2020 will inevitably be a turning point for the environment. Key decisions on climate change, the ocean and biodiversity will determine if it is a turning point for the better or for the worse.
Climate scientists recently found that extreme heat is leading to more pre-term births, warming waters in New England are linked to a decline in fishermen, and unprecedented changes in the Arctic show the region is changing more quickly than anticipated. This post summarizes these and other studies published in December 2019.
During the 2010s governments and companies set unprecedented commitments to curb deforestation, but have fallen short. As the 2020s begin, here's what has changed for forests and what to look for in an uncertain new era.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. One climate researcher experienced some of the impacts firsthand in Svalbard.
Plastic pollution and dying coral reefs may dominate the news, but beneath the surface, ocean conservation is making headway. Examples from Indonesia, Norway, Africa and more reveal signs of progress.
This Month in Climate Science summarizes significant new research and gives a clearer picture of the threats posed by climate change. Studies published in February 2019 reveal the first mammal extinction caused by climate change, shifting bird migrations, disintegrating clouds and more.
The history of efforts to create global agreements and governance mechanisms on the environment has been uneven.
Charcoal production is destroying mountain gorillas' habitat in Virunga National Park. Pastureland is pushing into protected forests in Brazil. Satellites are watching these and other threatened forests.
DNA evidence often implicates violent criminals. Now it can do the same for poachers harvesting wood from protected forests.
The ocean contributes $1.5 trillion to the global economy every year. But there's another reason to protect marine ecosystems—they’re crucial for curbing climate change.
Intact forest landscapes (IFLs), or vast stretches of unbroken forest wilderness, are some of the most important ecosystems in the world. The fact that the world lost an area of IFLs twice the size of California over the past decade spells trouble for nature, the climate and human well-being.
Indonesia will continue to ban new licenses to clear key forest areas. The policy brings benefits for the country's forests, climate and the economy.
Forest loss threatens the survival of endangered and endemic species like Madame Berthe's mouse lemur, the sky blue poison dart frog and the whooping crane.
A new WRI paper finds bioenergy can play a modest role using wastes and other niche fuelstocks, but recommends against dedicating land to produce bioenergy.
The lesson: do not grow food or grass crops for ethanol or diesel or cut down trees for electricity.
This issue brief introduces a system called FORest Monitoring for Action (FORMA), which provides near-real-time information on new forest clearing in the humid tropical forests of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
- Market-based mechanisms focused on candidate species conservation, also known as pre-compliance conservation, can provide preemptive and cost-effective interventions prior to a species becoming listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Version 2 contains updates to the sections on legality and useful resources, known as the "guide to the guides." The guide now describes 47 tools and resources (13 more than in the previous version) that aid sustainable procurement of forest products.
We are on a collision course between ecosystems and food. How we resolve this issue over the coming years will be a key to preserving biodiversity and human well-being.
Ecosystem services provide the link between nature and economic development. How can this approach guide more sustainable decisions?