As U.N. members clinch historic high seas biodiversity treaty, what’s in it? by Elizabeth Fitt — March 8, 2023

– On March 4, U.N. member states reached a landmark agreement on a legally binding treaty aimed at protecting the international waters of Earth’s oceans.
– The deal, more than 15 years in the making, was finalized after talks overran their two-week schedule into a final, grueling 36-hour negotiation marathon.
– Delegates reached consensus on multiple thorny matters, including a framework for establishing and maintaining a network of marine protected areas on the high seas and mechanisms to share benefits from high seas resources fairly among nations.
– For the new high seas treaty to be implemented, delegates must officially adopt the treaty text at an unscheduled next meeting, and then a minimum of 60 states must ratify it, a process that could take months or years.

Logged and loaded: Cambodian prison official suspected in massive legalized logging operation by Gerald Flynn — March 8, 2023

– A Mongabay investigation indicates that a three-star military general who also serves as a top interior ministry official appears to be the notorious illegal logger known as Oknha Chey.
– Family and business ties link Meuk Saphannareth to logging operations in northern Cambodia that satellite imagery shows are clearing forest well outside their concession boundaries.
– Officials at the provincial level could not give a clear answer as to why the concession had seemingly been awarded to Oknha Chey, while the interior ministry ignored Mongabay’s questions about the allegations against Saphannareth.
– Some names have been changed to protect sources who said they feared reprisals from the authorities.

Podcast: What the ‘Guardians of Life’ can teach the world about saving biodiversity by Mike DiGirolamo — March 7, 2023

– Nearly 80% of the world’s biodiversity is stewarded by Indigenous peoples and local communities, each practicing their own traditional ecological knowledge, or TEK.
– With the world facing twin biodiversity and climate crises, experts emphasize the need to recognize the land rights and sovereignty of Indigenous people from a human rights perspective to protect the planet’s wildlife and ecosystems.
– On this episode of the podcast, National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan discusses his latest project that shares stories of Indigenous stewardship, “The Guardians of Life: Indigenous Stewards of Living Earth.”

China-funded bridge threatens Paradise Reef in southern Philippines by Bong S. Sarmiento — March 7, 2023

– Samal Island, a popular tourist destination near Davao City in the southern Philippines, is fringed by a 300-meter (980-foot) coral system known as Paradise Reef, which hosts more than 100 coral species.
– A plan to build a bridge linking Davao to Samal threatens to destroy the reef, scientists and conservationists warn.
– Campaigners in the area are calling on the Philippine government to reroute the bridge to minimize damage to the ecosystem.

Lula government scrambles to overcome Yanomami crisis, but hurdles remain by Jenny Gonzales — March 6, 2023

– Within weeks of taking office, the new Brazilian government began an emergency operation to provide health care assistance to Indigenous people in the Yanomami territory and remove the 20,000 illegal gold miners there who have sparked a humanitarian and environmental crisis.
– So far, over 6,200 Yanomami people have been treated and more than 100 health care personnel have been recruited. However, a lack of health care workers, deteriorating infrastructure and minimal support from the military is preventing access to communities most in need.
– As miners have begun to flee the area and environmental authorities seize and destroy their equipment, some Indigenous leaders say important progress is underway but more remains to be done.

Restoration turns pastures into wildlife haven in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest by Sarah Brown — March 3, 2023

– After centuries of intensive deforestation, experts say fragmentation and degradation are worse in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest than in the Amazon.
– Experts say restoration can complement primary forest conservation by helping to reconnect fragments of original forest and to bring back lost biodiversity.
– The nonprofit Guapiaçu Ecological Reserve conserves 12,000 hectares (29,652 acres) of Atlantic Forest in the Guapiaçu River Basin, protecting both the environment and the water supply of 2.5 million people.
– In two decades, the nonprofit has planted 750,000 trees, seen a return of hundreds of birds, and reintroduced the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) to Rio de Janeiro for the first time in 100 years.

Indigenous Comcaac serve up an oceanic grain to preserve seagrass meadows by Astrid Arellano — March 3, 2023

– The Indigenous Comcaac community of northwestern Mexico is working to preserve eelgrass and promote the renaissance of the grain they obtain from it.
– Known as xnois, this grain from the Zostera marina seagrass was once a vital ingredient in Comcaac food, and was sustainably harvested without harming seagrass meadows.
– Current generations of Comcaac hope to revive the ancient traditions while preserving the seagrass meadows off the coast of their territory.
– Through a recent cultural festival, they showcase the versatility of xnois in both traditional and modern cuisine, from tortillas to energy bars.


A freshwater giant is a boon to Bolivian fishers, but an unknown for native species by Iván Paredes Tamayo — March 9, 2023
– Paiche or arapaima (Arapaima gigas) was introduced in Bolivia in 1976 by accident from Peru, and though initially rejected as an exotic species, is today prized by local fishers as a boon to the economy.
– There’s no research on the potential damage caused to riverine ecosystems in the Bolivian Amazon region due to the arrival of paiche, but native fish species have disappeared in some areas where the freshwater giants thrive.
– The Bolivian government has not classified paiche as an invasive species, with some official studies recommending controlling rather than eradicating its population.
– Paiche fishing has also been encouraged as an economic boon to rural communities, where the species accounts for up to 70% of fishers’ catch.

Indonesia aims to use gas in foreign-funded energy transition; critics cry foul by Hans Nicholas Jong — March 9, 2023
– Indonesia plans to convert its diesel fuel-fired power plants to gas-fired power plants starting this year as a part of its energy transition program.
– The Indonesian government hopes the gas conversion project could be funded by a US$20 billion energy transition deal with developed countries called the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).
– The plan has been lambasted by activists, who see the gas conversion project as a false solution to climate change due to methane emissions that come from leakage during the transportation of gas.
– Activists also point out that gas is more costly than renewable energy and the development of gas could take away funding and resources from renewable development.

Struggles loom as Bolivia prepares new plan to clean up its mercury problem by Maxwell Radwin — March 9, 2023
– Bolivia’s failure to combat illegal gold mining led to international outcry last year, as deforestation and mercury pollution continued to run rampant.
– Earlier this month, the government announced two plans to formalize small-scale and illegal gold mining operations and introduce technology that could help replace mercury.
– However, some critics say the government has a bad track record for implementing sweeping industry regulations, which might look good on paper but fall flat in practice.
– Major road investments in mining areas could also increase illegal activity at the same time the government is implementing regulations, as it will be easier for heavy machinery to access rural areas.

Indonesia’s mangrove restoration will run out of land well short of target, study warns by Cassie Freund — March 9, 2023
– The Indonesian government’s mangrove restoration plan faces a major hurdle, according to a new study: less than a third of the target area is actually viable for restoration.
– The finding isn’t all bad news; the researchers have been invited to collaborate with the national mangrove restoration agency on “fine-tuning where these areas are, and what kind of priority they need.”
– The study found the most promising sites for restoration are on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, which largely match the government’s own priority areas.
– Successful mangrove restoration across Indonesia could secure healthy fisheries for coastal communities and improve fisheries-based economies, thereby reducing poverty and hunger, and improving health and well-being for 74 million people.

Element Africa: Claims of mining encroachment in DRC and broken promises in SA by Mongabay.com — March 8, 2023
– Activists say Canada-registered miner Alphamin Bisie has been operating outside its concession in the DRC’s North Kivu province, and encroaching into community forests.
– Police in South Africa have arrested seven activists protesting against Anglo American Platinum for what they say is the mining giant’s failure to report back on its social and work commitments to the mining-affected community.
– Element Africa is Mongabay’s bi-weekly bulletin rounding up brief stories from the commodities industry in Africa.

As Indonesia’s new capital takes shape, risks to wider Borneo come into focus by Basten Gokkon — March 8, 2023
– Indonesia’s plan to build its new capital city on an expiring logging concession in eastern Borneo has sparked concerns among environmental and human rights observers about the larger eco-social impacts to the rest of the island.
– The administration of President Joko Widodo, who made the decision and will leave office next year, has made glowing promises of a green and sustainable development: claiming minimal forest clearance, respect for Indigenous and local communities’ rights, and a net-zero carbon emission design.
– Mongabay visited the site of the project last October to see its progress, observe firsthand some of the earliest impacts from the construction of the city and supporting infrastructure, and speak with the people most likely to be affected.
– Clearing of mangroves and high-conservation forest areas, land conflicts with Indigenous communities, and potentially large-scale displacements are already happening, calling into question whether the $34 billion project’s benefits will outweigh its downsides.

In Sri Lanka, activists push for ban on using human contraceptive jabs on animals by Hassaan Shazuli — March 8, 2023
– Sri Lankan authorities are considering banning the use of a human contraceptive injection for animals.
– A proposed pilot project to inject a human contraceptive on 50,000 dogs sparked outrage, prompting its immediate suspension.
– The contraceptive injection can lead to the accumulation of pus in a dog’s uterus, eventually causing its death, experts say.

Blended finance can supercharge conservation (commentary) by Chuck Cooper — March 8, 2023
– Bringing together donors, nations, UN agencies, foundations, NGOs, and private investors, ‘blended finance’ can align private investment with public monies to fund conservation.
– A new commentary by the founding chairman of the world’s largest such mechanism focused on ocean conservation — the Global Fund for Coral Reefs — argues that it can serve as a model for others working to reverse biodiversity loss.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Mongabay.

Amazon deforestation linked to reduced Tibetan snows, Antarctic ice loss: Study by Claire Asher — March 8, 2023
– Earth’s climate is controlled by a complex network of interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, lands, ice and biosphere. Many elements in this system are now being pushed toward tipping points, beyond which changes become self-sustaining, with the whole Earth system potentially shifting to a new steady state.
– A recent study analyzed 40 years of air temperature measurements at more than 65,000 locations to investigate how changes in one region rippled through the climate system to affect temperatures in other parts of the globe. Computer models then simulated how these links may be affected by future climate change.
– Researchers identified a strong correlation between high temperatures in the Amazon Rainforest and on the Tibetan Plateau. They found a similar relationship between temperatures in the Amazon and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
– Deforestation in the Amazon likely influences the Tibetan Plateau via a convoluted 20,000-kilometer (12,400-mile) pathway driven by atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. The study suggests that a healthy, functioning Amazon is crucial not only for the regional climate in Brazil, but for the whole Earth system.

Will new bottom trawling rules do enough to protect South Pacific seamounts? by Edward Carver — March 7, 2023
– The South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) is an intergovernmental body that regulates fishing across the vast international waters of the South Pacific Ocean.
– At a meeting in Manta, Ecuador, in February, the SPRFMO changed its rules around bottom trawling, a controversial fishing practice that involves dragging fishing gear along the seabed, running roughshod over any organisms or structures in its path.
– The new rules mandate the protection of at least 70% of species that indicate the presence of so-called vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as sponge fields and cold-water coral communities.
– However, conservationists have decried the new rules, calling them less protective than the current policy, let alone the ban on trawling seamounts they’ve been asking for.

Lost bird found: Dusky tetraka seen in Madagascar after 24-year absence by Liz Kimbrough — March 7, 2023
– The dusky tetraka, a small yellow songbird that had eluded ornithologists for 24 years, has been found again in the tropical forests of northeastern Madagascar.
– The bird was found at a lower elevation than expected, in thick underbrush near a river. The team plans to search for the dusky tetraka again during the breeding season to learn more about its ecology and biology.
– The dusky tetraka is listed as one of the top 10 most-wanted lost birds, an initiative that aims to locate bird species that have not been seen and recorded for a minimum of 10 years.
– More than 90% of the species found in Madagascar are endemic, with the island yielding at least 150 new-to-science species in the last 30 years.

SE Asia’s COVID legacy is less wildlife trade, but more hunting, study finds by Spoorthy Raman — March 7, 2023
– The wildlife origins of COVID-19 highlighted the risks of intruding into forests and consuming wildlife, but most discussions around the pandemic have focused on human health and wildlife conservation.
– A recent study investigated how the pandemic impacted hunting communities in Southeast Asia, a hotspot for wildlife hunting and trafficking.
– The results show that while there was a decrease in the wildlife trade as international borders were closed and people’s movements restricted, there was an increase in forest visits and hunting in these communities due to job losses and increasing prices of goods.
– The researchers suggest that to conserve wildlife in the region and rein in hunting, authorities need to work with hunting communities and support sustainable alternative livelihoods.

Conservationists decry palm oil giants’ exit from HCSA forest protection group by Hans Nicholas Jong — March 7, 2023
– Palm oil giants Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) and IOI Corporation Berhad have withdrawn from the High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA), a mechanism that helps companies reach zero deforestation targets by distinguishing forest lands that should be protected from degraded lands that can be developed.
– The companies’ exit brings the total number of firms quitting the HCSA to four, with Wilmar International and Sime Darby Plantation stepping away from the committee in 2020.
– Environmentalists say this points to a startling industry trend in which industry giants are shirking responsibility for their harmful business practices.
– Both GAR and IOI say they remain committed to using the HCSA toolkit.

Brazil’s Indigenous groups demand a voice in new soybean railway project by Elizabeth Oliveira — March 7, 2023
– The Ferrogrão railway project was conceived with a view to reducing transportation costs between the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Pará, where soybeans are one of the main export products.
– The railway has been met with resistance from the region’s Indigenous peoples, who will be impacted by the socio-environmental risks associated with the project.
– A study by the Federal University of Minas Gerais highlighted that the Ferrogrão railway line will cross several Indigenous territories in the Xingu River Basin, something that could see more than 230,000 hectares (568,000 acres) of rainforest lost to deforestation in Indigenous territories in the state of Mato Grosso by 2035; more than half of this would be in the Xingu Indigenous Park alone.
– After the project was suspended by Brazil’s Supreme Court in 2021, it has since been marked as a priority by the current government and its future will be decided by the Court’s plenary session in May this year.

Deforestation threatens local populations in Republic of Congo’s Sangha by Lawon Olalekan — March 6, 2023
– Between May 2021 and November 2022, more than 200,000 deforestation alerts were recorded around Ouesso, in the northwestern Republic of the Congo.
– Logging has drastically impacted the country’s forest cover.
– In 2016, the Congolese authorities awarded 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) of logging concessions to businesses, the majority of which had broken environmental and social standards.
– More recently, mining by Chinese companies (the land in north-west Congo is rich in iron and gold) has accelerated the destruction of ecosystems.

Panama ocean conference draws $20 billion, marine biodiversity commitments by Elizabeth Claire Alberts — March 6, 2023
– The eighth annual Our Ocean Conference took place in Panama March 2-3.
– Participants made 341 commitments worth nearly $20 billion, including funding for expanding and improving marine protected areas and biodiversity corridors.
– One key announcement came from Panama, which said it would protect more than 54% of its marine region.

Orangutan death in Sumatra points to human-wildlife conflict, illegal trade by Ayat S. Karokaro and Sri Wahyuni — March 6, 2023
– The case of an orangutan that died shortly after its capture by farmers in northern Sumatra has highlighted the persistent problem of human-wildlife conflict and possibly even the illegal wildlife trade in Indonesia.
– The coffee farmers who caught the adult male orangutan on Jan. 20 denied ever hitting it, but a post-mortem showed a backbone fracture, internal bleeding, and other indications of blunt force trauma.
– Watchdogs say it’s possible illegal wildlife traders may have tried to take the orangutan from the farmers, with such traders known to frequent farms during harvest season in search of the apes that are drawn there for food.
– Conservationists say the case is a setback in their efforts to raise awareness about the need to protect critically endangered orangutans.

Indigenous youths keep ancient forestry traditions alive in the Philippines by Keith Anthony S. Fabro — March 6, 2023
– In the southern Philippines’ Misamis Oriental province, Indigenous Higaonon practice a forest management tradition known as panlaoy.
– Panlaoy requires immersion in the forest, with participants observing, documenting and assessing the condition of the ecosystem and any threats to it.
– The practice is integral to the protection of an area of recognized customary land encompassing 17,553 hectares (43,374 acres) of forest inhabited by around 10,000 people.
– Guided by tribal elders, Higaonon youth volunteers known as basbasonon are trained to be the next generation of cultural bearers and forest vanguards.

Multinational task force aims to save colorful rainforest frogs by Suzana Camargo — March 6, 2023
– Thousands of amphibians are dying in the Americas because of the lethal fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes a disease called chytridiomycosis.
– Some of the most affected species are from the Atelopus genus, known as harlequin frogs, also called “jewels of the neotropics” because of their vibrant colors.
– Active since 2019, the Atelopus Survival Initiative (ASI) brings together scientists from 15 countries working to prevent the disappearance of harlequin frogs; of the 99 known species, half may already be extinct.
– Human health is also at risk: In Central America, extinction of amphibians has resulted in up to 90% more malaria cases because one of the important roles the frogs play is to control other populations, including mosquitoes.

Young Indonesian climate leaders demand safe future in new book by Warief Djajanto Basorie — March 6, 2023
– “Menjalin Ikhtiar Merawat Bumi: Memoirs by Climate Reality Leaders,” is edited by Amanda Katili Niode, who served as a special adviser to Indonesia’s environment minister in the 2000s.
– Those who have written essays for the book are “climate reality leaders,” meaning they participated in one of the three-day workshops organized by global nonprofit The Climate Reality Project on finding solutions to the climate crisis.
– More than 45,000 climate reality leaders are spread across 190 countries and territories. Indonesia has more than 1,000.

Agroecology is a poverty solution in Haiti (commentary) by Cantave Jean-Baptiste and Steve Brescia — March 6, 2023
– Haiti is facing a political and economic crisis: Functional governance that serves the interests of Haiti’s people is largely nonexistent.
– In this commentary, Cantave Jean-Baptiste, Director of Partenariat pour le Développement Local (PDL), and Steve Brescia, Executive Director of Groundswell International, argue that replacing Haiti’s extractive agricultural and economic model with one that regenerates rural communities and landscapes and promotes food sovereignty is a potential solution to problems that plague Haitians.
– Through a regenerative model of agricultural and rural development, Haiti could become “a positive example of how some of the most marginalized smallholder farmers in the world can replace the longstanding model of extractive agriculture with one that continuously regenerates their land, food production, rural economies, and dignity.”
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Mongabay.

Indonesian fisheries fee change promises more revenue, but likely also more violations by Basten Gokkon — March 4, 2023
– The Indonesian fisheries ministry is implementing a new scheme under which operators of large fishing boats would pay a range of fees after landing their catch instead of before.
– The ministry says the change is meant to boost state revenue from these non-tax fees, but observers warn it opens the potential for an increase in unreported catches.
– That’s because a key feature of the new policy is that it relies heavily on self-declarations by fishing boat operators when reporting the volume of their catch at port.
– Indonesia has one of the biggest fishing industries in the world, employing about 12 million mostly artisanal fishers, and its waters support some of the planet’s highest levels of marine biodiversity.

After decades away, rare Peruvian seabird nests on island freed of invaders by Elizabeth Claire Alberts — March 3, 2023
– Chañaral Island off the coast of Chile used to be a prime nesting site for the Peruvian diving petrel, but the species largely disappeared from the island after the introduction of invasive rabbits and foxes.
– In 2013, researchers and wildlife managers eradicated these invasive species from Chañaral, and in 2019, a team began to lure the diving petrels back to the island by creating artificial nests and playing petrel calls.
– These efforts paid off: in November 2022, a Peruvian diving petrel chick hatched in a naturally dug burrow, generating optimism for the species’ future on the island.

Do elections spur deforestation? It’s complicated, new study finds by Liz Kimbrough — March 3, 2023
– More deforestation occurs in years with competitive elections than in non-competitive election years (i.e., those with a single candidate or a rigged vote), according to a study examining 55 countries in the tropics between 2001 and 2018.
– Competitive elections can be potential drivers of deforestation because politicians use land and resources to win over voters. While there are laws and regulations against monetary and real estate bribery, there often aren’t any against the exploitation of natural resources.
– Researchers were surprised to find that deforestation was higher during non-election years and competitive election years than during non-competitive election years. They suggest several reasons why, although this contradicts findings from past studies.
– To better protect forests, the authors recommend that integrity and transparency monitoring schemes in place to monitor elections include natural resource monitoring and that conservation organizations and the media be extra vigilant in the lead-up to competitive election years.

Climate change lawsuits take aim at French bank BNP Paribas by Maxwell Radwin — March 3, 2023
– French bank BNP Paribas is being sued by a group of environmental and human rights advocacy groups that allege it provides financial services to oil and gas companies as well as meat producers that clear the Amazon to make space for cattle pastures.
– The basis of both lawsuits is a 2017 French law known as the “Duty of Vigilance Act,” which requires companies and financial institutions to develop reasonable due diligence measures that identify human rights and environmental violations.
– Even though the bank has committed to financing a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, the groups that filed the lawsuits said it still isn’t meeting the standards of the 2017 law.

Climate change is exacerbating human-wildlife conflict, but solutions await: Study by Tim Vernimmen — March 3, 2023
– A review of 49 studies reveals that a variety of weather-related phenomena that are likely to become increasingly common due to climate change may increase human-wildlife conflict.
– The most commonly reported conflict outcomes were injury or death in people (43% of studies) and wildlife (45% of studies), and loss of crops or livestock (45% of studies). Many documented cases are occurring in the tropics, with animals such as Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) in Mexico, and elephants in Africa and Asia, increasingly coming into conflict with local communities.
– The impacts of climate change on human-wildlife conflict may especially affect vulnerable human populations, particularly when combined with pressures that limit mobility and flexibility in humans and animals. These stressors should be minimized where possible, researchers suggest.
– A better understanding of the climatic drivers of human-wildlife conflict could help prevent or alleviate conflicts. Predicting the onset of extreme weather events such as droughts, and proactively responding with temporary measures to protect animals and people, could be one effective solution, as could sharing information on how to avoid the hazards of wildlife conflict.

‘Brought down by gold’: Communities and nature suffer amid Nigerian bonanza by Gabriel Ogunjobi — March 3, 2023
– Commercial-scale gold miners are wreaking havoc in southwestern Nigeria’s Atorin-Ijesha region.
– Local officials largely condone these often illegal activities, while the federal authorities have been slow to crack down.
– Affected community members say the miners are destroying their crops, polluting their land, and contaminating their water sources with mercury and lead.
– The gold rush is profiting a small handful of local elites and their Chinese partners, at the expense of local communities and the environment.

Six newly described chameleon species reflect Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains’ fragility and richness by Ryan Truscott — March 3, 2023
– Six new species of pygmy chameleon have been described from Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains.
– The mountain forests are subject to intense human pressure, threatening the diverse plant and animal species that live in them.
– A recent study using satellite imagery discovered that in one district alone, 27% of its montane forests were lost to small-scale farmers and herders between 2011 and 2017.
– The Tanzanian government is currently working to increase agricultural production in a region that overlaps with the Eastern Arc Mountains, raising fears this will be at a cost to biodiversity.

Fishing industry transparency is key for a thriving ocean (commentary) by Steve Trent — March 3, 2023
– As fish populations decline in many regions, unscrupulous fishing fleet operators have turned to illegal fishing, human trafficking, slavery and other abuses to cut costs.
– This is facilitated by the complex, opaque nature of global fisheries, but there is one essential step every government can and must take to end this and bring fisheries out of the shadows: introducing comprehensive transparency.
– “The fact that illegal fishing, human rights abuses and ecological collapse in the ocean are so closely interlinked means that systematic, rigorous transparency can help to resolve them all,” a new op-ed argues.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Mongabay.

Conservationists should all be feminists (commentary) by Marie-Annick Moreau and Emily Woodhouse and Mara J. Goldman — March 2, 2023
– A new plan for global biodiversity conservation was set forth in December, when the Convention on Biological Diversity agreed to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
– Target 2 of the framework has garnered most of the media attention, but given women’s key roles in conservation on a global level, a more radical outcome would likely result from the successful implementation of Target 23 on gender equality.
– In advance of International Women’s Day on March 8th, three authors argue that now is the time to recognize women not only as conservation stakeholders and biodiversity protectors, but as agents of change.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of Mongabay.

Three small steps for mankind, one giant leap for the climate by Juliette Portala — March 2, 2023
– A new report proposes a set of three policy interventions by governments that could help parts of the global economy rapidly decarbonize.
– The authors identified three green switches with the potential to not just lower carbon emissions in one sector but trigger further positive tipping points, resulting in faster decarbonization in other high-carbon industries.
– Among the potential policy interventions, the report says a mandate on zero-emission vehicles could cut battery costs; supporting green ammonia in fertilizers could widen hydrogen use; and purchasing alternative proteins for food served in public institutions could reduce land pressures and cut agricultural emissions.

In Sumatra, increased orangutan sightings point to growing threats to the apes by Hans Nicholas Jong and Tonggo Simangunsong — March 1, 2023
– Villagers in the Batang Toru forest in northern Sumatra say orangutan sightings in their farms and settlements have increased recently.
– They attribute this to the animals being driven out of their forest habitat by ongoing construction of a hydropower plant and dam.
– The construction activity puts added pressure on the already critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan, which numbers fewer than 800 individuals scattered in populations that could be cut off from each other by the project.
– Villagers say it’s important to preserve the animals, as they’re a key seed disperser for the fruit trees that farmers here depend on.

Reef ruckus: Fish fights erupt after mass coral bleaching, study finds by Carolyn Cowan — March 1, 2023
– An international team of researchers studied the behavioral changes among butterflyfish on a series of reefs in the Indo-Pacific before and after the 2016 global mass coral bleaching event.
– They found that following the bleaching event, fish behaved more aggressively toward one another in their newly degraded reef home.
– The energetic toll of encounters involving fighting and chasing one another could have implications for the long-term survival of reef fish species, the study authors conclude.
– Given rates of ocean warming and predictions for more frequent and intense coral bleaching over the longer term, it’s unclear whether reef fish have the capacity to adapt their behavior to their rapidly changing environments.

Mongabay’s What-to-Watch list for March 2023 by Mongabay.com — March 1, 2023
– In February, Mongabay covered how conservationists in Ukraine are working through the war, how remote communities in the Amazon are using solar energy, and the benefits of introducing agroecology in India’s coconut plantations.
– Indigenous political representatives and lawmakers in Brazil discussed with Mongabay the issues they are about to start tackling now that the government and political intentions have changed.
– In Mongabay’s latest episodes of Mongabay Sessions, host Romi Castagnino spoke with the ‘Wildcat’ documentary team about rescuing a baby ocelot from the black market and releasing it in the wild.
– Get a peek into the various segments of the environment across the globe. Add these videos to your watchlist for the month and watch them for free on YouTube.

Study: Online trade in arachnids threatens some species with extinction by Ryan Truscott — March 1, 2023
– A recent study reveals a vast and unregulated global trade in invertebrates, posing a risk of overexploitation of some species in the wild.
– A group of scientists scoured the internet and discovered that a total of 1,264 species are being traded online.
– Tarantulas are particularly in demand, with 25% of species described as new to science since 2000 popular with collectors.
– Africa is prominent in this trade as both a source and transit hub for tarantulas and scorpions.


Himalayan catfight looms as tigers, leopards venture into snow leopard land by Abhaya Raj Joshi — February 28, 2023
As livelihoods clash with development, Vietnam’s Cần Giờ mangroves are at risk by Lam Nguyen and Danielle Keeton-Olsen — February 28, 2023
In Brazil, criminals dismantle one of the best-preserved swaths of the Amazon by Ana Ionova — February 23, 2023



News and Inspiration from Nature's Frontline.