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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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More than 45 transportation and energy companies, as well as dozens of private landowners, have agreed to create or maintain monarch butterfly habitat along "rights-of-way" corridors across the United States. DebraLee Wiseberg / Getty Images

By Liz Kimbrough

The side of the road isn't usually thought of as ideal habitat. But for insects, such as butterflies and their caterpillars, the long expanses of land along roads and utility corridors add up to a considerable amount of home turf.

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Tavurvur Volcano near Kokopo on Papua New Guinea. Daisuke Kishi / Getty Images

By John C. Cannon

Change. That's what Monica Yongol has seen in her 54 years. In that time, the loggers and then the oil palm companies have moved into the remote corner of Papua New Guinea where she raised her family, altering the contours of the society she knew.

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Aerial picture showing a deforested piece of land in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil on August 23, 2019. Carl de Souza / AFP / Getty Images

by Rhett A. Butler

Despite the global economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon appears to be continuing largely unabated with forest clearing over the past 12 months reaching the highest level since monthly data started being released publicly in 2007, according to official data released Friday by the country's national space research institute INPE. Forest loss in Earth's largest rainforest has now risen 13 consecutive months relative to year-earlier figures.

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Indigenous knowledge has only recently begun to be seriously considered in international climate policy debates. FG Trade / Getty Images

By Ian Morse

For the first time last August, indigenous groups felt the global community was taking seriously their potential contributions to climate crisis policy.

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An Indonesia Sun Bear is surrendered to Pekanbaru Conservation Agency in Indonesia on January 24, 2017. Afrianto Silalahi / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Jane Goodall

The world is facing unprecedented challenges. At the time of writing, the coronavirus COVID-19 has infected over 3.57 million people globally and as of the 4th of May 250,134 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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Plastic waste floating in the ocean. Eloi_Omella / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

In 2018, Lauren Biermann was scouring a satellite image of the ocean off the coast of the Isle of May, Scotland, searching for signs of floating seaweed for a project at her university. Her eyes were drawn to lines of white dots gently curving along an ocean front.

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Arison Jardim / The Ashaninka of the Amônia River Association

By Naira Hofmeister, Translated by Matt Rinaldi

  • An unprecedented court settlement guaranteed reparations to the Ashaninka people of the state of Acre, in the Brazilian Amazon, whose lands were deforested in the 1980s to supply the European furniture industry. The logging company penalized was owned by the family of the current governor of Acre, Gladson Cameli.
  • The conflict was resolved through mediation from the Prosecutor General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, after the case had circulated in the courts with no resolution for 20 years.
  • The indigenous people only agreed with the negotiation because it included an official apology and a recognition of their "enormous importance as guardians" of the Amazon.
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Crew members sail in the Gulf of California, Mexico, on March 8, 2018, as part of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's operation to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. GUILLERMO ARIAS / AFP / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

Marine conservation group Sea Shepherd has made the difficult decision to suspend its campaign to protect the critically endangered vaquita porpoise in Mexico's Upper Gulf of California.

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A view of the Piton de la Fournaise crater. Malavika Vyawahare

By Malavika Vyawahare

Giant tortoises and flying foxes once roamed La Réunion, a volcanic island off the eastern coast of Africa. Then humans arrived and decided to stay. Within 150 years of their appearance, large fruit-eating animals like the giant tortoises (Cylindraspis indica) and flying foxes (Pteropus niger), a type of bat, were wiped off the face of La Réunion.

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Reef scene with crinoid and fish in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Reinhard Dirscherl / ullstein bild / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

The future for the world's oceans often looks grim. Fisheries are set to collapse by 2048, according to one study, and 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year, causing considerable damage to delicate marine ecosystems. Yet a new study in Nature offers an alternative, and more optimistic view on the ocean's future: it asserts that the entire marine environment could be substantially rebuilt by 2050, if humanity is able to step up to the challenge.

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