Newsletter 2023-08-24


New concession in Botum Sakor National Park handed to Cambodia’s Royal Group by Gerald Flynn — August 22, 2023

– Cambodia’s Botum Sakor National Park continues to be carved up and its ostensibly protected land awarded to private developers with close links to the country’s ruling party.
– In the latest development, approved Jan. 25 but only announced Aug. 14, local conglomerate Royal Group was awarded a 9,968-hectare (24,631-acre) concession that adjoins another land parcel it received in the park in 2021.
– This leaves Botum Sakor with 20,000 hectares (less than 50,000 acres) of land that’s not in private hands, or just one-ninth of its original area when it was declared a national park in 1993.
– Civil society groups have expressed concern over the lack of transparency surrounding the new concessions being issued in Cambodia’s protected areas, especially when the recipients are tycoons with reputations for illegal logging, forced evictions and environmental destruction.

Elephants invade as habitat loss soars in Nigerian forest reserve by Orji Sunday — August 21, 2023

– Elephants straying out of Afi River Forest Reserve in the Nigerian state of Cross River are reportedly damaging surrounding farms.
– This uptick in human-wildlife conflict comes as satellite data show continuing and increasing deforestation in the Afi River reserve and other protected areas.
– The habitat in Afi River Forest Reserve provides a crucial corridor that connects critically endangered Cross River gorilla populations in adjacent protected areas.
– As in other Nigerian forest reserves, agriculture, poverty and a lack of monitoring and enforcement resources are driving deforestation in the Afi River reserve.

Energy company evades oil clean up as spills continue to contaminate Colombian town by Catalina Sanabria Devia — August 17, 2023

– Oil activity in the town of Puerto Boyacá in Colombia is responsible for 109 contaminated sites, 37 of which have been caused by the company Mansarovar Energy, according to data from Colombia’s National Authority for Environmental Licencing (ANLA).
– Mongabay Latam and Rutas del Conflicto carried out a visit to the region to see the damage firsthand and hear stories of local inhabitants.
– Oil spills have polluted an important wetland, led to a 90% loss in fish and contaminated farmland — sparking a legal backlash by fishers and farmers who say their livelihoods have been gravely impacted.
– Although lawsuits over the damage caused to the local ecosystem and the region’s bodies of water have been filed by local inhabitants, fishers, farmers and even the municipal authorities of Puerto Boyacá, no work has yet been carried out to restore the contaminated sites by the company.

As Bangladesh’s crab fishery booms, its wild stocks suffer the fallout by Farhana Parvin — August 16, 2023

– Crab harvests in Bangladesh are booming to meet thriving export demand, but the rates at which wild stocks are being depleted may be unsustainable, experts warm.
– Researchers say the loss of large numbers of mud crabs from ecosystems like the Sundarbans mangroves could trigger an ecological imbalance.
– Bangladesh exported about $35 million worth of crabs in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, with the trend expected to increase to markets like the U.S., the EU and Singapore.
– Experts have called for more efforts to hatch crabs on aquafarms as a way to ease the pressure on wild stocks, but this option isn’t available yet at commercial scale.



Oil and gas exploration threatens Bolivian Chaco water supply by Iván Paredes Tamayo, Nelfi Fernández Reyes — August 24, 2023
– Aguaragüe National Park is suffering from environmental damage caused by hydrocarbon exploration, the activities of which have been carried out for more than a century. In 2017, a study conducted by the Bolivian government and the European Union identified five high-risk environmental liabilities for the population, for which there is still no official information regarding remedial measures.
– There are at least 60 oil wells in this protected natural area, most of which are not closed, according to Jorge Campanini, a researcher at the Bolivian Documentation and Information Center (CEDIB).
– Per information from the Ministry of the Environment and Water, there are seven environmental liabilities and 94 oil wells in seven protected areas in Bolivia. No information was provided on the situation in the rest of the country.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: Belo Monte and the Río Xingu by Timothy J. Killeen — August 24, 2023
– Mongabay has begun 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.
– Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

‘More research leads to more awareness’: Q&A with fishing cat expert Rama Mishra by Abhaya Raj Joshi — August 24, 2023
– Rama Mishra is a Nepali zoologist studying the country’s little-known fishing cats, a rare and threatened species that lives in wetlands.
– With an estimated 70% of fishing cats thought to live outside of protected areas, any conservation efforts must engage with and get the blessing of local communities, she says.
– Even small-scale interventions have been shown to yield big results in conservation when people are aware about fishing cats, Mishra says.
– Mishra spoke recently with Mongabay’s Abhaya Raj Joshi about how she got involved with fishing cats, their unexpected association with elephants, and what the future holds for this species.

Journalism’s role in the Nature Crime Alliance (commentary) by Rhett A. Butler — August 23, 2023
– Nature crime constitutes one of the largest illicit economies in the world, inflicting devastation and destruction upon people and planet.
– On August 23, 2023, the Nature Crime Alliance officially launched as “a new, multi-sector approach to fighting criminal forms of logging, mining, wildlife trade, land conversion, crimes associated with fishing, and the illegal activities with which they converge.”
– Mongabay is a founding member of the alliance. In this post, our founder Rhett A. Butler explains why Mongabay is involved and how it will contribute.
– “We decided to join the alliance because we firmly believe that journalism can contribute to real-world outcomes by highlighting the significance of nature, fostering accountability for environmental destruction, and inspiring people to work towards solutions,” writes Butler. “On the nature crime front specifically, we believe that shedding light on the corruption, collusion, and undue influence that drive environmental degradation can pave the way for more effective policies around the management of natural resources.”

Do virus-detecting ants hold the key to preventing zoonotic diseases? by Elodie Toto — August 23, 2023
– Researchers are using army ants in Congo Basin rainforests to better understand the presence and emergence of zoonoses, diseases transmitted from animals to humans.
– According to the World Health Organization, the number of zoonotic epidemics recorded in Africa between 2012 and 2022 rose by 63% compared to the previous decade.
– Researchers collected 200 army ants from 29 colonies in Gabon’s rainforest for analysis. They found nearly 50,000 different viral sequences, half of them belonging to viruses currently unknown to science.
– They hope that by regularly collecting ants for analysis from selected sites, they will be able to identify potentially-dangerous viruses as well as which animal species harbour them, and use this information to guide public health strategy to control zoonotic diseases.

Indonesia, Singapore to work more closely against lobster larvae smugglers by Yogi Eka Sahputra — August 23, 2023
– Indonesia has called for Singapore’s commitment to shut its borders on illegal exports of lobster larvae.
– Indonesia has since 2021 banned exports of wild-caught lobster larvae, but Singapore still permits their import, serving as both a key market and a regional trading hub.
– Lobsters are among Indonesia’s top fisheries commodities, but the illegal export of larvae and baby lobsters cost the country billions of rupiah in lost revenue and threatens the declining wild population of the shellfish.
– The fisheries ministry puts the latest estimate of potential wild lobster stock in Indonesian waters at 27 billion, but many of the officially sanctioned fishing zones are overfished, with the rest being harvested at maximum capacity.

A tale of two biomes as deforestation surges in Cerrado but wanes in Amazon by Sarah Brown — August 23, 2023
– Brazil has managed to bring down spiraling rates of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest in the first half of this year, but the neighboring Cerrado savanna has seen a wave of environmental destruction during the same period.
– The country’s second largest biome, the Cerrado is seeing its highest deforestation figure since 2018; satellite data show 3,281 hectares (8,107 acres) per day have been cleared since the start of the year through Aug. 4.
– The leading causes of the rising deforestation rates in the Cerrado are a disparity in conservation efforts across Brazil’s biomes, an unsustainable economic model that prioritizes monocultures, and escalating levels of illegal native vegetation clearing.
– Given the importance of the Cerrado to replenish watersheds across the continent, its destruction would affect not just Brazil but South America too, experts warn, adding that the region’s water, food and energy security are at stake.

Activists slam coal pollution from Indonesia’s production of ‘clean’ batteries by Hans Nicholas Jong — August 23, 2023
– Indonesia’s electric vehicle ambitions have seen it ramp up refining of nickel, a key component in EV batteries, at industrial estates springing up across the country.
– However, these smelters are powered by purpose-built coal-fired plants, which environmental activists say are causing illness, killing crops and polluting fish farms.
– Among the coal plants that activists say are polluting local villages are those that power the nickel smelters owned by Chinese companies PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (GNI), PT Virtue Dragon Nickel Industry (VDNI) and PT Obsidian Stainless Steel (OSS).
– While Indonesia has stated its commitment to transitioning away from coal in powering its grid, these industry-exclusive “captive” plants aren’t subject to any kind of phaseout, and are in fact encouraged by regulation.

Getting the bread: What’s the environmental impact of wheat? by Ashoka Mukpo — August 22, 2023
– Wheat is the most widely planted crop on Earth by land mass, with 217 million hectares (536 million acres) — an area the size of Greenland — devoted to it.
– Most large-scale production of wheat relies on synthetic fertilizer, which contributes to climate change, algae blooms, and oceanic “dead zones” when nutrients from these fertilizers run off into the environment.
– One 2017 study found that the biggest single environmental impact associated with a loaf of bread came from the synthetic fertilizer used in growing the wheat for it.
– Progressive food system experts say that along with other crops, wheat production needs to shift to sustainable techniques like “circular agriculture,” which recycles waste and cuts pollution.

In the chain of species extinctions, AI can predict the next link to break by Abhishyant Kidangoor — August 22, 2023
– Scientists at Flinders University in Australia have developed a machine-learning model that predicts which species are at risk of extinction if another species is removed from an ecosystem or an invasive one is introduced.
– Trained on data on how species interact with each other, the model could serve to alert conservation managers on which vulnerable species to focus on, the developers say.
– They tested the model successfully in Australia’s Simpson Desert, where it accurately predicted which species invasive foxes and cats preyed on.
– However, the shortage of data on species interactions, along with the possible biases that arise, are gaps that still need to be filled in the model.

For Caatinga’s last jaguars and pumas, wind farms are the newest threat by Suzana Camargo — August 22, 2023
– In 2013, it was estimated there were 250 jaguars and 2,500 pumas in the entire Caatinga biome in northeastern Brazil, but the numbers today are likely lower, conservation experts say.
– A growing threat to the big cats is the rapid growth of wind farms in this semiarid biome, with four operating in the Boqueirão da Onça protected area complex, the stronghold for both species in the Caatinga.
– The development of these installations comes with noise, deforestation, and loss of access for the big cats to water sources, which pushes them into closer proximity to human settlements, placing them in conflict with ranchers.
– Experts say there’s a general lack of public policies aimed at preserving the Caatinga, where less than 10% of the biome is protected yet hosts 85% of the country’s wind farms.

Indonesia permit payoff raises alarm about palm oil industry corruption by Hans Nicholas Jong — August 22, 2023
– The ongoing trial of an Indonesian official accused of taking bribes from palm oil companies to expedite their permits has prompted calls for greater scrutiny into corruption in the sector.
– Muhammad Syahrir, formerly the head of the land agencies in Riau and North Maluku provinces, is accused of taking 20.9 billion rupiah ($1.36 million) in bribes from various companies over the course of five years.
– In the case at the center of the trial, Syahrir is alleged to have solicited the equivalent of $228,000 from palm oil company PT Adimulia Agrolestari to renew its right-to-cultivate permit, known as an HGU.
– Environmental law experts say the secrecy around HGU permits is what allows corruption to flourish, and have renewed calls for the government to make the permit data publicly accessible.

Ecuador referendum halts oil extraction in Yasuní National Park by Maxwell Radwin — August 21, 2023
– Millions of people participated in a nationwide referendum to determine whether crude oil should remain in the ground indefinitely at a site inside Yasuní National Park in Ecuador’s eastern Amazon.
– More than 5.2 million people voted in favor compared with 3.6 million against, solidifying protections for Indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation.
– The referendum took place alongside presidential and legislative elections as well as a referendum on halting mining in the Chocó Andino de Pichincha. That referendum received nearly 70% support from voters.

Rolling car tires into the global circular economy by Sean Mowbray — August 21, 2023
– More than 1 billion car tires reach the end of their life each year, and dealing with the resulting waste is an escalating management headache the world over.
– But long before tires are thrown away, they leave behind a trail of environmental harm stretching from tropical forests, along supply chains, and to consumers. Limited rubber traceability risks deforestation, experts warn, while other research shows that tire wear releases potentially toxic microplastic pollution.
– It needn’t be this way: Circular economy solutions — reducing, reusing and recycling materials in closed loops — could offer tire pollution solutions. However, these solutions come with limitations and trade-offs.
– A tire redesign is greatly needed to increase longevity, as is the cultivation of new sources of deforestation-free rubber, and alternative end-of-life strategies that emphasis recycling of the dozens of components found in tires. But given the complex makeup of today’s tires, there won’t be one simple solution.

Zimbabwe sees recycling boom as waste picking becomes lucrative business by Tatenda Chitagu — August 21, 2023
– Recycling trash by picking it up and selling it, or buying it and converting it into profitable materials, has become a booming business in Zimbabwe, as the country and its citizens struggle under hyperinflation.
– Community-based recycling organizations, which handpick litter, quadrupled in the last few years, now picking up 15% of all plastic waste generated in the country, says Zimbabwe’s Environmental Management Agency.
– Zimbabwe struggles under the weight of its plastic waste found in rivers, streets and open areas, which causes water pollution and breaks down into microplastics.
– However, environmentalists say relying on recycling itself, which can cause its own pollution, is still not enough to tackle the country and world’s plastic waste problem at its root.

From grassroots to government, Singapore takes lead in tackling e-waste by Abhishyant Kidangoor — August 21, 2023
– The disposal and recycling of electrical and electronic waste is a huge problem in land-starved Singapore, which generates an estimated 60,000 metric tons of e-waste annually.
– Innovative legislation enacted by Singapore’s government in 2019 puts the onus on producers to collect used electrical appliances and electronic goods and send them to sorting and recycling facilities.
– At the community level, a volunteer-driven initiative called Repair Kopitiam relies on an army of tech-savvy volunteers who work out of community centers to repair people’s old appliances and electronics.
– E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world; studies estimate e-waste generated annually will increase from 50 million metric tons today to 120 million by 2050, so lessons learned from Singapore’s groundbreaking law could guide other nations and communities around the globe to deal effectively with e-waste.

When it rains, it pours: Bangladesh wildlife trade booms during monsoon by Mahadi Al Hasnat — August 21, 2023
– The illegal wildlife trade in Bangladesh increases during the wet season due to a shortage of livelihoods and poor surveillance, a study has found.
– Killing and trading wildlife has been illegal in Bangladesh since 2012, but a culture of hunting means the problem still persists, wildlife officials say.
– Wildlife markets trade in animals and parts from species such as tigers and crocodiles, with the more lucrative end of the trade thriving in areas with a weak law enforcement presence and close proximity to a seaport or airport.
– Efforts to tackle the trade are limited by law enforcement restrictions, with the Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU) lacking the authority to arrest suspects and reliant on local agencies for investigations and legal action.

Actress Leonor Varela: This Sunday, Ecuadorians can vote to protect Yasuní and send a message to the world by Rhett A. Butler — August 19, 2023
– Tomorrow, Ecuadorians will cast their votes in a referendum to decide whether oil drilling should continue in Yasuní National Park, one of the most biodiverse places in the world.
– Environmentalists and Indigenous rights advocates are urging Ecuadorians to vote “Yes” on the measure.
– Leonor Varela, a Chilean actress known for roles in movies and television shows from “Cleopatra” to “Blade II”, has been a staunch advocate for a “Yes” vote. She believes that supporting the measure would not only help conserve Yasuní but also serve as a profound message to the global community.
– “With this first-of-its-kind referendum worldwide, Ecuador could become an example in democratizing climate action, offering its citizens the chance to vote YES for the forest, for Indigenous rights, our climate, and the well-being of our planet,” Varela told Mongabay in an August 2023 exchange.

Mexico announces 13 new protected areas, with more to come by Maxwell Radwin — August 18, 2023
– Mexico introduced six new national parks and seven flora and fauna protection areas covering 17,918 hectares (44,276 acres) to be overseen by the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp).
– The protected areas are located in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Oaxaca and Guerrero.
– Mexico now has 200 federally protected areas.

Expected ship traffic to LNG Canada port could see whale deaths also rise by Spoorthy Raman — August 18, 2023
– The nutrient-rich ancestral waters of the Gitga’at First Nation in northern British Columbia are a critical habitat for fin, humpback and killer whales.
– The development of a $35.5 billion LNG terminal threatens these whales, as shipping traffic in the region is projected to surge, leading to more frequent encounters between whales and ships, a recent study warns.
– It uses whale movement data and predicted ship traffic modeling to conclude that two fin whales and 18 humpback whales could be killed each year in ship strikes in Gitga’at territorial waters.
– Researchers suggest mitigation measures like reducing ship speeds in whale hotspots and restricting ship traffic during August, when whales are most abundant in these waters.

Deep-sea mining project in PNG resurfaces despite community opposition by John Cannon — August 18, 2023
– An embattled deep-sea mining project appears to be moving ahead in Papua New Guinea, according to officials in the Pacific Island nation, despite more than a decade of opposition from local communities on the grounds that it could harm the fisheries on which they rely as well as the broader ecosystem.
– Backers of deep-sea mining say it could help provide the gold, copper and other minerals necessary for the transition to electric vehicles and away from fossil fuels.
– But deep-sea mining has not yet happened anywhere in the world, and scientists, human rights groups and Indigenous communities highlight the lack of evidence demonstrating its safety.
– The Alliance of Solwara Warriors is a group of Indigenous communities and church organizations that have been fighting the Solwara 1 project in Papua New Guinea, which received the world’s first deep-sea mining license from PNG in 2011.

Tropical lakes are carbon super sinks, even more than forests, study shows by Evanildo da Silveira — August 18, 2023
– Research shows that Amazonian water bodies capture 39% more carbon per unit area than the rainforest itself.
– The research also revealed that lakes and rivers located in tropical regions with preserved forests sequester 10% of the carbon in these locations.
– The study shows the importance of preserving wetlands against climate change, the researchers say.

Study: Tall trees and shade boost bat diversity on Africa’s cocoa farms by Sean Mowbray — August 17, 2023
– Insect-eating bats prefer cocoa farms that retain large, old-growth trees that mimic the natural forest conditions.
– New research found higher abundance and diversity of bats on farms with 65% or greater shade cover — still common on cocoa farms in places like Cameroon, but rare in major cocoa-producing areas of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
– Related research has established that bats and birds can reduce the amount of pesticides cocoa farmers use, but also find yields decline where shade cover is greater than 30%.
– Researchers hope to find optimal levels of shade from native trees for agroforestry systems that provide homes for friendly bat and bird species while maximizing yields for farmers.

The deceptions of the Amazon Summit in Belém (commentary) by Philip M. Fearnside — August 17, 2023
– The summit of the eight Amazon countries held in Belém produced many statements of good intentions but no concrete commitments.
– No agreement was reached either on ending oil extraction in the Amazon or on ending deforestation, not even only “illegal” deforestation.
– Urgent but politically difficult topics were not discussed, such as foregoing plans to build roads opening rainforest areas and the need to end the legalization of land claims on government land.
– This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

Has the Buddha’s legacy in Nepal helped save sarus cranes? by Abhaya Raj Joshi — August 17, 2023
– Nepali conservationists say they believe there’s a possible link between the Buddha’s legacy and the conservation of sarus cranes in Lumbini, Nepal, where he was born.
– A wetland sanctuary for the cranes in Lumbini and local traditional farming practices may have helped the species survive, they say.
– But the cranes face a host of challenges and threats such as habitat loss, electrocution, hunting and large-scale infrastructure development.

Where are the giraffes hiding? Predictive tracking tech points the way by Abhishyant Kidangoor — August 17, 2023
– Researchers have combined tagging technology, satellite data and machine learning to create a model that predicts the potential locations of unknown populations of reticulated giraffes in Africa.
– The model also predicts suitable habitats where giraffes could be moved to for conservation purposes.
– Reticulated giraffes are endangered, with their populations declining due to habitat loss triggered by deforestation, urbanization and agricultural expansion.
– Findings from the model have estimated huge swaths of suitable habitats in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia; they’ve also contributed to the translocation of 14 giraffes to Angola, from where the animals were driven out by conflict years back.

Beach heat: Study shows increasing temperature extremes on Brazil’s coast by Luís Patriani — August 17, 2023
– By analyzing temperature patterns at five points along the Brazilian coast over the last 40 years, scientists confirmed the impacts of global warming on the country: hotter summers, more heat waves and greater thermal amplitude throughout the day.
– On the coast of Espírito Santo state, the frequency of daily occurrences of extreme temperatures and heat waves increased by 188% during the period studied; Rio Grande do Sul saw an increase of 100% and São Paulo, 84%.
– Such climate extremes impact the health of people, plants and animals directly and indirectly, including changes in viral cycles.

Offshore drilling faces backlash in Argentina after skirting environmental regulations by Maxwell Radwin — August 17, 2023
– Argentina granted permits to a dozen major oil companies to develop new offshore drilling projects near the Atlantic coast. But some of them may have disregarded policies meant to protect surrounding marine ecosystems.
– A court filing by the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN) argues that offshore drilling exploration could disorient, injure and even kill marine life and disrupt feeding and migratory areas.
– The companies that received permits include Equinor, Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum Pluspetrol, Shell, Tullow, Total Austral and Shell, among others.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: The Madeira Hydropower Complex by Timothy J. Killeen — August 17, 2023
– Mongabay has begun 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.
– Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.

Jakarta snags ‘most polluted’ title as air quality plunges and officials dither by Hans Nicholas Jong — August 17, 2023
– Air pollution in Jakarta has hit such dire levels recently that the Indonesian capital has been named the most polluted city on Earth.
– Both the city and national governments blame vehicle emissions for the problem, yet deny that the more than a dozen coal-fired power plants ringing the city are a factor.
– A court in 2021 found the government liable for improving air quality, but the administration of President Joko Widodo chose to appeal rather than comply with the ruling.
– Now, the president himself is reportedly among the more than 630,000 cases of respiratory illness recorded in Jakarta in the first half of this year.

‘All will be well’: Q&A with Kenyan fisher turned coral gardener Katana Ngala by Anthony Langat — August 17, 2023
– Once a fisherman, Katana Ngala has been restoring corals near his home in Kuruwitu, Kenya, for more than 20 years.
– Early on, the area’s coral was degraded due to destructive fishing practices and coral bleaching, and he and other fishermen were experiencing diminished catches.
– Now the coral and fish are flourishing in the area, which the local community set aside as a no-fishing zone.
– Ngala spoke about the changes he’s seen in the coral garden over time and how he shares his commitment to the sea with fishers, students, scientists and the wider community in an interview with Mongabay at his seaside coral workshop.

Indonesian fishers not biting at new policy perceived as undermining them by Basten Gokkon — August 16, 2023
– The Indonesian fisheries ministry issued a decree earlier this year introducing a quota-based fisheries management policy aimed at maximizing state revenue from the sector.
– A new study, however, has found that the new policy is unpopular with fishers, who say it reduces the role of local authorities and fishing communities.
– Local stakeholders’ responses also suggest the policy only benefits large-scale investors and commercial fishers, who are perceived to have a high negative impact on the environment.
– Indonesia’s fisheries sector plays a major role in the global seafood supply, with the country home to some of the world’s richest marine biodiversity.

Kordofan giraffes face local extinction in 15 years if poaching continues by Liz Kimbrough — August 16, 2023
– According to a recent study, losing two Kordofan giraffes each year would lead to local extinction of the subspecies within Cameroon’s Bénoué National Park in just 15 years.
– The study found that antipoaching measures are the most effective way to prevent extinction, including robust patrols by guards, strengthening law enforcement, and providing sustainable livelihoods to people living around the park.
– Kordofan giraffes are a critically endangered subspecies with an estimated 2,300 individuals remaining, of which fewer than 300 are found in Bénoué National Park.
– The authors also stress the importance of identifying, restoring and protecting wilderness corridors to connect populations of giraffes across the region.

Sumatra women farmers celebrate court win against China-backed zinc mine by Rabul Sawal — August 16, 2023
– A court in Indonesia’s capital has ordered the cancellation of an environmental permit for PT Dairi Prima Mineral, an Indonesia-based mining company majority-owned by a Chinese enterprise.
– The July 24 ruling throws new uncertainty over the zinc and lead project, which was first given permission to operate in 1998.
– International scrutiny of the proposed mine has focused on designs for the mine’s tailings pond, which engineers have characterized as a potential disaster.
– The lawsuit, filed against women farmers from Dairi district, was directed at the environment ministry, which can still appeal the ruling.

Hydropower in the Pan Amazon: Tucuruí and the Tocantins Cascade by Timothy J. Killeen — August 16, 2023
– Mongabay has begun 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.
– Click the “A Perfect Storm in the Amazon” link atop this page to see chapters 1-13 as they are published during 2023.



From debt to diversity: A journey of rewilding, carbon capture and hope by Elizabeth Fitt — August 9, 2023
World’s largest private rhino herd doesn’t have a buyer — or much of a future by Jim Tan — August 11, 2023
Captive to coal: Indonesia to burn even more fossil fuel for green tech by Hans Nicholas Jong — August 10, 2023