News Analysis

Kick-starting an African clean energy revolution - one pedal at a time
27th June, 2017

The cyclists of the Tour de France may not set off until next week but in Kenya a group of young people have taken to their bikes to raise awareness about the power of sustainable energy ahead of the country's general election on August 8.
JOE WARE reports

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A People's Food Policy - grassroot food and farming groups call for a more just food system


As the Brexit negotiations begin, a coalition of grassroots food and farming organisations today launch ‘A People's Food Policy' calling for England to develop a more progressive food policy in advance of leaving the EU. Scotland is already in the process of adopting national food policies and is currently developing a ‘Good Food Nation Bill', while England has yet to make any progress

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Foxhounds and bovine TB edges (finally) into the news
23rd June, 2017

The publication of research into foxhounds and bovine TB is being hidden behind a cover up, with an outbreak in one hunt's pack kept secret for three months before the news leaked out, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY

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Colombian environmental protestors 'see off' one of the world's biggest gold mining companies
22nd June, 2017

Two months ago Colombia's largest gold-mining project ‘La Colosa' was called off after a small town said "NO" in a local referendum. A wave of public consultations against similar projects is now sweeping Colombia and beyond, while the Government hesitates to introduce rigorous environmental regulations for the industry writes BURAG GURDEN

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Conservation Exclusive: People's Trust for Endangered Species complete a secret and successful...
21st June, 2017

Ecologist reporter, LAURA BRIGGS, joins the animal charities and volunteers gathered earlier this week on a secret mission - the release of 18 pairs of endangered dormice into the wild

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Green Living

Gardening as Therapy: A moving memoir
20th June, 2017

Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn - who said he'd never give up his allotment, whatever the outcome of the recent UK elections - knows it and so do the millions of gardeners, growers and allotmenteers who've found a deeper relationship with their own patch of land. HARRIET GRIFFEY discovers the healing power of that relationship as described in a beautifully written new memoir

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GAWP! The Green Alphabet Writing Prize
14th June, 2017

Got something to say about the environment and the way we do (or don't) care for it? Here's your chance to get what you think noticed and published....

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Solar Irrigation Pump is Winner of the 2017 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy and Water
12th June, 2017

The winner of the 2017 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy and Water - announced today (12th June, 2017) - is Futurepump, which manufactures an affordable, highly efficient and portable solar irrigation pump aimed at the millions of smallholder farmers in Kenya and around the world, writes CHHAVI SHARMA

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Campaigning

Display from a BG smart meter. Just too bad about all the electromagnetic smog it generates. Photo: athriftymrs.com via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Smart meter radiation and health - why are we neglecting non-toxic alternatives?
6th June 2017

With growing evidence of harm to physical and mental health caused by continuous pulsed em radiation from 'smart' electricity meters, Lynne Wycherley asks: have we underestimated risks to heart function and the nervous system? And of interference with embedded medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers? It's time to switch to over-wire or fibre communications to bring the 'smart green grid' of the future to electrosmog-free reality.

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Poland's primeval forest is under serious attack
2nd June, 2017

Polish activists have this week chained themselves up to machines used to cut a 9000-year-old forest in a bid to stop the destruction of trees for what is clearly commercial gain. NICK MEYNEN reports

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Liberian Coast Guard prepares to board the Star Shrimper XXV. Photo: Alejandra Gimeno / Sea Shepherd Global.

Sea Shepherd helps arrest 'sustainable' shrimp trawler for illegal fishing in Liberian waters
26th May 2017

A 'Friend of the Sea' Dutch-owned trawler certified to supply 'sustainably caught' shrimp to the US and EU was arrested in Liberia after operating in an an area reserved for artisanal fishers, writes Peter Hammarstedt. The vessel, which had no licence and lacked the turtle excluders required by law, was discovered by the crew of Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' in a joint mission with the Liberian Coast Guard to clamp down on rampant illegal fishing.

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Interviews

Winner of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa: Rodrigue Katembo
3rd May, 2017

From child-soldier to Netflix star, the Congolese park ranger has won his award for stopping oil exploration in the Virunga National Park. He talks to SOPHIE MORLIN-YRON

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Winner of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia: Prafulla Samantara
2nd May, 2017

Meet the man securing justice for the Dongira tribe's sacred hills...in the first of her profiles of two of this year's winners, SOPHIE MORLIN-YRON interviews the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia

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Essays

Pilgrims bathing in the holy river Narmada at Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, India. Photo: Mahesh Basedia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To discover the 'rights of a river', first think like a river
22nd May 2017

There is a growing global movement to recognise the rights of rivers, writes Debadityo Sinha. But rights alone are not enough. We must love and respect rivers, and even think like rivers to understand the vital functions they perform within landscapes and ecosystems, and so discover where their 'best interests' truly lie. And then we must be willing to act: protecting rivers and restoring them to health and wholeness.

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John Muir, full-length portrait, facing right, seated on rock with lake and trees in background, circa 1902. Photo: unknbown via Library of Congress (Public Domain).

Divine ecstasy of Nature: Selected Writings by John Muir
17th May 2017

May this new collection of John Muir's writings reach us now and inspire another generation to fall in love with wild nature, to care for it, to know that wilderness is not optional but central to our survival in the centuries to come, writes Terry Tempest Williams - and remind us how to embrace this beautiful, broken world once again with an open heart. If we do approach the mountain, it is we who are moved.

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Figure 1: Two views of economic 'sustainability'. Image: Nature's Rights.

Nature's rights: a new paradigm for environmental protection
9th May 2017

Recognising nature as a legal stakeholder with inalienable rights in environmental law proceedings is a powerful counterbalance to corporate dictatorship, writes Mumta Ito. It empowers people and governments to stand up for nature - the underlying basis of our economy and our lives. And it stands in contrast to feeble approaches based on the financialisation and commodification of nature, which may be twisted to justify more destruction.

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General Election 2017: a Green realignment of British politics?
3rd May, 2017

The political events of the last year are cause for sorrow, for reflection, and for reorientation. But they're also cause for a Green reboot. And fortunately, the UK's upcoming election on June 8th gives us just such an opportunity, writes RUPERT READ

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Footbridge over the Coapa River in Chiapas, Mexico, which supports local silvopasture (forestry and livestock grazing). Photo: Lameirasb via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

To conserve tropical forests and wildlife, protect the rights of people who rely on them
26th April 2017

Who are the best guardians of forests and other wild places? Governments? Conservation NGOs? Corporations? No, writes Prakash Kashwan, it's the indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with their environment for millennia. But to be able do so, they must first be accorded rights to their historic lands and resources, both in law and in practice. Among the countries leading the way, Mexico. Among the laggards, Kenya and India.

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Blogs

Expressing environmental concerns through the artist's pencil and paint
13th June, 2017

In its purist form, drawing is marking down the junctions of observed lines. The Ecology Movement does the same thing - joining up the dots of our under-strain, but interlinked environment to create forceful arguments, writes Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK

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How planting bioenergy crops could help stop Britain's brown hare from becoming extinct
6th June, 2017


If you live or spend time in the UK countryside it may have been some time since you spotted the native brown hare - if you've ever seen one at all. That's because the hare relies on an increasingly disappearing biodiverse landscape for its food. LAURA BRIGGS talks to the scientists behind a new study investigating what type of planting - including bioenergy crops - will help stop hare populations from continuing to decline

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Chelsea Flower Show - using garden spaces to tackle the challenges of climate change
25th May, 2017

It seems we've been talking about bringing green areas to urban spaces for years, but at this year's Chelsea Flower Show (which runs until 27th May) it's clear this theme remains a top priority writes LAURA BRIGGS who pays a visit to the world's best known flower show

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WITNESS: Drawn to the Frozen South
17th May, 2017

Our Arts Editor, GARY COOK, travels with his sketchbook to one of the last remaining wilderness places on Earth - Antartica - and returns home humbled by the experience

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Otra Nation - A Disney-style eco fantasy or the way forward?
15th May, 2017

With what should perhaps be described as fantastic enthusiasm, a collective of architects, designers, engineers, urban planners and entrepreneurs have submitted a proposal to the Governments of the United States and Mexico to create a land with no borders. LAURA BRIGGS wonders if she should take the proposal seriously...

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Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

We're Still Stronger Together
15 June 2017

Vivian Woodell, social entrepreneur and founder of the phone co-op, shares his thoughts on the growing co-operative movement and its role in building collaborative, sustainable alternatives to the standard model. Interview by Oliver Tickell.

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Comment

Towards tribal interdependence and peace in Kenya
26th June, 2017

Tensions are rising in Kenya as the country approaches local and national elections in August. But we could choose to use our differences as a strength, not a cause of conflict, says DEBORA LANGAT

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Collaboration and communication: how science and environmentalists can fight climate change together
20th June, 2017

Whether from environmentalists, media or politicians science and its values are often under attack. In response, the scientific community has started a global Pro-Science Movement. Key agendas of the movement include environmental awareness and action on climate change, writes LUCY EJ WOODS

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Leading from Nature: Politics and Biomimicry
13th June, 2017

As Theresa May and her Ministers struggle to make a pact with the DUP, Ecologist Nature Editor, ELIZABETH WAINWRIGHT says we could all do worse than model both leadership and politics on Nature and work together to improve partnership and community, as well as innovation

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The future of humanity on the planet does not rest on leaders alone - thankfully!
6th June, 2017

For social movements and climate justice campaigners, the US abandonment of the Paris Agreement is disappointing, but there is also a unity in understanding that the future of humanity on this planet does not rest on leaders alone, writes DOROTHY GRACE GUERRERO

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Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will leave the US increasingly isolated
2nd June, 2017

President Trump's withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accord - a decision designed to satisfy his campaign pledges - will go down in history as significantly anachronistic and self-harming, writes FREDERIK DAHLMANN

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Uluru at sunset. Photo: Chris Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia's time to recognise indigenous peoples' sovereignty
26th May 2017

For 80 years Australia's Aboriginal peoples have called for land rights and sovereignty, writes Harry Hobbs. And for 80 years they have been ignored or brushed aside. But now delegates meeting at Uluru have issued a 'statement from the heart' demanding constitutional reform to empower Indigenous people to take 'a rightful place in our own country'. Their call must be heard!

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If you think fossil fuel lobbyists belong in UN climate negotiations, maybe you also think Santa smokes Lucky Strikes, and the tobacco industry belongs in the World Health Organisation. Photo: Phil Wolff via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Bonn climate talks' glacial progress shows why we must kick fossil fuels out!
25th May 2017

The participation of the fossil fuel industry in UN climate talks represents clear a conflict of interest, writes Pascoe Sabido. And nowhere has this been more apparent than at this month's UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, where fossil fuel representatives have slowed progress to a snail's pace. With just six months to go before November's COP23 negotiations, it's time to defy the US, EU and Australia, and kick fossil fuel lobbyists out!

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Reviews

The Tree Line: Poems for Trees, Woods & People
2nd June, 2017

There's a certain irony that the publication of a new anthology of poems about trees coincided with President Trump's announcement yesterday that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, writes HARRIET GRIFFEY

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Bacon with nipple: Still from 'Carnage' by Simon Amstell / BBC iPlayer.

'Carnage' imagines a vegan utopia where animals live as equals - could it happen?
28th March 2017

In the year 2067, the eating of meat - carnism - will be seen as crime similar to cannibalism today, writes Matthew Adams. That is, in the fertile imagination of Simon Amstell, expressed in his BBC iPlayer film 'Carnage'. With 55 billion animals slaughtered every year for their meat, the vision looks remote. But the world will be a far better place if we begin the transition to plant-based diets - for our health, that of the planet, and not least, the animals themselves.

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From front cover of 'Slugs and Snails by Robert Cameron, published by Harper Collins.

Slugs and snails
7th March 2017

In this long-anticipated volume, Robert Cameron introduces us to the natural history of slugs and snails of the British Isles, writes Martin Spray, also venturing across the world to explore the wide range of structures and ways of life of slugs and snails, particularly their sometimes bizarre mating habits, which in turn help to illuminate the ways in which evolution has shaped the living world.

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Right of Reply

The way of the future? Photo: smart meters array by Green Energy Futures - David Dodge via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Smart meters the way to a new age of clean energy
3rd April 2017

Dynamic power pricing that responds to supply and demand could transform the way we manage our electricity systems, writes Claire Maugham, opening the door to the mass integration of renewables like wind and solar. But smart meters are essential to making that happen.

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MSC Response to New Zealand Fisheries Article

In its Right of Reply to our recent article questioning the sustainability of New Zealand fishing practices, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) explains its certification is based on current and not historical practices.

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UK biomass power industry is a vital part of the renewable energy mix
27th October 2016

Contrary to arguments advanced in a recent Ecologist article, the biomass industry supplying the Drax power station in North Yorkshire is a model of sustainability, writes Nina Skorupska, and delivers genuine, substantial emissions reductions compared to coal.

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Ecologist Partners

The Escondida copper-gold-silver mine, 170 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Chile’s port city of Antofagasta. This astronaut photograph features a large impoundment area (image center) containing light tan and gray waste spoil from of the Escondida m

For how long will the London Stock Exchange give Antofagasta mine a free pass?
1st June 2017

London-listed copper giant Antofagasta has been entangled in scandals in Chile involving water depletion, dangers to local communities, corruption of national politics and environmental contamination, write Ali Maeve & Liam Barrington-Bush. Yet the London Stock Exchange remains silent. Following the company's AGM last week, a new London Mining Network report puts their actions and operations into the spotlight.

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LUSH ethical cosmetics company launches a new Spring Prize fund for regenerative projects
6th January, 2017

Nominations have opened for the new Lush Spring Prize. Launched jointly with the Ethical Consumer Research Association this is a new and very welcome £200,000 annual prize fund that aims to support those projects around the world that work towards environmental and social regeneration.

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Calendar

Postgrowth debate on 28 Nov 2016

The End of Growth?
11 November 2016

An evening debate with Federico Demaria, Graeme Maxton, Jørgen Randers and Kate Raworth at the House of Commons, Monday 28 Nov 2016

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Feeding the Insatiable
7th October 2016

An international summit exploring real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet, taking place at Schumacher College, Dartington, on 11th November 2016

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Courses

Yale University Launches Online Specialization Classes Open to the Public
9th September, 2016

If you've got the 'Back to School' bug this week then check out these brand new online courses from the prestigious Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental studies - the courses are based on the award-winning Journey of the Universe film and book

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Educating for Gaia: a wholistic approach to Earth science
28th April 2016

As a society, we are strangely disconnected from the Earth, writes Stephan Harding. It's as if we were aliens placed here to prod and poke with our scientific instruments whilst feeling no sense of meaning, belonging or closeness to her ancient crumpled surface or rich, teeming biodiversity - a state of mind that a forthcoming course at Schumacher College aims to reverse.

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News in Brief

The 14th 'Free Terra' Camp in Praça dos Ipês, Brasília, during April 24-28 2017. Over 4,000 representatives from 200 indigenous peoples from all regions of the country were present in a large demonstration of strength of the indigenous movement. Photo:

Brazil: Increase in land killings as political crisis threatens Amazon
7th June 2017

Impunity reigns in the Amazon, write Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie, and the indigenous peoples of the forest are the big losers as they suffer repeated killings and land grabs. Big cuts to Funai, the agency meant to protect Brazil's indigenous tribes, have encouraged land barons to expand their land holdings into indigenous territories and murder any who resist.

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Exxon shareholders back resolution requiring the oil major to disclose the impact of climate...
1st June, 2017

As we wait to learn whether (later today) Trump will pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, Remo Bebié of Finance Dialogue shares his briefing report of the what is being seen as growing demands that oil companies incorporate the international deal in their business models

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Ecuador's 'free trade' agreement with the US only undermined their ability to get justice for Texaco's toxic legacy of oil pollution, and did little to attract investment. Now it has been dumped along with 15 others. Photo of Lago Agrio by Caroline Bennet

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties
31st May 2017

Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties.

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Prime Minister Theresa May signed her Article 50 setting out the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union, 28th March 2017. Photo: Jay Allen / Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Revealed: May's secret EU mission to weaken climate and energy targets
30th May 2017

When Prime Minister Theresa May went to Brussels to hand in her 'Article 50' Brexit notice, she was also pursuing a separate, covert objective, writes Zachary Davies Boren. Leaked papers show that the UK was lobbying to gut new EU rules and targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency - even though they will only come into force after Brexit.

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Fox at Nether Edge, Sheffield. Photo: Edwyn Anderton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

'Make Hunting History' march on Downing Street this Bank Holiday Monday
26th May 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has made several serious mistakes in her election campaign, but her biggest 'unforced error' of all could be her public support for foxhunting, opposed by 17 in 20 voters. Now a huge march to her Downing Street residence is planned for next Monday to 'Make Hunting History!'

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No, that's not Theresa May leading this 'police against fracking' demo, it's veteran anti-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery. Photo: Rev'd Peter Doodes via Fracking Hell (UK) on Facebook

Only Conservatives and UKIP back fracking in GE2017
18th May 2017

With the major party manifestos all published it's not just the Greens that oppose fracking, writes Mat Hope. It's also Labour and the Libdems. So who's left? The Tories of course, who are holding fast to the fracking faith, and even want to create a new special purpose regulator for the industry. Oh yes, and UKIP, which is also committed to abolishing the Climate Change Act.

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Who needs research into climate change adaptation? Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, 11th January 2011. Photo: Angus Veitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia axes climate change adaptation research
16th May 2017

Natural disasters like flood and drought have cost the Australian government more than A$12 billion since 2009, write Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, with even harsher weather events predicted for coming decades. Clearly, it's just the time for Australia to eliminate funding for research on adapting to climate change.

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Sunset years ... power plant and Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Joliet, Illinois. Photo: Greg Wass via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Oil industry's sunset years: low prices, weak demand, poor outlook
15th May 2017

With oil prices remaining low, the world's oil industry is facing bleak years ahead, writes Paul Brown. The global push to decarbonise the economy, combined with surging renewable energy and the trend to more efficient and electric vehicles, is denting investor confidence and pointing to the shrinking away of a once mighty and profitable industry.

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Jeremy Corbyn at a political rally in North London, 15th August 2016. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Corbyn's green vision wins: leaked manifesto promises huge environmental gains
11th May 2017

A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament.

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Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack
10th May 2017

Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence.

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Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch.

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!
8th May 2017

Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness.

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Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers
26th April 2017

Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.'

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