National Geographic

Tag archives for deforestation

The Penan Hunter-Gatherers of Sarawak

For the Penan of Sarawak’s rainforest, the raucous call of the white-crowned hornbill has long heralded dawn. Today, however, they are just as likely to be woken by the sound of chainsaws and falling trees. The tropical rainforest of Sarawak in Borneo, East Malaysia, is one of the most biologically rich forests on earth. It…

December 23, 2013: Meeting Mr. Everest, Singing Songs in Space and More

This week on National Geographic, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they summit Everest seven times, train for an Antarctic speed record, chase water while dodging cats in Africa, sing along with an astronaut, and overcome a traumatic brain injury.

Report Warns of Sudden Climate Change Impacts

Hard-to-predict sudden changes to Earth’s environment are more worrisome than larger but more gradual impacts of climate change, according a panel of scientists advising the federal government. A 200-page report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences repeatedly warns of potential climate “tipping points” beyond which “major and rapid changes occur.” And some of these changes—happening in years…

Fuel For Thought: Is There Hope For Africa?

While driving up Africa from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Arusha (Tanzania) – over 4,000 kilometres via Botswana, Zambia and Malawi in 5 days - we saw this amazing juxtaposition with a man carrying over 100-pounds of charcoal on his bicycle being passed by a 20-tonne truck carrying gasoline. Both on their way to the nearest market…

REDD+ Can Be a Game-Changer in the Battle Against Tropical Deforestation

In a high profile side event to the UN General Assembly next week, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector will gather at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo to celebrate recent successes in forest protection to combat climate change and call for much greater future investment.

Old Growth Rainforest—What Still Stands is More Valuable Than Ever

No matter where I have traveled in the world, I have found that the many of the larger stretches of primeval forests can only be reached by logging roads. Consider the old growth stands of Sitka spruce and red cedar in the Carmanah Valley, on a remote part of southeast Vancouver Island.  Canada’s tallest tree,…

Forests in Madagascar Turn From Green to Smoldering Red

Some 90% of the once-green isle of Madagascar has been deforested via a combination of tavy—slash and burn agriculture for rice cultivation—and doro-tanetry, a less intensive burning used to augment grass growth for cattle grazing.

E.O. Wilson on Protecting a Biodiversity Hotspot in Mozambique

By Bridget Conneely Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique -  If you fly over the Great African Rift Valley from its northernmost point in Ethiopia, over the great national parks of Kenya and Tanzania, and follow it south to the very end, you will arrive at Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique. Plateaus on the eastern and western…

Deforestation Reduces Hydropower and May Dry Out the Amazon

Last week, scientists published a study in the journal PNAS that warned that deforestation in the Amazon could significantly decrease the power output of hydroelectric dams, which are a major source of energy in the region. The study noted that although removal of trees tends to increase the amount of water that runs off the land, and…

Carbon Dioxide Milestone Revised by NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced last week that carbon dioxide concentrations at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii surpassed the milestone 400 parts per million for a sustained period. NOAA has since revised the figure—on the basis of computer analysis—saying its May 9 readings actually remained fractions of a point below the historic level, coming in at…

Amazon Waters: Conserving Wildlife, Securing Livelihoods

Threats to the Amazon come not only from deforestation, but also from dams, roads, human-induced climate change, gold mining, petroleum extraction, shipping and the unplanned growth of cities, whose expanding populations consume more and more of the Amazon River’s resources.

Support for People and Wildlife Merge in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park

Along Ecuador’s eastern border with Peru sits Yasuní National Park (YNP). At close to one million hectares, Yasuní is the largest expanse of protected lowland tropical forest in the country. Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1989, the park is one of the world’s biodiversity jewels, containing at least 170 species of mammals, well over 596 bird species, more than 382 fish species, and a fantastic variety of flora.

Google Mapping Tool Exposes Illegal Logging

Conservationists working to save forests and species on the ground are looking to the sky, thanks to mapping tools and satellites that capture Earth like never before. With video.

Do REDD Trees Make Forest Green?

Deforestation, especially of tropical forests, makes up 18 percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — more emissions than the entire global transportation sector. The 2007 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized that reducing deforestation would be the most significant and immediate way to begin reducing global levels of…

Stars in the Amazon

Editor’s Note: Rane Cortez works for The Nature Conservancy and is based in Belem, Brazil. She moved for two months to the highly-deforested frontier town of São Felix do Xingu in northern Brazil to work with local farmers, ranchers, landowners, indigenous groups and city officials to together promote forest-friendly sustainable growth for the area. This…