As Indonesia retakes land from developers, conservation is an afterthought

Rainforest in Sumatra. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler / MongabayJAKARTA — Environmental activists have cautiously welcomed the Indonesian government’s move to revoke hundreds of permits for logging, plantations and mines, calling it an opportunity to conserve vast swaths of forest. The affected concessions include Ministry of Environment and Forestry permits for 192 logging, plantation, mining and ecotourism operations, totaling 3.13 million hectares (7.73 million […]

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Mongabay’s top Amazon stories from 2021

Fire line moves through a degraded forest area in an undesignated public forest area in Porto Velho, Rondônia on July 29, 2021. Photo © Christian Braga / GreenpeaceThe world’s greatest tropical rainforest continued to come under pressure in 2021, due largely to the policies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Deforestation rates hit a 15-year-high, while fires flared up again, combining to turn Brazil’s portion of the Amazon into a net carbon source for the first time ever. But the rainforest as a […]

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European supermarkets say Brazilian beef is off the menu

Cattle in BrazilA group of supermarket chains that includes Sainsbury’s in the U.K. and Lidl in the Netherlands said this week that they will either reduce or outright halt sales of Brazilian beef in the coming months. The move comes in the wake of an investigation published by the environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth and Repórter Brasil […]

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2019 fires in Indonesia were twice as bad as the government claimed, study shows

JAKARTA — In 2019, fires raged through Indonesia’s rainforests and peatlands, sparked by the deliberate burning of land for agriculture, and fanned by an El Niño system bringing drier-than-usual weather conditions. Ultimately, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry would put the total affected area at 1.64 million hectares (4.05 million acres), an area half […]

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U.K. conglomerate Jardines ‘caught red-handed’ clearing orangutan habitat in Sumatra

BALI, Indonesia — Satellite imagery has detected deforestation in a gold mining concession in Indonesia that overlaps with the habitat of the most threatened great ape in the world. U.S.-based environmental advocacy group Mighty Earth said it had detected 13 hectares (32 acres) of forest loss within the Martabe gold mining concession in North Sumatra province […]

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‘Forests will disappear again,’ activists warn as Indonesia ends plantation freeze

BALI, Indonesia — Palm oil industry watchdogs are warning of a possible surge in deforestation across Indonesia, after the government ended a three-year freeze on issuing permits for new plantations. The moratorium had been imposed in 2018, ostensibly to allow the industry to address the problems of deforestation, land conflicts and labor abuses long associated […]

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