Zero deforestation commitments failing to stem illegal deforestation in Brazil, study finds

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Weakened environmental standards, a lapse in law enforcement, and low levels of compliance with zero deforestation commitments led to the loss of more than 90,000 hectares of forest in the Amazon, according to an analysis by the Brazilian environmental watchdog Imazon.

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Analysis: Does Indonesia’s storied anti-graft agency have a blind spot for corrupt palm oil deals?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

There is a growing realization that the corrupt allocation of land to plantation firms is a main underlying cause of Indonesia’s deforestation and land-rights crisis. Backroom deals with politicians allow companies to clear rainforests and peat swamps that might otherwise be protected, and to seize land from indigenous and other rural communities, while also channeling dark money into elections. With the stakes so high, then, why has the KPK prosecuted so few of these cases?

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Pulp giant in centre of storm around ‘shadow companies’

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

An investigation by Mongabay has unearthed new evidence indicating that companies the pulp and paper giant Asia Pulp and Paper has sought to distance itself from are in fact controlled by the plantation giant.

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Beef firm at centre of Brazilian corruption scandal channelled $1.7bn through tax havens

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

The biggest companies involved in trading commodities driving deforestation in Brazil are channelling money through tax havens, inflating their profits and preventing greater scrutiny of their operations, according to a paper in Nature.

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Hundreds of hotspots detected in plantations in West Kalimantan, as Indonesian forest fires rage again

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

The annual debate over blame for the cause of the fires has re-emerged with the smoke in recent weeks, following relatively mild years in 2016 and 2017.

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Cattle ranching driving surge in illegal deforestation in northern Brazil

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Almost 13,000 hectares of protected forests were destroyed in the northern Brazilian state of Pará in May and June, according to analysis by the conservation NGO Socio-environmental Institute (ISA).

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“Zero deforestation” supply chains tainted by illegal palm oil from Sumatra, as demand exceeds supply of clean produce

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

An investigation in Sumatra has exposed, again, that major palm oil traders are sourcing palm oil produced illegally in the island’s heavily threatened and biologically valuable protected areas.

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GVL drops out of RSPO, months after rebuke for a litany of rights abuses

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

A subsidiary of the giant palm oil and paper conglomerate Sinar Mas has withdrawn from the RSPO, five months after it was rebuked by the certification scheme for coercing communities into giving “consent” to its operations in Liberia.

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World’s largest pension fund dumps shares in beef firm in wake of corruption scandal

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

The Norwegian state pension fund has decided to divest from JBS on the basis of an investigation earlier this month, on the grounds that there was “an unacceptable risk” that a company is “contributing to or is itself responsible for gross corruption”.

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Major ag traders fined for buying grain from illegally deforested land in Cerrado

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Cargill and Bunge have been fined by the Brazilian authorities for buying grain from illegally deforested areas in the Cerrado.

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EU urged to regulate to stem deforestation in cocoa industry

Friday, July 13th, 2018

In a hearing at the European Parliament, MEPs and NGOs urged the European Union to regulate to stem deforestation in the cocoa industry after the failure of voluntary measures, according to Reuters.

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Analysis: Are US investors aware of the legal risks of forest crimes?

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

This analysis, by Gabriel Thoumi and Anthony Mansell of Climate Advisers, examines the potential for investors in the US to be prosecuted for forest crimes that took place in other jurisdictions. It draws upon a six-month legal review involving finance professionals and experts in US law enforcement.

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Ivy League investment in Brazilian ag mired in allegations of land grabbing and illegal deforestation

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Harvard’s US$37.1 billion endowment fund has invested in a vast farm in the Brazilian ag frontier that has been plagued by allegations of illegal deforestation and violent expulsion of small-scale farmers from their homes, an investigation by Mongabay has found.

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Illegal ranching and cattle smuggling threatens protected areas in Lacandon Jungle

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Protected areas within the vast Lacandon Jungle, which straddles the border of Mexico and Guatemala, area increasingly under threat from illegal cattle ranching, according to an investigation by Mongabay Latam.

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Powerful agribusiness lobbying and erosion of regulations driving deforestation to new heights in Australia

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

A surge of deforestation in eastern Australia driven by cattle ranching has made it one of the world’s worst places for forest destruction, facilitated by a powerful agricultural lobby that is eroding the rule of law.

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