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Denounced to the police for illegal logging, but no action taken - Señor Adeuzo Mapes Rodríguez, aka 'Capelon'.

Peru: indigenous leaders murdered for protecting their forests

The Ecologist

18th November 2014

As Peru prepares to host UN climate talks, Global Witness exposes the murder of Peruvian eco-defenders - 57 killed since 2002, including indigenous leaders protecting their forests from illegal logging ignored by police and Government. more...
The view from Port Meadow, before and after. Original photos from Save Port Meadow.

Oxford University must put right the damage it has caused

Matthew Sherrington

14th November 2014

The country's first ever retrospective EIA finds that eight five-storey accommodation blocks built by Oxford University caused 'substantial' damage to historic views of the City's dreaming spires, writes Matthew Sherrington. Planners and University want to 'learn lessons' and move on - but campaigners are determined to cut the carbuncles down to size ... more...
The Golden Oriole is one of the birds set to benefit from the protection of the Aftrica-Eurasia Flyway. Photo: m-idre31 via Flickr.

New protection for migratory birds and their 'flyways'

The Ecologist

14th November 2014

Two new international agreements will help to save migratory birds from hunting, trapping and poisoning, and to protect their long-distance flyways. A key objective is to phase out lead shot within three years, and eliminate the toxic drug diclofenac. more...
The Carajas railroad, almost 900km long, connects the Grande Carajas iron and manganese mine in the heart of the Amazon to coastal port of San Luis.

Brazil - 10% of national parks and indigenous lands face mining threat

Luke Parry

7th November 2014

Legislation put forward by Brazil's re-elected President Dilma Rousseff would open up to 10% of protected areas to mining, writes Luke Parry. The effect would be to gut nature conservation in Brazil, already in a perilous state due to underfunding and growing pressure for the development of mines, dams, farms and plantations. more...
Local flora in Anosy.

Andrew Lees - 20 years after his last mission to Madagascar

Yvonne Orengo

31st December 2014

This day 20 years ago one of Britain's most committed and effective environmental campaigners died trying to save a coastal forest in southern Madagascar from mining, writes Yvonne Orengo. The world has been a poorer place without Andrew Lees - and his fears for the Petriky forest and local indigenous communities have been proved all too close to the mark. more...
Saved - for now. Hopwas Woods, Staffordshire. Photo: James Broad / Woodland Trust.

Ancient Woodland saved from quarrying

Oliver Tickell

31st October 2014

Lafarge Tarmac has withdrawn its bid to quarry Hopwas Woods following a huge local and national campaign. It's a victory to celebrate - but as the Woodland Trust points out, it also shows that none of our ancient woodland is truly safe from destructive development. more...
An enormous plantation cut from the Liberian rainforest. Photo: Chulius Caesar via Flickr.

Oil palm explosion driving West Africa's Ebola outbreak

Richard Kock

29th October 2014

The medical response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been monstrously inadequate, writes Richard Kock. But so has been recognition of the underlying causes - in particular the explosive spread of industrial oil palm, which disrupts the ecology of forests and farms, and undermines local economy and traditional governance, leading to a 'perfect storm' of disease. more...
Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity

Daniel Macmillen

26th October 2014

Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier. more...
A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

Peru: Amazon Indians sue government to title indigenous lands

The Ecologist

28th October 2014

Peruvian law requires the government to recognise indigenous peoples's ownership of their lands. Yet 594 communities with claims to 20 million hectares of land remain with no secure title - leaving their forests open to illegal logging, plantations and settlement. Now one village is taking its demands to the courts. more...
The Balbina Dam reservoir. Photo: via Greenpeace.

Brazil's giant dam programme is a climate disaster

Helle Abelvik-Lawson / Greenpeace

28th October 2014

Brazil's newly elected Dilma Rousseff is committed to completing the disastrous Belo Monte dam, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. Worse, she looks certain to press ahead with the industrialisation of the Amazon, with 61 hydroprojects in the pipeline. And new scientific findings about the massive climate impacts of tropical forest dams are not about to stop her. more...
A soldier speaks to villagers in 2012 as they are being evicted from Kratie province’s Chhlong district. Photo: Heng Chivoan / Phnom Penh Post.

ICC told: Cambodia land-grabbing is 'crime against humanity'

Kevin Ponniah / Phnom Penh Post

21st October 2014

A British lawyer has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court, writes Kevin Ponniah, alleging that a wave of violent land-grabbing that has displaced 770,000 people has been carried out by Cambodia's ruling elite, and that it amounts to a crime against humanity. more...
The Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) has declined by 88% since 1995, due to multiple causes: habitat loss in Africa; disease in its UK breeding grounds, and hunting between the two. Photo: Alan Shearman via Flickr.

African habitat loss driving migrating birds' decline

The Ecologist

16th October 2014

A new report reveals huge declines in the UK's migratory birds that winter deep in Africa's rainforests. Shorter distance migrants are performing much better, with some recording big population increases. more...

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Indigenous land-owners living comfortably in a land of fire in Arnhem Land. Photo: John Woinarski.

Australia's outback is globally important for its biodiversity - and its people

John Woinarski

20th October 2014

Almost three quarters of Australia's landmass is 'outback', writes John Woinarski, making it one of our planet's greatest natural areas. Yet it has many of the hallmarks of a 'failed state': its native peoples live on the margins, and its biodiversity is under threat. Now a new conservation model shows a way forward for both: Indigenous Protected Areas. more...
Tribal peoples are the best conservationists. Yet they are being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of tiger 'conservation'. Photo: © Sandip Dey

India: tiger reserve tribes face illegal eviction

The Ecologist

14th October 2014

A tribal community within India's Similipal tiger reserve is facing eviction after forest department officials tricked and coerced villagers into signing a document in which they promised to leave. Complaints to the state's Human Rights Commission have been ignored. more...
The summit of Hawaii's 'sacred mountain', Mauna Kea. Now an even larger telescope is to be built there. Photo: Markus Jöbstl  via Flickr.

Native Hawaiians protest 'sacred mountain' telescope

The Ecologist

7th October 2014

Native Hawaiians and others are gathering today for a peaceful protest at the ground-breaking ceremony for a huge new telescope on the 4,207 meter summit of Hawaii's 'sacred mountain', Mauna Kea. more...
The women of the village of Akbarpura in Alwar District, Rajasthan, have formed a self help microfinancing group. They meet every fortnight and collect money from each of their members on which they give out small loans - for a new buffallo or a water-pum

Loan sharking and microfinance: What's the difference?

David Hulme & Mathilde Maitrot

7th October 2014

Microfinance - lending poor people small sums to capitalise sustainable, profitable livelihoods and businesses - is widely lauded as a 'good thing'. And at its best, so it is. But some micro-lenders in south Asia operate with the methods, and ethics, of loan sharks, write David Hulme & Mathilde Maitrot. Can microfinance save its soul? more...

Extreme Inequality

Mark Goldring

6th October 2014

The massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of a few people presents a significant threat to democracy and wellbeing. Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, calls for a more progressive agenda for the redistribution of wealth. more...
Commercial agriculture is creating an uncertain future for tribes like the ancient Hamer. Photo: Matthew Newsome.

Ethiopian tribes' ancient ways threatened by UK-backed sugar project

Matthew Newsome

10th October 2014

A massive sugar plantation and up to 700,000 migrant workers will occupy almost 2,000 sq.km of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, with the help of British aid finance. But the valley's native inhabitants have been given no choice in the matter, and are being forced to abandon their homes, lands, cattle, and entire way of life, or go to jail. more...
Uvinye villagers sheltering from the midday sun. Photo: Alejandra Orozco-Quintero.

Uvinje, Tanzania - an indigenous community erased in the name of conservation

Alejandra Orozco-Quintero

3rd October 2014

A small fishing community in Tanzania is the victim of a land grab carried out by powerful national park officials using inaccurate maps, writes Alejandra Orozco-Quintero - even though they are part of a long-standing, successful conservation partnership. Is it all to make way for a high-end tourism development? more...
Homes of Sengwer people stand burning in Embobut, Kenya. Photo: Forest Peoples Programme.

World Bank 'failing to protect Kenya forest dwellers'

John Vidal / The Guardian

30th September 2014

The eviction of Kenya's Sengwer forest people in a World Bank financed project was a failure of the Bank's duty to protect indigenous people, according to an internal report. The Bank's directors are to decide on how to respond today - but if they follow their own management's advice, the evictions will continue. more...
The Indigenous Peoples of Russia's Siberian region are among those opposed to oil development in the Arctic. Is that why officials blocked their representatives from attending the indigenous summit in New York? Photo: Irina Kazanskaya via Flickr.

Russia: officials block indigenous leaders from UN Assembly

The Ecologist

26th September 2014

Why so few Russian representatives at the UN's World Conference on Indigenous Peoples? Officials prevented activists - some opposing Arctic oil development - from leaving the country, damaging passports and detaining them so they missed their planes. more...
The challenge is to ensure that her voice, and those of millions of other indigenous people, does not get drowned out by economic and political power. A woman from the Ndebele tribe in Kwadlaulale Market, South Africa. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flic

Indigenous women versus men of power: the real dispute at the UN

Lisa VeneKlasen

24th September 2014

Both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit have taken place at the UN this week, writes Lisa VeneKlasen - each producing their lofty declarations. But what really matters is whose voices are being heard, and will be acted on, in a profound clash of worldviews. more...
A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as 'indigenous', which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects.

World Bank to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Irin News

16th September 2014

The World Bank is considering 'reforms' to its policies to protect indigenous peoples from the impacts of projects it finances that would devolve key decisions to national governments - such as whether an ethnic group is 'indigenous' at all. If passed by the Bank's Board, the changes would strip away a raft of essential human rights protections.. more...
Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon

Oliver Tickell

11th September 2014

Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger. more...
Amaranth amongst the the corn plants. It is traditional in Oaxaca, to grow crops in the same field. This is called the ‘milpa system'. Photo: Anna Bruce.

Amaranth revival - Mexican farmers rediscover an ancient superfood

Anna Bruce

25th October 2014

Mexico's conquistadors outlawed amaranth - a highly nutritious seed farmed by the indigenous peoples for millennia - due to its use in religious rituals. But it's now being hailed as a 'superfood', writes Anna Bruce, and a growing number of Mexican campesinos are once again cultivating the 'noble plant' among their corn, squash and beans. more...

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