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”

Deforestation on Indonesian island of Sulawesi destroys habitat of endemic primates

Sulawesi is part of a biodiversity hotspot – a region with at least 1,500 endemic plants, specifically those with developed tissues. Less than 30% of the original primary vegetation cover remains.

Intensified illegal logging and expansions of palm oil plantations and farms have destroyed rain forests on Indonesia’s fourth-largest island, Sulawesi, threatening the biodiversity of a world-renowned laboratory of evolutionary biology.

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”