Now Playing | Loss of more than half the central African forest elephant population to poaching in the last decade has led to a concerted effort to save those that remain. These efforts are explored through one of Cameroon’s first female eco-guards, a grassroots wildlife law enforcement group, a Congolese biologist studying elephant behavior, a reformed elephant poacher, and anti-poaching sniffer dogs led by a Czech conservationist, all fighting corruption despite a lack of funding that threatens to derail their work to save the elephants.
23 more protesters were charged with domestic terrorism this week in the ongoing controversy over “Cop City,” the city of Atlanta’s proposed 381-acre police training center in the Weelaunee Forest. The project, situated in a lush watershed surrounded by a largely black neighborhood, is supported by the private Atlanta Police Foundation, which is backed by many of the usual right-wing funders, including Home Depot and the Koch brothers. And in the past few months, it has become a powerful symbol of how Black Americans are brutally surveilled and policed while also deprived of such public goods as green space and clean air.The news stories seem to focus on supposed violence of the protesters, who have allegedly been burning cars and throwing some Molotov cocktails and rocks. Yet the police are the only ones who have killed anyone during the course of this conflict, which has been brewing since the plans for Cop City were first announced in 2017. In January, police killed 26-year-old demonstrator Manuel Esteban Paez Terán in highly dubious circumstances. While police claim the protester shot first, body cam footage subsequently released seems to suggest that the state trooper allegedly struck by Terán was in fact shot by other officers. A private autopsy has also shown that Terán was shot at least thirteen times.While there are many examples of state-sponsored murder of environmental activists around the world, Terán’s killing is unprecedented in the United States. State violence against the forest defenders continues: the protesters arrested this weekend and charged with “domestic terrorism” could face prison sentences of up to thirty-five years. (Other activists arrested in the forest over the last few months are being prosecuted with similarly horrifying zeal.)Yet the sense of the urgency of saving the forest, reflected in the protesters’ disruptive tactics, is one that all Americans should share. Urban forests must be defended because they benefit all of us.Forests and trees are so good for human psychological well-being that a Japanese concept known as “forest bathing” (shinrin yoku)—immersing oneself in forest in order to feel better—has become trendy here, even endorsed by Hillary Clinton, hardly a person prone to hippy enthusiasms. We hear a lot about the mental health crisis in this country, especially among young people, but not enough about the research showing how much access to green space can help. Parks and trees also boost city-dwellers’ physical health. The psychological and physiological benefits of shinrin yoku have been established by several Japanese studies, one of which found it particularly healing for people with depressive tendencies. Since four out of five Americans live in a city, then, our collective wellbeing clearly demands urban forests like the Weelaunee.I am biased here, as an enjoyer of the urban forest. I explored the Bronx River Forest this summer, finding the cool greenery well worth the long subway ride from Brooklyn, and the surprising—in our thoroughly mapped and GPS’ed world—dearth of internet instruction or physical signage guiding one there. To say that expeditions like this boost well-being would be an understatement; if you enjoy the outdoors, a journey to a forest entails an overwhelming joy at being alive. We hygienically reduce such joy to “mental health” as if to justify it.There weren’t many other New Yorkers “forest-bathing” in the Bronx that day I visited in the summer; as in Atlanta, increased fears of urban violence can shape perceptions of our forests, which is probably why an acquaintance who works for the New York City Parks Department warned me not to go alone. Cities are home to millions of inhabitants who prefer to avoid forests, whether due to fears of crime, or anxiety about nature itself.But even people who don’t visit the urban forests still benefit from them. Trees trap air pollutants that would otherwise damage our lungs. The Georgia Forestry Commission, a state agency, notes that forests in Atlanta remove about 19 million pounds of pollutants from the air every year.Forests also help to allay and mitigate the effects of climate change. Trees produce oxygen and suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Cities—despite their overall climate benefits due to housing density and less car use—can act as heat islands, trapping heat and altering weather patterns. But urban forests can alleviate those problems, as studies of urban green space are starting to show. One study published last December found urban parks in and around Kolkata, India, had a “substantial” cooling effect on nearby areas, with the extent of that effect “largely determined by the greenness of the parks.” And Retiro Park in Madrid, for instance—which, though not formally a forest, contains a lot of trees—has been found to cool areas about 430 feet away from the park’s edge by nearly three degrees, Fahrenheit, and areas over 900 feet away by over a degree and a half.Trees also filter water, which can protect us from flooding as well as from the erosion that often results from storms. According to one 2015 study calculating trees’ potential effect in Ljubljana, Slovenia, some cities could save thousands each year in stormwater runoff reduction simply by planting more trees. While Atlanta may be unique in attempting to sabotage its forest with a massive, militarized police headquarters, the Weelaunee Forest is not the only urban forest urgently needing protection. Paradoxically, although we need urban forests to ease climate change and protect us from its effects, in most places the biggest threat to these forests is climate change; urban trees are particularly vulnerable to subtle changes in climate because their ecological support network of soil and fellow trees and plants is not as extensive as that enjoyed by trees in the wilderness. Many environmental activists are currently pushing to expand urban forests, as a matter of ecological equity. The pleasures of nature should not be hogged by billionaires who can afford homes in Jackson Hole, nor should those most responsible for pollution and climate change be the only ones with access to clean air and a livable climate. Cities like New York City, Detroit and Grand Rapids are working to protect and expand their urban forests. Last year, the city of Detroit worked with private groups to create the five-year, $30 billion-dollar Detroit Tree Equity Partnership, to plant at least 75,000 more trees, employ hundreds of Detroiters in tree care and maintenance work and create a healthy tree canopy around a city whose name is hardly synonymous with the bucolic. Increasingly, valuing the urban forest is not even radical—respectable nonprofits like the Nature Conservancy have been enthusiastically supporting these worthy efforts.But in Atlanta, defending the urban forest requires enormous personal sacrifices. Forest defenders are losing their freedom and even their lives. Those people are heroes, but they shouldn’t be treated this way, and they shouldn’t be standing alone: The forest should be a mainstream cause embraced by all Americans. Our cities and our lives depend on our willingness to fight for such spaces.
Past Presentation | 12 people. In the woods. Telling their stories... I hiked out into the forests of the Southeast to listen. What I found in the power of story and in our connections to the forests is more important now than ever. Forests hold our stories. Our history. Our dreams. Our strength. Our future. Humanity happens in forests. Stories happen in forests.
When we stopped whaling, the whales recovered. But our vital kelp forests won’t return without our help
This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Scientists have discovered a record number of dead fir trees in Oregon, in a foreboding sign of how drought and the climate crisis are ravaging the American west. A recent aerial survey found that more than a million acres of forest […]
A new report says the key to saving Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is recognizing Indigenous territory.
Democratic institutions are reeling in India. Meet the environmental lawyer who is still using them to protect nature.
Two states will soon end logging of native forests, but what about the other states? The federal government has powers to intervene but also faces obstacles to nationwide protection of these forests.
New research shows we’ve long underestimated the environmental benefits from kelp forests. Now these important ecosystems are threatened. The post Is Kelp the Next Ocean Hero? Only if We Can Protect It. appeared first on The Revelator.
Afghanistan’s rare and majestic woodlands can’t shake the echoes of war, desperation and poverty
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says he’ll stop illegal destruction of rainforests allowed under former president Jair Bolsonaro. Will Brazilians support him?
Past Presentation | The world’s forests are responsible for removing a quarter of all human carbon emissions from the atmosphere and are essential for cooling the planet. But that fraction is shrinking as the three major forests of the world—tropical, boreal, and temperate—succumb to the effects of climate feedback loops. The resulting tree dieback threatens to tip forests from net carbon absorbers to net carbon emitters, heating rather than cooling the planet. Subtitled in 23 languages and narrated by Richard Gere, Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops is a series of five short films, featuring twelve leading climate scientists, that explores how human-caused emissions are triggering nature’s own warming loops. We submit the five shorts to your festival (total 57:44) for screening of any or all of the films. The film series had its official launch with the Dalai Lama, Greta Thunberg and world-renowned scientists in a webcast, “The Dalai Lama with Greta Thunberg and Leading Scientists: A Conversation on the Crisis of Climate Feedback Loops.” While scientists stay up worrying about this most dangerous aspect of climate change, the public has little awareness or understanding of feedback loops. Climate change discussion at all levels of society largely leaves out the most critical dynamic of climate change itself. It is urgent we remedy this. The first film in the series, Introduction (13:09), provides an overview of the feedback loop problem. The four other short films explore important climate feedback mechanisms: Forests (14:10), Permafrost (10:55), Atmosphere (8:45) and Albedo (10:35).Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are warming the planet. This warming is then setting in motion dozens of feedback mechanisms, which then feed upon themselves, as well as interact with each other and spiral further out of control. These processes are rapidly accelerating climate change. An example of a climate feedback loop is the melting of the permafrost. In the Northern Hemisphere, permafrost makes up nearly 25% of the landmass. As heat-trapping emissions warm the Earth, this frozen tundra is melting. As it does, large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane are released, which further warm the planet, melting more permafrost in a self-perpetuating loop. Human activity kicks off these feedback loops, but once set in motion, they become self-sustaining. The danger is that this process reaches a tipping point beyond which it is extremely difficult to recover. This is why it is urgent to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so we can slow, halt and even reverse these feedbacks and cool the planet.
Federal agencies are implementing numerous logging projects in mature and old forests despite calling for forest protections. The post Protecting Mature Forests Slows Climate Change, So Why Is Biden Still Allowing Them to Be Logged? appeared first on The Revelator.
Environmental groups are calling on the White House to take more concrete steps to shield the nation's most important forests — the vast majority of which are on federal lands, and most of which have no formal protection. “It’s the large trees — the oldest trees in the forest — that are our best carbon...
A new report says the key to saving Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is recognizing Indigenous territory
In the wake of climate change, the federal government wants to hear from the public on how to preserve Texas' aging forests.
By Sarah Cox In August, as Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault prepared to visit an old-growth forest park in West Vancouver, his office drafted a news release for the occasion. It was never sent out. The federal government had committed up to $50 million to permanently protect B.C.’s old-growth forests and was “awaiting the matching...
The planet’s 4 billion hectares of forest absorb a net 7.6 billion metric tons of carbon each year—about 30% of what the world emits.
We’ve got the word on an important new treaty, a victory against ag-gag laws, and two new threats to the massive Andean condor. The post Fear of Nature, Love of the Ocean, and Other Links From the Brink appeared first on The Revelator.
Kenyan President William Ruto announced Sunday 2nd July 2023 the lifting of a near six-year ban on logging, despite the concerns of environmental campaigners. Ruto said the move was “long overdue” and was aimed at creating jobs and opening up sectors of the economy that rely on forest products. “We can’t have mature trees rotting […] The post Kenyan president Ruto lifts logging ban, creates jobs appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.
In recent years, Indonesia has slashed the rate of deforestation. That’s why this new crackdown on researchers is so surprising.
Intact forests are important climate regulators and harbors of biodiversity, but they are rapidly disappearing. Agriculture is commonly considered to be the major culprit behind...
As we confront the need to address environmental challenges, the potential of Africa's vast forests and biodiversity emerges as a powerful tool in combating the global crisis of climate change.
The U.S. has now inventoried old-growth forests, as President Biden ordered. Will protection be next?
Queensland is still clearing large tracts of land to run more cattle. This comes at a huge cost to our native animals and plants.
Past Presentation | In the forests of Borneo, a native community struggles to protect its ancestral homeland from palm oil plantations–an industry poised to destroy one of the Earth’s oldest and most biodiverse rainforests. This film offers a glimpse into the lives of those who are most at risk, the Dayak—"people of the forest," who have relied on the forests for thousands of years.
A forest needs all kinds of trees — even dead ones. Dead trees, known as “snags,” are some of the most valuable wildlife structures in the forest and help support hundreds of animals. “A tree really has a second life after it’s been killed, particularly with fire-killed trees, which decay far slower than if a tree succumbs to disease or insects,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, a wildfire ecologist and executive director of the nonprofit Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology. “I’ve called them ‘living dead trees.’” Wildfire-ravaged forests may appear devoid of life from a distance — they’re often described in the media as “destroyed” or “moonscapes” — but the reality is quite different, as more than 200 scientists and land managers wrote in a letter to Congress when the 2018 Farm Bill contained proposals to speed up and expand logging on public lands in response to increasing wildfires: The post Learning to Love — and Protect — Burned Trees appeared first on The Revelator.
Hotter and drier conditions are destroying the ability of many Western conifer forests to spring back after wildfires, a new study has found. The onslaught of destructive fire and climate change risks turning an area of Western forests three times the size of Yellowstone National Park — about 2.2 million acres — into ecosystems where pine, spruce...
Night survey by citizen scientists revealed gliders, which could trigger court injunction to prevent logging in 12 areasFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our free news app, morning email briefing or daily news podcastCitizen scientists have reportedly found about 60 endangered greater gliders in a dozen Victorian areas that have been targeted for logging.The greater glider – one of the world’s largest gliding mammals – was listed as endangered earlier this year, only six years after first appearing on the national list of threatened species.Sign up to receive an email with the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning Continue reading...
Costa Rica is often referred to as the poster child for environmental conservation. The country has achieved a remarkable feat of reversing deforestation that had once threatened its rich biodiversity. With nearly 52% of its landmass covered in forests, the country has become a model for reforestation efforts globally. However, as the world grapples with […] The post Costa Rica’s Reforestation Victory: Contemplating Sustainable Preservation appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.
Past Presentation | Diana Beresford-Kroeger’s journey explores our profound biological and spiritual connection to trees. From Japan to California and Ireland to Germany, to Vancouver Island and across to the great Boreal Forest, Diana meets people who are taking the lead to replant, restore and protect the last of these great ancient species forests. As the journey progresses the film explores the science, folklore, and history of this essential, and often overlooked, eco-system. Beresford-Kroeger reminds us that when we improve our profound human connection to woodlands we can, not only, restore our health - we can restore our planet.
Cinema Verde presents an interview with director Amanda Rodriguez about her film "Stories Happen in Forests." The film is about 12 people. In the woods. Telling their stories... I hiked out into the forests of the Southeast to listen. What I found in the power of story and in our connections to the forests is more important now than ever. Forests hold our stories. Our history. Our dreams. Our strength. Our future. Humanity happens in forests. Stories happen in forests. Our full catalog of video interviews and streaming films is available to members at cinemaverde.org.
The research could advance court cases seeking to hold polluters accountable for climate-fueled disasters.
Exclusive: Report says 435,000 hectares have been degraded through logging since 2000, affecting 244 threatened speciesFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastMore than half of the forests and woodland in New South Wales that existed before European invasion are now gone and more than a third of what’s left is degraded, according to new research.Despite the loss of 29m hectares of forest since 1750 – an area larger than New Zealand – continued logging since 2000 had likely affected about 244 threatened species.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
With no clear commitments, the gap between community expectations and actions of state MPs will be a major election flashpointFollow our Australia news live blog for the latest updatesGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastIn early January Susie Russell was arrested on a road that runs through the Bulga state forest on the New South Wales mid-north coast.She and about 30 protesters – the NSW Greens upper house MP Sue Higginson among them – were there to support a young local woman who was sitting atop a tripod used to block trucks and logging crews from entering the forest.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
The 88 companies responsible for the most carbon emissions are responsible for a third of forests burned in the western U.S. and Canada since 1986.
Declining soil organic carbon could undermine state’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastForests in New South Wales could become net carbon emitters in coming decades, undermining state government efforts to reach net zero emissions, according to a report by one of its own agencies.The Natural Resources Commission has warned the Perrottet government the carbon benefits the state’s forests provide are degrading and will continue to degrade without “major intervention”.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
Due to lower tree-stand density, it is unlikely that massive infestations fueled by climate change will reoccur. The Sierra Nevada’s Ponderosa pine forests, which were...
Analysis shows area includes 9,000 hectares where there was already active logging as pressure grows on government to end practiceGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastConservationists say forest areas that include 41,000 hectares of nationally important koala habitat have been identified for potential logging on the north coast of New South Wales in the region’s 12-month logging plan.The analysis, by the North East Forest Alliance, comes as pressure grows on the NSW government to cease logging of native forests after the Victorian government announced logging in its native forests would end in December, six years earlier than planned.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
By generating new high-resolution maps, researchers found cocoa plantations were causing far worse forest destruction in West Africa than previously thought.
A 10,000-acre logging project threatens endangered species, recreation and nearby communities. The post Protect This Place: Jellico Mountains, Home of Magical Waterways and Unique Species appeared first on The Revelator.
Costa Rica reforestation efforts have transformed the country from one of the most heavily deforested nations in the 1980s to a thriving ecotourism destination. This has provided travelers with an abundance of opportunities to explore its rich marine reserves and cloud forests in just one day. Costa Rica reforestation efforts have made it a top […] The post Costa Rica Reforestation Efforts Contemplate New Methods To Ensure Success appeared first on The Tico Times | Costa Rica News | Travel | Real Estate.
By Arno Kopecky More than two years after the province promised to implement recommendations set out in the old-growth strategic review, big trees continue to fall. Review author Garry Merkel says changing B.C.'s forestry culture isn't easy
Report highlights environmental and economic impacts of algae threatened by climate crisis, overfishing and pollutionGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastAlmost a third of the globe’s coastal environments rely on kelp to reduce local pollution and sustain fisheries that provide billions of dollars in benefits, according to a new study.But the climate crisis, overfishing, invasions of voracious sea urchins and pollution are putting at risk the world’s kelp forests, threatening the economic benefits they provide and the huge array of species they support.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
Here's how scientists are planning on getting underground fungi data from space, using satellites.
Past Presentation | <p>After traveling the world alongside migrating birds and diving the oceans with whales and manta rays, Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud return to more familiar ground, the lush green forests and megafauna that emerged across Europe following the last Ice Age. Winter had gone on for 80,000 years when, in a relatively short period of time the ice retreated, the landscape metamorphosed, the cycle of seasons was established and the beasts occupied their new kingdom. It was only later than man arrived to share this habitat, first tentatively as migratory hunter/gatherers, then making inroads in the forest as settled agriculturalists, and later more dramatically via industry and warfare. SEASONS, with its exceptional footage of animals in the wild, is the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking tale of the long and tumultuous shared history that inextricably binds humankind with the natural world.
The optimal trade-off between restoring habitat and crop production hinges on pollinators. A new study shows giving pollinators more natural habitat on the farm leads to big increases in production.
". . . coffee farmers who restore patches of forest across their properties can nearly double their profits . . ."
Two-million-year-old DNA, the world's oldest, reveals that mastodons once roamed forests in Greenland’s far northern reaches
Past Presentation | Since the 1970s Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date, he has single-handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland into a lush oasis.
Appointment of Dame Caroline Spelman to nature watchdog’s board sparks cronyism allegationsUK politics live – latest news updatesA former Tory minister who tried to sell off England’s forests has been appointed to the board of Natural England, leading Labour to accuse the government of “cronyism”.Dame Caroline Spelman has been given a senior role with the government’s nature watchdog and will set its strategy and policy, as well as overseeing the use of public money. Other trustees announced on Friday include Mel Austen, a professor of ocean and society at the University of Plymouth, and Lynn Dicks, who leads a research group working on sustainable agriculture and insect conservation. Continue reading...
Past Presentation | British Columbia is one of the last places on earth logging old growth forests. In the face of climate change, old growth forestry isn’t just a threat to species living in the area–it’s a threat to the world itself.
Past Presentation | This film transforms how the Finnish identify with nature into pictures spoken by different voices; both the famous Finnish environmentalist, Pentti Linkola, and the Finnish writer, Juha Hurme, are featured in the film as well as the director. Set entirely in forest, the protagonists sleep under spruce trees, make art, hunt with their dogs, hold techno raves in the summer night, and earn a living as forest owners. As the film progresses, we gain a view of the forest as a biological organism, as a spiritual retreat for humans, as a source of inspiration, and as a complete living environment supporting us all.
Now Playing | Some teenagers kidnap a kid in the forest and take him to their boss in a cottage.
Now Playing | Dipsas Speaks is a poetic reflection on the human-wildlife conflict in the Andean Amazon cloud forest of Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Dipsas klebbai, a snake, observes changes in her world. 100% wildlife cast.
Past Presentation | No classroom for these kindergarteners. In Switzerland's Langnau am Albis, a suburb of Zurich, children 4 to 7 years of age go to kindergarten in the woods every day, no matter what the weatherman says. The filmmakers follow the forest kindergarten through the seasons of one school year. This eye-opening film examines the important question of what it is that children need at that age. There is laughter, beauty, and amazement in the process of finding out.
Meteorologists struggled to explain "Smovkeageddon," the acrid campfire haze that settled over the East Coast and Midwest last month, and with good reason: It was unprecedented. Before this summer, code purple and code maroon air quality alerts, the two most dire categories, were almost unknown in the eastern United States. The American Lung Association, which...
Past Presentation | From the heart of the Amazon rainforest to our European laboratories, climatologists, biologists and chemists are exploring and are starting to understand a mystery: the central role of forests in cloud formation. Spectacular images will illustrate a strong ecological message and increase awareness of the danger that deforestation represents for our planet.