Newsletter 2020-04-30



Rwanda’s Akagera park thrives thanks to community-led anti-poaching drive by Maggie Andresen [04/29/2020]

– An informal network of community members, including former poachers, that delivers information to the ANP security team has bolstered internal response to potential poachers even before they enter ANP limits.
– High employment rates within the periphery community, significant reinvestment in infrastructure projects and income generation opportunities.
– It also includes a sustained relationship through informal events like sports have increased positive relationships between the park and periphery community.

In Panama, agroforestry technique of silvopasture improves ranching traditions by Erin Banks Rusby [04/29/2020]

– Ranching in Panama dates back to the 1500s, when Spanish settlers decided that cattle were the agricultural commodity that grew best in the tropical climate.
– However, this tradition has severely deforested the tropical nation and depleted its soil resources too, twin problems that are worsening in tandem with the effects of climate change.
– However, the agroforestry technique of silvopasture ranching, where trees and woody shrubs are planted into livestock pastures, is gaining ground here.
– Not only is it much more profitable than conventional ranching, but the system also provides habitat for monkeys, insects, birds and more while sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

Bold project hopes to DNA barcode every species in Costa Rica by Jeremy Hance [04/27/2020]

– A new project, BioAlfa, proposes to use DNA barcoding to identify Costa Rica’s million- plus species.
– BioAlfa argues that public availability of its barcoding will revolutionize how Costa Rica values its biodiversity.
– The project already has government approval and some seed funding. But it needs a total of $100 million for full implementation.

In the Philippines’ Boracay, flying foxes are going, going, gone by Jun N. Aguirre [04/27/2020]

– A recent survey counted just 30 resident bats on the Philippine resort island of Boracay, down from 15,000 in 1988.
– Boracay has been subject to a massive rehabilitation effort after pollution and runaway development prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to close the island to tourism for six months in 2018.
– The closure does not seem to have benefited the bats, including the endemic golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), one of the world’s largest fruit bat species, which is classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.
– Bat conservationists have persistently recommended declaring the island’s remaining forest cover as critical habitats for threatened bats, but formal recognition hangs in the balance as rehabilitation efforts end this May.

Images from a dropped phone reveal the ugly truth behind bonobo trafficking by Mireya Mayor [04/23/2020]

– Bonobos, an endangered great ape with a population that may be as low as 10,000, face serious threats from hunting for bushmeat and for the live trade.
– Conserv Congo, an NGO based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the only country where bonobos occur, actively pursues poachers, seeking to achieve arrests and convictions.
– In February 2020, a team from ConservCongo disrupted bonobo poachers in action. The poachers fled, but left behind a gravely wounded mother bonobo, and a mobile phone containing images that depict the brutal realities of how the apes are killed and captured.

Satellite data show Amazon rainforest likely drier, more fire-prone this year by Shanna Hanbury [04/23/2020]

– Satellite data show regions of the Amazon with severe negative changes in soil moisture and groundwater, meaning this year will likely be drier than 2019.
– While a severe drought is unlikely, a drier year may increase the spread of wildfires and trigger an earlier spike in deforestation rates, experts say.
– Although weather forecasts for the Amazon are highly unpredictable, which could potentially reverse the current deficit, climate models by Brazil’s Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Research (CPTEC) show no indication of above-average precipitation in the coming months.
– A technical report by the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) published this week anticipates a surge in fires caused by the deforestation spike of 2019, as the modus operandi of land grabbers is to deforest one year then set fire the next, in order to successfully transform forest into farmland and pastures.



Murder, logging and land theft: inside a crime factory in the Amazon by Maurício Monteiro/Repórter Brasil [Thu, 30 Apr 2020]
– One of the Amazon’s most deforested regions, Lábrea is remote, poorly policed and suffering from a land tenure crisis. As a result, land grabbing, illegal logging and murder are routine.
– A criminal nexus of landholders laying claim to protected forests they intend to turn into cattle pasture competes over the former São Domingos rubber plantation, where reporters found settlers had left en masse following a spate of killings last year.
– Several of the high-profile landholders and local officials investigated and convicted by federal prosecutors since 2013 were found to have cloned or forged legal documents, and engaged in conspiracy, fraud, environmental crimes and invasion of public land.

China held water back from drought-stricken Mekong countries, report says by Michael Tatarski [Thu, 30 Apr 2020]
– Eyes on Earth studied data from a 28-year period to determine the extent that dams in China on the Upper Mekong River impact natural water flow.
– While these dams have disrupted the river’s natural systems for years, 2019 saw a particularly damaging situation, as downstream countries faced a severe drought while the Upper Mekong received above-average rainfall.
– China’s water management practices and lack of data-sharing with neighboring countries threaten the livelihoods of roughly 60 million people.

A ‘crazy beast’ that coexisted with dinosaurs discovered from Madagascar by [Thu, 30 Apr 2020]
– Adalatherium hui, which in Malagasy and Greek translates into “crazy beast,” was discovered from the study of a 66 million-year-old fossil from Madagascar.
– An early mammal species, it has a peculiar anatomy and a mosaic of features that is distinct from other mammals, from its peculiar teeth to its curved leg bones.
– It is also unusually large, the size of a house cat, compared to other mammals that coexisted with dinosaurs, which were no bigger than present-day mice.
– The researchers believe it is key to understanding the early evolution of mammals in the southern hemisphere.

For world’s rarest great ape, COVID-19 is latest in a litany of threats by Ayat S. Karokaro, Hans Nicholas Jong [Thu, 30 Apr 2020]
– Scientists have called for all projects in the only known habitat of the Tapanuli orangutan in Sumatra to be halted to prevent the possible transmission of COVID-19 to the great apes.
– The orangutans wouldn’t necessarily have to come into direct contact with humans to catch the virus; they could catch it indirectly via other primate species.
– The species already faces pressure from the construction of a hydropower project in its only known habitat and the expansion of nearby oil palm plantations.
– A new study finds the hydropower project developer cleared an area of forest larger than New York City’s Central Park, and that the orangutan population density in the affected area has declined, suggesting the apes are being driven out of their habitat.

Tourism has crashed: Are carbon credits the future for funding conservation in Africa? by Mantoe Phakathi [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– Protected areas in Africa are grossly underfunded, leaving them exposed to degradation.
– Tanzania’s Yaeda Valley REDD+ project demonstrates how carbon credits can provide communities and governments economic incentives to protect valuable habitat.
– Real potential to replicate the model elsewhere — and ensure conserving carbon stocks leads to conserving wildlife — remains uncertain.

As a campaigner against deforestation, almost dying of COVID-19 was ironic (commentary) by Etelle Higonnet [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– Etelle Higonnet has worked for years to reform the palm oil, rubber, soy, and cocoa industries, which are heavily involved in tropical deforestation.
– Pandemics like COVID-19 are linked with deforestation and the wildlife trade, and she’s married to a public health expert, so it was ironic that she nearly lost her life to the disease last month.
– Higonnet argues that ending the wildlife trafficking which seems to have caused the pandemic is of no use if animals’ forest homes continue to be bulldozed, sending them into contact with people.
– This post is a commentary and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mongabay.

Climate change makes some fish smaller, and others bigger, study finds by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– A decades-long study finds that fish either increase or decrease in size in response to climate change-induced warming water, with smaller fish generally getting smaller, and larger fish generally getting bigger.
– Fish species changed size more rapidly in response to climate change, by nearly 20% for every 0.5° Celsius (0.9° Fahrenheit) of warming.
– Fluctuations in fish size could have a serious impact on the marine food web, such as making certain species more susceptible to predation.

Evicted indigenous people in Manaus struggle to stay safe amid COVID-19 crisis by Ignacio Amigo [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– A group of about 400 indigenous people were displaced from an informal settlement on the outskirts of Manaus in the Brazilian Amazon in February, reportedly in connection with drug trafficking issues in the area, despite previous promises to regularize their occupation.
– Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, accounts for the country’s fourth-highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 and a growing number of confirmed cases, exacerbating the situation for the evicted indigenous people who also face a greater challenge making a living amid scarce jobs and limited income sources.
– Home to more than 180,000 indigenous people, Amazonas is the Brazilian state with the largest indigenous population, many of whom live in remote areas and lack health services, raising concerns among researchers about their susceptibility to COVID-19 infection.
– The federal government recently announced the creation of an emergency hospital in Manaus devoted specifically to indigenous people; with more than 4,000 reported cases and 351 deaths, authorities have been warning in recent weeks that the state’s health system is close to its limit.

Birds in Amazon forest fragments: New study summarizes 40 years of research by Liz Kimbrough [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– A long-running project studying bird communities in fragments of Amazonian rainforest has summarized its findings from the past 40 years.
– The Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP) found that abandoned cattle pastures that were allowed to regrow into forest acted as important habitats for bird life.
– Researchers are also looking into the wealth of data gathered over the past four decades to see how birds have responded to forest changes associated with climate change.
– The paper reflects on the technological advances in bird research and the author notes the importance of the training and research opportunities provided for students and scientists throughout the 40-year project.

One point for Slytherin: New Indian pit viper named after Harry Potter character by Liz Kimbrough [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– Researchers have described a new species of venomous pit viper found in the Himalayas and named it after Salazar Slytherin, a character in the Harry Potter series who is able to talk to snakes.
– Lead researcher Zeeshan A. Mirza said they named the new species Salazar’s pit viper “to thank J.K. Rowling for introducing the world to the Harry Potter universe.”
– The area where the Salazar’s pit viper was found is home to many new discoveries of plants and animals in recent decades, highlighting the need for greater documentation of its biodiversity.
– The new species is one of 48 known members of the genus Trimeresurus, but scientists believe the true diversity of the genus may be underestimated.

New database wrangles data on land rights projects around the globe by John C. Cannon [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– The database was created by the Land Portal Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands.
– Currently, the database includes hundreds of land tenure projects from the Global Map of Donors and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
– Users are also able to add projects to the database, allowing people working on land and property rights projects to share information.

Indonesia aims for sustainability certification for oil palm smallholders by Hans Nicholas Jong [Wed, 29 Apr 2020]
– An update to the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) standard will require all smallholder farmers in the country to be certified, alongside large plantation companies that are already obliged to comply.
– Observers have welcomed the move, noting that 40% of palm oil plantation area in Indonesia — an area larger than Switzerland — is under smallholder management.
– Studies show that these small farmers often lack support and access to high-yield seedlings; as such, their productivity is low, and to make up for it, they clear more land for planting — often illegally.
– Enrolling them in ISPO certification is expected to help boost their productivity and prevent them from deforesting, but bureaucratic tangles threaten to undermine the program.

Some ranchers and conservationists agree: Grazing and logging can save birds by Jennifer Oldham [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Landowners and the National Audubon Society have partnered over the past six years to restore rangeland from Texas to the Dakotas.
– The conservation ranching program targets bird species in peril in 13 states.

Audio: How to be an ethical wildlife photographer, and why it’s necessary by Mike Gaworecki [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast we discuss how to take photographs of wild animals without harassing, exploiting, or harming them — in other words, today we’re taking a look at ethical wildlife photography.
– We welcome to the program environmental journalist Annie Roth and internationally renowned, award-winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas.
– Ethical wildlife photography is “kind of a win-win,” Eszterhas says, “because, number one, we’re treating the animals with kindness and respect and we’re not affecting their lives in a very negative way. And number two, we’re getting very unique gifts out of it, we’re getting these incredible images that we wouldn’t be able to get without it.”

UK military beef supplier buys from sanctioned Brazilian farmers, investigation shows by [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Beef served to UK military personnel in the Middle East was sourced from a Brazilian company whose suppliers have illegally deforested more than 8,000 hectares of land, an investigation by NGO Earthsight and Reporter Brasil has found.
– The Ministry of Defence’s Bahrain catering subcontractor bought thousands of cattle from farmers who were fined a total of 33.5 million Brazilian real (about $6 million) by various authorities for malpractice, including illegal land clearance, falsifying documents and pollution.
– Some 5,800 square kilometres of forest is lost annually to the beef industry in Brazil, while last year’s rampant forest fires have been credibly linked to large-scale cattle ranching and associated land grabs. Cattle laundering in Brazil has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years and is a substantial problem for Brazil’s meatpacking firms as systems for monitoring supply chains remain weak.

Through biomimicry, Brazil seeks tech innovations inspired by nature by Sibélia Zanon [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– From spiderweb-inspired shampoo to a hotel whose architecture is based on the thermal properties of toucan beaks, scientists and companies in Brazil are betting on nature’s intelligence to create innovative solutions that reduce impacts on the planet.
– By valuing multifunctional design and being able to integrate materials that nature acknowledges in productive cycles, biomimicry reinforces the optimization of resources and aligns itself with the principles of a circular economy.
– Biomimicry began to be systematically implemented in the 1990s, initially to achieve energy efficiency; examples include buildings in Zimbabwe and Australia inspired by the circulation of air inside termite hills, the principle of whale fins applied to the generation of wind energy, and antiseptic walls that imitate shark skin.
– In Brazil, many immersion courses are now offered in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes that focus on innovative materials, and biomimicry consultants and startups are emerging in the market: In 2018, Nucleário became the first Brazilian company to win a prize from the Biomimicry Institute for its technology that protects trees in reforestation projects, based on the principles of winged seeds and bromeliads.

Flamingos form lasting friendships, a new study finds by Liz Kimbrough [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Flamingos, like humans, form social bonds that can last for years and appear to be important for survival in the wild, a new study shows.
– Researchers studying the bird’s social interactions at a captive center in the U.K. found they tended to make long-standing friendships rather than loose, random connections.
– In addition to the friends they tend to “hang out” with, flamingos also actively avoid some individuals.
– The findings could prove useful in managed breeding programs, to ensure that bonded flamingos aren’t separated from each other.

Fighting COVID-19 with a precious resource: Q&A with Kusum Athukorala, Sri Lanka’s ‘Woman in Water’ by Dilrukshi Handunnetti [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response should prioritize the introduction of special mechanisms to address the needs of marginalized communities, women and children, says a leading water management expert from the Indian Ocean island.
– Catchment conservation, prevention of river pollution and water conservation are key to fighting the pandemic as water is essential for improving sanitation and hygiene, according to Kusum Athukorala.
– Sri Lanka should also scale up its WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) initiatives to improve school sanitation, as children are highly vulnerable to epidemics, with a special focus on girls.
– The national response should factor in gender-specific needs including sanitation, across all national planning and programming.

Campaigners call for transparency in Myanmar timber trade after 850 tons of wood seized by Michael Tatarski [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Despite a crackdown on illegal logging on the border between northern Myanmar and China’s Yunnan province last year, earlier this month Myanmar announced it seized 850 tons of teak and other timber it says were illegally logged in the week up to April 5.
– The seizures – and lack of data on the timber, the location of the logging and final destination of the wood – has raised fresh questions over transparency in the timber sector from campaigners.
– Myanmar is home to much of the world’s remaining natural teak, a highly-coveted hardwood prized by luxury furniture and yacht manufacturers. In August 2019, Chinese authorities carried out a series of raids along China’s border with Myanmar, seizing more than 100,000 tons of wood held in warehouses.
– While annual exports of luxury timber from Myanmar to China are thought to amount to hundreds of millions of dollars, only $3 million worth of teak was officially recorded in Chinese customs data last year.

Farmer dies in custody after being charged in dispute with palm oil firm, prompting COVID-19 fears by Hans Nicholas Jong [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Hermanus Bin Bison was kept in a small jail cell with other inmates in Indonesia even after a doctor found he had a high fever and an abnormal loss of strength.
– The 35-year-old was on trial with two other men for alleged theft, after harvesting oil palm fruit from land that his community claims in Central Kalimantan province.
– They were accused by a plantation company, PT Hamparan Masawit Bangun Persada, that has itself been repeatedly denounced by local authorities for stealing the community’s land.
– The trial of the two co-defendants continues. The company, meanwhile, faces no investigation over alleged land theft.

What is a short-eared dog? Candid Animal Cam meets one of the most elusive mammals of the Amazon by [Tue, 28 Apr 2020]
– Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife.
– This week we’re meeting one of the most elusive mammals of the Amazon basin: the short-eared dog. The short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis) can be found in the South American Amazon rainforest region of Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, […].

As calls to shutter wildlife markets grow, China struggles with an industry worth billions by Ashoka Mukpo [Mon, 27 Apr 2020]
– China issued a provisional ban on wildlife consumption in late February, but on Thursday the U.S. called for the ban to be made permanent.
– “Wet markets” have made headlines, but China’s wildlife trade is vast and includes tens of thousands of online sellers and rural farmers.
– Despite using products made from animals known to be coronavirus hosts, China’s traditional medicine industry has thus far escaped new regulation.

Iceland won’t be killing any whales this year by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Mon, 27 Apr 2020]
– An Icelandic whaling business, IP-Utgerd, has announced that it will stop whaling altogether, while the largest whaling company in the country, Hvalur hf., has halted its whaling operations for the second year in a row.
– IP-Utgerd and Hvalur continued to whale in spite of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placing a global moratorium on whaling in 1986.
– Conservationists say they hope that whaling ends permanently in Iceland, although it’s possible that Hvalur will resume hunting whales again in the near future.

Indigenous groups in Myanmar lash out at ‘restrictive’ conservation policies by Emily Fishbein [Mon, 27 Apr 2020]
– Attempts to nominate northern Myanmar’s Hkakaborazi Landscape as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site in 2017 sparked fierce debate over who should manage natural resources in the biodiverse region.
– Indigenous communities in Myanmar’s northernmost Hkakaborazi region claim that Forest Department oversight and regulations upended traditional approaches to resource management. The debate brought longstanding local grievances against the Forest Department and its international partner, the Wildlife Conservation Society, to a head. Communities expelled the groups in 2018, vowing to protect the forest themselves.
– Whether communities and outside conservation efforts can find common ground remains to be seen. UNESCO itself has welcomed the opportunity for the problems to be discussed in the open.
– This story was produced with support from the Rainforest Journalism Fund, an initiative of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Only ‘A-list’ of coral reefs found to sustain ecosystems, livelihoods by Basten Gokkon [Mon, 27 Apr 2020]
– Most of tropical reefs are no longer able to both sustain coral reef ecosystems and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them, as human pressure and the impacts of climate change increase.
– That was the finding of a new study that looked at 1,800 coral reef sites spread throughout the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic ocean basins.
– Only 5% of those sites have plentiful fish stocks, high fish biodiversity and grazing, and well-preserved ecosystem functions — which are key marine ecological metrics.
– The study authors say location and the expected targets set by authorities implementing reef conservation are key to helping other sites achieve these multiple goals.

Conflict between Indonesian villagers, pulpwood firm flares up over crop-killing drone by Hans Nicholas Jong [Mon, 27 Apr 2020]
– Villagers in Sumatra allege that a pulpwood plantation company owned by forestry giant Asia Pulp & Paper has escalated a long-running land dispute by killing their crops and intimidating them.
– Residents of Lubuk Mandarsah say PT Wirakarya Sakti (WKS) used a drone to spray herbicide on their rubber and oil palm trees, and sent security officials door to door to scare villagers into leaving the area.
– The villagers and WKS have since 2007 been embroiled in a dispute over 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) of land in Sumatra’s Jambi province that both claim.
– Tensions between the two hit breaking point in 2015 when WKS security guards killed a villager during an altercation.

A watery onslaught from sea, sky and land in the world’s fastest-sinking city by Johan Augustin [Mon, 27 Apr 2020]
– The Indonesian capital has 300 days of rain a year and 13 rivers running through it, so it doesn’t lack freshwater; but rampant development has left much of its area paved over, preventing this water from replenishing the aquifers.
– Instead, the water it gets — from rain and from rivers — often leads to flooding because it can’t be absorbed into the ground and can’t run out to sea.
– City authorities and planning experts agree that the extraction of water from the aquifers must end, but to do so will require providing universal access to clean water.
– Efforts are underway to clean up waterways, educate the public to not dump waste in rivers, and build infiltration wells that will allow the earth to once again capture rainwater.

Twelve rangers killed in latest Virunga Park incident by Fred Kockott [Sat, 25 Apr 2020]
– Virunga National Park officials say 17 people were killed in a sustained attack not far from the park’s headquarters.
– Armed rebel groups involved in poaching and illegal charcoal production are believed to be responsible.
– Virunga National Park was closed for 8 months from May 2018 following a spate of attacks on visitors by armed groups.

Russia lists Caspian seals and orcas as endangered species after ‘whale jail’ controversy by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [Fri, 24 Apr 2020]
– Mammal-eating orcas and Caspian seals were recently listed as endangered species by Russia, following the “whale jail” debacle that raised international concerns.
– This is the first time in more than 20 years that the Russian government has updated its red book of locally threatened species, so conservationists and animal advocates see this latest move as an enormous victory.
– This is also the first time that Russian authorities have acknowledged that there are two ecotypes of orcas — mammal-eating orcas and fish-eating orcas.
– Experts say they believe the new red book listings will put a halt to the international trade of orcas captured in Russian waters, although belugas may still be trafficked.

Move over, fishmeal: Insects and bacteria emerge as alternative animal feeds by Emilie Filou [Fri, 24 Apr 2020]
– Fishmeal and fish oil are ingredients in pig and poultry feed, but the largest demand comes from aquaculture.
– Researchers and NGOs have questioned the sustainability of the fishmeal and fish oil industry, which deplete stocks of staple food fish for humans and marine predators alike, among its other impacts.
– Animal feed manufacturers around the world are now looking for alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil.
– Among the most promising alternatives are insects and bacteria, and production is beginning to take off.

COVID-19 will hurt Madagascar’s conservation funding: Q&A with Minister Vahinala Raharinirina by Malavika Vyawahare [Fri, 24 Apr 2020]
– There is growing concern that the COVID-19 crisis will enfeeble conservation efforts across the globe, particularly in developing countries.
– The concern is acute for Madagascar, one of the poorest nations in the world, which relies heavily on foreign funds to implement conservation programs.
– The disappearance of tourism revenue in the short term and the possible drying up of international funding and deepening impoverishment in the coming months and years could grievously endanger Madagascar’s unique biodiversity, Madagascar’s environment minister told Mongabay.

Trendy, cheap, and dirty: Fashion is a top global polluter by Liz Kimbrough [Thu, 23 Apr 2020]
– The fashion industry is a major global polluter and source of greenhouse gas emissions, driven in large part by the “fast fashion” business model that treats cheap clothing as a perishable good that can be disposed of after brief use.
– Globalization has aided this trillion-dollar trend, allowing brands to outsource different links of their supply chains to countries with little to no environmental and labor protections in order to keep costs down.
– That has led to widespread pollution and labor rights abuses, particularly against women workers, epitomized by the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, in which more than 1,134 workers were killed. This week, to marks the seventh anniversary of the tragedy and advocate for a return to a more sustainable “slow fashion” model, campaigners have launched the “Fashion Revolution Week.”
– A newly published review paper in Nature Reviews Earth & Environment highlights the environmental consequences of fast fashion, fashion’s complex international supply chain, and proposes solutions to bring us into a cleaner fashion future.

Colombia wants to plant 180 million trees: Is it a realistic goal? by Antonio José Paz Cardona [Thu, 23 Apr 2020]
– The Colombian government announced that this year they’ll initiate the most ambitious tree planting plan in the country’s history.
– Experts question, though, whether the goal of 180 million trees will be achieved and if the survival of the trees will be guaranteed.
– Some experts also say that the country’s ambitious plan, including details about selection of areas destined for restoration, the purchase and monitoring of seedlings, and more.



In a Philippine indigenous stronghold, traditions keep COVID-19 at bay by Karlston Lapniten [04/21/2020]
A vital mangrove forest hidden in Vietnam’s largest city could be at risk by Michael Tatarski [04/21/2020]
On the brink of a coal boom, Papuans ask who will benefit by Febriana Firdaus [04/21/2020]
Reviving an ancient way of aquaculture at Hawaii’s Heʻeia fishpond by Shannon Brown [04/20/2020]
Wireless grids and towers of power: Engineering our way out of dirty energy by Ian Morse [04/17/2020]