VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Tag archives for deforestation

Can Field Data and Science Save the Bornean Orang-utan?

In the Malaysian State of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, the current Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, has declared that all forests containing orang-utan populations must be protected. If this can be achieved, and then replicated across Borneo, it would provide a beacon of hope for the island’s iconic orang-utans so that generations to come can still have the thrill of seeing a gentle hairy red giant peering down at them from the forest canopy above.

Tracking Tigers Is Just As Dangerous As It Sounds

Matthew Luskin is a conservation biologist, wildlife ecologist, and National Geographic grantee. He spent a year in the rain forest of Indonesia tracking tigers through the remaining three largest national parks—and it was seriously dangerous. “When there’s a tiger around you can’t sleep. You can barely eat. You can’t do anything because all you are…

Magic and Menace in the Moskitia

By Jeremy Radachowsky

Today I am joining colleagues from the Honduran park service, ICF, for a flight over the Moskitia – the second largest forest in Central America and the largest protected areas complex in Honduras. We are here to help ICF with strategies to protect the cornerstone of this vast forest – the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated as “In Danger.” Also in danger are the reserve’s rangers and the indigenous Miskitu, Tawakha, and Pech communities that hold territorial rights in the reserve’s cultural zone.

The Maya Forest: From the Underworld to the Sky

We are here to fly. Today we begin our 5,000-mile “megaflyover” through Central America to document the state of the region’s great forests, starting in the vast Maya Forest of Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. We are interested in preserving these forests not only for the vital services they provide to humanity, but also because they provide habitat for some of the world’s most impressive wildlife, including the jaguar, Baird’s tapir, and scarlet macaws.

Paris’s Shortcomings: We Need Conservation, Not Conversation

By the time the Paris Agreement reaches full power in 2020, we may have lost another 1.5 billion acres of tropical forest.

A Guide to Saving One of the Last Great Ecosystems

iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton Photography sends us another article from his valuable and eye-opening work in Indonesia, documenting the devastation brought to this country and its wildlife by palm oil plantations.

Paris Climate Talks: The 21st Time Must Be the Charm

We are issuing the Polar Bear Is Not Alone graphic today in support of efforts at COP21. Our graphic depicts how the polar bear, long the symbol warning us about climate change, is not alone. Joining the bear is a farmer in California, communities in Papua New Guinea, the migrating bar-tailed godwit, the quiver tree of Southern Africa, and other forms of life across the globe. Not only must we curtail carbon emissions to slow the rate of climate change; we need to help both wildlife and humans adapt to the impacts of change by ensuring the protection of functioning ecosystems and the services they provide that support all life on our planet. We must be emissions smart and adaptation sharp.

The Forgotten Elephants of the Leuser Ecosystem

The future of the critically endangered Sumatran elephant hangs on a thread. Palm oil plantations have converted 90 percent of prime Sumatran elephant habitat to a monoculture desert. The lowland rainforests of the Leuser Ecosystem are the world’s best remaining habitat for the Sumatran elephant yet they are being bulldozed, often illegally, for palm oil everyday.

World on Path to Miss 2C Target

Plans submitted by world’s top polluters won’t limit global warming to the 2-degree Celsius threshold recommended by the United Nations, according to the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a tool developed by a consortium of four European research organizations. In a report released last week at climate talks in Bonn ahead of the U.N. climate conference…

Protecting Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Conserving Biodiversity

By Lilian Painter

On August 9 the world will commemorate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year the focus is on health and wellbeing. That topic engages me particularly as a conservationist working in the Amazon. The Bolivia program of WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has shown that the interests of indigenous peoples and conservation are not only compatible but also dependent on each other.

The Foundations of our Forests

Louise Egerton-Warburton, Ph.D. Conservation Scientist, Soil and Microbial Ecology, Chicago Botanic Garden Characterized by warm temperatures, high rainfall and a 365-day growing season, tropical rainforests are an unparalleled display of biodiversity. These impressive and unique ecosystems provide resources we need – from shelter to medicines to food – while releasing oxygen, cycling and filtering water, and…

Orangutan Rescue in the Land of the Chainsaw

As Sumatra’s rainforests get bulldozed to make way for oil palm plantations, large mammals like the Sumatran Orangutan get trapped in ever decreasing pockets of forest, from which they need to be rescued for their health and safety.

Climate Hopelessness is a Work of Fiction

Fiction writer Jonathan Franzen’s latest essay for The New Yorker on the hopelessness of climate change opens with a complaint about new football stadium being built for the Minnesota Vikings. The stadium will be built with glass walls that pose a lethal hazard to the thousands of birds flying through the area. But instead of…

Lessons from São Paulo’s Water Shortage

It’s getting harder and harder to separate nature’s role in disasters from our own, and the dire water predicament confronting São Paulo, Brazil, is no exception. But as with the ongoing drought in California, there are important lessons from São Paulo’s grim situation that can help us prepare for the “new normal” that’s unfolding. It’s…

Poachers of Pangolins

The pangolin is the world’s most highly-traded mammal, with more than a million being poached from the wild over the last decade, but most people are not aware such an animal even exists. iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton urges us to pay attention to the decimation of the pangolin, before it is too late.