Newsletter 2021-09-02



Will ‘ropeless’ fishing gear be seaworthy in time to save endangered whales? by John C. Cannon [09/02/2021]

– Perhaps fewer than 360 North Atlantic right whales are alive today, according to researchers’ estimates.
– Scientists blame the declining population on the twin tolls exacted by ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
– “Ropeless” fishing gear that minimizes the number of vertical lines in the water that ensnare right whales has emerged as a potential “home run” solution to the entanglement crisis.
– But fishers, industry groups and even ardent proponents of ropeless systems say that it’s not yet a viable replacement for traditional fishing gear in every situation.

New study offers latest proof that Brazilian Amazon is now a net CO2 source by Chris Arsenault [09/01/2021]

– The Brazilian Amazon has been transformed from a carbon dioxide sink to a source for new emissions over the past two decades, a new study shows.
– While the Amazon as a whole, which straddles nine countries, has absorbed about 1.7 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent more than it has emitted in the past 20 years, the Brazilian portion alone has emitted a net 3.6 billion metric tons during that period.
– This study by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) is unique because it was able to go deeper in analyzing changes in forest emissions from different parts of the rainforest compared to previous research, says author Matt Finer.
– Satellite monitoring data show that formally protected areas and lands controlled by Indigenous peoples hold the best hope for preserving the Amazon and its function as a bulwark against climate change.

Captive breeding of Sumatran rhinos: Where the program stands today by [08/31/2021]

– In a series of video interviews, Mongabay speaks with Sumatran rhino experts to get up-to-date information on efforts to breed the species in captivity.
– The interviews focus on three locations that host the vast majority of Sumatran rhinos, whose entire population is believed to number no more than 80.
– The interviews reveal fears stemming from the dire state of the species, as well as optimism that officials and conservationists are finally working with united purpose to keep the species from sliding into extinction.

Conservation needs more women, says Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak by Rhett A. Butler [08/30/2021]

– Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak is in the running to become the first woman from the Arab world to head the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ms. Al Mubarak is up against two other candidates in the election, which will take place during IUCN’s World Conservation Congress, which starts this week.
– Having served as the managing director of three prominent institutions — the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), a government agency; the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, the philanthropy funded by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi; and Emirates Nature, an NGO affiliated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) — Ms. Al Mubarak would bring distinct experience to the helm 73-year-old conservation organization.
– In these roles Ms. Al Mubarak has been an advocate for improving inclusivity in conservation, providing resources to communities that have often been marginalized in the sector, including Indigenous peoples and women.
– “It is critical that women have an equal voice in decision-making when it comes to the sustainable use of land, water, and other natural resources,” she told Mongabay founder Rhett A. Butler during a recent interview. “Women are not just lacking an equal seat at the table at a grassroots level. Like many fields dominated by men such as science, engineering, and government, women are also underrepresented in the conservation world.”

Sustainable livelihood offers a lifeline to Philippines’ dying rice terraces by Karlston Lapniten [08/29/2021]

– Hand-carved in the hillsides some 500 years ago, the scenic rice terraces of the Philippines’ Ifugao province are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and are a major draw for domestic and international tourists.
– The terraces, and the tinawon rice harvested from them, are part of a sustainable farming system that incorporates forests as well as terraces, and that is closely bound with the traditions of the Indigenous Ifugao people.
– Social and economic changes are threatening the future of the terraces and the forests that sustain them, with many terraces either being abandoned or converted to less-sustainable farming of cash crops.
– Activists say efforts should be made to support traditional terrace farming, and to help boost farmers’ incomes through sustainable livelihood projects that keep the forests and terraces standing.

Drug trafficking and illegal logging threaten Indigenous communities in Peru by Gloria Alvitres [08/26/2021]

– Indigenous Kichwa communities in northern Peru say outsiders are illegally invading their land and cutting down rainforest to plant coca and sell timber. Coca is used to make cocaine.
– Sources say Kichwa communities are struggling to gain land titles for their territory and have experienced confrontations with outsiders that include threats to their leaders, and have requested state intervention.
– Regional authorities say they cannot intervene in the area because they do not have the necessary security force to contend with armed criminal groups in the area.



New coating could help seeds survive in drought conditions by Liz Kimbrough [02 Sep 2021]
– Water is the limiting factor for agriculture in many of the world’s semiarid regions, where crops are lost to drought in their early stages of life, during germination and as young seedlings.
– Scientists have developed a new seed coating, made from biodegradable waste products and applied directly to seeds before they are planted, to help seeds survive and germinate in dry conditions.
– The new seed coating consists of two layers: an inner one containing a nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and an outer one to hold moisture, much like a chia seed.
– Field trials with the new seeds are underway, but the key challenge to their adoption will be the cost.

Scientists describe new tree frog in push to catalog Indonesia’s amphibians by Grace Dungey [02 Sep 2021]
– A recent study by researchers from Indonesia and Japan describes the molecular, morphological and acoustic traits of a new frog species from Java: Chirixalus pantaiselatan.
– Scientists recommend further research be conducted to evaluate the breeding traits, distribution and population size to determine IUCN and Indonesian national conservation status of the new species.
– Of the more than 400 frog species in Indonesia, only one amphibian, the bleeding toad (Leptophryne cruentata), is currently listed as an Indonesian protected species.
– Citizen science program Go ARK (Gerakan Observasi Amfibi Reptil Kita) is using the iNaturalist scientific data-sharing platform to contribute to a national database for amphibian and reptile research across the Indonesian archipelago.

Italian firms flout EU rules to trade in illegal Myanmar timber, report says by Sheryl Lee Tian Tong [02 Sep 2021]
– Negligible fines and inadequate enforcement are turning Italy into a hotspot for illegal Myanmar timber, a new report has found.
– The report identified 27 Italian traders that have been importing Burmese teak into Europe despite a long-held common position acknowledging timber imports from Myanmar to be against the law.
– In June, the EU further imposed sanctions on the only possible source of legal timber in the country; yet traders did not confirm they would stop imports, the report said.
– Italian traders are exploiting the country’s inadequate enforcement to ship timber to the rest of Europe and circumvent the EU’s sanctions and timber regulations, the researchers wrote.

Conservation after coronavirus: We need to diversify and innovate (commentary) by Jonathan Ayers and Frederic Launay [02 Sep 2021]
– Protected areas, the ecotourism industry, and many conservation initiatives and communities, which depend on international tourism, took a financial hit as COVID-19 lockdowns started. As poverty swelled in these regions, there’s been an increase in poaching in Africa’s protected areas, including Zambia’s Kafue National Park.
– Long before the advent of COVID-19, the conservation community has suffered from a chronic dearth of resources; with the pandemic, protected areas and related communities saw an acute doubling down in investments.
– With examples from across the world, researchers call for diversified and innovative steps to take in support of conservation programs and communities sharing their homes with wildlife.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

Nigeria seeks transnational help to disrupt a still-brisk pangolin trade by Ini Ekott [02 Sep 2021]
– Nigerian law enforcement officials recorded their third-biggest seizure of pangolin scales this past July, indicating that the illegal wildlife trade hasn’t been dented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
– Officials seized 7 metric tons of pangolin scales, 4.6 kilograms (10 pounds) of pangolin claws and 845 kg (1,860 lb) of elephant ivory in Lagos and arrested three foreign nationals.
– Anti-trafficking advocates have welcomed the raid, but say more needs to be done to disrupt the supply end of the trade and punish those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

There is no climate solution without China and America, says Li Shuo by Rhett A. Butler [02 Sep 2021]
– China and the United States account for nearly half the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from energy, while the two countries’ resource consumption is among the biggest threats to global biodiversity. These issues make China and the U.S. major targets for environmental activists like Greenpeace.
– Despite the difference in political systems between China and the U.S., Li Shuo, Senior Climate and Energy Policy Officer at Greenpeace China, says the approach Greenpeace uses in China, like other places, is based on building trust.
– Li Shuo says the countries share another similarity: They are lagging behind on their climate commitments: “There is no climate solution without the G2 rolling towards the same direction,” Li Shuo told Mongabay. “The U.S. can do all it can to reduce emissions. It won’t solve the problem as long as China doesn’t comply, and vice versa.”
– Beyond climate, China and the U.S. have another near-term opportunity to collaborate: averting the global extinction crisis via strong action and commitment at the upcoming U.N. Conventional on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Podcast: Examining ‘What Works In Conservation’ by Mike Gaworecki [01 Sep 2021]
– On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we look at the latest edition of the “What Works In Conservation” report, recently released by the Conservation Evidence Group at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
– We welcome to the program Andrew Bladon, a research associate with the Conservation Evidence Group who tells us about what’s new in the “What Works In Conservation 2021” report, how the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of conservation actions is evaluated, and why it’s so important to continually reevaluate that evidence.
– We’re also joined by Hiromi Yamashita, a visiting professor at the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and an expert on the use of local and traditional knowledge in conservation. Yamashita tells us about her work to incorporate that knowledge into the Conservation Evidence Group’s work.

Studies debunk ‘nature is healing’ narrative from 2020 lockdowns by Jansen Baier [01 Sep 2021]
– Several new studies have tried to tally up the costs and benefits to the environment as a result of lockdowns around the world last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
– One study showed that emissions of indirect greenhouse gases like CO and NO2 decreased significantly, but one of its authors says this likely won’t have much of an impact over the long term.
– Another study debunks the media hype behind the “animals are reclaiming the cities” trend last year, attributing the increased sightings to the fact that people forced to stay at home finally had time to start noticing the wildlife around them.
– In India, researchers concluded there were more negatives than positives for the environment, including a surge in the use of plastic packaging and PPE, as people shopped online and masked up.

Rio Tinto-owned mine is polluting Malagasy water with uranium and lead, NGOs say by [01 Sep 2021]
– Some sites near a Rio Tinto-owned mine in Madagascar have recorded uranium and lead levels 52 and 40 times in excess of WHO safe drinking water standards, a recent analysis found.
– Around 15,000 people in Madagascar’s Anosy region depend on these water sources, including for drinking, a coalition of NGOs in the U.K. and Madagascar, pointed out, calling on the company to provide safe drinking water to the communities.
– Mine operator QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM), which is 80% owned by Rio Tinto, extracts ilmenite at the mine, a process that generates wastewater rich in minerals like uranium and lead, according to a report commissioned by the Andrew Lees Trust UK.
– QMM in its response to the NGOs indicated that the high concentrations were naturally occurring and denied that it was polluting the water.

Toxic spill at Angola diamond mine pollutes Congo River tributary in DRC by Sylvain-Gauthier Kabemba [01 Sep 2021]
– In early August, toxic substances from three diamond-processing facilities in neighboring Angola polluted the Kasai River, a major tributary of the Congo.
– Researchers fear there could be severe and lasting consequences for the environment and people’s health in affected areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
– The polluted water is moving toward Kinshasa, the capital, according to the DRC’s minister for the environment and sustainable development.

North American paper industry merger sets off environmental alarms by Hans Nicholas Jong [01 Sep 2021]
– Canadian firm Paper Excellence plans to acquire U.S. pulp and paper giant Domtar, with shareholders overwhelmingly approving the proposed merger.
– The acquisition signals Paper Excellence’s expansion in North America, something that environmentalists say will threaten Canada’s boreal forest.
– This is because Paper Excellence is reportedly controlled by the owners of Indonesia’s Asia Pulp & Paper, which has a long track record of deforestation, forest and peat fires, and human rights violations.

Old-growth forests of Pacific Northwest could be key to climate action by Justin Catanoso [01 Sep 2021]
– Coastal temperate rainforests are among the rarest ecosystems on Earth, with more than a third of their total remaining global area located in a narrow band in the U.S. and Canadian Pacific Northwest. These are some of the most biodiverse, carbon-dense forests outside the tropics, thus crucial to carbon sequestration.
– “The diversity of life that is all around us is incredibly rare,” a forest ecologist tells Mongabay on a hike in Olympic National Park. “It’s all working together. And there’s not much left here on the Olympic Peninsula or just north of us in British Columbia.”
– British Columbia did the unexpected in 2016 by establishing the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, protecting 6.4 million hectares (15.8 million acres) of coastal old-growth forest. But elsewhere in the province, 97% of all tall, old-growth forest has been felled for timber and wood pellets. In the U.S., protection outside Olympic National Park is scant.
– New protections are promised, but old-growth logging continues apace. The U.N. says the world must aggressively reduce carbon emissions now, as scientists press the Biden administration to create a national Strategic Carbon Reserve to protect a further 20 million hectares (50 million acres) of forested federal lands from logging to help meet U.S. carbon-reduction goals by 2030.

Indonesia’s newly minted investigators to go after illegal fishing kingpins by Basten Gokkon [01 Sep 2021]
– Indonesia’s fisheries ministry has pledged to target the ultimate beneficiaries of fisheries-related crimes in the country.
– The move comes in the wake of a court ruling that empowers ministry officials to act as investigators, including the authority to look into cases of money laundering.
– For a long time, the only people who faced any kind of prosecution for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing were typically the crews of the vessels caught in the act; the owners of the vessels, where they could be identified, avoided any kind of punishment.
– Indonesia hosts one of the world’s richest fisheries, but the industry is notorious for its convoluted webs of corporate ownership and vessel registration, often spread across various jurisdictions, which help mask the beneficial owners of fishing activity, both legal and illegal.

Cost of wetlands: Free. Storm damage they prevent: $38 million per estuary. by Liz Kimbrough [31 Aug 2021]
– A new study has put a value on property damage from storms that can be prevented by coastal wetlands: $38 million per estuary.
– In all storm scenarios modeled by the study authors, wetlands reduced both the extent of flooding as well as damages from floods, providing the greatest benefits during the most powerful storm scenarios.
– Experts say there’s growing appreciation among policymakers and planners about the importance of nature-based engineering solutions, such as maintaining healthy estuaries, but this hasn’t translated into real action on the ground.

Mangrove restoration done right has clear economic, ecological benefits by Sheryl Lee Tian Tong [31 Aug 2021]
– Much research has been done on the impact of mangrove restoration projects, but because such studies typically have their own distinct contexts, their results are not easily generalized.
– To determine the ecological and economic benefits of mangrove restoration across studies, researchers analyzed 188 peer-reviewed articles from 22 regions, mostly in East and Southeast Asia.
– They found the ecosystem functions of restored mangroves to be higher than bare tidal flats, but lower than natural mangroves.
– They also concluded that the economic benefits of mangrove restoration projects largely outweighed their costs, even at high discount rates.

Building the Campaign for Nature: Q&A with Brian O’Donnell by Rhett A. Butler [31 Aug 2021]
– In 2018, philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss put $1 billion toward initiatives to help a range of stakeholders conserve 30% of the planet in its natural state by 2030. One of the products of that commitment is the Campaign for Nature, an advocacy, communications, and alliance-building effort to turn that 30×30 target into a reality.
– The campaign’s strategy has three major components: building political support for 30×30, ensuring Indigenous and local community rights are advanced in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and boosting funding for nature conservation, especially for developing countries where biodiversity is concentrated.
– The Director of Campaign for Nature is Brian O’Donnell, who told Mongabay that more than 70 countries have endorsed the “30×30” goal over the past three years, but that many leaders still do not recognize or understand the importance of protecting biodiversity.
– “Global leaders have not given biodiversity the attention it warrants. Most global leaders do not fully understand or value the importance of biodiversity, and are not aware of the scale of the current crisis facing biodiversity,” he said. “Protecting at least 30% of the world’s lands, freshwater and oceans will help prevent extinctions, provide clean water to communities, reduce the impacts of storms, and improve the health of the world’s oceans.”

Low genetic diversity is part of rhinos’ long-term history, study says by Carolyn Cowan [31 Aug 2021]
– A new study that reconstructs the rhino family tree by analyzing the genomes of all five living rhino species and three extinct species has found that low genetic diversity is part of rhinos’ long-term history.
– The study also found evidence to support the geographic hypothesis of rhino evolution, which places the two African species in a separate group from the three Asian species.
– However, genetic diversity is lowest and inbreeding highest in present-day rhinos, suggesting that recent human-driven population declines have impacted rhino genetics.
– Nonetheless, the study says rhinos appear to have adapted well to low genetic diversity and small populations sizes and recommends conservation efforts focus on increasing rhino numbers.

Climate change threatens traditional extractive communities in the Amazon by Sibélia Zanon [30 Aug 2021]
– Traditional peoples in the Amazon are already experiencing the scientific community’s warnings that rising temperatures will impact those who depend on the forest for their livelihood.
– Brazil nuts, açaí berries, andiroba oil, copaíba oil, rubber, cacao and cupuaçu fruits are some of the products at risk of disappearance or reduced production in the next 30 years.
– In addition to climate change’s environmental impact on these resources, the social impact will likely bring worsening poverty and an exodus of traditional peoples to urban areas.

Find my elephant: The conservation apps revolutionizing how rangers work by Aimee Gabay [30 Aug 2021]
– Conservationists around the world have increasingly turned to technology to adapt and respond to rising challenges in protected areas.
– One example is EarthRanger, which collects and integrates information from several remote sensors and allows users to visualize data under one platform.
– The software solution helps conservationists with security, ecological management, and human-wildlife conflict, by streamlining conservation data into a system that helps them make informed decisions rapidly.
– While promising, the technology has encountered teething problems: lack of internet infrastructure, the need for an extensive network of sensors, and high data literacy to use the technology.

Enhancing biodiversity through the belly: Agroecology comes alive in Chile by Constanza Monterrubio Solís [30 Aug 2021]
– Agroecology, the practice of ecological principles in farming, is coming to life in a corner of Chile through different faces and practices.
– Like individual bees working toward a common, greater goal, practitioners of agroecology tend have a positive multiplication effect in their territory.
– From food producers to beekeepers to chefs, these practitioners show that scaling up agroecology requires deconstructing implicit knowledge hierarchies, a disposition to learning continuously, and sharing through horizontal networks.

Grain production depends on ending deforestation, studies show by Maurício Angelo [30 Aug 2021]
– Recent scientific studies confirm what Brazilian farmers already feel in practice: the uncontrolled production of agricultural commodities is destroying the productivity and profits of agribusiness itself, a cycle researchers are calling “agro-suicide.”
– Regions such as the southern Amazon and Matopiba (the borderland between the Brazilian states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia) in the Cerrado savanna are the most affected by lack of rain, prolonged rains and waves of extreme heat.
– Resulting financial losses are expected to reach at least $4.5 billion annually by 2050, according to a conservative estimate; if deforestation continues unchecked, damage could reach $9 billion per year.
– Though grim, the scenario can still be reversed; one recommendation from the study is to adopt a moratorium on soy in the Cerrado, inspired by the Amazon Soy Moratorium.

Next to India’s capital, a village looks to the past for its forest’s future by Manon Verchot, Sanshey Biswas [30 Aug 2021]
– For generations, a community outside India’s capital has worked to protect their sacred grove from outside interests like mining and real estate.
– Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, the protection status of this grove under India’s Forest Conservation Act remains in limbo.
– But conservationists and experts say they hope new archaeological findings will help the community get more secure legal protection for their grove.

For male chimps looking to mate, an entourage is the way to go, study finds by Ed Holt [30 Aug 2021]
– A recent study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park found that males who create strong ties to alpha males, or who form large networks or alliances with other males, were more likely to father offspring.
– Researchers say the social bonds formed between males provided access to mating opportunities which they would not have been able to access without allies.
– While further studies are necessary, experts say the findings could help understand optimal group sizes and thus the necessary range for wild populations.

Fires rage in Bolivia’s Chiquitania region by Iván Paredes Tamayo [28 Aug 2021]
– Authorities are battling an outbreak of wildfires in eastern Bolivia’s Chiquitania region.
– Satellite data show fires have intensified over the past two weeks and are invading protected areas.
– The fires are destroying habitat spared by Bolivia’s extreme fire season of 2019.
– Wildfires in Bolivia are often associated with burning for agriculture, and satellite data and imagery show recent fires on agricultural land that directly preceded nearby blazes that have spread into protected forest.

What makes mapping and monitoring zero-deforestation commitments effective? by Hans Nicholas Jong [27 Aug 2021]
– Experts have identified 12 attributes of effective zero deforestation commitment, or ZDC, mapping and monitoring systems.
– The attribute framework can be used to guide the development of effective ZDC mapping and monitoring systems.
– Having such a framework is important as there’s not a single one-size-fits-all ZDC mapping and monitoring system that will meet the needs of all users.

L.A.-sized tract of primary forest went up in flames in DRC province in 2020 by Malavika Vyawahare [27 Aug 2021]
– In 2020, more than 1,500 square kilometers (580 square miles) of old-growth forest burned in Sankuru province, including extensive tracts in a nature reserve.
– Overall, the DRC recorded its second-biggest decline in primary forest cover last year, according to data from Global Forest Watch (GFW), a platform developed by World Resources Institute.
– Forests in the country face increasing pressure from a constellation of factors: a growing population, climatic shifts like shorter rainy seasons, and, more recently, COVID-19-linked turmoil.
– In the past two years alone, more than 1,000 km2 (390 mi2) of land in Sankuru Nature Reserve was set alight.

With their land on the line, Indigenous Brazilians gather for landmark ruling by Ana Ionova [27 Aug 2021]
– Thousands of Indigenous leaders have gathered in Brazil’s capital, Brasília, in a massive demonstration as the country’s Supreme Federal Court prepares to rule in a landmark land rights case.
– The marches, which drew about 6,000 Indigenous leaders, are believed to be the largest mobilization of Indigenous activists in more than three decades, organizers say; supporters in cities around the world, including London and San Francisco, have also staged solidarity protests.
– The case being heard will set an important precedent on whether courts can deny land claims by Indigenous people whose ancestral lands were appropriated before the Brazilian Constitution came into force in 1988.
– Indigenous leaders in Brasília have also denounced a series of other “anti-Indigenous” proposals, including a bill in Congress that would open up Indigenous lands awaiting demarcation to land grabbers, loggers and miners.

With Myanmar’s press muzzled, experts warn of surge in environmental crimes by Carolyn Cowan [27 Aug 2021]
– Myanmar’s military authorities have followed their Feb. 1 coup with a sweeping clampdown on press freedom, including the arrest of reporters, closing of news outlets, and driving of journalists underground or into exile.
– Industry experts say the measures have effectively criminalized independent journalism in the country.
– As conflict and violence spreads throughout the country, monitoring forests, illegal logging and the associated illicit trade on the ground is increasingly risky. Satellite platforms that monitor forest loss will likely become increasingly useful.
– With the loss of the independent press watchdog a reality, experts say they fear the circumstances are ripe for overexploitation of natural resources.

What sets crab-eating raccoons apart from other carnivores? | Candid Animal Cam by Romina Castagnino [27 Aug 2021]
– Every two weeks, 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.

Independent monitoring suggests sharp jump in Amazon rainforest destruction by Rhett A. Butler [27 Aug 2021]
– Independent analysis released last week by a Brazilian NGO provides evidence of a sharp increase in the rate of forest destruction in Earth’s largest rainforest over the past year.
– Imazon’s SAD deforestation alert system detected 2,095 square kilometers (809 square miles) of forest clearing during July, which brought the total deforestation recorded since August 1, 2020 to 10,476 square kilometers, the highest on record since at least 2008.
– By Imazon’s count, the amount of forest loss detected by its deforestation monitoring system was up 58% over a year ago, and 107% relative to two years ago.
– In contrast, Brazil’s national space research institute INPE reported a 6.8% drop in deforestation compared to a year ago when it released its alert-based data two weeks ago. Discrepancies between the two systems can be attributed up to differences in how they measure deforestation, though the data from the systems typically move mostly in tandem.

The women on the front lines of safeguarding the Amazon by Mike DiGirolamo [26 Aug 2021]
– Indigenous women are important conservation leaders in the Amazon, and also recently played key roles in mobilizing responses to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on isolated Indigenous communities.
– Mongabay’s special reporting project, “Amazon Women,” shares their victories, visions, and struggles via a wide-ranging series of reports, interviews, videos and podcasts.
– Here are some highlights from among the dozen-plus features of these inspiring women from across the Amazon Basin.

Fully recyclable paper cups? They exist, but you won’t find them at Starbucks by [26 Aug 2021]
– A new campaign draws attention to the fact that Starbucks cups are not truly recyclable due to a coating of polyethylene plastic on the inside of the cup.
– Starbucks has made several pledges to produce recyclable cups dating back to 2008 — but its cups are still unable to be recycled economically.
– Solutions already exist for fully recyclable cups, including a coating for paperboard barrier packaging that uses 40-51% less plastic.

Mother tiger and her cubs found dead in Sumatran forest by Junaidi Hanafiah [26 Aug 2021]
– The tigers were caught in a snare trap in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem.
– The Sumatran tiger is a critically endangered species, with only a few hundred left in the wild.



Farmers regreen Kenya’s drylands with agroforestry and an app by David Njagi [08/26/2021]
It’s time to scrutinize who’s in the room when conservation decisions are made, says Laly Lichtenfeld by Rhett A. Butler [08/25/2021]
New study shows where to focus efforts to save long-neglected small mammals by Shreya Dasgupta [08/23/2021]
Not just for humans — scientists turn to vaccines to save endangered species by Gloria Dickie [08/20/2021]
Burning forests to make energy: EU and world wrestle with biomass science by Justin Catanoso [08/19/2021]