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Rainforest cleared for oil palm plantations in Borneo. Wakx/Flickr

Palm oil continues to destroy Indonesia’s wildlife

How do the products we buy affect the world’s rainforests? In the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit held in Sydney this week, The Conversation is running a series on rainforest commodities…
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…

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…
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…

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