Last July, as the Ukraine war raged, the EU barred all Russian woody biomass imports; even as South Korea took in Russia’s supply. Illicit woody biomass may also still be flowing to the EU from Turkey, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Canadian mining company Belo Sun wants to build a huge gold mine in the Big Bend of the Xingu region, in Pará; project foresees the extraction of 74 tons of gold in 20 years of operation.
Residents of a landless worker’s settlement in Anapu, Pará state in Brazil’s Amazon region, accuse the Federal Government of favoring large landowners, land grabbers and corporations at the expense of poor and landless peasants.
A Mongabay story featuring a whistleblower who debunked the green claims of Enviva — the world’s largest wood pellet maker — has prompted the Dutch to ban subsidies to biomass firms who make false sustainability claims.
An existing regulation designating the burning of forests to make energy as being renewable has been reversed in Australia. That decision seems unlikely to alter the EU’s heavy commitment to biomass burning.
Policymakers could finalize revisions to the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive by year end, even as forest activists offer new evidence denouncing wood pellets as an energy source, and calling for an end to subsidies.
A biomass industry insider tells Mongabay in exclusive interviews that Enviva, the world’s largest maker of wood pellets for energy, is disingenuous in its green, eco-friendly claims to the public and stockholders.
Likely the world’s most popular garment, jeans use huge amounts of water to grow irrigated cotton, a major factor in destroying the Aral Sea. Today, the industry, though making sustainability pledges, still does much harm.
Organized crime cartels and Chinese laborers continue draining the Amazon of jaguars and other endangered species, threatening ecosystems with collapse.
A 2020 move to open a futures water market on the Chicago exchange has resulted in a heated conflict between those who say monetizing is a positive step, and those who see speculation as bad for the environment and traditional peoples.
While forest advocates had high hopes, the EU parliament voted this week not to declassify woody biomass as a renewable energy source, paving the way for more EU, U.S., and Canadian forests to be turned into wood pellets and burned.
The death knell of coal has been proclaimed, but policy loopholes in Asia allow for cofired power plants, where coal and wood are combined as fuel. Both fuels produce lots of carbon emissions, but those from wood aren’t counted.
Just weeks after visiting a patch of Malaysian rainforest, Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler learned it had been logged for wood chips to supply a paper plant. A teenager at…
War, supply chain breakdowns, and climate change-driven weather disasters are pushing wheat prices up and increasing the threat of global hunger. Some analysts say financial speculation is making things worse.
In-person Indigenous plea leads to key Swiss gold refiners promising to stop import of gold illegally mined inside Brazilian Amazon Indigenous reserves — a pledge, if fulfilled, that may be a game changer. (Video)
Global investment firms taken together hold a bigger share in Brazil’s Big Three meat companies than their Brazilians founders, with many U.S. pension fund investors unwittingly contributing to rainforest destruction.
The UK and EU were the primary users of woody biomass for energy. But Japan and South Korea have drastically stepped up their burning of wood pellets — potentially threatening forests, biodiversity, and the climate.
For the first time, a portion of the EU government has challenged the sustainability of burning forest biomass to make energy, a controversial policy pushed by the forestry industry but condemned by environmentalists.
Japan and South Korea are increasingly burning biomass, such as wood pellets, to make energy, with potentially adverse impacts on the global climate, deforestation and biodiversity.
Deforestation due to leather production, alarm over COVID-19’s spread to fur farms, and animal rights activism are all inspiring a booming fashion industry using plant leaves, fruits and microorganisms to imitate animal skins and fur.
The EU remains committed to burning forests to make energy, despite conclusive scientific evidence of its climate destabilizing impacts. In a new strategy, forest advocates plan to take the EU to court to fight that policy.
The E.U. continues to struggle with the irony of a commitment to conserving forests, while also burning forest biomass and ignoring the carbon emissions that causes — all in order to achieve a mandate to end burning oil, gas and coal.
The Glasgow climate summit is failing to address the danger of burning forests to make energy — a practice classified as carbon neutral, though science shows that its emissions exceed that of coal per unit of energy produced.
International forest and climate experts have released a “playbook” for ecosystem restoration with a set of 10 principles that they say, if followed, could be a game-changer. The Political Ecology…
More than 100 scientists have issued a letter urging U.S. President Biden and Congress to remove provisions promoting logging, forest biomass and fossil fuels from the multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and reconciliation (Build Back Better) bills.
It is a commendable goal to end and reverse deforestation within a decade, one which if met would protect both people and the planet, but this is a crisis now.…
The Glasgow Declaration on Forests pledges to end deforestation by 2030. But critics say there’s a catch: Will natural forests continue being cut, and land converted to plantations, causing CO2 emissions to rise and biodiversity to fall?
New research has tracked biomass industry carbon emissions, finding that U.S. wood pellet production, transatlantic shipping, and U.K. and E.U. pellet burning, plus a loss of stored forest carbon, combine in substantial unreported emissions.
Mongabay joins a noted forest ecologist in Olympic National Park to experience its magnificence and significance as a bastion of biodiversity and a carbon storehouse; protection of these vanishing U.S. and Canadian ecosystems is vital, say scientists.
The EU and the forestry industry say burning wood to make energy is carbon neutral and cleaner than coal. But critics say biomass is a disaster for forests, biodiversity and the climate. Mongabay reviews the evidence on both sides.
- Bolivian national park hit hard by forest fires in 2022, satellite data show
- Deforestation ‘out of control’ in reserve in Brazil’s cattle capital
- In Brazil’s Amazon, land grabbers scramble to claim disputed Indigenous reserve
- Gold mining invades remote protected area in Ecuador
- Good fisheries management, if enforced, can help sharks and rays recover
- An El Niño is forecast for 2023. How much coral will bleach this time?
- Thai government turns its sights on illegal coral trade
- Mongabay Explains: What’s the difference between artisanal and industrial fishing?
- Joenia Wapichana: ‘I want to see the Yanomami and Raposa Serra do Sol territories free of invasions’
- JBS is accused of misleading investors with suspicious green bonds
- Sonia Guajajara: Turnaround from jail threats to Minister of Indigenous Peoples
- From Japan to Brazil: Reforesting the Amazon with the Miyawaki method
Land rights and extractives
- Tense neighbors: Chinese quarry in Cameroon takes a toll on locals
- FOIA lawsuit suggests Indonesian nickel miners lack environmental licenses
- Shadows of oil in Peru: Shipibo people denounce damage, contamination left by company
- In Liberia, a gold boom leads to unregulated mining and ailing rivers
- ‘We lost the biggest ally’: Nelly Marubo on her friend Bruno Pereira’s legacy
- Murders of 2 Pataxó leaders prompt Ministry of Indigenous Peoples to launch crisis office
- Worries and whispers in Vietnam’s NGO community after activist’s sentencing
- Scientists call for end to violence against Amazon communities, environmental defenders
Indonesia's Forest Guardians
- Pioneer agroforester Ermi, 73, rolls back the years in Indonesia’s Gorontalo
- After 20 years and thousands of trees planted, Kalimantan’s veteran forester persists
- Aziil Anwar, Indonesian coral-based mangrove grower, dies at 64
- A utopia of clean air and wet peat amid Sumatra’s forest fire ‘hell’
- Biodiversity, human rights safeguards crucial to nature-based solutions: Critics
- Protecting canids from planet-wide threats offers ecological opportunities
- Mangrove forest loss is slowing toward a halt, new report shows
- ‘South Asia needs its own tiger plan’: Q&A with Nepal’s Maheshwar Dhakal
Southeast Asian infrastructure
- Tunnel collapse at dam project in orangutan habitat claims yet another life
- Sulawesi nickel plant coats nearby homes in toxic dust
- Indonesia’s grand EV plans hinge on a ‘green’ industrial park that likely isn’t
- Java communities rally as clock ticks on cleanup of ‘world’s dirtiest river’