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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For restoration, microbes below ground are just as crucial as the plants above

Fungi in the forests of Sabah. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.JAKARTA — How do you supercharge vegetation growth for a reforestation project? Bring in the microorganisms. That’s the finding from a new study, which shows that incorporating a microbial community of fungi, bacteria, algae and archaea into ecosystem restoration can accelerate plant biomass production by 64% on average. Researchers say this application holds plenty of […]

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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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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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‘Amazing first step’ as EU law cracks down on deforestation-linked imports

Aerial photo of riparian forest and deforestation for soy.JAKARTA — The European Union has finalized a law that will ban the trade of commodities associated with deforestation and forest degradation. On Dec. 6, the European Council, Parliament and Commission struck a preliminary deal to adopt the deforestation-free regulation, proposed by the European Commission in 2021. The Parliament and the Council will still have to formally […]

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