- This article has been withdrawn from publication by Mongabay.
On July 6, Mongabay published a news article based on a scientific journal article entitled “Prioritization of peatland restoration and conservation interventions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua” initially published in the Journal for Nature Conservation.
Mongabay’s report contained quotes attributed to an emailed statement from the paper’s lead author Dilva Terzano, a climate finance specialist at the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The quoted text was sent to Mongabay senior staff writer Basten Gokkon by a co-author of the journal article, Francesca Romana Trezza. Gokkon identified himself as a journalist writing a news report based on the study and sent Trezza a list of questions. In Trezza’s reply email, she attributed the written responses to the paper’s first author, listing Terzano’s full name, organization, and title.
Following the publication of Mongabay’s report, on July 21, Terazano contacted Mongabay requesting the article be retracted, stating: “I was never directly approached by Mr. Gokkon, nor have I ever had an email exchange with, directly spoke[n] to, or provided any analysis on the study referred to Mr. Gokkon.” Mongabay’s Global Program Director began an investigation of the incident and determined that Gokkon did not directly communicate with Terazano.
As part of the investigation, Mongabay interviewed Terzano and requested an interview with Trezza to determine the provenance of the contested quotes. Neither person provided any detail about who originally wrote the words in the emailed response to questions from Mr. Gokkon.
While no factual inaccuracies in the article were identified during the investigation, Mongabay withdrew the article from publication because the author of the quoted text could not be identified.