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A child brushes his teeth in lead-contaminated water in Klity Creek, Thailand. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Thai communities poisoned by illegal lead mine waste

The Ecologist

22nd January 2015

For 16 years the Thai government has ignored the plight of a community where toxic lead mine waste is causing severe chronic poisoning - defying both a 2013 court order, and its international obligations. It's just one of many toxic sites across Thailand that need to be cleaned up - but the government's main concern is to encourage further industrialisation. more...
4WDs and tourists in, tribal people out - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, where the events of Kipling's  'Jungle Book' take place. Photo: © Survival.

India: 'Jungle Book' tribes illegally evicted from tiger reserve

The Ecologist

14th January 2015

Indigenous forest dwellers in India's iconic Kanha Tiger Reserve have suffered another round of illegal forced evictions at the hands of the country's Tiger Conservation Authority - a move that is threatening the future of the tigers themselves. more...
The Government displaces small farmers, imposes outsiders, robs our resources, divides our peoples - leave us in peace! Photo: Asoquimbo.

El Quimbo, Colombia: Enel-Endesa's 'low carbon' hydroelectric racket

Philippa de Boissière

13th January 2015

For the world's multinational corporations, the climate crisis is just another business opportunity, writes Philippa de Boissière. One example is Enel-Endesa's 'climate friendly' 217m high El Quimbo dam in Colombia - a huge exercise in expropriation at taxpayer expense, backed by police violence against strong local resistance. more...
Photo: Lisa Ruokis via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Action, not excuses, needed on population and migration

Simon Ross

7th January 2015

There are no good reasons for not acting on population and migration, writes Simon Ross. It's time to tackle the issues head on and openly to challenge the excuses for doing nothing - or for acting only indirectly to reduce population growth, by raising the status of women in high fertility countries. more...
Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) by Noel Reynolds via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

The other reason I joined UKIP - to save our nightingales!

Mark Reckless MP

1st January 2015

When Tory MP Mark Reckless jumped ship to join UKIP last September, one of his reasons - missed by mainstream media - was his outrage at Medway Council's plan to build 5,000 houses on an internationally important sanctuary for nightingales, after ministers tipped the wink that they would 'green-light' the scheme. more...
England's nightingales have suffered a 90% population crash in 40 years, but Medway Council has decided that its 'protected' SSSI sanctuary is fair game for development. Photo: John Bridges / RSPB.

Nightingales at risk as housebuilding threatens 'protected' SSSI breeding site

Robin McKie, the Guardian Environment

1st January 2015

Disaster threatens England's nightingales, already down 90% in 40 years, if ministers fail to block a plan to build 5,000 homes on SSSI breeding site in Kent. But as Robin McKie writes, the government is showing no sign of intervening, as campaigners warn of an 'open season' for development on our most important wildlife sites. more...
Fishing boats on Sasyk Lyman were abandoned following the collapse of its marine fishery. Photo: Dimeter Kenarov.

A failed Soviet irrigation project brings eco-apocalypse to SE Ukraine

Dimiter Kenarov

29th December 2014

In 1976, it looked like a good idea: to divert the waters of the Danube into a salt-water lagoon on Ukraine's Black Sea coast, and irrigate millions of hectares of arid steppe land, writes Dimiter Kenarov. But the result has been human and environmental disaster on an epic scale. more...
Peruvian police defend Glencore from a demonstration.

Glencore Xstrata and corporate power in Peru

Aldo Orellana Lopez and Philippa de Boissière

27th December 2014

A new wave of ruthless conquistadors has arrived in Peru, write Aldo Orellana Lopez and Philippa de Boissière - global corporations after minerals, oil, gas, timber, land ... And instead of brandishing the Bible and the sword, they proclaim high sounding policies on environment and human rights, while co-opting police and politicians in their pillage of resources. more...
Alana Husby with local Kuna indigenous women.

Logging the flooded forests of Panama: Alana Husby

Kate Monson

9th January 2015

Alana Husby has sawdust in her blood. A fifth generation log and lumber person from Canada, she was ‘flipping wood' as a teenager, and now she's in Panama running the region's biggest underwater logging company, employing local Kuna Indians to fish tree trunks out of flooded forests. Kate Monson met Alana in Oxford while negotiating a 'green' timber deal ... more...
FAO - it's not a forest! Miles after mile of Eucalyptus plantation in South Africa. Photo: Steve Slater via Flickr CC-BY.

FAO - a plantation is not a forest!

Via Campesina and many more

26th December 2014

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization's definition of 'forest' includes commercial plantations of fast growing trees - often replacing biodiverse native forests relied on by local communities. FAO must stop using this mis-definition to claim that forests are expanding, when the reverse is the case. more...
Stonehenge itself may benefit from the tunneling - but at the expense of the its wider landscape in the 27 sq.km World Heritage Site. Photo: Todd via Flickr.

Stonehenge World Heritage Site at risk from A303 tunnel plans

Kate Fielden

13th December 2014

The government's plans to tunnel the A303 under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has one grievous flaw, writes Kate Fielden. The tunnel is too short, so huge portals and graded junctions at both ends would lie entirely within the WHS causing huge damage to landscape and wipe out archaeological remains. more...
Photo: Vladimir Pustovit via Flickr, CC-BY.

Population matters. Women matter more

Biff Vernon

30th December 2014

Of course rising world population matters, writes Biff Vernon, due to its impact on the planet and its resources. But to actually do something about it, don't even mention the 'p' word. Instead let's cut back on our wasteful, high-consumption lifestyles - and empower women everywhere! more...

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At COP20 in Lima, Indigenous protestors from Saweto in the Peruvian Amazon protest at ongoing land grabs and murder of their leadeat the COP20 in Lima, Peru. Photo: Luka Tomacrs / Friends of the Earth International.

COP20 and corporate power - destroying the edifice of false climate solutions

Alexander Reid Ross

10th December 2014

Peru, notorious for its brutal exploitation of forests, oil and minerals, theft of indigenous lands and murder of eco-defenders, is an unlikely host for the COP20 climate talks, writes Alexander Reid Ross. Except that Peru's actions reflect the corporate land-grabbing agenda manifest in the false solutions on offer in Lima this week. It's a time for resistance, not compromise! more...
A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

COP20 host Peru claims forest 'leadership' - while attacking forest protectors

AIDESEP / Forest Peoples Programme

8th December 2014

Peru's government is actively undermining indigenous peoples' efforts to protect their forests - by refusing to title 20 million hectares of their lands and turning a blind eye to illegal logging. At the same time it's handing out vast concessions for oil, gas, mining and timber exploitation, expanding palm oil production and planning 50 major forest-flooding dams. more...
A Matsé leader in the Peruvian Amazon pledges to attack oil workers intruding into the tribe's territory with spears, bows and arrows. Photo: David Hill.

'It's war!' Peru-Brazil indigenous people pledge to fight Amazon oil exploration

David Hill

8th December 2014

Peru - host of the COP20 UN climate conference now under way in Lima - is facing rebellion by a 3,500 strong indigenous people deep in the Amazon committed to fighting oil exploration in their forest territory, writes David Hill, following the government's failure to consult Matsés communities or respect their rights. more...
'And now my friends, my cousins, died for this wood.' Photo: still from 'Our Fight' by Handcrafted Films.

How long can Norway ignore Peru's indigenous rights violations?

Chris Lang

10th December 2014

The COP20 host, Peru's President Humala, certainly talked the talk on indigenous rights last September when he signed a $300 million deal with Norway. But his violations of indigenous rights, 'hands off' approach to murders of indigenous leaders and recent unguarded comments betray his true sentiments. more...
Torched Senger homes. Photo: Dean Puckett.

Kenya: a forest people illegally evicted, beaten, imprisoned - paid for by the World Bank

Dean Puckett / REDD Monitor

7th December 2014

Financed by the World Bank, the Kenya Forest Service has intensified its illegal campaign of evictions, arson, beatings and arrests of the Sengwer forest people of the Embobut forest, Dean Puckett reports from the Cherangani Hills. And behind the violence lies the lure of hard cash - from the prospect of selling the forest's carbon to international financiers. more...
The forest territories of the Amazon's indigenous peoples are essential for their own survival, their biodiversity, and the carbon they contain. But their precious lands are under growing threat. Photo: Gleilson Miranda/Governo do Acre / Wikimedia Commons

Amazon tribes' forests are a vital carbon sink

Tim Radford

5th December 2014

As land rights of indigenous peoples are increasingly being violated, writes Tim Radford, new research shows that the planned destruction of the Amazon rainforest is a major threat not only to cultural identity but also to the global climate. more...
Coming to honeybees in North America and Europe, a new parasite helped on its way by warmer summers. Photo: Smudge 9000, CC BY-SA.

Bee crisis: warmer summers will help new parasite

Robert Paxton

30th December 2014

An exotic parasite is spreading through the world's honey bees and global warming is making it worse, writes Robert Paxton. A new study that shows it will soon be causing widespread colony collapse in North America and Europe. more...
Stephen Corry. Portrait by Wolfgang Schmidt / Survival.

Stephen Corry: conservation must work with, not against, indigenous peoples

Alice Bayer

29th November 2014

From the creation of the very first national parks and game reserves, 'conservation' has always been about repressing and expropriating indigenous tribes, Survival International director Stephen Corry told Alice Bayer. And despite all the evidence that indigenous peoples are the best wildlife managers, old attitudes die hard ... more...
Solar reflectors being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project. Photograph: Dana Smillie / World Bank.

World Bank to focus on 'all forms of renewable energy'

John Vidal / the Guardian

25th November 2014

The president of the World Bank has promised to back out of financing coal developments, and instead target its finance at 'every dimension of renewable energy' under a new climate-friendly strategy. more...
Zekiye Ozdemir and Gulseren Caliskan, both 70, maintain their daily vigil directly in front of a large iron police barrier  at the construction site on the edge of Validebag Grove, Istanbul. Photo: Nick Ashdown.

'Fake environmentalists' battle for Istanbul's last forest

Nick Ashdown

26th November 2014

After Gezi Park, another battle for one of Istanbul's increasingly rare green spaces is raging, writes Nick Ashdown - and this time it's on the city's Asian side. Demonstrators are holding a 24-hour vigil on the edge of an 'illegal' construction site at Validebag Grove - despite having been repeatedly detained and attacked by police. more...
Photo: Indian Coastguard via Survival.

Illegal fishermen endanger world's most isolated tribe

The Ecologist

20th November 2014

The last completely isolated tribe on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal is at risk from illegal fishing, with Burmese boats entering their waters and fishermen landing on their island home. But they had better watch out - two intruders were shot dead with arrows in 2006. more...
Massacre by Burmese army

Explaining Burma's missing 9 million people - evaporation, or genocide?

Guy Horton

20th November 2014

The best way to deal with embarrassing, inconvenient facts is to ignore them, writes Guy Horton. And this is precisely what the international community is doing over Burma's demographic anomaly - 9 million people who ought to be there, but aren't. Their absence is prima facie evidence of genocide - but as we all celebrate the 'brave new Burma', no one wants to know. more...
Digital Green records a discussion on best agronomic practice with an Ethiopian farmer for dissemination among his peers. Photo: Digital Green.

New technologies can help poor farmers - just not the ones you're thinking of

Tony Juniper

18th November 2014

Modern technology has a lot to offer small farmers in poor countries, writes Tony Juniper - just not the GMOs and pesticides that are widely touted. But how about film, digital communications and smart phones? These new media can empower farmers and allow them to share knowledge and experience of how to produce more, from less. more...

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