Mongabay Rainforest News

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Updated: 3 years 12 weeks ago

Scientific association calls on Nicaragua to scrap its Gran Canal

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:46am
ATBC—the world's largest association of tropical biologists and conservationists—has advised Nicaragua to halt its ambitious plan to build a massive canal across the country. The ATBC warns that the Chinese-backed canal, also known as the Gran Canal, will have devastating impacts on Nicaragua's water security, its forests and wildlife, and local people.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Conservationists propose Dracula Reserve in Ecuador

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:29pm
Deep in the dark, cool forests of Ecuador and Colombia live strange and mysterious organisms. Some inhabit the trees and others stay to the ground, and many are threatened by human encroachment. Because of this threat, Rainforest Trust has launched a Halloween fundraising drive to help pay for the creation of the Dracula Reserve--named for its dramatic inhabitant, the Dracula orchid.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Google's new Gombe Street View lets users 'walk' along chimp trails and into Jane Goodall's house

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:22pm
Google Maps is now available for Tanzanian forest paths. Users can walk virtually along the same trails Jane Goodall has used for her decades of chimpanzee monitoring -- and even into her house.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products from 8 countries responsible for 1/3 of forest destruction

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 4:23pm
Four commodities produced in just eight countries are responsible for a third of the world's forest loss, according to a new report. Those familiar with the long-standing effort to stop deforestation won't be surprised by the commodities named: beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products (including timber and paper). Nor will they be very surprised by most of the countries: Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Brazil declares new protected area larger than Delaware

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 2:27pm
Earlier this week, the Brazilian government announced the declaration of a new federal reserve deep in the Amazon rainforest. The protections conferred by the move will illegalize deforestation, reduce carbon emissions, and help safeguard the future of the area’s renowned wildlife.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Gold mining expanding rapidly along Guiana Shield, threatening forests, water, wildlife

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 3:45pm
Gold mining is on the rise in the Guiana Shield, a geographic region of South America that holds one of the world’s largest undisturbed tract of rainforest. A new mapping technology using a radar and optical imaging combination has detected a significant increase in mining since 2000, threatening the region's forests and water quality.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Colombia reports drop in deforestation

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 5:11pm
Colombia has for the first time released an annual report on deforestation, revealing that forest loss during 2013 was lower than the recent average. The government says some 120,933 hectares of natural forest were cleared between January and December 2013.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

'No forests, no cash': palm oil giants commit to sustainability, but will they follow through?

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:31pm
Four of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers signed a landmark commitment in New York in September to further implement sustainable practices across one of the country’s largest commercial sectors. Then-President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) witnessed the undertaking, which is hoped to expand the country’s palm oil industry while making it more environmentally friendly.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Coal, climate and orangutans – Indonesia’s quandary

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:14pm
What do the climate and orangutans have in common? They are both threatened by coal - the first by burning it, and the second by mining it. At the recent United Nations Climate Summit in New York, world leaders and multinational corporations pledged a variety of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation to avert a looming disaster caused by global warming.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Top scientists raise concerns over commercial logging on Woodlark Island

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:05pm
A number of the world's top conservation scientists have raised concerns about plans for commercial logging on Woodlark Island, a hugely biodiverse rainforest island off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The scientists, with the Alliance of Leading Environmental Scientists and Thinkers (ALERT), warn that commercial logging on the island could imperil the island's stunning local species and its indigenous people.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Saving Asia's other endangered cats (photos)

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 10:47am
It's no secret that when it comes to the wild cats of Asia—and, really, cats in general—tigers get all the press. In fact, tigers—down to an estimated 3,200 individuals—arguably dominate conservation across Asia. But as magnificent, grand, and endangered as the tigers are, there are a number of other felines in the region that are much less studied—and may be just as imperiled.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Indonesian law bars palm oil companies from protecting forests

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:15pm
A law passed by the Indonesian government last month makes it even more difficult for palm oil companies to conserve tracts of wildlife-rich and carbon-dense forests within their concessions, potentially undermining these producers' commitments to phase deforestation out of their supply chains, warns a new report published by Greenomics, an Indonesian environmental group.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Walking the walk: zoo kicks off campaign for orangutans and sustainable palm oil

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:08am
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 orangutans in Borneo, which have become hugely impacted by deforestation often linked to palm oil plantations.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Push to undermine Indonesia's new president could stymie environmental progress, say NGOs

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 2:55pm
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 Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo beat ex-general Prabowo Subianto in Indonesia's presidential election by 8.4 million votes. Yet despite the wide margin, Jokowi has been stung by a series of political setbacks that will hinder his ability to govern once he assumes office Monday.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

To become less damaging, target non-forest lands for palm oil, says book

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 2:12pm
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 despite its importance in providing a high-yielding source of vegetable oil. A new book, published freely online by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), weighs in on the debate and concludes — like many before it — that the problem is not the crop itself, but how it is produced.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Daring activists use high-tech to track illegal logging trucks in the Brazilian Amazon

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:34pm
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 the result of a daring and dangerous investigation by Greenpeace-Brazil.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Researchers create global map of world's forests circa 1990

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:56pm
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
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

As Amazon deforestation falls, small farmers play bigger role in forest clearing

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:11pm
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 published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Plantation companies in Sumatra failing to meet fire prevention standards

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 4:20pm
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 with depths over 3 meters.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

'River wolves' recover in Peruvian park, but still remain threatened inside and out (photos)

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:06am
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 relentless fur trade in the 20th Century. But decades after the trade in giant river otter pelts was outlawed, the species is making a comeback.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests