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Panama's anti-narcotics personnel prepare to incinerate 26.2 tons of seized cocaine and marijuana at the Bayano's River mouth area, outskirts of Panama City, on Sept. 20. LUIS ACOSTA / AFP / Getty Images

The cocaine trade and efforts to combat it, including the U.S.-led war on drugs, are helping to drive deforestation in Central America, new research shows.

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Brazil from space. Harvepino / iStock / Getty Images

Norway has urged its companies that actively do business in Brazil to make sure that they are not contributing to destruction of the Amazon rainforest, as Reuters reported.

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The huge surge this year in Amazon deforestation is leading some European countries to think twice about donations to the Amazon Fund. LeoFFreitas / Moment / Getty Images

By Sue Branford and Thais Borges

Ola Elvestrun, Norway's environment minister, announced Thursday that it is freezing its contributions to the Amazon Fund, and will no longer be transferring €300 million ($33.2 million) to Brazil. In a press release, the Norwegian embassy in Brazil stated:

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A spectacular wide view of the 82-foot-high Juruena waterfall, part of a corridor of Brazil's protected areas, on May 4, 2016 in the Amazon Rainforest. Contributor / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

Germany said Saturday it would suspend aid to Brazil aimed at helping protect the Amazon forest in light of the stark increase in rainforest clearings since President Jair Bolsonaro took office.

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Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Neil Palmer / CIAT / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Right-wing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's administration has pushed pause on monitoring industry in protected areas of the Amazon, the New York Times reports.

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Indonesian firefighters battle a forest fire, one of many spewing toxic haze across the region causing an increase in reports of respiratory illnesses, in Kampar, Riau on Sept. 23. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

By Sakinah Ummu Haniy, Hidayah Hamzah and Mirzha Hanifah

Indonesia's forest fires have made headlines globally over the past few weeks. This year's forest fires have affected millions of people. Schools have closed in some areas due to unsafe levels of air pollution, while many people are suffering from respiratory illnesses. The haze has spread so far as to affect Singapore and Malaysia.

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Two palm oil plantations in Peru supplanting primary forest.

Environmental Investigation Agency

By Genevieve Belmaker

Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.

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Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

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The Paraguayan Chaco, South America's second largest forest, is rapidly disappearing as agriculture extends deeper into what was once forest. Here, isolated stands of trees remain amid the farms.

Joel E. Correia / CC BY-NC-ND

By Joel E. Correia

The fires raging across the Brazilian Amazon have captured the world's attention. Meanwhile, South America's second-largest forest, the Gran Chaco, is disappearing in plain sight.

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Aerial view of deforestation in the Western Amazon region of Brazil on Sept. 22, 2017. CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images

The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is being clear cut so rapidly — a rate of three football fields per minute — that it is approaching a "tipping point" from which it will not recover, according to the Guardian.

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This aerial photo taken March 3, 2018 shows a protected area of the Rawa Singkil wildlife reserve being burnt in preparation for the opening of a new palm oil plantation. JANUAR / AFP / Getty Images

By Basten Gokkon

Major consumer brands including Nestlé, Kellogg's and The Hershey Company have been getting some of their palm oil from an illegal plantation inside a protected forest that holds the highest density of critically endangered orangutans anywhere on Earth, a new report says.

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View of an Ivorian cleared forest at the edge of the 35.000 hectares Peko Mont National Park on Oct. 8, 2016. The Mont Péko National Park is located in the west of Ivory Coast where the forest officers fight with illegal immigrants to protect an exceptional flora and fauna, espacially dwarf elephants. SIA KAMBOU / AFP / Getty Images

Ivory Coast's rainforests have been decimated by cocoa production and what is left is put in peril by a new law that will remove legal protections for thousands of square miles of forests, according to The Guardian.

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Aerial image of burning in the Serra do Cachimbo REBIO (Biological Reserve) in Altamira, state of Pará.

By Rhett Butler

Brazil's National Space Research Institute (INPE) resumed releasing deforestation data after nearly a month-long hiatus that followed the firing of the agency's director on Aug. 2.

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Using fire like this farmer to clear land in the Amazon will be banned in Brazil for 60 days. Stephanie Maze / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images Plus

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree Wednesday banning the use of fire to clear land in the Amazon rainforest for 60 days, CNN reported.

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Handout picture released by the Colombian presidency showing Colombian President Ivan Duque (2-L) speaking next to Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) and in front of Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo (2-R) and Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno (R), during a meeting with Indigenous leaders before the Presidential Summit for the Amazon at the National University in Leticia, department of Amazonas, Colombia, on Sept. 6. NICOLAS GALEANO / AFP / Getty Images

Seven Amazon countries signed a pact Friday to protect the world's largest tropical rainforest in response to the record-breaking number of wildfires that have blazed through the Amazon rainforest this summer, Reuters reported.

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Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed plants a tree in Addis Ababa. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's office

About 353 million trees were planted in a single day in Ethiopia on Monday, setting a new world record for seedling plantings, as CNN reported.

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Boys walk in a field in the Philippines, where students will be required to plant 10 trees before graduating. Justine Prado / EyeEm / Getty Images

It's no secret that trees work wonders. They trap carbon. They filter the air by trapping particulate matter. In return, they let out clean oxygen for us to breathe. That's why the Filipino congress passed a new law requiring every student to plant 10 trees before they are allowed to graduate from elementary school, high school or college.

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Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

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Orange-red oil palm fruit produces two kinds of oil: "palm oil" from the flesh, "palm kernel oil" from the seed. dolphfyn / iStock / Getty Images

By Helen A. Lee

We cook with it. We bathe with it. We use it for mood lighting. Palm oil is an ingredient in processed foods, cosmetics, hygiene products, biofuels and candles; experts estimate it's found in 50 percent of the items on grocery store shelves. Inexpensive to produce, palm oil contains no trans fats, and has a high melting point, making it versatile and easy to spread. The result: increasing demand. In 1996, global production totaled 16 million metric tons. By 2017, it was 60.7 million.

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