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Rapidly declining natural systems are bad news for business. There is a two-way street between the economy and the environment: Businesses damage the environment, and the damaged environment then creates risks to the bottom lines of businesses.

Three reasons explain why investors should include sustainability considerations in their decisions, and why doing so is compatible with fiduciary responsibility.

Andrew Steer's recent travels resonated a common narrative: our current, high-carbon path is not only bad for our planet—it’s bad economics, too. He also witnessed how, at three levels—political, analytical, and practical—global momentum is building for a low-carbon future.

The UN has announced that March 21 be recognized as the International Day of Forests. In tandem with the celebration of forests worldwide, is an awareness that we are still losing forests and trees much faster than they can regrow.

Many people are working to reverse tree cover loss in the world’s largest remaining forests. But several hugely important deforestation hotspots are still flying under the radar. These forest areas are seeing alarming trends and/or have lost much of their tree cover. We are using the latest data from Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring and alert system, to dive deeper into some under-reported deforestation hotspots.

Di awal Maret 2014, kebakaran hutan dan lahan gambut di provinsi Riau, Sumatera, Indonesia, melonjak hingga titik yang tidak pernah ditemukan sejak krisis kabut asap Asia Tenggara pada Juni 2013. Hampir 50.000 orang mengalami masalah pernapasan akibat kabut asap tersebut, menurut Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Indonesia. Citra-citra satelit dengan cukup dramatis menggambarkan banyaknya asap polutan yang dilepaskan ke atmosfer, yang juga berkontribusi kepada perubahan iklim.

Clearing land for timber and agriculture is likely to blame for Indonesia's latest bout of fires. According to data from Global Forest Watch—a new online system that tracks tree cover change, fires, and other information in near-real time—roughly half of these fires are burning on land managed by oil palm, timber, and logging companies—despite the fact that using fire to clear land is illegal in Indonesia.

With Global Forest Watch, everyone from business executives to policymakers to indigenous groups can find out what’s happening in forests around the world—and use this information to take action. Now that we have the ability to peer into forests around the globe, a number of telling stories are beginning to emerge.

Learn more about how you can make your own map, here.

Indonesia has the world’s third-largest rainforest, which is a haven for biodiversity and an economic lifeline for many rural communities. However, Indonesian forests are in rapid decline and the country regularly tops deforestation hotspots lists. The key to protecting Indonesia’s forests remains reforming its massive forestry and agriculture sectors. By giving these industries the tools to produce commodities such as palm oil and wood pulp sustainably, Indonesia can increase agricultural production without contributing to deforestation.

WRI has produced a new issue brief to address this challenge, How to Change Legal Land Use Classifications to Support More Sustainable Palm Oil in Indonesia. This publication provides a “how-to guide” for companies to shift their palm oil operations from forested to degraded land, as well as recommendations on how Indonesian policymakers can make this process easier.

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