Hanging with Romi: Get to know our camera trap expert and host of Candid Animal Cam by Erik Hoffner [04/08/2020]

– Romina Castagnino is the host of our new video series that features camera trap footage of wildlife behavior.
– Candid Animal Cam episodes are published every Tuesday and they share a wide variety of facts and footage of fascinating animals like tapirs and spectacled bears.
– Trained as a conservation biologist, Romi has used camera traps extensively in her wildlife studies and shares this knowledge in each episode.
– Teachers and parents with students at home are invited to view these videos with kids, and to use the links provided to learn more about each animal, every Tuesday.

Indigenous group wins unprecedented right of reply to Bolsonaro’s racist invective by Shanna Hanbury [04/07/2020]

– A federal judge in Brazil has ordered government websites to publish a letter from the Kinja indigenous people for 30 days as part of their right of response to racist rhetoric by the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro.
– The ruling, issued on March 30, follows a series of offensive statements by government officials over the indigenous community’s resistance to the planned construction of a 720-kilometer (450-mile) power transmission line that will cut through their Waimiri-Atroari Indigenous Reserve in the Amazon rainforest.
– The ruling also requires the government to develop an anti-discrimination indigenous program and to formally discourage all public authorities against inciting or encouraging racial discrimination.
– Brazil’s National Indigenous Agency (FUNAI) says the decision confuses the president’s right to freedom of expression about public policies with discrimination and is out of the court’s jurisdiction, adding it will appeal the decision.

Defining ‘development’ in the Aru Islands: Q&A with anthropologist Chris Chancellor by The Gecko Project and Mongabay [04/07/2020]

– Governments across the world promote development as an antidote to poverty. But what does “development” really mean?
– The indigenous peoples of Indonesia’s Aru Islands were forced to grapple with that question when a Jakarta-based company, the Menara Group, tried to create an enormous sugar plantation in their territory.
– Mongabay and The Gecko Project spoke with anthropologist Chris Chancellor about the dilemma faced by the Aruese, and what it tells us about the future for places like it.

In Madagascar, revived environmental crime hotline leads to tortoise bust by Edward Carver [04/06/2020]

– A Malagasy civil society group recently relaunched a hotline for people to report environmental crimes while avoiding the reprisals that often follow when they make such reports to the authorities.
– The group hired four environmental lawyers to answer the phones and investigate the cases, referring some to government agencies for enforcement.
– An anonymous caller told hotline lawyers about a classified ad for endangered tortoises in a Malagasy newspaper. The call led to the arrest in March of the seller, a government worker who is now in prison awaiting trial.
– Many governments have online and telephone reporting options for environmental and wildlife crimes. However, in countries with corrupt institutions and weak law enforcement, NGOs and civil society groups often run the hotlines.



Shamans in the city: Brazil clinic offers traditional Amazonian treatments by Débora Menezes [Thu, 09 Apr 2020]
– Created by an indigenous anthropologist, the Centro de Medicina Indígena Bahserikowi offers residents of the Brazilian Amazonian city of Manaus traditional healing and protective treatments by shamans from the Dessana, Tuyuka and Tukano ethnicities.
– Known as kumuã, the indigenous shamans apply the Bahsessé, a type of blessing from the Upper Rio Negro region that evokes the presence of rainforest beings who, according to them, hold all knowledge about humanity.
– In the nearly three years it’s been operating, the center has treated 2,700 people. One of its objectives is to teach the general public about traditional indigenous medicine, a practice that’s losing its foothold in the rainforest.

Chinese ban on eating wild animals likely to become law: Q&A with WCS’s Aili Kang by Malavika Vyawahare [Thu, 09 Apr 2020]
– Wildlife Conservation Society’s China program director, Aili Kang, spoke to Mongabay about an ongoing review of wildlife legislation in China in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which would permanently ban the consumption of wild animals.
– The current debate in China is not about whether there should be such a ban, which could come in as soon as two months, but what shape the ban should take, according to Kang.
– Businesses that breed wild species are pushing for these species to be excluded because they are raised in captivity and can be considered livestock.
– While conservationists are calling for the permanent ban to apply to all species, the public health risk from interacting with reptile and amphibian species is lower than from birds and animals, so there is still uncertainty about whether the former would be included.

Ocean optimism: Study says we can restore marine health by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Thu, 09 Apr 2020]
– A new study finds that it’s possible to repair the world’s oceans to a substantial level in three decades, as long as appropriate measures are taken to protect vulnerable marine species and habitats, rebuild damaged ecosystems, and alleviate the pressures of climate change.
– Several models of success are used to demonstrate that repairing the oceans is a realistic goal, including the positive impacts of wildlife trade and hunting regulations to protect endangered species and critical habitats.
– The biggest challenge in reinstating global ocean health is mitigating the effects of climate change, the authors say.

Great Barrier Reef suffers biggest bleaching event yet by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Thu, 09 Apr 2020]
– Australia’s Great Barrier Reef just experienced its third major bleaching event in the past five years, which has caused severe and widespread damage.
– The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recorded its highest ever sea temperature this past February, which triggered the bleaching.
– The southern part of the reef, which remained relatively untouched during large bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, suffered the most acute damage this time.
– While some corals are able to recover from bleaching, this process can take more than a decade, and scientists fear the Great Barrier Reef won’t recover.

Will the next coronavirus come from Amazonia? Deforestation and the risk of infectious diseases (commentary) by Philip M. Fearnside [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– Many “new” human diseases originate from pathogens transferred from wild animals, as occurred with the COVID-19 coronavirus. Amazonia contains a vast number of animal species and their associated pathogens with the potential to be transferred to humans.
– Deforestation both brings humans into close proximity to wildlife and is associated with consumption of bushmeat from hunted animals.
– Amazonian deforestation is being promoted by the governments of Brazil and other countries both through actions that encourage clearing and by lack of actions to halt forest loss. The potential for releasing “new” diseases adds one more impact that should make these governments rethink their policies.
– The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay.

Cattle put Paraguay’s Chaco biome at high risk, but report offers hope by Sarah Sax [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– Cattle production is the largest driver of tropical forest loss worldwide, with devastating impacts for climate, biodiversity and people.
– Paraguay has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, largely due to the rapid expansion of cattle ranching, especially in the western Gran Chaco region — a highly biodiverse and sparsely populated dry forest ecosystem.
– Experts predict that if the current rate of expansion continues in the Chaco, the forest and other native vegetation there could disappear within decades.
– As Paraguay considers new global markets into which to expand, and implements a new forest monitoring platform, a new report suggests that the country has a unique opportunity to shift towards large-scale sustainable cattle production, greatly reducing deforestation.

Brazilian government office responds to Fearnside’s BR-319 oil & gas commentary by Philip M. Fearnside [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– On 9 March 2020, Mongabay published a commentary written by Philip M. Fearnside on the “Solimões Sedimentary Area”, an oil and gas project that would implant thousands of wells spread over the western portion of the Brazilian Amazon, to the west of Highway BR-319 – a forest area almost entirely intact due to lack of road access. According to the commentary, the project would bring many risks to the area: oil spills, impact on isolated indigenous tribes and deforestation due to the expansion of a road network.
– EPE, the Brazilian Energy Research Office, sent a response to Mongabay on 27 March 2020 (published below), claiming “conceptual mistakes.” It argues, among other objections, that the Solimões project’s main goal is to evaluate future scenarios for a potential oil and gas exploration system in the area, not a de facto implementation of this system. The office also mentions the participatory process in which the local communities were allegedly involved and, concerning the risk of deforestation, refutes it saying that this kind of operation is mainly done by air or navigable rivers.
– As a rebuttal to EPE’s response, also published here, Fearnside objects that the project is a “trial balloon” to see what criticisms will arise so that the authors of the impact assessment can be more prepared to ensure approval of the environmental licenses. Furthermore, Fearnside emphasizes that the opening of a new frontier can stimulate the government to build roads and attract other activities linked to deforestation, like logging, land grabbing and palm oil production.

These blue macaws help grow the forest around them, a new study finds by Eduardo Franco Berton [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– A new study has revealed how the hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) and Lear’s macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) help spread the seeds of 18 plant species in Brazil and Bolivia.
– Researchers used direct observation and camera traps to record more than 1,700 fruit dispersal events by the two macaw species.
– The study’s results challenge previously held views that the dispersal of large seeds was carried out by the now-extinct megafauna of the Pleistocene Epoch.
– The hyacinth macaw, listed as vulnerable, and Lear’s macaw, which is endangered, were also found to be effective seed dispersers, despite previously being thought to fully consume all the seeds they ate.

Watchdogs lament palm oil giant Wilmar’s exit from forest conservation alliance by Hans Nicholas Jong [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– Wilmar International, the world’s biggest palm oil trader, has quit the steering group of the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), which helps agribusiness identify forest areas for protection.
– It cited governance and financial problems within the group — which includes members from agribusiness, civil society and environmental watchdogs — as justification for its April 2 exit.
– But other steering group members and watchdogs say it appears Wilmar is trying to shirk its conservation and sustainability commitments as an HCSA member, and that its exit hurts efforts to boost sustainability in the sector.
– The HCSA mechanism is used by agribusiness to distinguish forest areas that should be protected from degraded areas that can be developed, in a bid to minimize deforestation.

In Sumatra, an indigenous plea to stop a coal road carving up a forest by Elviza Diana [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– Teguh Santika, an indigenous Batin Sembilan woman in Sumatra, has called on the Indonesian government to reject a proposal by a coal miner to build a road that cuts through the Harapan forest where her community lives.
– Miner PT Marga Bara Jaya has since 2017 sought approval to build the road from its mine to a power plant; local authorities support the plan, but it still needs the approval of the environment ministry.
– A third of the 88-kilometer (55-mile) road will slice through the Harapan forest, which is home to threatened species such as the Sumatran tiger.
– The Batin Sembilan have for years been part of an initiative to restore the forest, which was previously a logging concession, and crack down on encroachment by oil palm farmers, illegal loggers and poachers.

Gold mining threatens indigenous forests in the Brazilian Amazon by John C. Cannon [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– MAAP, a program of the organization Amazon Conservation, has documented more than 102 square kilometers (40 square miles) of mining-linked deforestation in the indigenous reserves of Kayapó, Munduruku and Yanomami in Brazil. Mongabay had exclusive access to the report prior to its release.
– Though mining is still illegal in indigenous reserves under Brazilian law, President Jair Bolsonaro has introduced a bill awaiting a vote in Congress that would to allow mining, oil and gas extraction and other uses of these lands.
– Human rights groups like Survival International hold Bolsonaro and his policies responsible for the loss of forest, as well as mercury pollution, societal disruption and the introduction of diseases such as malaria and potentially COVID-19 that result from mining.
– The groups say Bolsonaro’s rhetoric, in favor of developing the Amazon, has emboldened would-be miners.

In Sri Lanka, gillnets targeting tuna claim dolphin lives by Malaka Rodrigo [Wed, 08 Apr 2020]
– Tuna fishers using gillnets in the Indian Ocean caught 4.1 million dolphins and other cetaceans between 1950 and 2018, a new study estimates.
– Gillnets are a mainstay of the tuna fishery in the Indian Ocean, accounting for nearly 34% of the region’s total tuna catch.
– Sri Lanka, one of the countries studied, is home to 15 dolphin species, but just one — the spinner dolphin — accounted for more than half of the recorded cetacean catch in gillnets.
– Experts have called for phasing out destructive fishing methods such as gillnets, while local authorities are offering incentives to fishers for every non-target species released alive from their nets.

A wave-powered ferry aims to forge a new path for shipping in the Philippines by Mongabay.com [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– A Filipino marine engineer is building a hybrid trimaran, powered by both a traditional motor and wave energy, as an alternative to the decades-old shipping vessels that ply transnational routes in the Visayas region in the Philippines.
– The Philippines’ transport sector is the second-biggest contributor to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, thanks to a large fleet of aging ships burning dirty fuel.
– The multi-hull boat now being built is expected to move more efficiently on the sea, cut average travel times by half, and have a lower carbon footprint.

Pandemic staple: Report links top tuna company to forced labor, illegal fishing by Monica Evans [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– A new report based on interviews with migrant fishers on three tuna fishing vessels operating out of Taiwan suggests that forced labor and illegal fishing practices continue within major tuna supply chains, despite efforts by companies and governments to stamp them out.
– The fishers’ allegations included deception, physical violence, wage deductions, debt bondage, passport confiscation, and excessive working hours, according to the report by environmental NGO Greenpeace.
– The fishers also provided evidence that the vessels took part in unlawful fishing practices, such as shark finning and transferring shark fins between vessels, according to the report.
– Two of the vessels that interviewees accused of these practices supply tuna to the Taiwan-based Fong Chun Formosa Fishery Company (FCF), one of the world’s largest tuna traders and the new owner of major U.S. canned-tuna brand Bumble Bee.

Malaysian authorities seize record 6 tons of African pangolin scales by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– On April 1, authorities seized more than 6 tons of African pangolin scales in Port Klang, Malaysia. This is the biggest shipment of pangolin scales ever to be discovered in this particular port.
– The exact origins of this shipment are unknown, especially since traffickers frequently change their routes.
– Pangolins are the most trafficked animal in the world, with over 1 million animals taken from the wild and traded since 2000.
– Wildlife trafficking continues despite the pandemic, and smugglers may be trying to take advantage of the lockdowns.

Canada’s Belo Sun hits legal hurdles in bid to mine indigenous land in Brazil by Maurício Angelo [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– Exclusive data obtained by Mongbay shows that Canadian miner Belo Sun has 11 survey applications pending with Brazilian authorities that would directly impact two indigenous reserves in the state of Pará, and continues to survey despite ongoing legal challenges.
– The project is expected to be the largest open-air gold mine in Latin America, extracting 74 tons of the mineral over 20 years of operation, in a region already heavily affected by the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, deforestation, land speculation, and a recent escalation in violence.
– The proposed mine remains in limbo for now, thanks to a series of legal challenges by state and federal agencies that have resulted in its installation permit, a prerequisite for obtaining an operating license, being suspended.

On a mega reserve in Laos, rescued moon bears find a new home by Claire Turrell [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– Animal charity Free the Bears has opened a mountain-top reserve in Laos for animals that have been saved from the illegal wildlife trade.
– The charity had a record year of rescues and now has 77 bears in its care.
– With the help of the Lao government it aims to close all bile farms in Laos by 2022.

Sinking feeling for Indonesian fishers as COVID-19 hits seafood sales by Falahi MubarokM Ambari [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– Indonesia is taking measures to prop up declining sales of fish amid a slump in demand caused by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Restaurants and shopping malls have been shut down in most large cities across the country as part of social distancing measures, leading to the decline in demand for seafood.
– Fish exports have also slowed as Indonesia, like many other countries, has restricted its trade with other affected countries.
– Indonesia had nearly 2,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of April 6, mostly in Java, with 209 deaths.

What is a chamois? Candid Animal Cam Ep 6 takes you to high-altitude Europe and Asia by Mongabay.com [Tue, 07 Apr 2020]
– Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Kenya, conservation and music: Q&A with singer Barbara Guantai by David Njagi [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– “Music is a powerful, non-invasive means of disseminating information,” musician Barbara Guantai tells Mongabay in a new interview.
– Based in Nairobi, whose outskirts include a national park where rhinos and more remind one of the country’s deep natural heritage, she is passionate about finding home-inspired solutions to African problems.
– These problems include environmental degradation and climate change, and she spoke with Mongabay about how music can be a tool for conservation.

As COVID-19 spreads, commodity markets rumble by Ashoka Mukpo [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– Projections of a construction slowdown caused the price of lumber to plummet on global markets.
– While palm oil prices have dropped by 15 percent on lower demand for biofuels, most agricultural commodity prices have remained relatively stable so far.
– Economists say the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the environment is hard to forecast, but warn that the global economy could be on the brink of collapse.

Standoff over Philippines’ Didipio mines escalates despite COVID-19 lockdown by Mongabay.com [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– Since July last year, local communities in the province of Nueva Vizcaya have blocked the entry of fuel tankers and service vehicles to the Didipio gold and copper site.
– But President Rodrigo Duterte’s office issued a letter authorizing OceanaGold Philippines Inc (OGPI), the company that handles the mining operation, to be allowed to truck in 63,000 liters (16,600 gallons) of fuel for generators to run water pumps in the underground mines.
– A hundred police personnel assisted the entry of the vehicles to the mining site on April 6, even as the region remains locked down by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all domestic land, sea and air travel banned.

Indigenous Papuans initiate own lockdowns in face of COVID-19 by Basten Gokkon [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has prompted authorities and indigenous peoples in Indonesia’s Papua region to shut down air and sea traffic and lock down villages.
– There are fears that a COVID-19 outbreak here, particularly among the more than 300 indigenous tribes, could have a disastrous impact.
– While experts have praised local officials’ decisions, the national government in Jakarta has criticized it, citing dire economic impacts.
– Papuan authorities insist that their initiatives are legally valid and justified to protect public health in a region twice the size of Great Britain but with just five referral hospitals for COVID-19.

Indonesian lawmakers push to pass deregulation bills as COVID-19 grips country by Hans Nicholas Jong [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– Lawmakers in Indonesia plan to pass a deregulation bill by May and a mining bill by August, prompting criticism of their timing as the country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Activists say it appears parliament wants to use the cover of the outbreak, including physical distancing measures, to rush through the legislation with minimal public oversight or pushback.
– The mining bill was among several pieces of legislation that failed to pass last year in the face of mass street protests, but there’s no possibility of similar demonstrations under current restrictions on social gatherings.
– The bills prescribe a raft of measures undermining environmental protections and easing the climate for miners, land developers, and commercial fishers.

Telling big environmental stories in a close-knit country (insider) by Carinya Sharples [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– Long ignored by the mainstream media, Guyana is getting a lot of new attention as the world’s latest oil nation. Now, telling its environmental stories is more important than ever.
– With its rich biodiversity and continued threats to its ecology, Guyana is a fascinating place to be an environmental journalist.
– Lack of internal resources means the environmental agenda is often led by international organisations or overseas funders. Add to that expensive travel costs, and telling the stories of what’s really going on at the grassroots level isn’t always easy.

First known case of tiger contracting COVID-19 at Bronx Zoo by Mongabay.com [Mon, 06 Apr 2020]
– A Malayan tiger housed at Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for COVID-19.
– Four tigers and three African lions showed symptoms of the disease, which they likely contracted from an asymptomatic caretaker, who had COVID-19.
– There are a handful of cases of pets getting infected from their owners who had the disease but there is no evidence of these animals transmitting the virus to humans.
– The rapid spread of the virus has sparked concerns about humans infecting other wildlife populations, especially great apes that are susceptible to human diseases because they share more than 95% of genetic material with humans.

Mongabay’s 20 most popular environmental stories for March 2020 by Mongabay.com [Sun, 05 Apr 2020]
– Mongabay’s traffic has continued to grow despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, with readership surpassing 12 million monthly pageviews for the first time.
– Below are the 20 news.mongabay.com stories that attracted the most traffic during March 2020.
– This list does not include stories from our Indonesia, Latam, India, or Brazil bureaus.

For Philippines’ displaced indigenous students, COVID-19 is one of many threats by Leilani Chavez [Fri, 03 Apr 2020]
– Students from indigenous communities in Mindanao who moved to Manila to evade armed conflict that forced their schools shut now face a new threat from the lockdown imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
– Access to adequate health services has always been a challenge for indigenous communities in their homelands but displacement puts them at higher risk of contracting diseases like COVID-19.
– Despite the pandemic, displaced indigent students remain focused on their education, seeing it as a way to protect their ancestral lands no matter how far they are from home.
– Land disputes have abounded amid an escalation in armed conflict between government security forces and rebel groups in Mindanao, placing local communities and indigenous schools in the crossfire and forcing them to flee from their ancestral lands.

COVID-19 disrupts a major year for biodiversity policy and planning by James Dinneen [Fri, 03 Apr 2020]
– The COVID-19 pandemic has scrambled this year’s packed schedule of international meetings and negotiations to hash out what the future will hold for Earth’s ecosystems and wildlife.
– Amid a string of delayed meetings, today, the IUCN announced that its World Conservation Congress, scheduled for June in Marseille, France, has been postponed to January, 2021.
– Experts worry the world will lose critical time to turn around alarming trends in biodiversity loss and climate change, and that the resources allocated to fight COVID-19 might mean fewer resources for biodiversity initiatives later on.
– Given the new coronavirus’s likely origins in an animal, however, some experts hope the pandemic will motivate efforts to address the relationship between drivers of biodiversity loss and human health, in particular the way land-use change, ecosystem degradation and other drivers are believed to increase the risk of new zoonotic diseases spilling over into humans.

Palm oil gains ground in Chiapas, Mexico by Mongabay Latam [Fri, 03 Apr 2020]
– Mexico’s Lacandon Jungle has been whittled away as farmers clear land for cattle and crops.
– Sources say palm oil expansion in the region is exacerbating the threat. In 2017, the Secretariat for the Countryside of Chiapas estimated that there were around 64,000 hectares of oil palm planted in the state (approximately 158,000 acres), with a goal of 100,000 hectares (approximately 247,000 acres).
– While the Chiapas state government maintains oil palm plantations may only be grown on degraded land, farmers and researchers say this is not always the case.
– The processed oil is sold both domestically and exported to other countries where it’s used in the manufacture of food, cosmetics, biofuel and a host of other products.

Calls for justice after latest murder of indigenous Guajajara leader in Brazil by Sam Cowie [Fri, 03 Apr 2020]
– Zezico Rodrigues Guajarara, a teacher from the Arariboia indigenous reserve in northeastern Maranhão state, was found shot dead on March 31. The motive for the killing remains unknown.
– He is the fifth Guajajara indigenous leader to be slain since November in the lawless frontier region dominated by powerful landowners and logging mafias.
– Indigenous leader Olímpio Iwyramu Guajajara, who is himself under state protection following an earlier killing of a prominent community member, told Mongabay he felt “particularly vulnerable in our territory.”
– Zezico had long reportedly received death threats from both indigenous and non-indigenous people involved with illegal logging. The federal police have been called in to investigate the murder.

Nigeria declares new conservation zone for most threatened chimpanzee by Linus Unah [Fri, 03 Apr 2020]
– The government of Nigeria’s Ekiti state has issued an executive order establishing a conservation area within the Ise Forest Reserve, where about 20 Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees are believed to survive.
– With perhaps as few as 3,500 left in the wild, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee faces threats including hunting, logging and forest clearing for agriculture across its range.
– Upgrading the reserve to a conservation area will put stricter forest-protection measures in place.
– Before doing so, conservationists say they will work to gain the consent and support of forest-dependent communities in the area.

First COVID-19 case among indigenous people confirmed in Brazilian Amazon by Thais Borges and Sue Branford [Thu, 02 Apr 2020]
– A 20-year-old Kokama indigenous woman in northern Amazonas state tested positive for the virus, according to the federal government’s body in charge of health services for indigenous people in Brazil (SESAI).
– She is one of 27 people who are being monitored after being in contact with Dr. Matheus Feitosa, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week. Feitosa is a SESAI doctor and he gave treatment to 10 indigenous people in a Tikuna village before developing a fever and going into voluntary isolation.
– Dr. Sofia Mendonça, coordinator of the Xingu Project at the Federal University of São Paulo fears that coronavirus could have a similar impact to the big epidemics of the past. “There is an incredible risk that the virus spreads through the communities and causes genocide,” she told the BBC.

The kelps are alright: Studies reveal resilience in kelp forests by Liz Kimbrough [Thu, 02 Apr 2020]
– Nearly half a century since they were first formally surveyed (in 1973), the kelp forests of Tierra del Fuego remain relatively unchanged.
– Like many marine ecosystems, kelp forests are sensitive to local human stressors such as overfishing, pollution and coastal development, as well as sedimentation, overfishing and marine heatwaves.
– Re-examining the remote kelp forests of Tierra del Fuego, where there is a distinct lack of direct human impact, gives us a better understanding of the processes accounting for their resilience.
– Another recently published study, drawing upon 35 years of Landsat data, also supports the idea that kelps are more resilient than previously thought.

A third of Peru’s La Pampa forest cleared for illegal mining ponds, study finds by Yvette Sierra Praeli [Thu, 02 Apr 2020]
– A new study reveals that nearly 5,400 hectares (13,300 acres) of forests have been converted into mining ponds in the Madre de Dios region of Peru.
– The ponds have become contaminated with mercury and other chemicals in the mining process.
– Researchers analyzed satellite and drone images to evaluate the effects of illegal mining and related activities on the forest.



Tax exemptions on pesticides in Brazil add up to US$ 2.2 billion per year by Mariana Della Barba and Diego Junqueira from Repórter Brasil and Pedro Grigori from Agência Pública [04/01/2020]
Inside the fight to save the Niger Delta red colobus by Orji Sunday [03/31/2020]
Indonesian anti-graft enforcers set their sights on a new target: corporations by Ian Morse [03/31/2020]
As COVID-19 rages, evangelical pastor may contact remote Amazon tribes by Sam Cowie [03/30/2020]
Coconut farmers in Southeast Asia struggle as palm oil muscles in on them by Nithin Coca [03/30/2020]

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