Palm oil industry lobbying and greenwashing is like Big Tobacco – World Health Organisation (WHO) Bulletin

What does the $60 billion USD palm oil industry have in common with Big Tobacco? A lot according to this report by the World Health Organisation. Palm oil industry lobbying tactics are used to influence research into the health impacts of palm oil and also to influence consumer buying habits. The dire health and environmental impacts of palm oil are hidden from consumers by clever marketing. These lobbying, marketing and greenwashing tactics are reminiscent of tobacco and alcohol health lobbying.

Why Peanut Butter Might Trigger the Next Pandemic

Palm oil is found in roughly 50 percent of packaged household products ranging from peanut butter to lipstick. Now, researchers link its harvesting to disease outbreaks that could spread to humans. This is the first study to examine the cause-and-effect relationship between changes in forest cover and subsequent disease outbreaks on a global scale.

Treespiracy: Forests are being destroyed against a background of corruption, illegality and apathy

The world’s forests are being destroyed against a background of corruption, illegality and apathy. This article was originally published in The Ecologist magazine, 28th March, 2022 A complex web of financial instruments allowing crime, corruption and wrong-doing, hidden behind shell corporations and offshore companies was exposed with the release of the Panama Papers.  This shadow networkContinue reading “Treespiracy: Forests are being destroyed against a background of corruption, illegality and apathy”

10 reasons why ecolabels & commodity certification are not a solution to stop the EU importing tropical deforestation

71 environmental and human rights groups from around the world – wrote to the EU Commission warning that certification schemes and ecolabels were not sufficient to prevent human rights abuses and deforestation from entering the European Union. Meanwhile industry lobbyists are attempting to weaken the proposed EU laws with these ineffective and corrupt certification schemesContinue reading “10 reasons why ecolabels & commodity certification are not a solution to stop the EU importing tropical deforestation”

Nigeria’s nature reserves need more help to protect biodiversity

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment recently nominated Finima Nature Park in River State as a Ramsar site: a wetland of international importance. Tajudeen Amusa, University of Ilorin These sites are designated under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO. It aims to protect representative, rare or unique wetlands, or thoseContinue reading “Nigeria’s nature reserves need more help to protect biodiversity”

Ecocide: why establishing a new international crime would be a step towards interspecies justice

A movement of activists and legal scholars is seeking to make “ecocide” an international crime within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Stop Ecocide Foundation has put together a prestigious international panel of experts that has just proposed a new definition of the term. Heather Alberro, Nottingham Trent University and Luigi Daniele,Continue reading “Ecocide: why establishing a new international crime would be a step towards interspecies justice”

New research: Indirect sourcing of up to 90% of palm oil from Cargill, Wilmar, Musim Mas cannot be traced and is linked to deforestation

New research: Indirect sourcing of up to 90% of palm oil from Cargill, Wilmar, Musim Mas cannot be traced and is linked to deforestation

How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans

Amy Y. Vittor, University of Florida; Gabriel Zorello Laporta, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, and Maria Anice Mureb Sallum, Universidade de São Paulo Many pandemics originate from wildlife that jumps from animal to human. These leaps often happen at the edges of the world’s tropical forests, where deforestation is increasingly bringing people into contact withContinue reading “How deforestation helps deadly viruses jump from animals to humans”

Almost 90% of the world’s animal species will lose some habitat to agriculture by 2050

David Williams, University of Leeds and Michael Clark, University of Oxford Scientists know that biodiversity is declining across much of the world although less universally and dramatically than we feared. We also know that things are likely to get worse in the future, with a combination of habitat loss, climate change and overexploitation set toContinue reading “Almost 90% of the world’s animal species will lose some habitat to agriculture by 2050”

Deforestation can raise local temperatures by up to 4.5℃ – and heat untouched areas 6km away

Sally Thompson, The University of Western Australia; Débora Corrêa, The University of Western Australia; John Duncan, The University of Western Australia, and Octavia Crompton, Duke University Forests directly cool the planet, like natural evaporative air conditioners. So what happens when you cut them down? In tropical countries such as Indonesia, Brazil and the Congo, rapidContinue reading “Deforestation can raise local temperatures by up to 4.5℃ – and heat untouched areas 6km away”

Africa’s rainforests are different. Why it matters that they’re protected

Martin Sullivan, University of Leeds; Oliver Phillips, University of Leeds, and Simon Lewis, UCL Around 2 million km² of Africa is covered by tropical rainforests. They are second only in extent to those in Amazonia, which cover around 6 million km². Rainforests are home to vast numbers of species. For example, the world’s tropical rainforestsContinue reading “Africa’s rainforests are different. Why it matters that they’re protected”

Climate Explained: what would happen if we cut down the Amazon rainforest?

Sebastian Leuzinger, Auckland University of Technology What would happen if we cut down the entire Amazon rainforest? Could it be replaced by an equal amount of reforestation elsewhere? Removing the entire Amazon rainforest would have myriad consequences, with the most obvious ones possibly not the worst. Most people will first think of the carbon currentlyContinue reading “Climate Explained: what would happen if we cut down the Amazon rainforest?”

How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests

Indonesia now has the has the fastest rate of deforestation in the world, driven largely by clearing for palm oil plantations. But the process began long ago, with one of the most common building materials: plywood. As far as commodities are concerned, it was plywood that defined the rainforests of Borneo in the 1970s andContinue reading “How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests”

Huge ecosystems could collapse in less than 50 years – new study

We know that ecosystems under stress can reach a point where they rapidly collapse into something very different. The clear water of a pristine lake can turn algae-green in a matter of months. In hot summers, a colourful coral reef can soon become bleached and virtually barren. And if a tropical forest has its canopyContinue reading “Huge ecosystems could collapse in less than 50 years – new study”

Explainer: What is a tipping point, and why should we care?

Our ability to understand and act thoughtfully around this single concept could determine the fate of life on Earth. August 20, 2020 — Lately, you may have heard someone say that we have reached a “tipping point.” This year alone, with the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sustained civil unrest sparkedContinue reading “Explainer: What is a tipping point, and why should we care?”

Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire: Let’s Sort the Plastic Menace

Smoke is a clear sign of something brewing up. The decision taken afterward determines the outcomes. If ignored, the fire may destroy everything. But if we bother to check out, we may save the day. It has been more than a month now since we heard the rumors of Kenya being used as a hubContinue reading “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire: Let’s Sort the Plastic Menace”

How forest loss has changed biodiversity across the globe over the last 150 years

Maria Dornelas, University of St Andrews; Gergana Daskalova, University of Edinburgh, and Isla Myers-Smith, University of Edinburgh The Earth’s forests have been changing ever since the first tree took root. For 360 million years, trees have grown and been felled through a dynamic mix of hurricanes, fires and natural regeneration. But with the dawn ofContinue reading “How forest loss has changed biodiversity across the globe over the last 150 years”

Research: Palm Oil Deforestation and its connection to RSPO members/supermarket brands

The RSPO is a global certification scheme for palm oil that certifies palm oil as ‘sustainable’. Yet this word means absolutely nothing, as RSPO members – the biggest supermarket brands in the world: (Unilever, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive, L’Oreal, Avon, Mars, Mondelez, Cargill, Danone and more) continue with illegal indigenous landgrabbing, deforestation, human rights abuses, slavery andContinue reading “Research: Palm Oil Deforestation and its connection to RSPO members/supermarket brands”