Pope Francis recently gave a passionate call for the Amazon to be protected from big business and “consumerist greed” — while in Peru, on a tour of Latin America.
An open letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 Olympic authorities criticizes the Olympics for knowingly exploiting tropical forests and potentially fueling human rights abuses in the construction and implementation of the games. The groups are calling for full transparency and an end to the use of rainforest wood to construct the Tokyo Olympic facilities, including the new National Olympic Stadium.
The noted anti-deforestation and environmental rights activist Isidro Baldenegro was murdered in the northern state of Chihuahua in Mexico on Sunday. Baldenegro was killed by gunmen who subsequently fled the scene, one of which has reportedly been identified but not yet detained. The murder follows not too long after the March 2016 murder of the
Despite some common presumptions on the matter, it seems that most deforestation occurring in the Congo Basin is the result of only a small share of locals, and those that are taking part aren’t doing so for self-sufficiency but rather to “increase their quality of life,” according to a new study from the University of
Deforestation events and mass tree deaths — whether through drought, heat, and insect infestations — can have significant effects on global climate patterns, according to new research from the University of Washington. To put that another way, while deforestation and mass-deaths of trees can cause the complete upheaval of the local environment, effects also include
In Cambodia, murder is a fitting description for the illegal logging and deforestation which has taken place in the Prey Lang forest, one of this country’s most significant unprotected landscapes. Not just murder of a forest and it remarkably rich biodiversity it provides, but murder of those trying to protect it. As reported by the
Welcome to Part II of our interview series with John Perlin, author of “A Forest Journey: the Story of Wood and Civilization,” an important book that has now come out in its third edition. Our topic? Our forests and our civilization. Perlin details the place of forests and wood in our civilization’s evolution. In case you haven’t read
Declaring that the sixth mass extinction has arrived, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich confirms that species are disappearing off the face of Earth faster now than at any time since the mass extinction of dinosaurs. Calling for “fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat before the window of opportunity closes,” Ehrlich and his team
When environmentalists, farmers, and loggers speak about forests, the discussion usually revolves around the issue of deforestation, which is one of the largest contributors to climate change. As James Ayre pointed out in a recent PlanetSave article, forest cover estimates are currently a subject of hot debate because a new satellite imaging study contradicts the
As with any global scale problem, illegal logging is a hard issue to tackle. As with the wider issue of climate change, the everyday person, when discussing illegal logging, may be tempted to throw up their hands and exclaim “what can I do about it?”
Tropical deforestation rates have actually soared over recent years, rather than decreased as was previously estimated in a prominant report from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s Forest Resource Assessment, according to new research. The reason for this disparity is a simple one, the UN estimate was based on what people said they did, the
The ongoing ‘gold rush’ occurring in the tropical forests of South America has led to extensive deforestation over the last few years, new research from the University of Puerto Rico has found. Gold-mining in the region has been increasing rapidly in recent years — with a huge spike in such activity being seen since the
Today’s World Animal Day, celebrated across the globe since a 1931 convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, conceived of it as a way to highlight the plight of endangered species. They chose October 4 because it’s the Catholic Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Since then, people have used the
According to the filmmakers behind this recent release, this is the film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see, in part because it reveals the truth behind the world’s most destructive industry. That industry is not what you would expect, and in a world of limited resources, it’s surprisingly not nearly as popular of
Who’s the savage in this forest? The indigene, or the “forest industry”? Thanks for posting this great photoon from The Pieces Fit on your Facebook page, Moms Clean Air Force!
The Amazon rainforest is taking a much worse beating from human-activity than was previously estimated, according to new research from an international group headed by Lancaster University. With said gross underestimation of human impact, the researchers also found that carbon loss is being grossly underestimated well. The underestimation is due to previous models not fully
Drones are no longer known as mere weapons of war. At least, that’s how Google, Facebook, and other online giants like Amazon appear to be thinking. Google has just acquired Titan Aerospace, a promising solar-powered drone maker, as part of its plans to globalize wireless internet. Titan’s website provides news that the company is working
March 22, 2014, killer landslide near Seattle (photo: Kings County Sheriff’s Office). Last Saturday’s horrific mudslide 55 miles northeast of Seattle may unfortunately herald the shape of landmass movements to come, if climate change has its way with us. A new study in the European Alps elaborates. In a draft article for Elsevier’s Science of
If you want to get a sense of just how rapidly the world is being deforested, and words aren’t enough for you, well, now there’s a new online tool that can help you with that. The Global Forest Watch — backed by Google and more than 40 other business and conservation groups — is a
Drug trafficking is becoming a significant contributor to deforestation in Central America , according to a new multi-university study just published in the journal Science. To put it another way, drug use in the US is driving rapid deforestation throughout the rain-forests of the region — something to keep in mind for those that profess
At the late November meeting of UN climate delegates in Warsaw, negotiators from Canada–once a strong supporter of fast-start financing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries–and Australia, now led by a rashly conservative government, sat on their hands. Reeling from the costs of mitigation at Fukushima and a stopgap return to fossil fuels,
You might not think of a porcupine living in the Brazilian rainforest, but a new-to-science species has been recently documented there. Even more surprising: they live in trees. While the discovery is exciting, it is also very sad, because these tree-dwelling porcupines are under threats due to loss of their natural habitat. They live in
A fungus being harvested in Nepal is leading to devastating effects on the local environment […]
The world is living far beyond its resources according to a new report by the conservation group WWF. So much so that at current levels of consumption the earth would need to be 50 percent larger, and by projected levels of consumption in 2030, two times the size it is now. Biodiversity has declined
No other tribe in the Amazon is experiencing the same type of loss as the Awá. Loggers are taking over the land, often by force, and killing anyone who gets in their way. Without intervention, the entire tribe may soon be extinct.
A new study shows that tropical vegetation contains 21 percent more carbon dioxide than previous similar studies had suggested.The study produced maps of carbon storage of forest, shrub lands, and savannas in the tropics of Africa, Asia and South America. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the study was conducted by scientists from Woods
Human land use of the Amazon basin has begun to change the regional water and energy cycles, says a new report, which also notes that continued interaction between deforestation, fire, and climate change have the potential to drastically alter carbon storage, rainfall patterns, and river discharge on an even larger basin-wide scale. All of these
A recent report exposed that Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) was greenwashing its clear cutting of tropical forests that act as tiger sanctuaries. It denied that was the case, but more evidence has popped up. “A document released today by WWF and partners confirms that a supplier to paper giant Asia Pulp and Paper
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), the same company Greenpeace influenced Mattel to stop working with, has been destroying Indonesian rainforests to make Paseo-brand tissue products. These tissues are in many major supermarket chains and as Greenpeace points out, “Paseo products have no recycled content — they’re made of 100% virgin tree fiber. Worse, those trees
A new study has shown that deforestation in the rainforests of West Africa reduces the amount of rain that falls over the rest of remaining forest.
A new report from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in Brazil has announced a total of 225 kilometres squared were destroyed during the month of July. The measurements were taken by DETER, the Alert System for Support and Control Deforestation which is able to analyse a region from space to determine whether any
Greenpeace investigation shows Mattel, Disney, Hasbro, and Lego are all participating in rainforest destruction. Who’s willing to change?
Greenpeace has a new major campaign targeting some key toy companies — Mattel (Barbie maker), Hasbro, and Disney (links take you to PDFs of Greenpeace letters to these companies).
The letters above call on these major toy companies “to immediately act to protect forests in South East Asia and worldwide.”
As far as biodiversity ‘hot spots’ go, it’s hard to beat Madagascar, a medium sized island off the southeast coast of Africa. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), from 1999 to 2010 some 615 new species have been discovered on the subtropical island. That list of new species is comprised of 42 invertebrates, 61 reptiles, 69 amphibians, 17 fish, 385 plants, and 41 mammals. Biologists believe that the island nation’s quite ancient, geologic isolation from the mainland of Africa and the more recent separation from the Indian section of the crustal plate (about 80 mya) set the stage for its uniquely evolved biodiversity.
Following up on the murder of a world-renowned Brazilian rain forest activist and his wife that I wrote about last week, it turns out another environmental activist in the rain forests of Brazil was shot and killed on Friday.
A controversial piece of “forest reform” legislation was passed by the Brazilian senate this past Tuesday that would ostensibly give amnesty to landowners and give more autonomy to Brazilian states over setting their own conservation standards. Environmental groups largely view this as a major mistake and a give-away to ranchers and farmers.
In a press conference held on Wednesday, Brazils Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira that the Brazilian Government was in the process of intensifying efforts to halt deforestation in the Amazon.
Ever heard of the Cerrado? I can’t get on you if haven’t, since I hadn’t until a week or two ago myself. But this truly precious ecosystem is home to approximately 5% of the world’s species, and (the not good news) it has been cut in half in the last 40 years (an area greater in size than the UK, Germany, Italy and Portugal combined).
Over 64,000 trees were planted in 15 minutes last Thursday, setting a world record for the largest number of trees being simultaneously planted (who counted the trees, I’m not sure, but the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that everything was correct and the counting was accurate). The planting occurred in the province of Camrines
Here are some top global warming and environmental stories from the last day or so: Global Warming Politics Anti-Koch Rally (or Rallies) A great video on the Koch Brother Billionaire Bash protests and Uncloak Koch Rally from the other 98%: More on Schmitt We covered a couple pieces going into depth on astronaut Harrison Schmitt’s
Manmade climate change is not only a thing of the last hundred years, according to new research from scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). The Roman Conquest, expansion of civilization in China, the Black Death, and the discovery of America, amongst other historical landmarks, have all had large impacts on the climate.
You wouldn’t necessarily look to Genghis Kahn as being an environmentalist, but the facts are clear, he did a lot for increasing the storage of carbon dioxide as he and his Mongol hordes decided to head out and see what was on the other side of the wall. A new study published in the online
Global Ecology’s Greg Asner has developed a new method to map and measure changes in vegetation, degradation and deforestation, and the amount of carbon stored and emitted in tropical forests. Watch the video below for a brilliant walk through of the project and the challenges being faced by those hoping to preserve tropical forests the
Yes, first of all, by stabilize we don’t mean keep it exactly the same — that is impossible. We mean not pumping it so full of CO2 that we see unprecedented warming and ‘natural’ disasters and perhaps even an unlivable climate at some point. Anyway, this post is a share of an in-depth post by
I know, Cancun was another roller coaster ride in international climate change negotiation and policy and you’ve probably had a tough time getting a clear picture of what went on there and what the final results are. I’ve been delaying writing a summary piece on the important climate conference for that reason. In the meantime,
A new study suggests that by 2100 only 18% to 45% of the plants and animals that make up tropical forests will still be there. The study, led by Greg Asner at the Carnegie Institutions Department of Global Ecology, combined new deforestation and selective logging data with climate change projections to consider their combined effects