Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

Red flags but no repercussions for ‘certified’ Malaysian logger Samling: Report
By Danielle Keeton-Olsen [December 1, 2023, 7:47 pm]
The biggest timber firm in Malaysia’s Sarawak state has been able to maintain sustainability certification despite clearing forests for oil palm plantations and skipping steps in informing affected communities, according to a recent report from NGOs focused on forest conservation and Indigenous rights. The report, by the Borneo Project and the Bruno Manser Fund, is […]

Lombok sand mine corruption probe continues as Indonesia to resume exports
By Fathul Rakhman [December 1, 2023, 7:40 pm]
EAST LOMBOK, Indonesia – Takdir spent years protesting against the sand mine by his home on the east coast of Lombok, an island east of Bali in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara province. In that time, he was summoned often by police for questioning and accused of defamation, a criminal offence in Indonesia. “I was called […]

New guidebook draws on real-world experiences for running private nature reserves
By Liz Kimbrough [December 1, 2023, 4:49 pm]
A new guidebook provides practical guidance for creating and managing sustainable private nature reserves. The “Sustainable Nature Reserves: Guidelines to Create Privately Protected Areas” offers step-by-step recommendations for individuals, nonprofits, communities, and other groups interested in purchasing and managing land for conservation purposes. The guidebook, released by the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN […]

Ancient Amazon earthwork findings spotlight Indigenous land struggles today
By Michael Esquer [December 1, 2023, 4:18 pm]
The Amazon has long been considered home to Indigenous peoples, dating back thousands of years. They worked the land in ways we are familiar with today. They built ditches, ponds, wells and other structures that show the rainforest was not “untouched” as often mistakenly thought. Centuries later, these populations, and the societies they formed, were […]

Indigenous land rights are key to conservation in Cambodia (commentary)
By Emiel de LangeSushil RajYun Mane [December 1, 2023, 3:29 pm]
Keo Seima forest. Image by user Pygathrix nigripes via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).While Indigenous peoples comprise just 6% of the global population, they manage or have tenure rights over at least 38 million km2 in some 87 countries. In many places Indigenous peoples are effective custodians of biodiversity, lands, and seas while sustaining distinct cultural, social and economic values of their communities. Upholding the rights of these communities […]

Sieged by mining and megaprojects, the Munduruku push for land rights in the Amazon
By Sam Cowie [December 1, 2023, 2:36 pm]
The Sawré Muybu Indigenous Territory is in the final stages of getting state protection, but previous right-wing administrations delayed demarcation.

Germany signals boost in support for Brazil through Amazon Fund
By Heloísa Traiano [December 1, 2023, 10:20 am]
Germany was among the donor countries that welcomed the revival of the Amazon Fund at the start of the year, seen as an important conservation measure by Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva. Now, Germany is looking to further strengthen cooperation with Brazil on the environment at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, says […]

Poverty and plantations: Nigerian reserve struggles against the odds
By Orji Sunday [December 1, 2023, 3:55 am]
Situated in western Nigeria, some 70 kilometers (113 miles) east of Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos, Oluwa Forest Reserve is facing severe pressure from smallholder farmers and big plantations. On Highway A121, a major route between Lagos and the city of Ore that bissects the reserve, Mongabay observed heavily loaded trucks and motorbikes driving plantain […]

As RSPO celebrates 20 years of work, Indigenous groups lament unresolved grievances
By Hans Nicholas Jong [December 1, 2023, 2:35 am]
JAKARTA — When the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production, kicked off the second day of its annual roundtable conference on Nov. 21, there was a festive atmosphere. During the opening ceremony in a gigantic ballroom at a luxury five-star hotel in Jakarta, a number of dancers […]

The man who made a pact with wild bees in Colombia’s Amazon
By Jose Guarnizo [December 1, 2023, 12:49 am]
Delio de Jesús Suárez Gómez has become a bee expert. He is 58 years old, belongs to the Tucano peoples, and has turned to meliponiculture to help secure the future of his community and the surrounding forest. Image by Jose Guarnizo.LA CEIBA, Colombia — Nine years ago, Delio de Jesús Suárez Gómez made a pact with wild bees. The arrangement didn’t come easy, given that neither party knew each other well. The relationship was tense. When they crossed paths on the unspoiled trails of the forest in Guainía in eastern Colombia, the bees stood their […]

Logging, road construction continue to fuel forest loss in Papua New Guinea
By Spoorthy Raman [November 30, 2023, 11:15 pm]
The Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria) is the largest living pigeon species on the planet. Image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0).Plonked between the formidable Owen Stanley mountains to its west and the Solomon Sea to the east lies Oro, a remote province in Papua New Guinea east of the capital Port Moresby. Lush, green tropical rainforests, with their famed canopies, blanket the land while rivers and streams glitter in hues of turquoise and emerald—a landscape […]

Scientists unearth secrets of the world’s smallest porcupine species
By Andrea Tamayo [November 30, 2023, 7:34 pm]
Roosmalen's dwarf porcupine (Coendou roosmalenorum) Photo credit: M.G.M. van RoosmalenIn 1996, Dutch biologist Marc van Roosmalen first described a small “piggy-like” porcupine near the Madeira River in the Brazilian Amazon. The creature had brown fur, yellow and black quills, and a long limb-like tail. He believed it resembled Sphiggurus melanorus, a black-tailed dwarf porcupine, but this creature was half its size, suggesting that it […]

At COP28 & beyond, fair carbon markets must be part of the climate finance solution (commentary)
By Charles BedfordJohn Edward Myers [November 30, 2023, 5:52 pm]
Clouds reflected in a lake in the Amazon Rainforest.All eyes will be on oil-rich United Arab Emirates for the next few weeks as it plays host to the UN’s COP28 climate summit. For the 8th year in a row since the landmark Paris Climate Accord, carbon markets will again be vigorously debated. On one side of the debate are some environmentalists that would […]

Palestinian olive farmers hold tight to their roots amid surge in settler attacks
By Marta Vidal [November 30, 2023, 3:32 pm]
Doha Asous, known as Um Musa, collects her olives on her land located close to the settlement of Yizhar, Burin, West Bank, October 15, 2022. Asous family owns about 84 dunums but most of it is very difficut or impossible to access due to the proximity of the Israeli settlements. Surrounded by several Israeli settlements, Burin has been a frequent target of attacks by Israeli settlers. Image by Anne Paq.The first rainfall of autumn after months of drought signals the start of the olive harvest, the most important time of year for many Palestinian farmers. Between October and November, Palestinians gather mats, ladders and buckets to pick olives and picnic in orchards that have been passed down through generations. “Many farmers rely completely on […]

No safe space for Nepal’s sloth bears outside protected areas, study finds
By Abhaya Raj Joshi [November 30, 2023, 3:26 pm]
Sloth bear in NepalKATHMANDU — Hari Prasad Sharma recalls being astonished when he visited the Chure region in Nepal’s southern Madhesh province to study sloth bears. Sharma, an associate professor of zoology at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, had planned to install camera traps in the region to study the bears, Melursus ursinus, in what was believed to be […]

Guatemala braces for unprecedented year of deforestation in Maya reserve
By Maxwell Radwin [November 30, 2023, 2:19 pm]
Central America’s largest protected area is in for a difficult year next year. The Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala is facing increased pressure from cattle ranching at the same time that drought threatens to spark an unprecedented wave of fires. Meanwhile, a tumultuous government transition could leave environmental agencies without enough funding and resources to […]

In Chile’s far south, scientists record an island’s quickly shifting ecology
By Michelle Carrere [November 30, 2023, 9:38 am]
This story is the first part of a Mongabay series titled “Climate Crisis in Cape Horn” that won the Inter American Press Association Award for Excellence in Journalism in the Chronicle category, in September 2023. You can read the other stories in the series in Spanish on Mongabay’s Latam website here. Punta Arenas and Navarino, […]

Ecologists help migratory birds adapt to climate change
By Gillian Dohrn [November 30, 2023, 9:30 am]
Two Dutch flycatchers nestle in the palm of a researcher’s hands. Photo credit: Koosje Lamers.A team of scientists drives across northern Europe under the cloak of darkness in a white van full of carefully caged songbirds. They’re on their way from the Netherlands to Sweden, where winter weather will linger for two weeks longer. The birds in the van are European pied flycatchers who arrived in the Netherlands earlier […]

No animals harmed as wildlife specimen collection goes digital in 3D
By Abhishyant Kidangoor [November 30, 2023, 2:16 am]
Imagine you’re leading an expedition in the depths of a forest. You discover a species of frog that piques your interest. Conventional rules of taxonomy dictate that you capture the animal, euthanize it, and take it back to a lab or museum. But what if it’s a rare or threatened species? What if the animal […]

Smallholders and loggers push deeper into Sumatra’s largest park
By Jeremy Hance [November 29, 2023, 11:43 pm]
At almost 1.4 million hectares (3.4 million acres), a little smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut, Kerinci Seblat National Park is the second-largest park in Indonesia, and a jewel of the island of Sumatra. It’s also home to the largest tiger population left in the country. But Kerinci Seblat continues to lose forest to […]