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  • Indonesia developing mega coal mine five times larger than Singapore

    20 October 2014, 2:00 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Global miner BHP Billiton and Indonesian partner PT Adaro are developing what could become the single largest mine in Indonesia in terms of land area, with BHP owning 75 percent. The IndoMet mine complex in Central and East Kalimantan provinces on Borneo…
  • With death of rhino, only six northern white rhinos left on the planet

    20 October 2014, 10:46 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Rhino conservation suffered another tragic setback this weekend with the sudden death of Suni, a male northern white rhinoceros at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Suni's passing means there are only six northern white rhinos left in the world, and only one…
  • Walking the walk: zoo kicks off campaign for orangutans and sustainable palm oil

    20 October 2014, 10:08 am by: Jeremy Hance

    If you see people wearing orange this October, it might not be for Halloween, but for orangutans. Chester Zoo’s conservation campaign, Go Orange for Orangutans, kicks off this month for its second year. The campaign aims to raise money, and awareness, for…
  • Behind on biodiversity targets, govts pledge to increase funding for conservation

    17 October 2014, 7:18 pm by: Rhett Butler

    On the heels of a report showing that the world is far behind on targets to halve habitat loss, cut pollution, and reduce overfishing, delegates meeting at a United Nations conference in Pyeongchang, South Korea have agreed to increase step up efforts to…
  • Indonesia’s tough choice: capping coal as Asian demand grows

    17 October 2014, 4:44 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Indonesia cannot build power stations fast enough. And neither can most of its Asian neighbors. Rapid economic and population growth are driving equally rapid demands for electricity as the region builds out power grids to connect up millions of people to fuel…
  • Push to undermine Indonesia's new president could stymie environmental progress, say NGOs

    17 October 2014, 2:55 pm by: Rhett Butler

    concerted push by political elites to undermine Indonesia's president before he even takes office could stymie progress on social and environmental issues in the country, say Indonesian civil society groups. On July 9, former Surakarta (Solo) and Jakarta mayor…
  • To become less damaging, target non-forest lands for palm oil, says book

    16 October 2014, 2:12 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Palm oil production has been spectacularly profitable but ecologically disastrous across Southeast Asia, consuming millions of hectares of indigenous lands, rainforests, and peatlands in recent decades. That paradox has made the crop highly controversial…
  • Indonesia tries to clamp down on coal sector’s worst excesses

    16 October 2014, 12:00 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Out of the jungles of East Borneo in Indonesia comes the fire that fuels Asia’s burgeoning economies: coal. Miners dig deep open pits, clearing forests and farmlands to extract coal from thick black seams, which is then crushed and loaded onto trucks and…
  • Daring activists use high-tech to track illegal logging trucks in the Brazilian Amazon

    15 October 2014, 3:34 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Every night empty trucks disappear into the Brazilian Amazon, they return laden with timber. This timber —illegally cut —makes its way to a sawmills that sell it abroad using fraudulent paperwork to export the ill-gotten gains as legit. These findings are…
  • Scientists find temperate bat in the hot tropics of the Western Ghats (photos)

    15 October 2014, 12:28 pm by: Tiffany Roufs

    The Western Ghats is one of the world’s eight richest biodiversity hotspots. A UNESCO World Heritage site, and also known as the Great Escarpment of India, the Ghats run parallel to India’s west coast. This great ecosystem is home to over 139 mammal…
  • Researchers create global map of world's forests circa 1990

    14 October 2014, 7:56 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Researchers have created a global map of the world's forests in the year 1990, enabling accurate comparisons between past and current deforestation rates. The GIS data underpinning the map is available at LandCover.org.
  • As Amazon deforestation falls, small farmers play bigger role in forest clearing

    14 October 2014, 7:11 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Smallholder properties account for a rising proportion of overall deforestation in Brazilian Amazon, suggesting that Brazil’s progress in cutting forest loss through stricter law enforcement may be nearing the limits of its effectiveness, finds a new study…
  • India plans huge palm oil expansion, puts forests at risk

    14 October 2014, 4:28 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    The world's largest importer of palm oil, India is seeking to slake its thirst domestically. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that India has the potential to cultivate oil palm in 1.03 million hectares of land--nearly the size of the U.S. state of…
  • Plantation companies in Sumatra failing to meet fire prevention standards

    14 October 2014, 4:20 pm by: Rhett Butler

    An inter-agency audit of 17 plantation and timber concessions in Riau Province, Indonesia, found that every company is failing to meet fire prevention and control standards. In addition, several companies are working in prohibited areas, including peatlands…
  • Rogue palm oil company appeals deforestation case to Indonesia's supreme court

    14 October 2014, 4:11 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Oil palm company PT. Kallista Alam has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court continuing the closely-watched legal battle set to redefine Indonesia's commitment to environmental justice. Lawyers for the company filed the new appeal on October 6, claiming the…
  • 'River wolves' recover in Peruvian park, but still remain threatened inside and out (photos)

    14 October 2014, 11:06 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Lobo de río, or river wolf, is the very evocative Spanish name for one of the Amazon's most spectacular mammals: the giant river otter. This highly intelligent, deeply social, and simply charming freshwater predator almost vanished entirely due to a…
  • Another environmental journalist killed in Cambodia

    14 October 2014, 12:57 am by: Rhett Butler

    Another Cambodian journalist has been gunned down while investigating illegal logging by state officials.
  • Could California be facing a mega-drought?

    13 October 2014, 5:40 pm by: Brittany Stewart

    Scientists and politicians, everyone agrees: California is in deep trouble. As the state enters its fourth year of drought and the soil has never been drier. Some look at the sky with hope that El Niño will bring much needed rain. But most are starting to…
  • Jane Goodall joins mongabay

    13 October 2014, 11:03 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Famed primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall—whose image is known the world over—has joined the advisory board of mongabay.org. This is the non-profit branch of mongabay.com, an environmental and science website with a special focus on tropical…
  • New species named after the struggle for same-sex marriage

    13 October 2014, 10:17 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Scientists have named new species after celebrities, fictional characters, and even the corporations that threaten a species' very existence, but a new snail may be the first to be named after a global human rights movement: the on-going struggle for same-sex…
  • Forest restoration commitments: driven by science or politics?

    10 October 2014, 2:12 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    During September's UN Climate Summit, three African nations were recognized for their commitments to restore collectively millions of hectares of forest. But several organizations declined invitations to sign the pact because they say it fails to lay out…
  • Greenpeace sinks Lego's $116 million deal with Shell Oil over Arctic drilling

    9 October 2014, 7:46 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Lego has announced it will be severing its partnership with the oil giant, Shell, when the current contract expires after a clever campaign by environmental activist group, Greenpeace. Since 2011, Lego has been selling exclusive sets at Shell stations, but the…
  • Google, zoo to leverage 'TV white space' to monitor wildlife

    9 October 2014, 6:59 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Imagine watching a tiger stalk a sambar deer or catching a ghost-like glimpse of the rarely-seen saola—all from your desktop and in real time. Well, this may soon be possible under a new partnership with Google and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL),…
  • 'A remarkable conservation achievement': Ecuador reserve expands as forest disappears

    9 October 2014, 3:12 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    A strip of rainforest running along the northwestern Ecuadorian coast and up through Colombia is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Yet, less than 10 percent of Ecuador’s portion remains intact, with more forest lost every year to human…
  • Next big idea in forest conservation? Empower youth leaders

    9 October 2014, 12:27 pm by: Jeremy Hance

    Want to save forests? Don't forget the youth, says Pedro Walpole, the Chair and Director of Research for the Environmental Science for Social Change, a Jesuit environmental research organization promoting sustainability and social justice across the Asia…
  • Forest fragmentation's carbon bomb: 736 million tonnes C02 annually

    9 October 2014, 9:13 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Scientists have long known that forest fragments are not the same ecologically as intact forest landscapes. When forests are slashed into fragments, winds dry out the edges leading to dying trees and rising temperatures. Biodiversity often drops, while local…
  • Brazil unlikely to sustain gains in reducing deforestation without new incentives for ranchers, says…

    8 October 2014, 10:17 pm by: Rhett Butler

    Cattle ranchers that drive the vast majority of forest clearing in the Brazilian Amazon are unlikely to be held at bay indefinitely unless they are afforded new incentives for keeping trees standing, argues new analysis published by an economic research group.…
  • INTERPOL launches African environmental crime unit

    8 October 2014, 5:01 pm by: Rhett Butler

    To help fight illegal poaching and trafficking, INTERPOL, the world's largest international police organization, has launched an environmental crimes unit in Africa.
  • Helping orangutans survive: new project aims to connect habitat fragments in Kalimantan (PART II)

    8 October 2014, 4:19 pm by: Morgan Erickson-Davis

    Two decades ago, a project to convert one million hectares of forest to rice paddies was undertaken by the Indonesian government in southern Kalimantan. The project was a massive failure and was eventually abandoned, but not before it destroyed critical…
  • The only solution for polar bears: 'stop the rise in CO2 and other greenhouse gases'

    8 October 2014, 10:49 am by: Jeremy Hance

    Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist for Polar Bears International, has worked diligently on polar bears for over 30 years. He radio-collared some of the first bears and discovered that annual activity areas for 75 tracked females averaged at a stunning 149,000…

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