deforestation / habitat loss

Forests remain under threat from acquisitive industries

Forests remain under threat from acquisitive industries

Jakarta Post – Several protected areas across the archipelago remain under threat of deforestation apparently due to the ineffective moratorium program launched by the government last year, environmental groups say. The environmental groups have witnessed continuing forest destruction by several companies despite the moratorium. On Thursday, Greenpeace, a member of the environmental groups’ coalition, published its findings on the current situation of Indonesian forests in Riau and Central Kalimantan provinces. Read article

Related article: Green groups say Indonesia deforestation ban ‘weak’

Green groups say Indonesia deforestation ban ‘weak’

AFP — A coalition of green groups in Indonesia on Thursday criticised a moratorium on deforestation as “weak”, saying the year-long ban still excludes large tracts of the country’s carbon-rich forests. Greenpeace, which is leading the coalition, said government maps that mark protected areas exclude 3.5 million hectares (8.6 million acres) of peatland — biodiverse swamp-like forests that hold rich carbon reserves. Greenpeace said the government must review all existing logging permits on the country’s natural forests and peatland, and improve governance based on an accurate set of maps. Read article

Brazil law could massively increase deforestation

AP – Activists are warning that a proposed revamp of Brazil’s tough environmental law could roll back historic gains in the fight against Amazon deforestation by opening parts of the rainforest to farming and increasing impunity for violators. Brazil’s agricultural lobby, which has maintained a decade-long fight for changes to the country’s Forest Code, contends the bill would make pragmatic changes to an overly strict law that is unfair to farmers and ranchers. Read article

Drama Amid Indonesia’s Disappearing Mangroves

NPR – The rising tide laps at the feet of local children and fishermen and submerges all but the tops of the mangrove trees of Tiwoho village in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province. At one degree of latitude north of the equator, the climate here is about the same all year round: hot, wet and perfect for the forests of salt-tolerant trees that grow along sheltered coastlines. Indonesia has one-quarter of the world’s mangrove forests, but it’s losing them at an alarming rate of 6 percent a year. The world as a whole is estimated to have lost half of its mangroves in the past half-century. The flooded forests help protect coastlines from tidal floods and erosion, provide a home to an important variety of biodiversity, and provide important absorption of the world’s carbon dioxide. Listen to Audio/Read Transcript

Bolivians start second ‘long march’ against road plan

BBC – Hundreds of indigenous Bolivians have started a second long march in protest at government plans to build a road through the Tipnis national park. They say the project would destroy their homeland in the Amazon forest. A similar march last year led President Evo Morales to cancel the project. But he later backtracked after other communities said the road would bring economic development. Read article

King of Spain faces calls to abdicate after elephant hunt

Telegraph – The 74-year-old monarch has faced a barrage of criticism over his extravagant lifestyle at a time when Spaniards are suffering harsh austerity measures in a nation mired in economic crisis. Left wing leaders called for greater transparency of Royal accounts and one even suggested it may be time for the once popular monarch to give up his throne. Read article

USA: Loss of predators tied with deforestation

TOI – The unbridled growth of moose, deer and other herbivore populations is contributing to deforestation thanks to the loss of predators such as wolves. This loss has allowed animal populations to greatly increase, crippling the growth of young trees and also reducing biodiversity, researchers have concluded. Densities of large mammalian herbivores were six times greater in areas without wolves, compared to those in which wolves were present, the European Journal of Wildlife Research reports. Read article

Climate Fact Of The Day – What Triggers a Mass Extinction? Habitat Loss and Tropical Cooling Were Once to Blame

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2012) — The second-largest mass extinction in Earth’s history coincided with a short but intense ice age during which enormous glaciers grew and sea levels dropped. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction — which occurred about 450 million years ago — was related to climate change, exactly how the climate change produced the extinction has not been known. Now, a team led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has created a framework for weighing the factors that might have led to mass extinction and has used that framework to determine that the majority of extinctions were caused by habitat loss due to falling sea levels and cooling of the tropical oceans.

The work — performed by scientists at Caltech and the University of Wisconsin, Madison — is described in a paper currently online in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers combined information from two separate databases to overlay fossil occurrences on the sedimentary rock record of North America around the time of the extinction, an event that wiped out about 75 percent of marine species alive then. At that time, North America was an island continent geologists call Laurentia, located in the tropics. Read Article

India: Deforestation threatens endangered bird in Nagaland

IBN Live – Deforestation and conversion of land for agriculture has caused habitat loss leading to threat to Blyth?s tragopan, an endangered bird, in Nagaland. According to the latest annual report of the forest and wildlife department, large-scale hunting and snaring of this enchanting bird by people for food was also a big threat. It said, excessive human intervention into the pheasant?s habitats was rapidly fragmenting the remaining habitats of this avian species. Read article

Experts warn about massive deforestation in Thailand

Press TV – According to experts, massive deforestation caused by commercial farming led to the deadly floods which struck Thailand last year, killing at least 700 people. As a result of the flooding, Thailand suffered great losses in its farming sector. The country’s crop sector also witnessed a three percent contraction during the first three months of this year. Read article

Orangutans GONE by end of 2012 unless deforestation halted

Digital Journal – After yesterday’s decision by the Banda Aceh Administrative Court not to rule on a case brought by a coalition to protect orang-utans and their habitat in the Tripa forest, we spoke with Ian Singleton of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. Digital Journal first reported on the plight of Sumatran orang-utans on March 31, when we learned that an estimated 100 apes had been killed in 92 fires, burning out of control in the Tripa forest on the coast of Aceh province. Read article

Chilean court approves huge Patagonia dam

PhysOrg – Chile’s Supreme Court Wednesday removed the last legal obstacle to building a giant $2.9 billion hydroelectric complex in the Patagonian wilderness, rejecting a bid by environmentalists to block it. The highly controversial project, which environmentalists say will wreck a unique and pristine habitat in the southern tip of South America, sparked violent protests last year. Read article

Environmentalists fight for Guatemala’s endangered macaws

A coalition of conservation groups in Guatemala is reporting tentative signs of success in their efforts to save the spectacular scarlet macaw from extinction. The species is critically endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, so the groups are closely monitoring nests throughout the protected Maya Biosphere reserve to ensure as many newly-hatched birds as possible reach adulthood. Transcript Link Page

Deforestation rife in Kanchhanpur

The Himalayan – If the seizure of illegal wood in the last two months is any indication, then deforestation has become rampant in Kanchhanpur district. Speaking at a press meet organised by the district forest office, District Forest Officer Lal Narayan Singh today informed that the office had impounded 1,205 cubic feet illegal wood across the district. It is the highest in Raikawarbichar VDC, where 569 cubic feet wood was impounded in the last two months. District Forest Office, Kanchhanpur, impounded more than 1000 cubic feet. Read article

Saving an Owl from Politics

The Scientist – No other species symbolizes the “war-in-the woods” over logging vs. forest protections better than the northern spotted owl. The owl was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1990 due to destruction of its forest habitat by logging. Unchecked logging at the time, as well as ongoing mechanization of mills that accelerated the speed at which trees could be processed by fewer workers, would have soon eliminated nearly all older forests along with forestry jobs. Historic logging levels also would have severely impacted the owl population, possibly eliminating it altogether, throughout most of its range. Read article

Daily News Archive In Focus – Deforestation (272 articles)

The transformation of forested lands by human actions represents one of the great forces in global environmental change and one of the great drivers of biodiversity loss. The World Resources Institute estimates that only about 22% of the world’s original forest cover remains intact. The impact is, of course, enormous. Find out more by reading our news archive of 272 articles on Deforestation for the bigger picture. CLICK HERE

Indonesia: Sumatran wildlife endangered be deforestation

Catholic On-line – Wildlife in Indonesia’s Sumatran region is being threatened on all sides by deforestation. Sumatran tigers, elephants, orangutans, rhinos, as well as indigenous communities, is threatened by the “world’s fastest deforestation rate.” The World Wildlife Fund says that dwindling forests are caused by the local pulp and paper industry. Read article

Zambia: Deforestation Worries Expert

AllAfrica – A Finnish timber expert has expressed concern at the high rate of deforestation in Zambia and has called for swift action to address the situation. Mr Mauri Kiviniemi also observed that the dwindling timber resources, especially in state managed forests was equally worrying and needed huge investments to replenish them. Read article

Logging blamed for Philippine flood deaths

BBC – It is now two months since the devastating floods that hit the southern Philippines, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving many more homeless. Officials admit that deforestation was the cause of much of the destruction and the government says it has renewed efforts to prevent any more trees being cut down. But the BBC has seen evidence that logging is still causing concern that December’s disaster could be repeated. Kate McGeown visited one of the worst affected areas in Mindanao to see the impact of the floods and hear from locals. See video

Deforestation threatens Brazil’s wetland sanctuary

PhysOrg – Often referred to as the world’s largest freshwater wetland system, the Pantanal extends through millions of hectares of Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. It includes sanctuaries for migratory birds, nursery grounds for aquatic life, and refuges for such creatures as the yacare caiman, deer, and jaguar. Some 4,500 different species live in the Pantanal. A leading environmental group, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), is sounding the alarm about the growing threat to the region posed by intensive farming, deforestation, urban growth and the proliferation of hydro-electric dams. Read article

Monsanto Accused In Suit Tied To Agent Orange

NPR – For about two decades, ending in 1971, a former Monsanto chemical plant in West Virginia produced the herbicide 2,4,5-T which was used in “Agent Orange” — the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Now, Monsanto faces a class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of people living where the herbicide was manufactured in Nitro, W.Va. Read article

In Brazil, Fears of a Slide Back for Amazon Protection

NY Times — Brazil has made great strides in recent years in slowing Amazon deforestation and showing the world it was serious about protecting the mammoth rain forest. The rate of deforestation fell by 80 percent over the past six years, as the government carved out about 150 million acres for conservation — an area roughly the size of France — and used police raids and other tactics to crack down on illegal deforesters, according to both environmentalists and the government. Brazil’s former environment minister, Marina Silva, became an internationally respected defender of the Amazon. She ran for president in 2010 on the Green Party ticket and won 19.4 percent of the votes. Read article

Australia: Black cockatoos hungry and dying

ABC – The WA [Western Australian] government should stop logging immediately in old growth forest in order to save the lives of black cockatoos. That’s the opinion of Glenn Dewhurst, chair of the Black Cockatoo Preservation Society Australia. … “A lot of people point the finger at farmers,” says Glenn. “We’ve been following cases where DEC successfully charged farmers (over illegal) clearing. “But when you have a look at it, the areas they want to clear are not good cocky [cockatoos], or even native (species), habitat. Read article