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Researchers find 'hidden tapestry' of plant chemicals in Amazon forest

(07/03/2015) The Amazon rainforest might seem like a massive expanse of monotonous green. However, a recent study has found that within this monotony lies a kaleidoscope of chemicals unique to all the different plant species of the forest.

First Resources the latest palm oil giant to announce zero-deforestation commitment

(07/03/2015) Palm oil giant First Resources has committed to eliminate deforestation and rights abuses from its supply chain, making it the first palm producer operating primarily at the grower level to do so. The policy is the latest in a wave of sustainability commitments from corporations that produce, trade and use palm oil. To realize its new commitment, First Resources will have to resolve numerous land disputes its operations are involved in with local communities in Indonesia.

Wilmar, Musim Mas supplier still destroying forest for oil palm in Indonesia's Leuser Ecosystem

(07/03/2015) A supplier of palm oil giants Wilmar and Musim Mas has continued to bulldoze valuable forest in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem despite its most prominent customers’ zero-deforestation commitments and repeated exposés of its activities, according to a NGO report. Both Wilmar and Musim Mas have suspended their dealings with the company, Mopoli Raya.

How much is clean water worth? New report guides payments for ecosystem services

(07/03/2015) The first-ever set of comprehensive guidelines for designing, implementing and managing mechanisms to facilitate payments for ecosystem services has been established by a group of experts and researchers.

Can a wild fishery be bred? Indonesia's plan to restock its oceans

(07/02/2015) The Indonesian government is planning to restock depleted marine animals in its national oceans. But restocking schemes there and abroad have had mixed results, and the government has released few details about the plan, raising questions about its sustainability.

Happy July 4th weekend: new red, white, and blue species discovered

(07/02/2015) An independent researcher has described a spectacular red, white, and blue crayfish just in time for the fourth of July. The new species, named Cherax pulcher, was first discovered in Japanese pet shops by Christian Lukhaup before he finally tracked down the animal to creeks in remote West Papua, Indonesia.

Damming Dissent: Community leaders behind bars in Guatemala after opposing hydro projects

(07/02/2015) The Guatemalan government has granted concessions for several hydroelectric dams in the department of Huehuetenango without consulting the local Mayan population or obtaining their consent, activists charge. Communities resisting the dam projects have been experiencing a multi-pronged crackdown, including arrests and at least three murders.

Brazilian police and scientists team up to crack down on illegal timber trade

(07/01/2015) Seven years ago, Brazil’s São Paulo State Environmental Police set out to crack down on the illegal timber trade. In 2011, during one of their most ambitious inspection operations, officers inspected nearly 350 trucks and more than 60 lumberyards in just two days. Discovering an array of violations, they responded by delivering 50 violation notices and issuing BRL $2.2 million (USD $1.4 million) in fines.

Scientists raise population estimate for world's most endangered sloth

(07/01/2015) There may be more pygmy sloths than believed, according to a new paper in the Journal of Mammalogy. Scientists originally estimated a population of less than 500 pygmy sloths on Escudo de Veraguas Island off the coast of Panama, the only place in the world where these diminutive sloths survive.

Indonesian tycoon bears responsibility for devastating mud volcano, contends new research

(07/01/2015) A mud volcano responsible for displacing more than 40,000 people in Indonesia's East Java province was caused by an oil and gas company owned by one of the country's richest tycoons, and not by an earthquake as company executives and some scientists have claimed, according to new research out of Austraila's Adelaide University that aspires to put to matter to rest.

‘Criminalization’ of local people in Indonesian province rife amid oil palm, coal booms

(07/01/2015) A coalition of local NGOs in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province is campaigning for an end to the criminalization of residents who oppose plantation and mining projects on their land. The issue was a theme in the government's recently concluded national inquiry into land conflicts affecting indigenous peoples, and last week President Joko Widodo promised to secure the release of indigenous citizens who had been criminalized.

Dilma disappoints with weak rainforest target

(06/30/2015) Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff disappointed environmentalists with what they call weak commitments on reducing deforestation and supporting renewable energy announced today during her visit to the White House.

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