Featured articles | Weekly Newsletter | Topics | Syndicate / XML feed / RSS  

Rhett Butler

[return to about mongabay]

rhett butler
Rhett Butler


Contact Rhett Butler
Rhett can be contacted at


Please note that Rhett gets roughly 1,000 queries via email per day and cannot reply to every message he receives.

Follow rhett butler on Twitter
Rhett Butler founded mongabay.com in 1999 with the mission of raising interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging local and global trends in technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development. Today he serves as president and editor-in-chief of the web site. He is also the senior writer and photographer, creating much of the site's content, including writing more than 10,000 articles and taking more than 75,000 of the photos that appear on the site. Unless noted otherwise (usually at the top or bottom of a page), all content and pictures on mongabay.com have been written or produced by Rhett Butler.

Beyond mongabay.com, Rhett Butler runs WildMadagascar.org, a site that highlights the spectacular cultural and biological richness of Madagascar and reports on environmental news for the Indian Ocean island nation.

Rhett Butler is also co-founder of Tropical Conservation Science, an open-access academic journal that aims to provide opportunities for scientists in developing countries to publish their research, and the Tropical Forest Network, a social network in the San Francisco Bay Area broadly interested in tropical forest conservation and ecology.

Outside of these pursuits, Rhett Butler has advised a wide range of organizations, including governments, multilateral development agencies, media outlets, academic institutions, foundations, and private sector entities. He has been an information source for the BBC, CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox News, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Business Week, Bloomberg, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Reuters, Voice of America, the Associated Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the L.A. Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Forbes, among others.

Rhett Butler also speaks regularly on topics surrounding forests and the environment (especially trends in deforestation) and new media. He has spoken at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Cruz, the National University of Singapore, ETH Zurich, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation 2010 meeting in Bali, UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Stony Brook University, among other places and events. In 2011 and 2012 he participated in the U.S. State Department Speakers Program in Indonesia.

rainforests
Rhett Butler's work has been published outside of his web sites, including magazines, newspapers, online media, and academic journals (see below). His photos have appeared in hundreds of publications.

In September 2011 Rhett Butler published RAINFORESTS, a book about rainforests geared toward kids. The text is based on the popular mongabay kids' section and includes more than 150 photos.

In April 2012 Rhett Butler hired a team in Indonesia to run mongabay.co.id, an Indonesian-language provider of environmental news and analysis. Mongabay.co.id officially launched in May 2012.

Rhett Butler has been profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle (2006), the Wall Street Journal (2006 and 2008), and Voice of America (2008).

See Rhett Butler's motivation for starting mongabay.com. Further background on Rhett Butler is available at the FAQs/Interview page


More information:

Contribute
Copyright and Use
Contact
Newsletter
RSS feeds
Press Coverage
Mission of the Site
FAQs/Interview with Rhett
T-Shirts from Mongabay
Mongabay Web Stats
Advertising on Mongabay


Highlighted publications (outside of mongabay.com, since 2007):



Other activities :
In California, Rhett Butler has been affiliated with University of California at San Diego (UCSD), Menlo Atherton High School (M-A), Stanford University, Menlo Park, Atherton, La Jolla, and Palo Alto.

Selected mongabay articles by Rhett Butler :
Rhett has written more than 8,000 articles on mongabay.com. The following is a partial list of recent articles.


Behind of the scenes of Showtime's blockbuster series on climate change
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(04/18/2014) For years climate change activists and environmentalists have been clamoring for a high-profile, high-impact TV series about climate change to make Americans more aware of an issue that will affect billions of people around the globe in coming decades. This week they finally got it when Showtime released the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously, a big-budget TV series featuring a number of Hollywood's biggest stars as reporters and corespondents.


Cargill commits to zero deforestation, but environmentalists have questions
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(04/09/2014) After years of criticism from environmental groups, Cargill says it will establish policies to eliminate deforestation, peatlands conversion, and social conflict from its palm oil supply chain. But activists aren't yet sure what to make of the agribusiness giant's pledge. On Tuesday Cargill released a letter it sent to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets eco-certification standards, in response to a Greenpeace Report linking it to deforestation.


Saving rainforests by buying them
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(04/04/2014) For more than twenty five years, an international non-profit known as the World Land Trust has been working to protect tropical forests through land purchase and partnerships with local groups. Last year, the U.S. arm of the group decided to rebrand itself as the Rainforest Trust to better convey its core mission to the outside world. Since then, the Rainforest Trust has launched its most ambitious project yet: conserving 5.9 million acres of tropical forest in Peru.


Community's push to clear forest for plantation challenges efforts to conserve in Indonesia
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(03/20/2014) In the swampy peatlands of Basilam Baru in Sumatra's Riau Province a conflict between a community and a woodpulp company is illustrating some of the intractable challenges of conserving forests and addressing deforestation in Indonesia. On first glance the story seems depressingly familiar. One actor wants to preserve the forest, which serves as critical habitat for endangered Sumatran tigers and clouded leopards. The other wants to clear it for a plantation.


APP pledges to restore forests, if given the opportunity
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(03/18/2014) Over the past 20 years, Sumatra's lowland rainforests have been destroyed at a virtually unmatched rate and scale. Since 1990, the island's primary forests shrank by 40 percent while its overall forest cover declined by 36 percent, mostly the result of logging, agricultural expansion, and conversion for oil palm and timber plantations. What little forest does survive is often degraded — today less than 8 percent of Sumatra retains primary forest.


Will zero deforestation commitments save Indonesia's forests?
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(03/17/2014) Skirting the Malacca Strait near the Indonesian city of Dumai the air is thick with haze from peat fires burning below. As the sky clears, a landscape of sharply-cut geometric shapes becomes apparent. What was once carbon-dense peat forests and rainforests are today massive oil palm and wood pulp plantations.


After GAR expands policy, over 50% of world's palm oil bound by zero deforestation commitments
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(03/03/2014) Over half the world's palm oil traded internationally is now bound by zero deforestation commitments after Singapore-based Golden-Agri Resources (GAR) extended its forest conservation policy across all palm oil it produces, sources and trades. In a filing posted Friday Singapore Stock Exchange, GAR announced its breakthrough forest conservation policy now applies to all the palm oil it trades.


Procter & Gamble's palm oil suppliers linked to deforestation (photos)
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(02/26/2014) A year-long investigation by Greenpeace has found companies that supply Procter & Gamble (P&G) (NYSE:PG) with palm oil are engaged in clearing of rainforests and peatlands in Indonesia, suggesting that Head & Shoulders shampoo and other consumer products made by the company may be linked to forest destruction.


Revolutionary Google-backed system unlocks power of 'big data' to save forests
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(02/20/2014) World Resources Institute (WRI) today announced the release of a tool that promises to revolutionize forest monitoring. The platform, called Global Forest Watch and developed over several years with more than 40 partners, draws from a rich array of big data related to the word's forests and translates it into interactive maps and charts that reveal trends in deforestation, forest recovery, and industrial forestry expansion. Global Forest Watch is the first tool to monitors global forests on a monthly basis, allowing authorities and conservationists to potentially take action against deforestation as it is occurring.


APP, environmentalists talk future of Indonesia's forests
Rhett Butler, mongabay.com
(02/20/2014) In February 2013, one of the world's most notorious forestry companies announced it would no longer chop down rainforests and peatlands to produce pulp and paper. The move was met with considerable skepticism by critics who had seen the company break previous high profile commitments to end deforestation. Why would this time be any different?


Helping the Amazon's 'Jaguar People' protect their culture and traditional wisdom
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(02/11/2014) Tribes in the Amazon are increasingly exposed to the outside world by choice or circumstance. The fallout of outside contact has rarely been anything less than catastrophic, resulting in untold extinction of hundreds of tribes over the centuries. For ones that survived the devastation of introduced disease and conquest, the process of acculturation transformed once proud cultures into fragmented remnants, their self-sufficiency and social cohesion stripped away, left to struggle in a new world marked by poverty and external dependence


Rainforest Alliance to independently audit APP's zero deforestation commitment
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/29/2014) The Rainforest Alliance has agreed to conduct an audit of Asia Pulp & Paper's progress in implementing the zero deforestation policy the forestry giant signed last year. The deal, announced Thursday in Jakarta, could help boost the credibility of APP's policy, which while heralded as a breakthrough by several environmental groups, is still viewed with skepticism by some prominent critics, who remember past broken commitments from the paper producer.


287 amphibian and reptile species in Peruvian park sets world record (photos)
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/28/2014) It's official: Manu National Park in Peru has the highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world. Surveys of the park, which extends from high Andean cloud forests down into the tropical rainforest of the Western Amazon, and its buffer zone turned up 155 amphibian and 132 reptile species, 16 more than the 271 species documented in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park in 2010.


Norwegian insurance giant blacklists palm oil companies
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/27/2014) Storebrand, one of Norway's largest life insurance and pension savings companies, has sold off holdings in eleven palm oil companies due to environmental concerns. In a statement issued last week, Storebrand said it divested after it found the companies had breached its sustainability standards.


New dolphin discovered in the Amazon surprises scientists
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/23/2014) Researchers have discovered a new species of river dolphin from the Amazon. Writing in the journal Plos One, scientists led by Tomas Hrbek of Brazil's Federal University of Amazonas formally describe Inia araguaiaensis, a freshwater dolphin that inhabits the Araguaia River Basin. It is the first true river dolphin discovered since 1918.


Land conflicts complicate effort to spare forests from palm oil in Borneo
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/17/2014) A widely-heralded effort to spare carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands from palm oil development in Indonesian Borneo is facing new criticism after an investigation by rights groups found evidence of unresolved conflicts over community land. The report, published Friday by the Forest Peoples Program and TUK-Indonesia, looked at a carbon conservation pilot project run by Golden Agri Resources (GAR), a Singapore-based agribusiness giant that is one of Indonesia's largest palm oil producers.


In precedent-setting case, palm oil company fined $30M for destroying orangutan forest
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/09/2014) In a precedent-setting case, an Indonesian court has found a palm oil company guilty of violating environmental laws and ordered it to pay $30 million in fines and reparations for clearing an area of protected peat forest that is a stronghold for endangered orangutans in Indonesia's Aceh Province. In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the Meulaboh district court concluded that PT Kallista Alam illegally cleared and burned forest within the the protected Tripa peat swamp in northwestern Sumatra.


Most popular eco news articles of 2013
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(01/01/2014) The most popular environmental news article on mongabay.com during 2013 was a story about the recovery of the endangered Huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in Chile. The story, written by Alexander Holmgren, was visited 308,000 times, due largely to Reddit.


Rainforest news review for 2013
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(12/26/2013) 2013 was full of major developments in efforts to understand and protect the world's tropical rainforests. The following is a review of some of the major tropical forest-related news stories for the year. As a review, this post will not cover everything that transpired during 2013 in the world of tropical forests. Please feel free to highlight anything this post missed via the comments section at the bottom. Also please note that this review focuses only on tropical forests.


Our favorite nature pictures from 2013
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(12/24/2013) With 2013 drawing to a close, here are 100 nature pictures taken during my various Mongabay reporting trips in 2013, including Indonesia, the Pacific Northwest, Costa Rica, Namibia, and South Africa. Overall I added more than 15,000 new images — spanning rainforests, deserts and oceans — to the photo section of the site during the year.


Biggest new animal discoveries of 2013 (photos)
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(12/23/2013) Thousands of species were scientifically described for the first time in 2013. Many of these were 'cryptic species' that were identified after genetic analysis distinguished them from closely-related species, while others were totally novel. Below are some of the most interesting "new species" discoveries that took place or were formally announced in 2013.


Top 10 HAPPY environmental stories of 2013
By Rhett A. Butler and Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com
(12/19/2013) China begins to tackle pollution, carbon emissions: As China's environmental crisis worsens, the government has begun to unveil a series of new initiatives to curb record pollution and cut greenhouse emissions. The world's largest consumer of coal, China's growth in emissions is finally slowing and some experts believe the nation's emissions could peak within the decade. If China's emissions begin to fall, so too could the world's.


Ongoing deforestation reported in Borneo concession held by APP supplier
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(12/18/2013) Up to 1,400 hectares of forest have been cleared in a concession belonging to an Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) supplier in Borneo, potentially putting the company in breach of the forestry giant's zero deforestation commitment, reports a coalition of local NGO's. In a report released Tuesday, Relawan Pemantau Hutan Kalimantan (RPHK), a coalition of NGO's in part supported by WWF-Indonesia, said that blocks of natural forest have been cleared in a concession belonging to PT Daya Tani Kalbar (DTK), an APP supplier. The clearing has taken place since APP's moratorium went into effect February 1, 2013.


Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013
By: Rhett A. Butler and Jeremy Hance
(12/10/2013) 1. Carbon concentrations hit 400ppm while the IPCC sets global carbon budget: For the first time since our appearance on Earth, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million. The last time concentrations were this high for a sustained period was 4-5 million years ago when temperatures were 10 degrees Celsius higher. Meanwhile, in the slow-moving effort to curb carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) crafted a global carbon budget showing that most of the world's fossil fuel reserves must be left untouched if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.


World's biggest palm oil company makes zero deforestation commitment
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
(12/05/2013) Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil trader and a long-time target of environmentalists, has signed a landmark policy that commits the company to eliminate deforestation from its supply chain. The deal, if fully implemented, has the potential to transform the palm oil industry, which has emerged over the past decade as one of the world's most important drivers of tropical forest destruction.





archives | news | XML / RSS feed | featured


XML / RSS / Syndication options

mongabay.com features more than 400 RSS feeds to meet your specific area of interest


MONGABAY.COM
Mongabay.com seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development (more)

CONTENTS
Rainforests
Tropical Fish
News
Madagascar
Pictures
Kids' Site
Languages
TCS Journal
About
Archives
Topics | RSS
Newsletter



WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
Email:


INTERACT
Facebook
Twitter
Contact
Help
Photo store
Mongabay gear



SUPPORT
Help support mongabay.com when you buy from Amazon.com


STORE

SHIRTS

HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS / PRINTS




TOPICS
Africa
Agriculture
Alternative Energy
Amazon
Amphibian Crisis
Amphibians
Animal Behavior
Antarctica
Asia
Australia
Avoided deforestation
Biodiversity
Bioenergy
Biofuels
Biomimicry
Birds
Borneo
Brazil
Bushmeat
California
Carbon Dioxide
Carbon Finance
Carbon Sequestration
Cellulosic Ethanol
China
Climate Change
Congo
Conservation
Coral Reefs
Deforestation
Ecological Services
Endangered Species
Energy
Environment
Environmental Law
Environmental Politics
Ethanol
Extinction
Fires
Forests
Fossil Fuels
Green Business
Green Design
Green Energy
Greenland-Arctic
Happy-Upbeat Environmental
Hurricanes
Illegal Logging
India
Indigenous People
Indonesia
Interviews
Invasive Species
Lemurs
Logging
Madagascar
Mammals
Monkeys
New Guinea
Ocean Acidification
Oceans
Oil
Orangutans
Palm Oil
Plants
Politics
Pollution
Poverty Alleviation
Primates
REDD
Remote Sensing
Renewable Energy
Reptiles
Sea Ice
Sea Levels
Sea Turtles
Sharks
Solar Power
Species Discovery
Strange
Technology
United States
Water
Whales
Wildlife

more



In April 2008 Mongabay.com was named as one of Time Magazine's Fifteen Top Green Websites





About | Privacy
Copyright Rhett Butler 2013