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.
The reintroduction of pangolins has not been easy. But it’s vital to prevent this shy, mysterious creature from being lost forever. Pangolins are one of the most illegally trafficked animals on the planet and are suspected to be linked to the current coronavirus pandemic. Pangolins are also one of the world’s most threatened species butContinue reading “Back from extinction: a world first effort to return threatened pangolins to the wild”
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”
Ask anyone the identity of the world’s most famed turtles, and the answer is likely to be those legendary heroes in a half-shell, the Teenage Mutant Ninjas. Since first appearing in comic book form in 1984, the pizza-eating, nunchuk-wielding characters have shown the world the tougher side of turtles. Louise Pryke, University of Sydney PartContinue reading “A fascinating history of warrior turtles: from ancient myths, warships and teenage mutants”
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”
African forest elephants roam the dense rainforests of West and Central Africa where they subsist largely on a diet of fruit. They shape forests by dispersing fruit and seeds, browsing, and creating an extensive trail network. John Poulsen, Duke University and Christopher Beirne, University of British Columbia But because it’s difficult to track animals inContinue reading “How forest elephants move depends on water, humans, and also their personality”
Alana James, Northumbria University, Newcastle The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, producing 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions – and it’s estimated that by 2050 this will have increased to 25%. A staggering 300,000 tonnes of clothes are sent to British landfills each year.Continue reading “Why you should stop buying new clothes”
As humans, we live in a colourful world, but differences in visual systems means that not all animals see the world in the same way. Unlike other aspects of an object such as size or mass, colour is not an inherent property of an object but a result of the sensory system of the viewer.Continue reading “Inside the colourful world of animal vision”
Désirée Brucks, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and Auguste von Bayern, Max Planck Institute People readily help each other. We donate blood and food or help old people across the street. Among non-human animals this propensity to help is very rare. There are a few observations of helping behaviours in non-human animals. For example,Continue reading “African grey parrots help each other in times of need”
For many, palm oil has become synonymous with environmental devastation in Southeast Asia. Can palm oil production in Africa follow a more sustainable path forward? March 26, 2019 — For many consumers, palm oil has become synonymous with environmental devastation in Southeast Asia. The industry has brought mass deforestation to the region, shrunk orangutan habitatContinue reading “As palm oil production ramps up in Africa, communities work to avoid problems plaguing other regions”
Terry Sunderland, University of British Columbia As the global population has doubled to 7.8 billion in about 50 years, industrial agriculture has increased the output from fields and farms to feed humanity. One of the negative outcomes of this transformation has been the extreme simplification of ecological systems, with complex multi-functional landscapes converted to vastContinue reading “How our food choices cut into forests and put us closer to viruses”
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.
Edmond Dounias, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) Borneo – fourth-largest island in the world, home to more than 20 million people – has always aroused the fascination of explorers. The island is dense with forests, waterways and soaring mountains, and its indigenous population have a deep relationship with the forest. A fragile landscapeContinue reading “Borneo’s bearded pig, gardener of forests and protector of their inhabitants”
Company policies, new technologies, innovative financing and more are brightening prospects for the tropical rainforests — but time is short. February 18, 2020 — This piece was excerpted from Rainforest:Dispatches From Earth’s Most Vital Frontlines by Tony Juniper, Copyright © Tony Juniper. Reproduced by permission of Island Press, Washington, D.C. The continuing clearance and degradationContinue reading “Opinion: Seven strategies that offer hope for rainforests”