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Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons.

The rosewood massacre - China must act

Zuzana Burivalova

23rd July 2014

Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover. more...
Smoke from Russian forest fires obscures the Sun in 2010. Photo: Ximonic, Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons.

Climate inaction could cost Europe 200,000 lives a year

Tim Radford

16th July 2014

A failure to act to reduce the impacts of climate change could cost Europe almost €200 billion and 200,000 lives a year, writes Tim Radford. These 'conservative estimates' are published in a new European Commission study. more...
A tobacco farmer in Marondera District, Zimbabwe. Photo: Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture.

Tobacco - Zimbabwe's forests are going up in smoke

Ray Mwareya

22nd July 2014

A flood of smallholders that have benefited from Zimbabwe's land reform are turning to tobacco as their crop of choice, reports Ray Mwareya. But the economic gains are coming at a terrible cost - the accelerating destruction of the country's forests. more...
Smartphone tracking device ready for installing high in the forest canopy. Photo: Rainforest Connection (RFCx).

Recycled phones drive new wildlife protection technology

Alex Kirby

7th July 2014

Networks of recycled smartphones are powering a crack down on illegal logging and poaching, writes Alex Kirby. The technology will help combat devastation of trees and wildlife in threatened habitats worldwide - beginning with Africa. more...
The Bakun dam under construction. Photo: pHotosHo0x via Flickr.

Borneo mega-dams threaten indigenous 'ethnocide'

Amanda Stephenson

30th June 2014

Massive dams in Sarawak, Malaysia, threaten to flood over 2,000 square kilometers of the world's oldest rainforests, displace 10,000s of indigenous people, and aggravate climate change, writes Amanda Stephenson - all to generate electricity that no one wants. more...
Hauling sweet chestnut roundwood up the steep include. Photo: Moulsecoomb Forest Garden.

A green building in a green forest shade

Jan Goodey

28th June 2014

A Sussex-based forest gardening project has overcome adversity to celebrate its 20th anniversary, writes Jan Goodey. And now it features one of the most eco of eco-builds in Britain, using all local timber, clay, straw ... and wine bottles. more...
Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. Photo: Neerav Bhatt via Flickr.

Tasmania's forests will remain World Heritage

Tom Fairman & Rod Keenan

27th June 2014

UNESCO has refused to 'de-list' 74,000 hectares of the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area as requested by the Tasmanian and Australian governments, following a 'feeble' presentation. more...
The Navarre Plains are one of the areas under debate, and are an important site of glacial geology. Photo: Kevin Kiernan.

Tasmania's World Heritage debate must look beyond the trees

Kevin Kiernan

23rd June 2014

With Australia's still trying to 'de-list' 74,000 hectares of forest from the Tasmania Wilderness World Heritage Area, Kevin Kierman reminds us that it's not just about the trees. No less important are the area's unique geology, and ancient Aboriginal cultural sites. more...
Hands Off Our Forest protest in the Forest of Dean, 2011. Photograph by John F French.

Save our public lands and forests

Owen Adams

23rd June 2014

First the Government failed to include a Forests Bill in its legislative programme, writes Owen Adams. Next, campaigners spotted that the Infrastructure Bill enables a wholesale selloff of public lands. Just how safe are Britain's public lands and forests? more...
The Kurilsky nature reserve. One of many areas where the Russian government has bent the rules. Photo: CC Igor Shpilenok.

Russia's wildlife protector is on a mission of destruction

Mikhail Kreindlin

5th July 2014

Russia is rich in nature reserves and national parks, writes Mikhail Kreindlin. But the government body meant to be protecting them is in fact promoting logging, building and mining projects. Conservationists are fighting back, but the odds are stacked against them. more...
Snow on Mountain Pinkberry (Leptecophylla) in the Tasmanian Wilderness. Photo: Tatters ❀ via Flickr.

UNESCO, protect Tasmanian wilderness

Jess Abrahams

18th June 2014

74,000 hectares of Tasmania's native forest wilderness will be opened up to industrial logging, writes Jess Abrahams - if Australia's government succeeds in removing its World Heritage status at a UNESCO meeting now under way in Doha. more...
Davi Koponawa at home in the forest. Photo: Survival International.

Ours is a path of survival for the whole planet

Liam J Shaughnessy

17th June 2014

As the World Cup gets under way in Brazil, Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa told Liam J Shaughnessy about the very different world he inhabits, deep in the Amazon rainforest - a world of bright spirits, ancient knowledge, union with nature. And a world under threat. more...

forest: 25/50 of 329
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The colours of the Sami flag painted on a board at the site of the mine. Photo: Alec Forss.

The resistance is growing! Sami reindeer herders fight giant iron mine

Alec Forss

12th June 2014

A remote corner of Sweden's Arctic forest has become a battleground, writes Alex Forss, over proposals for a huge iron mine that would occupy a key reindeer migration route. And with their cultural and economic survival under threat, it's a battle the Sami cannot afford to lose. more...
The road is up to 60 metres wide. Photo: Finer M, Pappalardo SE, Ferrarese F, De Marchi M (2014) / geoyasuni.org.

Ecuador: oil company has built 'secret' road deep into Yasuni National Park

David Hill

6th June 2014

Ecuador's state oil company PetroAmazonas has, in secret, built a road deep into the heart of the world-famous Yasuni National Park in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, writes David Hill - violating promises and threatening uncontacted indigenous tribes. more...
Beware wolves in sheep's clothing! Photo: public domain.

Beware environmental wolves in sheep's clothing!

William Laurance

9th June 2014

What do the Australian Environment Foundation, the Renewable Energy Foundation and the Global Warming Policy Foundation have in common? They are all fiercely anti-environment, writes William Laurance - and we must beware their 'eco-doublespeak'. more...
A forest web, caught in a passing sunbeam. Photo: Julia Hodgson.

Living symphonies in the forest

Laurence Rose

6th June 2014

A new and deceptively sophisticated installation is about artists, audience and nature itself connecting in real time, writes Laurence Rose, who visited a Living Symphony in Thetford Forest. more...
Back after going missing for more than a century: the New Guinea big-eared bat. Photo: Julie Broken-Brow.

PNG: 'Lost' bat species rediscovered after 120 years in the wilderness

Luke Leung, Julie Broken-Brow & Catherine Hughes

15th June 2014

A 'microbat' that has remained unrecorded since 1890 has been discovered in Papua New Guinea. But with the country's forests under growing pressure from logging and for conversion to plantations, this and thousands of other biological treasures are at risk. more...
A farmer in Lushoto, Tanzania prepares seedlings for transplanting. Photo: P. Kimeli /  CIFOR.

Want to restore the world's forests? Begin with these 'surprising seven' countries

Katie Reytar / WRI

3rd June 2014

There's two billion hectares of land around the world crying out to have their tree cover restored, writes Katie Reytar. But where to begin? Here's seven countries that offer huge reforestation opportunities - and every one of them will take you by surprise ... more...
A hippopotamus on lake Edward, where oil company SOCO is now concluding seismic testing and wildlife surveys. Photo:  weesam2010 via Flickr.

Oil company promises 'no drilling' in Virunga

The Ecologist

11th June 2014

Oil company Soco International is suspending all operations in Virunga World Heritage Site - Africa's oldest national park. It has also committed to keep out of all other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. more...
Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Texas Petroleum Museum rejects 'gifts from Ecuador'

The Ecologist

29th May 2014

The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Texas has ejected two indigenous men from Ecuador and rejected their 'gift' of posters showing rainforest oil pollution. Chevron was holding its annual general meeting at the museum. more...
Looking north over Achnacarry and Torr a Mhuilt. Photo: Arkaig Community Forest.

Caledonian pine forest set for 1,000 ha expansion

The Ecologist

5th June 2014

A unique community purchase of Forestry Commission land in the Highlands will see native Caledonian pinewoods re-established over 1086 hectares of commercial conifer woods planted in the 1970s, complete with relict ancient pines. more...
A Cargill-owned oil palm plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr.

Don't be fooled by 'zero deforestation' promises

Peter Gerhardt

19th May 2014

Multinational paper and palm oil companies are rushing to declare 'zero deforestation' policies. It looks like a huge victory for the rainforests and forest peoples, but Peter Gerhardt asks - what is a no-deforestation promise really worth?" more...
Prey Long Network discover a cache of illegally cut resin trees in Prey Long forest. Photo: Vanessa de Smet 2012

Forest communities fight Cambodia's rosewood bandits

Fran Lambrick

15th May 2014

Cambodia's rainforests are facing destruction from clearance for plantations, and an illegal trade in precious timber, reports Fran Lambrick. Local people who depend on the forest have proved to be its most effective guardians - but they need external support. more...
Horse chestnut leaves and fruits in autumn. A drawing for The New Sylva by Sarah Simblet.

The New Sylva - a celebration of Britain's trees

Colin Tudge

30th May 2014

The New Sylva is a worthy successor to John Evelyn's original of 1644, writes Colin Tudge, with superb line drawings and a text that looks more to the future of Britain's trees, than their past. A book for ladies, gentlemen, 'meer woodsmen' and 'ordinary rusticks' alike. more...
A potential customers at a show of 'hongmu' luxury items made from Siamese rosewood. Photo: EIA.

Steeped in blood - China's trade in Siamese rosewood

The Ecologist

12th May 2014

Precious Siamese rosewood has been illegally logged to the brink of extinction in the Mekong region to feed a voracious demand for luxury furniture in China which leaves a bloody trail of death, violence and corruption in its wake. more...

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