Venezuela’s Yapacana National Park suffering increasing mining deforestation: report

Illegal gold mining is accelerating deforestation in one of Venezuela’s most threatened national parks, a new report from Amazon Conservation revealed. Satellite imagery analyzed by the NGO shows that thousands of excavators, bulldozers and other illegal mining equipment are clearing the rainforest in the southwestern part of Yapacana National Park, located in the Venezuelan state […]

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Locals fight to save ‘a piece of the sea’ in Venezuela’s Andes

lagoonWhen Nelly Flores looks out over the Urao Lagoon, she smiles and asks me: “Do you know what those dots moving in the water are?” Mosquitoes, I guess. Nelly shakes her head and her smile widens. “No. They’re not mosquitoes. They’re, they’re … baby fish. What are they called?” She picks up her cellphone to […]

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For Indonesian smallholders, EU deforestation rule is a threat — and an opportunity

JAKARTA — New palm oil regulations being adopted by the European Union and the U.K. could put even more pressure on independent small farmers in Indonesia who are already struggling to meet sustainability requirements, new research suggests. Smallholder advocates say there needs to be greater support to help these farmers join the deforestation-free supply chain […]

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Mexican restoration dominated by non-environmental interests

seedlingWith its towering natural walls, Sumidero Canyon National Park is one of the main tourist attractions in Chiapas state in southern Mexico. Protecting mostly dry tropical forest — one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world — the 22,000-hectare (54,360-acre) reserve is home to more than 1,700 species of fauna and flora, of which […]

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‘Bizarre’ newly classified scorpionfly shines light on Nepal’s insect diversity

Lulilan obscurus is a newly discovered scorpionfly from Nepal. Image courtesy of Rainer WillmannKATHMANDU–  When German professor Jochen Martens and his associate W. Schawaller visited subtropical forests in Nepal in 1988, they collected samples of different insects found in eastern Nepal, including a “bizarre” one that had a long tail with a pincer resembling that of scorpions.  Martens, who paid several visits to Nepal along with his associates between […]

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Island shopping: Cambodian officials buy up the Cardamoms’ coast

The developers on Koh Toteung smothered the island's corals in sand while creating an artificial beach in June 2022.KOH S’DACH, Cambodia — Bristling with coral reefs, marine life and palm trees, the islands dotting Cambodia’s western and southwestern coasts have long lured tourists and investors alike with white sandy beaches sloping into the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Beyond the postcard views, limited regulation and the availability of 99-year leases for […]

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Bill threatens more oil extraction, roads in Guatemala’s protected forests

FLORES — One of Guatemala’s most under-threat protected areas may face future oil and gas development, as lawmakers consider whether to expand extractive activities in the region and the construction of additional pipelines. A bill in Guatemala’s congress would not only renew a contract for the current oil and gas pipeline that already operates in […]

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Fears for academic freedom as Indonesia doubles down on scientists’ ban

An orangutan.JAKARTA — Indonesian academics have called out the government for banning five foreign scientists after they questioned official claims of an increase in the country’s orangutan population, warning that the move sets a disturbing precedent for academic freedom. In a statement to the government, scientists grouped under the Academic Freedom Advocacy Team called the ban […]

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