use of forest products, and restoration. In reality, these aspects are completely intertwined, but in practice they are completely separated. I believe (along with many others) that the scale at which we can begin to integrate these components is at the landscape scale. Rhett Butler 10.428887 -84.008548 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/12558 2013-12-20T18:45:00Z 2014-02-20T19:14:40Z Indonesia appoints head of REDD+ agency to implement forest conservation plan <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/indonesia/150/kalteng_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia has selected the first chief of its new REDD+ agency: Heru Prasetyo, an administrator and former private sector management consultant, reports Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's office. Prasetyo will take up the challenging task of implementing Indonesia's REDD+ program, which aims to steer the Southeast Asian nation away from business-as-usual management of its fast dwindling forests. The REDD+ program is part of the broader government plan to cut Indonesia's greenhouse has emissions by at least 26 percent from a projected 2020 baseline. Rhett Butler 4.072494 97.556877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12436 2013-11-22T18:34:00Z 2013-11-22T21:31:51Z REDD+ program to cut deforestation gets final approval in Warsaw <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1122_sabah_2011_rainbow_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Negotiators in Warsaw have reached formal agreement on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+), a program that aims to compensate tropical countries for protecting their forests. After seven years of discussions, countries approved the final REDD+ text on Friday at the COP17. Rhett Butler 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/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/12087 2013-09-17T01:14:00Z 2013-09-20T12:37:05Z Credits from first African government-backed REDD+ project go on sale <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/madagascar-2012/150/madagascar_masoala_0556.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Carbon credits generated from protecting thousands of hectares of endangered rainforest in northeastern Madagascar have now been certified for sale, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the project's main organizer. The development represents the first time that credits generated by African government-owned project have been put on the voluntary carbon market. Rhett Butler -15.42853 49.367645 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12032 2013-09-07T22:09:00Z 2013-09-08T00:33:05Z Indonesia finally establishes REDD+ agency to tackle deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/deforestation-indonesia-brazil-percent-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia has finally established an agency to implement the country's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program. The REDD+ agency, established by a decree from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday, is a ministry-level body that will coordinate a national REDD+ strategy between various ministries that influence and control land use policy across the sprawling archipelago. Rhett Butler -0.789274 113.921646 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/11804 2013-07-22T19:23:00Z 2013-07-22T21:17:55Z California's next innovation: performance-based rainforest conservation (Commentary) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1413.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Californians are known as innovation leaders, and once again, we are on the verge of demonstrating critical leadership. Only this time it isn’t about the Internet, social networking, reality television, venture capital or electric cars. It is about stopping tropical deforestation and supporting local communities. 'What!?' you say? How is the great state of California, home of bankrupt and massive, thirsty desert cities and Silicon Valley, a place that elected such juggernauts of history as Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, about to lead in avoiding tropical deforestation? Rhett Butler 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/11697 2013-07-01T15:30:00Z 2013-07-05T17:10:15Z Brazilian state to pay counties that cut Amazon deforestation The Brazilian state of Pará has launched a new compensation scheme to incentivize further cuts in deforestation. Rhett Butler -2.805885 -46.714783 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11634 2013-06-24T16:49:00Z 2013-06-24T17:07:29Z On guard: protecting wildlife in a heavily hunted Brazilian forest The Brazilian government offers tax relief to landowners who set aside areas for preservation. While this has expanded the system of private ecological reserves considerably, the Brazilian government currently lacks funding to enforce the protection of these lands from threats such as hunting, leaving the responsibility to the landowners. Jeremy Hance -13.825079 -39.128208 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11561 2013-06-07T18:58:00Z 2013-06-10T02:14:47Z U.S. govt has role to play in stopping commodity-driven deforestation The U.S. government could play a key role in breaking the link between commodity production and greenhouse gas emissions associated with tropical deforestation, argues a new report released by seven environmental groups. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11532 2013-05-30T22:48:00Z 2013-06-10T02:15:29Z Indigenous carbon conservation project gets verification, will start generating credits An effort by an Amazonian tribe to protect their rainforest home against encroachment and illegal logging has finally been validated and verified under a leading carbon accounting standard, enabling it to begin selling carbon credits. Rhett Butler -11.092166 -61.206665 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11455 2013-05-20T13:13:00Z 2013-05-20T19:13:48Z Biosphere conservation: monumental action is critical to avert global environmental crisis <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/colombia/150/colombia_3027.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Human-caused changes to our biosphere&#8212;the global total of the world's ecosystems&#8212;are now so great and alarmingly rapid that human lives and societies undoubtedly face epic challenges in the near future as our biosphere deteriorates, planetary boundaries are reached, and tipping points exceeded. We may survive, we may painfully adapt, but it is a fair bet that grave hardship, loss, and sacrifice lay ahead. The nature and extent of impacts among human populations hinges on how successfully we respond to the biosphere crisis with extraordinary leadership, balanced solutions applied at global scales, and unprecedented cooperation&#8212;or not. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11453 2013-05-20T12:27:00Z 2013-05-20T12:44:12Z Peru delays oil drilling in the Amazon to consult with indigenous peoples Peru has delayed auctioning off 27 oil blocs in the Amazon in order to conduct legally-required consultations with indigenous groups in the region, reports the Guardian. Perupetro S.A., Peru's state oil and gas company, has announced it will auction 9 blocs off the Pacific coast, but will hold auctioning off the controversial oil blocs in the Amazon rainforest at least until later this year. Jeremy Hance -10.466206 -71.326905 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11443 2013-05-16T14:08:00Z 2013-05-19T03:58:31Z NGO: conflict of interests behind Peruvian highway proposal in the Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0516.map.highway.peru.globalwitness.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As Peru's legislature debates the merits of building the Purús highway through the Amazon rainforest, a new report by Global Witness alleges that the project has been aggressively pushed by those with a financial stake in opening up the remote area to logging and mining. Roads built in the Amazon lead to spikes in deforestation, mining, poaching and other extractive activities as remote areas become suddenly accessible. The road in question would cut through parts of the Peruvian Amazon rich in biodiversity and home to indigenous tribes who have chosen to live in "voluntary isolation." Jeremy Hance -9.688752 -70.695877 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11389 2013-05-07T21:58:00Z 2013-05-09T05:56:34Z Debate heats up over California's plan to reduce emissions via rainforest protection <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_2201.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As the public comment period for California's cap-and-trade program draws to a close, an alliance of environmental activists have stepped up a heated campaign to keep carbon credits generated by forest conservation initiatives in tropical countries out of the scheme. These groups say that offsets generated under the so-called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism, will undermine efforts to cut emissions as home, while potentially leading to abuses abroad. However supporters of forest conservation-based credits say the program may offer the best hope for saving the world's beleaguered rainforests, which continue to fall at a rate of more than 8 million hectares per year. Rhett Butler 38.568426 -121.493694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11164 2013-04-04T14:32:00Z 2015-02-09T22:45:28Z An insidious threat to tropical forests: over-hunting endangers tree species in Asia and Africa <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/sabah_3131.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A fruit falls to the floor in a rainforest. It waits. And waits. Inside the fruit is a seed, and like most seeds in tropical forests, this one needs an animal&#8212;a good-sized animal&#8212;to move it to a new place where it can germinate and grow. But it may be waiting in vain. Hunting and poaching has decimated many mammal and bird populations across the tropics, and according to two new studies the loss of these important seed-disperser are imperiling the very nature of rainforests. Jeremy Hance 4.199107 114.041848 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11163 2013-04-03T20:25:00Z 2015-03-05T05:31:46Z Can we meet rising food demand and save forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0227rothschild150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A few weeks ago the Skoll World Forum hosted an online debate on how increased global consumption can be balanced with sustainability. The debate asks how a rapidly growing world that is ever consuming can hope to feed everyone, and at the same time address the deforestation that is emitting massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and destroying the world’s greatest tropical forests. Many contributors made very strong points—even contradicting one another in their approaches and ideas. Rhett Butler 37.445392 -122.162218 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11162 2013-04-03T19:14:00Z 2015-03-05T05:31:04Z Improving the rigor of measuring emissions from deforestation, agriculture <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_3393.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While much has been written about the potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by protecting tropical forests, a proposed program to do just that has been challenged by a number of factors, including concerns about the accuracy of measuring for carbon reductions. Failure to properly account for carbon could undermine the effectiveness of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program as a tool for mitigating climate change and securing benefits for local people. To help address the technical issues that underpin carbon measurement, the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have launched a new Certificate in Advanced Terrestrial Carbon Accounting. Rhett Butler 32.881515 -117.24309 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11130 2013-03-28T01:05:00Z 2015-03-05T04:20:39Z Conflict zones have higher deforestation rates in the Amazon Areas in the Amazon where there is conflict over land tenure have higher deforestation rates than places where land rights are secure, finds a new study that assesses the effectiveness of indicators used to gauge the success of protected areas in Brazil. Rhett Butler -11.738302 -53.177491 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11032 2013-03-12T18:07:00Z 2013-03-12T18:10:35Z Dozens of tropical trees awarded new protections at CITES Numerous species of rosewood and ebony from Madagascar, Latin America, and Southeast Asia were granted protection today at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand. The ruling comes one day after CITES granted the first protections ever to sharks and manta rays. Jeremy Hance 13.743387 100.510941 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10980 2013-03-05T17:32:00Z 2015-02-14T14:39:49Z A promising initiative to address deforestation in Brazil at the local level <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0227verissimo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The history of the Brazilian Amazon has long been marked by deforestation and degradation. Until recently the situation has been considered out of control. Then, in 2004, the Brazilian government launched an ambitious program to combat deforestation. Public pressure—both national and international—was one of the reasons that motivated the government to act. Another reason was that in 2004, deforestation contributed to more than 55 percent of Brazil’s total greenhouse gas emissions, making Brazil the fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. Rhett Butler -3.022584 -47.348328 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8833 2013-02-28T18:00:00Z 2015-02-09T22:37:13Z Selective logging changes character of tropical forest Selective logging is usually considered less harmful than other forestry practices, such as clear cutting, but a new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science has found that even selective logging has a major impact on tropical forests lasting decades. Comparing trees in two previously logged sites and two unlogged sites in northeast India, researchers found less tree diversity in selectively logged forests with trees dispersed by birds proved especially hard-hit. Jeremy Hance 27.09642 92.815933 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10938 2013-02-27T23:11:00Z 2015-02-14T14:36:45Z Does the presence of scientists help deter poaching and deforestation in protected areas? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1398.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>While vast areas of wildlife habitat have been set aside in protected areas in recent decades, many reserves continue to suffer from illegal encroachment, logging, mining, and poaching. The recent spasm in elephant and rhino poaching within African parks merely underlines the problem. Intuitively, it would seem that scientists' presence in a protected area would help safeguard it from illegal activities. But according to a new paper published in <i>Trends in Ecology & Evolution</i>, no one has definitively shown that to be the case. Rhett Butler -1.214928 110.075798 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10925 2013-02-25T15:35:00Z 2015-02-09T22:37:36Z Warlords, sorcery, and wildlife: an environmental artist ventures into the Congo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0225.leopard.peet.7741733238_69e961758d_b.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year, Roger Peet, an American artist, traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to visit one of the world's most remote and wild forests. Peet spent three months in a region that is largely unknown to the outside world, but where a group of conservationists, headed by Terese and John Hart, are working diligently to create a new national park, known as Lomami. Here, the printmaker met a local warlord, discovered a downed plane, and designed a tomb for a wildlife ranger killed by disease, in addition to seeing some of the region's astounding wildlife. Notably, the burgeoning Lomami National Park is home to the world's newest monkey species, only announced by scientists last September. Jeremy Hance -1.503581 25.100784 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10894 2013-02-19T14:55:00Z 2015-02-09T22:30:12Z Jaguars, tapirs, oh my!: Amazon explorer films shocking wildlife bonanza in threatened forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0219.jaguar.Screen-Shot-2013-02-07-at-8.56.21-AM.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Watching a new video by Amazon explorer, Paul Rosolie, one feels transported into a hidden world of stalking jaguars, heavyweight tapirs, and daylight-wandering giant armadillos. This is the Amazon as one imagines it as a child: still full of wild things. In just four weeks at a single colpa (or clay lick where mammals and birds gather) on the lower Las Piedras River, Rosolie and his team captured 30 Amazonian species on video, including seven imperiled species. However, the very spot Rosolie and his team filmed is under threat: the lower Las Piedras River is being infiltrated by loggers, miners, and farmers following the construction of the Trans-Amazon highway. Jeremy Hance -12.055437 -69.818916 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10789 2013-01-30T17:19:00Z 2015-02-09T22:27:38Z Controversial research outlines physics behind how forests may bring rain <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1962.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It took over two-and-a-half-years for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics to finally accept a paper outlining a new meteorological hypothesis in which condensation, not temperature, drives winds. If proven correct, the hypothesis could have massive ramifications on global policy&#8212;not to mention meteorology&#8212;as essentially the hypothesis means that the world's forest play a major role in driving precipitation from the coast into a continent's interior. The theory, known as the biotic pump, was first developed in 2006 by two Russian scientists, Victor Gorshkov and Anastassia Makarieva of the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics, but the two have faced major pushback and delays in their attempt to put the theory before the greater scientific community. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10775 2013-01-28T21:38:00Z 2013-01-28T21:50:26Z New palm oil concession imperils orangutan population in Borneo Three conservation groups warn that a proposed palm oil plantation puts a significant Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) population at risk in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The plantation, which would cover 400 hectares of private forest land, lies adjacent to Kulamba Wildlife Reserve, home to 480 orangutans. Jeremy Hance 5.583184 118.673515 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10757 2013-01-23T22:30:00Z 2013-01-30T16:45:35Z Scientists point to research flaw that has likely exaggerated the impact of logging in tropical forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_2908.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The impact of logging on tropical forest species has likely been exaggerated by statistical problems, according to a new study in Conservation Biology. Reviewing 77 studies on how logging affects tropical biodiversity, scientists found that 67 percent were flawed by a technical problem known as 'pseudoreplication.' The debate over logging in tropical forests has garnered significant attention recently as some scientists argue that well-managed logging areas can actually retain impressive numbers of species, while others say logging does irreparable harm to the ecosystem's ecology. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10534 2012-12-06T23:59:00Z 2012-12-07T04:43:38Z Norway payments to Brazil for reducing deforestation reach $670 million Norway will deposit another $180 million into Brazil's Amazon Fund after the Latin American giant reported a third straight annual drop in deforestation, reports <i>Bloomberg</i>. The payment comes despite a high-profile dispute over who verifies reductions in emissions from deforestation &#8212; Norway believes emissions reductions should be measured by an independent third party, but Brazil disagrees. The disagreement sidelined discussions over the REDD+ mechanism during climate talks in Doha, pushing negotiations over the program out another year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10502 2012-12-03T19:00:00Z 2012-12-07T05:55:03Z REDD+ negotiations in Doha at impasse, potentially delaying decisions on safeguards another year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/1203redd150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Negotiations over a program that would pay tropical countries for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation &#8212; or REDD+ &#8212; are stuck at an impasse over how emissions reductions would be verified, reports <i>Ecosystem Marketplace</i>. The disagreement, which has been characterized as a standoff between Brazil, which is potentially a beneficiary of REDD+, and Norway, which is the world's largest funder of tropical forest conservation, could push any final decisions on REDD+ out another year. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10464 2012-11-28T20:16:00Z 2012-12-23T22:06:10Z 5 years in, debates over REDD+ continue <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/12/1128LOGGING150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An initiative that aims to slow global warming by paying developing countries to protect and better manage their forests is expected to be an important storyline during climate talks in Doha this week and next. REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), as the mechanism is known, has grown in complexity since it gained momentum during the 2005 climate talks in Montreal, but is arguably moving forward faster than other areas of climate negotiations. Still, many elements of REDD+ continue to be as hotly debated today as they were five years ago when it got the conceptual OK from the U.N. These include the process for establishing baselines to measure reductions in emissions, safeguards to protect against adverse outcomes for biodiversity and forest-dependent communities, and financing and markets. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10456 2012-11-27T17:41:00Z 2015-01-20T03:32:34Z Featured video: how locals depend on Kalimantan's vanishing forests A new video explores local indigenous views of the forests of Kalimantan or Indonesian Borneo. Having depended on the rainforest ecosystems for centuries, indigenous groups now find themselves under pressure to exploit forest for logging, coal mining, or industrial plantations. While biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services are at stake, the forests are also deeply intertwined with the culture and way-of-life for indigenous group. Jeremy Hance 1.735574 115.311584 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10449 2012-11-26T14:21:00Z 2012-11-26T15:11:04Z Unique program to leave oil beneath Amazonian paradise raises $300 million <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_409.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Yasuni-ITT Initiative has been called many things: controversial, ecological blackmail, revolutionary, pioneering, and the best chance to keep oil companies out of Ecuador's Yasuni National Park. But now, after a number of ups and downs, the program is beginning to make good: the Yasuni-ITT Initiative has raised $300 million, according to the Guardian, or 8 percent of the total amount needed to fully fund the idea. Jeremy Hance -1.115042 -75.862198 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10411 2012-11-15T18:15:00Z 2012-11-15T18:19:02Z Featured video: on-the-ground look at Brazil's fight against deforestation A new video by the Guardian takes an on-the-ground look at Brazil's efforts to tackle deforestation in the Amazon. Using satellite imagery, an elite team of enforcement agents are now able to react swiftly to illegal deforestation. The crackdown on deforestation has been successful: destruction of the Amazon has slowed by around 75 percent in the last 8 years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10381 2012-11-12T23:41:00Z 2012-11-13T00:35:12Z Norway's $650B pension fund to require deforestation disclosure among portfolio companies Norway's $650 billion sovereign wealth fund will ask companies in which it invests to disclose their impacts on tropical forests, as part of its effort to reduce deforestation, reports Reuters. The move could usher in broader reporting on the forest footprint of operations. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10192 2012-09-25T17:55:00Z 2012-09-26T16:43:07Z Greenpeace targets forest carbon offsets in California's cap-and-trade California's inclusion of forest conservation-based carbon offsets in its climate change legislation may not lead to net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and could exacerbate social conflict in places like southern Mexico, argues a report released Monday by Greenpeace. But the activist group faced sharp criticism from backers of California's initiative. Rhett Butler 16.678293 -91.023376 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10187 2012-09-24T16:29:00Z 2015-02-08T23:28:01Z Featured video: camera traps find rare, mountain animals in Sumatra In May of this year, Dutch filmmaker, Marten Slothouwer and his team trudged up Sumatra's northern-most mountains with video camera equipment in hand, hoping to capture rare and cryptic species for the world to see. Already the camera trapping initiative, dubbed Eyes on Leuser, took incredible footage in the region's imperiled lowland rainforest, but the group hoped now to capture mountain endemics. Jeremy Hance 3.773819 97.231293 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10101 2012-09-06T01:19:00Z 2012-09-06T01:24:20Z Human rights key to rainforest conservation, argues report Recognizing the rights of forest people to manage their land is critical to reducing deforestation rates and safeguarding global forests, argues a new report published by Rainforest Foundation Norway. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10037 2012-08-20T16:09:00Z 2012-08-26T19:00:11Z Recommendations to save India's Western Ghats creates political stir <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/400px-Lion-tailed_macaque_canine.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A massive expert panel report on the conservation of the Western Ghats has caused a political stir in India. The report, headed by noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil, recommends that the government phase out mining projects, cancel damaging hydroelectric projects, and move toward organic agriculture in ecologically-sensitive sections of the Ghats. The report, which was leaked after the government refused to release it, has yet to be implemented. Recently dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Western Ghats is one of India's largest wildernesses and home to thousands of species, many found no-where else. Jeremy Hance 14.785505 74.551391 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10022 2012-08-15T21:47:00Z 2015-02-08T23:18:41Z Key mammals dying off in rainforest fragments <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/jlh/ecuador/Yasuni.150/Yasuni_22.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When the Portuguese first arrived on the shores of what is now Brazil, a massive forest waited for them. Not the Amazon, but the Atlantic Forest, stretching for over 1.2 million kilometers. Here jaguars, the continent's apex predator, stalked peccaries, while tapirs waded in rivers and giant anteaters unearthed termites mounds. Here, also, the Tupi people numbered around a million people. Now, almost all of this gone: 93 percent of the Atlantic Forest has been converted to agriculture, pasture, and cities, the bulk of it lost since the 1940s. The Tupi people are largely vanished due to slavery and disease, and, according to a new study in the open access journal PLoS ONE, so are many of the forest's megafauna, from jaguars to giant anteaters. Jeremy Hance -24.081574 -47.424065 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9938 2012-07-30T17:52:00Z 2012-08-16T14:04:00Z 'National scandal:' foreign companies stripped Papua New Guinea of community-owned forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Pomio-pic_2.palmoil.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Eleven percent of Papua New Guinea's land area has been handed over to foreign corporations and companies lacking community representation, according to a new report by Greenpeace. The land has been granted under controversial government agreements known as Special Agricultural and Business Leases (SABLs), which scientists have long warned has undercut traditional landholding rights in the country and decimated many of Papua New Guinea's biodiverse rainforests. To date, 72 SABLs have been granted&#8212;mostly to logging companies&#8212;covering an area totaling 5.1 million hectares or the size of Costa Rica. Jeremy Hance -9.477508 147.19677 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9935 2012-07-30T15:32:00Z 2012-08-16T14:06:19Z Guyana rainforests secure trust fund <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/129230anteater-XL.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The nation of Guyana sports some of South America's most intact and least-imperiled rainforests, and a new $8.5 million trust fund hopes to keep it that way. The Guyanese government has teamed up with Germany and Conservation International (CI) to create a long-term trust fund to manage the country's protected areas system (PAS). Jeremy Hance 6.79724 -58.147945 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9903 2012-07-25T17:22:00Z 2015-02-08T23:13:02Z Half of tropical forest parks losing biodiversity <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/indonesia/150/sumatra_0654.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Governments have set up protected areas, in part, to act as reservoirs for our Earth's stunning biodiversity; no where is this more true than in the world's tropical forests, which contain around half of our planet's species. However a new study in Nature finds that wildlife in many of the world's rainforest parks remains imperiled by human pressures both inside and outside the reserves, threatening to undercut global conservation efforts. Looking at a representative 60 protected areas across 36 tropical nations, the scientists found that about half the parks suffered an "erosion of biodiversity" over the last 20-30 years. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9867 2012-07-19T16:07:00Z 2015-02-08T23:09:26Z Experts: sustainable logging in rainforests impossible <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Guyana_303.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Industrial logging in primary tropical forests that is both sustainable and profitable is impossible, argues a new study in <i>Bioscience</i>, which finds that the ecology of tropical hardwoods makes logging with truly sustainable practices not only impractical, but completely unprofitable. Given this, the researchers recommend industrial logging subsidies be dropped from the UN's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. The study, which adds to the growing debate about the role of logging in tropical forests, counters recent research making the case that well-managed logging in old-growth rainforests could provide a "middle way" between conservation and outright conversion of forests to monocultures or pasture. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9848 2012-07-16T17:18:00Z 2012-07-16T17:37:49Z Scientists propose a new way forward on orangutan conservation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_2747.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Orangutans are in dire need of a revised conservation approach, according to a new study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. While the plight of the species is widely recognized within the conservation community&#8212;receiving international attention in the form of scientific research, funding, and NGO efforts&#8212;the authors argue that "there has been frustratingly little progress." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9830 2012-07-12T18:46:00Z 2015-02-08T23:08:59Z Still time to save most species in the Brazilian Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/wearn3HR.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Once habitat is lost or degraded, a species doesn't just wink out of existence: it takes time, often several generations, before a species vanishes for good. A new study in Science investigates this process, called "extinction debt", in the Brazilian Amazon and finds that 80-90 percent of the predicted extinctions of birds, amphibians, and mammals have not yet occurred. But, unless urgent action is taken, the debt will be collected, and these species will vanish for good in the next few decades. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9779 2012-07-05T17:09:00Z 2015-02-08T23:06:09Z Experts dispute recent study that claims little impact by pre-Columbian tribes in Amazon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/peru/tambopata/Tambopata_1026_3660.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A study last month in the journal Science argued that pre-Columbian peoples had little impact on the western and central Amazon, going against a recently composed picture of the early Amazon inhabited by large, sophisticated populations influencing both the forest and its biodiversity. The new study, based on hundreds of soil samples, theorizes that indigenous populations in much of the Amazon were tiny and always on the move, largely sticking to rivers and practicing marginal agriculture. However, the study raised eyebrows as soon as it was released, including those of notable researchers who openly criticized its methods and pointed out omissions in the paper, such as no mention of hundreds of geoglyphs, manmade earthen structures, found in the region. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9770 2012-07-03T14:29:00Z 2012-07-03T14:44:24Z India's Western Ghats rainforest declared UNESCO World Heritage Site India's Western Ghats, considered one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world, has been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In total, 39 different sites in the tropical rainforest&#8212;home to Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, lion-tailed macaques, and thousands of other species&#8212;have made it under the listing. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9732 2012-06-26T17:53:00Z 2012-06-26T18:05:58Z Greenpeace calls for global REDD standards to reduce negative impacts of forest carbon projects Greenpeace has launched a consultation process to establish global standards for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) projects. Rhett Butler