Category Archives: Uncategorized

Amazonian Tribe Shares the Secret of Treating Snake Bites

What are the biggest hazards of life in the Amazon rainforest? Many outsiders might peg snakes at the top of the list: the region is home to dozens of venomous snakes, among other fearsome reptiles, fish, insects, and mammals.

But the Yawanawa, a tribe of 1,250 people living at the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, have never regarded snakes as much cause for alarm – not even those whose fangs pack a potent punch. In fact, the community hasn’t seen …

Peru Floods Show Peril of Tackling 21st Century Water Challenges with 20th Century Infrastructure

On the eve of World Water Day last week, and for a week before, millions of Peruvians that live in the country’s coastal zone were reminded of the power of water on their daily lives. Heavy rains triggered violent flooding and landslides, which were shared with the world through unnerving images of homes lost to raging rivers and people struggling out of the mud.

In a cruel paradox, neighborhoods under floodwater had dry taps and no drinking water. High …

Suits, Greens, and Governments Use International Day of Forests to Forge Green Supply Chains

In January of this year, consumer-goods giant Unilever agreed to help three small and remote Indonesian villages change the way 600 farmers harvest palm oil.

That might not seem like a big deal on a planet of 7 billion people, but if the company is able to successfully help one of those villages, Pangkalan Tiga, become the world’s first “certified sustainable palm-oil village”, it will then replicate their model across the country and around the world – which may …

Surui and Yawanawa Etch Their Past into the Future

Across the Americas, indigenous and traditional communities have long struggled to assert their stories into a history written largely by foreign newcomers – one which continues to drown out pre-colonial voices. But in the Brazilian Amazon, the Yawanawa and Paiter Surui indigenous tribes are doing their part to set the record straight – in two newly released books that document their histories in their own words.

For the Yawanawa and Surui, who are currently experiencing a renaissance after reclaiming their …

What Does Brexit Mean for Illegal Logging and the Global Timber Trade? (Updated)

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Theresa May, today confirmed that the country will leave the European Single Market[1] in what has become known as a “Hard Brexit”. While the future shape of the UK’s relationship with the EU and other trade partners is still not entirely clear, the announcement rules out a number of possible scenarios. It also has implications for the UK’s position on forests and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), transposed into UK law …

Green Infrastructure Key to Solving 21st Century Water Crises

Cities and communities all over the world are facing severe water crises. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing its worst drought in decades; and while California is finally seeing its parched reservoirs being refilled, the intensity and fierceness of the storms bringing this relief also harbor new dangers, triggering mudslides, flooding, blizzards, and avalanches – thereby putting lives at risk. Intense and erratic weather patterns such as these put much of our natural infrastructure at risk, and, among other things, make access …

A Path for Forests and the Planet

On November 19, the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22) ended in Marrakesh. It was at COP 21, just last December, in Paris that 195 countries came together to adopt the historic agreement to mobilize global action against climate change. Many called it the most important treaty ever. Working at the front lines, Forest Trends fought to ensure that forests were at the center of the Paris Agreement, and …

Swedish Court Rules Myanmar “Green Book” Inadequate for EU Importers

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Swedish Administrative Courts last week ruled that a certificate issued by the Myanmar Forest Products Merchants’ Federation (MFPMF) did not provide adequate proof that a shipment of teak imported into Sweden had been legally harvested. The court’s verdict follows nearly a year of injunctions from Swedish authorities and an appeal by the company, which had imported the teak via a Singapore trader in violation of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The company in …

The Paris Agreement Takes Flight; What’s Next in Marrakesh?

Last Friday, the Paris Agreement entered into force way ahead of schedule – less than a year after the gavel came down to adopt the climate agreement last December. This week, as nations’ representatives meet in Marrakesh, Morocco for the next annual UN climate conference (COP22), they’ll look to take an important step toward putting the landmark agreement to work.

Back in 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated and agreed to, it took almost eight agonizing years to take …

Yawanawa Indigenous Leaders Tell Their Comeback Story at TEDWomen 2016

Laura Soriano and her husband, Chief Tashka Yawanawa, will be recounting the powerful story of how their tribal community rebounded from near extinction during a talk at the TEDWomen 2016 conference in San Francisco on Thursday, October 27, at 11 am PDT.

When Laura Soriano arrived in her new husband’s native community 16 years ago, the Yawanawa people were in danger of becoming a lost culture of the Amazon rainforest, like other indigenous cultures gone extinct in the region.

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