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Analysis and Comment (24)

Where the rainforest meets the plantation: there are probably a lot more insects. Ryan Woo for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Palm oil plantations are bad for wildlife great and small: study

Palm oil plantations have an overall negative impact on biodiversity, according to research released this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, found palm oil plantations are home to fewer…
At the recent UN Climate Summit governments, business and NGOs vowed to stop deforestation by 2030. Rainforest Action Network/Flickr

Stopping global deforestation will take more than more words

At the recent UN Climate Summit in New York there was little in the way of new climate policy announcements, but 27 countries did sign a new forest agreement — the New York Declaration on Forests. Some…
Indonesia enacts a moratorium on new permits to clear forests but gives exemptions to mining and palm oil companies. EPA/STR

Indonesia shows pledges aren’t enough to save global forests

This week’s United Nations Climate Summit produced the New York Declaration on Forests. It promises to halt deforestation, one of the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions, by 2030. Indonesia…
Australian resources are fueling Asia’s development, but the next challenge is to make that sustainable. EPA/Bagus Indahono

Can ASEAN become the global champion of sustainable growth?

If measured by political will and rhetoric, Australia’s relationship with Southeast Asia would undeniably be in fine shape. Prime ministers as diverse as Paul Keating, Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard have…
Most new roads will be built in developing nations. Here, a road-killed tapir in Peninsula Malaysia. © WWF-Malaysia/Lau Ching Fong

Global ‘roadmap’ shows where to put roads without costing the earth

“The best thing you could do for the Amazon is to blow up all the roads.” These might sound like the words of an eco-terrorist, but it’s actually a direct quote from Professor Eneas Salati, a forest climatologist…
There is more freedom and more reasons to smile in Burma than in the past – but will this girl and others in her generation share the spoils of the nation’s resources boom? Dietmar Temps

Burma emerges from a shadowy past, but real progress lies ahead

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the final in a four-part series about…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Flickr/Austronesian Expeditions

How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf

Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Otim Joseph (front centre) donates native tree seedlings for Ugandan students to grow. Ugandan National Forest Authority

Sowing seeds of hope with revived forests and farms

Otim Joseph first started planting trees to protect his mother and sisters from being raped. Growing up amid a civil war, he watched as the Ugandan army cut down swathes of forest to make it easier to…
Using tree measurements by Papua New Guinean villagers such as Daniel and Jackson, scientists can estimate that this tree stores about one tonne of carbon in its trunk and branches. Michelle Venter

How tree huggers can save forests with science

While hugging a tree sounds relaxing, it’s harder than you might think - especially when the tree is 20 storeys high and 3 metres wide, it’s hot as hell, and you’re swatting away swarms of sweat bugs…
150,000 square kilometres of tropical rainforest is destroyed every year. Threat to democracy

Carbon emissions must not distract us from conservation

With current concerns focusing, quite rightly, on controlling carbon emissions, it is easy to lose sight of the need for continued conservation efforts. In fact our recent study published in the Proceedings…
Once majestic low-lying rainforests, Indonesia’s peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. H Dragon/flickr

Indonesia sets a carbon time-bomb

One of the world’s major terrestrial carbon pools is rapidly deteriorating as large parts of Indonesia’s peatlands are deforested and converted to oil palm and paper plantations. No longer a carbon sink…
Kevin Rudd and Australia would do well to pay more attention to our northern neighbour. AAP Image

What Rudd can learn from Indonesia

If there is one thing we know from Kevin Rudd’s first period as Prime Minister it is that he was comfortable on the international stage. Although he inherited the date in his diary from Julia Gillard…
Smoke from deliberately lit forest fires is destroying the health of Southeast Asians, and looks set to be a yearly event. EPA/Amriyadi Bahar

Southeast Asian smoke warns of never-ending fires

Look at satellite images from Southeast Asia this week and you will see large areas of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore blanketed by dense plumes of smoke. These smoke plumes have severely degraded ground-level…
Better land management and reforestation will protect the coral reefs of Madagascar from the damage caused by sedimentation. Flickr/Frontierofficial

Manage the land to protect the reefs

The world’s coral reefs are both beautiful and rich in biodiversity, supporting a number of marine species. However the negative effects of climate change and human activity have begun to take their toll…
By pulling out of deforestation activities, APP says it is responding to climate change concerns. Rainforest Action Network

Major forestry company stops Indonesian deforestation

Asia’s largest forestry, pulp and paper manufacturing company announced in Jakarta this week it has stopped all activities that lead to deforestation in Indonesia. In a rare public event, the Chairman…
Land of the snow gums: Australian forests are dynamic. Flickr/SplaTT

Australia’s vast and dynamic forest cover: a bird’s-eye view

Forests spark emotional debates in Australia. Much of the rhetoric is about saving “the last of Tasmania’s wild forests” or how we must “stop logging in Australian native forests”. Australian forests…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (6)

Forest loss linked to drug trafficking

Drug trafficking has been linked to deforestation in Central American countries, as forests are cut down to create transportation…

Monkeys threatened by deforestation

Proboscis monkeys could significantly decline if deforestation in Borneo increases. The monkeys live in swamp forests, mangrove…