The emblematic top predator of South and Central America — the jaguar — is sliding towards extinction because of rising demand for meat around the world. Researchers say a “drastic reduction” in meat consumption both inside and outside the jaguar’s range will be essential to protect the species. Continue reading
Oil palm fruit gathered at a mill in Indonesia for oil extraction
On 18 December 1591, a seven-month sea voyage from Africa to England ended when a ship anchored at Limehouse docks in London. Along with 150 elephant tusks and 589 sacks of pepper, the ship carried 32 barrels of palm oil. It is thought to have been the first arrival into Europe of what would become perhaps the most controversial plant product that is not a drug. Continue reading
If the ground beneath my feet last week could talk, it could tell a long story of land and logging, crime and conservation — the kind of story that defines rainforest politics. Continue reading
Take a look at these two photographs and play spot the difference. Continue reading
The former shrimp farmer made me nervous. He was at least 6’4″ tall in his cowboy boots and he looked just like Pablo Escobar. He was driving fast, taking me away from his grand gated mansion in a suburb of Ecuador’s port city of Guayaquil and towards a private airstrip and a plane he had built with his own hands.
They were the biggest hands I have ever seen. As they gripped the steering wheel he told me how another plane he had built had crashed a week earlier, killing his friend the pilot. “That’s life,” he said with a sigh. Continue reading
The 50-km long log-jam that blocked Malaysia’s biggest river shows the scale of deforestation in the highlands of Borneo and raises fresh concerns about how the state of Sarawak manages its natural resources. Continue reading
It was way past midnight in Montreal and on Rue Saint Hubert a blind-drunk man was weaving his way past my friends Marie-Josée and Diego as they waited for a taxi last week.
They told me the next day how the man had staggered up to a large tree and then hugged it intensely for a few seconds before meandering off into the night, unaware that anyone had seen him.
As we laughed about this private nocturnal meeting between man and nature, I thought about the phrase tree-hugger and the way people tend to use it to denigrate anyone who advocates a more sustainable way of living.
People who use the phrase seem to imply that a tree-hugger would value nature ahead of humanity — and that therefore their views are immediately worthless. But nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading
The news that Norway has sold all of its shares in a Malaysian timber company it accuses of illegal logging has brought back memories of one of the best experiences of my life, and of a pair of sad brown eyes I wish I had not seen.