Newsletter 2023-06-15


Learning to live with — and love — bears and eagles in Colombia’s cloud forest by James Hall — June 8, 2023


– Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise in the cloud forests of Colombia’s northern Andes, exacerbated by drivers such as deforestation due to the rapid expansion of agriculture.
– Retaliatory killing due to predation of livestock and crop raiding is a major driver of the decline of the black-and-chestnut eagle (Spizaetus isidori) and spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), both of which face their greatest risk of extinction in Colombia.
– In the Western Cordilleras of Colombia’s Antioquia department, a local NGO has been achieving remarkable success in reducing human-wildlife conflict at the local scale through promoting dialogue, inclusion and community participation in conservation efforts.

Mycorrhizal fungi hold CO2 equivalent to a third of global fossil fuel emissions by Liz Kimbrough — June 13, 2023


– A recent study estimates that more than 13 billion metric tons of CO2 from terrestrial plants are passed on to mycorrhizal fungi each year, equivalent to about 36% of global fossil fuel emissions.
– The study highlights the overlooked role of mycorrhizal fungi in storing and transporting carbon underground through their extensive fungal networks
– Researchers analyzed nearly 200 data sets from various studies that traced carbon flow and found that plants allocate between 1% and 13% of their carbon to mycorrhizal fungi.
– Understanding the role of mycorrhizal fungi is essential for conservation and restoration efforts, as soil degradation and the disruption of soil communities pose significant threats to ecosystems and plant productivity.

Ethiopia’s largest community conservation area brings Indigenous communities into the fold by Kaleab Girma — June 13, 2023


– Indigenous communities in the Lower Omo River Valley of southwestern Ethiopia have taken ownership and management responsibilities of the Tama Wildlife Reserve through the creation of the Tama Community Conservation Area (TCCA).
– The TCCA, spanning 197,000 hectares (486,000 acres), is Ethiopia’s largest community conservation area.
– The area is home to diverse wildlife, including the endemic black-winged lovebird, and is inhabited by the Mursi, Bodi, Northern Kwegu and Ari communities.
– The TCCA will be managed by a community council; however, guidelines on farming activities, natural resource use and preventing human-wildlife conflict have not yet been established.


Sumatran farmers worry as government halts palm oil fertilizer subsidies by Agus Susanto — June 15, 2023
– Indonesia has removed palm oil from a list of commodities qualifying for subsidized chemical fertilizers.
– Farmers face an uncertain transition to using composting methods to boost nitrogen content in plantation soil.
– The government of Lampung province said it intended to offer support to farmers in the future.

A powerful U.S. political family is behind a copper mine in the Colombian rainforest by Andrés Bermúdez Liévano — June 14, 2023
– Two members of the Sununu family, a powerful U.S. Republican Party dynasty, are among the directors or shareholders of Libero Copper, a copper mine promoted in the Colombian Amazon. John H. Sununu, a powerful former governor of New Hampshire and former White House chief of staff to George Bush Sr. is one of its ultimate beneficial owners. His son Michael Sununu sits on the mining company’s board of directors.
– The government sees the mine as strategic to the clean energy transition by providing copper used in electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines. However, Libero’s two Sununus are known in the U.S. as skeptics of the scientific consensus that climate change is man-made, raising questions now that they are at the helm of a ‘green energy’ mining project in the midst of such a fragile and strategic biome as the Amazon rainforest.
– In order for Libero Copper’s project to become a reality, the company says it requires not only an exploitation license and an environmental permit from the Colombian government, but also that authorities lift the protected area status of part of the deposit. The reason is that one-fifth of the copper that the mining company seeks to extract is buried under a protected natural area known as a nationally protected forest reserve.
– The prospect of this mine is a cause of concern for the Indigenous communities in its area of influence, especially the Inga reservation of Condagua to the north and Kamentsá Biya of Sibundoy to the west, who fear disruption of critical waterways and the destruction of their territory.

Seas of grass may be dark horse candidate to fuel the planet — or not by Carly Nairn — June 14, 2023
– Several kinds of grasses and woody shrubs, such as poplar and willow, have undergone U.S. testing for years to see if they can achieve high productivity as cellulose-based liquid biofuels for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the global transportation sector. Some of these grasses also would have value as cover crops.
– While these experiments showed promise, the challenges for scaling up production of grass and woody shrub-derived biofuels over the next few decades remain significant. And time is short, as climate change is rapidly accelerating.
– Another roadblock to large-scale production: Millions of acres of land in the U.S. Southeast and Great Plains states would need to be earmarked for grass cultivation to make it economically and commercially viable as a biofuel.
– If many of those millions of acres required conversion of natural lands to agriculture, then deforestation and biodiversity loss due to biofuel monoculture crop expansion could be a major problem. On the plus side, grass biofuel crops likely wouldn’t directly displace food crops, unlike corn to make ethanol, or soy to make biodiesel.

Indonesia’s Mandalika megaproject still trampling on Indigenous community’s rights: Report by Hans Nicholas Jong — June 14, 2023
– U.N. human rights experts have raised concerns about the Mandalika tourism development megaproject in Indonesia for a third year running, a record number for a project of this scale funded by a multilateral development bank.
– The concerns revolve around alleged violations by the security forces against local and Indigenous communities in the Mandalika region of the island of Lombok, which the government plans to turn into a “New Bali” with resorts, hotels and a racetrack.
– The U.N. experts say reports of intimidation, impoverishment and disenfranchisement of the Indigenous communities in Mandalika continue to flood in, despite the U.N. having flagged the project since 2021.
– NGOs have called on the $3 billion Mandalika project’s main funder, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to suspend its financing and launch an independent investigation into the alleged human rights violations.

Rare Amazon dark soils could help forest restoration, study shows by Juliana Ennes — June 14, 2023
– A recent study shows that Amazonian Dark Earths (ADEs), through their high nutrient and microbiological contents, could help to restore deforested areas in the Amazon region.
– Furthermore, these unique soils, enriched with beneficial microorganisms like bacteria and archaea, can boost the fertility of typically nutrient-depleted soils in the Amazon region.
– Building on these findings, researchers plan to further analyze the composition and microorganisms of ADEs, aiming to help restore and conserve the Amazon Rainforest.

Planting deforestation: The forests that Mexico loses to agribusiness by Thelma Gómez Durán — June 14, 2023
– Every year in Mexico, at least 47,770 hectares (118,042 acres) of forests and jungles are cleared to establish agricultural fields. This forest cover is equivalent to the total area occupied by Cozumel, one of the largest islands in Mexico.
– Territories previously inhabited by biodiverse forests are now dominated by monocultures such as avocado, soybean, sugar cane and palm oil.
– Land clearing by agribusiness has progressed unimpeded for decades in various regions of the country. The engines that encourage it are, among others, government subsidies, a growing market, ignored environmental laws and, primarily, disdain for forested territories.

The natural history of the Amazon Rainforest by Timothy J. Killeen — June 14, 2023
– Mongabay is publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
– Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
– Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
– This is part of chapter 1 of “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” see the bottom of this page for links to all the excerpts.

Red floods near giant Indonesia nickel mine blight farms and fishing grounds by Riza Salman — June 14, 2023
– Farming communities in the shadow of Sulawesi’s giant Pomalaa nickel mining area say their fields have been flooded with red water, possibly laterite waste from the mining operations.
– Local farmers blame flooding from the mine for longer harvest cycles and reduced productivity.
– Indonesia’s biggest environmental NGO says the government should review mining permits to safeguard rice fields.

Venezuela’s environmental crisis is getting worse. Here are seven things to know. by Maxwell Radwin — June 13, 2023
– A new report from the Venezuelan Observatory for Political Ecology (OEP) details the most pressing environmental issues facing Venezuela.
– They include oil spills, illegal mining, deforestation, tourism, poor waste management, water shortages and climate change.
– The Venezuelan government has done very little to address these problems, the report said, and has even turned a blind eye to them in order to improve the country’s economy.

Science and culture join forces to restore 120 miles of Hawaiian reefs by — June 13, 2023
– A new program in Hawai‘i, known as Ākoʻakoʻa, will focus on restoring 193 kilometers (120 miles) of coral reefs off the west of the Big Island, which have been in decline for the past 50 years.
– A key aspect of the program will be the building of a new research and coral propagation facility in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.
– While the program will be largely science-driven, it will also rely on the traditional knowledge of community leaders and cultural practitioners.

Return of the lions: Large protected areas in Africa attract apex predator by Petro Kotzé — June 13, 2023
– It’s a critical time for lion conservation as the species declines across Africa. Globally, the lion population has dropped by 43% over the past 21 years.
– Lions are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN, with the species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. In many of the lion’s core ranges across Africa, populations have plummeted due to, among other reasons, habitat fragmentation and poaching.
– But some African lion populations are increasing, with the big cats spotted after years of absence in parks in Mozambique and Chad. The reason: the creation of vast protected landscape mosaics, with natural corridors stretching far beyond core protected lands, which consider the large areas lions need to roam seasonally.
– This strategy entails collaboration between multiple stakeholders and across varied land uses, including state lands and private property not formally protected. These examples are showing that conservation across landscape mosaics is possible in Africa, and offer the promise of wider benefits to ecosystems and people.

Can community payments with no strings attached benefit biodiversity? by John Cannon — June 13, 2023
– A recent study published in the journal Nature Sustainability examines the idea of a “conservation basic income” paid to community members living in or near key areas for biodiversity protection.
– The authors argue that unconditional payments could help reduce families’ reliance on practices that could threaten biodiversity by providing financial stability and helping them weather unexpected expenses.
– But the evidence for the effectiveness of these kinds of cash transfers is scant and reveals that they don’t always result in outcomes that are positive for conservation.

Understanding the conventional economy of the Pan Amazon by Timothy J. Killeen — June 13, 2023
– Mongabay is publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
– Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
– Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
– This is part of chapter 1 of “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” see the bottom of this page for links to all the excerpts.

Q&A with Sydney Possuelo, the most prominent specialist in isolated indigenous peoples in Brazil by Carolina Conti — June 13, 2023
– In an interview with Mongabay, one of the country’s leading Indigenous affairs experts tells how he helped change national policy toward the isolated peoples of Brazil, with whom he now avoids contact at all costs.
– Sydney Possuelo, now 83 years old, began his career as an explorer during the expeditions of the Villas-Bôas brothers, creators of Xingu Indigenous Park.
– He went on to join Funai, the federal agency for Indigenous affairs, working there for 42 years, including as its president in the 1990s.
– In this interview, he talks about the main achievements for Indigenous peoples in recent years, the future of isolated peoples in Brazil, and why he doesn’t agree with the creation of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples.

Indonesia looks into tuna farming to boost aquaculture, reduce overfishing by Basten Gokkon — June 13, 2023
– Indonesia is developing tuna farming in the country’s bays in an effort to boost its aquaculture sector and ease the pressure on its world-leading marine tuna fishery.
– The fisheries ministry said it was consulting with international fisheries experts about implementing tuna farming.
– Indonesia’s archipelagic waters are key fishing grounds for several many tuna species, as well as spawning grounds for the fish.
– Indonesia’s tuna fisheries is an important source of livelihood for coastal communities and a key source of food for consumers around the world.

In Chile, a wildlife rehab center deals with the aftermath of worsening fires by Boris van der Spek — June 12, 2023
– Wildfires at the beginning of this year in Chile were some of the deadliest on record, destroying nearly 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of land and killing people and wildlife.
– At a wildlife rescue center in the city of Chillán, volunteer vets have been treating wildlife brought in with burns and other injuries, and releasing them back into their habitat wherever possible.
– But with much of the wildlife habitat severely damaged by the fires, the number of locations fit for wild rereleases is limited.
– Ecologists blame the intensifying fires on the combination of climate change, the spread of fire-prone eucalyptus and confer plantations, and deliberate burning.

Landfill in Colombia continues to pollute protected wetlands despite court-ordered clean-up by Maxwell Radwin — June 12, 2023
– A landfill near Barrancabermeja, in Santander, Colombia, has been leaking heavy metals and other pollutants into the water since 2015, according to a report from Global Witness.
– The landfill sits in the middle of the San Silvestre wetlands, a 69,959-hectare (172,872-acre) protected area that serves as part of a regional jaguar corridor.
– French utilities company Veolia took over the site in 2019 but has continued to store contaminated chemicals irresponsibly and operate heavy machinery in a buffer zone meant to prevent leakage into water sources, according to a Global Witness report.

Wild pigs threaten biodiversity hotspots across South America, study shows by Vitor Alexandre Araujo Prado dos Anjos — June 12, 2023
– New research shows that the expanding range of wild pigs across South America poses a greater threat to protected areas and biodiversity hotspots than previously thought.
– A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation indicates that significant portions of South America’s most biologically diverse places harbor habitats that can sustain wild pigs, with the Atlantic Forest topping the list, as 85% of its total terrain is deemed suitable for the animals.
– The increasing presence of wild pigs presents challenges for conservationists as well as local residents, whose crops are often destroyed as the pigs become accustomed to eating human foods.
– Researchers stress that scientists, local communities and managers of protected areas must work together to find appropriate means of controlling the wild pig populations.

Can an app help Liberian artisanal fishers fight illegal fishing? by Edward Blamo — June 12, 2023
– Small-scale fishers in Liberia are using a data collection platform to document cases of illegal activity at sea.
– Artisanal fishers have long borne the brunt of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, some of it occurring within an inshore exclusion zone that extends 6 nautical miles from shore.
– Through the use of a mobile app called DASE, released by the NGO Environmental Justice Foundation, local fishers can geotag images and videos of incidents at sea and submit them to the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority for verification and possible investigation.
– Though the app has not resulted in any prosecutions yet, fishers say it is having a deterrent effect on illegal activities.

Kenyan baobab trees uprooted for export to Georgia; critics call it ‘biopiracy’ by Calvin Rock Odhiambo — June 12, 2023
– Georgia’s former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has built a dendrological park that is home to numerous species of giant trees from around the world, as well as exotic birds; now, several living baobab trees in Kenya’s Kilifi region have been uprooted and prepared for export to the park in Georgia.
– The plan to export baobab trees has sparked a public outcry in Kenya and accusations of biopiracy; some baobab species endemic to Madagascar are already endangered or critically endangered, and research shows that the type of baobabs that grow in Kenya face significant threats from climate change.
– Local farmers in Kilifi reportedly were offered cash payments for the trees, which can help them meet their daily needs; while baobab fruits can be sold for use in snacks and other foods, the returns aren’t as much as the farmers could earn by signing a contract to have the trees uprooted and moved.

Strengthening crops with insect exoskeletons? Study says yes, by way of the soil by Juliette Portala — June 12, 2023
– Supplementing soil with insects’ cast-off outer skin after a molt can help increase plant biomass, the number of flowers, pollinator attraction, seed production, and even resilience to insect herbivore attacks, according to researchers.
– Farmers are already using insects, in particular the black soldier fly, for livestock feed and waste reduction, and this new use could help the transition to a more sustainable and circular agricultural system, scientists say.
– Along with further investments in research and development, a higher uptake in insect farming practices, by both small and industrial farmers, will improve for boosting crop productivity within circular agriculture.

Antarctic warming alters atmosphere, ice shelves, ocean & animals by Juliette Portala — June 12, 2023
– The world’s latest record-high temperatures are increasingly putting Antarctica’s role in regulating global climate and ocean currents at risk. But so far, most signs indicate that the continent has not yet reached a point of no return. A rapid reduction in fossil fuel extraction and carbon emissions could still prevent the worst outcomes.
– Increased persistence of the Antarctic ozone hole over the past three years could be an indication of climate change, as it cools the south polar stratosphere, though high variability in this phenomenon and its complexity make causality difficult to prove.
– As global warming continues to melt Antarctica’s edges, a modeling study shows that fresh water going into the ocean could result in the next three decades in a more than 40% slowdown in the currents carrying heat and nutrients northward, essential to sustain ocean life as we know it. If ice shelves melt, allowing Antarctica’s ice sheets to flow to the sea, sea level rise will escalate.
– The latest discovery of a new colony of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in a marginal habitat of the Antarctic is good news, but also bad news, as it further highlights the vulnerability of the species as Antarctic ice masses destabilize — volatility that threatens their survival.

In Indonesia, companies defy government’s decision to revoke their permits by Hans Nicholas Jong — June 12, 2023
– Logging, plantation and mining companies have continued to operate and have been mired in conflicts with communities since their permits were targeted for revocation by the Indonesian government, a new report says.
– In Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua alone, four palm oil companies cleared 943.3 hectares (2,331 acres) of forests in the first four months of 2023 — an area three times the size of New York’s Central Park.
– Civil groups have been calling on the government to redistribute the revoked concessions to local and Indigenous communities, but they say their calls haven’t been heard.

Rainforest cowboys: Rodeo culture sweeps the Amazon by Heinar Maracy — June 12, 2023
– As a deforestation front sweeps across the Brazilian Amazon, a cultural phenomenon linked to cattle ranching is emerging in its wake: North American-style rodeos.
– More commonly seen in the rural interior of the state of São Paulo, such events are becoming increasingly commonplace in the southern part of the Amazonian state of Pará.
– The stars of these rodeos are the tropeiros, as the farmhands of the Amazonian cattle ranches are known locally, for whom the dream of becoming a rodeo champion contrasts with their generally low-paid, often informal day jobs.
– Cattle ranching in the Amazon is notoriously inefficient, since it’s driven more by speculative occupation of the land: cattle are raised in clearings in the middle of the rainforest, in the hope that one day the land will be connected to the road network.

New digital tool maps blue carbon ecosystems in high resolution by Abhishyant Kidangoor — June 12, 2023
– The Blue Carbon Explorer, a digital tool developed by the nonprofit Nature Conservancy and the Earth-imaging company Planet, combines satellite imagery, drone footage and fieldwork to map mangroves and seagrass in the Caribbean, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
– The tool aims to help scientists, conservationists and governments gauge mangrove health and identify areas in need of restoration.
– The Blue Carbon Explorer comes at a time of growing interest in blue carbon ecosystems as potential nature-based solutions for climate change.

Seeking environmental DNA in Himalayan rivers: Q&A with Adarsh Man Sherchan by Abhaya Raj Joshi — June 12, 2023
– Conservation geneticist Adarsh Man Sherchan is one of the leading experts keeping track of the impacts that Nepal’s dozens of dams are having on freshwater species.
– The Himalayan country has more than 120 hydroelectricity plants, many of which were built without prior aquatic biodiversity assessments.
– With advances in assessment technologies, notably environmental DNA (eDNA), and a growing cohort of trained experts like Sherchan, there’s a greater focus on identifying and mitigating the impacts of dams on river life.
– In an interview with Mongabay, Sherchan talks about why eDNA is a gamechanger for monitoring species, the process of getting eDNA samples from rivers, and why jeans and flip-flops are a no-go for fieldwork.

Indigenous groups turn to Brazil’s highest court to stop police violence by Aimee Gabay — June 9, 2023
– Brazil’s largest coalition of Indigenous groups has filed a motion with the country’s highest court in response to escalating police brutality against Indigenous peoples in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
– In the first seven months of 2022, 759 violent incidents with police were recorded, involving a total of 113,654 families and 33 killings in land-related conflicts in rural areas of the country, marking a 150% increase from the first six months of 2021.
– Most cases of violence are tied to disputes over non-demarcation lands; Indigenous peoples, attempting to reclaim their ancestral territory, often run into conflicts with landowners, such as farmers or developers, which end in forceful police interventions.
– The Indigenous coalition is requesting the installation of GPS equipment and recording systems on security officers’ uniforms and vehicles, as well as measures aimed to improve their training and public protocols to protect human rights.

Europe’s top science panel supports call for moratorium on deep-sea mining by Elizabeth Claire Alberts — June 9, 2023
– The European Academies’ Science Advisory Council has announced its support for a moratorium on deep-sea mining.
– In a new report, the council conveys its skepticism that deep-sea mining is necessary to meet the needs of critical minerals for renewable technologies.
– It also points out that deep-sea mining would cause irreparable harm to marine ecosystems, and that the mining regulator lacks a scientific definition of what qualifies as serious harm.
– Many European nations and companies currently possess licenses to explore the international seabed for resources, although exploitation has yet to begin.

UN Paris meeting presses ahead with binding plastics treaty — U.S. resists by Charles Pekow — June 9, 2023
– At a May-June meeting in Paris, the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) agreed to create, and submit by November, a first draft of an international plan to end plastic pollution by 2040.
– The United States declined to join the 58-nation “High Ambition Coalition” to create a legally-binding cradle-to-grave plan to address plastic production and use. The U.S. continues to hold out for a volunteer agreement that would focus on recycling.
– Delaying tactics by Saudi Arabia and other oil and plastics producing nations used up much time at this second international plastics treaty meeting, but these efforts were beaten back at least temporarily. The next international plastics treaty meeting will be in Kenya this November.
– Some activists pointed to the imbalanced representation at the Paris meeting, where about 190 industry lobbyists were allowed to attend, while communities, waste pickers, Indigenous peoples, youth and other members of civil society most impacted by plastic pollution had very limited opportunities to be heard.

Expedition catches Amazon river dolphins to help save this iconic pink species by Kevin Damasio — June 9, 2023
– In December, researchers gathered extensive data on a population of Amazon river dolphins in the Amanã Sustainable Development Reserve in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.
– They fitted some of the dolphins with radio transmitters to help map their preferred zones and identify priority regions for species protection.
– At the top of the food chain, the river dolphins play important roles as regulators of Amazonian river life and as environmental indicators for potential zoonoses.
– Hydroelectric dams, fishing, and contamination from mining pose the greatest threats to the species across its range.

The political economy of the Pan Amazon by Timothy J. Killeen — June 8, 2023
– Mongabay is publishing a new edition of the book, “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” in short installments and in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
– Author Timothy J. Killeen is an academic and expert who, since the 1980s, has studied the rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, where he lived for more than 35 years.
– Chronicling the efforts of nine Amazonian countries to curb deforestation, this edition provides an overview of the topics most relevant to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity, ecosystem services and Indigenous cultures, as well as a description of the conventional and sustainable development models that are vying for space within the regional economy.
– This is part of chapter 1 of “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon,” see the bottom of this page for links to all the excerpts.

Climate warming alters offspring production of birds, study shows by Neha Jain — June 8, 2023
– A global meta-study investigating the effects of climate change on bird reproduction has found an overall decline in annual offspring production over 50 years.
– Offspring production in migratory and large birds decreased, whereas it increased in smaller-bodied and sedentary species.
– Migratory species may find it difficult to adapt to a rapidly changing climate in their breeding and wintering areas. Large birds may have problems adapting to changing climate conditions because they tend to live a ‘slower pace of life’ and have offspring only once a year.
– Curbing our carbon dioxide emissions will halt rising temperatures impacting bird species, say the study’s authors. People can also help boost bird reproduction by creating a cooler environment for bird nests in yards and parks through dense vegetation during heat waves.

U.N. climate chief calls for end to fossil fuels as talks head to Dubai by John Cannon — June 8, 2023
– International climate talks began in Bonn, Germany, on June 5.
– A key part of the discussion will be the global stocktake, assessing progress toward the emissions cuts pledged by nations as part of the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
– Discussions will work to provide the technical details of the stocktake, but the consensus is that the world is not on track to cut emissions by 50% by 2030, which scientists say is key to keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5°C (2.7°F) over pre-industrial levels.
– The talks are a precursor to COP28, the annual U.N. climate conference, scheduled to begin Nov. 30 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which is a major oil- and gas-producing nation.

For urban poor in Global South, nature-based solutions have always been a way to get by by Spoorthy Raman — June 8, 2023
– Nature-based solutions are increasingly being seen as a way of providing societal benefits and conserving biodiversity.
– Informal settlements, which lack necessary infrastructure and are often at the forefront of climate change and other natural disasters, can benefit from nature-based solutions and improve residents’ quality of life.
– A recent study explored the different forms of nature-based solutions in practice in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, their benefits and disadvantages, and identifies factors that make them successful.
– While the term “nature-based solutions” has recently been popularized in the Global North, researchers note that communities in many parts of the world have engaged in these practices for centuries.

We must center gender and community rights for climate action (commentary) by Coraina de la Plaza and Valentina Figuera Martínez — June 8, 2023
– The latest UN climate treaty talks continue in Bonn, Germany, from June 5-15.
– Two campaigners argue in a new op-ed that inclusion of diverse voices in the negotiations is crucial to reducing human rights violations, gender inequalities, and biodiversity loss.
– This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of Mongabay.

Illegal settlements, hunting and logging threaten a state reserve in Mexico by Thelma Gómez Durán — June 8, 2023
– The Balam-Kú State Reserve, in southern Mexico, is facing strong pressures from illegal activities.
– Between December 2022 and February 2023, 510 deforestation alerts were recorded within the reserve’s limits.
– Most of this forest loss is happening in the municipality of Candelaria, where illegal settlers are clearing forests for ranching and agriculture without the necessary permits.

Fishers confirm scientists’ warning: Brazil’s Belo Monte dam killed off the river by João Paulo Guimarães — June 8, 2023
– Seven years after the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant went into operation, fishers confirm what scientists have been verifying in studies: the fish have disappeared from this stretch of the Xingu River.
– According to Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office, the construction of the dam caused the direct deaths of more than 85,000 fish, equivalent to 30 metric tons, between 2015 and 2019.
– The loss of fish has reverberated up the food chain, with local fishing communities no longer able to make a living that generations before them took for granted.

A mega-highway threatens South America’s vulnerable Gran Chaco by Sarah Brown — June 8, 2023
– Dubbed the new Panama Canal, the 2,290-kilometer (1,423-mile) Bioceanic Corridor will connect Chile to Brazil via Argentina and Paraguay and aim to reduce freight transport costs.
– The highway crosses the Gran Chaco, one of the world’s most threatened biomes, which has already lost a fifth of its forest since 1985 due to agricultural expansion.
– Conservationists warn that the highway will lead to a surge in deforestation and an increase in the number of vehicle collisions, putting both people and wildlife at risk.
– Mitigating the environmental and social risks associated with the highway requires stronger political will and more robust implementation of protective regulations, experts say.



Years of pioneering work make Brazil the model for reintroduction of jaguars by Suzana Camargo — June 1, 2023
Can the EU’s deforestation law save Argentina’s Gran Chaco from soy? by Kimberley Brown — June 6, 2023
License to Log: Cambodian military facilitates logging on Koh Kong Krao and across the Cardamoms by Gerald Flynn — June 6, 2023
Boosted with fresh donations, Amazon Fund reboots stalled projects by André Schröder — June 5, 2023
Sumatra’s young primate whisperer brings bullhorn to macaque conservation by Barita News Lumbanbatu — June 5, 2023