In South Africa, a community says no after a coal miner said go

Wide shot of scattered buildings on green hills, a mountain on the horizon. Image by Victoria Schneider for Mongabay.Not far up the hill, after a right turn off the main road that leads from the Zulu town of Mtubatuba in the province of KwaZulu-Natal into one of South Africa’s oldest protected areas, the iMfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve, lives a man who, for security reasons, we’ll call Sinethemba Mhlongo. His property looks like most of […]

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‘I have anger every day’: South African villagers on the mine in their midst

A boy playing near Tendele's washing plant: the coal mine has impacted life in the community. Image by Rob Symon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Residents of a village in northeastern South Africa, displaced to make way for one of the country’s largest open-pit coal mines in 2007, are suffering from long-term collective trauma, with ongoing stressors “having devastating psychosocial impacts” including suicidality and alienation, a clinical psychologist has found. The residents of the farming village of Somkhele who were […]

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Where is the money? Brazil, Indonesia and Congo join forces in push for rainforest protection cash

Deforestation in Kapuas Hulu, Indonesian Borneo. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.The world’s three forest giants — Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — have signed a joint statement calling for the negotiation of new payment mechanisms to preserve the tropical rainforests that help regulate the world’s climate and house millions of plants and animals. The announcement marks the beginning of a strategic […]

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In Kenya, a Maasai community burned by ecotourism gives it another shot

Infinity pool from the original Shompole Lodge. Image byDavid Orgel via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)When luxury safari hotel Shompole Lodge opened in Kenya in 2000, it was an overnight sensation. For $630 a night, guests could gaze at elephants and zebras while soaking in an infinity pool. Ten thousand hectares, nearly 25,000 acres, of communally-owned Maasai land had been set aside for an experiment in “community-based conservation,” and 30% […]

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Agroecology can feed Africa and tackle climate change — with enough funding

Farmers with their crop.With 350 million people facing food insecurity on the continent, most African nations face a quandary: how to vanquish hunger and meet the climate challenge. The continent is warming faster than the rest of the world, despite contributing less than 5% of global carbon emissions historically. Advocates say that farming based on ecological principles could […]

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Element Africa: Keeping platinum in the ground, and minors out of mines

Laborers at a cobalt mine.South Africa approves platinum mine despite community concerns GA-NGWEPE, South Africa — South Africa’s minister of mineral resources and energy has approved a platinum mine in the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, underneath the homes of about 500 rural people in Ga-Ngwepe, Limpopo province. On Oct. 13, Minister Gwede Mantashe rejected an appeal by the farming community […]

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Is natural gas the solution to Africa’s energy needs? New research says no.

Should African countries use natural gas to power their economies until they can build more climate-friendly renewable electrical grids? The question has been at the heart of an acrid debate this year, pitting would-be fossil fuel powerhouses like Senegal and Mozambique against climate activists on the continent, who say a new round of resource extraction […]

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As banks fund oil pipeline, campaigners question their environmental pledges

Person holding cardboard sign saying Stop EACOP", concealing lower half of their face. Photothèque AT via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)Activists have accused an association of banks claiming to adhere to principles safeguarding people and the environment of “greenwashing.” Two signatories of the Equator Principles are currently advising East African governments and their oil major partners on securing finance for the EACOP pipeline. Banks signing up to the Equator Principles commit to respecting a set […]

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Forests & Finance: From logging in Cameroon to cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

A gorilla at the habituation project in Campo Ma'an National Park. Image courtesy Campo Ma'an National Park via Wikicommons (CC BY-SA 4.0)Logging near Cameroon national park raises red flags over permits YAOUNDE — Agroindustrial company Cameroun Vert S.A., or Camvert, is again clearing forest near Campo Ma’an National Park, raising questions over the allocation of its timber permits. At an Oct. 26 press conference, conservation groups Greenpeace Africa, Green Development Advocates (GDA), and Support Service for […]

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