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Hershey Bars, Global Warming and Deforestation: a Sweet New Policy

As I rode on the train back to Washington today, The Hershey Company announced its strengthened commitment to zero deforestation for all the palm oil it uses. This is another of the welcome corporate statements, over the last several months and indeed the last few days, that have recognized business’ responsibilities to reduce the damage that they cause to the climate. Read More

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Misleading New York Times Op-Ed on Forests, but Real Progress on Ending Deforestation

I’m in New York City for the United Nations Climate Summit, and it’s an important week for tropical forests and the global climate. Read More

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Fall of the Oil Curtain: Palm Oil Manifesto Group Announce Forest Clearing Moratorium

The late summer and fall of 1989 marked the beginning of the end for the Soviet Union and communism in Europe. Mass movements of citizens in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and East Germany forced those governments to loosen their grip and open the gates (literally at times) to democracy. A quarter century later, we are seeing a similar toppling of the forces which aim to keep the palm oil industry trapped behind an oil curtain of corporate secrecy and rampant destruction of our forests, peatlands, and atmosphere. Read More

Categories: Tropical Forests  

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Out with Duh-nuts, in with DO-nuts: Two Major Fast Food Brands Tackle Deforestation

Every Tuesday night in college, I would get in my get in my ’87 Tercel and drive 15 miles over winding surface streets and three highways to my destination. Lit up like a Christmas tree, green, red, and white, it was a beacon in a darkened and deserted mall parking lot: Krispy Kreme. Read More

Categories: Tropical Forests  

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Growing Pains: Why Companies Need to Learn to Eat Their Vegetables and Move Beyond GreenPalm Certificates

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formally established in April of 2004, meaning that earlier this year it celebrated its 10th birthday. Happy birthday, RSPO! Yet many companies at the roundtable party want the RSPO to stay just the way it is, without moving towards greater sustainability. Read More

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Not All Forests Are Created Equal: Reforesting the Tropics for People, Biodiversity, and Carbon

Guest Bogger

Sarah Jane Wilson
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Geography, McGill University

Montreal, Canada

It’s after sunset and getting dark fast. The electricity is out—again—so a single candle casts a small pool of light on my survey papers. Chickens peck around my feet in the dirt-floor kitchen. Wood smoke and mouthwatering wafts of dinner fill the cool Andean air. Read More

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Capitalist Manifesto: Major Palm Oil Companies Try to Rewrite the Book on Forest Conservation

The word “manifesto” rarely conjures up positive connotations. That word brings to my mind Karl Marx’s famous tome, at best, and, at worst, images of a bearded man in a remote cabin. Regardless, it’s a word most often associated with people or groups with strongly held convictions trying to shake up the status quo. It is odd then that a group of major palm oil producers and traders should use that term for a recent effort to redefine “sustainable” palm oil. Read More

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Fires in Indonesia and Accountability in Singapore: What to Expect This Summer in Southeast Asia

Last week, an official from Indonesia’s national disaster agency warned that fires from Indonesia are likely to spread haze to Singapore and Malaysia yet again. A year ago in June, air pollution levels in Singapore reached record highs because of these fires. Read More

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10 Reasons, 5 Years: What’s Changed about Deforestation

From time to time we take a look at things we published several years ago, to see whether they’re still up to date. We often need to decide whether to reprint them as is, revise them first, or simply decide to stop using them. This requires figuring out whether the information they contain is still valid, or has become somewhat obsolete in light of new science and recent political developments. Read More

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Deforestation and its Drivers: What Does ALL the Science Say?

Over the years that we’ve worked on reducing the global warming pollution, we’ve delved quite a bit into the scientific studies on what drives tropical deforestation. We’ve looked at major causes, such as palm oil and beef, and tried to keep up with the new literature on deforestation so that our actions and the policies we suggest are based on the latest science. Most recently, this is reflected in our review of cases in which tropical countries have significantly reduced deforestation or even reforested. Now, there’s a new report out that is an important step forward in summarizing what the science – all the science – tells us about the causes of deforestation and what can be done about it.

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