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Weak policy oversight could be pushing Brazilian forests closer to a tipping point

Weak policy oversight could be pushing Brazilian forests closer to a tipping point

Mongabay Series:by on 28 December 2020Home to more than 60% of the Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical forest in the world, Brazil is beyond rich in biodiversity and life. The country is also rife with deforestation, and violations of environmental laws and Indigenous people’s rights.In other words, Brazil has a serious forest problem.According to historical data gathered by the Brazilian Annual Land Use and Land Cover Mapping Project () since its creation in 2015, Brazil lost 870,000 square kilometers (336,000 square miles) of native vegetation between 1985 and 2019. That’s an area the...

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Genevieve Belmaker
Dec 28
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Alarm as exploratory drilling for oil begins in northern Namibia

Alarm as exploratory drilling for oil begins in northern Namibia

by on 28 December 2020On December 21, Reconnaissance Energy Africa (Recon Africa) announced that it had begun exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Namibian portion of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). The move has alarmed environmental campaigners and community groups who are concerned about the impact this could have on the region’s watercourses, people and wildlife.Recon Africa is the holder of a licence to explore a 2.5 million hectare area (6.3-million-acres) of northeastern Namibia, granted to a predecessor company in January 2015. The majority of the...

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terna gyuse
Dec 28
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New Guinea has the most plant species of any island

New Guinea has the most plant species of any island

by on 5 August 2020New Guinea is the planet’s most floristically diverse island, reports a comprehensive assessment of vascular plant species published in the journal Nature.The species list, which was compiled by 99 botanists from 56 institutions across 19 countries, verified the identity of over 23,000 plant names from over 704,000 specimens collected from New Guinea since the 1750s.The research concludes New Guinea has 13,634 species of plants from 1742 genera and 264 families. That gives , the world’s second largest island, the highest plant diversity of any island on Earth, surpassing...

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Rhett Butler
Aug 5
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Can public lands unify divided Americans? An interview with John Leshy

Can public lands unify divided Americans? An interview with John Leshy

by on 14 September 2020It might be hard to believe in the current political climate, but public lands were a unifying issue for Americans until quite recently. Most Americans have supported the idea of the government owning and managing large areas of land for public use, and that bipartisan consensus has culminated in the creation of vast network of national parks, forests and monuments which are collectively visited by tens of millions of people annually.Does that mean public lands could serve as an opportunity to bridge gaps in a polarized America? John Leshy, an emeritus professor of...

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Rhett Butler
Sep 14
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Spots of hope: Some good news for South Africa’s cheetahs

Spots of hope: Some good news for South Africa’s cheetahs

by on 28 September 2020DURBAN, South Africa — South Africa is home to around 1,300 of the world’s roughly 7,100 remaining . It’s also the only country in the world with significant cheetah population growth, thanks largely to a nongovernmental conservation project that depends on careful and intensive human management of small, fenced-in cheetah populations. Because most of the reserves are privately funded and properly fenced, the animals benefit from higher levels of security than in the increasingly thinly funded state reserves.Initiated by the Endangered Wildlife Trust nearly a decade...

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terna gyuse
Sep 28
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Rewilding key to averting mass extinctions and reducing carbon emissions

Rewilding key to averting mass extinctions and reducing carbon emissions

Mongabay Series:by on 3 November 2020An international team led by Brazilian researchers recently showing that restoring habitats that are currently degraded by agricultural activity is key to mitigating climate change impacts and avoiding animal species extinction.The study analyzed data from 2.87 billion hectares (7.09 billion acres) of natural areas worldwide that were transformed into farmland over the years, assessing forests, grasslands, shrublands, wetlands and arid ecosystems all over the globe.Researchers used three criteria to evaluate optimal outcomes — biodiversity conservation,...

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Genevieve Belmaker
Nov 3
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More than 470 oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon since 2000: Report

More than 470 oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon since 2000: Report

Mongabay Series:by on 6 October 2020 | Translated byWadson Trujillo is an environmental monitor in Cuninico, an Indigenous community in northern Peru. In 2014, he was a witness to an oil spill in which thousands of barrels of oil spilled out of the NorPeruano Pipeline and flowed into his community, including into the Cuninico River.Oil from the spill also reached the nearby communities of San Francisco, Nueva Esperanza and Santa Rosa, which are all in the district of Urarinas in the Loreto region. Although the event is considered emblematic in Peru as a result of the amount of oil that...

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Maria Salazar
Oct 6
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