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Not very long ago, tropical countries like Indonesia and Brazil were cast as the main villains of global forest
conservation efforts. These countries have been chopping down huge swaths of rainforests to make way for agriculture and palm oil
Today, oil palm
is Indonesia’s most important cash crop. In 2014, Indonesia produced 33.5 million tons of palm oil
,  generating $18.9 billion in export revenue.  This makes palm oil
Indonesia’s third most valuable export, behind only coal ...
At the age of 13, Tan Yi Han could not see the edge of his schoolyard. It was 1998 in Singapore, the wealthy city-state known for its tidy streets and clean, green image. But for much of that particular school year, clouds of smoke shrouded the ...
— that nearly ubiquitous ingredient found in processed foods, hygiene products and cosmetics — fuels air and water pollution, climate change, extinction and human rights violations. A multi-billion-dollar industry, “big palm
” has the ...
Last week, Indonesia`s new president, Joko Widodo, ordered the country's Ministry of Environment and Forest
ry to review the licenses of all companies that have converted peatlands to oil palm
If the ministry follows through, ...
The Singapore-based palm
-oil business Musim Mas announced Thursday that it will make sure that the oil
it purchases hasn`t been harvested in ways that cause deforestation.
Musim Mas handles about 18 percent of the world`s palm oil
. It ...
Indonesia’s reforming new president is to crack down on the rampant deforestation and peatland destruction that has made the nation the world’s third largest emitter of climate-warming carbon dioxide.
Joko Widodo signalled the ...
The Brazilian soy industry has extended its deforestation moratorium for another 18 months.
The moratorium, which was established in 2006 after a high-profile Greenpeace campaign, bars conversion of forest
s in Brazilian Amazon for soy ...
Last August, from the window of a jet high over Sumatra, I counted nearly a dozen plumes of smoke rising from the vast jungles and plantations below. Some more than a half-mile wide, they looked like pillars holding up the sky. That week the ...
Of Indonesia’s 100 GW in new power generation capacity by 2035, half will be coal-fired, says IEA.
Indonesia cannot build power stations fast enough. And neither can most of its Asian neighbors. Rapid economic and population growth are ...
Indonesian lawmakers have approved a pact for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to tackle smog pollution, becoming the grouping's final member to sign up to the regional co-operation effort.
Indonesia has failed in ...
Indonesia’s parliament on Tuesday voted to ratify a regional agreement on cross-border haze as fires
ripped through forest
s in west of the country, choking neighbouring Singapore with hazardous smog.
Officials in Singapore and Malaysia ...
The world's undisturbed forest
s are being degraded at an "alarming speed", researchers said on Thursday, as they released new analysis showing an area three times the size of Germany was affected by logging and infrastructure development in the ...
The world's last remaining forest
wilderness is rapidly being lost - and much of this is taking place in Canada, not in Brazil or Indonesia where deforestation has so far made the headlines.
A new satellite study reveals that since 2000 ...
A month after Singapore was shrouded in a thick haze produced by Indonesian fires
in June 2013, scientist David Gaveau went to the source of the smoke in Riau province to survey the charred aftermath.
News reports attributed the haze to ...
Air pollution caused by fires
set for land-clearing on Sumatra has become a regularly occurrence in Southeast Asia, spurring hand-wringing in Singapore and Malaysia over health effects and worries among environmentalists over the climate impacts. ...
Every year, thousands of hectares of Indonesian forest
are illegally burned by development companies. However, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment, Balthasar Kambuaya, is optimistic that legal charges over such fires
can be completed – even ...
Singapore's parliament has approved a controversial measure that could penalize companies - both foreign and domestic - that are responsible for causing haze overseas, reports Reuters.
The bill, which needs to be signed by Singapore's ...
Long considered an unproductive hindrance to growth and development, peat swamp forest
s in Southeast Asia have been systematically cleared, drained and burned away to make room plantations and construction. Now, as alternating cycles of fires
Agriculture plays a massive role in today’s global economy. It’s easy to not realize that your salad’s fresh tomatoes are likely flown in from the Netherlands, its asparagus is picked by a Peruvian farmer and the dressing has palm oil
More than 30 percent of Borneo's rainforests have been destroyed over the past forty years due to fires
, industrial logging, and the spread of plantations, finds a new study that provides the most comprehensive analysis of the island's forest
Trees in Indonesia are disappearing at twice the rate reported by the nation's government, according to a new analysis of deforestation rates. The data also suggests that the nation's 2011 regulations to halt deforestation were largely ...
Indonesia cleared 840,000 hectares of forest
in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil, with new research suggesting that the true size of deforestation and climate change impacts have been significantly under reported.
Forests play ...
Eliminating deforestation, peatlands and forest
degradation, and forest fires
in the tropics could reduce global carbon emissions by two billion tons a year, or nearly a fifth, argues a new study published in Global Change Biology.
For years, this is known as a smoky, hazy time of year in Sumatra, Indonesia. And each year it’s getting worse. It’s the dry season, and hundreds of thousands of hectares of Indonesian peatland fires
will burn for months. Those fires
are a direct ...