The Ecologist

 

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Riverside rainforest in the Congo basin. Photo: Paul Godard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest

Tim Radford

16th January 2017

A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades. more...
Evicted from their forests for a flawed model of conservation: Baka 'Pygmies' in the Cameroon forest. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

OECD takes up complaint that WWF has funded abuses of Cameroon's forest peoples

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

12th January 2017

The OECD is pursuing a complaint that WWF has funded abuses against the indigenous forest-dwelling Baka or 'Pygmy' peoples of Cameroon, after determining that its human rights guidelines do apply to WWF owing to the 'commercial nature' of its conservation activities. more...

Ecologist Special Report: Impending vote on the Canada trade deal which forced tar sands on Europe

Mark Dearn

11th January 2017

EU-Canada trade deal CETA, like its more well-known ‘evil twin' deal, TTIP, is a new form of trade deal which targets the removal of social, health and environmental regulations, locks in privatisation of public services and introduces a ‘corporate court' system so big business across North America can sue European governments in a private justice system. Worse still, CETA will worsen runaway climate change warns MARK DEARN more...
Submerged valley near Foel, Wales. Should farmers consider switching to growing rice in their flooded fields? Photo: Jonathan Pagel via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!

Anna Bowen

9th January 2017

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution. more...
New regulations to protect Indonesia's peatlands - like this swamp forest under conversion to plantation - are doomed to failure. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indonesia's plans to protect its peatland forests are fatally flawed

Yuyun Indradi / Greenpeace Indonesia

9th January 2017

Indonesia's plans to meet its Paris Agreement obligations by protecting its swamp forests, the world's biggest land reservoir of carbon, have been acclaimed by the world's press, writes Yuyun Indradi. But they contain so many loopholes and flawed compromises that - unless radically reformed - they are doomed to certain failure. more...

LUSH ethical cosmetics company launches a new Spring Prize fund for regenerative projects

LUSH cosmetics

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. more...
Blazing a trail? The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert SW of Las Vegas - has a capacity of 392 MW. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Never mind Trump - the global energy transition is racing forward

Jeremy Leggett

3rd January 2017

As the new year begins, the global clean energy transition is progressing much faster than most people realise, and is probably irreversible, writes Jeremy Leggett. President-elect Trump's prospects of revitalising the US coal industry, and giving the oil and gas industry the expansionist dream ticket it wants, are very low. more...

Ecologist Special Report - Protecting the Masaai Pastoralists

Thembi Mutch & Ebe Daems

20th December, 2016

The proposed Bio-Cultural and Nagoya Protocols should help better protect the livelihoods and inherent value of Tanzania's pastoralists but only if they are ratified and actually incorporated into Tanzanian law. THEMBI MUTCH & EBE DAEMS report more...
Google's not playing about: its commitment to run its data centres around the world on 100% renewable energy represents a systemic shift. Photo: Google's London offices by Marcin Wichary via Flickr (CC BY).

Trump, carbon neutrality and the next phase of business sustainability

Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

14th December 2016

The President-elect may be determined to lead America down an environmentally damaging path, writes Andrew J. Hoffman. But he may find few in the corporate world, where a growing number of major players are committed to eliminating CO2 emissions and making sustainability a core element of their business systems and supply chains, leading to global green transformation. more...
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation Rex W. Tillerson. Photo: premier.gov.ru via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson new US Secretary of State?

Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog

12th December 2016

President-elect Trump's widely anticipated appointment of Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson as new US Secretary of State is creating a government of, by, and for the oil and gas industry, writes Steve Horn. more...
Bigor longhouse with land cleared for oil palm in the background. Photo: Sophie Chao.

Malaysia: the Murut struggle against palm oil, for land and life

Sophie Chao

12th December 2016

Supported by state and national governments, palm oil plantations are advancing over the rainforest hills of Sabah, Malaysia, writes Sophie Chao. In their way: the indigenous Murut of Bigor, whose culture, livelihood and very lives are under threat as forests and farms fall to chainsaws and bulldozers, enriching loggers and distant investors beyond the dreams of avarice. more...
Tensions on the bridge at Standing Rock. Photo: Colin Samson, Author provided.

Civil liberties of indigenous people illegally suppressed at Standing Rock

Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna

9th December 2016

The US is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, write Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna. Both require free, prior and informed consent for any intrusions on indigenous lands and stipulate that indigenous peoples shall own and control their traditional lands. The US is violating both at Standing Rock. more...

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Tina Rothery of The Nanas on an anti-fracking protest. Photo: The Nanas.

Cuadrilla - drop your £55,000 claim against Lancashire fracking 'Nana'!

Oliver Tickell

8th December 2016

A Lancashire grandmother is to appear in a Preston court tomorrow to defend a £55,000 claim pressed by fracking company Cuadrilla and its CEO Francis Egan for the costs of an eviction that never even took place, writes Oliver Tickell. Now a campaign calling on Cuadrilla to drop its unjust and oppressive legal action is gaining momentum - and its Egan who's on the defensive. more...
Bovine TB is above all about the cows themselves, and on-farm biosecurity (or the lack of it). Cattle in a farmyard in Pancross, Wales. Photo: Ben Salter via Flickr (CC BY).

Badger cull free TB eradication in Wales and Northern Ireland? The science demands it!

Lesley Docksey

6th December 2016

Al available science indicates that badgers have little if anything to do with bovine TB in cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. This is reflected in Wales's consultation on its 'refreshed TB Eradication Programme'. We must hope that Northern Ireland's bTB Eradication Strategy will be equally science based - and ready to campaign hard if it relies on cruel, ineffective and expensive badger culls. more...
'Entry forbidden - Law number 26834 - Law number 28736 - Zone of restricted access owing to the presence of indigenous peoples living in isolation'. Sign in the Manu National Park, Peru. Photo: oarranzli via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Amazon: rainforest road threatens Peru's last isolated tribes

Oliver Tickell

1st December 2016

Peru's Congress may soon approve a road through remote rainforest which is home to the country's last uncontacted tribes. The link to the Inter-Oceanic highway would open the area up to land grabs, wood cutting and gold mining, and expose vulnerable indigenous people to diseases to which they have no immunity. more...
Flaring at the Scott Township fracking well, Pennsylvania. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Climate? What climate? IEA backs fossil-fuelled future

Oliver Tickell

30th November 2016

The International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook is calling for increased investment in new oil and gas, writes Oliver Tickell, while minimising the fast-growing and ever lower-cost contribution to world energy supply of renewables like wind and solar. more...
Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy at Breezy Point, NY, 11th July 2012. Photo: Lance Corporal Scott Whiting, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune via DVIDSHUB on Flickr (CC BY).

Mr. Trump: your climate policy will impact the lives of of billions - for better or worse

Travis N. Rieder, Johns Hopkins University

30th November 2016

Donald Trump has made some big policy flips since his election victory, writes Travis N. Rieder. But will the flippery extend to climate change? The danger is not just that America's emissions could soar under a Trump Presidency, but that other nations may follow suit. We must work to make sure he recognises his moral responsibility to humanity. The lives of millions depend on it! more...

Australian Greens ready to challenge old advocates over climate change

Maxine Newlands

30th November, 2016

Australian Greens' Leader Richard Di Natale has called for the prospect of a Trump Presidency and a post-Brexit Britain to be the chance to break old alliances and forge new deals to save the planet. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports more...
Traditional agriculture on a farm in Cuba, where organic and agroecological farming now produce most of the nation's food. Photo: Tach_RedGold&Green via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Agroecology versus 'climate smart' - our next big challenge from COP22

Natalie Bennett

30th November 2016

How to make farming 'climate friendly' was one of the hot topics at COP22 in Marrakesh, writes Natalie Bennett, with two contrasting models on show: 'climate smart' agriculture, with its reliance on industrial farming systems; and agroecology, which works with nature to build fertile, high-carbon, moisture-retaining soils, and sustain employment for millions of skilled land workers. more...
A recent demonstration in the British Museum to denounce BP's sponsorship. Photo: Kristian Buus / Art Not Oil.

In the age of Trump, Big Art must cut off Big Oil!

Chris Garrard

29th November 2016

With Trump denying climate change and threatening to reject the Paris Agreement, it's more important than ever for society to hold a firm ethical line, writes Chris Garrard. The last thing we need is our most revered museums and galleries muddying the water by courting the sponsorship of leading climate criminals. more...

Czechs angry at severe water loss caused by Polish mining

Claudia Ciobanu

28th November, 2016

The Turow open-pit lignite mine is drying up water sources on both sides of the Polish-Czech border. In light of plans to expand mining at Turow, Czechs are now rebelling against putting up with damages from a foreign mine they get no benefits from CLAUDIA CIOBANU reports more...
Caleb Behn. Photo: Caleb Behn / Fractured Land.

Caleb Behn: 'After oil & gas, no amount of money can restore your fractured land'

Jen Stout

24th November 2016

The jobs and quick money that fracking can generate may seem initially attractive, indigenous Canadian activist Caleb Behn told Jen Stout on his recent visit to Scotland. But after decades of oil and gas production, the ineradicable legacy is of fractured landscapes and long-term pollution. 'My land is bisected, divided, by pipelines, roads, well sites, pads, all that. It's really hard on my heart.' more...
'Make Climate Great Again' - COP22 in Marrakech presented a strong, united front against President-elect Trump's climate change denialism. Photo: Alex Pfeiffer.

Only 'we the people' can rise above the false promise of COP22

Alexander Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Dirth & Alex Clark

23rd November 2016

The COP22 climate conference in Marrakech was given an impossible mandate: to make the Paris Agreement happen, write Alexander Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Dirth & Alex Clark. But it failed. The task now falls to civil society - and to succeed we must move beyond the alienating discourse of science and diplomacy, and show marginalised communities that climate solutions can also deliver for them. more...
Sônia Guajajara, coordinator of the National Indigenous Association, marching for indigenous rights to health care. Photo: Gert-Peter Bruch / Planète Amazone.

Resisting authoritarianism: Brazil's indigenous victories show the way

Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch

22nd November 2016

Brazil's indigenous peoples rose up against the government's plans to suppress the rights they had fought so hard to win over decades, writes Christian Poirier. Their victory shows the way to defend our achievements and rights: collective struggle, organized response, strong mobilization and ceaseless pressure. more...
Local communities in Pitas are monitoring the area in order to prevent the project from expanding into the remaining 1,000 acres of mangrove forest. The sign reads: Future for indigenous peoples. Photo: Camilla Capasso / FPP.

'Poverty alleviation' shrimp farms destroy mangrove forest, grab indigenous land

Camilla Capasso

17th November 2016

A government-led shrimp farming project meant to tackle extreme poverty in northern Sabah, Malaysian, won local support in 2010 by promising job opportunities for impoverished indigenous communities. Six years on, mangrove forests local people depend on for food, materials and income are closed off and being cleared - but the jobs have yet to materialise. more...

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