Newsletter 2021-12-16


Madagascar gemstone rush puts a wetland and its community under pressure by Rivonala Razafison [12/14/2021]

– The discovery of gemstones near Madagascar’s largest wetland has fueled a mining boom that threatens the environment and the local community.
– The rural commune of Andilana Avaratra has seen its population nearly double as miners flock there from across Madagascar in search of beryl, a mineral family that includes gems like aquamarine.
– The mining activity, none of it permitted, has scarred a hill and threatens to wash large volumes of sediment into Lake Alaotra, a Ramsar Site that’s home to unique and endangered species.
– The miners’ presence has also led to a surge in crime and sexually transmitted diseases, with the local community seeing little in the way of benefits from the boom.

Carbon and communities: The future of the Congo Basin peatlands by John C. Cannon [12/14/2021]

– Scientific mapping in 2017 revealed that the peatlands of the Cuvette Centrale in the Congo Basin are the largest and most intact in the world’s tropics.
– That initial work, first published in the journal Nature, was just the first step, scientists say, as work continues to understand how the peatlands formed, what threats they face from the climate and industrial uses like agriculture and logging, and how the communities of the region appear to be coexisting sustainably.
– Researchers say investing in studying and protecting the peatlands will benefit the global community as well as people living in the region because the Cuvette Centrale holds a vast repository of carbon.
– Congolese researchers and leaders say they are eager to safeguard the peatlands for the benefit of everyone, but they also say they need support from abroad to do so.

Climate efforts won’t succeed without secure community rights, says Nonette Royo by Rhett A. Butler [12/13/2021]

– Indigenous territories account for at least 36% of the world’s “intact forests” and Indigenous Peoples and local communities (ILPC) live in or manage about half of the planet’s lands, making these areas a critical imperative in efforts to combat climate change and species loss.
– Yet in many places, IPLCs lack formal recognition of their customary lands and resources, jeopardizing their basic human rights and heightening the risk that these areas could be damaged or destroyed. For these reasons, helping IPLCs secure land rights is increasingly seen as a central component of efforts to address climate change and achieve conservation goals.
– Nonette Royo, the executive director of the Tenure Facility, is one of the most prominent advocates for advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and women. Royo spoke with Mongabay about progress and obstacles in the push to advance local peoples’ tenure rights as well as the Tenure Facility’s approaches.
– “Many models are now emerging to get these types of approaches, which require deep listening and letting communities lead the process, and adjusting or adapting their own agenda, and being willing to be transformed in the process,” Royo said. “This is most needed in the conservation space. This means respecting all rights, not just of people (as individuals or collective), but of their ways of tending with nature and co-beings with nature.”

Mongabay reporter sued in what appears to be a pattern of legal intimidation by Peruvian cacao company by [12/10/2021]

– A Peruvian cacao company that sued a Mongabay Latam writer for reporting on its deforestation in the Amazon has also targeted others in what lawyers said appears to be a pattern of intimidation.
– Tamshi, formerly Cacao del Perú Norte SAC, had its lawsuit against Mongabay Latam’s Yvette Sierra Praeli thrown out by a court in November.
– A separate lawsuit against four environment ministry officials, including the one who led the prosecution of the company, has also been dropped, although it may still be appealed.
– In a third lawsuit, environmental activist Lucila Pautrat, who documented farmers’ allegations against Tamshi, was handed a two-year suspended sentence and fine, but is appealing the decision.

Holding agriculture and logging at bay in the Congo peatlands by John C. Cannon [12/09/2021]

– The peatlands of the Congo Basin are perhaps the most intact in the tropics, but threats from logging, agriculture and extractive industries could cause their rapid degradation, scientists say.
– In 2021, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced that it was planning to end a moratorium on the issuance of logging concessions that had been in place for nearly two decades.
– The move raised concerns among conservation groups, who say the moratorium should remain in place to protect the DRC’s portion of the world’s second-largest rainforest.
– Today, timber concession boundaries overlap with the peatlands, and though some companies say they won’t cut trees growing on peat, environmental advocates say that any further issuance of logging concessions in the DRC would be irresponsible.

‘Collaboration is key’ to address big environmental challenges, says Daniel Katz by Rhett A. Butler [12/08/2021]

– In 1986 Daniel Katz set out to save tropical rainforests by co-founding the Rainforest Alliance to develop a global certification standard for forest products and crops. Katz hoped this approach would create economic incentives for companies to adopt more sustainable practices and provide sustainable livelihoods for local people.
– Over the next 35 years, the Rainforest Alliance grew into one of the world’s best known environmental brands and brought the idea of eco-certification into the mainstream.
– Since founding the Rainforest Alliance, Katz has served in a range of roles, from board member to management advisor to Senior Program Director at the Overbrook Foundation. In those capacities, he’s been a keen observer of how the conservation sector has evolved.
– In a wide-ranging interview with Mongabay, Katz spoke about trends in conservation, obstacles the sector still needs to overcome, and the importance of collaboration. He also offered advice for conservation entrepreneurs.


Across Latin America, Mennonites seek out isolation at the expense of forests By: Victoria Schneider [15 Dec 2021
– A conservative religious group called Low German Mennonites has been accused of ongoing deforestation in Central and South America and encroaching on Indigenous communities’ land.
– They started migrating to Latin America from Canada more than 100 years ago, after refusing to integrate into modernizing society.
– With a reputation for being successful farmers, the group was granted privileges by Latin American governments that have played a facilitating role in the continuous expansion into previously untouched forest landscapes.

Indonesian peat restoration has more benefits than it costs, study finds By: Basten Gokkon [15 Dec 2021]
– The benefits of effective Indonesian peatland restoration — blocking drainage canals to restore water levels and reestablishing vegetation cover — will outweigh the cost of restoration, according to a new study.
– Following the severe fire season of 2015 that destroyed vast swaths of peatland, the administration of President Joko Widodo has targeted restoring 2.5 million hectares (6.2 million acres) of degraded peatland across the archipelago.
– The authors of the new study used satellite data and models to estimate that, if completed, peatland restoration would have contributed significant reductions for 2004-2015 in fire losses and damages, CO2 emissions, PM2.5 particle emissions, health-related losses, and land-cover losses.
– Indonesia has 21 million hectares of peatland that stores an estimated 57 million metric tons of carbon, roughly 55% of the world’s tropical peatland carbon.

Exports of threatened species’ timber boomed under Bolsonaro, probe finds By: Ciro Barros/Agência Pública [14 Dec 2021]
– An investigation begun in May this year by the Brazilian Federal Police highlighted “a major scheme facilitating the smuggling of rainforest products.”
– Between February 2020 and May 2021, close to 100,000 metric tons of wood was exported to the United States, France, Japan, Germany and Belgium, an eighth of which came from rainforest species considered threatened by the Brazilian Forestry Service (SFB).
– These details have been unearthed in an unprecedented report by Brazilian investigative journalism outlet Agência Pública working with the Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP).
– The fallout of the police investigation has already seen Brazil’s environment minister resign and other officials and timber companies come under scrutiny.

French deforestation database pressures Brazilian soy traders to clean up supply chain By: Maxwell Radwin [14 Dec 2021]
– France has published a new risk analysis platform that allows companies to more easily determine which soy traders are contributing to illegal deforestation in Brazil.
– Brazilian soy is the single largest French import of deforestation, contributing to the massive reduction of the cerrado grasslands.
– Access to thorough, organized data may force soy traders to change their practices and agree to a sweeping moratorium on the use of cerrado land deforested after 2020.

First Nations unite to fight industrial exploitation of Australia’s Martuwarra By: Nick Rodway [14 Dec 2021]
– The Fitzroy River in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, one of the country’s most ecologically and culturally significant waterways, is facing proposals of further agriculture and mining development, including irrigation and fracking.
– In response, First Nations communities in the region have developed different methods to promote the conservation of the river, including curating cultural festivals, funding awareness campaigns, and working with digital technologies.
– First Nations land rights are held along the length of the Fitzroy River, the first time this has occurred across an entire catchment area in Australia.
– The catchment is the last stronghold of the world’s most “evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered” species, the freshwater sawfish (Pristis pristis) and is home to the threatened northern river shark (Glyphis garricki).

In Latin America, the law is ‘a tool to silence’ environmental defenders By: Michelle Carrere & Vanessa Romo [14 Dec 2021]
– Environmental defenders across Latin America are being sued and arrested as they protest against agribusiness, mining and energy projects on their lands.
– In most cases, government authorities are the ones pursuing criminal charges against these defenders, which range from obstructing public roads to terrorism and murder.
– Experts say that this criminalization serves one purpose: to demobilize defenders using fear, exhaustion, stigmatization, and even social and financial ruin.

China’s pivot from funding coal plants to gasification slammed as more of the same By: Nithin Coca [14 Dec 2021]
– China has promised to stop funding new coal-fired power plants abroad, but appears intent on investing in other coal projects, including gasification plants in Indonesia.
– A state-owned Chinese company announced in October that it would build a $560 million gasification plant in Indonesia’s Aceh province, turning the fossil fuel into methanol.
– Energy experts warn that this pivot away from coal-fired power plants to gasification plants “may be a loophole in the commitment to ending coal financing.”
– At the same time Indonesian President Joko Widodo has promised billions of dollars of support for gasification while also seeking foreign investment to expand the industry.

‘Cooling the climate for 10,000 years’: How saving wetlands can help save the world By: Mark Hillsdon [14 Dec 2021]
– From the vast frozen mires of the arctic to the peat swamps of Asia: “all wetlands are under threat,” said Jane Madgwick, CEO of Wetlands International. “We’re losing them three times as fast as forests.”
– Peat swamps, or peatlands, are particularly effective at storing carbon, which has accumulated over centuries and even millennia as dead plant matter became trapped in waterlogged soil.
– But if drained or otherwise damaged, peat quickly turns from carbon sink to carbon source.
– As nations race to protect and replant forests in an effort to curtail global warming, wetlands experts such as Madgwick are urging leaders to place similar importance on wetland conservation and restoration.

Camera trap study shows conservation efforts ‘are working’ on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula: Video By: Liz Kimbrough [13 Dec 2021]
– The largest-ever camera trap study in Central America, on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, has revealed how human disturbance affects where animals live and how they’re grouped.
– Protected areas and healthy forests held a greater diversity of animals as well as larger species like tapirs, jaguars and pumas, while places with more human activity had fewer species, which tended to be smaller, more common animals like opossums and agoutis.
– The camera trap study, begun in early 2018, shows many species have recovered completely in the forest reserves around Corcovado National Park, indicating that conservation efforts over the past 30 years have been largely effective.
– Local conservation groups are now focused on creating wilderness corridors so larger species like jaguars can rebound in neighboring forests.

Climate change agricultural impacts to heighten inequality: Study By: Claire Asher [13 Dec 2021]
– Major changes in crop productivity will be felt globally in the next 10 years according to new computer simulations. Climate impacts on crops could emerge a decade sooner than previously expected in major breadbasket regions in North America, Europe and Asia according to the new forecasts.
– Researchers combined five new climate models with 12 crop models, creating the largest, most accurate set of yield simulations to date. Corn could see yield declines of up to 24% by 2100, while wheat may see a boost to productivity. In some sub-tropical regions, climate impacts on crops are already being felt.
– High- and low-emissions scenarios project similar trends for the next 10 years, suggesting these agricultural impacts are locked-in. But actions taken now to mitigate climate change and alter the long-term climate trajectory could limit corn yield losses to just 6% by 2100.
– Climate adaptation measures such as sowing crops earlier or switching to heat- tolerant cultivars are relatively cheap and simple to implement, while other actions, such as installing new irrigation systems, require financial investment, planning, and time.

Mongabay Explains: Do carbon offset markets really work? By: [13 Dec 2021]
– Companies with high carbon footprints around the world have made pledges to reduce carbon emissions, aiming to become carbon neutral and even carbon negative.
– The solution they are turning to is ‘carbon offset trading,’ which allows them to invest in environmental projects as a counterweight to their carbon-emitting industrial activities.
– But carbon offset markets’ increasing popularity has met with controversy about corporations absolving themselves without contributing to an overall reduction in emissions, and questions about how they can ensure the schemes’ success without physically visiting the projects.
– In this video, Mongabay explains if carbon offset markets really do work.

For Mekong officials fighting timber traffickers, a chance to level up By: John C. Cannon [13 Dec 2021]
– Global wildlife trade authority CITES held a virtual workshop for customs agents and inspections officials in the Lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia on the physical inspection of timber shipments in October.
– The region’s forests are home to around 100 species of trees for which CITES restricts trade to protect their survival.
– But attendees also note that the ability to accurately identify tree species, as well as the knowledge to spot suspicious shipments, is low in the region.
– Improving that capacity will help to address illegal logging in the region, advocates say.

In Colombia, threatened women of the Wayuú community continue to fight rampant mining By: Carol Sánchez [13 Dec 2021]
– The Wayuú Women’s Force, founded in 2006, is an Indigenous organization that denounces the coal mining that has dammed and contaminated rivers, leaving much of La Guajira without water.
– Members of the organization have received death threats but continue to train women to stand up for their human rights.
– In addition to their work in La Guajira, the Wayuú women are developing ways of holding companies all over the world accountable for their negative environmental impact.

Conservation and food production must work in tandem, new study says By: Sheryl Lee Tian Tong [13 Dec 2021]
– Confining conservation efforts to only 30% of Earth’s land may render a fifth of mammals and a third of birds at high risk of extinction, according to a new study.
– If that 30% were to be strictly protected without accounting for food production activities, it could also result in substantial local or regional food production shortfalls, the researchers said.
– Instead, they propose an integrated land-use planning strategy where conservation and food production goals are considered in tandem, including through mixed approaches like agroforestry.
– Such a model would not only generate less food production shortfalls, but also leave just 2.7% of mammal and 1.2% of bird species at risk of extinction.

Uganda’s ‘Dr. Gladys’ honored by U.N. for work linking conservation and health By: Malavika Vyawahare [13 Dec 2021]
– The United Nations on Dec. 7 recognized Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka as one of its “champions of the Earth” for promoting the One Health approach to conservation in Africa.
– The Ugandan conservationist, a trained wildlife veterinarian, established the NGO Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) in 2003 to ensure better health care access for communities living around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and to lower the risk of human pathogens jumping to mountain gorillas.
– UNEP selected Kalema-Zikusoka for its science and innovation category; the other awardees were Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Kyrgyz youth activist Maria Kolesnikova, and the nonprofit Sea Women of Melanesia.
– “If you make the community feel that you care about them, then there’s less need to fight them,” Kalema-Zikusoka said.

Boosting human and machine expertise with conservation tech: Q&A with Sara Beery By: Caitlin Looby [13 Dec 2021]
– Sara Beery is a computer vision expert with an unlikely path to science: having started out as a ballerina, her goal now is to help solve problems in conservation technology.
– She takes two approaches to conservation tech — a top-down one for solutions that can be applied to a wide range of problems, and a bottom-up one tailored for specific challenges — and works in the field to make sure they actually work.
– Beery helped create Microsoft’s AI for Earth MegaDetector, a model that helps detect animals in camera trap data, and collaborates with the ElephantBook project in Kenya to automate the identification of elephants.
– In an interview with Mongabay, Sara Beery talks about her path to conservation tech, how she combines the best of both human and artificial intelligence to solve problems, and why fieldwork is key to ensuring that tech solutions are usable and accessible.

Papua court ruling a win for local government, Indigenous groups against palm oil By: Hans Nicholas Jong [13 Dec 2021]
– A lawsuit by two palm oil companies to overturn a decision by a district government revoking their permits has been rejected by a court in Indonesia.
– The ruling, which can still be appealed by the firms, would allow the government of Sorong district in West Papua province to take over the companies’ concessions, which span a combined area larger than New York City.
– It also paves the way for the Indigenous communities whose territory fell within the concessions to finally have their land rights officially recognized.
– The Sorong government still faces two other lawsuits filed by a third company whose permit it also revoked; a ruling is expected before the end of the year.

An Indigenous community in India’s Meghalaya state offers lessons in climate resilience By: Sahana Ghosh [13 Dec 2021]
– The Indigenous food system of the Khasi community in Nongtraw village in Meghalaya offers lessons in climate resilience and sustainable food systems, says a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation report.
– The traditional food production system is supported by jhum (shifting cultivation), home gardens, forest and water bodies and shies away from the use of synthetic chemicals. It is based on community-led landscape management practices, regulated by local governance.
– Factors such as the emergence of cash crop production (broom grass), the impact of India’s public distribution system on the local subsistence system and over-reliance on market-based products are weakening the food system’s resilience.
– Research priorities on Indigenous food systems should include systematic documentation of a wide variety of Indigenous foods known to the Indigenous communities, their contribution to food security and dietary diversity.

Indigenous communities in South Africa sue, protest off-shore oil and gas exploration By: Victoria Schneider [10 Dec 2021]
– Thousands of South Africans, including Indigenous communities, mobilized in a national protest last Sunday against Shell’s planned seismic survey in search for oil and gas reserves off the country’s eastern Wild Coast – with more protests planned this weekend.
– Two court applications were submitted last week challenging the government’s license for oil and gas exploration, and demanded their constitutional right to a safe and healthy environment, as well as their Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
– Activists and communities fear the surveys and possible oil extraction will impact marine life and pollute coastal ecosystems which the Indigenous Xhosa rely on for their livelihood and traditional rituals.
– On Thursday, the Minister of Minerals Resources and Energy underlined the government’s support for oil exploration, criticizing environmental protesters for actions seen as “apartheid and colonialism of a special type.”

Illegal mangrove logging surges in Indonesia’s Batam amid economic hardship By: Yogi Eka Sahputra [10 Dec 2021]
– Police in Indonesia’s Riau Islands have reported a 280% increase in seizures of mangrove wood from would-be smugglers this year.
– Police said much of the wood was cut from the main island of Batam, and destined for nearby Singapore and Malaysia.
– Indonesia is targeting the rehabilitation of 630,000 hectares (1.55 million acres) of mangrove forests across the country by 2024.
– The country is home to more than a quarter of the world’s mangroves, an ecosystem that buffers coastal communities against storm surges and sea-level rise, stores four times as much carbon as other tropical forests, and serves as a key habitat for a wealth of marine species.

A ‘probiotic’ approach to agriculture is better for people and planet (commentary) By: Fabrice DeClerck [10 Dec 2021
– Reversing biodiversity loss is a critical component of limiting climate change and vice versa, but less widely acknowledged is how agriculture is needed to deliver both.
– With agriculture occupying 40% of the world’s land surface, governments with the greatest chance of meeting conservation goals on all fronts will be those that address healthy food production, mitigating climate change and regenerating biodiversity as three sides of the same triangle.
– Agriculture can contribute to climate action and conservation, but only if managed as unique ecosystems capable of producing both healthy food and environmental goods.
– This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

‘Thousands of trees’ burned and logged in Cambodia: Q&A with filmmaker Sean Gallagher By: Elizabeth Claire Alberts [10 Dec 2021]
– In 2020, filmmaker Sean Gallagher released a short film titled “Cambodia Burning,” which looks at the burning and logging of Cambodia’s forests to make way for agricultural development.
– The Cambodian government has claimed that no large-scale deforestation is happening in the country’s protected areas, but Gallagher says he filmed illegal logging taking place directly inside the confines of Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary.
– Cambodia lost an estimated 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) of forest between 2001 and 2019, accounting for 26.4% of the forest cover that existed in 2000, according to a new report.
– Activists working to protect Cambodia’s remaining forests have faced threats, intimidation and incarceration.

Betty Rubio, the tech-savvy Kichwa leader defending threatened territory By: Cristina Fernández Aguilar [10 Dec 2021]
– In 2018, Betty Rubio became the first woman president of her region’s Indigenous federation, a role in which she faces threats from narcotrafficking, logging and illegal mining.
– The Kichwa leader says her grandfather warned her about the risks of deforestation, so today she’s participating in an environmental monitoring project to detect illegal activities in the Amazon.
– In Peru, where only 4% of presidencies in Indigenous communities are held by women, Betty tries to encourage her female colleagues to take leading positions in their organizations.

In Laos, a ‘very dangerous dam’ threatens an ancient world heritage site By: Tom Fawthrop [10 Dec 2021]
– The government of Laos plans to build a 1,460-megawatt hydroelectric dam upstream of the ancient city of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
– The dam is part of the government’s aim to bring in revenue by selling electricity to its neighbors; the country already has 78 dams in operation, including the Xayaburi mega dam 130 kilometers downstream from Luang Prabang.
– Public dissent is muted within the one-party state, but experts and downstream countries are raising the alarm about the dam’s potential impacts on the heritage site and the broader Mekong ecosystem.

Tigers, jaguars under threat from tropical hydropower projects: Study By: Carolyn Cowan [09 Dec 2021]
– A new study reveals that more than one-fifth of the world’s tigers and one in 200 jaguars have been affected by habitat loss linked to hydropower projects.
– Land flooded for hydroelectric reservoirs has resulted in the substantial loss of habitat for both top predators, and future hydropower projects planned within the species’ ranges fail to consider the big cats’ long-term survival, the study says.
– Scientists struggle to track the fate of tigers and jaguars displaced by hydropower reservoirs, but their chances of survival are very low, according to the study’s authors.
– The researchers recommend that policymakers minimize the impacts of future hydropower projects by avoiding landscapes deemed high priority for conservation.

In wildlife traffickers, the internet finds a cancel target everyone agrees on By: Caitlin Looby [09 Dec 2021]
– The Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online has removed more than 11 million posts linked to the wildlife trade on platforms ranging from Facebook to eBay to Alibaba since it was established in 2018.
– But as more tech companies join the cause, and algorithms to weed out trafficking keywords grow more sophisticated, traffickers are becoming savvier and evolving new ways to keep operating in the internet’s vast gray zone.
– With the proliferation of online platforms, and the increasing shift of commerce online since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, coalition supporters are emphasizing the industry-led approach as the most effective way to clamp down.
– However, law enforcement is still lacking because of the jurisdictional challenges when it comes to fighting online crime; although there have been some successful convictions, proponents say private sector collaboration is necessary to navigate the vastness of the internet.

Why has illegal logging increased in the Greater Mekong? By: Sheryl Lee Tian Tong [09 Dec 2021]
– In recent decades, rich tropical forests of the Greater Mekong region have been steadily depleted by the world’s growing appetite for timber.
– Recognizing the impact of the timber trade on natural forests, governments in the Greater Mekong region have come up with laws to regulate logging and timber exports.
– However, insufficient political will and collusion between officials, businesspeople and criminal groups means enforcement is often limited.
– There is a clear need to strengthen local laws and enforcement, but pressure from foreign governments, businesses and consumers can help.

Podcast: What do two giant land deals mean for the future of Southeast Asia’s forests? By: Mike Gaworecki [09 Dec 2021]
– On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we take a look at two stories from Southeast Asia that highlight the importance of land rights and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for Indigenous and local communities.
– We speak with Cynthia Ong, founder and Chief Executive Facilitator of Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), an NGO based in the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, who tells us about the fallout from a story broken by Mongabay about a carbon deal signed by government officials in Sabah without consulting local communities. The deal covers more than 2 million hectares or 4.9 million acres of the state’s forests for at least the next 100 years.
– Our second guest is Gerry Flynn, a Mongabay contributor based in Cambodia who has been covering a recent government decree that made 127,000 hectares or nearly 314,000 acres of protected areas available for sale or rent. Flynn tells us why there are fears that it will amount to nothing more than a land grab by powerful interests, though the decree is ostensibly intended to make land titles available to landless families.

U.K. conglomerate Jardines ‘caught red-handed’ clearing orangutan habitat in Sumatra By: Hans Nicholas Jong [08 Dec 2021]
– A U.K. conglomerate’s Indonesian subsidiary is deforesting the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan, despite promising to stop doing so, satellite imagery indicates.
– Since April this year, PT Agincourt Resources has cleared 13 hectares (32 acres) of rainforest in Sumatra for its Martabe gold mine, on top of the 100 hectares (247 acres) deforested since 2016.
– Agincourt is a subsidiary of Astra International, Indonesia’s biggest conglomerate, which in turn is a subsidiary of London-listed Jardine Matheson; the latter in 2019 agreed not to expand farther into Tapanuli orangutan habitat following a campaign by the NGO Mighty Earth.
– But the latest satellite imagery shows it has been “caught red-handed,” said Mighty Earth, which also noted that customers of Astra International’s palm oil subsidiary, including Unilever and Hershey’s, were also calling for a group-wide no-deforestation commitment.



Off West Africa’s coast, a sea of oil spills goes unreported by Ashoka Mukpo [12/06/2021]
‘Tis the season’ for cold-stunned sea turtles — and their rescue — on Cape Cod by Elizabeth Devitt [12/06/2021]
Translocation brings white rhinos to Rwanda, a new land for an old species by Elizabeth Claire Alberts [12/06/2021]
Niger Delta communities in ‘great danger’ as month-old oil spill continues by Mongabay [12/06/2021]
Layers of carbon: The Congo Basin peatlands and oil by John C. Cannon [12/07/2021]