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Long-Lost Congo Notebooks May Shed Light on How Trees React to Climate Change – September 22, 2017

Records found in abandoned research station contain a treasure trove of tree growth data dating back to 1930s

A cache of decaying notebooks found in a crumbling Congo research station has provided unexpected evidence with which to help solve a crucial puzzle — predicting how vegetation will respond to climate change.

The treasure trove of tree growth data dating from the 1930s was found by the biologist Koen Hufkens in a tumbledown building at the Yangambi Biological Station, which was once Africa’s leading forest and agriculture research institution. Combined with other records, the recovered data allows Hufkens to make improved predictions about the health of the forest.

photo of tree in CongoPhoto by CIFORNotebooks discovered at an old research station in… more

by: The Guardian

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Chocolate Industry Drives Devastating Deforestation in Ivory Coast – September 14, 2017

As global demand for cocoa booms, ‘dirty’ beans from national parks enter big business supply chains

The world’s chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa, The Guardian can reveal.

Cocoa traders who sell to Mars, Nestlé, Mondelez and other big brands buy beans grown illegally inside protected areas in the Ivory Coast, where rainforest cover has been reduced by more than 80 percent since 1960.

photo of Ivory Coast Cocoa plantationPhoto by jbdodane, FlickrA cocoa plantation in Ivory Coast, which produces as much as 40 percent of the world's cocoa.

Illegal product is mixed in with “clean” beans in the supply chain, meaning that Mars bars, Ferrero Rocher chocolates… more

by: The Guardian

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One of World’s Largest Marine Protected Areas Created Off Easter Island Coast – September 11, 2017

Rapa Nui park will protect 142 endemic species, 27 threatened with extinction

One of the world’s largest marine protection areas has been created off the coast of Easter Island.

The 740,000-square-kilometer Rapa Nui marine park is roughly the size of the Chilean mainland and will protect at least 142 endemic marine species, including 27 threatened with extinction.

photo of Easter Island fishPhoto by Eduardo Sorensen/The Pew Charitable TrustThe new marine protected area off the coast of Easter Island is home to at least 142 endemic marine species.

An astonishing 77 percent of the Pacific Ocean’s fish abundance occurs here and recent expeditions discovered several new species previously unknown to… more

by: The Guardian

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Pollution Levels in Bolivia Plummet on Nationwide Car-Free Day – September 4, 2017

Yearly event offers opportunity to do environmental education, encourage physical activity

Air pollution levels have plunged in cities across Bolivia as the country marked a nationwide car-free day in which all non-emergency vehicles were banned from city streets.

As Bolivia’s middle-class population has increased over the past 10 years so has the number of cars clogging city streets. The car-free event started 18 years ago in Cochabamba, one of Latin America’s five most polluted cities, and has gradually taken root across the country. By 2011, it had become so popular that Bolivia’s legislature declared a yearly “Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist in Defence of Mother Earth.”

photo of zebra in boliviaPhoto by Flickr… more

by: The Guardian

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Bolivia Approves Highway Through Amazon Biodiversity Hotspot – August 15, 2017

National park that is home to thousands of Indigenous people loses protected status to allow for construction of 190-mile road

Bolivia has given the go ahead to a controversial highway that would cut through an Amazon biodiversity hotspot almost the size of Jamaica and home to 14,000 mostly Indigenous people.

photo of Indigenous march for TIPNISPhoto by Marielle Claudia Indigenous peoples march in defense of the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park, known as Tipnis, in 2011. The Bolivian government has approved construction of a highway through the protected area.

President Evo Morales enacted the new law opening the way for the 190-mile (300km) road through the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park, known as Tipnis, its Spanish… more

by: The Guardian

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