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A scenic view of West Papua. Reza Fakhrudin / Pexels

By Arkilaus Kladit

My name is Arkilaus Kladit. I'm from the Knasaimos-Tehit tribe in South Sorong Regency, West Papua Province, Indonesia. For decades my tribe has been fighting to protect our forests from outsiders who want to log it or clear it for palm oil. For my people, the forest is our mother and our best friend. Everything we need to survive comes from the forest: food, medicines, building materials, and there are many sacred sites in the forest.

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Scientists say it will take a massive amount of collective action to reverse deforestation and save society from collapse. Big Cheese Photo / Getty Images Plus

Deforestation coupled with the rampant destruction of natural resources will soon have devastating effects on the future of society as we know it, according to two theoretical physicists who study complex systems and have concluded that greed has put us on a path to irreversible collapse within the next two to four decades, as VICE reported.

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A floral offering for the Mexican environmental activist Samir Flores Soberanes on Feb. 22, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. The activist was found dead in his home before a controversial thermal-electric plant and pipeline referendum that he opposed. Carlos Tischler / Getty Images

While 2019 saw a massive uptick in environmental activism around the world, with climate strikes and the Extinction Rebellion campaign surging in popularity, the work of defending the environment on the front lines became more deadly than ever.

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Earth's temperature is already about 1.2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Neil Nissing / The Image Bank / Getty Images Plus

Just how hot the earth will get if carbon dioxide doubles from pre-industrial times is a question scientists have wondered about for the past 40 years.

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Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

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The vast scale of native vegetation clearance for industrial soy cultivation in Brazil is apparent in this aerial image of the Cerrado. Jim Wickens Ecostorm / Mighty Earth (2017)

By Chris Arsenault

A first ever study has provided detailed estimates of greenhouse gas emissions across the entire soy producing agribusiness sector in Brazil. The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, found that countries and companies in the European Union and China importing soy from Brazil have driven deforestation there, causing a marked increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly when the soy came from certain regions.

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Deforestation and wildlife habitat loss in Uganda. Ron Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

Leaders from three international NGOs — the United Nations, the World Health Organization and WWF International — teamed up to issue a stark warning that pandemics like the coronavirus are a direct result of the destruction of nature caused by humans.

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A regenerated rainforest at Samboja near Balikpapan, on Kalimantan, Indonesia on May 20, 2019. Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images
It may be surprising that a universal basic income would also help the environment, but that is exactly what a new study found. A government program to help poor, rural Indonesians through direct cash payments had the unexpected effect of reducing deforestation by 30 percent in participating villages, according to a new study, as Newsweek reported.
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NASA satellite image showing fires raging across the Amazon rainforest on Aug. 11, 2019. NASA

By Daniel Ross

The wildfires that tore across Australia were as devastating as they were overwhelming, scorching some 15 million hectares of land, killing 34 people and more than 1 billion animals. In terms of its apocalyptic imagery — sweeping infernos torching great swaths with unerring speed — Australia's wildfires were hauntingly reminiscent of the fires that roared through the Amazon rainforest over the past year. Indeed, more than 80,000 fires hit the region during 2019, according to the Brazilian government.

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A lone burnt tree stands on a deforested area in the surroundings of Porto Velho, Rondonia State, in the Amazon basin in west-central Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019. CARL DE SOUZA / AFP / Getty Images

By Ajit Niranjan

Civil society groups and public prosecutors in Brazil are taking President Jair Bolsonaro's government to court for failing to protect the Amazon rainforest, adding pressure to an administration already under fire for mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic.

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Protesters used a tractor blockade and climbed a smokestack to halt construction of the Cricket Valley fracked gas power plant in Wingdale, New York, citing the plant's large contribution to climate change and air pollution, on Nov. 16, 2020. Erik McGregor / LightRocket via Getty Images

There's a growing push from large investors in publicly traded companies to hold the companies accountable for the environmental impact of their practices. In the latest salvo, global companies worth more than $10 trillion are urging companies to disclose their environmental impact to investors, as Forbes reported.

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