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Tag archives for deforestation

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.

Indonesia’s Indigenous Communities Use Ecotourism To Secure the Rights to their Land

From Chandra Kirana in Bogor, Indonesia. Six Indigenous communities have launched an ecotourism initiative that would show off their ancestral forests in a bid to develop alternate economic models that local government in Indonesia could embrace, moving away from extractive industries such as mining and palm oil plantations. The initiative, called GreenIndonesia, would ultimately help…

Under-the-Radar Environmental Stories for 2015: The Furtive Five

Between crazy weather, international events, and global agreements, 2014 was a year in which climate change took center stage. Whether it was a catastrophic drought in California, accelerated ice melting in Antarctica, or even record-breaking heat disrupting the Australian Open, the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world—and people are starting to…

Feeding Conservation: An African Vision for Restoring Biodiversity

By Dale Lewis

Since 2003, the non-profit company Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) has been working in Zambia to help poor farmers improve their skills, grow surpluses, and receive above-market prices for their produce in exchange for meeting conservation targets. In managing the production and sale of these nutritious and chemical-free products, COMACO has committed itself to passing on above-market-price profits to farmers in the form of raw materials if they commit to conservation.

Zookeeper Bando Gen on the shifting relationship between humans and animals

When a shortage of work in the agricultural sector prompted newly qualified veterinarian Bando Gen to accept a job offer at Hokkaido’s Asahiyama Zoo the situation did not look promising. Zoos in Ueno and Yokohama had bought in exotic animals such as sea otters and koalas but Japan’s northernmost zoo, with its dilapidated enclosures and mainly domestic…

Conservationists Playing with Fire

By Julie Kunen

For millennia, tropical civilizations cultivated their crops through a practice known as slash and burn agriculture. In this practice, vegetation is cut down and burned to clear land and improve the soil with the resulting organic matter and nutrients. Fire also kills or drives away pests and encourages the regeneration of grasses in natural pastures. When used over extensive areas in a cycle of planted and fallowed fields, the practice is sustainable. Today, many agricultural communities that lack access to machinery and chemical inputs depend upon fire for their livelihoods, using it to clear and maintain the fertility of agricultural lands and to delimit property boundaries. Yet, fire is also a great danger to humans and there are many risks associated with the use of fire as a land management tool.

You Cannot Save the Climate Without Trees

The People’s Climate March that trumpeted its way through the streets of Manhattan yesterday was led by communities on the front lines of climate change—and Indigenous Peoples were at the forefront of this group.  The tropical forests where they live are not only getting hammered by changing weather patterns, drug traffickers, invasive pests, and massive…

Who Will Save the Last Primary Forests on Earth?

By Brendan Mackey and James Watson

It’s now or never if the world’s surviving primary forests are to be saved. Will the international community act or continue to turn a blind eye to our planet’s key life support systems? Despite their shortcomings, international environmental agreements can provide incentives for national governments and land custodians to turn back the tide of forest destruction. Primary forests, however, remain invisible in forest policy debates and oddly off the radar for most conservation organizations.

Poaching Crisis in Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem

iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton went on patrol with Leuser Conservation Forum Rangers and Aceh forestry staff trekking 60 to 70 kilometers into the Soraya district of the Leuser Ecosystem, Sumatra, Indonesia. In the 5 days that he was with them he helped the FKL rangers destroy 12 snares, as well as caught up with poachers, carrying ropes and cables to set more snares. The rangers work hard to convince the poachers there are better alternatives to committing these crimes and they report them to local authorities, but without more funding to really revolutionize law enforcement here, the poaching crisis is only going to get worse.

The Penan Hunter-Gatherers of Sarawak

For the Penan of Sarawak’s rainforest, the raucous call of the white-crowned hornbill has long heralded dawn. Today, however, they are just as likely to be woken by the sound of chainsaws and falling trees. The tropical rainforest of Sarawak in Borneo, East Malaysia, is one of the most biologically rich forests on earth. It…

March 30, 2014: Skiing Everest, Mission Blue, Search for Michael Rockefeller, Violent Animal Reproduction, and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests try to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, figure out if Mother Nature is really trying to kill you, ski off the seven summits including Everest, look inside the city of Damascus during the Syrian War, dive into Mission Blue with Sylvia Earle, look at how much food we waste each year, take a walk on the surface of Mars, and find out what we should pack on a camping trip.

December 23, 2013: Meeting Mr. Everest, Singing Songs in Space and More

This week on National Geographic, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they summit Everest seven times, train for an Antarctic speed record, chase water while dodging cats in Africa, sing along with an astronaut, and overcome a traumatic brain injury.