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Amazon Rainforest loses a couragous friend to murderous illegal loggers

You may have read a few weeks ago in the news about the execution of four Peruvians in their community in the Amazon Rainforest by illegal loggers. Among them was the prominent organizer and activist Edwin Chota, who had been petitioning the Peruvian government for over a decade to grant his indigenous community title over their homeland. It's a very sad story, in my opinion. Here is an editorial by the New York Times' Andrew Revkin about an essay published in a Sao Paulo newspaper authored by BDFFP Founder Dr. Thomas Lovejoy and former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit. They call on the Peruvian government to follow in the footsteps of the Brazilian government following the murde

Environmental ‘one-two punch’ imperils Amazonian forests

One of the world’s longest-running ecological studies has revealed that Amazonian forests are being altered by multiple environmental threats—creating even greater perils for the world’s largest rainforest. “It’s like a boxer getting hit by a flurry of punches,” says lead author William Laurance of James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. For the past 35 years, a team of Brazilian and international researchers has studied how diverse communities of trees and vines respond when the Amazonian rainforest is fragmented by cattle ranching. The fragmented forests, they found, change rapidly. “Lots of trees have died while vines, which favour disturbed forests, proliferate rapidly,” said Jose Ca

This forest is bugged

In its July 2014 edition, Conservation Magazine published a fascinating collection of articles about how industrious folks are using relatively new mapping and data aggregating technologies to address environmental and conservation issues. For example, one young American, Topher White began retrofitting old smartphones as solar-powered listening devices to catch loggers. "In 2013, White hid four of his bugs in treetops around 134 hectares of the Kalaweit gibbon sanctuary in Sumatra. Within a day of going live, White says, the system homed in on a group of loggers and sent out an alert. Sanctuary managers then drove off the interlopers. Within two weeks, he says, illegal logging in the sanct

Map of Amazon planned for National Geographic Magazine

BDFFP director Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy is partnering with National Geographic and the Inter-American Development Bank to create a map of the entire Amazon Basin that will be printed in National Geographic Magazine in September 2015. The idea is to show both the good and the bad aspects of human development -- roads, dams, restoration projects, indigenous communities, etc. -- and why the Amazon Basin needs to be managed across borders as a single, contiguous ecosystem. The other side of the fold-out section will show a cross-section of the biodiversity featured in the region. And Nat Geo is planning to also publish map data (and data stories) online for greater access and utility. The map wi

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