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A Bornean orangutan in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. An endangered species, the ape is threatened by the unbridled expansion of oil palm plantations into their forest homes. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

What’s Worse Than Palm Oil for the Environment? Other Vegetable Oils, IUCN Study Finds

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Banning palm oil in favor of other vegetable oils deemed less destructive to the environment could lead to greater biodiversity losses, a new report says.

The report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) comes amid mounting debate about the use of palm oil, with the European Union seeking to phase out the use of the ubiquitous commodity in biofuels by 2030, citing environmental and human rights violations in the production of the commodity.

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Alex Rio Brazil / Wikimedia Commons

How You Can Protect Forests and Wildlife From the Comfort of Your Couch

By Alyson Merlin

The scale of global conservation can seem daunting, and it is hard to incorporate the fight against global deforestation into our daily routines. If you want to help, but don't have the stored-up vacation days to participate in on-the-ground activism, the National Wildlife Federation has good news for you! The places where you rest your feet after work or school—from fancy sectionals to self-assembled futons—are actually key to saving the world's forests!

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Indigenous inhabitants of one of the floating islands in Lake Titicaca greet a tour group from Puno, Peru. David Stanley / CC BY 2.0

5 Ways Indigenous Groups Are Fighting Back Against Land Seizures

By Peter Veit

Much of the world's land is occupied and used by Indigenous Peoples and communities—about 50 percent of it, involving more than 2.5 billion people. But these groups are increasingly losing their ancestral lands—their primary source of livelihood, income and social identity.

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Climate
A baobab in Tanzania. Yoky / GNU Free Documentation License

Africa’s Iconic Baobabs Are Dying, Including World's OIdest Flowering Tree

When researchers set out to investigate the structure, growth and age of Africa's iconic baobab trees—the largest and longest-living flowering trees in the world—they received a devastating surprise. Many of the oldest, largest baobabs were dead or dying.

The final study, published in Nature Plants Monday, reported that nine of the 13 oldest and five of the six largest African baobabs had entirely or partly died during the research period from 2005 to 2017. The oldest was 2,500 years old.

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Climate
Tropical forests alone hold more than 210 gigatons of carbon, seven times the amount emitted each year by human activities. A. Christy Williams / WWF-Canon

Better Use of Forests, Food and Land Can Deliver 30 Percent of Climate Solutions by 2030

As part of the Global Climate Action Summit, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), together with a broad coalition of partners, on Monday issued the 30X30 Forests, Food and Land Challenge: calling on businesses, states, city and local governments, and global citizens to take action for better forest and habitat conservation, food production and consumption, and land use, working together across all sectors of the economy to deliver up to 30 percent of the climate solutions needed by 2030.

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Rescued elephants at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary are looked after by local keepers. Ami Vitale

Stunning Photos From New Artists Collective Show a Planet in Crisis

World-renowned artists and photographers have come together to draw attention to some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.

The international collective, the Union of Concerned Photographers (UCP), was launched Tuesday by the file-sharing company WeTransfer. The artwork highlights the destruction of carbon emissions, deforestation, decreased biodiversity, ocean dead zones and drought.

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Science
The Stužica primeval forest in Slovakia. Caroig

Two Studies Reveal Amazing Resilience of Older Forests

Maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but two recent studies revealed that old forests around the world are full of surprises.

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Salmon jumping at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. NPS / David Jacob / CC BY 2.0

Farm Bill Would Allow Mass Killing of Endangered Species With Pesticides

The newest version of the 2018 Farm Bill, set for a vote on Friday, includes an unprecedented provision allowing the widespread killing of endangered plants and animals with pesticides.

The bill launches the broadest attack on the Endangered Species Act in 45 years, eliminating the requirement that federal agencies analyze pesticides' harm to the nation's 1,800 protected species before approving them, greatly increasing the risk of extinctions.

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Climate
Dead trees in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada mountains following a massive drought. NASA

California Tree Loss Could Have Implications for Forests Nationwide

Climate change puts forests at risk. A recent study found that a third of the conifers in the unique Klamath region in California and Oregon could disappear by the end of this century. California has lost 130 million trees since 2010 due to the combined impacts of drought, warming temperatures and the insects and diseases that accompany them.

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