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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Deforestation in the Tibú municipality. Colombian Army Vulcano Task Force

By René Mora, Translated by Romina Castagnino

  • Catatumbo Barí National Natural Park protects the unique, remote rainforest in northeastern Colombia.
  • Satellite data show the park lost 6.2% of its tree cover between 2001 and 2019, with several months of unusually high deforestation in 2020.
  • Sources say illegal coca cultivation is rapidly expanding in and around Catatumbo Barí and is driving deforestation as farmers move in and clear forest to grow the illicit crop, which is used to make cocaine.
  • Area residents say armed groups are controlling the trade of coca in and out of the region, and are largely operating in an atmosphere of impunity.

The Catatumbo River originates in northeastern Colombia's Norte de Santander Department and flows to Venezuelan Lake Maracaibo. For generations, it has provided passage for fishermen and small farmers; but increasingly, it is being used to transport illegal good like weapons, timber and coca crops, from which cocaine is produced.

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Fires, deforestation, logging and mining threaten the integrity of the Amazon rainforest. Ria Sopala / Pixabay

The future of the world's largest rainforest looks bleak. A new report for Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development concluded that the Amazon rainforest will collapse and largely become a dry, shrubby plain by 2064. Development, deforestation and the climate crisis are to blame, study author and University of Florida geologist Robert Toovey Walker found, UPI reported.

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Westend61 / Getty Images

For many people, the holidays are rich with time-honored traditions like decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, caroling, cookie baking, and sipping from the unity cup. But there's another unofficial, official holiday tradition that spans all ages and beliefs and gives people across the world hope for a better tomorrow: the New Year's resolution.

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Cloud of Flying-foxes in riparian monsoon forest on escarpment of central range. Broadmere Station, western Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Georgina Kenyon

Earlier this year, the term "bat tornado" started appearing in the Australian and international media. It all started with a BBC report from the town of Ingham in the northeastern state of Queensland, where the population of flying fox bats had apparently "exploded" over the last two years, leaving residents fed up with their noise and smell.

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Morning breaks over Smithfield Market, one of London's busiest Meat suppliers as an Extinction Rebellion environmental activist offshoot Animal Rebellion wake up after a night occupying the space which is usually open from 2 a.m. - 8 a.m. to supply London's wholesale food industries on Oct. 8, 2019 in London. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

"Industrial meat production is not only responsible for precarious working conditions, it also pushes people off their land, leads to deforestation, biodiversity loss and the use of pesticides — and is also one of the main drivers of the climate crisis."

Such were the words of Barbara Unmüssig of green think tank, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, at the Berlin presentation of the so-called "Meat Atlas 2021."

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This picture taken on September 16, 2015 shows 13-year-old Indonesian girl Asnimawati working at a palm oil plantation area in Pelalawan, Riau province in Indonesia's Sumatra island. ADEK BERRY / AFP / Getty Images

Tens of thousands of children in Indonesia and Malaysia work to harvest the palm oil that ends up in several beloved Western snacks, including Girl Scout cookies.

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Gray langur sitting on ancient ruins, Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Nick Brundle Photography / Moment / Getty Images

A lungless worm salamander, an armored slug and a critically endangered monkey were a few of 503 new species identified this year by scientists at London's National History Museum.

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Mongabay's longtime editor and senior correspondent Jeremy Hance published his memoir, Baggage, this year. Jeremy Hance / YouTube

By John C. Cannon

Books have provided a welcome refuge in 2020. The global pandemic has, in many cases, turned even routine travel into a risk not worth taking, and it has left many longing for the day when we will once again set off for a new destination. At the same time, this year has also been a time to reflect on the sense of place and what home means to each of us.

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Environmental activists on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol during the Global Climate Strike rally on Sept. 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum / Getty Images

In an era of extreme political polarization, opportunities for bipartisan efforts on climate change may seem impossible, but a recent introduction of rare climate legislation, authored by Republican and Democratic senators, could pioneer future agreements.

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The construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Brandenburg, Grünheide, Germany on Nov. 28, 2020. Patrick Pleul / picture alliance via Getty Images

Human made stuff now outweighs life on Earth.

That's the finding of a new study published in Nature Wednesday that sought to bring home the full weight of what human activity has done to the planet.

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Workers harvest asparagus in a field by the Niederaussem lignite coal power plant in Cologne, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning are reaching new highs. Henning Kaiser / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.

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Altamira, state of Para, north of Brazil on Sept. 1, 2019. Amazon rainforest destruction surged between August 2019 and July 2020, Brazil's space agency reported. Gustavo Basso / NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to Brazil's space agency (Inpe), deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has surged to its highest level since 2008, the BBC reported.

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Eat Just, Inc. announced that its cultured chicken has been approved for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. The company has developed other cultured chicken formats as well. Eat Just

As concern mounts over the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, Singapore has issued the world's first regulatory approval for lab-grown meat.

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