tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/sustainable%20forest%20management1 sustainable forest management news from mongabay.com 2015-02-23T20:05:52Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14396 2015-02-18T23:52:00Z 2015-02-23T20:05:52Z Selective logging causes long-term changes to forest structure <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/gabon/150/gabon_2813.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging is causing long-term changes to tropical forests in Africa by facilitating the growth of weeds and vines, which reduces plant diversity and diminishes carbon storage, reports a new paper published in the journal <i>Ecological Research</i>. The paper is based on field data from more than 500 plots in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Cameroon and Gabon. Rhett Butler 7.341270 -11.236710 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14148 2014-12-12T17:55:00Z 2014-12-12T19:33:02Z Boosting the conservation value of 4M sq km of rainforest logging concessions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.s3.amazonaws.com/sabah/150/sabah_aerial_0691.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Short of buying back logging concessions, switching from conventional logging approaches to reduced impact logging techniques across existing forestry concessions may be the best way boost biodiversity in areas earmarked for timber extraction, argues paper. Rhett Butler 4.539806 101.380621 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13884 2014-10-07T17:14:00Z 2015-01-20T03:29:21Z An impossible balancing act? Forests benefit from isolation, but at cost to local communities <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0923_anna_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The indigenous people of the Amazon live in areas that house many of the Amazon’s diverse species. The Rupununi region of Guyana is one such area, with approximately 20,000 Makushi and Wapishana people living in isolation. According to a recent study published in Environmental Modelling & Software, a simulation model revealed a link between growing indigenous populations and gradual local resource depletion. Tiffany Roufs 3.930703 -59.092860 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13717 2014-08-26T20:18:00Z 2014-12-30T22:34:37Z How do we save the world's vanishing old-growth forests? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/sabah_1454.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There's nothing in the world like a primary forest, which has never been industrially logged or cleared by humans. They are often described as cathedral-like, due to pillar-like trees and carpet-like undergrowth. Yet, the world's primary forests&#8212;also known as old-growth forests&#8212;are falling every year, and policy-makers are not doing enough to stop it. Jeremy Hance 5.159093 116.924597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13696 2014-08-21T14:56:00Z 2014-08-21T15:17:04Z Next big idea in forest conservation? DNA fingerprinting trees to stem illegal logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0821.cannon.DSC_0527.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As a professor at Texas Tech, Dr. Chuck Cannon has been, among other things, working to create a system of DNA fingerprinting for tropical trees to undercut the global illegal logging trade. 'If we just enforced existing laws and management policies, things would be pretty good, but unfortunately, that is where things fall apart in many tropical countries,' Cannon said. Jeremy Hance 15.038075 106.306014 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13617 2014-07-31T16:03:00Z 2014-08-01T23:06:00Z Ecologists are underestimating the impacts of rainforest logging <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0731frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal <i>Current Biology</i>. The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests. Rhett Butler 15.736084 50.025458 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13523 2014-07-10T15:08:00Z 2014-07-10T15:26:56Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Rewards for reforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0710.louis.Dr.-Ed-Louis.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Susie McGuire and Dr. Edward Louis Jr. are the powerhouse team behind the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership (MBP), an NGO that involves local residents&#8212;both human and primate&#8212;in reforestation efforts in Madagascar. A conservation geneticist and veterinarian by training, Ed Louis has discovered 21 lemur species and successfully reintroduced two species of locally extinct lemurs back into the wild. Jeremy Hance -21.380746 47.867042 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13489 2014-07-03T16:52:00Z 2014-07-06T16:19:33Z Next big idea in forest conservation? The 'double-edged sword' of democracy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0703.sheil.gorilla.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Douglas Sheil considers himself an ecologist, but his research includes both conservation and management of tropical forests. Currently teaching at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Sheil has authored and co-authored over 200 publications including scholarly articles, books, and popular articles on the subject. Jeremy Hance -0.987945 29.672290 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13368 2014-06-11T13:58:00Z 2014-12-30T22:42:23Z PhD students 'thrilled' to rediscover mammal missing for 124 years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0611.newguineabigearedbat.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1890 Lamberto Loria collected 45 specimens&#8212;all female&#8212;of a small bat from the wilds of Papua New Guinea. Nearly 25 years later, in 1914, the species was finally described and named by British zoologist Oldfield Thomas, who dubbed it the New Guinea big-eared bat (Pharotis imogene) after its massive ears. But no one ever saw the bat again. Jeremy Hance -10.127639 148.861417 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/13096 2014-04-17T18:06:00Z 2015-03-07T04:47:11Z Legal logging concessions drive illegal logging in Peru, threatening forests and indigenous people <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0417Peru-Logging_Photo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Nearly 70 percent of officially inspected logging concessions in Peru have had their permits canceled or are under investigation for major breaches of forestry laws, finds a new study published in the journal <i>Scientific Reports</i>. Worryingly, the research also concludes that forestry permits are being widely used to launder timber illegally logged from outside concession areas. Rhett Butler -11.199957 -70.359879 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12521 2013-12-16T19:55:00Z 2013-12-16T20:31:07Z Scientists: well-managed forest restoration benefits both biodiversity and people In November this year, the world was greeted by the dismaying news that deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon jumped 28% in the past year. The year 2013 also holds the dubious distinction of being the first time since humans appeared on the planet, that carbon concentrations in the atmosphere rose to 400 parts per million. A map by Google revealed that Russia, Brazil, the United States, Canada and Indonesia all displayed over 10 million hectares of gross forest loss from 2000-2012, with the highest deforestation rate occurring in Malaysia. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12376 2013-11-13T23:25:00Z 2013-11-15T07:30:26Z REDD+ carbon market stabilizes, but risk of supply glut looms <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1113-forest-carbon-market-by-yr150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The market for carbon credits generated under projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) showed signs of stabilizing in 2012 after a sharp drop in 2011, finds Forest Trends' new assessment of the global forest carbon market. The report shows that offsets representing 8.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide were transacted in 2012, a 16 percent increase over 2011. But the average value of each credit dipped 8 percent from $8.50 to $7.80. Nonetheless the activity suggests the market of REDD+ credits may have stabilized after the volume fell 62 percent between 2010 and 2011. 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/11665 2013-06-28T17:47:00Z 2013-07-05T17:00:44Z World's biggest companies lay out path toward zero-deforestation commodities With a backdrop of fires raging across oil palm and timber plantations in Sumatra, business and political leaders convened in Indonesia to discuss a path forward for producing deforestation-free commodities by 2020. Rhett Butler -6.201312 106.833 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11648 2013-06-26T12:41:00Z 2013-07-05T17:05:34Z Greenpeace launches series of case studies critiquing forest certification standard Activist group Greenpeace says it will publish a series of case studies highlighting examples of good and bad practice among operations certified under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an eco-standard for forest products. Greenpeace, an FSC member since the body was found in 1993, says that as the standard has expanded, the risk to its credibility has also increased. Rhett Butler 60.283408 25.079956 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11631 2013-06-23T17:10:00Z 2015-02-11T23:08:09Z Solving 'wicked problems': ten principles for improved environmental management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/brazil/150/brazil_0225.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>As agriculture continues to expand at the expense of forests in the tropics, humanity struggles to meet environmental protection goals. Despite global efforts towards sustainable agriculture and some progress towards the gazetting of protected areas, there are as yet no general and effective solutions for meeting both conservation goals and food needs, and thus the loss and degradation of natural habitats continues. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has estimated a 70% increase in food production will be needed by 2050 to feed a population that will exceed 9 billion. How can such food production be met in ways that conserve the environment while also alleviating poverty? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11252 2013-04-17T14:09:00Z 2013-04-17T14:31:44Z Featured video: local communities successfully conserve forests in Ethiopia A participatory forest management (PFM) program in Ethiopia has made good on forest preservation and expansion, according a recent article and video interview (below) from the Guardian. After 15 years, the program has aided one community in expanding its forest by 9.2 percent in the last decade, while still allowing community access to forest for smallscale logging in Ethiopia's Bale Mountains. Jeremy Hance 6.738259 39.632721 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11209 2013-04-10T19:44:00Z 2013-04-10T20:00:41Z International Paper commits to working with longtime foe to protect endangered forests In another sign that the global paper industry may be steering toward more sustainable practices following years of bruising activist campaigns and pressure from buyers, International Paper (IP) has committed to identifying and protecting endangered forests and high conservation value areas in the southern U.S. The company, which is the world's largest paper maker, will be partnering with its tenacious NGO critic, the Dogwood Alliance, in order to map out forests in the region and, furthermore, move away from converting natural forests into pine plantations. Jeremy Hance 35.101416 -89.850226 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11194 2013-04-09T13:11:00Z 2015-02-09T22:46:03Z Still hope for tropical biodiversity in human modified landscapes As primary forests become increasingly rare and expensive to protect, many ecologists are looking to better management of Human Modified Landscapes (HMLs) to shepherd and shield biodiversity in the tropics. Secondary forests, selectively logged forests and lands devoted to sustainable agriculture already play an important role in conservation efforts. However, the idea that HMLs will serve as a "Noah's Ark" for biodiversity, is controversial. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10947 2013-02-28T23:41:00Z 2013-03-01T06:54:58Z Malaysian NGOs boldly demand forest conservation action in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1245.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In an unusually bold statement catalyzed by the deaths of 14 rare elephants, six Malaysian NGOs today called on the Sabah state government to pursue 'a more conservation focused agenda' in managing the state's forests. The demand comes shortly after the death of 14 endangered pygmy elephants &#8212; thought poisoned by an oil palm plantation developer &#8212; thrust Sabah's environmental problems into the international spotlight. Rhett Butler 4.840575 116.742096 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/10859 2013-02-11T22:16:00Z 2015-02-09T22:30:54Z Rosewood in Belize: the truth behind the smoke In Belize, the uncontrolled and often illegal harvesting of rosewood has been, and still is, one of the major environmental issues in the country. In March of last year, the government established a moratorium on the export and extraction of rosewood, however illegal harvesting continued. On Friday 11 January, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development made the bold move of burning confiscated illegally cut rosewood flitches. Jeremy Hance 16.248462 -88.865318 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10858 2013-02-11T20:14:00Z 2013-02-12T21:10:15Z Activists blast World Bank on continued support of industrial rainforest logging Two environmental activist groups blasted the World Bank over its reported decision to block a probe into its support of industrial-scale rainforest logging. Rhett Butler -4.598327 22.109985 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/10532 2012-12-06T21:19:00Z 2013-03-20T17:23:07Z Greenpeace says U.S. logging company has broken landmark boreal forest agreement When a long-fought peace was reached between nine environmental groups and 20 logging companies in 2010 for the vast Canadian boreal forest, it was dubbed the "world's largest conservation agreement." However, now that agreement is being shaken. A dispute between Greenpeace and U.S. logging company, Resolute Forest Products, over alleged logging in critical caribou habitat has resulted in the activist group abandoning the agreement. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/10385 2012-11-13T14:55:00Z 2012-12-23T22:02:25Z Borneo may lose half its orangutans to deforestation, hunting, and plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/orangutan1D2A8912A150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Borneo will likely lose half of its orangutans if current deforestation and forest conversion trends continue, warns a comprehensive new assessment by an international team of researchers. The study, published in the journal <i>PLoS ONE</i>, overlays orangutan distribution with land use regulations in Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo. Borneo has suffered high rates of deforestation, logging, and forest conversion for industrial plantations in recent decades, endangering the world's largest surviving populations of orangutans. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9875 2012-07-23T11:27:00Z 2015-02-08T23:12:18Z Saving 'Avatar Grove': the battle to preserve old-growth forests in British Columbia <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Ancient_Forest_Clearcut_Photo_TJ_Watt.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A picture is worth a thousand words: this common adage comes instantly to mind when viewing T.J. Watt's unforgettable photos of lost trees. For years, Watt has been photographing the beauty of Vancouver Island's ancient temperate rainforests, and documenting their loss to clearcut logging. The photographer and environmental activist recently helped co-found the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA), a group devoted to saving the island's and British Columbia's (BC) last old-growth while working with the logging industry to adopt sustainable practices. This February the organization succeeded in saving Avatar Grove&#8212;which was only discovered in 2009&#8212;from being clearcut. The grove, a rare stand of massive and ancient trees named after the popular eco science-fiction movie, has become a popular tourist destination, providing a new economic incentive for communities to protect rather than cut Canada's last great forests. Jeremy Hance 49.639177 -125.388794 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/9855 2012-07-17T16:55:00Z 2013-02-24T03:33:36Z Industrial logging leaves a poor legacy in Borneo's rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/sabah/150/sabah_1381.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For most people "Borneo" conjures up an image of a wild and distant land of rainforests, exotic beasts, and nomadic tribes. But that place increasingly exists only in one's imagination, for the forests of world's third largest island have been rapidly and relentlessly logged, burned, and bulldozed in recent decades, leaving only a sliver of its once magnificent forests intact. Flying over Sabah, a Malaysian state that covers about 10 percent of Borneo, the damage is clear. Oil palm plantations have metastasized across the landscape. Where forest remains, it is usually degraded. Rivers flow brown with mud. Rhett Butler 5.141553 116.932983 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/9685 2012-06-20T15:42:00Z 2012-06-20T17:39:28Z Congolese experts needed to protect Congo Basin rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Congo20112-058-lower-res.forest.river.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>This summer, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to approve a new higher education strategy which the country has developed with the World Bank and other international donors. The shape of this educational reform initiative will be critical to Congo's future in many ways. It could finally offer Congo’s long-suffering people a route into the 21st century. It will also help determine the future of the DRC’s forests. Nearly half of the Congo Basin’s remaining rainforest is in the DRC&#8212;yet the critical role of Congolese experts in forestry, agricultural science, wildlife management and other rural sciences in protecting this forest is not widely recognized. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9693 2012-06-19T15:59:00Z 2012-06-19T16:11:30Z Over 700 people killed defending forest and land rights in past ten years <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0528-murders-in-brazil-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 24th, 2011, forest activist José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, were gunned down in an ambush in the Brazilian state of Pará. A longtime activist, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva had made a name for himself for openly criticizing illegal logging in the state which is rife with deforestation. The killers even cut off the ears of the da Silvas, a common practice of assassins in Brazil to prove to their employers that they had committed the deed. Less than a year before he was murdered, da Silva warned in a TEDx Talk, "I could get a bullet in my head at any moment...because I denounce the loggers and charcoal producers." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9494 2012-05-10T20:35:00Z 2013-07-20T05:39:18Z Can loggers be conservationists? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia-java/150/java_0884.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last year researchers took the first ever publicly-released video of an African golden cat (Profelis aurata) in a Gabon rainforest. This beautiful, but elusive, feline was filmed sitting docilely for the camera and chasing a bat. The least-known of Africa's wild cat species, the African golden cat has been difficult to study because it makes its home deep in the Congo rainforest. However, researchers didn't capture the cat on video in an untrammeled, pristine forest, but in a well-managed logging concession by Precious Woods Inc., where scientist's cameras also photographed gorillas, elephants, leopards, and duikers. Jeremy Hance -1.040211 29.673386 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9425 2012-04-22T14:46:00Z 2012-04-23T20:56:47Z Featured video: How to save the Amazon The past ten years have seen unprecedented progress in fighting deforestation in the Amazon. Indigenous rights, payments for ecosystem services, government enforcement, satellite imagery, and a spirit of cooperation amongst old foes has resulted in a decline of 80 percent in Brazil's deforestation rates. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9398 2012-04-16T15:06:00Z 2012-04-16T15:09:46Z Police hired by loggers in Papua New Guinea lock locals in shipping containers <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/Pomio-pic_3.bulldozer.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Locals protesting the destruction of their forest in Papua New Guinea for two palm oil plantations say police have been sent in for a second time to crack-down on their activities, even as a Commission of Inquiry (COI) investigates the legality of the concession. Traditional landowners in Pomio District on the island East New Britain say police bankrolled by Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau (RH) have terrorized the population, including locking people in shipping containers for three consecutive nights. The palm oil concessions belongs to a company known as Gilford Limited, which locals say is a front group for RH. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9273 2012-03-19T14:18:00Z 2012-03-19T14:34:11Z How best to monitor biodiversity in REDD+ projects? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/images/uganda/150/ug5_5703.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If done well, REDD+ projects (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) may not only save carbon rich forests, but also protect embattled biodiversity. But what's the best way to ensure both and carbon and species are preserved under REDD+, a program that proposes to pay nations to keep forests standing? A new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Society (TCS) argues that a one-size-fits-all approach to monitoring biodiversity in REDD+ projects would not only be difficult to develop, but would likely fail given vast differences in forest ecology and threats worldwide. Instead local sites should develop monitoring programs based on a generally approved roadmap. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9213 2012-03-07T22:18:00Z 2012-03-07T22:40:11Z After illegal logging allegations, certifier lodges complaint against paper giant APP Less than a week after Greenpeace released evidence that protected tree species were being illegally logged and pulped at an Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) mill in Sumatra, a major certifier, the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), has lodged a complaint and asked for an investigation. In addition to PEFC's move, the National Geographic Society (NGS), which was found to be sourcing from APP recently, has publicly broken ties with the company, and Greenpeace has handed over its evidence to Indonesian police who told the group there would be an investigation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9206 2012-03-06T14:17:00Z 2015-02-05T00:57:21Z Innovative program seeks to safeguard Peruvian Amazon from impacts of Inter-Oceanic Highway <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/arbio.7.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Arbio was begun by Michel Saini and Tatiana Espinosa Q. in the Peruvian Amazon region of Madre de Dios. The project focuses on a protective response to the increased encroachment and destructive land use driven by development. The recent construction of the Inter-Oceanic Highway in the Madre de Dios area presents an enormous threat to forest biodiversity. Arbio provides opportunities to help establish a buffer zone near the road to limit intrusive agricultural and deforestation activities. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9079 2012-02-08T18:11:00Z 2015-01-29T00:45:43Z Majority of protected tropical forests "empty" due to hunting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/colombia_2156.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Protected areas in the world's tropical rainforests are absolutely essential, but one cannot simply set up a new refuge and believe the work is done, according to a new paper in Bioscience. Unsustainable hunting and poaching is decimating tropical forest species in the Amazon, the Congo, Southeast Asia, and Oceana, leaving behind "empty forests," places largely devoid of any mammal, bird, or reptile over a few pounds. The loss of such species impacts the whole ecosystems, as plants lose seed dispersers and the food chain is unraveled. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9021 2012-01-26T23:01:00Z 2015-01-14T05:35:42Z Big trees, like the old-growth forests they inhabit, are declining globally <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/panama/150/panama_0200.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Already on the decline worldwide, big trees face a dire future due to habitat fragmentation, selective harvesting by loggers, exotic invaders, and the effects of climate change, warns an article published this week in <i>New Scientist</i> magazine. Reviewing research from forests around the world, William F. Laurance, an ecologist at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, provides evidence of decline among the world's 'biggest and most magnificent' trees and details the range of threats they face. He says their demise will have substantial impacts on biodiversity and forest ecology, while worsening climate change. Rhett Butler 37.897005 -122.57678 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/9004 2012-01-25T21:49:00Z 2015-01-14T05:33:47Z Logging of primary rainforests not ecologically sustainable, argue scientists <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/12/0125peak_timber150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Tropical countries may face a risk of 'peak timber' as continued logging of rainforests exceeds the capacity of forests to regenerate timber stocks and substantially increases the risk of outright clearing for agricultural and industrial plantations, argues a trio of scientists writing in the journal <i>Biological Conservation</i>. The implications for climate, biodiversity, and local economies are substantial. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8987 2012-01-23T14:26:00Z 2012-01-24T15:20:14Z Economic slowdown leads to the pulping of Latvia's forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/latvia.timber1.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The economic crisis has pushed many nations to scramble for revenue and jobs in tight times, and the small Eastern European nation of Latvia is no different. Facing tough circumstances, the country turned to its most important and abundant natural resource: forests. The Latvian government accepted a new plan for the nation's forests, which has resulted in logging at rates many scientists say are clearly unsustainable. In addition, researchers contend that the on-the-ground practices of state-owned timber giant, Latvijas Valsts meži (LVM), are hurting wildlife and destroying rare ecosystems. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8964 2012-01-17T19:49:00Z 2012-02-07T05:18:40Z Levi's new forest policy excludes fiber from suppliers linked to deforestation Levi Strauss & Company had issued a new policy that will exclude fiber from controversial sources from its products. The move will effectively bar Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) as a supplier, according to the Rainforest Action Network, a green group that is campaigning to reform APP's sourcing practices, which the NGO says come at the expense of rainforests in Sumatra. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8859 2011-12-15T23:15:00Z 2011-12-16T14:58:37Z REDD advances—slowly—in Durban <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/1214fao_tropical150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A program proposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation made mixed progress during climate talks in Durban. Significant questions remain about financing and safeguards to protect against abuse, say forestry experts. REDD+ aims to reduce deforestation, forest degradation, and peatland destruction in tropical countries. Here, emissions from land use often exceed emissions from transportation and electricity generation. Under the program, industrialized nations would fund conservation projects and improved forest management. While REDD+ offers the potential to simultaneously reduce emissions, conserve biodiversity, maintain other ecosystem services, and help alleviate rural poverty, concerns over potential adverse impacts have plagued the program since its conception. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8839 2011-12-13T17:04:00Z 2011-12-13T17:08:12Z Large tract of old growth redwood forest protected in the San Francisco Bay Area 8,532 acres of redwood forest and wildlife habitat in the Santa Cruz mountains will be protected after a coalition of San Francisco Bay Area conservation groups bought the land &#8212; the largest private landholding in in Santa Cruz County &#8212; for $30 million from building materials giant CEMEX, reports the <i>San Jose Mercury News</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8831 2011-12-12T19:07:00Z 2012-01-18T17:30:57Z Locals key to saving primate-rich wetlands in Cote D'Ivoire Saved from being converted into a vast palm oil plantation by PALM-CI in 2009, the Ehy Tanoé wetlands and forest in the Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is home to three gravely endangered primates and as well as many other species. Since 2006, a pilot community management program has been working to protect the 12,000 hectare area, and a new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science finds that long-term conservation of the Ehy Tanoé wetlands and forest is, in fact, vital for locals who depend on the area for hunting, fishing, firewood, building materials, and medicinal plants. In addition, the study finds that the ecosystem has special cultural and spiritual importance to locals. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8816 2011-12-07T20:20:00Z 2011-12-28T18:26:15Z Agriculture group to spend 10 years on forest research Recognizing the global importance of the world's vanishing forests, a 10-year-long research program will focus on the interconnection between agriculture and forests. Conducted by CGIAR, a global agriculture group concerned with sustainability, the research program will look at ways to decrease forest loss and degradation. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8584 2011-10-23T15:09:00Z 2011-10-23T18:44:07Z Malaysian sustainable timber certification fails Dutch standards <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_2908.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>An independent panel in the Netherlands has found that the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) falls short of Dutch standards for sustainable forestry. The final decision comes after a series of judgements and appeals with the latest panel concluding that MTCS still allows natural forest to be destroyed for monoculture plantation and that the scheme ignores the rights of indigenous people. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8559 2011-10-18T19:57:00Z 2015-01-29T00:04:57Z Illuminating Africa's most obscure cat <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/03_AfricanGoldenCat_PreciousWoods-(2).150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Africa is known as the continent of big cats: cheetahs, leopards, and of course, the king of them all, lions. Even servals and caracals are relatively well-known by the public. Still, few people realize that Africa is home to a number of smaller wild cat species, such as the black-footed cat and the African wild cat. But the least known feline on the continent is actually a cryptic predator that inhabits the rainforest of the Congo and West Africa. "The African golden cat has dominated my thoughts and energy for over a year and a half now. When carrying out a study like this one, you find yourself trying to think like your study animal," Laila Bahaa-el-din, University of Kwazulu Natal graduate student, told mongabay.com in a recent interview. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8406 2011-09-19T03:34:00Z 2011-09-19T17:25:31Z Conservationists renew push for 'rainforest bonds' Conservationists are renewing a push for a special class of 'rainforest bonds' to fund efforts to conserve tropical forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8390 2011-09-14T01:24:00Z 2011-09-14T20:27:37Z Logged rainforests are a cheap conservation option <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1006.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>With old-growth forests fast diminishing and land prices surging across Southeast Asia due to rising returns from timber and agricultural commodities, opportunities to save some of the region's rarest species seem to be dwindling. But a new paper, published in the journal <i>Conservation Letters</i>, highlights an often overlooked opportunity for conservation: selectively logged forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8279 2011-08-14T13:49:00Z 2011-08-14T13:55:24Z WWF to investigate program that partners with notorious loggers The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has announced an independent review of its Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) following a report from Global Witness that criticized the conservation organization for working with a number of logging companies that destroy forests, imperil species, and abuse human rights. While WWF's GTFN is meant to support companies in changing their ways, Global Witness' report argued that it led to greenwashing forest destruction, including illegal logging. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8202 2011-07-25T00:06:00Z 2011-07-26T18:11:22Z WWF partnering with companies that destroy rainforests, threaten endangered species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_2232.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Arguably the globe's most well-known conservation organization, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has been facilitating illegal logging, vast deforestation, and human rights abuses by pairing up with notorious logging companies in a flagging effort to convert them to greener practices, alleges a new report by Global Witness. Through its program, the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), WWF&#8212;known as World Wildlife Fund in the US and Canada&#8212;has become entangled with some dubious companies, including one that is imperiling orangutans in Borneo and another which has been accused of human rights abuses in the Congo rainforest. Even with such infractions, these companies are still able to tout connections to WWF and use its popular panda logo. The Global Witness report, entitled <i> Pandering to the Loggers</i>, calls for WWF to make large-scale changes in order to save the credibility of its corporate program. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8062 2011-06-24T19:08:00Z 2013-12-06T23:37:46Z FSC mulls controversial motion to certify plantations responsible for recent deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0624fsc_map150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Members of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), meeting in Malaysia this week for its General Assembly, will consider various changes to the organization, including a vote on a controversial motion that would open the door—slightly at first—to sustainable-certification of companies that have been involved in recent forest destruction for pulp and paper plantations. Known as Motion 18, the change is especially focusing on forestry in places where recent deforestation has been rampant, such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8059 2011-06-23T18:46:00Z 2011-06-27T14:42:12Z FSC to continue allowing baboon killing on sustainably-certified plantations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/chobe_847.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Shooting baboons will continue in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified plantations. After examining a complaint by the NGO GeaSphere against South African plantations for trapping and shooting hundreds of baboons, the FSC has announced it will not place a moratorium on baboon-killing in its sustainably-certified plantations. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8042 2011-06-21T18:02:00Z 2011-07-14T03:16:17Z Indonesia's moratorium undermines community forestry in favor of industrial interests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/kalbar_1032.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's moratorium on new concessions in primary forest areas and peatlands "completely ignores" the existence of community forestry management licenses, jeopardizing efforts to improve the sustainability of Indonesia's forest sector and ensure benefits from forest use reach local people, say environmentalists. According to Greenomics-Indonesia, a Jakarta-based NGO, community and village forestry licenses are not among the many exemptions spelled under the presidential instruction that defines the moratorium. The instruction, issued last month, grants exemptions for industrial developers and allows business-as-usual in secondary forest areas by the pulp and paper, mining and palm oil industries. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/8025 2011-06-16T18:28:00Z 2011-06-16T18:31:36Z Poverty doesn't drive deforestation, argues new survey Income from forests and other ecosystem generates a significant proportion of household income in developing countries, finds a six-year survey of 8,000 families from 60 sites in 24 countries. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7983 2011-06-07T13:35:00Z 2011-06-07T13:35:36Z 90% of tropical forests managed poorly or not at all More than 90 percent of tropical forests are managed poorly or not at all, says a new assessment by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7865 2011-05-15T19:44:00Z 2011-05-15T19:47:43Z Australia forest destruction connected to local products Some of Australia's most popular stores are driving the destruction of native forests, according to a report by a new environmental group Markets for Change (MFC). Furniture, building materials, and paper products were found to be coming at the expense of native forests in Australia and being sold by over 30 businesses in the country, such as Freedom Furniture, Bunnings, Officeworks, Staples, Target, Coles, and Woolsworths. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7628 2011-03-23T19:28:00Z 2011-04-19T03:28:31Z 5 million hectares of Papua New Guinea forests handed to foreign corporations <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/newguinea.tribal.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>During a meeting in March 2011 twenty-six experts—from biologists to social scientists to NGO staff—crafted a statement calling on the Papua New Guinea government to stop granting Special Agricultural and Business Leases. According to the group, these leases, or SABLs as they are know, circumvent Papua New Guinea's strong community land rights laws and imperil some of the world's most intact rainforests. To date 5.6 million hectares (13.8 million acres) of forest have been leased under SABLs, an area larger than all of Costa Rica. "Papua New Guinea is among the most biologically and culturally diverse nations on Earth. [The country's] remarkable diversity of cultural groups rely intimately on their traditional lands and forests in order to meet their needs for farming plots, forest goods, wild game, traditional and religious sites, and many other goods and services," reads the statement, dubbed the Cairns Declaration. However, according to the declaration all of this is threatened by the Papua New Guinea government using SABLs to grant large sections of land without going through the proper channels. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7552 2011-03-10T02:29:00Z 2015-02-15T21:17:46Z Fighting illegal logging in Indonesia by giving communities a stake in forest management <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/11/0310gp_8812-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Over the past twenty years Indonesia lost more than 24 million hectares of forest, an area larger than the U.K. Much of the deforestation was driven by logging for overseas markets. According to the World Bank, a substantial proportion of this logging was illegal. Curtailing illegal logging may seem relatively simple, but at the root of the problem of illegal logging is something bigger: Indonesia's land policy. Can the tide be turned? There are signs it can. Indonesia is beginning to see a shift back toward traditional models of forest management in some areas. Where it is happening, forests are recovering. Telapak understands the issue well. It is pushing community logging as the 'new' forest management regime in Indonesia. Telapak sees community forest management as a way to combat illegal logging while creating sustainable livelihoods. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7514 2011-03-03T15:02:00Z 2015-01-26T22:42:59Z Women are key to global conservation In 1991, my nine-year-old daughter Rachel traveled with me to Guatemala where we were struck by the heartbreaking rural poverty and mudslides worsened by widespread deforestation. We vividly remember holding a three-year-old child who was so listless and malnourished he could scarcely lift his arms. The worry and fatigue on his mother's face and the child's condition affected us both profoundly, despite Rachel's relative youth. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7223 2010-12-28T01:12:00Z 2011-01-25T06:57:48Z Will Indonesia's big REDD rainforest deal work? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/1228sumatra_1469_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Flying in a plane over the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea, rainforest stretches like a sea of green, broken only by rugged mountain ranges and winding rivers. The broccoli-like canopy shows little sign of human influence. But as you near Jayapura, the provincial capital of Papua, the tree cover becomes patchier—a sign of logging—and red scars from mining appear before giving way to the monotonous dark green of oil palm plantations and finally grasslands and urban areas. The scene is not unique to Indonesian New Guinea; it has been repeated across the world's largest archipelago for decades, partly a consequence of agricultural expansion by small farmers, but increasingly a product of extractive industries, especially the logging, plantation, and mining sectors. Papua, in fact, is Indonesia's last frontier and therefore represents two diverging options for the country's development path: continued deforestation and degradation of forests under a business-as-usual approach or a shift toward a fundamentally different and unproven model based on greater transparency and careful stewardship of its forest resources. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7127 2010-11-30T23:05:00Z 2010-11-30T23:09:46Z Logging concession could extinguish endangered Sumatran elephant population <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/sumatra_9066.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Local conservationists are urging the Indonesian government to halt the destruction of a 42,000 hectare forest in the renowned Bukit Tigapuluh Forest Landscape for a pulpwood plantation. According to researchers, the forest concession—owned by PT Lestari Asri Jaya, a subsidiary of Barito Pacific Group—contains the last population of Sumatran elephants (<i>Elephas maximus sumatranus</i>) in the Bukit Tigapuluh and approximately 5% of the island's total population. In a letter being sent to the Ministry of Forests, conservationists write that the destruction of the forest "would immediately lead to local extinction of elephants in Bukit Tigapuluh". They argue that given its ecological importance, the PT Lestari Asri Jaya forest concession should be placed under permanent protection. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7123 2010-11-30T16:54:00Z 2010-11-30T16:59:27Z Consumer goods industry announces goal of zero deforestation in Cancun While governments continue to stall on action to cut greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, global corporations are promising big changes to tackle their responsibilities. The Board of Consumer Goods Forum (BCGF) has approved a resolution to achieve net zero deforestation by 2020 in products such as palm oil, soy, beef, and paper. Announced yesterday at the UN Climate Summit in Cancun, the BCGF has stated the goal will be met both by individual actions within companies and collective action, including partnerships with NGOs, development banks, and governments. With such giants as Walmart, Unilever, Carrefour, and General Mills, BCGF is made up of four hundred global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers totaling over $2.8 trillion in revenue. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/7018 2010-11-08T17:36:00Z 2015-01-26T21:25:30Z Flight of the Monarchs Reveals Environmental Connections across a Continent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/toone.girl.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>As autumn settles across North America, one hallmark of the season is the gentle southward flight of the Monarch Butterflies as they migrate towards the forests that shelter their species during the winter months. Unfortunately, as with other forests across the planet, the Monarch's "over- wintering grounds" in Mexico are suffering from increased human pressures. An innovative conservation group called the ECOLIFE Foundation has stepped up to help safeguard the Monarch's winter forests, and in the process discovered that addressing the Monarch's plight came only after uncovering connections that bind us all. The following article is an interview with Bill Toone, the Executive Director of ECOLIFE. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6903 2010-10-12T22:08:00Z 2010-10-23T16:12:40Z Brazil to auction off large blocks of Amazon rainforest for logging Brazil will auction large blocks of the Amazon rainforest to private timber companies as part of an effort to reduce demand for illegal logging, reports Reuters. The government will grant 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres) of logging concessions by the end of the year, according to Antonio Carlos Hummel, head of Brazil's National Forestry Service. Within four to five years, 11 million hectares will be auctioned. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6894 2010-10-11T18:37:00Z 2015-01-26T21:15:40Z Can 'boutique capitalism' help protect the Amazon? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/ecostasy.plainer.150.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most companies talk green, but few—almost none in fact—actually walk the walk. Sustainable design company, Ecostasy, not only walks the walk, but actually seeks out among the most challenging places to work: the imperiled Brazilian Amazon. Specializing in hand-crafted products by indigenous groups—such as jewelry, pots, and furniture—Ecostasy seeks to balance smart economics, environmental protection, and community development. Make no mistake, however, Ecostasy is not a non-profit, but a rare and refreshing example of a company truly dedicated to changing the world for the better. "In my mind, a virtuous company does not compromise ethical principles for economic interests. For me, being ethical is comprised of conducting oneself with honesty and responsibility to one’s constituencies (customers, employees, suppliers), society and the environment," Katherine Ponte, founder of Ecostasy, told mongabay.com in an interview. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6870 2010-10-06T03:10:00Z 2010-10-06T03:48:38Z The Nestlé example: how responsible companies could end deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/tft.logo.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The NGO, The Forest Trust (TFT), made international headlines this year after food giant Nestlé chose them to monitor their sustainability efforts. Nestlé's move followed a Greenpeace campaign that blew-up into a blistering free-for-all on social media sites. For months Nestle was dogged online not just for sourcing palm oil connected to deforestation in Southeast Asia—the focus of Greenpeace's campaign—but for a litany of perceived social and environmental abuses and Nestlé's reactions, which veered from draconian to clumsy to stonily silent. The announcement on May 17th that Nestlé was bending to demands to rid its products of deforestation quickly quelled the storm. Behind the scenes, Nestlé and TFT had been meeting for a number of weeks before the partnership was made official. But can TFT ensure consumers that Nestlé is truly moving forward on cutting deforestation from all of its products? Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6858 2010-10-04T05:37:00Z 2010-10-04T05:56:20Z Logging generates more income than ranching in the Amazon New research conducted by Brazil's Federal Rural University of Amazonia (UFRA) found that logging generates more income from cattle grazing and agriculture in the Amazon provided landowners operate under existing social and environmental laws, reports the <i>International Tropical Timber Organization</i> in its bimonthly update. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6825 2010-09-28T03:19:00Z 2013-05-11T15:47:44Z Indonesia is the 3rd largest GHG emitter but reducing deforestation offers big opportunity, says government <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0927abatement150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions reached 2.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2005, making it the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but offering opportunities to substantially reduce emissions through forest conservation, reduced use of fire, protection of peatlands, and better forest management, reports a series of studies released earlier this month by the country's National Climate Change Council (DNPI). Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6822 2010-09-27T18:37:00Z 2010-09-27T18:38:18Z Ugandan forest being stripped for fuel wood A new study in the open access journal of <i>Tropical Conservation Science</i> finds that the Kasagala forest reserve in central Uganda is losing important tree species and suffering from low diversity of species. Researchers believe that forest degradation for charcoal and firewood has put heavy pressure on this ecosystem. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6800 2010-09-23T04:01:00Z 2010-09-23T17:48:32Z Orangutans can survive in timber plantations, selectively logged forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://www.mongabay.com/thumbnails/indonesia/kalimantan/kali9531.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selectively logged forests and timber plantations can serve as habitat for orangutans, suggesting that populations of the endangered ape may be more resilient than previously believed, reports research published in the journal PlosONE. The study, conducted by a team of researchers led by Erik Meijaard of Jakarta-based People and Nature Consulting International, found roughly equivalent population densities between natural forest areas and two pulp and paper plantation concessions in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6540 2010-07-25T22:21:00Z 2010-07-25T23:15:42Z Endangered otter rediscovered in Borneo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/ConCaSa2.thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The last time the hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana) was seen in Borneo it was road-kill, but researchers have now photographed a living individual of this elusive and endangered species. Photos were taken by camera trap in the Dermakot forest in Sabah, a state of Malaysian Borneo. While the last specimen known in Borneo was killed by a car in 1997, the species hasn't been found confirmed in Sabah for over a century. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6526 2010-07-22T09:39:00Z 2010-07-22T23:52:26Z Scientists sound warning on forest carbon payment scheme <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/indonesia/150/sumatra_1682.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists convening in Bali expressed a range of concerns over a proposed mechanism for mitigating climate change through forest conservation, but some remained hopeful the idea could deliver long-term protection to forests, ease the transition to a low-carbon economy, and generate benefits to forest-dependent people. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6505 2010-07-15T17:01:00Z 2015-01-23T17:42:53Z Illegal logging declining worldwide, but still 'major problem' <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/sumatra_0680.thumb.crop.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new report by the Chatham House finds that illegal logging in tropical forest nation is primarily on the decline, providing evidence that new laws and international efforts on the issue are having a positive impact. According to the report, the total global production of illegal timber has fallen by 22 percent since 2002. Yet the report also finds that nations—both producers and consumers—have a long way to go before illegal logging is an issue of the past. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6477 2010-07-11T19:38:00Z 2015-01-23T17:42:09Z Conservation photography: on shooting and saving the world's largest temperate rainforest, an interview with Amy Gulick <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/GulickBio_8068_020.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Most of the US's large ecosystems are but shadows of their former selves. The old-growth deciduous forests that once covered nearly all of the east and mid-west continental US are gone, reduced to a few fragmented patches that are still being lost. The tall grassy plains that once stretched further than any eye could see have been almost wholly replaced by agriculture and increasing suburbs. Habitats, from deserts to western forests, are largely carved by roads and under heavy impact from resource exploitation to invasive species. Coastal marine systems, once super abundant, have partially collapsed in many places due to overfishing, as well as pollution and development. Despite this, there are still places in the US where the 'wild' in wilderness remains largely true, and one of those is the Tongass temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6325 2010-06-23T20:39:00Z 2010-06-24T16:07:36Z Massive forest loss spurs Nepal to ban logging for two months Nepal has announced a two month ban on logging throughout the mountainous country, reports the AFP. The ban was issued after officials received reports of alarming deforestation in lowland areas; according to one official over 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of forest was lost in a few months, more forest than was lost from 2000-2005. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6296 2010-06-17T20:24:00Z 2010-06-21T14:21:53Z Local voices: frustration growing over Senate plan on Tongass logging Recently local Alaskan communities were leaked a new draft of a plan to log 80,000 acres of the Tongass forest making its way through the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee. According to locals who wrote to mongabay.com, the draft reinforced their belief that the selection of which forests to get the axe has nothing to do with community or environmental concerns. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6280 2010-06-15T18:43:00Z 2010-06-17T20:22:12Z Photos: Tongass logging proposal 'fatally flawed' according to Alaskan biologist <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/outlying.islands.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>A state biologist has labeled a logging proposal to hand over 80,000 acres of the Tongass temperate rainforest to Sealaska, a company with a poor environmental record, 'fatally flawed'. In a letter obtained by mongabay.com, Jack Gustafson, who worked for over 17 years as a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, argues that the bill will be destructive both to the environment and local economy. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6249 2010-06-14T20:54:00Z 2010-06-15T15:25:46Z Indonesia's plan to save its rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0614agus_yani150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Late last year Indonesia made global headlines with a bold pledge to reduce deforestation, which claimed nearly 28 million hectares (108,000 square miles) of forest between 1990 and 2005 and is the source of about 80 percent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia would voluntarily cut emissions 26 percent &#8212; and up to 41 percent with sufficient international support &#8212; from a projected baseline by 2020. Last month, Indonesia began to finally detail its plan, which includes a two-year moratorium on new forestry concession on rainforest lands and peat swamps and will be supported over the next five years by a one billion dollar contribution by Norway, under the Scandinavian nation's International Climate and Forests Initiative. In an interview with mongabay.com, Agus Purnomo and Yani Saloh of Indonesia's National Climate Change Council to the President discussed the new forest program and Norway's billion dollar commitment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6258 2010-06-14T16:26:00Z 2015-01-23T17:36:39Z Inga alley cropping: a sustainable alternative to slash and burn agriculture It has been estimated that as many as 300 million farmers in tropical countries may take part in slash and burn agriculture. A practice that is environmentally destructive and ultimately unstable. However, research funded by the EEC and carried out in Costa Rica in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Mike Hands offers hope that it is possible to farm more successfully and sustainably in these tropical regions. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6179 2010-06-02T19:18:00Z 2013-12-06T23:39:30Z A total ban on primary forest logging needed to save the world, an interview with activist Glen Barry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/glen.barry.thumb.gif " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Radical, controversial, ahead-of-his-time, brilliant, or extremist: call Dr. <a href=http://www.mongabay.com/fsc-primary-forests.htm>Glen Barry</a>, the head of <a href=http://www.mongabay.com/ecological_internet_campaign.html>Ecological Internet</a>, what you will, but there is no question that his environmental advocacy group has achieved major successes in the past years, even if many of these are below the radar of big conservation groups and mainstream media. "We tend to be a little different than many organizations in that we do take a deep ecology, or biocentric approach," Barry says of the organization he heads. "[Ecological Internet] is very, very concerned about the state of the planet. It is my analysis that we have passed the carrying capacity of the Earth, that in several matters we have crossed different ecosystem tipping points or are near doing so. And we really act with more urgency, and more ecological science, than I think the average campaign organization." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6145 2010-06-02T04:54:00Z 2012-01-19T05:40:10Z Timber certification is not enough to save rainforests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0602cb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the 1980s and 1990s pressure from activist groups led some of the world's largest forestry products companies and retailers to join forces with environmentalists to form the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a certification standard that aims to reduce the environmental impact of wood and paper production on natural forests. Despite initial skepticism on whether buyers would pay a premium for greener forest products, FSC quickly grew and by 2000 had become a standard in many markets, including Europe and the United States. Companies like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ikea are today strong supporters of the FSC. But the FSC has not been without controversy. In recent years some activists have voiced concern about FSC standards as well as the credibility of auditors that certify timber operations. Among the initiative's supporters is the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a group best known for its aggressive protest tactics. RAN says engagement with the FSC is better than the alternative: leaving the timber industry to devise its own sustainability standards. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6161 2010-06-01T15:25:00Z 2010-06-01T22:17:56Z Norway's billion dollar contribution to Indonesian forests excludes national reforestation scheme Norway's billion dollar contribution to forest and peatlands conservation in Indonesia will not fund reforestation of deforested areas, a government minister told <i>The Jakarta Post</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6100 2010-05-19T18:46:00Z 2010-05-19T20:21:52Z Big compromise reached on Canada's Boreal by environmental groups and forestry industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/boreal.scenery.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>In what is being heralded as the 'world's largest conservation agreement' 20 Canadian forestry companies and nine environmental organizations have announced an agreement covering 72 million hectares of the Canadian boreal forest (an area bigger than France). Reaching a major compromise, the agreement essentially ends a long battle between several environmental groups and the companies signing on, all members of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6089 2010-05-17T15:14:00Z 2010-05-17T15:35:21Z Nestle caves to activist pressure on palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/borneo_5424a-2.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>After a two month campaign against Nestle for its use of palm oil linked to rainforest destruction spearheaded by Greenpeace, the food giant has given in to activists' demands. The Swiss-based company announced today in Malaysia that it will partner with the Forest Trust, an international non-profit organization, to rid its supply chain of any sources involved in the destruction of rainforests. "Nestle’s actions will focus on the systematic identification and exclusion of companies owning or managing high risk plantations or farms linked to deforestation," a press release from the company reads, adding that "Nestle wants to ensure that its products have no deforestation footprint." Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6068 2010-05-10T16:33:00Z 2010-05-11T03:57:40Z Cameroon agrees to cut illegal wood out of its supply chain One of Africa's largest exporters of tropical hardwoods, Cameroon, has announced today a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) to rid all illegal wood from its supply chain to the EU and worldwide. Cameroon signed a legally-binding Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) that will cover all wood products produced in Cameroon. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6033 2010-05-03T15:41:00Z 2010-06-16T23:12:43Z Logging in Tongass rainforest would imperil rare species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/QC_Goshawk.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>According to a letter from three past employees of the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation to Sean Parnell, the Governor of Alaska, a proposal to bill logging the Tongass temperate rainforest would threaten two endangered species. In fact, the letter warns that if the bill passes and the company in question, Sealaska, proceeds with logging it is likely the Alexander Archipelago wolf and the Queen Charlotte goshawk would be pushed under the protection of the US Endangered Species Act (ESA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/6020 2010-04-29T19:00:00Z 2010-06-16T23:14:03Z Locals plead for Tongass rainforest to be spared from Native-owned logging corporation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/aerial_041.thumb.jpg " align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Tongass temperate rainforest in Alaska is a record-holder: while the oldest and largest National Forest in the United States (spanning nearly 17 million acres), it is even more notably the world's largest temperate rainforest. Yet since the 1960s this unique ecosystem has suffered large-scale clearcutting through US government grants to logging corporations. While the clearcutting has slowed to a trickle since its heyday, a new bill put forward by Senator Lisa Murkowski (Rep.) gives 85,000 acres to Native-owned corporation Sealaska, raising hackles among environmentalists and locals who are dependent on the forests for resources and tourism. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5959 2010-04-13T15:53:00Z 2010-04-13T16:05:26Z $6B forest conservation plan lacking in transparency, indigenous participation, say activists The process to establish REDD+, a proposed climate change mitigation mechanism that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by funding conservation and sustainable management of tropical forests (REDD+), is lacking in transparency and failing to include civil society organizations and indigenous peoples, say activists across forty NGOs. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5910 2010-04-01T17:51:00Z 2015-01-21T00:24:51Z What happened to China?: the nation's environmental woes and its future <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g94/troufs/china_102-6496-1-1.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>China has long been an example of what <i>not</i> to do to achieve environmentally sustainability. Ranking 133rd out of 146 countries in 2005 for environmental performance, China faces major environmental problems including severe air and water pollution, deforestation, water-issues, desertification, extinction, and overpopulation. A new article in <i>Science</i> discusses the complex issues that have led to China's environmental woes, and where the nation can go to from here. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5899 2010-03-30T21:40:00Z 2010-03-30T22:02:08Z Indonesia to establish rainforest trust fund Indonesia is preparing to establish a trust fund to reduce deforestation, reports the <i>Jakarta Globe</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5741 2010-03-01T01:09:00Z 2015-01-21T00:16:58Z How that cork in your wine bottle helps forests and biodiversity, an interview with Patrick Spencer <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/j/DSC_0072.thumb.JPG " align="left"/></td></tr></table>Next time you’re in the supermarket looking to buy a nice bottle of wine: think cork. Although it’s not widely known, the cork industry is helping to sustain one of the world’s most biodiverse forests, including a number of endangered species such as the Iberian lynx and the Barbary deer. Spreading across 6.6 million acres in southern Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy) and northern Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) oak cork trees <i>Quercus suber</i> are actually preserved and protected by the industry. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5704 2010-02-22T18:53:00Z 2010-02-23T23:06:37Z REDD may not provide sufficient incentive to developers over palm oil <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/malaysia/150/borneo_2804.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In less than a generation oil palm cultivation has emerged as a leading form of land use in tropical forests, especially in Southeast Asia. Rising global demand for edible oils, coupled with the crop's high yield, has turned palm oil into an economic juggernaut, generating us$ 10 billion in exports for Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85 percent of palm oil production, alone. Today more than 40 countries - led by China, India, and Europe - import crude palm oil. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5700 2010-02-22T16:15:00Z 2010-02-22T17:09:56Z Illegal loggers hit community reforestation project in Indonesia, spurring questions about REDD Illegal loggers are targeting community-managed forests in South Sumatra, renewing questions over forestry governance and law enforcement as the Indonesia prepares to capitalize on payments for conservation and reforestation under a proposed climate change mitigation mechanism known as REDD, reports the <i>Jakarta Press</i>. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5617 2010-02-05T15:51:00Z 2010-02-22T04:32:51Z Forest conservation in U.S. climate policy: an interview with Jeff Horowitz <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://photos.mongabay.com/10/0204adp_group150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Copenhagen Accord signed in December is widely seen as a disappointment. The Accord set no binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions targets and did not even commitment to a legally binding treaty in the future. Serious work is needed to bring the process back on track. But some progress was made. Countries agreed on international monitoring of emissions (a point of conflict between China and the United States) and funding (rich countries pledged $3 billion a year for the next three years and up to $100 billion a year by 2020) for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. Furthermore, there were gains for the REDD mechanism, a U.N.-backed plan to compensate developing countries for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5466 2010-01-15T04:33:00Z 2010-01-15T19:59:57Z Congo basin rainforest countries Payments for ecosystem services may be a key component in maintaining Central Africa's rainforests as healthy and productive ecosystems, finds a comprehensive assessment of the region's forests. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/5447 2010-01-12T17:37:00Z 2010-01-12T17:55:45Z Dams a 'monument of corruption': Baru Bian, new leader of Sarawak's People's Justice Party In an interview with the Bruno Manser Fond, the new leader of the Malaysian state Sarawak's People's Justice Party (PKR), Baru Bian, spoke out against the state government's plans for mega-dams in the middle of the rainforest, as well as continued rainforest destruction and corruption. Jeremy Hance