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IPBES report details path to exit current ‘pandemic era’

Avoiding the loss of human life and the economic fallout caused by future pandemics will require a seismic change in our approach to the causes of the emergence of disease-causing viruses, according to a new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES. Peter Daszak, who chaired the July 2020 …

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With a drastic decline in tropical fruit, Gabon’s rainforest mega-gardeners go hungry

The rainforest of Lopé National Park in central Gabon is one of the last safe havens for the endangered forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis). But in a new study in Science, researchers warn that elephants and other keystone species in the park, such as western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, and mandrills, could be facing famine. Climate change …

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2020 fires endangering uncontacted Amazon Indigenous groups

Amazon fires are burning this year within the protected lands inhabited by isolated uncontacted Indigenous peoples. The fires, largely illegal and intentionally set by land grabbers, ranchers and farmers, are often utilized as a deforestation tool — clearing land for timber, beef and soy production. The fires can deprive these forest peoples of their homes …

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Amazon botanist Sir Ghillean Prance: ‘The environmental crisis is a moral one’

The second half of the 20th century was a time of unprecedented change in the Amazon rainforest. The ecosystem was opened up by government road-building and colonization schemes in the 1970s and 1980s, unleashing a spasm of large-scale deforestation unlike anything seen in human history. But that period was also characterized by a great expansion …

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Indonesia’s ‘militarized agriculture’ raises social, environmental red flags

JAKARTA — Observers and activists have raised concerns about the leading role the Indonesian government plans to give to the military and to big corporations in a program to establish vast crop plantations across the country. The move appears to be part of a creeping rollback of Indonesia’s civilian democracy by the administration of President …

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Bushmeat hunting: The greatest threat to Africa’s wildlife?

Poaching for tusks, horns or other body parts is a well-recognized threat to Africa’s wildlife, but the impact of hunting for bushmeat may pose a greater threat. Conservationists in Southern Africa are exploring new ways to contain this. “Bushmeat is a significant problem in Zambia. For us, it’s by far the biggest threat to our …

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P&G shareholders vote in landslide to address supply-chain deforestation

The majority of shareholders of international consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G), which makes paper-based products like toilet paper, have voted to tackle supply chain loopholes that impact deforestation and forest degradation.  During their annual shareholder meeting on October 13 (which was virtual this year), shareholders voted yes on a resolution aimed to address …

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Marmosets trafficked as pets now threaten native species in Atlantic forest

One of the most devastating effects of the illegal trafficking of wild animals in Brazil is the proliferation of marmosets in large urban centers. There are two species in particular that have spread: the black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata), which is native to Brazil’s Cerrado biome and known as mico-estrela in Portuguese; and the common marmoset …

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Planned road projects threaten Sumatran rhino habitat, experts say

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — Conservationists are calling for a Sumatran rhino habitat at the northern tip of the Indonesian island to be fully protected from planned road-construction projects. Officials in the province of Aceh have allocated 2.4 trillion rupiah ($164 million) for the development of 12 roads across the province through 2022. Governor Nova Iriansyah …

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‘Zero-deforestation’ paper giant APRIL justifies clearing of Sumatran peatland

JAKARTA — Activists have slammed one of the world’s biggest pulp and paper companies for clearing peatland in Indonesia despite its zero-deforestation pledge. They say Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) should have restored the previously burned area instead of cultivating it. The peat clearing, allegedly done by APRIL mill operator and subsidiary PT …

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