May 29, 2012 |
SAO PAULO, Brazil - The Brazilian government is pressing forward with controversial legislation that critics say will lead to widespread destruction of the Amazon rain forest. After months of heated discussion, President Dilma Rousseff on Monday presented a final version of the bill that was heavily influenced by the country's powerful agricultural lobby. The update to the country's 1965 Forestry Code would reduce both the amount of vegetation landowners must preserve and the future penalties paid for those who currently flout environmental laws.
October 6, 2011 |
It's official: Barbie has broken up with Asia Pulp & Paper Co. Responding to a campaign by environmental activists at Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel Inc., maker of the famed Barbie doll line, announced Wednesday that it would stop buying paper and packaging that the environmental group has linked to rain forest destruction in Indonesia. The El Segundo company said it would tell suppliers to avoid wood fiber from companies "that are known to be involved in deforestation. " Among those companies, Greenpeace said in a statement, is Asia Pulp & Paper.
October 13, 2010 |
People here remember when hundreds of Pakistani Taliban militants roamed through the forested ridges flanking the Chail River, armed not with AK-47s but with axes. Employing termite-like efficiency, the militants felled and carted away vast swaths of Himalayan cedar, blue pine and oak, leaving mountainsides dotted with stumps. Through illegal logging, the Taliban generated quick cash to keep its arsenals stocked. But nearly a decade of tree felling by militants and 35 years of deforestation by unscrupulous timber businesses and wealthy landowners have had an unforeseen consequence.
April 26, 2010 |
The images are heart-rending, farmers kneeling over the cracked earth that looks to be straight out of a post-apocalyptic movie, the dust swirling in the wind. But what underlies China's worst drought in nearly a century is a matter of great debate. Is it Mother Nature or human failure? Beyond the official explanation of "abnormal weather," Chinese environmentalists are pointing to deforestation, pollution, dams, overbuilding and other man-made factors. Scientists are searching for clues about why rain hasn't come in some parts of the country.
April 13, 2010 |
Reporting from Bogota, Colombia, and Sao Paulo, Brazil -- A Brazilian court has convicted a rancher in the 2005 killing a U.S.-born nun, Dorothy Stang, in the third trial that the co-mastermind of her murder has faced. After 15 hours of deliberations, a jury found Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura guilty of planning the killing of Stang, 73. At the time of her death from six gunshots at close range, she was living among landless peasants in remote Para state in the Amazon River basin. Authorities have long alleged that De Moura, now 39, plotted Stang's murder because she blocked him and other ranchers from taking over land that had been set aside for the poor for sustainable development.
December 17, 2009 |
Signaling a breakthrough on a key climate change issue, the United States and five other nations Wednesday pledged $3.5 billion over three years to preserve the world's forests. "Protecting the world's tropical rain forest is not a luxury, it is a necessity," Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack said, noting that deforestation accounts for 17% of humanity's emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The U.S. said it would contribute $1 billion through 2012. As a comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen remains elusive, negotiators this week nonetheless reached a tentative consensus on rules to preserve forests, including verification measures, the need to protect biodiversity, and the recognition of indigenous peoples' rights.