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The rush to supply the world with pulp, paper, coal, nickel, tin and palm oil has seen more than half of Indonesia’s forest cleared. Mokhamad Edliadi/CIFOR

Indonesian province explores ‘green growth’ amidst economic expansion

Indonesia’s resource-rich province of East Kalimantan has two seemingly incompatible goals: By the end of the decade it says it wants to absorb US$70 billion in investments from palm oil, timber and mining companies and to slash carbon emissions from forest loss and land degradation by more than 15 percent. But stakeholders who gathered recently…

Identifying and counting different plants and animals found in tropical forests is nearly impossible to complete, say scientists. Raf Aerts

Forcing companies to carry out costly biodiversity surveys often backfires

Forcing timber, mining and plantation companies to carry out costly, time-consuming and for-the-most-part incomplete biodiversity surveys on their holdings could drive away those genuinely committed to conservation, while allowing less scrupulous commercial ventures to fly under the radar, recent research by the Center for International Forestry Research suggests. Forest management guidance, such as the certification…

Will the forests be addressed in the new development agenda? Photograph: Dan Chung

CIFOR director: Don’t leave forests out of global development frameworks

The immense value of forests is well-known to global policymakers — so why have development interventions largely failed to harness the positive contributions of forested landscapes? In an article published online by The Guardian newspaper, CIFOR Director General Peter Holmgren explains why — and poses potential solutions for placing forests more prominently in the global development agenda. Read…

Practicing using equipment to put out flames during a fire drill, Indonesia. Achmad Ibrahim (CIFOR)

Stakeholders in Jakarta map out long-term solutions to haze crisis

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Peatland fires in eastern Sumatra, Indonesia, in recent weeks are again creating thick haze in the region, closing schools, canceling flights, and leading to the arrests of farmers accused of lighting the fires. For now, the weather is keeping the smoke away from neighboring Singapore and Malaysia, where in June 2013 wind-blown…

rural-urban

How will urbanization in Southeast Asia affect forests?

“Floating populations” make it difficult for researchers to determine the exact location of migrants who move from rural areas into cities, research shows — a finding with implications for how land and forests are used. Moreover, measuring the whereabouts of migrants requires a new approach, says the author of the research, a study of boundary crossing in…

Tell us about your forest heroine and nominate her to be featured on Forests News. CIFOR/Aulia Erlangga.

Who is your ‘forest heroine’?

BOGOR, Indonesia (12 February 2014) — Each year, International Women’s Day gives the world a chance to celebrate the achievements of women. This year, we want to tell the stories of heroines who go above and beyond to help forests — and we need your help. Please tell us about your forest heroine and nominate…

Research by the Center for International Forestry Research into the 2013 Sumatra fires has indicated that nearly a quarter burned in industrial oil palm and acacia plantations, and very few took place in natural forests. Picture Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response, NASA Earth Observatory

Credible data key to Indonesia’s efforts to solve forest fire, emissions challenges

WARSAW, Poland (5 December 2013) — Accurate information on the causes of wildfires and the amount of carbon emissions they produce is critical if Indonesia is to meet its emissions reductions targets, said experts at an event on the sidelines of the U.N. climate change meetings in Warsaw, Poland. Earlier this year, fires swept across…

Aerial view of palm oil plantation on deforested land, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia. WWF Deutschland

In Southeast Asia, hope for biofuels turns to early disappointment

BOGOR, Indonesia (1 February 2013)_Governments across Southeast Asia had high hopes for biofuels several years ago: At a time of upwardly spiralling oil and gas prices, renewable energy made from palm oil, sugarcane or jatropha was seen as a way to reduce dependency on fossil fuel imports, improve livelihood opportunities for rural communities and play…

Poor farmers, indigenous peoples, women, local communities and other vulnerable populations should be part of the planning process in climate change adaptation and mitigation, says Tony La Viña. Picture Credit: Copyright 2013 JMA/EUMETSAT

Philippines’ Tony La Viña on building a global coalition to end climate change

WARSAW, Poland — U.N. climate talks were launched this week with a renewed sense of urgency as officials in the Philippines took tally of the full impact of one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, which slammed into the country’s shores a few days before. Some observers blamed climate change for the size and…