Deforestation

Timber mischief in Vietnam 

In the Southeast Asian region, loss of area under natural forests is largely driven by natural resources extraction and demand for more land for production of food and other commodities. Earlier in 2018, progress tracking of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals for Southeast Asia revealed disappointing outcomes for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15.

26 May 2019
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The sad end of Lao’s elephants

The elephant is a cultural symbol in Lao. This is probably due to the fact that at one period in time, the country was known to have a large number of these mighty mammals roaming its lands free, so much so that before it was ever known as Lao, people used to call parts of the country Lan Xang (Land of a Million Elephants).

15 May 2019
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Cambodia’s sanctuaries under threat

Cambodia’s Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary is symbolic of the country’s poor forestry management. Around 2,000 square kilometres (sq km) – around three times the size of Singapore – is lost to illegal logging in Cambodia every year where wildlife sanctuaries – despite their name – are not spared.When first established in 1993, the Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary located five hours north of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh covered 2,425 sq km.

7 May 2019
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Banning palm oil is dangerous

From cooking oil to soap, from sunblock to biofuel, it’s little wonder that Europe imports as much as about 1.9 million tons of palm oil a year. Of late, however, the European Union (EU) has been heavily campaigning against the commodity.The argument is based on the belief that palm oil is not a “green fuel”, meaning it is not environmentally sustainable, and should not be promoted as it causes deforestation.

8 April 2019
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The critical roles forests play in our survival

As the world’s population climbs to 8.5 billion by 2030, the resilience of forests to combat climate change, help mankind end hunger and maintain sustainable communities will be more important than ever.The United Nations (UN) estimates that forests cover one third of the Earth's land mass, and around 1.6 billion people – including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures – depend on forests for their livelihood, food, fuel, shelter, clothing and medicine.

24 March 2019
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Indonesia threatens to ban European goods

Indonesia has threatened to ban imports of some goods from the European Union (EU) in retaliation for the bloc’s move to impose stricter limits on how palm oil can be used in green fuels.The world’s largest palm oil producer is considering such a step to protect the interest of almost 20 million people, whose livelihoods are tied to the commodity, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday.

21 March 2019
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Dwarf trees offer hope for palm oil's future

Test tubes holding plants line shelves in a Malaysian laboratory, the heart of a breeding programme for dwarf palm oil trees which scientists hope will cut costs and limit the environmental damage caused by the controversial industry.Palm oil has become a key ingredient in everyday goods from biofuels to chocolate, leading to a production boom in the world's top two growers, Indonesia and Malaysia. But green groups blame rapid expansion of plantations for laying waste to jungle

16 March 2019
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China’s durian hunger threatens Malaysian forests

A soaring demand for durians in China is being blamed for a new wave of deforestation in Malaysia with environmentalists warning vast amounts of jungle is being cleared to make way for massive plantations of the spiky, pungent fruit.Grown across tropical Southeast Asia, the durian is hailed as the "king of fruits" by fans, who liken its creamy texture and intense aroma to blue cheese. But detractors say durians stink of sewage and stale vomit.

7 February 2019
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Kenaf: Nature’s little-known wonder

Kenaf is a plant that most people may not have heard about but is used to produce many types of eco-friendly materials. These materials are already being used by most of us unknowingly on a daily basis.From paper to furniture and from biofuel to textiles, kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L) has been grown for over 3,000 years and can be harvested in just four to five months, alleviating the shortage of forest based raw materials and countering deforestation.

11 January 2019
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Using sound to combat deforestation

Last week, researchers urged conservationists and palm oil companies tackling deforestation and forest fires to rely less on satellite imagery and to start “listening” to the sounds of the forest instead.

7 January 2019
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The grass in Vietnam may not be that green

In the Southeast Asian region, loss of area under natural forests is largely driven by natural resources extraction and demand for more land for production of food and other commodities. Earlier this year, progress tracking of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals for Southeast Asia revealed disappointing outcomes for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15. The SDG 15 measures forests and forested land protection, restoration and sustainable use.

28 November 2018
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Fighting deforestation with technology

When the progress towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as of 2017 was assessed earlier this year, the situation had worsened most significantly for the Southeast Asia sub-region when it came to containing the loss of land area covered by natural forest.

27 October 2018
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