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Indonesia's dam project might devastate the most critical areas of the Batang Toru ecosystem and drive the Tapanuli orangutan to extinction. Tim Laman / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Construction of a hydropower plant in the only known habitat of a critically endangered orangutan species on the Indonesian island of Sumatra might be delayed for up to three years due to COVID-19 and funding issues.

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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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In 2002, Rukam villagers sold their land to a palm oil company. Since then, they've seen their peatlands, forests and fish stocks vanish. Jefta Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

By Rizki Nugraha, Michaela Cavanagh and Holly Young

Just like his father and grandfather, Alfian has spent his whole life working as a fisherman on the banks of the Batang Hari river in Rukam, Indonesia.

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The Ministry of Trade issued a regulation revoking its decision from February to no longer require Indonesian timber companies to obtain export licenses that certify the wood comes from legal sources. BAY ISMOYO / AFP / Getty Images

By Hans Nicholas Jong

The Indonesian government has backed down from a decision to scrap its timber legality verification process for wood export, amid criticism from activists and the prospect of being shut out of the lucrative European market.

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Land clearing by Digoel Agri. Pusaka

A new company has begun clearing rainforest in an area of Indonesia's easternmost Papua province earmarked to become the world's largest oil palm plantation, in a vast project that has been mired in allegations of lawbreaking.

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An Indonesian man pumps water up to the second floor of a house to wash away the mud in a flooded neighborhood on Jan. 3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ed Wray / Getty Images

After nearly 15 inches of rain fell in one day and caused flash floods and landslides in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, that destroyed 60,000 homes and killed at least 43 people, the Indonesian Air Force sent two planes to drop salt on approaching rain clouds to break them up before they reached the city, according to Reuters.

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Citizens' activities during flood conditions in the residential and commercial areas of Kampung Pulo, Jatinegara, Jakarta, Jan. 2. Dasril Roszandi / NurPhoto / Getty Images

At least 21 people have died in some of the deadliest flooding to swamp Jakarta in years, according to the latest report from Reuters.

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100 Trash Barriers are being installed in Bali. Make A Change

In recent years, Bali has been called the trash island in the world after a British diver recorded himself in one of the island's most iconic dive spots fully surrounded in plastics. In December 2017, the Balinese Government even declared a trash emergency.

With 80 percent of plastic pollution in our oceans coming from rivers and streams, Make A Change World is launching 100 trash booms around Bali to prevent plastics going out to sea under its latest project Sungai Watch.

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Fires in peat land in Cengal of South Sumatra's Ogan Komering Ilir district, Indonesia. Nopri Isim / Mongabay Indonesia

By Hans Nicholas Jong

The makers of Oreo cookies and KitKat chocolate bars are among the companies getting some of their palm oil from producers linked to the fires that have razed large swaths of land in Indonesia, a new report says.

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Journalists were found dead at a palm oil plantation like this one in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. ILO Asia-Pacific / Flickr

By Ayat S. Karokaro and adapted by Basten Gokkon

Two Indonesian journalists who had reported on an illegal oil palm plantation in Sumatra while also allegedly trying to gain control of the crop have been found dead at the plantation.

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Golfrid Siregar, left, at a protest against the proposed Batang Toru hydropower project, which threatens the only known habitat of the critically endangered Tapanuli orangutan. Indonesian Forum for the Environment

By Ayat S. Karokaro

Environmental activists in Indonesia have raised suspicions over the death this week of a human rights defender who was a staunch advocate of communities threatened by palm oil plantations.

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