Conservation news

Environmental science and conservation news

Indigenous community fighting a mine in Palawan win a milestone legal verdict

By Keith Anthony S. Fabro [2023-09-25]
Ubre Tiblak taps a tree for resin.PALAWAN, Philippines — In a move celebrated as a victory by an Indigenous community that since 2005 has been fighting plans to mine nickel in a protected area, the Philippine Supreme Court issued a verdict mandating the company and government agencies involved in the project to address Indigenous concerns about forest destruction. On August 16, […]

As fires threaten Indonesian forests, actions like agroforestry promotion are needed (commentary)

By Andrean Rifaldo [2023-09-25]
Rainbow over the rainforest and oil palm plantations in the midst of a tropical downpour in Jambi on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Photo credit: Rhett A. ButlerWith an area covering 125.76 million hectares, Indonesia’s forests, which are home to 17% of the global wildlife population, constitute the world’s third largest rainforest ecosystem and hold the key to global climate sustainability. Unfortunately, the extent of Indonesia’s forested areas has been declining sharply each year. Since 2000, Indonesia has lost 18.4% of its […]

Delay of Indonesia’s energy transition plan a chance to get public input

By Hans Nicholas Jong [2023-09-25]
JAKARTA — Observers are calling for greater public participation and transparency in a $20 billion effort by Indonesia to move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, following the government’s failure to publish the plan for the phased transition in time. Under the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), signed in 2022, the G7 group […]

10 years after land grab, local Nigerian farmers continue fight against palm oil producer

By Orji Sunday [2023-09-22]
Tractor and trailer with oil palm seedlings on a Wilmar plantation in Cross River state, Nigeria. Image by Rettet van Regenwald via Flickr (CC BY--NC-ND 2.0)One morning in 2013, Ojobe William watched as the blade of a bulldozer destroyed his farm in southeastern Nigeria. Soldiers armed with whips and rifles looked on, alert. Residents of Ehom say transnational palm oil producer Wilmar carried out a violent land grab when it took control of the derelict Ibiae plantation, depriving the communities […]

How Canada’s growing presence in Latin America is hurting the environment

By Maxwell Radwin [2023-09-22]
MEXICO CITY — Canada has become a major force in Latin America. It’s spent the last 30 years beefing up its portfolio with investments in mining, oil and natural gas. It’s established free trade agreements and foreign investment protections with dozens of countries, and is in the process of negotiating more. As a result, the […]

Seventy-plus nations sign historic high seas treaty, paving way for ratification

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts [2023-09-22]
Sperm whales in the Atlantic Ocean.Seventy-six countries and the European Union have now signed the high seas treaty, signaling interest in ratifying the agreement designed to protect marine biodiversity in international waters. The signing of the treaty is a significant step in a global effort to protect the high seas, areas of the ocean beyond national borders, which have historically […]

Deforestation for palm oil continues in Indonesia’s ‘orangutan capital’

By Hans Nicholas Jong [2023-09-22]
JAKARTA — Despite various commitments from global brands and the government to protect Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem, home to some of the rarest species on Earth, development of new palm oil plantations and drainage of carbon-rich peatlands continue in the ecosystem, a new investigation finds. At the same time, deforestation in Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, a […]

First Nation and scientists partner to revive climate-saving eelgrass

By Moira Donovan [2023-09-22]
Participants in an eelgrass coring workshop gather sediment cores from an eelgrass meadow, which will be used to establish how long the carbon stored by eelgrass stays locked away.MALIKO’MIJK, Canada — Decades ago, the sea around Maliko’mijk Island was an expansive green carpet of eelgrass, the meadows so thick that members of the Pictou Landing First Nation had to cut channels through them for their boats to pass. But on a drizzly September day, as boats carrying scientists and elders pull up to […]

Tien Hai Nature Reserve latest battleground in Vietnam’s push for development

By Michael Tatarski [2023-09-22]
A black-headed ibisIn mid-April, the government of Thai Binh province on Vietnam’s north-central coast quietly issued a decision that has since spawned growing controversy. The decision removed protection from almost 90% of Tien Hai Nature Reserve, reducing its area from 12,500 to 1,230 hectares (nearly 31,000 to just over 3,000 acres). According to provincial leaders, this was […]

In São Paulo’s cityscape, community gardens prompt a new food paradigm

By Sibélia Zanon [2023-09-22]
“This here is really great. I feel so good! I’m not stressed, and I’m not sad. When I’m here in the garden, everything is good,” says Waldir Francisco de Almeida, planting a long row of lettuce at Professora Maria de Lourdes Rosário Negreiros State School in São Paulo. Almeida used to work in the food […]

Brazil Supreme Court quashes time frame proposal in win for Indigenous rights

By Sarah Brown [2023-09-22]
Brazil’s Supreme Court voted against the highly controversial time frame proposal, a legal challenge that would have stripped Indigenous rights and opened up traditional territories to mining and agribusiness.

Fisherwomen fight plan for coastal salt farms on Indonesia’s Madura Island

By Moh. Tamimi [2023-09-22]
SUMENEP, Indonesia — Fisherwomen on Indonesia’s Madura Island are at the forefront of a protest against a plan to convert a stretch of their coast into salt farming in their efforts to protect the ecosystem that has provided a key source of income for the community. A group of women in Sumenep district of East […]

Infrastructure in the Pan Amazon: Railroad development

By Timothy J. Killeen [2023-09-21]
The challenges to developing waterways have focused investor’s attention on railroads. In 2020, the Amazon Hub of the IIRSA portfolio included eight rail projects, which were either completed (2), under construction (1) or on the drawing boards (5). The estimated total budget ranges between $US 20 and $US 30 billion, but even the larger number […]

Agroecology holds promise in Congo Basin — if funding woes can be overcome

By Elodie Toto [2023-09-21]
Dorothee Mbogo, carrying a machete and wearing a sleeveless white top and dark blue jeans, standing in the disturbed earth of her cassava farm in Batchenga, Cameroon. Image by Ryan Brown/UNWomen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Emmanuel Eku turned to agroecological techniques to revive the exhausted soil on a plot of land in his hometown in southwestern Cameroon. Over five long years, he worked to restore his yields, with the support of an NGO. Today, he devotes his time to finding resources to help other farmers around him make the same […]

EU bill and new green policies spur progress on Brazil’s cattle tracking

By André Schröder [2023-09-21]
Cattle in Pará state.Brazilian banks link credit for Amazonian meatpackers to traceability by 2025, backed by the similar proposal from the powerful Agriculture and Livestock Confederation.

‘Lost’ Brazilian holly tree species found again after nearly 200 years

By Liz Kimbrough [2023-09-21]
An expedition team has found a rare Brazilian tree that botanists thought might be extinct after nearly two centuries without a confirmed sighting. The Pernambuco holly tree (Ilex sapiiformis), which can grow to a height of 12 meters (nearly 40 feet), was found again in March in northeast Brazil by a team led by ecologist […]

Investors over islanders as Indonesia uses force to push development project

By Hans Nicholas Jong [2023-09-21]
JAKARTA — Critics have questioned the Indonesian government’s priorities as it prepares to evict longtime residents of a small island to make way for a $25 billion development that includes a solar panel factory and a tourism resort. The island of Rempang, part of the Riau Islands archipelago in the Malacca Strait, has been awarded […]

A rhino-less reserve in Nepal is set to get its first two rhino habitants

By Abhaya Raj Joshi [2023-09-21]
A rhino in a river in Chitwan National Park.KATHMANDU — People living around Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in eastern Nepal are preparing to welcome two very special guests on World Tourism Day, Sept. 27. Pushpa and Anjali are greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) who are being moved here from Chitwan National Park in central Nepal. The translocation of the two female rhinos is […]

Who were the 11 Philippines environmental defenders killed in 2022?

By Keith Anthony S. Fabro [2023-09-21]
Volunteer teacher Chad Booc. Image by Chad Booc's via Facebook.The Philippines has gained the grim distinction of being Asia’s deadliest country for land and environmental defenders, with 281 deaths over the past decade, roughly one-third of which were linked to mining, according to the nonprofit Global Witness. This figure is a part of a larger global tally of at least 1,910 defenders killed between […]

For Vietnam’s rare reptiles, lack of captive populations may spell doom

By Carolyn Cowan [2023-09-21]
Rock geckoVietnam is the meeting point of two incredibly biodiverse ecoregions, where the tropical ecosystems of Southeast Asia merge seamlessly with the temperate biomes of mainland Asia. Across a terrain of mountain ranges, vast plains and limestone cliffs and caves, animals and plants have evolved into a rich diversity of forms. But more needs to be […]